Young Lawyers Urged to Acquire Int’l Mediation Training – Foluke Akinmoladun

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Young Lawyers Urged to Acquire Int’l Mediation Training – Foluke Akinmoladun

The Managing Solicitor, Trizon Law Chambers, Mrs. Foluke Akinmoladun, has advised young lawyers to acquire to become domestic and international mediators. A trained arbitrator and mediator, Akinmoladun gave the advice in a paper she delivered at a seminar tagged, “The Science and Art of Mediation, Looking at the Specifics,’’ which was organised by the International Chambers of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (ICCYAF), at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Lekki.

In her paper titled, “A brief Introduction to Mediation – Commercial and International Practice”, Akinmoladun stressed the need for more international mediators that are either of African origin or are Africa-based, to mediate in disputes involving African issues, noting that many international mediators working on disputes among African parties were foreigners not rooted in African culture. According to her, opportunities abounded in the mediation space following the recent Singapore Mediation Convention which will enable mediation agreements to be enforceable as a court judgment, once they are registered by the signatory states. If adopted, she added, the convention will promote the use of mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism for cross-border transactions.

“Mediators,” she said, “will even earn internationally but spend locally.” Akinmoladun therefore advised mediators to strive for greater professionalism as they were not immune to the occasional professional negligence suit, especially in a private mediation practice. She urged young lawyers to join alternative dispute resolution institutions, attend trainings and get listed among the institutions’ panel of neutrals to enable them to get recognized and earn more income as mediators.

Also speaking at the seminar, Mrs. Yemi Adeyinka, who is the Chief Counsel at Eaglecrest Legal Consult, asserted that mediation required patience, so as to understand the root of any dispute. In a paper entitled: “The Science and Art of Banking Mediation”, Adeyinka said that banking mediation was scientific, and urged mediators to get trained in skills of resolving disputes emanating from areas such as loan recovery. A mediator who understood the intricacies of banking, she said, would be able to, among other things, explain to his clients why a loan has accumulated.

Another speaker, Mr. Kenneth Onyema, a civil engineer and lawyer with Uptown Solicitors, advised young mediators to use social media effectively to promote mediation. “Practice makes perfect, mediate everyday with disputes which occur around you and be creative,” he advised.

Onyema, who spoke on “The Mechanics of Construction Mediation”, also said that mediation should be geared toward preventing disputes from escalating to project-threatening levels.

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