Lord Christopher Bellamy KC was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice on 7 June 2022. Prior to this, his legal career focussed on European, competition and regulatory law. He was a judge of (what is now) the General Court of the European Union 1992-1999, and then President of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) until 2007. He then worked with Linklaters LLP, later chairing their global competition practice. He re-joined Monckton Chambers in 2020 as a door tenant, focussing on mediation and arbitration. In 2020-2021, he chaired the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid (CLAIR).
Lord Bellamy KC
Federico Antich is a law graduate of the University of Firenze and holds an LLM in U.S. and Global Business Law from Suffolk University Law School. A seasoned Attorney at Law licensed to practice in Italy, he pioneered the practice of mediation in his Country, having managed since 1999 more than 5.000 mediations. He is currently accredited by several mediation organizations including internationally CEDR and IMI. He was the first Italian to be inducted as a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and currently serves as the President of the Italian Delegation of the Mediation Center for Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East and as Co-Chair of the IBA – Mediation Committee.
Jennifer practiced law in Toronto for 18 years and founded Egsgard Mediation in 2018. In her former litigation practice Jennifer acted as counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of dual and multi-party cases. In keeping with her diverse legal experience, Jennifer’s mediation practice spans a wide variety of industries and types of conflict and the cases she has mediated to date include employment, personal injury, contract and shareholder disputes. She has recently returned from three years in London, UK, where she worked with CEDR and counsel at a number of large UK firms, industry organizations and NGOs to develop a mediation facility for complex and multijurisdictional ESG including business and human rights disputes.
CMC Workplace Mediator of the Year 2020, Marie Coombes, is a highly experienced conflict resolution and HR specialist with nearly 300 mediations completed with a 97% success rate. Her long career with Royal Mail and several years of consultancy work has resulted in her being experienced in a wide variety of industry sectors and often volatile working environments. As a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, she is passionate about mental health and how conflict affects participants’ psychological safety. As well as providing conflict resolution solutions, Marie also designs and runs training courses on conflict, mental health and psychological safety, where she is well known for her engaging, authentic and supportive training style.
Mia Forbes Pirie
Mia Forbes Pirie helps people to have the difficult conversations that divide us. A commercial and workplace mediator, she also volunteers as a community mediator. Since leaving her career as a City solicitor in 2007, Mia has mediated and facilitated for clients including the Church of England, the Government of Mongolia, G7 France, the European Commission, NGOs and large corporations. The subjects she has dealt with include space, chemicals, oil and gas, sustainability, refugees, gay marriage, religion, competition law and property law. She sits on the board of the Civil Mediation Council and is UK Independent Mediator of the Year 2021 (Corporate International).
Roger is ranked as a Leading Mediator by Legal 500 2020, having conducted over 130 commercial and property mediations, both online and face to face. He is a Fellow of the Civil Mediation Council, Chair of its Complaints and Discipline Committee and a member of its Board and Registration & Standards Committee. Roger provides mentoring services to newly qualified mediators Property Solicitor – Roger qualified in 1984 and is a solicitor (since 2018, Non-Practising). He has extensive experience in all types of commercial and residential work.
Tim Hicks is a conflict management professional providing mediation, facilitation, training, coaching, and leadership support to individuals and organizations in the private and public arenas since 1993. After 14 years in private practice, he led the Master’s degree program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at the University of Oregon to a position of national prominence as its first director. Tim returned to private practice in 2015, living in and working from Eugene, Oregon. Prior to his conflict management career, he and his wife started and managed two successful businesses, one that grew to 150+ employees.
Adam Gersch is a criminal barrister and CEDR Accredited mediator who founded Global Mediation in 1999. Adam’s experience in mediation is extensive and varied. He has participated in mediations in both the UK and the US and has acted variously as mediator, legal advisor, case manager and party and was involved in assisting with the setup of dispute resolution systems, including advising key Government of Ireland officials. Adam is widely published and along with a dedicated panel of experienced mediators, Adam oversees around 100 mediations per week throughout the UK.
Martha is Chief Operating Officer at Global Mediation Ltd, having worked with the company in a variety of roles since its inception in 1999. Martha has extensive mediation experience, dealing with SEND, family and workplace disputes. For 16 years she practised simultaneously as a family law barrister, and has a Masters in Law, but decided in 2016 to concentrate solely upon her mediation practice, preferring the investigative, empowering and non-adversarial approach offered by the mediation process. Martha is an accredited SEND Mediator and PPC, and sits on the College of Mediators and CMC Panel of SEND Mediation Assessors.
Laurence has been a mediator since 2015 and has previously attended many mediations as a party representative. He is an in-house Mediator, dealing primarily with SEND mediations at Global Mediation and has mediated in a large number of education sector disputes, many of which have involved professional supporters. He was also variously Head of Litigation, Head of International Construction, and on the Executive Board at Taylor Wessing LLP until his retirement as a solicitor in March 2019. He is a commercial mediator, lecturer and trainer and chaired the committee of the Academy of Experts.
Rebecca trained as a mediator in 2012 after a career in education and the charity sector. She gained specialist accreditation in SEND mediation on Global Mediation’s pioneering training course in 2019 and is registered with the College of Mediators and the Civil Mediation Council. Rebecca became an In-House Mediator for Global Mediation in September 2020 and is enjoying exploring the wider arena. Rebecca’s extensive experience in education includes mainstream primary class teaching, specialist SEND secondary school subject teaching as well as teaching English as a foreign language to students of diverse nationalities.
Victoria Harris is former CEO at Mediation Hertfordshire, a community mediation organisation that, with the support of 48 accredited volunteer mediators, delivers mediation to those experiencing disputes in the community, within the family and in the workplace. Prior to moving to the community mediation sector in 2013, Victoria spent 15 years working as a solicitor and partner in private practice advising on employment law. Victoria is a member of the National Mediation Awards judging panel for 2022 and has recently become a Trustee for Mediation Hertfordshire.
Lady Justice Sarah Asplin
Lady Justice Asplin read law as an undergraduate in Cambridge and completed her post-graduate studies in Oxford. Dame Sarah was appointed to the High Court Bench, Chancery Division, in October 2012. She took on many extra responsibilities, including being the judge responsible for litigants in person on behalf of the Judiciary. In October 2017, she was appointed to the Court of Appeal and hears a wide range of civil cases, and still has an extensive scope of extra responsibilities. She has been the Judge in charge of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Chair of the Civil Justice Council ADR Liaison Committee since 2021.
Gillian helps people to have better conversations – with themselves and with others. She is an accredited mediator for Civil/Commercial, Workplace, Community and Intergenerational disputes and has been mediating full time since 2004. She is a CEDR Chambers mediator, a Fellow of the Civil Mediation Council, a Teaching Fellow in the Law Department at SOAS and is a Lead Faculty for CEDR’s Mediator Skills Training and Advanced Negotiation Skills courses. She has been exploring issues of bias and inclusion for the last few years and is a founding member of CEDR’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group.
Mediating since 1986 David has over 36 years mediation experience. He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to mediation by being awarded an MBE in 2007. David mediates in a wide range of situations ranging from high level anti-social behavior, work with residents’ groups, local authorities, private companies and contractors, workplace relationships, company and department mergers, divorce and separation, commercial, hate crime, radicalization, as well as working on gang related conflict in London including cases related to shootings, stabbings and homicide.
Susan is an accredited commercial and civil mediator, delivering Peer Mediation training and Practical Skills based courses in Conflict Resolution. She has extensive experience of working with children and young people, from primary age through to undergraduates. In addition to offering a selection of set programmes, Susan also enjoys working with clients to create and deliver courses specific to their own requirements. Susan has an MSc in Violence, Conflict & Development and is a Board Member of Amnesty International UK.
After a career break to raise her family Kimberley retrained in civil, commercial and workplace mediation. She created her own company Athena Mediation. Alongside her previous training in family and neighbourhood mediation Kimbereley has a varied background and experience working in partnership in the Criminal Justice System for over 14 years. Primarily working with offenders with drug and alcohol related offending, housing support on release from HM Prisons, working with vulnerable young adults, support of social housing and benefit applications, anti-social behaviour in social housing and mediating within families in crisis.
Ellis is the Peace Education Coordinator for Quakers in Britain and has worked as a teacher and as a trainer with Peacemakers and CRESST, which has involved the training of hundreds of peer mediators and school staff. He also facilitates the Peer Mediation Network and the Peer Mediation Development Working Group with the Civil Mediation Council, bringing together dozens of educators and training organisations equipping children and young people with the skills to be respond to conflict. Having worked with nonviolent activists in Palestine and Afghanistan, Ellis is also keen to link mediation skills with global peacemaking.
Lord Bellamy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, and the minister responsible for dispute resolution, opens the conference by sharing his perspective on mediation in the current environment.
A Judicial Perspective – Lady Justice Sarah Asplin
Lady Justice Sarah Asplin, Court of Appeal Judge and Chair of the Judicial ADR Liaison Committee provides a judicial perspective on mediation and helps us look to the future.
SEND: The role/involvement of professional supporters in mediation – Adam Gersch, Martha Monday, Laurence Cobb and Rebecca Hayward
Global Mediation explores the role and involvement of professional supporters in mediation, looking at:
- How to define a professional supporter and who falls within that category, and in what circumstances they can participate in mediation;
- The challenges of having professional supporters present, including the need for the mediator to retain control of the process, and ensuring the parents’/young person’s voice is heard; and
- The advantages of involving professional supporters.
How Experiences can Shape Conflicts – Tim Hicks
Conflicts are based on many elements of experience. Often involved are differences in what we know, what we think we know, what we believe, what we understand, and our perceptions of the world. It is a truism in our field that understanding the source of a conflict is an important step in resolving a conflict. In this session, we will:
- look at the sources or roots of conflict in the neural characteristics of knowing and identity;
- gain a better understanding of why conflicts happen, why they are often difficult to prevent or resolve;
- how misunderstandings happen;
- the difficulties of communication;
- the nature of many perceptual biases (confirmation bias, implicit bias, naive realism, stereotyping, projections, ingroup/outgroup behaviour.
With these understandings, we can consider how we might adjust our practice to take into account the neural reality of our experience.
Mediator Partiality – Why We Can’t Say ‘Bye Bye’ to Bias – Gillian Caroe
This session will be an opportunity for mediators to reflect on our implicit biases in general and then look specifically at how our biases might play out in the mediation process. There will be exercises, theoretical input (from recent research findings) and some suggestions for strategies to minimise the impact of bias in our practice.
Get Involved in Peer Mediation and Find Out More – Ellis Brooks, Kimbereley Humphry and Susan Kurr
Peer Mediation looks to the future by training young people to use mediation skills in their schools and among their peers. In the introductory session for all, we remind delegates how to get involved. We then offer delegates the chance to find out more about the process in a break-out session.
CEO Strategy Session – Paul Adams
The CMC’s CEO provides an update on the organisation’s strategy, and progress that is being made.
Experience of Mandatory Mediation – Jennifer Egsgard, Rebecca Clark and Federico Antich
With mandatory mediation on the horizon for civil and SEND cases in England and Wales, we hear from two mediators with experience of a system where it is compulsory to attend mediation before proceeding to court: Jennifer Egsgard from Ontario, Canada, and Federico Antich from Italy.
Learning from Complaints – Roger Levitt, Dominic Stanton and Peter Kearney
The CMC considers complaints about mediators, that mediators have not been able to resolve themselves. In this session we will:
- Look at common causes of complaints about mediators
- Identify ways in which those common causes of complaint about can be avoided and consider ways in which mediators can respond to complaints if they do arise
Managing Mental Health in Tough Times – Marie Coombes
As mediators we don’t see people on their best day. In some cases, not only are they trying to unravel their conflict, they are also dealing with the impact this has on their mental health. Supporting people through mediation is one of the best ways to help parties take back control of their mental wellbeing. Join Marie in understanding:
- How to safely manage a mediation or complex conversation where MH is a concern
- How to support your own wellbeing following mediations and other complex conversations
Community Mediation: Making the Case for Government – Victoria Harris and Mia Forbes Pirie
With the spotlight on mediation at the MoJ, we look at how attention can be drawn to the community mediation sector, highlighting the benefits to Government departments responsible for Health, Housing and Community Safety. Building upon the Report ‘Transforming Community Conflict’ we consider opportunities for working collaboratively to raise the voice of the sector, starting with a potential research project looking at social return on investment.
Community Mediation: Avoiding Mass Extinction Mark 2 – Victoria Harris, Dave Walker and Mia Forbes Pirie
In this session we explore the history of the community mediation sector, learning from organisations who survived the historic downturn, building organisational resilience, innovative ways to attract new funding with new projects, and how the sector can support communities during the current cost of living crisis.
Looking to the Future, Together
In this final, interactive, session we will enable you to reflect on and share what you have learned at the conference, look at how you may change your practise in the future, and consider how the CMC can support your future development.