Belfast Telegraph

Mediation - the better way for business disputes

By Emma Deighan

After over 20 years as a litigation lawyer and several years conducting Northern Ireland's longest running civil trial, Dorcas Crawford, senior partner at Edwards & Co Solicitors, began to re-evaluate the whole area of dispute resolution and concluded that there was a 'better way'.

She trained as a mediator with CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) in London in 2008 and has since conducted numerous commercial mediations and added workplace mediation and facilitation training to her CV.

Some years on Dorcas began to apply her skills to a wider range of disputes arising in client organisations at board level and between staff.

"In addition to the financial cost to an organisation, the implications of conflict and dispute for the people involved can be destructive, depressing and debilitating on a personal level. When left unresolved, disputes can paralyse an organisation," said Dorcas.

They can also escalate into costly litigation which leaves reputation and relationships beyond repair says Edwards and Co.

Having identified the need among clients for a more constructive solution, Dorcas [has developed the 'better way' concept] launched The Better Way - a unique service aimed at preventing, diagnosing and resolving disputes through education, facilitation and mediation.

"Prevention is, without doubt, better than cure and is the best possible way to deal with conflict and dispute in an organisation. Learning to recognise the early signs of a dispute before it escalates is the aim of our education service which provides tailored training sessions for board members, trustees, senior management teams and on preventing disputes both within the board and throughout the organisation and toolkits for recognising and preventing disputes at board or employee level," said Dorcas.

  • Dorcas Crawford founded 'Better Way'

Belfast Telegraph

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