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Innovative mediation schemes recognised at CEDR awards


Mackie: ADR entering the mainstream

The government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme and a pioneering group championing commercial mediation were among the winners at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution’s (CEDR) biennial awards.

The tenancy scheme, my|deposits, won the excellence in ADR award for its “innovative” ADR process and “for working steadily to find ways of improving this service, creating better outcomes for users of the scheme”.

In the ADR and civil justice innovation category, the Commercial Mediation Group (CMG), founded by Linklaters partner and head of property litigation, Katie Bradford, was joint winner.

The 60-member group of private practice solicitors and in-house counsel advise in relation to the mediation of commercial disputes, the first group of its kind. CMG was recognised for its ‘mediation purchasers’ initiative, “which ensures that disputants receive the best process possible”.

The other winner was Croatian judge Srđan Šimac for “his energetic work in bringing and popularising mediation in Croatia”.

Ms Bradford said: “The CMG contributes a different perspective on achieving progression and development in ADR. Our survey of the mediation community in January 2012 revealed differences in opinion and approach between mediators and users of mediation. Linklaters values the impact and assistance which mediation can deliver to resolve disputes and is proud to have initiated the CMG.”

In the ADR champion category, Geoff Lloyd of Ernst & Young was recognised for his work on tax disputes as part of HM Customs & Revenue Service. Mr Lloyd headed up a government initiative which uses mediation to free up resources tied up in tax disputes.

Dr Karl Mackie, CEDR’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted by the innovative work… and the dedication shown by all of the winners and finalists to furthering the cause of alternative dispute resolution.

“The record number of finalists for this year’s awards shows clearly how these practices are entering the mainstream, and their potential for transforming the way we approach conflict. As the diverse entrants show, the field of dispute resolution is changing to reflect the diverse needs of modern society.”

Other winners included John Brand and Felicity Steadman in the ADR trainer category; recognised for their work in South Africa with the African Centre for Dispute Resolution at the University of Stellenbosch. In particular, they were the “primary instigators” of a training course which has accredited more than 160 mediators so far.

Other finalists in the ADR excellence category were the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education UK; ABTA Ltd; the Internet Services Providers’ Association; the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors; and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic & Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

The judges were Lord Justice Rix, Brian Hutchinson of University College Dublin, Dr Gillian Dada of GlaxoSmithKline plc, Guy Perring of Everything Everywhere Ltd, Professor Bryan Clark of Strathclyde University, Rhys Clift of Hill Dickinson LLP, Caroline Stroud of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and author, CEO and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan.