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

 

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.

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.

Phil Hesketh

Professional Mediator accredited by ADR Group in 2006 with 19 years experience as a civil litigation solicitor.

Highly motivated with an energetic, empathetic and creative style.

Became a full time mediator in 2008. Acted as Lead Mediator in a range of cases including personal injury, partnership disputes, employment, professional negligence, landlord and tenant, commercial contract claims, boundary disputes and probate claims.

Writes extensively on mediation for the The Law Society, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, The Costs Lawyer Magazine, Butterworths and The Local Government Lawyer. Regular contributor to on-line magazine PI Brief Update Law Journal. Provides in-house training on mediation to law firms and other mediation users and observation opportunities for newly qualified mediators.

SENIOR SOLICITOR & MEDIATOR CLARKSON HIRST SOLICITORS, LANCASTER – 2003-2008

Senior solicitor in the litigation department. Varied caseload of personal injury and general litigation matters, including fatal accidents, employers’ liability, road traffic accidents, public liability claims, contractual disputes and employment matters.

Advocacy included interlocutory hearings and CICA final appeal hearings. Responsibility for development and marketing of the personal injury department and meeting quality standards and for the training and development of staff. Developed commercial mediation business.

SENIOR SOLICITOR RUSSELL JONES AND WALKER, MANCHESTER – 2000-2003

Managing solicitor of the personal injury fast track claims department. Responsible for management of the fee earner team and support staff. Handled own caseload of Multi Track personal injury claims, predominantly employers’ liability, stress related illness and road traffic accident. Developed and supervised the specialist CICA team. Responsible for marketing to institutional clients.

Developed fee tracking software database and implemented it firm wide, designing and delivering the associated training nationally. Responsible for staff development and Continuing Professional Development training in the office, writing and delivering training seminars. Recruited and trained new fee earning staff. Member of the senior office management team.

ASSISTANT SOLICITOR THOMPSONS SOLICITORS, LIVERPOOL & MANCHESTER – 1990-1993 & 1995-2000

Completed training and qualified as a solicitor. Handled personal injury claims, predominantly employers’ liability and industrial disease cases. Assisted with multi-party litigation including Hillsborough Disaster and “welders’ lung” test cases. Acted for successful claimant in House of Lords case of Knowles v Liverpool City Council [1993].

Responsible for office Legal Aid compliance. Introduced cost recovery scheme for funded disbursements. Latterly also head of Criminal Litigation (related to employment) in the Manchester office. Assisted with preparation and delivery of in-house training seminars.

TEACHER OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE MADRID – 1993-1995

Self employed teacher of English as a foreign language.

TRAINEE SOLICITOR PARKERS SOLICITORS, ST. HELENS 1989-1990

Trainee solicitor in general practice.

EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS

  • University of Leicester – Law Degree class II(i) Hons, 1988
  • College of Law, Chester – Solicitors’ Final Examination, 1989
  • Metropolitan University of Leeds – Certificate in TEFL, 1992
  • Admitted as a solicitor November 1991
  • Accredited as a Commercial Mediator 2006

MEMBERSHIP ORGANISATIONS & MEDIATION PANELS

  • Association of Northern Mediators
  • Trust Mediation
  • Mediation panel member of Effective Dispute Solutions Limited

VOLUNTARY WORK

  • Pro Bono mediator for LawWorks
  • School Governor

Paul Hughes

Head of Insurance Litigation Department, specialising in personal injury and insurance litigation. Also experienced in claims involving police forces and general civil litigation.

Particular expertise in claims involving psychiatric injuries and fatal accidents.

Has dealt with claims for Chronic fatigue Syndrome and industrial disease.

Represented defendant in landmark ‘stress’ case of Walker v Northumberland County Council, and has been involved in numerous stress at work cases subsequently.

Although current caseload mainly for Defendants, also deals with Claimant cases, and has represented Claimants in the past on the instruction of a trade union.

Experience of dealing with claims against police forces to include false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and alleged assault cases.

DATE OF BIRTH:

1962

DATE OF COMPLETION OF MEDIATION TRAINING:

8th October 1997: qualified in San Francisco.

Accredited by ADR Group.

MEDIATION EXPERIENCE:

Mediation experience includes over 40 mediations to date. Cases mediated are mainly, but not exclusively, personal injury cases. Examples of mediations include:

  • Infant fatality with claim for PTSD by mother. Liability and quantum issues. Mediation lead to settlement after a hidden issue was discovered and dealt with by the parties
  • Stress at work case by teacher.
  • EL claim involving fatal accident. Major issues on both liability and quantum, involving particularly sensitive issues impacting upon dependency claim.
  • Claim for assault, wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution by litigant in person against police force. Claim discontinued at mediation.
  • Personal injury claim with significant quantum issues including suspected fraud / surveillance evidence.
  • Professional negligence action against solicitor and surveyor.
  • Partnership dispute.
  • Landlord and tenant dispute.
  • Acted for one of the parties in the landmark Court of appeal case of Halsey v Milton Keynes NHS Trust / Steel v Joy.
  • 2006: involved in recording Law Society ADR training video for lawyers

CAREER HISTORY:

  • Admitted in 1988
  • Solicitor, Marrons 1988
  • Solicitor, Crutes 1989
  • Partner at Crutes since 1995.

OTHER INFORMATION:

  • Member: Law Society
  • Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL)
  • North East regional representative for FOIL special interest group in ADR since 2000
  • Member of Law Society ADR Committee

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.

Joe Al Khayat

Mediator Joe Al Khayat,  Joe is a barrister at 30 Park Place, Cardiff, who has worked on a wide range of commercial, contract, employment, personal injury and insolvency-related disputes.

His experience in acting for parties involved in litigation has reinforced Joe’s belief in the value of achieving settlement prior to trial, and bolstered his belief in the process of mediation.

Joe was called to the Bar in 2008 by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, having achieved a grade of Outstanding in both Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution. After successfully completing pupillage at 30 Park Place in the areas of Crime and Civil, Joe began tenancy in September 2010, accepting instructions in particular in company, commercial, contract, employment, insolvency and personal injury law. Joe qualified as an accredited Mediator in September 2008.

Prior to joining 30 Park Place, Joe worked as a litigator in two top commercial law firms in Cardiff where he advised and represented clients in commercial litigation and employment matters.

Michael Mccourt

Judicial mediation, as a deputy district judge and a commercial and family (‘hybrid’) mediator Mike continues to add to his thirty years plus dispute resolution experience obtained as a solicitor and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators the prestigious global organisation.

His experience covers a wide range of civil, property, building, and ownership disputes. He knows how the litigation process affects people both financially and emotionally and is able to provide a flexible and friendly approach to encourage the parties to achieve the best possible outcomes

Professional Background

1979 – Admitted as a solicitor
1993 – Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
1996 – Higher Courts (Civil Proceedings) Qualification (Solicitor-Advocate)
1997 – MSc Construction Law and Arbitration (King’s College London)
1998 – Deputy District Judge (County Court)
2007 – Accredited Mediator (ADR Group)
2010 – Mediation panel member of Effective Dispute Solutions Limited
2010 – Family Mediator Foundation (ADR Group)

Mike has been involved in a variety of mediations both as an advocate and mediator in construction, property, commercial landlord and tenant, boundary, shared ownership and occupation and Inheritance Act disputes. In addition he has acted in partnership, housing, will, personal injury and insolvency claims disputes.Mike is frequently appointed to perform judicial mediation and early neutral evaluations.

Endorsements

“He presents a relaxed style injecting where appropriate into the process a sense of humour”

“Mike understands the issues quickly and has an ability to listen and focus”

Other Experience

As a deputy district judge Mike determines fast track and small claims cases and encourages ADR in case management. He also conducts financial dispute resolution hearings in matrimonial matters. Having completed the ADR Group’s conversion course Mike is able to offer flexible mediations and timetables for both commercial and family parties and other forms of ADR.

Interests

Mike is a keen cyclist and cook and continues to try and learn Spanish.

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.