Mediation and Dispute Resolution

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I have been involved in resolving over 1,000 cases spanning 14 years by mediation or by determination on various types of tribunals and have a specialism in resolving technology, family business, insolvency and general commercial disputes.

Technology and online disputes

Prior to qualifying as a barrister I set up, grew and successfully sold three technology start-ups. This required negotiate contracts and disputes from bluechips through to tech employees, from equity holding stakeholders through to directors.  I was a founding equity investor in reallymoving.com, Britain’s leading price comparison site for conveyancing, surveying and removals professionals. In addition to the commercial aspect of technology, I have an understanding of technical architecture. I designed the systems that each of his tech businesses operated which were then developed in house or outside agencies.

I am an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Consultant for Mishcon de Reya where I conducted a high level advisory and strategic project reporting to the CEO and Board in respect of a Feasibility Study and Peer Review of the potential for an online arbitration service for family property disputes. The partner who commissioned the report said: “It’s excellent…It really has been well receiveda great piece of work and we’re much further down the road than we thought possible.” Professor Richard Susskind:“you have a remarkable set of experiences … all leading up to ODR, in my view!”. Member of MdR Online Courts Hackathon team.

I am a member of the Society and Computers and Law, Board Member Arbitration Club – Technology Branch and was a Chartered IT Professional of the British Computer Society (2014-17).

Family business disputes

Having been involved in our third generation family business prior to qualifying as a mediator and as a lawyer, I have a unique perspective on the commercial and relationship issues faced in family businesses.

I have subsequently mediated a number of family business disputes including a multiple sibling family business dispute, a dispute involving two brothers who had fallen out, and a  mother and daughter business dispute.

Insolvency disputes

The silver lining of my third generation family business going into administration in 2009 after trading for 75 years, with seven figure liabilities, was that I gained a unique understanding of the complex insolvency process. I later became a Board member of the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association joint committee in respect of Law of Property Act Receivers. Upon qualifying as a barrister, I sought to build my practise around insolvency. Disputes arising out of insolvency or potential insolvency can be complicated, volatile and make a huge impact on the life of those involved.

Professional Background:

I am a practising barrister, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and hold a Masters in Law in International and Comparative Dispute Resolution from the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London.

For over 14 years, I have been involved in resolving a wide range of disputes. He has mediated, acted as a mediation advocate or negotiated settlements in commercial contract, debt, professional negligence, directors’ guarantees, landlord and tenant, unlawful eviction, unlawful interference, shareholder, employment and breach of trust disputes.

 


Practical Knowledge & Experience:

  • Contract
  • Construction and property
  • Insolvency & Directors Responsibilities
  • Employment
  • Family Business
  • Financial Services
  • Partnership/Shareholder
  • Professional Negligence and Discipline
  • Property
  • Technology: Internet/e-Commerce/Software Development


Endorsements:

Thank you so much for yesterday, you are without doubt the best. I am so grateful that you persevered
Family business mediation client

Thank you Robin for your sensitive and professional leadership of the mediation”

“I heard today that you were great! Well done. In this instance it is great to be proven wrong [that it would be unsuccessful]”
Senior executive NHS mediation client

“thoughtful, observant and a positive contributor to the process”
Senior mediator statesman – co-mediation.

“Having worked with Robin before he was the obvious choice for me on a second occasion when I needed his services. Robin supported me through a tough and complex situation and I would not have achieved the settlement that I did without his tenacity.”
Mediation advocacy client.

“a diligent and reliable professional who delivers assignments efficiently and with the highest standard of integrity. We are thrilled to have him”
Mediation and investigation service provider

“Robin provides a genuine spark to discussions and brings innovative ideas to fruition…. has overcome all obstacles quickly and efficiently to make things happen.”
“perceptive, thorough and inclusive, always ensuring all issues are aired and addressed appropriately”

“Robin has been a Director of reallymoving.com since its launch in 1999 and has delivered a huge amount of value to the organisation throughout that time. He has a unique blend of deep technical insight, a creative approach to growing a business, solid commercial understanding and a pragmatic common sense approach to everything he does. He’s a huge asset to our business.”
CEO and controlling shareholder

“I have always found Robin to be honest and he works with partners with integrity. He has a bright, agile mind. He understands the detail and the bigger picture and can separate the two.  He listens and is prepared to work with people.”


Memberships:

  • Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member Civil Mediation Council
  • Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn
  • Association of Regulatory Lawyers
  • Society of Computers and Law
  • Chartered IT Professional of British Computer Society (2014-17)

Personal and Interests:

Robin is a Freeman of the City of London, is an NLP Certified Practitioner and has an interest in sustainability, cognitive bias and flawed decision making. He has a Private Pilot’s Licence and is a keen cinema goer. Robin is a Gold RoSPA Advanced Driver and is an Approved Tutor.

 

Robin Somerville - logo

 

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