Mediator Harvinder Singh Bhurji

Mediator Harvinder Singh Bhurji

The lead Mediator and Director of Effective Dispute Solutions Limited is Harvinder Singh Bhurji. Since 2002 he has been actively involved in alternative dispute resolution, as a Mediator, Arbitrator, Conciliator, Mediation Trainer, Tutor and Assessor.

Mediator Harvinder Singh Bhurji Mediation Qualifications & Accreditations

Harvinder is a law graduate, a Qualified Dispute Resolver and an Accredited Commercial Mediator through CEDR, the Academy of Experts and the ADR Group, an Accredited Workplace and Community Mediator through UK Mediation, a Mediation Tutor and Accreditation Assessor for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Commercial Mediation training programme and is on their approved faulty list for whom he teaches and assesses for in the UK and overseas, as well as a qualified Manager through the Chartered Management Institute and holds a Certificate In Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

Mediator Harvinder Singh Bhurji Mediation Experience

  • Mediated over 500 civil &commercial, workplace & employment and family disputes across all sectors.
  • Several testimonials recommending Harvinder as a mediator.
  • 90% success rate.
  • Mediated disputes with a value of a few hundred pounds to millions of pounds.
  • Over a decades experience.
  • Experienced in face to face, time limited, court referred & telephone mediations.
  • Mediated disputes between two parties as well as multi parties.
  • Harvinder fluently speaks English as well as Punjabi, understands Hindi and Urdu and regularly mediates with clients who are unable to speak English and only these languages.
  • He has written and submitted mediation articles to various publications.
  • Assisting with the research into Court based mediation schemes commissioned by the then Department of Constitutional Affairs.
  • He and Effective Dispute Solutions Limited hold professional liability insurance, copies of which are available on request.

Mediator Harvinder Singh Bhurji Mediation Panel Memberships

Harvinder Singh Bhurji is a member of the following;

  • The Academy of Experts
  • ADR Group
  • ADR Services
  • Association of Midlands Mediators
  • British Marine Federation Dispute Resolution Scheme
  • CEDR’s 125 mediation scheme
  • CEDR Exchange
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Civil Mediation
  • Council Clerksroom
  • IDRS Immediation
  • Manchester Law Society
  • Mediators In East Anglia
  • National Mediator Database
  • National Mediation Helpline
  • Oxcheps Higher Education Mediation Services
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Neighbour Dispute Panel
  • Sandwell Consumer Support Network
  • Sandwell Council’s Housing Arbitration Panel
  • Specialist Mediators

 

Jane Walmsley

Training

1998: CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) Accredited Commercial Mediator
2002: MATA (Mediation and Training Alternatives) Advanced Mediator Skills Training Course, Italy
2004: TeCSA (Technology and Construction Solicitors Association) Specialist Construction Course for Mediators

Mediation Style

Jane encourages people to take full advantage of the mediation process and the control which it gives them to explore all possible means of resolving their dispute and find pragmatic, realistic solutions. She works with participants on assessing all options and constructing safeguards to protect positions post-settlement, to allow them to make well-judged decisions in the light of available information. She is described as professional, facilitative, patient, persistent and perceptive.

Mediator Jane Walmsley – Experience

Jane has mediated and co-mediated in a wide range of commercial matters, from multi-million pound claims to claims brought in the Central London County Court and the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre mediation schemes. She also mediates in workplace disputes where no cash claim exists but where conflict between individuals has resulted in declining productivity, efficiency or profitability and made working life intolerable. Some examples of the cases she has mediated are:

  • Claim by a GP against a former Partner and the Practice for racial discrimination and unfair dismissal.
  • Dispute in a university between a senior academic and a member of staff in relation to changes made to a job description during maternity leave and a consequent claim for constructive dismissal.
  • Dispute in the same university between a head of department and a member of their staff in relation to claims of bullying.
  • Dispute in a college of further education in which a lecturer claimed that her manager was bullying her. The conflict had been going on for 2 years and the lecturer signed off sick with stress for 6 months.
  • Dispute between joint property owners arising after the breakdown of their relationship. While the main dispute was about the value of the property and therefore the amount to be paid, there were also a considerable number of relationship issues in play.
  • £2 million dispute between brothers about breach of fiduciary duty and the ownership of a family business.
  • £200,000 claim by a building company for non-payment of fees for work done during the construction of commercial premises.
  • £2 million claim for alleged negligent advice against stockbrokers.
  • Dispute between partners in a solicitor’s firm about the terms and conditions for one partner to leave the partnership.
  • Dispute between partners in an accountancy firm about the mechanisms for one partner to leave the partnership, including a £260,000 claim.
  • £250,000 claim for defamation by a businessman against a friend with whom he had entered into a project which had failed, resulting in the breakdown of their relationship.
  • Dispute between two electrical engineering companies about the purchase of industrial robots and the subsequent breakdown of a joint venture project.
  • Claim by a solicitors’ practice for non-payment of fees against a client for whom they were acting in an employment dispute.

Promoting and Raising the Profile of Mediation

1999 to date: A founder member of the Association of Midlands Mediators, a regional association of commercial mediators which:

  • provides mediation services
  • promotes mediation in the Midlands area
  • provides CPD training for members

2000-2002: Member of the CEDR training faculty.

Involved in delivering “The Lawyer’s Role in Mediation” training courses to litigation departments in individual solicitors’ firms, a barristers’ chambers, an insurance company and the Treasury Solicitor.

2002-2005: Member of the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre Mediation Scheme Committee. Participated in the establishment and monitoring of this court-led mediation scheme from its inception to its end due to changes in Government policy.

2005 to date: Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Mediation Accreditation Panel, acting both as an assessor and as a chief assessor.

2009 to date: Member of the MATA training faculty, providing feedback and coaching to delegates on the CIArb Commercial Mediator Training Course.

In addition, Jane has participated in a number of mock mediations, both as the mediator and as a party. These have been designed to demonstrate the mediation process and allow the audience to observe the strength, flexibility, and value of the process.

Mediator Jane Walmsley – Professional Background

Jane is a non-practising barrister. She was called to the Bar in July 2008.

Has studied a LL.M in International Commercial Law at the University of Birmingham, comprising modules in:

  • English law of the international sale of goods
  • Commercial conflicts of laws
  • International and comparative oil and gas law
  • International commercial arbitration.

In addition to her mediation practice, Jane runs a training consultancy practice. She qualified as a trainer in 1987 and has been training lawyers since 1990, initially as Training Manager with a large national group of solicitors’  firms and since 1993 as an independent consultant. Her client base includes many of the leading city and regional law firms. She is much in demand for communication and management skills training, particularly negotiation skills and presentation skills, and as a coach to partners and assistants on improving and developing the ways in which they and their teams communicate and work together.

Paul Balen

 
SPECIALISMS:

Dispute resolution; Professional negligence including Clinical Negligence; Product Liability; personal injury; defamation; Sports law, and Commercial Mediation.

ACCREDITED MEDIATOR:

31 March 2004

Mediator Paul Balen CAREER HISTORY:

First Class Honours degree in Law and President of University Law Society at Cambridge. Articled at Freeth Cartwright solicitors in Nottingham 1975; qualified as a solicitor 1977 and became partner, now a member, of what is now Freeth Cartwright LLP in 1980. President of the Nottinghamshire Law Society 2005-6; President Nottinghamshire Medico-Legal Society 2007-8.

OVERVIEW OF EXPERIENCE:

Mediator Paul Balen has long experience in advising in a wide range of complex litigation cases including professional, clinical negligence and personal injury cases, particularly involving medico-legal or product liability issues and also libel and slander.

He has a national reputation for the coordination of multi-party actions and the creation of compensation/alternative dispute resolution schemes in groups of claims including liaison with foreign jurisdictions.

He has a wide interest in sports law, including acting from time to time in disputes involving international sportsmen in the rugby, cricket, shooting and football fields.

He has extensive experience in dispute resolution in particular in negotiating and implementing settlement schemes involving both public bodies and commercial (and international) insurers.

Recent settlement schemes include:

  • for the parents of Beverley Allitt’s victims
  • recipients of 3M hip prosthesis
  • recipients of Trilucent breast implants
  • Leicester cervical smear patients.
  • Leicester children wrongly diagnosed with or treated for epilepsy.

Mediator Paul Balen MEDIATION EXPERIENCE:

Paul has mediated a wide variety of mostly commercial based disputes including:

  • Contractual dispute between driving school and ex-instructor;
  • Commercial dispute over faulty servicing of laser cutting machine and counterclaim for loss due to downtime
  • Computer software contract dispute
  • Commercial dispute arising from installation of alleged faulty boiler
  • Construction contract dispute between supplier of timber frames and builder with counterclaim
  • Personal injury following assault
  • Employment dispute/dismissal of director
  • professional negligence dispute between householder, architect and builder
  • Share valuation dispute between directors and former director/shareholder
  • Postgraduate student in dispute with University over degree award

OTHER INFORMATION:

ADR Group registered mediator; member of the Sports Resolutions Panel, Association of Midlands Mediators, Effective Dispute Solutions Limited and Clerksroom Specialist mediation panel.

Senior Fellow Association of Personal Injury Lawyers; Public School Governor and Chairman; Chairman of I.T company.

BOOKS

“Multi Party Actions” (Legal Action Group 1995) with McCool and Day

“Know How for Personal Injury Lawyers – Conditional Fees” (Longmans) (1997) (chapter on conditional fees)

“The Plaintiffs Solicitors’ View” – chapter in Clinical Risk Modification (1999)

“APIL Guide to Fatal Accidents” – chapter on Inquests (2002)

“APIL Guide to Clinical Negligence” to be published by Jordans 2008 (General Editor)

CASES

Stobart v Nottingham Health Authority (1992) 3 Med LR 284 – discovery of medical records before inquest

AB & ors v John Wyeth & os (The Benzodiazipine Litigation) (CA) LTL 20/10/92: TLR 20/10/92 – cut off dates

B & Ors v John Wyeth & os – CA (1992) 1 All ER 443 – discovery of statements referred to in experts reports in group actions

AB & ors v John Wyeth (CA) (1994) 5 Med LR 149 striking out prescriber claims in group action v manufacturers

Heer v Tutton CA (1995) 4 All ER 547 – Striking out after agreement to extend time for defence Or 9r12

Foster v Biosil (2001) 59 BMLR 178 – definition of defect under Consumer Protection Act

A v National Blood Authority (2001) 3 All ER 289 – 2 of the lead cases in seminal group claim defining defect under Consumer Protection Act

Briody v St Helens etc HA (CA) (2002) 2 WLR 394 – recoverability of costs of surrogacy

Sayers & ors v Merck & os (CA) (2002) 1 WLR 2274 – costs orders in group actions

Khan v Secretary of State for Health [2003] EWCA 1129 (Court of Appeal) – Art 2 HRA and inquests- liability of state to fund representation of bereaved relatives at inquests

A & others v University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (2005) EWHC 1416 (QB) Cox J – approval of settlement scheme for the Leicester Children’s epilepsy claims

O’Byrne v Sanofi Pasteur MSD Ltd COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES(FIRST CHAMBER) Case C-127/04 – definition of and date of supply of a product under the Product Liability Directive/ Consumer Protection Act 1987

O’Byrne v Aventis Pasteur MSD Ltd HL [2008] UKHL 34 (Court of Appeal) [2007] EWCA Civ 939; (QB) [2006] EWHC 2562 substitution of defendant outside limitation period

Peters v East Midlands Strategic HA and others.[2008] EWHC 778 (QB) the right of a Claimant to claim full damages for future care costs.

David S Black

Mediator David S Black CAREER

Graduate of the University of St Andrews (BSc. (Hons) – Chemistry).

Trained as chartered accountant with KPMG Thomson McLintock in Glasgow. Subsequently worked for several firms in the UK and overseas.

Joined McLarens Toplis, a large firm of loss adjusters, in 1988 as an insurance claims accountant based in Birmingham.

Promoted to associate director in 1993 and left in 1997.

Now specialises in the provision of mediation, litigation support and claims consultancy services as a partner with HW Forensic.

Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (CA) – 1978, Chartered Insurance Practitioner (ACII) – Qualified as associate in 1990, Associate of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (ACILA) – 1992, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (FCILA) – 1997, FUEDI European Loss Adjusting Expert (ELAE) – 1999, Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII) – 2000, Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ACIArb) – 2002, Accredited by ADR Chambers (UK) as a Mediator – 2006.

EXPERIENCE

Mediator David S Black, mediations have included disputes on business disposal warranties, construction, insurance claims handling, actions involving liquidations, boundaries, telecoms and professional negligence effects. Experience includes time limited mediations. Has been involved in commercial and neighbourhood mediations and helped achieve resolution of disputes.

An experienced Expert Witness acting for claimants, defendants and as a single joint expert, appearing in Court in a variety of circumstances and has contributed to the successful resolution of disputes and claims by negotiation including those relating to estates.

Mediator David S Black, panel member of Association of Midland Mediators (AMM) & Effective Dispute Solutions Limited (EDSL). Member of the Expert Witness Institute (MEWI). Member of BIBA West Midlands Liability and Consequential Loss Society and of BILA. Panel member of ICAEW Presidential Appointments Scheme for expert determination of business disputes. Past President of a local insurance institute. URC Synod officer and charity trustee. Contributor of articles in legal, insurance and accountancy magazines and newsletters. Seminar presenter on a variety of valuation, claims and dispute related and insurance industry topics.

Grant Goodlad

Qualifications

LLB: 1978
Solicitor: 1981
MCIArb: 2004
Called to the Bar: 2006

Education

Northampton Grammar School: 1968-1975
LLB Birmingham University: 1975-1978
College of Law, Guildford: 1978-1979
Bar Aptitude Test: 2006

Career

Solicitor, Dennis Faulkner & Alsop: 1981-1982
Partner, Dennis Faulkner & Alsop: 1983-2006
Barrister, Farrar’s Building: 2007 to date

Mediation

CEDR Accredited: 1996
CIArb Panel: 2005 to date
Member AMM: 2001 to date
Intermediation Panel: 2001 to date
Mediation panel member of Effective Dispute Solutions Limited 2010 to date

Grant’s background involves both commercial and contentious aspects of the law. His experience includes the handling of high volume personal injury claims and professional negligence claims for insurance companies, as well as non-contentious work including company sales.

More recently Grant has concentrated on contentious commercial and professional issues primarily personal injury and employment matters. He acts as an advocate in the Civil Courts and Employment Tribunals.

Grant has successfully mediated disputes in a wide range of fields including Construction, Commercial Contracts, Corporate Sale, Landlord and Tenant, Employment, Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Malicious Prosecution and Wrongful Arrest, Franchise, Insurance, Travel and Housing. He has CEDR specialist training in Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury.

Grant also trains mediators and has assisted CEDR’s training faculty. He is currently a member of coaching faculty on the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators mediator training course to which he has contributed a paper on law for mediators.

Maz Adam Iqbal

Mediator Maz Adam Iqbal,was called to the Bar: 14th October 1999, Inner Temple – nominated by His Honourable Lord Justice Laws of the Royal Courts of Justice

Practice areas

  • Commercial including Debt Recovery and Contractual Disputes
  • Civil including Personal Injury, RTA/motor claims, Occupiers Liability
  • Consumer including Holiday Claims
  • Property including Mortgage repossessions
  • Mediation/ADR

Mediation

  • Accredited Mediator, Trained by ADR Chambers (UK) Ltd
  • Trained in Telephone Mediations
  • Trained in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
  • Trained in Time Limited Mediations (Court Schemes & National Mediation Help line)
  • Member, Civil Mediation Council
  • Mediation Advisor, Manchester Mediation Advice Scheme (Launched April 2004). Appointed by the Department of Constitutional Affairs
  • Featured on www.venables.co.uk/adr.htm under ADR Providers
  • Featured in the Approved Bar Council List of Barrister Mediators
  • Adjudicator, The Dispute Service (Tenant Deposit Disputes)

Mediation Panel Memberships

  • Personal Injury Mediation Panel (RaPID), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Association of Northern Mediators
  • Manchester Law Society Mediation
  • Association of Midland Mediators
  • LawWorks Mediation (Pro Bono)
  • Effective Dispute Solutions Limited

Non-Mediation Memberships

  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit

Employment History

  • Advocacy Clerk, Antony Hodari Solicitors 1999-2000
  • Legal Advisor, Thompsons Solicitors 2000-2003
  • Employment Lawyer, British Medical Association 2003
  • Trent Chambers, Chamber of Ms U Sood 2004-2006
  • Clerksroom & Chambers of Mr J Dingle 2004-2008
  • Chambers of M Iqbal (Sole Practitioner) 2009-Present

Other Appointments

  • Director, West Street Plaza Management Company
  • Director, Broughton House Management Company
  • Director, Leopold Square Management Company
  • Partner, Property Management Eye LLP
  • TV Presenter, Legal Network TV
  • Speaker, BPP Professional Education
  • Editor, Legal Guide Dog on Consumer Law

Publications

  • Employee Extravaganza, Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer, Issue 17 – November 2002
  • Buying on the Internet & Consumer Protection, Society of Computers & Law Internet Site
  • Sexuality Explored – Analysis of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, ELA Briefing, Vol 10, No. 8, Sept/Oct 2003
  • Tenancy Deposit – Adjudication Guidance – Sheffield City Council Responsible Landlord Scheme Newsletter, Issue 17, Summer 2008
  • Inventories – Compelling Evidence – Residential Property Investor (Residential Landlord Association) May/June 2011
  • Finding the Perfect Lettings Agent – Residential Property Investor (Residential Landlord Association) May/June 2011
  • Who’s for Leftovers? – Discussion of the law surrounding the legal responsibility of agents/landlords of tenant belongings – Residential Property Investor (Residential Landlord Association) Sept/Oct 2011 Seminars & Presentations
  • Tenancy Deposit Adjudication: An Adjudicator\’s Perspective
  • Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures, The Employment Act 2002
  • Employment Act 2002: An Employers Guide
  • Buying on the Internet & Consumer Protection
  • Setting Up – A Guide to Business Ownership and Formation
  • Let’s Resolve Matters – Commercial Dispute Resolution, ADR & Negotiation
  • I’m A Father – What Are My Rights?
  • Running a Small Claims Track Case
  • Bullying in the Workplace

Relevant Education

Bar Vocational Course: Competent (Inns of Court School of Law)

LLB Law (Honours) Upper Second Class

Key Strengths

  • Excellent advocacy and drafting skills
  • Building strong rapport with clients
  • Flexible and practical approach
  • Efficient turn around on all paperwork
  • Current business and employer experience
  • Full understanding of the property market
  • Full understanding of financial advice and FSA regulation

Additional Information

Being a partner in 2 property companies and principal in my own financial services company alongside my practice as a barrister and mediator, enables me to use my business acumen, position as an employer and property and financial services experience to assist business clients in a realistic, practical manner when faced with legal matters as understanding the mechanisms of business together with speedy and cost effective dispute resolution is fundamental to any business.

Russell Jones

Firm: Fidler and Pepper

Specialisms:

  • Commercial Disputes
  • Insurance
  • Engineering/Manufacturing disputes
  • Property disputes
  • Professional Negligence
  • Partnership disputes
  • Boundaries/title disputes
  • Landlord and Tenant
  • RTA/work/other injury claims
  • Building and Construction disputes

Year of Professional Accreditation: 1984

Year of Mediator accreditation: 2007

Career History:

Sheffield University 1977-1981
Chester Law College 1982-1983
Partner in Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department Fidler and Pepper 1986-date

Extensive experience of advising in a range of both civil and commercial disputes from boundary disputes to breaches of general commercial contracts and company partnership break ups.

Advising in negligence claims to the value of several million pound settlements, with particular expertise in road traffic and work based accidents including involvement in one of the first UK structured settlement cases.

Working in the historic heart of a dominant coal mining community with strong links with Trades Unions, worked with a textile manufacturer to negotiate the withdrawal of a powerful trades union agreement. Success depends upon extensive research and objective risk analysis based on the strength of each case.

Commercially minded with very strong technical knowledge in Engineering and Manufacturing and technical IT expertise playing an integral part in the growth of the firm through IT initiatives.

A practical, lateral thinker with the inner strength to see things through, supported by excellent time management skills. A calm and gentle disposition, inquisitive and thorough, quickly building up knowledge through well developed listening skills.

Sarah Langeveld

Mediator Sarah Langeveld. Mediation Leicester,  twenty years experience in Sales and Finance in a global retail bank, supporting external customers, staff members and internal clients of the Finance function. Recognised as delivering outstanding customer service and utilising a wide range of skills to add extra value to Finance roles.

Expertise includes communicating finance & financial issues to non-finance managers, through the use of transparent business modelling and the development of intra-company relationships.  Also, ensuring Finance is a well-respected, key player in the Business at all times.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Financial Management

  • Delivered £1.25m cost saving, through identifying and championing a revised Debit Card strategy;
  • Audited the marketing spend process on behalf of Group Services, identifying areas for improvement and implementing a plan which resulted in the prevention of up to £5m unauthorised spend;
  • Produced robust models for complex financial issues, including pricing decisions, resulting in a deeper understanding of the Business\’ dynamics and the ability to deliver sound pricing decisions.  This contributed to the closure of a £500m+ income gap left by the low base rate environment.

Stakeholder Management

  • Recognised as being instrumental in building broken relationships within the Bank, bringing about cost synergies of up to £1m and improved communication;
  • Played a key role in shaping the Personal Retail Banking strategy through close stakeholder management, delivering robust modelling and enabling the bank to successfully re-launch its Current Account range, thereby filling a £300m p.a. income gap, projected for future years;
  • Renegotiated an £80m transfer pricing arrangement between two clusters in the Company. Liaised with the Group Chief Financial Officer and other Finance Directors, facilitating the successful negotiations, including attending all meetings.

Planning

  • Re-engineered the Short and Medium Term Planning process, introducing new methods of collation and calculation of the £2bn income target. Maintaining close collaboration with the Business at every stage resulted in them buying in to the stretch target, which was achieved;
  • Building a number of robust financial models for understanding project impacts, providing challenge where appropriate and ensuring Value Based Management principles applied. This ensured that the £5m Strategic Investment budget provided maximum contribution to the Retail Bank\’s target of increasing income by 10% p.a.

Quality Improvement

  • Re-designed the financial reporting throughout the Marketing and Product functions, enabling them to understand and act on their financial results more quickly;
  • Delivering clear and concise training to non-finance managers and staff in finance fundamentals, to enable them to have a clearer understanding of their business and responsibilities;
  • Winner of 2 national awards for driving performance within the Finance function.

Team Working

  • Utilisation of non-technical skills to enhance team performance, resulting in recognition as a high performing team with 4 associated awards;
  • Championing the drive for a Company-wide mentoring scheme for people studying for accountancy exams.  Coach-mentoring up to 5 studiers based in the Midlands, with all of them completing their exams successfully.

Mediator Sarah Langeveld CAREER HISTORY

3600 Business Solutions Ltd (Business Consultancy) Managing (Sole) Director 2009 – date

Barclays Bank plc (Retail Banking Senior Finance Business Partner, Retail Products (Cards & Savings 2007 – 2009

Senior Finance Business Partner, Retail Products (Strategy) 2004 – 2007

Business Performance Analyst, Retail Banking 2004 – 2004

Finance Business Partner, Retail Products (\”Openplan\”) 2002 – 2004

Finance Analyst, Marketing 2000 – 2002

Branch Network roles, including Branch Manager and Mortgage Manager 1990 – 2000

Mediator Sarah Langeveld QUALIFICATIONS AND CPD

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner
  • ADR Group Accredited Mediator
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development,
  • Certificate in Coaching & Mentoring (due to complete June 2010)
  • Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint & Word; SAP R3 & SAP BW – highly competent user
  • Mediation panel member of Effective Dispute Solutions Limited

Jeffrey C Rosenthal

Business Background

During the past 15 years I have been extensively involved in dispute resolution work, acting as an arbitrator and expert witness, and since 2000 as a mediator. This work has been as much of a legal nature as accountancy, and I have increased my working knowledge of contract law and consumer law, as well as maintaining my professional knowledge in accountancy and related financial matters.

My background as the principal of my own accountancy practice and understanding of business and consumer problems, sprinkled with a good measure of common sense, has been of considerable value in dealing with a wide range of problems.

My earlier work as a practising accountant and consultant covered a wide range of business activities and trade association work, as well as all of the usual functions associated with accounting practices in the Small to Medium sized Enterprise field (SME’s). I held an Insolvency Licence until the end of 1998, and was a Registered Auditor until the end of 1999.

My consultancy activities included the independent valuation of businesses; advising on business mergers and break‑up; preparing prospectuses and negotiating the sale of businesses; advising vendors on the sales of minority interests; advising the purchasers in a management buy‑out; a substantial individual voluntary arrangement; negotiating finance facilities for numerous clients; assisting clients in resolving a wide range of disputes.

My dispute resolution experience covers the following areas:

  • Partnership dissolution disputes
  • Directors disputes and minority shareholders claims
  • Shareholding and business valuations
  • Professional negligence claims
  • Professional fee disputes
  • Investment advice complaints
  • Consumer complaints regarding holidays, mortgages, finance and leasing, and home improvements
  • Losses arising from personal injuries
  • Neighbour disputes relating to high hedges and boundaries

8 of my last 10 mediations resulted in settlement.

Mediation Experience from May 2008

CPD Status

CPD kept up to date. Registered as a practicing mediator with the Association of Midlands Mediators, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Talk Mediation, Effective Dispute Solutions, and Specialist Mediators.

Mediator in the following disputes

February 2010 – The husband and wife Claimants were marginally minority shareholders in a Water Conditioning Company. They were dismissed from employment in 2006 and ultimately petitioned the Court for the Defendants to buy their shareholding and repay £21,000 of dividends that had been wrongfully withheld from them. High Court proceedings had been commenced and pleaded under a CFA; a five-day Hearing was due at the end of February 2010.

The major problems were that both parties had incurred substantial costs to date; an independent Accountants Report on the value of the company had only been received two days before the Mediation; neither party was aware of the insurance premium for “After the Event” cover under the CFA. This was ascertained during the mediation as £55,000, and then reduced to £40,000.

Negotiations were difficult. The Defendants accepted liability to pay for the shares and repay the dividends, but considered the costs and insurance premium to be grossly excessive. The Claimants’ Solicitors accepted responsibility for delays, and waived their CFA uplift entitlement to secure a settlement.

Provisional agreement was reached for payment of £170,000 by the Defendants. This comprised £90,000 for the shares and dividend issues and £80,000 towards the Claimants’ costs. However, only £50,000 could be paid immediately, and £120,000 by instalments over five years. This was subject to completion of an Affidavit of Means by the Defendants within the following week.

December 2009 – The Claimant had provided IT support services for the Defendant firm of Accountants. The system ran into problems, which the Claimant asserted were due to the incorrect installation of software. The Defendant counterclaimed for reinstallation costs and loss of staff chargeable time. The claim was for £11,000, and the counterclaim £14,000. Settlement was agreed with a payment of £5,000 from the Defendant to the Claimant, with both parties to pay their own costs.

September 2009 – The Claimant had sold her Dental Practice to a larger organisation. The sales contract included an unquantified payment of 10 per cent of a newly negotiated specialist NHS contract. The Claimant considered that the payment should be £35,000, based on the expected level of activity, whereas the Respondent assessed the payment at £8,000, based on the actual activity in the first year. New information was produced during the Mediation that showed the anticipated level to be between £125k and £175k. Settlement was agreed based on a median figure of £15,000, with both parties to pay their own costs.

September 2009 – The Claimant was suing for £9,100, plus costs and interest of £1,500, for goods supplied to a former customer who was no longer in business due to the destruction of his premises by fire. The Defendant maintained that the Claimant had refused to accept returned goods to the value of approximately £2,500, and had also refused discounts and similar credits in excess of £1,000. The parties agreed a last minute settlement of £5,500, with both parties to pay their own costs.

July 2009 – The father and son shareholders of this family owned opticians business were at loggerheads over the ongoing management and financing of the business. The mediation was intended to enable them to resolve these differences by one of them buying out the other’s interest, including one-third of the shares left by a deceased family shareholder.

Problems highlighted related to incorrect and out of date accounts; no reliable current financial information; entitlement to proceeds of a six-figure life assurance policy; family relationship issues, excess salaries by both father and son! No agreement was reached, but the parties were left to consider how best to resolve these issues.

April 2009 – Dispute over unpaid consultancy fees passed on to a third party customer by the Defendant’s former trading company. It was not possible to meet in person due to illness of a Director, and the mediation was conducted by telephone and email. The Defendant agreed to pay the claim, but required deferred payment terms that were negotiated.

April 2009 – This was a three party multi track dispute concerning the purchase of a sophisticated photocopier and reprographic devices under a Finance Agreement. The Purchaser considered that he had been overcharged by the supplier, and that the Finance Company was complicit in this. The claims and counterclaims exceeded £32,000, and costs were into five figures. The five-hour mediation nearly resulted in settlement on the day, and the closing concessions were made by email over the following two days. Settlement was for £8,500 payable to the Finance Company by the Purchaser and supplier between them, with all parties paying their own costs and the claims and counterclaims being dropped.

January 2009 – This dispute related to 16 balances on various construction service contracts. As the Claimant had not reviewed the Defence to the Claim, the parties were unable to enter into settlement negotiations as the time available was absorbed by detailed reviews of the outstanding balances claimed. A number of documents were exchanged to assist this process. Both parties preferred to adjourn the mediation to allow time for further reviews of the supporting documents rather than reach a compromise settlement. As this process did not lead to an agreed settlement, the mediation was resumed at a later date, but no agreement was reached.

September 2008 – The Claimant had obtained a substantial refund of V.A.T. for the Defendant’s Rest Home business, for an agreed fee of 20% of the net recovery. However, additional fees were charged by the Local Authority, which the Defendant had not expected. The Claimant’s contract documents had not made it completely clear who should bear these additional fees of approximately £13,000. There was considerable antipathy by the Defendant’s husband towards the Claimant, who he accused of deliberately misleading him in the pre-contract negotiations. He needed to be persuaded that all of the relevant information had been made available to him had he taken note of it. Settlement was reached for a reduced payment by the Defendant.

June 2008 – The Claimant had provided professional accountancy services for the two Respondent companies, but had failed to obtain a letter of instruction or to clarify its charging rates. As all of the work was of an ad hoc nature, this led to disputes regarding both the time and rate charged. The Claim was for £3,800, plus costs and interest, and settlement was reached for £1,410 (£1200 + V.A.T.), with both parties paying their own costs.

May 2008 – The Claimant was seeking payment from the Defendant for goods supplied to a client of the Defendant under a Trade Finance Agreement. The Defendant contended that it was not liable because there were no Supplier Undertakings for the produce not paid for, and that the Claimant had failed to comply with various conditions. The Claimant had issued Court proceedings.

The Claimant maintained that there was a verbal agreement from a member of the Defendant’s staff for a “rolling undertaking.” The Defendant and the employee denied this, and there was no evidence. The recipient of the goods had gone into administrative receivership. The Claimant eventually accepted that he could not substantiate his case. Both parties agreed to meet their own costs of the proceedings to date.

Tom Russell

Mediator Tom Russell. Tom has a wealth of experience in the world of litigation. He was a successful solicitor for nine years before beginning his practice as a barrister in 2004.

He is a creative thinker and a natural communicator, with the ability to identify and articulate the important issues early in the process. He prides himself on being approachable and “user-friendly”.

Professional Background

Tom has practised as a barrister since 2004 and as a mediator since 2008.

Previously, he was a litigation solicitor for nine years.

Endorsements

  • “Mediator Tom Russell conducted the mediation very professionally and extremely effectively”.
  • “Mr Russell’s professional approach to the whole matter made a considerable impression on both clients. He deciphered the evidence in a way that managed to maintain good relationships between disputing parties and his creative reasoning resulted in an effective settlement”.

Personal Interests

Tom is married with two sons, lives in Nottingham and enjoys theatre and cricket.