In the first few months of this year I found myself returning to Vietnam a number of times thanks to Vietnamese initiatives in commercial mediation. Most recently I was involved in workshops hosted by the Vietnam Business Lawyer’s Club, the Judicial Academy and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Given the mediation activity in Vietnam and…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published). Studying and teaching with Professor Frank E.A. Sander at Harvard in the late 80’s was life changing. The energy and vision he showed – going right back to his presentation at the 1976 Pound Conference – persuaded me that fundamental changes…

The Kashmir valley in India is a stressed region and though older generations have ‘lived’ through some tense winters, this generation is not ready to ‘survive’ through the silence and indifference. Deaths are on the rise and if this constantly raging battle between the militants and the Indian administration is not addressed appropriately and immediately,…

The forthcoming Singapore Convention on Mediation will be the first UN Treaty named after Singapore. At the 51st Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on 26 June 2018, the final drafts of the Convention on the Enforcement of International Settlement Agreements and corresponding Model Law were approved. A resolution…

James Bond enters a casino where a beautiful girl is sitting at the bar. He approaches her, buys her a drink and makes his obligatory introduction: “Bond, James Bond…” After brief chatting, she asks him about his profession. Then, the usually reckless hero comes up with a cover story: “I am a mediator… Traveling to…

In recent years, Vietnam has boosted its legal framework for commercial mediation. The story began with the promulgation of the new Civil Procedure Code 2015 whose Chapter 33 serves as the legal basis for the recognition of out-of-court mediated settlement agreements. Then, the Government issued Decree no. 22/2017/ND-CP on Commercial Mediation (“Decree 22”) detailing and…

I still remember the very first time I met Colin. It was during my CIArb fellowship oral assessment in Hong Kong. Entering the room with an overwhelming presence, he asked the candidates several questions on costs in arbitration. While the questions themselves were tough and challenging, it was apparent through his encouraging tone and body…

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso. Last month I travelled to Edinburgh for the International Academy of Mediators conference, chaired and hosted by John Sturrock. The theme of the conference was “Looking outward – mediation: a new enlightenment?” Not only was…

Here in Singapore, along with the rest of the world, we await the Trump-Kim Summit scheduled for Tuesday 12 June. What can we expect? While we may have learned to expect the unexpected from these two leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, recent media reports have highlighted one apparently predictable feature of Trump’s negotiation approach….