I. Introduction The mediation of insurance and risk transfer disputes involves interpretation of contracts and insurance policies, challenging legal issues, and the interests of multiple stakeholders. Such mediations are not just a matter of exchanging numbers. For parties, how do you advocate your position while, at the same time, exploring settlement? For a mediator, how…

Talking to Dr Gilbert Wong Senior Superintendent, Commanding Officer, Police Negotiation Cadre, Hong Kong Walking into Gilbert Wong’s office is like stumbling into Aladdin’s Cave – a treasure trove of memories and stories of his 21 years in the Hong Kong Police Force. Amongst his library of books on crisis negotiation, psychology, counselling, psychotherapy and…

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves. . . Do not now look for the answers. . . At present you need to live the question.” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet At the heart of the idea of mediation is the aim of…

Next week I am going to interview one of Hong Kong’s leading police negotiators, Dr Gilbert Wong, Commanding Officer of the Police Negotiation Cadre (PNC). When I first emailed with Gilbert, I was struck by the signature line of his email: “Who Cares Wins”. While it could be a mediator’s tagline, it is in fact,…

Story telling and humor are among the essential tools in any mediator’s kit. Of course, when it comes to humor, mediators learn early in their career that the self-deprecating variety is usually the safest choice. This turns out to be quite good for me since in my life there is no shortage of material to…

An article by Donalee Moulton in the January 24th issue of The Lawyers Weekly entitled, “Opening offers can make or break a deal” caught my attention and caused me to reflect on my own experience from approximately 3,000 mediations conducted over the past 22 years. I urge readers to look a the Lawyers Weekly article…

Should the conduct of a party in mediation be taken into account in setting cost consequences once the dispute has been adjudicated? An insurer has been “spanked” to the tune of $60,000 by an Ontario Court for failure to participate in a mediation in “any meaningful sense”. The cost decision of Mr. Justice Ramsay in…

This note is a response to, and affirmation of the idea behind Bill Marsh’s provocative notion that the best mediators and negotiators smoke. Of course, in these non-smoking times, we couldn’t possibly agree with the apparent endorsement of smoking and yet the underlying idea Bill conveys is an important one – about the structure of…

Sometimes, I look around at mediation events at a sea of grey hair (mine included!). Where, I wonder, are those to whom we are handing this torch? And more importantly, what do they think? So as the dust settled on last month’s ICC mediation competition in Paris, I took the chance to capture some of…