Written by Graham Perry

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

13 June 2022


Are you loose-lipped? Do you know when to keep quiet? Are you tempted “to show off your credentials” to promote yourself with colleagues? Do you drop names? These are awkward questions for Dispute Resolvers.

But we can be too quick to jump on over-talkative arbitrators. Consider this – we are career-minded. We do want to get our names well known. We want more appointments. We are building a career and we have bills to pay – a holiday here; a family celebration there and so on. You know the score.

And in business, generally, there are lectures, symposiums, + training programmes which focus exclusively on promoting your name + reputation and bringing your skills to a wider audience in Business. But for arbitrators – and mediators – there is a But – and it is the principle of Confidentiality. Names + traceable details of a dispute have to remain under wraps. Why? Because arbitration is a private procedure.

And we know this from Day One. “Private and Confidential” “Public are not admitted”. You know the score so the old term applies to “No Names. No Pack Drill”. Be Discreet. Say Nothing and this brings us back to the Character issue – the single most important quality for an Arbitrator – + a Mediator. The test for you comes when someone mentions something – not indiscreetly – and you recognise it as case you were involved in.  Do you fall into the trap and make reference to your participation in the case in order to promote your own credentials? The temptation is there. We have all done it. Our words may initially be low key and non-revelatory but you can soon be seduced into an idle word here and a facial grimace there. The cat is out of the bag. Advice? Don’t Go There!

Much of it is innocent – and human. But be on your guard. A loose-lipped dispute resolver soon loses his/her reputation. You might think you gain an advantage in the short term but you can suffer long term consequences. Better to be low key + let your work do your talking.

EPISODE 5. 14 JUNE 2022.




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