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11 April 1997
NEW FIGURES released by the Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR) show thatthe number of mediations it has dealt with has doubled since Lord Woolf'sreforms.Between April and June this year, the organisation dealt with 80mediations, a 100 per cent increase on the same period last year.The number of lawyers training in alternative dispute resolution at thecentre has also doubled since the introduction of the reforms.Quentin Smith, a partner in the litigation and dispute resolutiondepartment at Addleshaw Booth & Co in Manchester, believes Woolf's reformshave made lawyers think from the outset about how they are going to resolvetheir cases."The Woolf reforms have created a new climate in which lawyers have toplan their cases much earlier," he says. "If they are doing that withclients' interests in mind, they must be considering mediation from theoutset. Both lawyers and clients are beginning to recognise its hugepotential."Bill Marsh, director of CEDR, says: "The figures certainly put paid tothose critics who believed that mediation would no longer have a place in astreamlined and more efficient justice system."
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