Dispute Resolution

Dispute Avoidance

DISPUTE AVOIDANCE involves risk management strategies. I assist large corporates and SMEs by assessing the suitability of and modifying any existing policies and SOPs. I also determine if they sit correctly with existing legislation. If necessary, I will revise them completely to ensure risk minimisation to give you the best possible chance of avoiding disputes.

My top 5 tips are:

  • Ensure your working relationships are amicable.
  • Understand various communication styles.
  • Have clarity about what you want and reduce it to writing.
  • Know what the relevant law is, and what you are putting your signature to.
  • Do not be shy to ask for assistance.

Negotiation

NEGOTIATION is all about finding out what your interests are. It is not necessarily dispute-driven; my abilities lie in being able to rapidly and efficiently assess your position, gauge underlying issues, needs and ultimately your real interests. I will facilitate a recordable, acceptable outcome that will help you get on with more profitable activities. Often, this simply means having a difficult or facilitated conversation.

My top 5 tips are:

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare! Be your own expert on the negotiation at hand.
  • Get a real handle on your issues and underlying interests; take it a step further and do the same for the other party.
  • Fully come to grips with what your deal breakers are and be prepared to pull the plug if you reach that point.
  • Do not bid against yourself but do not be a demanding concession diva either!
  • Be commercial! The less personal you make your negotiation, the more successful you will be.

Conflict Coaching

CONFLICT COACHING comes into play where I have assessed that parties are not ready to mediate. I have the proven ability to assist each party, to assess their position, understand their needs and interests, then actively prepare them for the resolution of their dispute. This, in and of itself, may resolve the dispute with little need for further input.

My top 5 tips are:

  • Be bold and ask for help and do not be too proud to take the help that is offered.
  • Ensure you feel comfortable with your coach as the road may have many twists and turns.
  • Understand that you may be blinkered in your view on the conflict and be open to other perspectives; is that alternative scenario even remotely possible?
  • Be willing to do the hard work, drill down to your underlying motivations and be brave when you must go to those places within yourself you have avoided forever!
  • Be optimistic about the outcome even though the future appears bleak.

The Art of Mediation

THE ART OF MEDIATION is to put parties back in control of their dispute. I will guide you through a custom-built process; from assessment through to an acceptable outcome. I work to ensure that this process is as painless as possible and minimises the drain on your resources.

My top 5 tips are:

  • Take control of your dispute. It is yours. It does not belong to your lawyer, the other side or any interested party (unless your insurers have taken it on over, in which case, it is their dispute).
  • Know all your relevant facts, evidence, applicable law and monetary wins or losses. Then take a bird’s eye view, impossible as it may seem! How will you feel about this dispute in 10 days, weeks, months, years, regardless of the outcome.
  • Know your best & worst outcomes and your deal breakers at mediation.
  • Understand what will happen if you do not resolve this dispute at mediation. Weigh up all the consequences and understand your worst-case scenario? Disputes often resolve after mediation, prior to litigation.
  • Be commercial, objective and really listen.

Arbitration

In ARBITRATION, I strive to ensure a fair, impartial process for all parties and ultimately an enforceable award. As a trained arbitrator (FCIarb), lawyer and litigator, I am well positioned to offer parties this more formalised dispute resolution process, where appropriate.

Arbitration can be complex, technical and based in law. It is highly unlikely that a party goes to arbitration without legal representation. Hence my top tips are also aimed at legal representatives, likely to represent their clients at these proceedings.

My top 5 tips are:

  • Put your best foot forward; focus succinctly on what is key to your case.
  • Be honest and brief to limit endless pre-arbitral and hearing mechanisms like Discovery, Witness and Expert testimony.
  • Be knowledgeable about the management of the arbitration: time involved before, during and after; timing of the various parts; detail as to costs, who and what will be involved, so you can plan.
  • Anticipate your next steps whether the Award goes for or against you.
  • For the best chance of success, use all the above tips as you step through the process, to provide the Arbitrator with a blueprint for the Award