Case 1 – The Granny Farm
Two ladies were in partnership running a nursing home. One had provided virtually all of the capital to buy and convert a huge Victorian property; the other was a nurse, essential to the business, but they couldn’t work together any longer.
Chris set up a spreadsheet with all key figures from the business accounts, and as agreement was reached on such matters as partners’ salaries, interest on capital, profit shares, who was to take which asset and which liability out of the partnership, their closing capital account balances were calculated.
Each was able to approach Chris with “what if” proposals. The parties were able to reach agreement, knowing exactly how much each would be able to take out of the business.
Case 2 – Cash For Coal
A mother and son had been in partnership in a cash business in Perth. When the mother retired, the business profits increased and the son formed the view that his mother had stolen £250,000 in cash over past years from the partnership.
The mediation was in Edinburgh. One of the relatives attending was a tax expert and, working with his brother-in-law, he showed him the son (the pursuer) that his figures were exaggerated. After a long day and evening of negotiation, agreement was reached whereby the son withdrew his claim and the mother paid part of his costs.
The agreement was signed at five minutes to midnight. Some months later, Chris met again the advocate who acted for the mother, when Chris was giving a lecture on mediation to the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh. The advocate asked if Chris knew what had happened to the son, and of course Chris said no. Then the terrible news: shortly after the mediation, a lorry ran away in the yard and crushed the son to death! C’est la vie, mais aussi c’est la mort…