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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

The Mediation Environment

Mark Jackson-Stops, Head of Chambers, writes:

Amanda Bucklow is one of the most thoughtful and observant mediators practising today. She has also carried out important research into the skills and attributes that are required to make a successful mediator.

She has sent me this thought:

"For many years I have observed the effect of physical surroundings on helping people get into the right frame of mind for resolving disputes. I have also noticed that we may have lost sight of the importance of a neutral venue. Increasingly mediations take place in the offices of one of the law firms which is understandably cost effective and convenient. In practice this is not always an ideal environment for getting parties to ‘shift perspective’. Neither is it helpful when the host firm ‘commandeers’ the largest room with the most light and the comfiest chairs!

In my experience, congenial surroundings with plenty of light and easy access to outside space have made a real difference to the momentum and attitude of all the parties towards reaching a settlement. Access to a garden or a view is particularly helpful, especially for those who feel strongly about being ‘hemmed in’. There is compelling evidence that natural environments have a positive impact on performance, creative thinking and conflict resolution."

One of the services the In Place of Strife clerks provide is the selection and reservation of mediation venues on behalf of the parties, where this is necessary. We have access to a vast database of conference centres, hotels, offices, sports arenas (yes, they make great mediation venues even if there is no game in action), private houses and the like, and many of these are well known to us. It's all part of the service, and at no extra cost.

Mediator: Amanda Bucklow

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