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  • Ed

Spreading the word

Nothing better than starting with a bit of self-promotion. Here’s myself and Peter Causton (of Promediate) at last week’s seminar which we presented to the Greater Manchester Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. As well as being a self-employed mediator at Northwest Mediation I am on Promediate’s panel of mediators and part of the Manchester Civil Mediation Pilot Scheme, headed up by none other than Deputy District Judge Peter Causton.

Turning to other mediation in this week’s news we travel first to Jakarta (no she went by coach I hear you cry) where the president, Joko Widodo, met with Ojek (motorcycle taxi) representatives. There has been a tariff war amongst the taxi firms as a result of ride hailing apps which is having an impact on the ability of the Ojek to earn a fair wage. He said that he felt there should be upper and lower limits on the tariffs but that the decision would be made via mediation.

“I have instructed the transportation minister as well as the communications and information minister to invite the firms in a meeting that will also be attended by the drivers. They have to talk to find a solution so that no party inflicts any loss”

Budi Karya Sumadi Transportation Minister explained that "The drivers consider Rp 1,600 per km too low. They have to drive 6 km to obtain Rp 10,000" and that the mediation would proceed this Wednesday (28/03/18).

Over in Michigan, Livingston County, more mediators have now taken their oaths of office (we don’t swear any oaths of office in the UK but those of us who are professional mediators adhere to the EU voluntary code of conduct).

Every two years mediators in Michigan are re-certified and this year the process was completed during the annual Livingston Holiday Open House with Judge Dennis Cohen administering the oaths.

There’s a full list of the mediators on the attached link but they include three 30 year veteran mediators Bill Powell, Bill Van Buskirk and Greg Emerton.

Director of the Livingston Programs, Letitia Rosenthal, highlighted that as with the work Northwest Mediation does in the UK not only do our services save the courts and users money but our actions also free up judges for matters that cannot be resolved through other means.

Following on from acting as a judge in last years National Mediation competition for law students I see that the Georgia Southern University has hosted The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ Mock Mediation Club.

Using the skills of mediation to help parties resolve conflict by acting as the independent voice in the room students took part in a number of scenarios to practice and hone their skills. They will have learned how to encourage clear, meaningful communication, promote co-operation and healthy expression of feelings along with encouraging all parties to think about problem solving.

Assistant professor of the criminal justice and criminology department and advisor to the Mock Mediation Club Laura E. Agnich Ph.D said "The club benefits Georgia Southern students in a myriad of ways…At its core, mediation is about resolving disputes so that that all parties involved are satisfied with the outcome. This involves active listening and dialogue skills that translate to all areas of life."

No doubt the students taking part are looking primarily at a career in law, but more now than before there is an acceptance of mediation as a separate profession, and with moves by the Civil Mediation Council and the Ministry of Justice towards mediation being a first (and regular) port of call in all case this side of the pond that will only continue.

Agnich added there were other benefits to the scheme "Organization members have organized a forum for Georgia Southern students to engage in constructive dialogue about race and racism…Participated in the Beloved Community, a local organization that brings together law enforcement, university students and faculty, and Bulloch county community members to engage in dialogue to improve our community, and the club annually contributes to and volunteers for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser for Teal House/Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center that we hold on campus each Spring."

And if you needed evidence that mediation should be a serious consideration have a look at the case of Deutsche Bank and Blake Morgan who have an ongoing £8.4 million professional negligence dispute and have opted for mediation.

The claim brought by the bank against their former legal advisers alleges that BM were negligent on advising over a deed of surrender in respect of its obligations for a data centre in my old stomping ground of Middlesex.

Deutsche Bank claims it did not know if needed the consent of the Co-Op Bank (which wasn’t then granted) leaving DB with an ongoing liability for rent.

DB estimates it would have recovered under the lease £6.1 million and wants further costs of over £2.3 million.

BM said “The firm naturally regrets the difficulties this has caused to one of our longstanding and valued clients…We have no doubt that the case will be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. In the meantime, no further comment will be made given that the parties are subject to legal proceedings and it would, therefore, be inappropriate to discuss in any media forum.”

Dispute Partner Christopher Robinson of Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer has instructed barristers from One Essex Court Sonia Tolaney QC and Adam Rushworth while Clyde and Co act for BM who have retained the services of 4 New Square’s Scott Allen.

The case has already been subject to one stay of 14 days while mediation was explored and the parties continue in their efforts to reach a conclusion by mediation.

An unnamed City disputes adviser says “It is in the interest of the court because it frees up court and judge time, and it is in the interest of the parties involved because it is often better to negotiate a settlement that resolves the dispute, rather than having an outcome that is favourable to one side and damaging to the other…It also saves on legal costs for both the claimant and defendant.”

It isn’t the only large commercial dispute which BM is involved in, they are also in dispute regarding it’s representation of Greendales IP (a subsidiary of Meadow Partners – owners of Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill Stadium) who are alleged to be trying to force the club out of the stadium, not least by trademarking the team’s own name.

In a case which brought celebrity interest from Danny Baker and Gary Lineker BM released a statement saying “We were asked to provide advice on trade mark law as part of our client’s complex discussions about land at Champion Hill. We’re aware commercial conversations between Meadow Partners and Dulwich Hamlet FC are ongoing, but are not party to these and cannot comment further.”

Hopefully this is another matter where mediation will be recognised as the best way for all parties to reach an amicable conclusion.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance mediation; property mediator;

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