A Baptism of Fire

Returning to London for a series of mediations this spring my cure for  jet-lag is a one-day Civil Justice Council workshop on the role of ADR in the civil justice system.

90 people packed into the ballroom of a central London hotel: High Court Judges, District Judges, Employment Judges, solicitors, barristers, arbitrators, mediators, the voluntary sector, civil servants from the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Court Service. As well – a sign of the times, various providers of dispute resolution software.

Chaired by Brick Court’s Bill Wood QC there were no speeches, no talking heads and no power points. Just fast moving discussion;

Why hasn’t the ADR message got through to the public? Are the existing prompts in the system working? If ADR can help parties without representation how is that to be funded and provided? Has ADR been treated as being limited to mediation for too long? Is some form of compulsion or automatic referral to ADR inescapable? If you have to provide at least some opt-outs does that inevitably bog the system down in satellite arguments? How big are the political obstacles in the path of radical reform? Will online access to the Court make all of these questions obsolete or raise new challenges? And what does the overseas experience tell us?

None of us envied the six members of the working group who now have to pick the bones out of it all and write a final report!

Read the CJC ADR Working Group’s Interim Report

Mediation: a cricketing metaphor

Recently, I was ruminating about analogies between cricket and mediation. Cricket is a much-loved sport in Scotland. Sadly, nowadays, changes in the climate mean that cricket in my home country is more often affected by summer rain and damp conditions than a generation ago. Its future is less certain as a result. I have always […]

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What The Directories Say…

BRICK COURT CHAMBERS boasts the leading mediation offering at the UK Bar, achieving several nominations this year including three of our most highly regarded practitioners. William Wood QC is “totally stunning in every respect” according to peers, who consider him “the best international mediator out there”. They praise his “beautifully light touch” and “would put […]

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Phexit: A Beginner’s Guide

Watch out all London insurance dispute specialists! It turns out it is not only the financiers of Dublin. Frankfurt and Paris who are relishing current opportunities. When the American Bar Association’s Insurance Litigation Section meets in Tucson Arizona on 1st March delegates will be offered a number of fascinating break-out discussions (including one on timely […]

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Better Conversations Bus Tour

Collaborative Scotland recently organised a series of public events and business breakfasts in the north-west of Scotland as part of its Better Conversations Bus Tour. Collaborative Scotland is led by Brick Court’s John Sturrock QC. The tour facilitated a series of free open meetings and workshops in partnership with some of the region’s most prominent […]

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