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.

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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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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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 90 paid mediations.