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.

Selecting a venue for the mediation

August 5, 2018
The parties will need to agree a venue for the mediation.  If at least one of the parties is legally represented, it may be that their solicitors may be able to host the mediation.  Sometimes a party might prefer not to attend a mediation at the other party's solicitors' offices, instead preferring a neutral venue.  There are advantages in holding the mediation at a solicitor's office, particular as there are likely to be printing and copying facilities available, which are helpful when writi...
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Peace Summit 2018 at Regent's University London

April 1, 2018
On Friday 20th April, Regent's University London and the Tutu Foundation UK present the third Desmond Tutu Annual International World Peace Summit 2018: Mediating the Impossible.

The conference speakers will include FW de Klerk, Lord Michael Hastings, Baroness Shirley Williams, Sir Graham Boyce, Professor Aldwyn Cooper and Paul Randolph, among others.

I am looking forward to attending what should be an interesting and entertaining day.
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Considering overly aggressive opening offers at mediation.

March 4, 2018
Opening offers can help make or break a deal.  A reasonable opening offer can help achieve an 'anchoring effect', tilting the settlement in that party's favour.

However, an overly aggressive opening offer can significantly hinder the chances of settlement.  As a mediator, I often find it helpful to try and explore that party's interests and bargaining strategies, by asking:
  • How do you think that offer is likely to be received?
  • How might you react to that offer if you were in the other party's sh...

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Ireland's Mediation Act 2017

January 21, 2018
When I was in Maynooth, Ireland, in December 2017, (attending a negotiation course), one of the key topics the attendees were discussing (other than Brexit) was the Mediation Act 2017.

Ireland's Mediation Act 2017 was enacted on 2nd October 2017.  The Act contains provisions for a comprehensive statutory framework to promote the resolution of disputes through mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to Court proceedings.  This is done in order to reduce legal costs, speed up ...
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Negotiation Competition 2018

January 7, 2018
CEDR and the University of Law have announced the launch of the 2018 National Student Negotiation Competition for England and Wales. 

Pairs of Law Students will compete against other to negotiate a series of challenging scenarios.  The national competition consists of regional heats in Bristol, Chester, Leeds and London on 24th February 2018.  The national final will take place in London on 24th March 2018. 

More details are available from CEDR at

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Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation

December 17, 2017
Harvard's Program on Negotiation is committed to improving the theory and practise of negotiation.  The goal of the Program on Negotiation's PON Global Course is to bring their best thinking, research and expertise to people around the world who want to improve their ability to negotiate.

I attended the PON Global Course, hosted by Maynooth University, Ireland in December 2017 and was impressed by the content and structure of the course.  The content was combined with practical exercises, whic...
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Harvard's Program on Negotion

November 29, 2017
It's only 7 days until I commence Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation!!!

Harvard have been offering the executive education program for more than 30 years.  As an experienced mediator, and also as a practising dispute resolution solicitor, I'm hoping that the course will provide an advanced, international perspective on these essential skills.
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Online Mediation

October 22, 2017
Online mediation is very similar to face to face mediation but the meetings take place over webcams on a computer, tablet or even a smartphone, rather than in the same room.

Online mediation may be preferred if:
  • The parties does not liver near to each other, or indeed, if they are in different countries;
  • The parties do not live near to a mediator;
  • The parties wish to save time travelling to the mediator; 
  • A party considers that they would be at risk of harm if they were in the same room as the oth...

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Causes of disagreements at work

August 28, 2017
Common causes of disagreements at work include:
  • Unclear job roles
  • Insufficient training
  • Poor management
  • Poor communications
  • Poor work environment
  • Unfair treatment
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Lack of equal opportunities
ACAS identified the above factors in 'Managing Conflict at Work'.  Some of these issues can by the direct cause of the conflict, for instance discrimination and bullying may be the direct causes in themselves.  Sometimes however the causes of conflict may suddenly flare-up after remaining d...

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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.