Do you remember mediating your first mediation? In this blog I share my early mediation experiences, calling upon the veterans amongst you to travel down memory lane and rummage around in all those dusty, nostalgic moments. I invite you to share them with those of us who are yet to slay that first mediation dragon…

What is it about disputes in regulated sectors that make them suited to mediation? Regulated sectors are ripe for disputes. Whether it’s the energy, financial or telecoms sector, there are often incumbent players that own key infrastructure that is essential for delivering services to customers. At the same time new entrants may be vying for…

The U.K.’s decision to leave the EU and the voting in of the protectionist Donald Trump to the US presidency has drawn both the UK and the USA into the Nash Trap. U.S. mathematician John Nash (the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’) postulated that Adam Smith’s declaration that ‘In competition, individual ambition serves the common good’…

I recently attended the annual American Bar Association Dispute Resolution conference in San Francisco. Several themes emerged (for me) as fairly critical for modern lawyers. Here’s a top ten. Problem-Solving and Risk Analysis is more than learning about the law or what a court might do. Most issues which clients bring to lawyers are resolved…

Forty-five years ago, Professor Christopher Stone published a paper entitled “Should Trees have Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”. [45 Southern California Law Review 450–501.] Two years later, that paper had morphed into a book of the same title, with the subtitle, “Law, morality and the Environment” (1974; 3rd ed, 2010; OUP). Stone’s objective…

I have given a little thought as to whether my work as a mediator fits into one of the well-known “styles.” I do not see myself as an evaluative or directive mediator, but I do sometimes tell clients how I see their options. I would say I am a facilitative mediator, but as perhaps most…

Conciliation is attracting more and more users for its prided features as an easily accessible, cost- and time-effective procedure for dispute resolution. It is supported and also evidenced in the recent effort put into the discussion by UNCITRAL Working Group II to establish new instruments – a convention and a model law – with regard…

Savvy litigators often tell their clients that “a bad settlement always beats a good litigation”. That may be partly because there is embarrassingly scant guidance in the literature, or even in the world’s law schools, on how lawyers can help their clients settle well rather than badly. I recently had the honor of writing the…

Students demonstrating cooperation

Morton Deutsch, the great social psychologist of common sense, explained the difference between competition and cooperation thus: “if you’re positively linked with another, then you sink or swim together; with negative linkage, if the other sinks, you swim, and if the other swims, you sink.”1)Cooperation and Competition. In M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E….

Public Service Warning: This blog post will contain spoilers. If you have not watched Arrival and intend to, please do not read any further. I’m a movie addict. I admit it. And I am ashamed to say that most times, my favourite genre of movies is the “check your brain in at the door shoot…