I combine my mediation practice with independent consultancy and research. As well as being an accredited mediator, I am a visiting Research Fellow with the UK Administrative Justice Institute (UKAJI), based at the University of Essex.
I became interested in mediation while working as an editor for the American Arbitration Association. This introduction to dispute resolution inspired me to train as a mediator with the Community Justice Center in Queens, New York City, in 1987. For about two years I went into the Center after work to mediate neighbour disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, and a range of other locally based problems. In 1990 I moved to the UK, where I joined my local mediation service, had more training, became a trainer, and gained my accreditation.
Over the years I have worked with a number of community-based mediation services in London and served as a trustee with the former umbrella body for community mediation, Mediation UK.
I have also helped develop policy in appropriate dispute resolution (ADR) and raise awareness of ADR’s role in the access to justice landscape in England. I research and write on ADR as a consultant to organisations in the not-for-profit and the advice sectors. I helped develop and manage the website ADRnow on behalf of the Advice Services Alliance, and I have carried out research on mediation and ADR with the Public Law Project and the National Consumer Council. I also carried out the independent studies of the pilot small claims mediation service in Manchester, which served as the model for the small claims mediation provision now available in county courts across England and Wales. You can read my articles here.
In 2006 I gained a Master’s in Research in Law and Sociolegal Studies (distinction) from Birkbeck College, University of London.
I have also served as an independent non-executive director with several ombud organisations, including the UK’s telecommunications and energy ombuds (now Ombudsman Services) (2002-2009), the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for higher education (2005-2011), and the Office for Legal Complaints (2009 to 2014). I served as an independent member of the Ombudsman Association (OA) Validation Committee for 10 years (2009-2019). I am the Independent Complaints Reviewer for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the Independent Complaints Moderator for the British Acupuncture Council.
My primary interest and experience are in disabilities and equalities and the way these lead to disputes involving public bodies and public services and the individuals and communities they serveI have a particular focus on the issues faced by marginalised groups, including young people and older people.
I am based in London, although I work across the UK.