Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

18 March 2022


Final stages + you are drafting your report to the CEO on the outcome of the mediation. She is the client and you are reporting to her + not the Residents or the Developer. There is no Mediation Agreement as such to draft + it is your Report that sets out the matters on which agreement has been reached. Thereafter it is for the CEO, together with the Planning Committee, to set down the wording of the planning approval. This requires your input to ensure the matters that have been successfully  mediated are reflected in the approval.

Things have gone well. You have done a good job. A major development will proceed. You do have residual concerns about the social housing issue but that is for the future + for the Town to monitor. And it may well be that you will be called back to mediate ongoing problems that may arise.

You feel good about your involvement. Your name will become well known in Local Authority circles. The mediation option will become more popular + your services may well be sought for other disputes in other Towns and Cities. For this reason you are not so deflated when the CEO informs you there can be no review of your fees. They were agreed + minuted + cannot be reopened. You are upset but quickly realise that this is your fault for not having thought through the “time spent” issue before you agreed a one-off mediation fee.

Finally, you need to do your own audit. You recognise that your own character + manner at meetings have been a plus but you also appreciate that the key breakthrough came from the Developer and his decision to live in a house in the street for a minimum of ten years. It was a Master Stroke but it did not come from you. You did not have the imagination to see the possibility + it reminds you, that despite your training + preparation, you did not have all the answers. Message? Make your post-event review searching and not superficial.

A note to let you know that my daily work commitment will be high over the next five weeks and I need time to give it the appropriate focus. There will, therefore, be a period of quiet from me on my twin topics of, first, Dispute Resolution, and, second, China. The Posts will return at the beginning of May.



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