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Jeremy Lack is an independent attorney specializing in the prevention and resolution of disputes and the facilitation of commercial transactions, especially in international or cross-cultural settings. He is familiar with common law and civil law proceedings. He initially trained as a barrister in England (Middle Temple), and then worked as a patent litigation lawyer for Fish & Neave in New York (1989-1995), when he was first introduced to mediation. Since then, he also admitted to the Geneva bar as an overseas lawyer, and he is a former partner with Etude ALTENBURGER in Geneva, Switzerland, a tax and general legal services firm. Jeremy is a door tenant with QUADRANT CHAMBERS in London, UK and serves as counsel to HELVETICA AVOCATS in Nyon, Switzerland. He is also an adjunct professor with the FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL OF LAUSANNE (EPFL). Following his call to the bar of England & Wales in 1989, Jeremy qualified as a US attorney-at-law in 1990 (NY, various federal courts, and the USPTO), and registered with the bar of Geneva bar (ODAGE) as an EU lawyer, where he currently serves on its Executive Committee for the Section of International Lawyers. He has worked for BECTON DICKINSON & CO, MEDABIOTECH and NOVIMMUNE in general counsel, director and interim management roles (including as CEO) and for several start-up companies. Jeremy is accredited by and has provided mediation advocacy training services as well as ADR services to several mediation institutions in various countries, including IMI, AAA/ICDR, ASA, BCCI, CEDR, CMAP, CPR, ECDR, Geneva State Council, Global InterMediation, HUM/CMA, IBMS, IAM, ICC, INTA, IMI, JAMS International, Result ACB, SCAI, Singapore Mediation Centre, SIMC/SIMI, SKWM/CSMC/SCCM, WIPO, and the Swiss Chambers of Commerce. He was recently ranked as one of the ten most highly regarded mediators by THE INTERNATIONAL WHO’S WHO OF COMMERCIAL MEDIATION 2011 and was ranked again under the "Most Highly Regarded Firms" for mediation in 2012 and in 2013 and as a Global Elite Thought Leader in 2019. Jeremy serves as a member of IMI's Independent Standards Commission, where he is responsible for its taskforces, and has served on several ADR leadership committees for ABA, CPR (Europe), CIArb, CSMC/SKWM, CCIG, IMI, and GNII. He has Swiss, British, Israeli and US citizenships, and lives with his wife and two daughters in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see: www.lawtech.ch
Jeremy regular acts as settlement counsel in arbitrations, conciliations, mediations and negotiations. He also advises other lawyers and law firms on negotiation and dispute resolution strategies, helping them to identify the key issues in their case, separate the parties' interests from their positions, and assist them in perspective taking, reality testing, assessing their alternatives (BATNAs/WATNAs/PATNAs), SWOT analyses, option generation possibilities, and how to prepare for seven critical junctures in a negotiation or mediation: (1) the preparation stage, (2) the opening phase, (3) the exploration phase, (4) the option generation phase, (5) the negotiation phase, (6) the closing phase, and (7) the execution phase.
Recent cases include:
- Institutional Mediation: Acting as counsel for a party in a dispute involving civil and criminal allegations in three countries in Europe and North Africa, involving private partnership agreements, two corporate entities (one in France and one in Morocco), and parties from four different jurisdictions. The matter was satisfactorily settled within six months of initiating the mediation proceedings, saving each party at least €1.5 million in procedural fees.
- Ad-Hoc Investor-State Negotiation: Advised a large construction company on the verge of arbitration proceedings in final negotiations with a government that had appointed the company to design and build a series of ports in Asia. Although the request for arbitration had been prepared and previous negotiations by arbitration and in-house counsel had failed, the company used a new ADR approach to reach a settlement that preserved the value of the original agreement and generated new contracts in the process. The matter was resolved for less than 1% of what an arbitration or litigation would have cost, and within two months of initiating the ADR approach with the government in question. Approximate savings: three years of business uncertainty and € 2.5 million in litigation, arbitration and experts fees.
- Ad-Hoc Technology Negotiation: Acted as settlement counsel to a consultancy firm in a complex cross-border in-rem internet dispute. The matter was satisfactorily settled within three months, within less then €25,000 in fees and expenses, following a successful UDRP process.
- Ad-Hoc IP Dispute: Acted as settlement counsel to an open source company involved in a potentially costly and long-term international trademark dispute. Assisted the party in assessing and generating new options, and reaching a mutually acceptable outcome with its partner in the negotiation.
- Institutional mediation: Sole mediator in a dispute between two large global pharmaceutical companies regarding a new product launch and licensing provisions.
Jeremy uses Guided Choice ADR techniques and has an outcome-focused and holistic approach, which is flexible and adaptable to a broad range of cross-cultural and international commercial disputes. He seeks to ensure that the parties have a common understanding of any mediation process that is used (which can vary significantly country-by-country), to tailor any ADR processes to take into account the parties' perceived procedural needs and their future business interests, and to jointly select one or more neutrals as may be appropriate, and depending on the type of dispute resolution process chosen. Jeremy tries to ensure that he understands the client's legal positions, facts and interests. He then conducts a future-oriented assessment process to clearly identify the client's interests, needs, concerns, motivations and pre-occupations looking forward, seeking to understand the rational, emotional and social drivers involved in the dispute. He also conducts an assessment of the conflict's propensity to escalate, and his client's expectations and constraints regarding the time, costs, award, consequences and likely impact of the clients's various alternatives (BATNA/WATNA/PATNA). A similar analysis is done using a perspective-taking analysis approach to assess the positions and interests of the client's partners in the dispute or negotiations and their counsel. With this analysis completed, anti-escalation measures are assessed and discussed and a strategy is formed and implemented, taking into account the procedural needs and concerns of all of the parties involved in the dispute. This can involve a traditional negotiation, mediation, or conciliation process, or a combination thereof, sometimes in parallel, separate from or integrated into any arbitration and/or muti-jurisdictional litigation proceedings (e.g., in MED-CON, ARB-MED, MED//ARB, MEDALOA and other guided choice proceedings). He works with co-counsel and co-counsel to design a mutually acceptable dispute resolution process and strategy and at times advises on the creation of hybrid processes to generate faster, cheaper and better outcomes, whereby the client can retain greater control over its costs and any outcome. This often involves working closely with counsel for the client's litigation partners to set mutually acceptable checks and balances, which foster a cooperative settlement spirit between the parties and their counsel, despite the possible existence of previously acrimonious or adversarial exchanges. This also sometimes involves acting as a Collaborative or Cooperative Lawyer, or as a quasi-collaborative/cooperative, agreeing to forego using or providing any information or knowledge obtained in the negotiation process in any future litigation or arbitration proceedings, should the matter not settle. This is discussed on a case-by-case basis, with the client's prior knowledge and written consent.
Jeremy has a broad commercial ADR practice and works in several fields. His areas of specialism are cross-cultural or international civil and commercial disputes and deal mediations, typically where there are complex business, technological, personally sensitive or intellectual property issues involved. He has worked extensively with large corporations, start-up companies, NGOs, IGOs, universities, families, venture capital firms, and private equity situations, where different disputants or stakeholders are seeking pragmatic outcomes that are cheaper,