ASM PLUS Featured Articles

A case involving a family company which demonstrates how a facilitated meeting can effectively resolve a significant dispute and save considerable amounts of time and money.

A case involving a family company which demonstrates how a facilitated meeting can effectively resolve a significant dispute and save considerable amounts of time and money.

Siblings Hazel and Jo are highly accomplished software experts and computer engineers who set up their own niche company, Prime Solutions Ltd, approximately two years ago. Because neither of them is very good at either management or marketing, a year ago they decided to engage Hazel’s brother-in-law Martin as “director of operations” and gave him a vaguely drafted brief to “sort out the accounting system” and “implement and operate a proper marketing strategy”. Martin was given a generous commission-based remuneration package and a 10% shareholding in the company with an option to purchase further shares.

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Family services from ASM Plus- Facilitated meetings and Critical Thinking (CT) – alternatives to family mediation

Family services from ASM Plus- Facilitated meetings and Critical Thinking (CT) – alternatives to family mediation

In many instances, the most effective way to resolve a divorce or separation dispute involving children and finance is to use family mediation. The head of the ASM Plus family team, Austin Chessell is an accomplished family mediator and, as is demonstrated in one of our recent blogs he gets results and saves his clients considerable sums of time and money.

However, mediation is not for everyone and in some instances paying for a sequence of between two and five sessions might not be the best use of limited financial resources. Mediation is generally very effective and does indeed have a 90% success rate but sometimes divorcing or separating couples or possibly those involved in a family company or probate dispute are simply not ready for it and may need a helping hand.

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Family Mediation from ASM Plus – in the run-up to the London Divorce Fair (20-22 Feb. 2020) we provide an example of the unique, highly effective service provided by our divorce consultant, Suzy Miller and what she did for a client named Jane.

Family Mediation from ASM Plus – in the run-up to the London Divorce Fair (20-22 Feb. 2020) we provide an example of the unique, highly effective service provided by our divorce consultant, Suzy Miller and what she did for a client named Jane.

What Suzy offers to do for all divorcing or separating couples who instruct Albert Square Mediation Plus is to offer an initial complimentary Divorce Navigation discussion session to outline what is involved in the whole process of separation and divorce. The purpose of this is to assist clients and prepare them for what is to come.

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Family Mediation from ASM Plus – in the run-up to the London Divorce Fair (20-22 Feb. 2020) we provide an example of a divorce-related mediation successfully mediated by Austin Chessell, the coordinator of the ASM Plus Family Team.

Family Mediation from ASM Plus – in the run-up to the London Divorce Fair (20-22 Feb. 2020) we provide an example of a divorce-related mediation successfully mediated by Austin Chessell, the coordinator of the ASM Plus Family Team.

A married couple came to mediation as they had spent tens of thousands of pounds of legal fees and Court hearings costs and wanted to avoid the further legal costs of a final hearing.

They own multiple properties which had already been valued. They had obtained recent mortgage statements and taken tax advice.

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Family mediation from ASM Plus – announcing our participation in the first ever Divorce Show – 20-22 February 2020

Family mediation from ASM Plus – announcing our participation in the first ever Divorce Show – 20-22 February 2020

The divorce show, a landmark event, is taking place at the Hilton London Olympia, 380 Kensington High Street London W14.

Entrance is free and places can be booked via Eventbrite divorce-fair-tickets. Three ASM Plus associates – Austin Chessell who is the convener of the ASM plus family team, Suzy Miller and Russ Shackleton – are attending and will be very pleased to meet with people and explain the unique range of services that we offer.

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Mediation and facilitated meetings from ASM Plus – Not so much “The End of a Mission” as “Mission Accomplished in minimal time and at minimal cost

Mediation and facilitated meetings from ASM Plus – Not so much “The End of a Mission” as “Mission Accomplished in minimal time and at minimal cost

One of the most amusing books I have ever read is “The End of a Mission” a satire by Heinrich Böll. Written in 1968 it takes a swipe not only at the legal and military systems of the Federal Republic of Germany but also many of the characters in the book who are portrayed as narrowminded and deeply conservative.

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Critical Thinking from ASM Plus:  “I wish to make a complaint”

Critical Thinking from ASM Plus: “I wish to make a complaint”

What is the purpose of complaints’ procedures?  Is it to put things right when they go wrong? Should such procedures be designed to ensure that when things do go wrong, they are addressed promptly, lessons are learned and identified errors are not repeated? Should complaints procedures themselves be monitored and if so by whom?

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International Mediation and ADR from ASM Plus – an appreciation of the work done by internationally renowned UK-based charity, Concordis

International Mediation and ADR from ASM Plus – an appreciation of the work done by internationally renowned UK-based charity, Concordis

I recently came across an article in an old copy of a UK weekly freesheet, Shortlist, entitled “Life Lessons from the Frontline”. It was written by a well-travelled war correspondent, James Brabazon, and graphically describes his observations of a number of horrific incidents in various recent armed conflicts. Although this article highlights the involvements of its writer and the difficulties that he had to endure in order to do his job, there is no glorification or self-adulation. Instead, there is considerable emphasis on the utter futility of the various conflicts mentioned in the article and not surprisingly, the tone is pessimistic.

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“Mediation works” – a critique of a recent family mediation-oriented piece published by Harvard University Law School and a few additional perspectives.

“Mediation works” – a critique of a recent family mediation-oriented piece published by Harvard University Law School and a few additional perspectives.

Mediators repeatedly and quite justifiably emphasise that “mediation works”, that it gets results and that it is time efficient and cost-effective. I frequently emphasise that the mediation success rate is high, some feel as much as 90%. This view is clearly underpinned by the contents of a recent Harvard Law School article, entitled “Mediation: Negotiating a More Satisfactory Divorce” and refers to a study undertaken by a researcher, Rachid Balthazar at the University of Leuven in Belgium. (1)

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Mediation and ADR services from ASM PLUS- Communication brings me up

Mediation and ADR services from ASM PLUS- Communication brings me up

In a week in which one of the major television networks (in association with the leading UK mental health charity, MIND) has committed to publicising a sequence of promotions and broadcasts on the significance of communication, I somehow found myself recalling the 1980s Spandau Ballet song “communication” which includes the rather negative line “communication brings me down”.

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How does ASM PLUS help individuals, organisations and businesses prevent disputes arising in the first place or minimise the chances of them recurring? – Facilitated Meetings with the special ingredient of Critical Thinking

How does ASM PLUS help individuals, organisations and businesses prevent disputes arising in the first place or minimise the chances of them recurring? – Facilitated Meetings with the special ingredient of Critical Thinking

In some cases a facilitated meeting will provide a very effective alternative to mediation. Like mediation, it can relieve you from the stress of paperwork and save you considerable amounts of time and money that can be better used. Whereas mediation is normally used for helping disputing parties who have a significant level of disagreement, facilitated meetings in which the parties meet face-to-face are a very good option in circumstances where:

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Facilitated meetings in family cases from ASM PLUS – how they can help in child contact cases

Facilitated meetings in family cases from ASM PLUS – how they can help in child contact cases

One abiding experience of those who work in the family law sector helping separating and separated couples to resolve their disagreements and move on is that particularly in cases where there has been a lot of acrimony, resentment can linger. All too often, this means that where children are involved, separating or separated parents continue to disagree about important matters such as maintaining regular, workable contact arrangements and which parent will have which child for birthdays, family events, bank holiday weekends and religious festivals.

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An injustice that is never resolved

An injustice that is never resolved

Most of us make a complaint when we don’t receive good service or there is negligent behaviour on the part of a professional delivering a service to us or our family.

Organisations tend to respond by looking at their processes and the training of staff to encourage a different way of doing things in the future.

All good and appropriate.

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Mediation and facilitated meetings ASM PLUS – Learning from the “B” word!

Mediation and facilitated meetings ASM PLUS – Learning from the “B” word!

Whatever your thoughts on Brxxxx there are some important learning points that we can all use to be more successful in the future.

As a trained mediator and facilitator, the whole scenario playing out in front of our eyes is the best lesson to underline the importance of communication in time of “dispute”.

The various factions in the whole sorry tale (especially on “our” side) are forming themselves into tribes and trying to out-smart one another whether using media, legislation or parliamentary procedure.  If only a mediator was overseeing all of this!  A skilled listener and communicator with confidential access to all parties could have speeded things up many times over.

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Mediations and facilitated meetings from ASM PLUS – “truth will out” and other considerations.

Mediations and facilitated meetings from ASM PLUS – “truth will out” and other considerations.

Recently I posted a blog on the subject of people telling the truth – or not. When writing it, I looked at the issue of the difference between fact and opinion.

People often blur the two. Phrases that are routinely used in everyday conversation such as “what a lovely day it is today” are expressed authoritatively as fact whereas they are expressions of opinion. Some people may think of “day” in terms of daylight whereas others may be working on the basis of a 24-hour clock. The person who refers to “today” may have got the days mixed up. Another person may equate “lovely” with classic British autumnal weather whereas somebody else may use this word in the context of bright Mediterranean sunshine.

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Civil Mediation from ASM PLUS – a contractual matter that was swiftly resolved by an ASM PLUS civil mediator

Civil Mediation from ASM PLUS – a contractual matter that was swiftly resolved by an ASM PLUS civil mediator

Harvey is the chief executive and managing director of Haystack Ltd, a modest sized but very successful niche manufacturing company. Over 20 years he built the business up to the point that it was valued as being worth in excess of £100 million. Harvey is a rather vexatious character with a liking for litigation and tends to get results by riding roughshod over other people, not least suppliers and competitors. He has a lot of well established business contacts and is not averse to bad mouthing people whom he doesn’t like.

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“We don’t need no education”

“We don’t need no education”

I have recently been thinking about education and what this means. Part of the reason for this, I suppose, is that I have recently finished my latest qualification, a masters degree in something called ‘work-based learning’. I suspect that there will be at least some...

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Divorce Strategist & Alternative Divorce Guide

Divorce Strategist & Alternative Divorce Guide

An affiliate member of the Family Mediators Association, Suzy is the first and only ‘Divorce Strategist’ who provides practical guidance for individuals and couples in the UK and abroad, about how to stay out of court when divorcing. Employers as well as divorcing...

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MEDIOLANA®

MEDIOLANA®

MEDIOLANA® mediolana.com is the publisher of Higher Grades Faster!™, the world's only video-based grade augmentation course.

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Mediation and effective dispute resolution from ASM PLUS – A few reflections on the state of the international football transfer market and a message to players, agents and clubs everywhere.

Mediation and effective dispute resolution from ASM PLUS – A few reflections on the state of the international football transfer market and a message to players, agents and clubs everywhere.

In the summer, before the start of the new Northern Hemisphere football (soccer) season, the thoughts of coaches, club owners and directors turn to...... the player transfer market – what else? There is a lot at stake. Reputations of individual clubs may be won and...

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Civil mediation from ASM PLUS: Small claims hassle

Civil mediation from ASM PLUS: Small claims hassle

Of course, the value of money to you depends on how much you have. But £10,000 I suggest is a lot of money to a lot of people.  But that’s how far the definition of a ‘small claim’ in our court system extends, with a lower exception of only £1000 for personal injury...

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Educational Conflict Resolution Services and Mediation from ASM PLUS – threats to the UK education system and why external conflict resolution services can make a meaningful, cost-effective difference.

Educational Conflict Resolution Services and Mediation from ASM PLUS – threats to the UK education system and why external conflict resolution services can make a meaningful, cost-effective difference.

If ever the British public were in doubt about the challenges currently facing the UK education sector, any such notion should have been dispelled by the recent spate of objective but nonetheless rather pessimistic newspaper headlines and articles. These articles have...

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