On 9 March 2022 Reform Scotland published a paper by John Sturrock entitled ‘Transforming Dispute Resolution in Scotland’…


I wish we’d had this conversation a year ago.” This remark, or language expressing similar sentiments, is probably the one I hear most in my professional role.

For the past twenty years, my primary occupation has been to act as a mediator, assisting and indeed empowering parties who are involved in complex commercial, business, professional, personal or policy disputes to reach a mutually acceptable outcome among themselves. Often this is achieved in one day, even in long-standing disputes.

The remark above is usually offered in frustration, often with regret, sometimes in anger. “If only…we’d sat down and talked about this at an earlier stage, we could have…

  • understood your side of the story better and what really matters to you and us
  • assessed the risks on all sides more objectively
  • got this sorted quickly, found a solution and been able to deliver/move on/make changes
  • maintained what had been a good business and/or personal relationship
  • saved so much in time, hassle and resources which could have been used in a much more productive way
  • avoided the legal and other costs which have been greater than the real value of the dispute.”

Fortunately, many of these outcomes are still regularly achieved in mediation, especially if it is utilised as early as possible when disagreements arise. Nipping things in the bud makes such a difference.”


Read the rest of this paper here.



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