Foil firmly backs Woolf's vision

Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 578 7249, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square.

In City Lawyer's report, "ADR's latest threat to City litigators" (The Lawyer 24 November), it was incorrect to link my name, the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (Foil) or my firm with the suggestion that I, and we, are not embracing Woolf's vision.

Anybody who has heard me speak on behalf of my firm or Foil knows that I fully support the new philosophy.

All we are saying on mediation is that in straightforward personal injury cases it is one of the tools available to resolve a claim, but it is not necessarily the first tactic that should be considered. Both Foil and, I think, Apil advocate negotiation by discussion or face-to-face meetings and, in many cases, being forced into mediation for the sake of it would perhaps be an unnecessary waste of time and money: after all, most insurance litigators have been able to settle most cases in the past without the need for mediation.

It is Foil's position that mediation is a positive help to the resolution of disputes in some specific areas, such as commercial claims, construction work, professional indemnity claims, disputes between insurer and insured – the list does go on.

Martin Bruffell, Berrymans Lace Mawer and president, Foil