MEETING THE DEVELOPER – EPISODE 4

Written by Graham Perry

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

14 March 2022

MEDIATION #211

Let’s recap. You have met with the Chief Executive of the Local Authority who has appointed you to mediate a dispute that has arisen out of a plan to build 85 three/four bedroom houses on land now sold to a significant London based developer.

You have met with the Chair of the Planning Authority + also with, first, the Chair of the Residents Association and, second, with all the members of the Association. You have a sense of the people and interests represented in the mediation discussion. You are accumulating information + ideas as you proceed. It is a big development. The Planning Committee is keen to approve but the Residents are split – some favour the development and some are opposed. You have work to do.

Today, you are meeting with the CEO of the Developer Company. His eyes are wide open. He is experienced, deft + tactical and he, personally, wants to conclude his property career on a high with this project. You are pushing at an open door. In the search for a conclusion to problems as they arise. He is clearly concession minded – a mediator’s dream. He also reveals that he has crossed swords with one of the two “grumpies” and knows about his questionable protest career which led him, on one occasion, to pay substantial damages for slander – words uttered at a meeting.

Having regard to the line-up of forces, you sense there is much to be gained by a meeting between the Developer + the Residents. It could go wrong but you have assessed the Developer, positively, and you are confident about your own skills to chair a meeting to discuss outstanding issues – the length of time of the project, the affordable housing, and the daily intrusiveness of the lorries.

You are also aware that the mediation is taking up more time than expected and you need to review your mediation fee with the Chief Executive of the Local Authority.

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