Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar 2015

Last week Who’s Who Legal presented its first UK Bar publication, providing an overview of the leading barristers and sets across 24 distinct practice areas.

Included was Brick Court Chambers described as “a mainstay of excellence for commercial, competition and public law, and it is recognised in the most practice areas”.

And we were delighted to see BCC Mediators recognised.

At Brick Court Chambers, William Wood QC is a “leading figure” in the field. His “reputation precedes him” and he is active in cases in Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris and New York, as well as in the UK. Stephen Ruttle QC “expertly steers parties towards a settlement”. He has mediated over 800 disputes and is “in high demand”…

John Sturrock QC is the founder and chief executive of Core Solutions Group. He is a “highly commercial mediator” with experience in a broad range of matters. He is “able to get to the root of a matter” and is praised for his “perseverance”…

Brick Court Chambers’ Tony Willis is a “formidable lawyer” who “commands respect” due to his experience as a mediator.

Mediation in Singapore

Singapore Guidemediation-in-singapore-dataLast week Thomson Reuters launched “Mediation in Singapore: A Practical Guide”  highlighting the growth of mediation in Singapore.

The publication provides an overview of both the development and current practice of mediation in Singapore. It includes discussions on aspects of mediation encompassing the psychological, cultural and legal aspects of the mediation process: how parties choose a mediator, mediation agreements, enforcement of mediation settlements, accreditation of mediators, mediation in family disputes, divorce, family estate disputes, and many other topics.

Editors include BCC mediators’ good friend and local commercial mediator George Lim S.C. and CEDR’s man in Asia, Danny McFadden.

Other contributors include well known Singaporeans in mediation circles; mediation academic from the National University of Singapore, Associate Professor Joel Lee, Gloria Lim from the Ministry of Law, Eunice Chua from Singapore International Mediation Centre, and Loong Seng Onn and Deborah Koh from Singapore Mediation Centre. Purchase information

Well done to all involved.

BCC mediators are active in Asia and a number belong to the invitation only panel of the Singapore International Mediation Centre and are available for mediations in Singapore.

International Mediation – A Comparative Table of Institutional Mediation Rules

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In the world of international mediation, global providers such as ICC, WIPO and AAA/ICDR dominate the landscape together with various more regionally based institutions such as HKIAC, SMC and CEDR.

Brick Court mediators belong to a number of these organisations’ panels including, the World Intellectual Property Organisation , CEDR, Singapore Mediation Centre and the new Singapore International Mediation Centre – and while the International Chamber of Commerce does not retain a mediation panel, Brick Court mediators have historically been selected as mediators for ICC matters.

Of course, parties who choose to resolve cross-border disputes by way of mediation are free to develop their own bespoke rules of engagement as they might in their domestic mediations via a comprehensive mediation agreement (ad hoc mediation) – however, and although there are cost implications, parties to international mediations usually perceive real benefits in adopting a tried and true process administered by a respected and often global ADR provider (administered mediation).

Many parties arrive at the door of their chosen ADR provider because their contract, about which they are now in dispute, contains a dispute resolution clause containing an agreed dispute process and names a particular institution to administer it. These clauses are well known, for instance the standard ICC multitiered clause requiring the parties to refer the dispute to the ICC mediation rules and if it does not settle, to ICC arbitration. Such clauses are inserted into thousands of contracts all around the world.

It is because of the complexity that often accompanies cross-border commercial disputes – usually of higher value and involving more participants in more places and time zones than their domestic counterparts as well as almost always involving cultural and language differences – that institutional administrative support is seen as a vital ingredient to international mediations.

This usually comes in the form of comprehensive case management which, in the case of the best institutions, does not stop when the case is transferred to the appointed neutral.

Institutions also tend to play an important role in the selection of the mediator, especially when the parties disagree over the appropriate person or, more usually, when they simply do not know how to find a suitably qualified neutral.

And there is no doubt that these global institutions are in competition with 2014 seeing a number of ADR providers enhancing their mediation rules to make them more relevant to business and more attractive to users. All of ICC, WIPO, ICDR and CEDR have made significant updates to their mediation rules this year, the highest profile being ICC’s ‘world tour’ taking its new rules on the road where they were unveiled to much applause in the great capitals of the world from Paris to Singapore to New York and Dubai and developing mediation markets including Brazil, Panama, Turkey São Paulo and the Philippines and translated into multiple languages for use in hundreds of countries.

So how do these rules shape up in the important areas of mediator appointment, process, mediator recommendations and decisions, confidentiality, parallel arbitration/litigation, costs and fees?

This Comparative Table looks at the recently updated mediation rules of:

  1. International Chamber of Commerce administered by the International Centre for ADR (ICC)
  2. World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
  3. American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR)
  4. Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC)

CJC’s Report Into Online Dispute Resolution Out Today

cjclogo2The Civil Justice Council Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group’s report is out today. The Group’s remit was to explore the potential for ODR for civil disputes less than £25,000 and recommends an online court to be known as Her Majesty’s Online Court.

Brick Court Mediator and Advisory Group member, Bill Wood QC, was delighted to be a signatory to such a far reaching report.

Chair of the Advisory Group, Professor Richard Susskind, said;

This report is not suggesting improvements to the existing system. It is calling for a radical and fundamental change in the way that our court system deals with low value civil claims. Online Dispute Resolution is not science-fiction. There are examples from around the world that clearly demonstrate its current value and future potential, not least to litigants in person.

Judges would decide cases online, interacting electronically with the parties. Early resolution of cases would be achieved via ‘facilitators’.

Two major benefits are predicted – an increase in access to justice (more affordable and user-friendly service) and substantial savings in cost of the court system.

Full Report

Media Release

Brick Court Mediator Joins WIPO’s Mediation Panel

wipo%20logo1Geoff Sharp has recently been appointed to the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Mediator Panel.

WIPO administers a growing number of procedures under the WIPO Mediation, WIPO Arbitration/WIPO Expedited Arbitration and WIPO Expert Determination Rules in addition to its domain name dispute resolution activities.

The subject matter of these proceedings has included patent licenses, software licenses, distribution agreements for pharmaceutical products, research and development agreements as well as patent infringement, trademark co-existence agreements, copyright issues, art marketing agreements and entertainment contracts. WIPO’s settlement rate in mediation is reported to be 70%.

Industry Areas in WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Cases;

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