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Professional Recognitions

Carolyn Hagedoorn

Carolyn has been appointed to the Property Law Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales.

The Committee is a source of expert advice and assistance to the Law Society, the Law Council and the legal profession on matters relating to property law.

The Committee is asked to review and comment on proposed legislation, discussion papers and reports and issues raised by practitioners. It is also a source of policy proposals and reform initiatives and provides a dispute resolution service.

Recent matters for comment and review have included the proposed reform to the Powers of Attorney Act, the Home Building Act and the Swimming Pools Amendment Act and determining a dispute regarding the obligation to pay interest in a conveyancing matter.

Leonie Sinclair

Leonie Sinclair has become a Nationally Accredited Mediator.

Leonie first undertook mediation training in 1991 and over the years has participated in and conducted numerous mediations. She has now completed further training to achieve her accreditation.

Mediation is a dispute resolution process or decision making process where the participants with the support of a neutral third party (mediator) identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about their future action and outcomes. The parties make their own decisions with the support of the neutral third party.

The three key identifying features are:

  • It is a facilitative process where the parties make their own decisions rather than having decisions made for them by a neutral third party
  • The process ought be interest based rather than positional with the mediator helping to focus the parties on reaching an agreement based on their subjective interests looking to the future
  • the process is confidential.

Mediation differs from negotiation, arbitration or litigation in that those are “positional” rather than “interests” based. The role of the parties and their representatives in those processes is to convince the arbitrator, judge or the other party to accept their position and resolve the matter based on that position. In contrast, in a mediation process the parties’ role is to reach their own decision and not to convince either the other party or the mediator of anything.

Leonie’s interest in mediation has been fuelled by the many matters which she has seen over the years which have been resolved through Court action at huge personal and financial cost to the parties. Frequently neither party is satisfied with the result.

Mediation is a process that can be used in any dispute whether it is a neighbourhood, business or commercial or Family dispute. It is especially useful in disputes which involve parties who will have further ongoing contact with each other either because of family, neighbourhood or business ties.

Mediation is especially effective if the participants are present at the mediation with their legal representatives. The legal representative’s role is to assist the process and not to speak on behalf of their client. It is the client’s mediation not the lawyer’s. The lawyers can advise their client as the mediation progresses and can provided additional information to assist as needed. In contrast in the Court process the lawyers take over the process and the clients frequently feel disempowered.

Leonie is available to discuss the mediation process with a view to conducting mediations of your disputes or alternatively representing you at a mediation conducted by another mediator.

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