Fiona Colquhoun

Principal Consultant & Mediator

Fiona is a highly experienced Mediator, Facilitator, Coach, Consultant and Trainer with considerable breadth and expertise, and many years Board level executive experience in both the business and public sector. She is also an ACAS Panel Arbitrator and qualified Henley Business School coach, who works on a great variety of CEDR assignments and projects with her unique combination of skills. Fiona is a regular conference speaker and writes articles on mediation and conflict management in organisations.

As of the few non-lawyer mediators listed in Chambers, Fiona has built her successful mediation reputation on a range of general commercial and employment matters, including pensions and NHS funding disputes. The majority of her cases mediated are of high value and emotional; her employment cases involve grievances, bullying and harassment claims, all types of discrimination, redundancy and TUPE, compromise agreements and complex contractual matters.

Fiona is known for being particularly sensitive to the people issues, whilst being able to communicate difficult and hard reality in an empathetic, fair and firm manner. As ‘an independent’, Fiona has also undertaken many serious employment investigations, chaired appeals, facilitated divergent business sessions and assessed general matters of dispute. Fiona is also faculty on the CEDR Workplace Mediation Skills Training programme, having contributed to its development from practical experience.

Fiona’s consultancy practice includes conflict management strategy and the implementation of effective mediation for organisations. She is very experienced in creating positive employment frameworks, integrating mediation into disciplinary and grievance processes, mediation and conflict resolution policies and processes, and in helping organisations and their stakeholders use mediation and collaborative skills at all levels. Fiona’s coaching work helps individuals have effective dialogue and develop productive behaviours and interpersonal relationships. She has coached, facilitated and consulted on a range of difficult transition, change and negotiating processes and also post-mediation and reconciliation scenarios.

Fiona works comfortably in all cultures, with her professional background as a global board-level Group Human Resources Director of Cable and Wireless Plc, from 1991 to 1996 and for ICL (International Computers) Plc from 1997-2001. Fiona’s – multinational work, particularly in Hong Kong, Australia, US, the West Indies, Japan, and across Europe, gave her hands-on experience of dynamic change, and complex strategic transactions in the IT and Telecommunications industries. More recently Fiona has undertaken leadership development work in Scandinavia and facilitated her Harvard Advanced Management Programme Reunion – a group of top-level multinational managers

Fiona was the first Personnel Director of Mercury Communications Limited during its dramatic period of growth from 1984 to 1991, and for her contribution to this, she won the European Woman of Achievement award. Her early career was in the NHS, as Personnel Director at the Hospitals for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street and Towers Hamlets Health District. She retained her NHS interests as a Non-Executive Director and mediates regularly in this sector.

Fiona is currently an Associate Faculty member of Reading University and Mannaz (Danish Leadership Institute). An Honours graduate of York University, she is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, an alumna of the Harvard Advanced Management programme, a Fellow of the RSA, School Governor and Ofsted adjudicator.

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