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Mediation – The Art of Plate Spinning

Mediation – The art of plate spinning


“I don’t need a mediator to tell me how to negotiate!” mediator Paul Grimwood remembers a solicitor saying to him during a session. But what is a mediator’s job during a negotiation? This author call it “The Art of Plate Spinning”.

Young man speaking in meeting with other business colleagues, they are leaning in to listen

I have sometimes been asked why in relation to a dispute with experienced solicitors and counsel on both sides, the involvement of a mediator is really necessary.  Many years ago, I vividly remember a particular barrister telling me in no uncertain terms “I do not need a mediator to tell me how to negotiate!”.  However, the mediator’s role is emphatically not to tell the parties or their lawyers how to negotiate (because they should know how to do that) but to provide a conducive environment, face to face or online, for negotiations in terms of offers and counteroffers to occur.

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