Introductory Guide

Co-Mediation In A Cross-Border Context


Trade between different states is taking place on a greater scale than ever before. Small and large companies are doing business across borders every day, all around the globe and many companies are established abroad. However, this is by no means new information.

Disputes arising from international business dealings can be complicated and expensive, especially if the parties come from different countries and continents. Moreover, existing business relationships can often break down while in conflict. There are of course courts and arbitrators to resolve cross-border disputes, but this is not only a very expensive and potentially destructive way of finding a solution, it is also often very time-consuming. But, this is also not news to you.

So, what can we do in order to effectively manage a cross-border dispute?

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Posted by Gert Nilsson in ADR, Introductory Guide, Opinion
The Global Pound Conference London – The End Of The Beginning

The Global Pound Conference London – The End Of The Beginning

On October 29, 2014, 150 of us, representing many stakeholder groups from more than 20 countries, attended an important convention held in London’s beautiful Guildhall. Called ‘Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution’ the convention was inspired by the energetic and far-sighted Michael Leathes and was organised by the International Mediation Institute (IMI), which he pioneered and several other bodies.

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Posted by Rosemary Howell in Access To Justice, ADR, Introductory Guide, LOC Coverage, Mediation

Roscoe Pound Would Be Proud – Reflections On The History Of The GPC


Following the final GPC Series event held in London in last week, it seems timely to go back to where it all began. History informs the present and the future and, in our excitement about the significance of this ambitious project, it is important not to overlook the contribution of the memorable life of the man whose name it bears.

Roscoe Pound (1872-1964) was a remarkable man. Whilst some scholars brand him as ‘the most famous American jurisprudential thinker of the first half of the twentieth century’ and ‘the greatest twentieth century dean of the Harvard Law School’ his is hardly the name on every lawyer’s lips. Nor did he fit the mould of your average law school Dean.

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Posted by Rosemary Howell in Access To Justice, Ask An Expert, Introductory Guide, Mediation
The Global Pound Conference = A Global Workshop

The Global Pound Conference = A Global Workshop


I spent the past year helping organise the Florence GPC, which took place on 9 June 2017. The experience has been inspiring and even thrilling. Above all, it has changed how I think about dispute resolution.

In order to engage different stakeholders, I often found myself explain what the GPC is, what it aims to accomplish, and how it is going about its mission.  Local institutions, speakers, chairs, potential sponsors, mediators and all the people which I have spoken to have been fascinated by the initiative, but often requiring at least 20 minutes of explanation.

It quickly dawned on me that the trouble in comprehending the GPC was created by the ‘C in the GPC, the noun ‘conference’, in a world that has no shortage of conferences. Indeed, the people we were seeking to engage seemed to be receiving almost daily conference invitations.

As those who have participated in a GPC event realise, of course, it is anything but a typical ‘conference’.

While explaining the GPC one day to the General Counsel of a leading corporation, together browsing the GPC website and core questions, I found myself suddenly describing the event more naturally as a “global workshop”.  Only at this point did the general counsel exclaim, “Oh, a global workshop! Now I get it. That’s a great idea, definitely worth attending!”

Since then I have used the term whenever contacting companies, lawyers, judges, academics, politicians and every category of stakeholder to let them know why it is important to attend and contribute. For people who have little time to waste, this shortcut helped cut through the background noise of so many conferences taking place.

For those asking for more information, and without taking up more of their time, the best description of the GPC of the GPC that I have found is an article by Alexander Oddy, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in London. He describes the GPC as a unique opportunity of sharing experiences and ideas with people that you don’t have the chance to meet all together elsewhere, both locally and at a global level.

Now that we have had the Florence GPC, I can confirm that this is absolutely the case.

Written by Chiara Tondini.

Chiara Tondini

Chiara Tondini works for the Florence International Mediation Chamber (FIMC), the international mediation service of the Florence Chamber of Commerce, and played a key role in its foundation. She has served as deputy manager of the Florence Chamber of Commerce domestic mediation service from 2013 to February 2017. She is a non-practicing lawyer, certified mediator and has a substantial experience as mediation case manager. She has participated to the  “Florence monitoring center of civil justice” works and she takes part on behalf of the FIMC to the sessions of UNCITRAL Working Group II on the preparation of an instrument capable to provide enforceability to settlement agreements resulting from international mediation proceedings.

Posted by Chiara Tondini in Introductory Guide, Mediation
Evaluating Arbitrators: You Be The Judge

Evaluating Arbitrators: You Be The Judge

thumb valuation icons on cement concept

In 2007/8, I set up a now long-since defunct website ( with the lofty aim of introducing some transparency into the appointment process of ADR neutrals. At its core, the site offered a battery of neutrals’ CVs supplemented with free-form written feedback from users. Continue reading →

Posted by Matthew Rushton in Introductory Guide
Are hostile mediators more effective?

Are hostile mediators more effective?

whistle of a referee

New research by Francesca Gino and Ting Zhang of Columbia Business School, along with Mike Norton of Harvard Business School, suggests that the most effective mediation style might be being partial against both parties.

The academics suggest that, contrary to the received wisdom that mediators should be neutral, attentive and empathetic, an actively hostile mediator is more likely to get a good result. They discovered that a mediator’s antagonistic and hostile treatment of both parties causes adversaries to unite against the mediator, which in turn increases the parties’ willingness and propensity to reach agreement. Continue reading →

Posted by Matthew Rushton in Introductory Guide

When arbitration is used and why

photo-1431540015161-0bf868a2d407-1In almost all instances, arbitration must be contemplated at the contract drafting stage. Parties may, of course, agree to take a dispute to arbitration at any stage, but once a dispute has broken out, positions become polarised, and agreement is accordingly less likely.

The reasons for preferring arbitration clauses to the more usual reference to the courts – in a commercial context – boil down to the so-called “three Es”: expedition, expertise and enforcement. Continue reading →

Posted by Matthew Rushton in Introductory Guide

An Introduction To Construction Disputes

constructionMany factors contribute to construction disputes, especially if the property is based abroad. Most projects take a long time to complete, leading to uncertainties and delays that can result in disagreements. The following factors typically create international construction disputes. Continue reading →

Posted by Ken Salmon in Construction Disputes, Introductory Guide

The Mediation Process: When And Why It Is Used

A photo by Steve Halama.

Mediation can be successfully deployed at any point in the timeline of a dispute – either before proceedings are issued, afterwards, up to, and even during trial. It is, after all, a facilitated negotiation and represents an opportunity to settle early, reducing stress, acrimony and legal costs.

Defining mediation is arguably a futile task: in the same way we accept that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, mediation is whatever users can imagine and can agree it to be. Thus, there are many different approaches, which vary widely according to users’ needs and the demands and timing of the case. Continue reading →

Posted by Matthew Rushton in Introductory Guide
The Role Of ADR In Commercial Dispute Resolution: A Brief Overview

The Role Of ADR In Commercial Dispute Resolution: A Brief Overview

chess.jpgAlternative dispute resolution (ADR) has a critical role to play for in-house counsel seeking to do more with less, but it remains something of a novelty as compared to the centuries-long tradition of courtroom litigation.

While there were many international arbitrations in the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century, they tended to be pursuant to treaties under public international law with states acting against other states on behalf of their nationals and their commercial interests. Such arbitrations tended to bebetween imperial powers – British, Dutch, Portuguese or Soviet – and only following the dismantling of these empires and the consequent explosion in the number of independent nation states did international arbitration become the mainstream concern it is today. Continue reading →

Posted by Matthew Rushton in Introductory Guide