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What’s magic about mediation?

Posted on 9th November 2019 by Chris Makin

It often seems that the world of litigation lawyers divides into two camps: those who have never mediated, and those who are passionate advocates for mediation.  The third group – lawyers who have tried it and say “never again” – doesn’t exist. Why?  Well, it seems that the blandishments of many senior judges, including Lord…

Let’s turn to crime

Posted on 1st October 2019 by Chris Makin

Looking back at the blogs on this site, as well as the many articles I have written for law magazines, it is striking what a range has been covered.  In expert work we have had how to use an expert, how to understand business accounts, how to hold an expert meeting, partnership matters (including possible…

Mediation – do you have a choice?

Posted on 3rd September 2019 by Chris Makin

ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution, being an alternative to formal litigation.  The term implies that parties and their solicitors have a choice: go down the litigation route, or the mediation route. But is there really a choice? I suggest not, on three authorities. First, from the executive summary of Jackson LJ’s Final Report in…

A couple of years ago, I had the doubtful privilege of giving a blatant example of the “expert” who failed in every respect.  The case was Van Oord Ltd & Anr -v- Allseas UK Ltd [2015] EWHC 3074 (TCC), where Mr Justice Coulson took pains to explain the twelve – yes, twelve! – respects in…

Musings of a Modest Mediator

Posted on 22nd May 2019 by Chris Makin

Last year I completed my one hundreth mediation (it’s 112 to date, at 80% settlement rate).  Now, a century may not be a huge number compared with those QCs who do nothing else, but it is a modest landmark, and it got me thinking about where I’ve come from, how I got where I am…

There is no doubt that mediation as an essential step in civil litigation is here to stay.  We’ve seen the Overriding Objective in Part 1 of the CPR; Lord Woolf’s early cases with costs penalties; from Halsey the onus falling on the party refusing mediation to show that their refusal was reasonable; powerful speeches from…

“It is ORDERED that the experts of like discipline shall meet, and shall discuss matters relevant to their opinions in this matter, and shall produce a Joint Statement, setting out those matters on which they are agreed, and those matters on which they have failed to agree, with a summary of their reasons for disagreeing.”…

What is the dispute really about?

Posted on 13th January 2019 by Chris Makin

When for some years I headed up a team of forensic accountants in my old national firm, as a matter of policy I always recruited people who were brighter than me.  They kept me on my toes and were great problem-solvers.  They also worked extremely hard; the customary valediction on a Friday evening was not…

The bon mots of Sir Alan

Posted on 21st November 2018 by Chris Makin

Sir Alan Ward has for the last few years been the Chairman of the Civil Mediation Council.  I have mediated with him, and he was excellent.  But as a Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Ward also made his mark.  I detect two recurring themes in his judgments: encouraging parties not to be so daft…

Choose your expert with care!

Posted on 23rd October 2018 by Chris Makin

Sign seen in a Boston Mass shoe repairer’s window: “Fast Service – High Quality – Low Price – choose any two.” Is that how you choose your experts?  I sincerely hope not!  Here are my thoughts and suggestions, as a hard-bitten expert of 30 years’ experience.  I am a chartered accountant so the slant will…

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A mediator who is also an accountant is without doubt a benefit!