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Feedback digest This Feedback Digest is based on over 25 feedback reports received from parties and lawyers in over 250 mediations conducted by Jeremy Lack from 2007 - 2021. These mediations were conducted in many countries, including in Europe, the USA, Asia and the Middle East with parties coming from all 5 continents. Most were highly complex commercial matters involving significant issues, commercial interests and large sums of money. They also tended to involve international or cross-border disputes. In a majority of matters, legal action or arbitration proceedings had already commenced, and in others, parties had unsuccessfully attempted other avenues of settlement. Some of these cases involved complex intellectual property or technology issues, although his cases seem to reflect a very broad range of disputes, including family and non-governmental organisations as well as start-up companies, partnerships, and industrial multinationals. Jeremy Lack has received some remarkable feedback. Parties comment on his calm and constructive approach, in one instance despite a grueling twenty-hour marathon mediation; on his management of process, and his capacity to make it known to the parties that the process of mediation really matters; and on the high level of skill and commitment he brings to complex international business disputes. All would recommend him to others. They all rated his skill and ability highly (4) or extremely highly (5) and commented on his capacity to evaluate a dispute realistically, help parties understand one another’s arguments, bridge substantial differences, and propose new avenues of settlement. Likewise when asked if they would use him again or would recommend him to others, all parties were unanimous in their willingness to do so. In addition, parties described themselves as very satisfied, even where the dispute was partly settled, another indication of their satisfaction with process, and the sense, expressed by one respondent, that this was the "discovery of a new process" in which "human interaction was great." Praise for this mediator extends from his content skills in business and IP law to his patience and excellent listening: "Ce mediateur fait montre d'une grande patience et d'une excellente ecoute." Another respondent, who considers himself "perfectly bilingual" saw Jeremy Lack as "more than fluent: his translation was perfect in the smallest details, and he was able to reconcile two opposite visions of business between the French ... and the American...approach." Another comments that his skill in the midst of a patent infringement law suit with a "seemingly impossible divide at the outset" at "bridging cultural and language differences (was) unsurpassed." Again and again, parties point to his valuable input in "balancing the disparate interests and cultural and language divides", and, in a tense situation, to his ability to create trust among parties and between parties and himself both for his technical skills and his abilities as a mediator. In one early feedback report, the lawyer to one of the parties stated: "[Jeremy Lack is] particularly capable at turning positional confrontational statements into conciliatory offers, and leading constructive all-party discussions, so we could see for ourselves where the problems were." The marriage of experience in business and the law, strong process management skills and cross-cultural competence is at the heart of Jeremy Lack's effectiveness as a mediator where parties from very different backgrounds find themselves in complex cross-border legal disputes. Respondents also commented that Jeremy was able to reinstate respect between parties and show empathy, yet was able to liberate the parties from the ‘emotional baggage’ which had prevented them from negotiating in the past. This is the most telling aspect of continuing feedback about Jeremy’s competencies: that his highly developed ability to deal with the tension and strong feelings associated with high-stakes international commercial disputes is placed in the service of mediation and settlement. As one party commented, even if the mediation had not settled, the atmosphere created during the mediation would undoubtedly have led to settlement at a later date because barriers to communication and understanding had been significantly lowered. This feedback also reveals interesting correlations between the resolution of most issues, overall satisfaction with the process and satisfaction with the costs of the mediation. It clearly indicates that where parties reach agreement on key issues, they are neutral or satisfied with the costs of mediating and have a high level of overall satisfaction. Jeremy Lack’s skills as a mediator not only enable parties in entrenched dispute to break through and resolve, but to do so in a manner which enhances their respect for the process and their readiness to recommend mediation - and Jeremy Lack - to others. All of the feedback to date reflects the growing complexity of matters mediated by Jeremy Lack, and also his established reputation as a mediator in matters parties regarded as intractable. It is also instructive to note that users and parties chose Jeremy as mediator on the basis of his reputation, prior working relationships or recommendation by other professionals. This is a strong indicator of an emerging picture of user preference, and tallies with their stated intention to use him in future and to recommend him to others. Parties regularly mentioned and praised his ability to “show everybody where their best interests were” and commented favourably on his “listening and empathy and his capacity to build trust and find consensus”. Other comments described the skilled way he is able to “unveil actual interests”, “bring about rational discussion” and “help quantify potential profit and loss for each party”. There is a further link to parties’ satisfaction with both process and outcome, and the fact that most issues were settled at mediation: it is that they described themselves as either very satisfied or neutral to the cost of the process. Their involvement in reaching settlement and their appreciation of the breaking of deadlocks is obviously well worth the costs involved. In summary, parties added comments that illustrate precisely what it is that users are looking for in a satisfactory mediation: “De-escalation of the dispute.” “Mediation…has been key to achieve an agreement …in a relatively short time, with an adequate outcome for both sides.” “Efficiency of process and exchanges in comparison to litigation...” Taken as a whole, the high praise for Jeremy’s performance as a mediator underlines both his high level skills and abilities as well as what parties are searching for in mediation. Once they find it and experience its results, they will seek it out again – and they will tell others about it. Joanna Kalowski Sydney, Australia
This feedback was last updated 29 August 2022.
This feedback was last updated 29 August 2022.