Wolf, himself a former General Counsel and now Mediator and Arbitrator, participated in this General Counsel Roundtable on 14 January 2019.
The objective was to explore the opportunities for and barriers to the expansion of the use of mediation in Abu Dhabi and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Region more generally.
Here is a summary of the discussion and conclusions;
* Mediation is not well known in Abu Dhabi.
* There is a tradition of mediation in the region based on a trusted person in the community helping to resolve a dispute.
* The Western concept of mediation may have to be adapted to the local culture. In particular, there is a desire not to be confrontational.
* A key obstacle is lack of knowledge of what is meant by mediation, which will require education.
* Trust will have to be established in the process and in the mediator, for mediation to become widely accepted.
* The term mediation in Arabic is more akin to broker, so there is a need to differentiate terms.
* Bodies like ADGM are trying to promote mediation but an infrastructure with qualified mediators has to be put in place.