James F. Henry – A Tribute

by Eileen Carroll KC (Hon)

I was saddened to learn recently that my dear friend and mentor James (Jim) Henry had passed.

I first met Jim in New York in 1988 after I had been gifted his book ‘The Manager’s Guide to Resolving Legal Disputes: Better Results Without Litigation’.

This is a book written from the perspective of the business needs and talked about the “Sleeping Giant of ADR” being mediation – how right he was.

Meeting Jim and learning about his impressive pioneering work, and success at convincing senior lawyers to include ADR clauses in their agreements was inspiring.

So too was his work in promoting dialogue through CPR’s signature “Pledge” and was the catalyst to my view that we needed an equivalent approach in Europe.

When we launched CEDR in 1990 at the CBI, our guest of honour was Jim and his wife Susan, sitting in the front row, beaming at our collective achievements.

Jim was an incredibly thoughtful, reflective and effective man which he combined with a great degree of modesty.

He had a quiet and intelligent approach to progress and had an impressive and much-admired ability to bring people on a journey with him.

His sense of humour and smile was second to none and he was always great company.

Jim convened his CPR annual meetings in the most fantastic locations, attracting brilliant speakers to raise the profile and champion progressive approaches to dispute resolution.

His convening power created so many enriching friendships that endure to this day and for that, I will always be tremendously grateful.

In all of this, he was supported by his wonderful wife Susan – a lady of great grace and style.

Jim will be much missed by those that loved him and those of us who owe him a great debt for all he did to improve the way the world handles commercial conflict.

The CPR Institute have written a fantastic tribute to Jim which can be accessed here.

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