As we all know mediation is an interest-based method to resolve conflicts. Nevertheless it is not always easy to know: • which interests drive parties into a conflict • which interests make them want to resolve conflicts and • which interests have to be met in the solution. The first question I ask in the…

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…

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…

The importance of the multidisciplinary approach and the leading role of the parts. Modernity brought about the fragmentation of knowledge and the emergence of different disciplines as well as diversified specializations in several subject areas. This fragmentation enabled people to deepen their knowledge concerning specific issues and made them feel that they could master their…

This morning I was greeted with the news that Julian Barnes’ The Sense of An Ending had been named this year’s winner of the Man Booker Prize. A wonderful read, in part about how our memory deceives us, it struck me as an appropriate point of departure for this blog post. Like Barnses’ narrator, “I…

They say that you can take the girl out of Australia but that you can’t take Australia out of the girl. So as an Australian living in Hong Kong, let me leave the east-meets-west stories for another time and begin with the very Australian concept of BYO. It’s a long established tradition in Australia to…

Yesterday night, sitting in the theatre and looking at a very sophisticated balance-act of two chinese dancers, I thought of a mediation session this week. I saw myself balancing while walking a tightrope between the parties in the room looking for possibilities if and how this tightrope walking could change into a red carpet welcome…

I recently met an acquaintance of mine whom I have not seen for some time. He asked what I am doing, job wise. I replied that I am now doing mediation full time. “Oh,” he replied “do you do legal mediation or family mediation?” I smiled wearily and launched into my usual explanation of what…

We are in the midst of the Rugby World Cup 2011 down here in New Zealand – which may not mean much to those nations not playing the ‘great game’ but the tournament is the 3rd largest global sporting event after the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics so you can only imagine the impact…