One of the privileges and perils of working as a mediator in Scotland is that we get a close-up view of developments in England and Wales. In an ideal world this should allow us (pop. 5 million) to learn from them (pop. 55 million): to pick the best innovations and avoid the failures. As I…

Hong Kong is the global city of designer ‘labels’ as even the most reluctant of shoppers cannot fail to observe. It is also the city of fakes – fakes with labels and fakes without labels – and the place where the ‘No Fake’ label and the ‘No Label’ label thrive! Confused? Well don’t worry, Hong…

Problems in group practices of medical group practices or commercial partnerships between lawyers, advisers, accountants, consultants are very common. My mediation practice consists for about 50% of group-mediations concerning cooperation-problems between partners in lawyer-firms, doctors-cooperations and other commercial partnerships. One of the major issues seems to be that clear communication about what is really the…

1. Failing to get the right people at the table. 2. Failing to explain the mediator’s role as agent of reality. 3. Permitting settlement negotiations to begin prematurely – prior to permitting the parties to vent or prior to risk analysis and reality testing. 4. Failing to orchestrate the negotiations by discouraging out of the…

This week I came across an article in Forbes magazine (not my usual reading, I hasten to add!) which irritated and inspired me in equal measure. Under the title “The Ten Most Peaceful Countries Don’t Include US” it highlighted the world’s ten most peaceful countries as measured by the “Negative Peace” and “Positive Peace” criteria…

Desire. I have some transcripts from real-life family mediations to analyse and reading the transcripts, it struck me that I was reading about desire. This sent me back to my 1985 language, literature and culture textbook, Modern Literary Theory, and to psychoanalytic and linguistic theories. Thinking also about Nadja Alexander’s post about the Carlo Scarpa…

At their third mediation meeting, the parties reached an agreement in a dispute between family members over family property. The parties also seemed to settle older personal issues that apparently had nothing to do with the case. With the feeling that both the relationship and the outcome issues were resolved, six parties and their lawyers…