Throughout practice, I became involved in arbitrations as counsel quite regularly. Mainly property subjects (particularly rent reviews, during my latter years as a foremost commercial property silk) but also commercial arbitration, for example, quality disputes in commodity shipping.
I was a regular attender and lecturer at ARBRIX (the RICS organisation for CPD for property arbitrators) and took the fast track examination to become a Fellow of the Institute of Arbitrators.
In my later years of Silk practice I was appointed and conducted many arbitrations, comprising written arbitrations in commercial property disputes, and also financial services matters (I was a panel arbitrator for FIMBRA), and also several oral arbitrations in property matters, including, for example, a dispute between a local authority and the contractor franchised to run the municipal golf course. I was also appointed as an independent expert on occasions, for example a £200M valuation matter governing disputed contract payments in respect of a City of London Office block.
After taking a diploma course to qualify as a mediator, I both advised in mediations and was also appointed mediator in several property mediations, in commercial landlord and tenant disputes and contract.
At Central London County Court I devised an informal system akin to “early neutral evaluation”, to enable parties in suitable disputes (usually regarding property rights dependent on documents and a view of the property) to obtain an early provisional decision to enable them, in many instances, to reach a satisfactory early settlement.
- Oxford University (St Hilda’s College), BA Jurisprudence, Class II [Upper]