I recently carried out New Zealand’s first empirical research on the users of commercial mediation. This is Part Three of a three-part study (Part One = the mediators, Part Two = the gatekeepers/lawyers). Getting to grips with what users think of commercial mediation is the Holy Grail for mediation professionals. Until now in New Zealand,…

Have you ever wondered who mediators are helping? The parties, obviously! Well, not so obvious to our critics. In this blog I consider worries about mediation’s approach to manifest injustice before making the case for understanding the mediator as co-creator, with the parties, of outcomes. I argue that co-creation enhances the prospects for justice. Stories…

What is it about disputes in regulated sectors that make them suited to mediation? Regulated sectors are ripe for disputes. Whether it’s the energy, financial or telecoms sector, there are often incumbent players that own key infrastructure that is essential for delivering services to customers. At the same time new entrants may be vying for…

Students demonstrating cooperation

Morton Deutsch, the great social psychologist of common sense, explained the difference between competition and cooperation thus: “if you’re positively linked with another, then you sink or swim together; with negative linkage, if the other sinks, you swim, and if the other swims, you sink.”1)Cooperation and Competition. In M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E….

I (Bill) remember doing my first commercial mediation. I was 29, and in the presence of the four parties and their advisers I felt even younger. It was not lost on me that (as Suzanne Rab recently noted in Do You Need Grey Hairs to Mediate?) people expected someone older to walk into the room….

Mediation is already here, and it came to stay. Each day there are more and more supporters of mediation – from legislators to public institutions, and professionals who are gaining more awareness about the potential of mediation. However, it also has a long way to go. Those who decided to start working in the field…

This blog comes (almost live) from the Berlin Global Pound conference, held on 24 March 2017. This was the 13th in a series of 39 coordinated events on commercial dispute resolution mechanisms around the world. The name goes back to the 1976 Pound conference in St. Paul, which marked a key moment in the advent…

In 2017 we find that the mediation market is lumpy. There is a relatively small pool of mediators, including the founding fathers and mothers of mediation, who firmly established credibility and respect for the discipline, who have honed their craft over the years and who are now the “go to” individuals for probably the majority…

When building the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, in the fifties, Juscelino Kubitschek’s expression “50 years in 5” became famous. He was referring to the country’s expected development. Maybe a sort of analogy – ten years in one – could be used to describe the recent developments in alternative dispute resolution in Brazil. If compared to other…

How many of us share the experience I have had – sitting on the last train home, late at night, with a day’s mediating behind me and no settlement? Perhaps even no meaningful progress towards a settlement? Occasionally, no offers even made? And as you do so, perhaps you find that your thoughts veer from:…