The Process

CEDR provides the services of an independent neutral professional to assist in negotiations during the pre-contract phase and during contract execution. They are highly skilled in this field and often deal with situations where the parties need assistance conducting highly complex negotiations that take time to complete. 

CEDR assists with:

  • Establishing an effective structure for negotiations
  • Identifying the key issues requiring consensus
  • Encouraging the parties to think creatively and explore all options
  • Maintaining a productive working environment at all times during the negotiations

Deal Examples

  • Negotiations between British Sugar plc and the National Farmers Union regarding the commercial arrangements for the UK’s sugar beet industry (publicly available information).
  • A billion-dollar corporate re-structuring process leading to the spinoff of several businesses into separate companies.
  • Government-sponsored negotiations between UK dairy farmers and processors regarding the adoption of a voluntary code of practice for the UK milk sector (public knowledge).
  • Various negotiations between NHS agencies and internal/external stakeholders related to financial reconciliations and future contracts.
  • Facilitating negotiations between creditors following a billion-pound collapse of a UK tech company.
  • Multi-million pound partnering contract between a local authority and main contractor.
  • Consensus building on environmental and land issues ahead of a public inquiry.
  • Reaching a consensus on the rewording of a Royal Charter.

The Process

Neutral chairing is the involvement of an impartial third party to facilitate negotiations, discussions, consensus-building, problem-solving or relationship-building, or to manage existing or potential difficulties in a wide variety of situations.

Benefits of Neutral Chairing

  • Reducing the risk of overt confrontation.
  • Establishing a process in order to allow a full dialogue and engagement from the group concerned.
  • Providing a moderating influence, plus summaries of points made and positions reached.
  • Enabling finality via a decision, action plan or agreement.
  • Deliberately planning for open-ended dialogue, where the process allows voices to be heard and issues raised, enabling the next steps to be taken or to devise a framework for future action.

Neutral Chairing Models

  • Assisted stakeholder dialogue
  • Brokered talks
  • Independent chairing
  • Independent review
  • Facilitated visioning and planning
  • Relationship building
  • Scheme design

The independent neutral charges an hourly rate, which is dependent on who is selected.

CEDR neutrals have unparalleled experience in facilitating dialogue in a diverse range of demanding situations. Our consultants have a unique skillset combining extensive mediator practice, professional background and industry knowledge.

For further information on these facilitation services, please contact CEDR on +44 (0)20 7536 6060 or email

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