Initiating Litigation Isn’t Refusing Mediation If Other Party Hasn’t Sought It

A mediation provision in a real estate contract required a party who refused to mediate and then lost in litigation to pay the other party’s attorneys’ fees.

A US Federal Appellate Court, however, concluded that there must be a request for mediation before there could be a refusal; simply filing the litigation was not sufficient to prove a refusal to mediate. Accordingly, since the defendant who prevailed in the litigation had not sought to mediate, the plaintiff had not refused and was not responsible for paying defendant’s attorneys’ fees.
Thompson v. Cloud, Nos. 13-1120, 13-1121 (U.S.C.A. 1st Cir., August 20, 2014)

Who’s Who Legal Recognise Brick Court Mediators As Some Of The Most Highly Rated in the World

In August 2014 WHO’s WHO LEGAL recognised 298 of the world’s leading commercial mediators, saying each should be considered to be among the outstanding experts in their jurisdiction.

As part of the list of 298, Who’s Who also selected the 10 most highly regarded commercial mediators in the world and incredibly four Brick Court mediators featured in that top 10 list both 2013 in 2014.

“Several members of the UK Bar stand out for the quality of their mediation practices, and Brick Court Chambers is home to some of the most highly rated practitioners in the world.

Tony Willis is “part of the aristocracy” and a “premier league mediator”. Former managing partner of Clifford Chance, he is a three-time winner of our Mediator of the Year Award and has conducted more than a thousand mediations in relation to areas such as professional negligence, boardroom disputes, construction and insurance for clients such as corporates, individuals, government departments and regulators.

William Wood QC is said to be “at the top of his game, absolutely superb”. Interviewees say he is “always well prepared, and inspires the confidence of solicitors and clients alike.”

Stephen Ruttle QC is “first-rate” and has successfully mediated many hundreds of disputes, some of which involve billions of pounds.

Clients would go to Geoff Sharp “10 times out of 10”. A door tenant at Brick Court, he has conducted over a thousand mediations in New Zealand and worldwide, and is one of the most highly rated individuals on our international research.

John Sturrock QC of Core Solutions Group in Edinburgh was also announced as a Brick Court door tenant in May 2013, and is “internationally recognised as a major player in this area”.”

An Asian Switzerland, Expectation and Regret

Having last week returned to New Zealand from Singapore where I was honoured take part in the launch of the ICC Mediation Rules, I saw first hand the support for mediation in Singapore from powerful institutions like the Singapore Judiciary and the Ministry of Law.

Singapore, and my guess is Asia in general, is in the grip of a trade boom – from my hotel window it showed. I counted well over 100 large ships at anchor in the bay awaiting their turn to come along side the container  port.  This amazing country, lacking in land and natural resources of its own, unloads raw materials and later exports them after refining, value adding and reshaping them. In this way, Singapore has become the world’s busiest transshipment port.

I was in no doubt that I was in the footsteps of many neutrals before me who, down through the ages, had learned to follow the trade routes in an effort to ply their craft.

Continue Reading