24 May 2018
Global Pound Conference Findings Published
The Global Pound Conference (GPC) Series created a global conversation around Shaping the Future of Dispute Resolution & Improving Access to Justice bringing together 4000 dispute resolution stakeholders, at 28 conferences in 24 countries.
The series, created in the name of the International Mediation Institute (IMI) sought to identify, by engaging a diverse group of stakeholders including: users, legal advisors, adjudicative providers, non-adjudicative providers and influencers, key insights on the future challenges and needs of the dispute resolution industry. With a particular focus on the corporate user, the ground-breaking research challenges traditional and underlying ideas of what clients want and how practitioners operate. Four key global themes were been identified*:
- Efficiency is the key priority of parties when choosing dispute resolution processes. This represents a challenge to traditional adversarial dispute resolution models, whether public (domestic courts) or private (institutional and ad hoc arbitration). Parties are looking not just for justice and resolution of their disputes, but an efficient journey to resolution.
- Parties expect greater collaboration from advisors in dispute resolution. One the one hand, parties made clear they wanted to see greater collaboration from their Advisors in dispute resolution processes while on the other, Advisors consistently asserted their role to be advocates for their clients.
- Global interest in the use of pre-dispute protocols and mixed mode dispute resolution. Uniting stakeholders across all 24 conferences was the use firstly of protocols to encourage the use of processes such as mediation or conciliation prior to commencing arbitration or litigation. Secondly, there was a desire to combine non-adjudicative and adjudicative processes. These ‘mixed-models’ can be done sequentially, in parallel or integrated with one another.
- Some uncomfortable home truths for lawyers. All stakeholder groups identify Advisors (predominantly private practice lawyers) as the primary obstacle to change in commercial dispute resolution practice. Lawyers showed the self-awareness to identify themselves as the group most resistant to change.
Looking at the data emerging from the London conference, organised in July 2017 by CEDR in conjunction with other supporting entities such as Herbert Smith Freehills and PwC, the impact of Lord Woolf’s reforms, embedding ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) in the commercial dispute resolution process was in evidence. While recognising how far the use of mediation has come in the UK, recent data from Her Majesty’s Court Service showed that 2 million claims were issued in 2017 compared with the CEDR Audit of 2016 that showed a mere 11,000 mediations taking place.
James South, Managing Director and IMI Board Director said of the findings:
“CEDR has worked in over 70 countries around the world and - through my own work as a mediator, trainer and consultant - I have firsthand experience of the different approaches to ADR in different jurisdictions. These approaches often come out of particular challenges in that part of the world and see processes or procedures adapted to work in that context. So whilst I am not surprised to see that London has some confidence with using ADR, including mediation, that does not mean that we cannot learn from other parts of the world when they tell us about their challenges and successes. The challenge for all stakeholders around the world now is to be the agents of change for this evolution of dispute resolution practice. CEDR is definitely up for the challenge.”
* Source: Global Pound Conference Series; Global Data Trends and Regional Differences Report prepared by Herbert Smith Freehills, PwC and IMI. The report can be accessed here: https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/latest-thinking/global-pound-conference-series-redefining-dispute-resolution.