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The Role of the Lawyer in Mediation

"Why should lawyers promote mediation? It is very simple, to be part of the solution and not part of the problem."

On April 6, 2022 Fide and CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) held a session on the role of the lawyer in mediation. The session took place at Jesus College under the academic coordination of Manuel Díaz Baños, General Secretary of Fide’s Mediation Center and Main Partner of MDB Legal.

For some years now Fide is committed to mediation as an alternative solution to resolve conflicts and has developed a whole area of activity in Mediation. This program is part of Fide’s efforts to internationalise its mediation activities.

The welcome words of the session were made by Carmen Hermida, Fide’s General Director and Director of FIDE’s Mediation Centre. The academic coordinator of the session and moderator was Manuel Díaz Baños, founding partner of MDB legal, professor, accredited mediator by CEDR and the Secretary General of Fide’s Mediation Centre, a Mediation Centre created in 2020 which promotes the use of commercial mediation in Spain and Latam. As Manuel explained in his introduction words, one of Fide’s Mediation Centre’s main goals is to foster longstanding fruitful collaboration with organizations that promote commercial mediation in foreign jurisdictions. In this context, Fide was thankful and honored to organize the Oxford program in collaboration with CEDR. This is not the first collaboration between Fide and CEDR, as together they hold the Mediator Skills Training Programme, the next edition of which will be held at Fide’s headquarters in Madrid in May.

The session addressed the role of the lawyers in mediation. For that purpose, our very respected British colleagues, Glenys Newall and Jack Colthurst from the litigation group of the prestigious law firm Linklaters (based in London office), delivered keynote speeches addressing the skills needed in mediation advocacy: lawyer’s role in the mediation, basis of lawyer’s obligations, how to persuade your client and the other side to mediate, how to choose the mediator, preparing for and mediation practical arrangements, and drawing up the settlement agreement.

After their inspiring interventions, this session turned into an interactive role-play conducted by Sussane Schuler and Felicity Stedman, renown CEDR trainers. In this role play participated Christine Plews, Martin Havelock, Isabel Castellanos and Ian Stedman, CEDR collaborators. This second part of the session offered the audience the opportunity to see in practice some of the issues raised by Glenys Newall and Jack Colthurst in their initial interventions.

The session provided lawyers and legal advisers with the necessary skills to meet the demands of client representation in today’s mediations. By the end of the session, the attendees (on-site and online) were empowered to engage in mediation confidently and successfully. The contributions of participants contributed to the enrichment of the session.

Fide will continue to offer activities in mediation. We encourage anyone interested and currently active in the Mediation sector to join Fide’s Mediation Club, a space for networking and continuous training for those interested in mediation.

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