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Corporate Members 2022

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Beale & Co Bevan Brittan BLM Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott CMS CMNO DAC Beachcroft The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Freeths Fussell Wright GL Law Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Osborne Clarke Paragon Costs Solutions Queen Square Chambers Royds Withy King Simmons … more

BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol

Excerpt from the article: How Bristol’s oldest companies are still thriving after more than 100 years in business They include the city’s last-surviving chocolate maker a wine merchant and a tannery. Why do some companies struggle to survive beyond a year while others flourish for hundreds? Although more than 90 per cent of small companies in Britain will survive one … more

BLS Annual Awards Dinner 3rd November 2022

Check out our digital Awards Brochure with a welcome from our C0-Presidents, full details of the award categories and links to our wonderful supporters who make this event possible. We look forward to celebrating the best of the local profession with you on 3rd November! BLS Awards 2022 Digital Brochure Nomination Brochure 2022 Nomination Online Submissions Booking Form 2022

Ever Thought About Becoming a Commercial Mediator?

Harry Thomas of Align Mediation suggests that lawyers should consider this route.

Mediation is the most commonly used system of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the UK today.

A mediator’s role is to bring disputing parties together and work with them to address the real issues behind the dispute, eventually helping them to facilitate their own agreed resolution.

Due to its ability to save clients time and money in particular, mediation is fast becoming the new way in which disputes of all kinds are resolved and is increasingly being used over the system of litigation. Commercial mediation in particular has been growing at a consistent rate of 15% every year in the UK since 2010.

An idea of the scale of civil and commercial mediations can be found in CEDR’s 2012 audit, which estimated that the annual number of mediations has been growing year on year since 2010, to about 8,000, with the amount involved, excluding the ‘mega’ cases, increasing by 47% to about £7.5bn.

However, alongside commercial mediation’s growing profile, there are also concerns over whether moves in some jurisdictions to introduce compulsory mediation could gain traction here.

The change in April to double the small-claims limit to £10,000, with the prospect of it increasing again to £15,000, subject to evaluation, was expected to create a big push towards mediation.

While it is not a mandatory requirement, the government said all small claims would automatically be referred to the Small Claims Mediation Service – but in practice this is only being done by court staff if both parties agree, otherwise it has to go before a district judge for directions.

The government has failed to put its money where its mouth is. It axed the National Mediation Helpline in 2010 for a saving of less than £64,000 a year, while the in-court mediation service has just 17 mediators.

As a result, it has never been a better time to become a professional commercial mediator.

Whether you’re looking for a new career or simply wish to supplement the one you already have, training to become an accredited civil/commercial mediator allows you to go out into the industry and help people resolve their disputes (as well as earn a good living)!

Civil/Commercial mediators are qualified to offer a wide variety of professional mediation services ranging from civil neighbour disputes to those involving high value commercial transactions. The opportunity to pick up mediations and immerse yourself in the industry is therefore huge, due to the wide range of disputes that fall under the category of civil/commercial.

Align Mediation specialises in providing accredited mediation services and training throughout England & Wales. This summer, they are holding one of their 5 day accredited commercial mediation training programmes from 12th- 16th May in Oxford. Upon successful completion, delegates are awarded the title of an accredited, fully qualified civil/commercial mediator with certification confirming such status. In addition, delegates are awarded a free lifetime membership on Align Mediation’s panel of independent mediators. Places on the course are £1,995 + VAT but an early bird discount of 20% is currently available for those that book their place on the course before Friday 11th April.

If you are interested in training to become an accredited civil/commercial mediator and wish to find out more, please contact Align Mediation on 0800 994 9835 or by emailing