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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Provide a rationale!

I recently had a defendant solicitor who took a lot of persuading to provide a rationale for the opening offer he wanted me to take to the claimant. “If I provide a detailed breakdown of the numbers, the claimant will accept the bits it likes and reject those it doesn’t”.

Is this really a risk? Perhaps the greater risk is that a bland number, unexplained, will damage the prospect of a meaningful negotiation and that in the end, the other side will require to know how and why that number was proposed. Negotiation needs to be principled if parties are to engage with one another. That is, until the parties are within sight of settlement, which is when the horse-trading might kick in.

Mediator: Mark Jackson-Stops

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