Led by John Sturrock QC, Core's mediators are highly experienced professionals who deliver a high quality and independent service throughout Scotland and the UK.

For enquiries or to arrange a confidential, no-obligation discussion, please contact Miriam Haboubi at 0131 524 8188.

John Sturrock QC

Founder, CEO and Senior Mediator

As the founder and chief executive of Core, John has pioneered mediation and high quality training in business, the professions and commerce in Scotland and elsewhere. He has been described as "universally regarded as Scotland's finest mediator" and is recognised in the Best of the UK Mediators in Chambers Guide. John has been involved in well over 350 mediations covering a broad range of disputes in the public and private sectors in the UK, mainland Europe, Middle East and elsewhere. Who’s Who Legal of the world’s leading commercial mediators describes John as “internationally recognised as a major player in this area”. John is also a mediator with Brick Court Chambers in London.

He trained in negotiation at Harvard University and was named Specialist of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards in 2003 and Mediator of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland in 2009.  He was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Edinburgh Napier University in 2010. He is an internationally recognised coach and facilitator in the fields of negotiation, mediation and communication and has worked with senior executives, judges, top athletes and parliamentarians and has been described as "one of the best teachers of mediation." He became a Queen's Counsel in 1999, is a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University and, as the first Director of Training and Education in the Faculty of Advocates from 1994 to 2002, designed and led the Scottish Bar's award-winning advocacy skills programme. 

Full CV

Charlie Woods

Associate and Mediator

Formerly Director of Strategy and Chief Economist at Scottish Enterprise and now executive director of the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, Charlie has extensive experience of industry, commerce and organisations. His mediation and facilitation experience extends to planning, family business, management issues, PPP contracts, transport infrastructure, government policy and professional services.

He is also a regular contributor to Core's training courses. Full CV

Liz Rivers


Liz has been an accredited mediator since 1992 and was the first woman to be accredited in the UK. A mediator with over 20 years’ experience, she is a specialist in workplace, organisational, employment and partnership disputes.

Recommended by Chambers Directory as a leading workplace and employment mediator since 2001, Liz is also highly experienced as a conflict coach and facilitator. Full CV

Hugh Donald OBE


Hugh, formerly Chief Executive and Chairman of a leading Scottish legal firm, is a coach, mediator, and facilitator. He was formerly Chairman of Family Mediation Scotland and is a trained family mediator and Consultant to the Church of Scotland supporting the development of the  "Place for Hope" initiative.

Accredited as a mediator with Core, he has practised for many years, coaching on various courses with Core. Full CV

Sandy Wilson


Sandy trained as a mediator with Core following his 35 year banking career with The Royal Bank of Scotland, where he gained in-depth expertise in dispute resolution.

He has extensive experience of corporate restructuring, turnarounds, work-outs and insolvency and has been an enthusiastic user of mediation services for several years. Full CV

Carol Cooke


Carol is a qualified solicitor of more than 25 years standing, working in many areas of legal practice including: Employment, Civil Litigation, Property Disputes, Matrimonial and Family Law; and chamber practice.

She has extensive experience of disputes and how parties experience and resolve them. Full CV

Also Available:


Sir David Edward QC | Mediator

Sir David is a former British judge in the European Court of Justice and appeal court judge in the Court of Session. He is one of the most distinguished lawyers of his generation. Full CV

Calum MacNeill QC | Mediator

Calum is highly ranked in Chambers Guide and experienced in commercial litigation, specialising in building and construction, professional negligence and employment law. Full CV

Key People

Jolene Robinson

Project and Business Manager

As Project and Business Manager, Jolene brings together her experience in Canadian government and higher education. She oversees Core's projects and business development as well as the planning and delivery for training and courses. Email

Miriam Haboubi

Manager of Mediation Services

Miriam is our main office contact for mediations, ensuring the effective management of mediations, as well as ongoing administrative and financial management support. As a law graduate from the University of Edinburgh, she wrote her dissertation on mediation in Scotland. Email

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