We got off on the wrong foot right from the start. It was a boat building case and the detail was overwhelming. Too many gudgeons, pintles and bulwarks and by the time we got to a 3 day hearing, it had become the most toxic professional relationship with a counterpart lawyer of my young career. A day…

Once again, we find ourselves on the eve of the annual ICC Commercial Mediation Competition which is about to kick off in Paris, France next week. Last year I posted 10 tips for participants, one of the most important being that mediation remains an oral sport, and the most effective counsel and parties in real…

This post is unlikely to win me friends on America’s West Coast and it may even see my US mediation teaching visa withdrawn, however when the issue even has its own Facebook group called Save the Mediation Joint Session and Promote Party Participation with over 50 of the world’s top mediators signed up, then the patient is more critical than I thought. The rise…

In the world of international mediation, global providers such as ICC, WIPO and AAA/ICDR dominate the landscape together with various more regionally based institutions such as HKIAC, SMC and CEDR. Of course, parties who choose to resolve cross-border disputes by way of mediation are free to develop their own bespoke rules of engagement as they might in their domestic mediations…

Before I left my law firm in the late 1990’s David Maister, a Boston management guru of whom many of you will know, was the darling of every large service firm, especially in the law and accountancy fields. He has long since retired but at his height he was good, very good – despite being a…

Tension Raising Behaviours; 100% statements Labelling Put downs and excitable statements Threats Interpreting/analysing/patronising/matronising Collecting allies Non-verbal behaviours Preparing an attack Sarcasm Defensiveness/self justifying Over detailing Tension Reducing Behaviours; Acknowledging probable legitimate concerns Put in perspective Be specific Own the interpretation Own the personal response Invite feedback Invite response

Many mediations are 80/20 – that is, 80% of the day spent in dialogue and debate with not much sign of movement and, as evening gathers, 20% frenetic activity. So it is not unusual for the parties to sit together for many hours and ask towards the end of the day “are we any nearer each other?”…