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07th November 2019

Mediator of the Year speaks at College's first reception

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William Wood QC, chairman of the Civil Justice Council’s working group on alternative dispute resolution (ADR), voted Mediator of the Year in 2018, addressed guests of The Hewitsons College of Dispute Resolution & Litigation lawyers (The College) at their recent reception at Law Society Hall. Bill Wood, who is ranked number one Mediation Silk 2019 in WWL’s UK Bar Guide, was speaking to an audience drawn from a wide variety of fields of interest in disputes and litigation work, including counsel, leading mediators, representatives of the litigation finance industry, insolvency practitioners and other professionals. The CJC working group’s recent final report on ADR was his topic.

Bill is consistently ranked in the top tiers by Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. He has been included in the Who’s Who Legal top 10 list of commercial mediators globally every year since the list was first published in 2011.

His mediation practice now takes him to Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, Kenya, Mexico and the US, as well as to all parts of the UK and the Channel Islands.

He said: “I was delighted to attend and address the evening reception, the first of its kind hosted by the Hewitsons College, and to network with mediators and other professional people with an interest in ADR. It was especially apt that the event took place in Mediation Awareness Week.

“I applaud Hewitsons for this initiative – bringing their fraternity of specialist disputes and litigation lawyers together with other recognised experts and interested parties in the sector to draw attention to the value of ADR”.”

Partner at Hewitsons, Dominic Hopkins, the figurehead of The College, said:

“We recognise the Civil Justice Council view of the challenges faced for ADR – lack of awareness, issues with availability and the need for both government and the courts to encourage the procedures – so it made absolute sense for this topic to be the theme for The College’s first reception and for it to take place at Law Society Hall in Mediation Awareness Week. We are delighted to support the CJC’s objective to promote ADR and to do so through this occasion.”

The Hewitsons College of Dispute Resolution and Litigation practitioners is a place of collaboration, learning and thought leadership and provides a forum for the development of common specialist tools and systems that will equip the firm to build on its reputation for delivering excellence in the disputes and litigation services it provides to clients.

The establishment of The College reflects the firm’s reputation as a leading dispute resolution and litigation firm and its commitment to continuous improvement and absolute client focus in all dimensions of the disciplines.

Dominic Hopkins added: “What the College does is provide a forum in which we can learn from each other to achieve best knowledge and practice in all these and other areas. We take the view that the best way to learn and make the most of the outstanding specialist resources we have available is through collaboration, and collaboration is what The College is all about.”

The College meets frequently through the firm’s advanced video-conferencing facilities and runs a rolling training and workshop programme, from internal and external resources, with working groups drawn from across practice areas to focus on developing policies and programmes that respond to and anticipate future disputes service requirements.