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Stormy dispute resolution and oil mediation

Not strictly mediation but still alternative dispute resolution, Northwest Mediation’s favourite self-proclaimed expert international mediator, President Donald J Trump, this week has requested that the application of Stephanie Clifford (aka adult movie star Stormy Daniels) to have her non-disclosure agreement declared invalid be dealt with in a private arbitration not by a jury (as would normally be the case).

Unsurprisingly Miss Clifford’s lawyer Michael Avenatti argues that the case should be heard in public.

Meanwhile in Norway 35,000 workers are getting ready to walk off the job if mediation efforts don’t bring about a conclusion to the long running dispute over wages and pensions of private sector workers which impacts on over 250,000 employees.

Then mediation is expected to last four days involving the two biggest unions affecting oil supplies including Kvaerner ASA and Aker Solutions ASA and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions.

The strike would impact on everything from metal production, transportation, shipping, electricians to ice cream and beer production.

Previous years have seen negotiations within each industry but the move to centralized bargaining has been made as the effect is so wide spread given the effect it will have on age of retirement and pensions.

There is a risk of escalation of strikes later to include oil and gas production by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Statoil.

As well as exporting huge quantities of oil and gas to the rest of the EU, Norway is the largest supplier of gas to the UK so any strike has the potential of impacting on lives over here, we’ll keep an eye on the mediation efforts and report further.

Elsewhere in oil drilling news Pacific Drilling (owned by Israeli business giant Idan Ofer) is lined up for mediation with a creditor group.

The mediation will be chaired by a retired New York judge aiming to find a restructuring plan that will benefit the remaining company and the creditors.

Still with fossil fuel mediation news after three attempts at a mediated settlement top tier international Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and former client United Petroleum are to go back to court next week to explain the outcome (if any) of their attempts to reach a mutually agreeable way forward.

The parties are tight lipped about any movement but a commitment to three rounds of mediation is evidence that even the best known legal practices recognise the benefits of the process.

In Ireland there’s further evidence of the success of mediation in financial disputes. Of the 3867 concluded complaints brought to the Irish Financial Ombudsman last year 2370 (over 60%) were dealt with by way of mediation through the Disputes Resolution Service.

Commenting on the FSO annual report Ireland’s financial services and pensions ombudsman Ger Deering, said: “I am very pleased to see the significant changes to our services undertaken in 2016 continuing to bear fruit….The vast majority of complaints resolved by the FSO in 2017 were resolved through mediation, which is proving to be a very fast method of resolving complaints….Of the 2,370 complaints closed in 2017 through mediation, 57 per cent were resolved in less than three months…The outcome of both mediations and adjudications can have a significant impact on the lives of real people.”

At Northwest Mediation we will continue our efforts to encourage mediation in all types of complaint through our private work and through our work with the Manchester County Court Civil Mediation Pilot Scheme.

Finally in Lagos this week the state government has commended mediation efforts and mediators at the Citizens Mediation Centre and encouraged them to be even further committed to resolving disputes.

Retired Justice Oluyemi Gbajabiamila, the Chairman of the CMC Governing Council, was speaking during a tour of all CMC units on Tuesday.

A statement from the service said “Justice Gbajabiamila commended the officers at the various units visited for their dedication to work in rendering service to residents of Lagos State and admonished them to put in more efforts as Lagos cannot settle for less in optimal service delivery”

Jelili Sulaimon the council Chairman acknowledged the help given to the state’s residents and said “It was due to the magnitude of work done by the centre that the local government thought it wise to give a parcel of land to the centre for a befitting office structure.”

In similar recognition of the work of mediators the Civil Justice Centre at Manchester now permits those of us on the civil mediation pilot scheme to use the conference rooms for free, it’s not a plot of land to call our own but it is a vital resource in resolving issues quickly, cheaply and without the stress of appearing in court.

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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