T: +44 (0)1273 553523
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63 Goldstone Crescent
Brighton & Hove
Here is an interesting article. To view it click here.
Background and experience
I am a solicitor by profession (still on the Roll but non-practising) and was senior litigation partner at Bunkers of Brighton & Hove for over 30 years dealing with and supervising most aspects of litigation pracice, and latterly specialising in claimant and defendant injury claims and professional indemnity claims, including advocacy. I took a number of clients, including both claimants and insurance companies, inrto their first mediations of such cases, representing them as advocate, all of which settled. I was accredited as a CEDR Mediator in 1996. Successive editions of Chambers Directory and the Legal 500 have spoken to my reputation as a mediator. I have dealt with all kinds of injury and related claims, both pre- and post-issue, trial and at appeal level, specialising in large value disputes (often several millions) involving issues over liability, causation and quantum. Particular specialist areas for me have been clinical claims of every level of complexity, including cerebral palsy claims; claims arising out of package holidays (both between holidaymakers and travel companies and inter-company disputes); workplace stress and inter-managerial problems; and complex legal costs disputes. I have also mediated many other types of dispute, including commercial, insurance, construction, partnership, family business, professional indemnity and personal disputes. I have also mediated a number of public law and human rights cases, including claims for judicial review over care packages, and claims by and against police and prison staff and the security services. I played a leading role in the retained organs mediated settlements, and other multi-party disputes. I have dealt with many claims with a foreign element. I am happy to mediate outside England and have done so in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and, recently, in South Africa, where I mediated one of the first clincial negligence mediations to be conducted there.
I try to adopt a very flexible, warm and informal approach to the mediation process. I am used to tailoring the process to the needs of those engaged in it, both in terms of prior design and also during the mediation day. For instance, I have run mediations where the parties never meet; where they are together virtually all the time; where a key party has been present by conference call or Skype in another country; and where multiple parties are represented by a focus group. However, my mediations normally involve both joint and private meetings, requiring careful preparation of parties for face-to-face encounters for the first time or often after several years of dispute, and also careful attention to confidentiality in private meetings and accuracy in communicaton between each party. I am used to dealing with cases where there is perceived to be a considerable imbalance of power between claimant and defendant, and also where there is a high emotional content for one or (more usually) all of the parties. I seek to deal with senior counsel and lawyers in mediations in a way that does not interfere with their lawyer-client relationship, and indeed enhances it by my working alongside all present at the mediation, Having myself represented parties in mediations when in private practice, I am alive to the importance of the advice given by lawyers to every client during each mediation, and always seek merely to manage the process constructively so as to make settlement as available as possible, without in any way pressurising parties to settle.
Other mediation-related experience
I left private practice in 2000 to become a full time Director of CEDR until 2011, where I was responsible for developing mediation in the personal injury and clinical claims sector, and also for training mediators and the judiciary, both in the UK and internationally. I continue to be a Senior Consultant with CEDR while working as a freelance mediator and trainer. I have written many articles on the place of ADR in civil justice for CEDR’s website and legal journals. My book Mediation Law and Civil Practice was published by Bloomsbury Professional in September 2013 and I am a co-author of The ADR Practice Guide: Commercial Dispute Resolution. I have worked closely with the Ministry of Justice and the Civil Mediation Council over implementation of the EU Directive on Mediation. I continue to train mediators as a lead member of CEDR’s international faculty, both in the UK and across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia., and l also run seminars for the law faculties at Cambridge and University College London.