Alternative dispute resolution annual conference
Partner and accredited mediator Nick Cox was one of the 200 delegates at the ADR Group annual conference in Oxford this week.
The star attraction of this year’s conference was the legendary Professor Robert Mnookin of Harvard University, acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on mediation and author of Bargaining with the Devil: When to negotiate; when to fight.
Delegates heard about the significant advantages of mediation as a process for resolving domestic and cross-border disputes and of the role of the mediator in the USA where, in several states, mediation is a compulsory pre-litigation step.
Also addressing the conference was Slovenian Justice Minister Ales Zalar, who has been responsible for introducing mediation to Slovenia’s legal system. He explained that it is now being adopted at an early stage by many commercial concerns. He urged contracting parties to consider a pre-litigation mediation clause in their contracts – a step that would assist in preserving relationships rather than the total breakdown that occurs when the battle lines of litigation are drawn.
Nick Cox said: “I came away with a host of fresh ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for mediation, which I have always seen as a viable and vital alternative to conventional litigation.
“The process, which is voluntary, is a confidential and flexible forum in which parties can air their grievances and seek a mutually beneficial solution. I firmly believe it should be considered sooner rather than later in most disputes.”
Nick Cox is an ADR Group-accredited mediator.
As always, if you need commercial and pragmatic legal advice, we’re here to help so please get in touch.