In this interview, Dr. Frank Gerhards shares his experience in using mediation proceedings to successfully resolve an active ingredient patent dispute between two major crop protection companies. Dr. Frank Gerhards is a qualified German patent attorney and representative before the European Patent Office, employed with Bayer Intellectual Property (BIP) since 2006 and group leader since…

Covid is the gift that keeps on giving. It has provided a wonderful focus for blame that has let us off the hook for a lot of things. It has coincided with significant changes in our mediation experiences and again has been seized on as the culprit when mediation sessions go ‘off piste’. The new…

What mediators do with words

‘The world is made, not found’ (W. Barnett Pearce) (1) I just spent an intensive weekend on Zoom with my students, helping them navigate their early steps into mediation practice. So much has changed. I have never met most of them face to face; we sit at home on our screens; there are no coffee…

Sometimes I wonder what the facilitation and mediation work I do is all about. By which I mean what purpose does it perform for clients. What is it that they are asking for from me, and what is it that they actually get? Do they always really want what they are ostensibly asking for? Do…

I say regularly that students make the best teachers. My students continue to prove me right. In my recent ADR program I confessed to my undergraduate students that having a conversation about culture was something that made me very anxious. I feel poorly prepared and I fear, with the best intentions, causing offence and appearing…

I wrote this piece for Strathclyde Mediation Clinic after a series of conversations with new and learner mediators. Some surprised me with their passivity in the face of parties’ lack of knowledge or understanding. After some probing I learned that many new mediators recognise the problem but believe the model they were taught prohibits them…

The deeply-felt norm of conducting mediation on a single day is eroding as everyone adjusts to the realities of the coronavirus crisis and people appreciate the benefits of spreading out the process over time. This post describes the evolution around the world to what I have called “planned early multi-stage mediation.” One-Day Mediations For many…

The importance of gaze

‘Because you’re distant, forgive me for being a little bit bossy’ (Paddy O’Connell, BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House) After plying their trade for a while mediators (and broadcasters) develop a persona, not so much bolted on as inhabited. Once in ‘the chair,’ voice, posture and gestures all coalesce to support their purpose and, with minimal…

Ten weeks ago, I had barely heard of Zoom. At that time, I was fairly sceptical about online mediation in the kind of cases I do. It could never substitute for face to face meetings with their intimacy and candour. Or so I thought. I have recently undertaken a number of mediations using Zoom. It…

What is the SIMC COVID-19 Protocol? The Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) has just launched the SIMC COVID-19 Protocol to provide businesses with an expedited, economical and effective route to resolve any international commercial disputes during the COVID-19 pandemic period. SIMC’s Covid-19 protocol is a great example of a leading mediation service provider reaching out…