I had an enjoyable day at the CMC 2016 Annual Conference at Congress Centre, London on 11th May 2016.  Sir Alan Ward gave a warm welcome to us.  We had a number of prominent mediators speak during the day, and, as always, the optional workshops were informative and entertaining.

Perhaps the most memorable talk was "Beyond - A View from Down Under" by Geoff Sharp, who explained how mediation had assisted the victims of the 2011 Chrstchurch earthquake in dealing with insurance companies.  Geoff explained that rebuilding didn't start on a significant scale for over 2 years, as aftershocks continued to occur and finance had to be raised.  We were shown particularly poignant photographs of devastated houses, where residents continued to live, while insurance companies insisted that the houses were repairable, and the owners simply wanted to either have their home rebuilt, or move on.  We were later told that another significant aftershock had occurred that day.  Geoff was one of a number of mediators that had flown to Christchurch and had helped the residents, business owners and insurance companies reach agreements, helping the city to begin to be rebuilt.