ASM PLUS Featured Articles

The hidden costs of overseeing disputes and the benefits of an ASM facilitated meeting involving neighbours who were in dispute – an actual case handled by the ASM Plus director, Paul Sandford.

The hidden costs of overseeing disputes and the benefits of an ASM facilitated meeting involving neighbours who were in dispute – an actual case handled by the ASM Plus director, Paul Sandford.

Contact us Recently I successfully facilitated a discussion in connection with a neighbour dispute involving two adjacent tenants. The process was instigated by their landlord, a small, publicly funded Housing Association. In essence one party had made significant...

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ASM Plus’s domestic and neighbour dispute and reconciliation service – Thomas and James – an account of a 90-minute facilitated meeting which shows just how effective a little talking and listening can be (1) – A domestic/house sharing conflict successfully resolved

ASM Plus’s domestic and neighbour dispute and reconciliation service – Thomas and James – an account of a 90-minute facilitated meeting which shows just how effective a little talking and listening can be (1) – A domestic/house sharing conflict successfully resolved

Contact us By Paul Sandford, the ASM Plus director A few months ago, I facilitated this particular case on line.  It very clearly demonstrates how effective mediation can be in a domestic setting. Additionally, it resonates very strongly in the context of the current...

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Civil and insurance mediation from ASM Plus – an appraisal of the recent High Court decision of Ohpen Operations UK Limited -v- Invesco Fund Managers Limited (1) and the importance attached therein to civil mediation.

Civil and insurance mediation from ASM Plus – an appraisal of the recent High Court decision of Ohpen Operations UK Limited -v- Invesco Fund Managers Limited (1) and the importance attached therein to civil mediation.

Contact us By Paul Sandford, Director, ASM Plus In a very recent blog, I considered the importance of the recently decided High Court judgment in the case of   DSN – v- Blackpool Football Club (the Blackpool case) (2) in which Mr Justice Griffiths strongly criticised...

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Family mediation from ASM Plus – an outline of a real case that demonstrates how the input and expertise of Henry Elliston, ASM Plus’s newly appointed financial adviser can help divorcing and separating couples to resolve their financial issues. This is Henry’s inaugural ASM Plus blog.

Family mediation from ASM Plus – an outline of a real case that demonstrates how the input and expertise of Henry Elliston, ASM Plus’s newly appointed financial adviser can help divorcing and separating couples to resolve their financial issues. This is Henry’s inaugural ASM Plus blog.

I recently met with a high earning couple who were in the process of divorcing and a divorce petition had been filed. Their joint finances were quite complicated and comprised substantial overseas property, a UK buy-to-let investment, complicated shareholding...

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Facilitated meetings for resolving small claims and workplace related disputes from ASM Plus – A case involving a poorly managed gym where a facilitated meeting resolves a number of issues very promptly and saves a great deal of time and money.

Facilitated meetings for resolving small claims and workplace related disputes from ASM Plus – A case involving a poorly managed gym where a facilitated meeting resolves a number of issues very promptly and saves a great deal of time and money.

Contact us By Paul Sandford, Director, ASM Plus Cummings is the customer relations director of Gymfit, a well-established chain of fitness centres with a number of elite gyms located in the wealthy districts of a number of UK cities. He notes that of late his staff...

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Facilitated meetings for resolving small claims disputes from ASM Plus – A scenario involving a publicly funded community project where poor management and communication results in non-payment of invoices and bad feelings are generated.

Facilitated meetings for resolving small claims disputes from ASM Plus – A scenario involving a publicly funded community project where poor management and communication results in non-payment of invoices and bad feelings are generated.

Contact us By Paul Sandford, director, ASM plus Harriet, a young entrepreneur, was invited to join a committee chaired by David to deliver a young person’s talent competition, an event that had been awarded quite generous lottery funding. Harriet put forward a number...

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Notes from a Mediators’ Retreat

Notes from a Mediators’ Retreat

Contact us “And catch the heart off guard and blow it open”  (from Postscript by Seamus Heaney)  Even mediators need a break. And that was before Covid-19. A ‘retreat’ has connotations of organised religion, but in Ireland there is a rich tradition of spirituality, of...

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Family mediation and ADR  – face to face and online services from ASM Plus – an account given by Suzy Miller of ASM Plus’s family team of her recent,  well received TEDx Talk (1) which underlines the importance of peaceful conflict resolution in the context of divorce and relationship break up and explains how to achieve it

Family mediation and ADR – face to face and online services from ASM Plus – an account given by Suzy Miller of ASM Plus’s family team of her recent, well received TEDx Talk (1) which underlines the importance of peaceful conflict resolution in the context of divorce and relationship break up and explains how to achieve it

Contact us https://www.asmadr.co.uk/the-asmadr-family/ https://www.asmadr.co.uk/meet-the-team/suzy-miller/ Being invited to do a TEDx Talk (https://youtu.be/ZCSuPN79FHQ)  has most definitely been a highlight of my career so far. (1) The only problem was, I wasn't...

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Mediation for insurance companies and their clients – An overview of a case that shows how an insurance company can get the very best out of the expert services provided by ASM Plus

Mediation for insurance companies and their clients – An overview of a case that shows how an insurance company can get the very best out of the expert services provided by ASM Plus

Full details of the case study (no. 1) and the solicitor’s invoice can be viewed here. The invoice was prepared following advice given under the terms of a legal insurance policy. The sum of money in question was approximately £1500.00 and there were no complex points...

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Mediation in an insurance context from ASM Plus – An Unfair Dismissal Case that belatedly went to mediation. It was resolved because an employer took the opportunity afforded to “think outside the box” but should have been resolved much earlier.

Mediation in an insurance context from ASM Plus – An Unfair Dismissal Case that belatedly went to mediation. It was resolved because an employer took the opportunity afforded to “think outside the box” but should have been resolved much earlier.

For more information: https://www.asmadr.co.uk/contact-us/ https://www.asmadr.co.uk/insurance/ https://www.asmadr.co.uk/small-claims-dispute-resolution/ For some years Abraham, Martin and John worked in the accounts department of a medium-sized public authority that...

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Face to Face and Online Facilitated meetings from ASM Plus.  Dave – an insurance-related account that amounts to a sequence of lost opportunities and which demonstrates the usefulness of a promptly convened facilitated meeting.

Face to Face and Online Facilitated meetings from ASM Plus. Dave – an insurance-related account that amounts to a sequence of lost opportunities and which demonstrates the usefulness of a promptly convened facilitated meeting.

For an initial without obligation discussion about how ASM Plus’s services can help contact Paul Sandford, the ASM Plus director, on 0739365482 or 00351 968 898 080 which is linked to Whats App and Telegram.  Alternatively email Paul at paul.sandford@asmadr.co.uk Dave...

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Lazy Daisy

Lazy Daisy

A friendly design company, offering advice and assistance for all your design and print dilemmas. From logos to branding, leaflets or large format banners – we can provide a complete service. We also provide marketing agency services, including advertising and social...

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Insurance Mediation from ASM Plus either online or face to face – A classic example of how mediation in the context of a medical negligence dispute can save insurance companies and public authorities thousands of pounds and at the same time deliver a much more satisfactory outcome for all concerned.

Insurance Mediation from ASM Plus either online or face to face – A classic example of how mediation in the context of a medical negligence dispute can save insurance companies and public authorities thousands of pounds and at the same time deliver a much more satisfactory outcome for all concerned.

This case study demonstrates just how flawed, unaccountable and unnecessarily expensive the litigation process can be, particularly for insurance companies. It also demonstrates how a proactive insurance company can not only save considerable sums of money but can...

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Critical Thinking from ASM Plus – A few thoughts on conducting major public enquiries, possibly in the wake of the current health emergency an acknowledgement of the achievements of Arch bishop Desmond Tutu

Critical Thinking from ASM Plus – A few thoughts on conducting major public enquiries, possibly in the wake of the current health emergency an acknowledgement of the achievements of Arch bishop Desmond Tutu

There are very few certainties in life.  However, one certainty is that at some point in the not too distant future people will start asking questions about the current health emergency and how it has been handled. Were Western politicians or indeed any other...

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Online mediation and facilitated meetings from ASM Plus – How to resolve an ongoing dispute today rather than wait many months or possibly never resolve it at all.

Online mediation and facilitated meetings from ASM Plus – How to resolve an ongoing dispute today rather than wait many months or possibly never resolve it at all.

It would be fair to say that we are living in difficult times.  In most countries it is anticipated that the current Corona Virus related emergency will continue for months rather than weeks.  Many people are more or less confined to their homes and may be coping with...

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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 from ASM Plus – Learning from the “B” word!

Mediation and facilitated meetings from 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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