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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Preparation - what we can learn from the students

Several members of In Place of Strife The Mediation Chambers acted pro bono as judges and mediators at the International Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 International Mediation Competition in Paris in February. Sixty-six university teams came from all over the world in a test of written and oral advocacy, with real-time mediation sessions mediated and judged by experienced international commercial mediators. The teams were universally well prepared, probably more so than most real parties and their advisers in commercial mediations.

Amongst others things, the teams were scored on their Mediation Plan, which required them to assess their respective BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated settlement) and WATNA (worst alternative to a negotiated settlement), as well as the needs, concerns and interests, as opposed only to positions, that they were going to advance, and how they were intending to do this in the mediation.  They were also required to think about the other side’s likely interests and their BATNA and WATNA. All of this analysis would then lead to the strategy that the team proposed to adopt.

If only parties and advisers in real mediations routinely adopted the same preparatory analysis as the basis of their mediation strategy…..Better preparation is almost always rewarded with better outcomes.


Mediator: Michael Cover



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