My legal career has been varied and high level. For the past 10 years, I have practised exclusively as a civil, commercial, workplace and family mediator as well as holding a number of leadership positions on regulatory and decision-making bodies.
I started my career as a Foreign Office lawyer in which capacity I regularly negotiated on behalf of the UK at the United Nations and Council of Europe. I returned to private practice in 2000 and joined the media and information law chambers 5RB where I co-founded the leading textbook on the law of privacy. I was on the Attorney General’s panel of Crown Counsel for 10 years and acted for and against media organisations and public bodies in the High Court and European Court of Human Rights. This range of experience as diplomat, advocate, negotiator, adviser and facilitator equips me well to help people in any type of conflict.
Whilst at the FCO I acted for the Government in more than 40 cases before the European Commission and Court of Human Rights. These included landmark decisions concerning libel damages, planning applications, interception of communications, traveller's rights, deportation, invasion of privacy and national security. Whilst at 5RB I acted in various private law proceedings for and against the media and in public law cases, including in a case against the prison service, for which I was nominated for the Bar Pro Bono Award in 2003. This multiple sector experience gives me confidence to mediate in a wide range of legal subject matters.
After many years promoting mediation as Secretary to the Civil Mediation Council, Vice-Chair of the Bar Council ADR Committee and on the Steering Committee of the APPG on ADR, in 2020 I was given the opportunity to influence the Government’s approach to mediation when I was appointed as the Lord Chancellor’s Policy Fellow. I worked for 2 years at the MOJ, amongst other things, devising a dispute resolution strategy to integrate mediation fully into the justice system and providing expertise, inspiration and encouragement to the team of officials selected to implement it. I worked closely with Ministers, the senior judiciary and practitioners to lay the ground for this significant change in culture.
I became a full-time mediator because I passionately believe in the benefit of resolving disputes through constructive dialogue, giving parties control over the outcome to their dispute and avoiding the delays, costs and stress of litigation. Having spent the first half of my career as an advocate I am well aware of what the alternative to settlement entails. As such, I respect the decision of all those who come to mediation in good faith and go the extra mile to make sure they do not leave without a satisfactory resolution to their dispute. I act with integrity, courage, creativity and determination.
In addition to my mediation practice I am a qualified facilitator, coach and professional actor, so I am very comfortable with holding the space during the live, evolving and sometimes emotional process which mediation can entail.
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