Striving for solutions through mediation.
We leverage a mediator’s impartial position in a wide variety of situations. PreFix is proactive with parties who are reluctant to participate with those they see as partisan. Disputes are as varied as the people themselves. PreFix rejects hard and fast rules, focusing on tailoring mediation to suit the needs of the situation. With extensive international, commercial and litigation experience, PreFix is mobile, resourceful and responsive, combining technical expertise, strong relationship building skills with creativity, persistence and tenacity.
Flexible and proactive
The Singh family dispute began in the mid noughties and had worsened progressively over time. Neil and his father, Arjan, had stopped speaking and Neil met a heavyweight law firm for advice.
Neil contacted PreFix saying that other members of the family were prepared to discuss the way forward but that Arjan refused.
Arjan was willing to meet PreFix but was very reluctant to attend a mediation. It just seemed so wrong to him to be forced to negotiate by his son.
A number of meetings with Arjan took place over the following months, the last one at the family home in India. At that meeting Arjan explained how his own father had brought the family together there to discuss important business and family matters.
Arjan agreed that a family meeting could take place there again.
PreFix worked hard to seize this opportunity. It was agreed that Neil and his sister would attend the meeting in India in person and that the other members of the family would take part from an office in London.
The mediation took place on that basis two weeks later. Although the meeting was at times painful, agreement was reached that enabled the family to move on and for relationships to be repaired.
Last to give up
The Williams Family Trust mediation struck many chords from my own professional past.
Listening to the claimant lawyer’s opening statement reminded me of a case I had done in private practice. It’s hard to present a case forcefully without making it personal and antagonising the other side, particularly when the dispute is between individuals.
As the atmosphere thawed, communication began between the investment manager and the family. I felt for the investment manager’s director. He was tied to his insurer’s rigid script, even though he knew that a full apology would have gone a long way.
A two hour period of deadlock was finally broken by one of the beneficiaries. Unless you have been there yourself, it is easy to underestimate the intensity of being a party in a mediation, how every sign and sound carries significance and the sweet relief as progress is made.
And, as the mediator, I was determined to be positive and persistent until the very last. Experience proves that extra effort on a mediation day can save the parties many months and years of strife.