Originally qualified as a lawyer, Colin practiced as a commercial litigation lawyer for over 20 years, ultimately as Head of Litigation at the Birmingham Office of global law firm DLA Piper. After his interest in the mediation process grew, Colin gained his Mediator Accreditation from CEDR and left DLA (as it then was) to set up his mediation practice. Over the last 15 years Colin has built up a thriving, independent commercial mediation business both in the UK and overseas.

Highly focused on the quality of the mediation process and to ensure the mediation has the maximum chance of success, Colin guarantees not to accept another mediation appointment the day before or day after an existing mediation commitment. This ring-fenced approach to bookings ensures full preparation ahead of the mediation and allows time to be available the next day, should the mediation overrun.

Colin has mediated disputes across a broad range of subjects and has developed particular expertise in relation to disputes arising out of commercial contracts, shareholder/partnership disputes as well as professional negligence, real estate, intellectual property, financial services and employment disputes. Case examples include:

Professional Negligence

  • £250k claim for damages arising from alleged negligence of solicitor, which had resulted in claimant’s proceedings against international bank being struck out. Complex issues, particularly in relation to quantum and 10 day trial that was due in six weeks’ time were avoided by settlement.
  • Claim for damages due to solicitor’s alleged failure to properly advise client of need to secure appropriate planning permission for proposed change of use of premises.
  • Multi-party dispute relating to major share transactions, which resulted in significant losses. Transactions allegedly undertaken by broker without authority. Imminent trial avoided when parties reached agreement and entered into four separate settlement agreements.

Commercial Contracts

  • Multi-party international contractual dispute, which resulted in a series of agreements, each of which had to be individually ‘ring-fenced’ to preserve confidentially.
  • International dispute for two global multi-nationals in the glass manufacturing industry.
  • Engineering dispute involving high profile sports car manufacturer and supplier.
  • Dispute relating to waste disposal plant with value of c. £5m, involving competing claims for contract variations and failure to comply with specification.
  • Major high value dispute in the bio-chemical industry, relating to a project to ascertain viability of developing and scaling-up of a confidential process of manufacturing human insulin.
  • Dispute arising from a contract (value of c. £1m) for supply of fruit to baby food manufacturer, where purchaser alleged fundamental breach and terminated the remaining nine years of the contract.

Shareholder/Partnership Disputes

  • Mediating various disputes, which had arisen between continuing partners and former partners of medium-sized law firm, with significant PR and personal liability issues.
  • Mediating s459 dispute and related claims involving various family property investment companies with underlying asset value of £20m.
  • Acting as mediator in bitter inter-company dispute between equal shareholders including alleged breaches of confidentiality and diversion of business opportunities.
  • Mediating the division of various shareholdings (valued at £9m) in private investment companies where ownership in the hands of 3 shareholder/directors and respective wives/partners
  • Mediating alleged use of confidential information dispute, where rival business had been incorporated by former directors of claimant multi-national company.

Real Estate

  • £150k dispute between two brothers relating to property entitlements in family farming business. Settlement brought to close 14 years of litigation.
  • £25 million value property dispute between two FTSE 100 companies, relating to the exercise of lease break clause.
  • £250k dispute relating to terms of alleged tenancy of farmhouse and barns, counterclaim for substantial rent arrears by farming family. Two-party but complex inter-personal relationships within each party’s team. Substantial legal costs had been incurred making prospect of settlement more complicated. Settlement saved parties significant expense of five-day trial, which had been due to commence in four weeks’ time.
  • 27 hours of unbroken mediation to conclude settlement of multi-party property dispute, which had been litigated for the previous 15 years.
  • Substantial claim (£20m) for losses arising from alleged breach of confidence, which had resulted in property developer losing control of major retail development scheme.

Intellectual Property

  • £250k claim by individual against local authority for breach of copyright and IP rights, relating to multi-media tourist attraction involving development costs of £25m. Legal aid costs of £350k were a complicating factor in achieving settlement. Innovative settlement achieved, which involved parties working together on new project
  • Mediating alleged wrongful termination of worldwide distribution agreement (worth $3m) involving dispute over intellectual property rights and where injunctive relief had been obtained.

Financial Services

  • Mediating numerous disputes arising out of interest hedging products and other derivatives.
  • Mediation of a variety of disputes relating to customer/bank relationships often where the underlying relationship is subsisting.
  • Mediating very high value pension and other investment disputes, including issues arising out of different jurisdictions.
  • Mediation of disputes involving allegations concerning FSMA, alleged breaches of COBS rules and the role of the FCA.

Employment Disputes

  • Mediating high profile sports employment dispute involving leading figure in the sport and the national organisation.
  • High value claim by senior, long service individual against former employer bank for alleged breach of employment contract. Confidential settlement achieved, vast saving in costs and avoidance of potentially devastating adverse publicity.