On Monday 2nd November, the Dispute Resolution Team from MBM presented an innovative workshop showcasing 3 different methods of ADR – litigation, arbitration and mediation.
A packed boardroom at MBM saw the same dispute played out very differently in role play sessions illustrating what might happen in court, in arbitration and at mediation.
Playing the part of the judge in the courtroom scene was Lord MacLean, appointed as a Court of Session judge, in 1990, serving until 2005. Lord MacLean was an Appeal judge and one of the 4 judges who presided at the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial which trial took place at a specially convened Scottish Court in the Netherlands set up under Scots law from 2000 - 2001. Lord Maclean was joined by Gavin Walker Advocate and member of Axiom Advocates, the leading commercial set of chambers in Scotland, and Cat MacLean, Solicitor of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland 2015. Participants were shown a robust cross-examination by Gavin Walker in which the witness – deftly played by Liina Tulk from within the Dispute Resolution team - crumbled under pressure, and were then guided by Cat through what might be done to rehabilitate the witness and restore credibility. Finally, Lord MacLean gave a fascinating talk on some of the cases he had been involved in as Counsel, which was a real highlight for many present as we heard tales of crucial cross-examination under pressure in high profile drugs trials, and the tactics adopted to unsettle the witness and cajole them into incriminating answers.
The arbitration session kicked off with an introduction from Brandon Malone, the principal of niche dispute resolution practice Brandon Malone & Company, who is also a solicitor advocate, Chairman of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, and one of the Co-Directors of the International Centre for Energy Arbitration. He was ably assisted by Andrew McKenzie, the CEO of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, and several colleagues from the SAC. The arbitration role play saw the differences between litigation and arbitration illustrated very neatly, with detailed questioning coming from the arbiters.
Finally the workshop closed with an a really enlightening presentation by Pam Lyall, one of Scotland’s most experienced commercial mediators. With over 200 mediations to her name, relating to a broad spectrum of sectors, she has extensive experience in the UK in leading training courses in mediation and negotiation and is a regular contributor at conferences. Pam was joined by Alison Ebbitt, herself a mediator in her own right, who played the part of the grieving widow in the role play beautifully and would undoubtedly be well placed to take up an acting career should she ever feel the need for a change! Pam very skilfully took the audience through a number of different stages of the mediation process, depicting the very different nature of mediation in bringing the parties together and considering the bigger picture.”