ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition 2021 and online mediations.

January 24, 2021
Between 5th and 11th February 2021, the 16th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition will gather more than 250 students and coaches, as well as more than 120 professional mediators and mediator trainers from around the world.  Student teams representing 48 universities from 39 countries will compete to resolve international business disputes.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time the competition will be hosted online.  For the third year running, I will be a competition judge.  

2020 saw mediation tournaments go online, with INADR's virtual tournament hosted by Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania in July.  This was followed later that month by ADR ODR International's International Online Mediation Competition.  I was a judge at both and felt that both tournaments ran smoothly, and adapted well in converting (at short notice) from the usual 'real world' to a 'virtual world' tournament.

Now, some 6 months later, mediators, judges, students and coaches, are not only more experienced with virtual meetings and lectures, but also mediation tournaments and mediations. 

Last week I mediated two mediations, a boundary dispute and a TOLATA dispute.  Both mediations were undertaken remotely, through Zoom, and both settled.  Although I have been undertaking online mediations, alongside live mediations, for over 5 years now, the number of online mediations increased dramatically last year, given the Covid-19 related lockdowns.  Rather than postpone mediations, parties and their representatives have now generally adapted to online mediations, even for types of cases, such as boundary disputes, where this might seem at first glance to be difficult.  Photographs and plans, particularly marked with measurements and lines/alternative lines assist and give the parties the greatest chance of settling.  With TOLATA disputes, an exchange of valuation evidence prior to the mediation increases the chance of a successful mediation.


MIT's Negotiating to Create Value: The Mutual Gains Approach

October 21, 2020
I have recently completed MIT xPRO's 4-week online course in Negotiating to Create Value - The Mutual Gains Approach.  This not only taught theory but enabled us to put this knowledge into practice by role-playing with our peers online.  One of the negotiations was with a mediator and lawyer in Portugal, and another was with corporate executive in the US.

The faculty director is Professor Lawrence Susskind, who is a co-founder of the inter-university Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law Schoo...
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Yale University Negotiation Course

May 6, 2020
With the COVID 19 lockdown in place, I decided to take the opportunity to study Yale University's online course 'Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator', run in conjunction with Coursera.  

The 8-week course is run by Professor Barry Nalebuff of Yale School of Management and uses a series of online lectures/videos, along with live webinars.  In addition, the students are required to participate in a number of live negotiations with...
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ICC Mediation Week 6th-12th February 2020

February 2, 2020
The International Chamber of Commerce Mediation Week commences in Paris on Thursday 6th February 2020.  This will bring together over 500 participants (professional mediators, academics and students) from around the world. 

66 university teams will compete in almost 150 mock mediation sessions throughout the competition.  More than 130 professional mediators and mediation trainers participate every year on a voluntary basis to share their expertise and passion for mediation.  Some will act as ...
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Preparing for a property mediation

July 4, 2019
When I was training as a mediator I observed a mediation involving a property development.  Although both parties had obtained valuation evidence from surveyors, a joint report, setting out where they agreed, disagreed and why they disagreed had not been prepared.  Accordingly, on the day of the mediation, there were perhaps more issues in dispute than there might otherwise have been.  A settlement was not reached.  

I was recently involved in a mediation involving a property where valuation e...
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Anchoring in negotiations

April 28, 2019
The theory of anchoring is that the first offer anchors the subsequent offers and the negotiation.  The anchoring bias is the common tendency to give greater weight to the first offer/figure put forward and then inadequately adjust from that starting point/the anchor.
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ICC 2019

April 28, 2019
Earlier this year I attended the 14th ICC Mediation Competition in Paris, as a competition judge.  This is the world's largest moot exclusively devoted to international commercial mediation.  Over 350 students and coaches representing 66 universities, along with 130 professional mediators and mediator trainers from all over the world gathered in Paris for approximately 150 mock mediation sessions, training programmes and numerous social events.

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Contentious Probate Seminar 2018

December 3, 2018
I attended a very informative and enjoyable Contentious Probate Seminar at Royds Withy King Solicitors in Oxford last week. It was run in conjunction with St John's Chambers, Bristol.  Congratulations to Amanda Noyce and Calum Campbell for an excellent event.
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London Mediators Day 2018

October 7, 2018
London Mediators Day 2018 took place yesterday in Camberwell, and launched Mediation Awareness Week 2018.

Sir Alan Ward gave the opening address with a call for unity among the various types of mediation, and an especially fitting tribute to the late David Richbell, 

The day included a range of speakers and workshop convenors, including community, family and civil and commercial mediators.

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Mediation Awareness Week 2018

October 1, 2018
Saturday 6th October 2018 marks the beginning of Mediation Awareness Week 2018.

Attendees to an assortment of events during the week can:
  • learn how mediation is used to resolve disputes and conflicts of all kinds;
  • learn how mediation provides a quicker, cheaper and more effective alternative to litigation; and
  • discover how the use of mediation benefits businesses, communities and individuals.
A list of events can be found here.

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About Me

Stephen Wood is an ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator, an ADR Group Accredited Workplace Mediator, an ADR Group Accredited Online Mediator and a Consultant Litigation Solicitor. In 2017 Stephen was appointed to the Panel of Chairs of the Valuation Tribunal of England. Stephen has undertaken over 50 paid mediations.