Group taps market for mediation skills

FOUR lawyers have set up a company to train legal practitioners in mediation work and to generate business after they qualify.

Trainee barrister Robert Taylor has joined forces with US attorneys Bruce Hochstetler and George Pappas, and Bristol-based criminal barrister Nick Fridd.

They have set up Dispute Mediation Limited to capitalise on the potential for mediation work following Lord Woolf's call for alternative settlement of disputes.

Taylor said DML – based in Ampthill, Bedfordshire – will run its first training course in London in November and will be fully operational by January.

He said the courses would develop students' skills with tuition, seminars and role-play scenarios. Afterwards DML will generate work through publicity and tell firms about cases relevant to their specialisms.

“We seek to provide mediation services over a wide spectrum of disputes ranging from small private claims through to large corporate disputes,” said Taylor.

Taylor, a former property developer who is now studying law at the University of Hertfordshire, came up with the original idea for DML.

He took the scheme to Hochstetler and Pappas, both mediation specialists in Florida, where the process is used frequently. They agreed to become directors and Fridd joined later.