Changing Our Thinking About Delivering Justice
POSTED ON February 22, 2016 | Comments (0)

It is encouraging that the new Lord President in Scotland, Lord Carloway, has taken an enlightened and forward-looking approach to the Scottish court system (in a recent speech to the Law Society of Scotland). This is the latest signal that leaders in the legal profession...

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In Mediation, Timing is Everything – Put the Money Last?
POSTED ON February 22, 2016 | Comments (0)

Three recent mediations in three jurisdictions raised some interesting issues.  Each mediation was different. One involved a claim for professional negligence against a firm of solicitors for (allegedly) incorrectly including an occupied buiilding in the sale of a large piece of land. The sellers were unhappy that many years...

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Success for the Apologies (Scotland) Act 2016
POSTED ON January 26, 2016 | Comments (0)

It is perhaps rare for a piece of legislation to receive enthusiastic cross-party support. However, that is just what has happened with the very recently passed Apologies (Scotland) Act 2016. Over four years, Margaret Mitchell MSP has piloted this legislation through the Scottish Parliament with...

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There is a compelling case for our politicians to find common ground
POSTED ON January 11, 2016 | Comments (0)

Bertrand Russell once commented that “the only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation”. The recent climate change agreement in Paris reminds us how important it is to find ways to work together. It is a striking example of countries’ willingness to put aside partisan...

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Reflecting on times as a devil at the Bar
POSTED ON January 11, 2016 | Comments (1)

As a new year dawns, it is a good time to reflect. For me, it is difficult to believe that it is 30 years since I was a “devil” at the Bar.  In January 1986, I was starting with a new “devil-master”, Matthew Clarke, who...

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The Music of Mediation
POSTED ON December 29, 2015 | Comments (8)

‘Tis the season to be merry.  And indulgent. ‘Tis also the season when favourite songs are compiled by well-meaning souls into apparently themed collections. In the UK, we have a long-running radio show called “Desert Island Discs” in which celebrities and others select their favourite...

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Negotiating in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar
POSTED ON November 30, 2015 | Comments (1)

Negotiating in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is an experience to relish. I’ve recently returned from three days in that wonderful city, helping lawyers, judges and mediators to expand the use of mediation in commercial disputes, inspired by the excellent work there led by Asiyan Suleymanoglu and...

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How you can triumph in the race of life
POSTED ON November 26, 2015 | Comments (0)

‘No compromise”. That was UK Sport’s mantra in the lead up to the London Olympics. High performance sport is characterised by its commitment to world-class excellence. “Good enough” is not good enough. Only the highest levels of performance will do. In my own extensive work...

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Open and Closed Doors – A Mediator's Tale
POSTED ON November 12, 2015 | Comments (1)

I’ll start with a story. Bear with me as it unfolds. I’ll discuss the learning later. Here goes: The door closed behind me and I descended the stairs. I often take the stairs in hotels to get some exercise. Sometimes, the stairs combine as a...

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When stepping back may be best way forward for legal eagles
POSTED ON October 05, 2015 | Comments (0)

Apparently, Harvard University has developed a module for its first-year undergraduates entitled Reflecting on Your Life. It is reported that before they get stuck in the grind of academic achievement, students are encouraged to ask themselves some questions: what are their deepest values? How do...

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