Divorce Café

Understanding Mediation with mediator Tony Lendrum

May 02, 2023 Henderson Reeves Lawyers Season 1 Episode 4
Divorce Café
Understanding Mediation with mediator Tony Lendrum
Show Notes Transcript

Highly successful mediator and ex Family Court Judge Tony Lendrum gives his top tips for a successful mediation, explains why mediation can save you money, and shares his insights from years of successful mediations.  If you are going to mediate, or are thinking about whether you should, listen to this.

Watch the episode here.

Read the article here.

More information about Tony.

Taina Henderson - Henderson Reeves (hendersonreeveslawyers.co.nz)

Shelley Funnell - Henderson Reeves (hendersonreeveslawyers.co.nz)

Welcome to Divorce Café, the podcast where we demystify, detangle and (hopefully) detox the legal processes that follow a separation, with the experts in the relationship property world.  today we are so excited to be talking about mediation!  

Mediation is a term frequently bandied about in the context of disputes - sometimes as a threat sometimes as a sort of magical panacea...land of unicorns and magic.

People go to mediation in the hope that it will be can be a circuit breaker, a way out of a dispute with as close to a happy ending as can be achieved.  But what is a mediation actually like? What can you do to best prepare for it?  Where do things go wrong? And when you are both so far apart, is it worth even bothering?

Today we are thrilled to have been able to bring together for this episode a very distinguished mediator and former Family Court Judge – and someone who was one of his clients: our own Shelley Funnell – to better understand the mysterious world of mediation!

On the home team: 

I’m Shelley Funnell

And I’m Taina Henderson.

We are partners in law and friends in life.  We work with people going through a separation to navigate what is usually a complex and bewildering process.

Shelley is a numbers whiz, who worked in relationship property law until she went through her OWN separation and experienced it all from the other side of the desk.

I love working in this area of law because I think it is important work, and I want to be involved in making it better.  This podcast and the conversations we have are part of trying to do that!

Today’s special guest was admitted to the bar in 1975, and was a family court lawyer, who was very interested in mediation as a way of resolving family court disputes.  In 2005 he became one of only three full time “barrister-mediators” in the country and in 2014 he was appointed a District Court Judge with a Family Court warrant.   As a Judge he continued to develop his mediation practice, overseeing Judicial Settlement conferences and became the National Resource Judge for Family and Civil Settlement Conferences teaching best practice to other judges.  He left the bench in 2017 to return to private practice as a mediator.    

He is the veteran of over 1,250 mediations and Judicial Settlement Conferences.  Lawyers and clients value him for his gravitas as a former Judge, for his broad experience in and knowledge of the law in this area, and for his 97% success rate!

He is so in demand that we are very lucky he was able to squeeze us in today between mediations

TONY LENDRUM…Welcome to Divorce Café!

Thank you, thank you both 

So the first thing to say is that Tony helped Shelley and her lovely ex-husband Damien to resolve their relationship property division.  We asked Damien and he gave us permission to talk about it.. permission to have this discussion.  

 Icebreaker

Before we get into the juicy bits, in our first segment we like to have our distinguished guests pick a random question from the distinguished bucket.  Tony, I apologise in advance but half of these questions are insightful interrogations on life in the law, and the other half were made up by Shelley. 

I’m going to pull it out of the bucket for you because it’s out of sight and say your Ice Breaker question You’ve been a lawyer, a mediator and a judge.  Which was best?

To be a Mediator is the best of the best, without a doubt, without a doubt, that’s why when I reached retirement age I turned down the  offer to stay on for another 5 years with an acting warrant, I was extremely keen to get back to mediation which has been the great professional love of my life. 

Do you have one reason why? 

Yes, because you can help people achieve an outcome that may not be everything they want but gives them enough to start feeling that they can live again and that’s based obviously on doing Family Law mediation and that is my primary area of work. 

Here here.  So if you are interested in finding out more about mediations there are a lot of details in the show notes and links and there are articles that are linked to this podcast. 

The next Section is Stuff we find interesting – we couldn’t come up with a better title because that’s what these questions are.  It’s exciting to talk about mediations because we don’t hear about mediations in this way - lawyers or people in general - what they are like, how best to prepare.  And after a mediation often the lawyers are a little but miffy about how it went, they don’t like post morteming them either so we get a chance today to look at what went right and what can go wrong. 

The first question am going to put to you is going to help clear up the basics of mediation which is if we can jump in and put you right on the spot by asking you:

What is mediation? 

Well that’s easy mediation is simply having an independent person facilitate your dispute, really all it is you have an independent person help you work though the issues you have and normally help you to achieve a result, maybe not 97% now but certainly 9 out of 10 or better. 

Yes give it your best crack. 

And I should say it is the only legal or quasi legal process that can bring your dispute to an end normally within a day and cannot be re visited so there can be no appeal. 

We can talk about the cases where mediations or decisions reached in mediations are challenged. 

Yes, there really is nothing else where you can walk out of the house in the morning and have the worst dispute of your life and walk back in the house at the end of the day...

and it’s over. 

...and it’s over.

Which is incredibly what happened to you. 

So hopefully we will hear more as we go along. 

 So talk us through a mediation Tony – what’s your process?                        

It is very simple, I start with an introduction to the parties, I tell them how I see the mediation process working, when I have done that normally 5 minutes 7 minutes something like that just taking them through the key aspects of mediation and then I will ask the parties to tell me something as I would rather hear from the parties than their lawyers.  Then I will ask the lawyers to give me some of the legal issues that might be involved in it.  And then its free flow - and every mediation is different because the parties are different and even if I’ve got the same lawyers the parties are different so it just becomes a free flow and there is no scheme you just have to go on your instincts. 

And as the mediator what do you see as the mediator’s role in the mediation? 

To assist the parties to reach a settlement.

It’s going to be different... can you give us an example how it is going to differ? 

It’s just completely different because of course and something that I wish all lawyers who come to Family Law mediation would read is a Court of Appeal case from 2007 famous now Hildren V Strong where the court said - in a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal - said mediation is not legal proceedings in mufti.  It’s a completely different process but you can achieve a settlement which the court will find to be binding providing you have the lawyers there.  I won’t mediate without the lawyers present.                                                                                                                                    

I think it is useful for the parties to know that is going to happen.  I did have some warning beforehand that I had the option of speaking.  I didn’t think I was going to.  But if you are preparing for mediation it is good to think about those main points that you want to get across without being too attacking or aggressive.  To put forward your side of things and have those main objectives that you are trying to get out of it.  And that is usually more emotional, isn’t it than the lawyers, it’s very personal: “this is what’s happened, these are the kids this is what I want out of it, this is what I value in you.

I love the emotion that comes because that emotion is the best channel, the best funnel of the process and people who think they are cold and this is just about the money realise that it isn’t, it’s about the breadth of their life 

And it think having that you just can’t even think about having a resolution until each person gets to say their side of it, I think that’s a really valuable part of the mediation process, like for us it was the first time we had sat in front of each other for a really long time and I know we had the lawyers but we were right across the table and it’s your chance to actually say your side of it and then you can actually move towards a resolution which is what a court process I guess is meant to give you as well because you do all your affidavits or whatever but it’s a really easy way that you can voice in your own words where you are coming from, and what you have experienced. 

I agree, and of course you are not cross-examined so you can speak, you can express your feelings, express emotions (which is sometimes different) and you can express your needs and you cannot and will not be - I’m certain with all meditators - you will not be cross examined in any way on it by the lawyer even indeed by your former partner.  Or as in many of the cases I deal with estates which of course is a very high end emotional process you cannot be cross examined so you have got security in your seat. 

Are there any rules for mediations?

Yes, there are 2 rules that I abide by and one practice.  The first is confidentiality which is absolutely essential to the mediation process, under the  evidence act that confidentiality is vested in the mediator, in all the mediations I’ve done I’ve never breached the confidentiality although I have had some extraordinary circumstances I never have. 

The next is private meetings because a lot of mediations are convened on a basis that the mediator is passing between the parties, you obviously need to talk to your lawyer privately as you are going through the process and there’s a double confidentiality on the mediator there, I can really only pass on a question of process or very happily an offer.  And I have a rule of practice which is one voice at a time - it’s impossible to hear above a cacophony of voices.  They’re the only rules.

And so legally speaking the parties sign up to it – maybe this is a question later - but you sign up to it and then that is enforceable by the courts as enforceable as a judgement 

Absolutely

so once you sign up to the mediation if you get a solution at the end, or resolution 

that’s binding 

that’s binding

and you can’t appeal it to the court, 

Well you can appeal it but you go nowhere, because the Supreme Court approved Hildren v Strong it’s just binding authority and now universally accepted by any experienced family lawyer and commercial lawyers too. 

It has to be the way, 

Yes, otherwise it’s a waste of time, 

It’s a waste of time

but it’s the only way you get through something in a day. 

What disputes are most amenable to resolution by mediation? In the context of what you are doing obviously. 

Well I am talking family law, commercial shareholder disputes are the best of the lot because we are through them by 3 o’clock in the afternoon because all they are arguing about is normally a bunch of men arguing about money but my mediations are primarily high end relationship property, estates and trusts. They are all amenable but the best is probably estates because the emotions are higher in estates and the rule of thumb that I have worked out over the years is the more emotion in the situation the more easy it is to manipulate.  To help people see how they can work through it.

Estates are always interesting because of course in our society you normally have a dad who’s passed away and the step mother realises that where she thought she was loved by the children she was actually hated so you get terrible situations but in fact they ... because it’s not that direct because for example dad’s dead  - actually the kids just really want to know what they are getting and then out and away. 

Are there any situations when you wouldn’t mediate?                                                                                  

Yes, so I thought of that, a gross power imbalance...which is not always traditional male and female power imbalance, and of course seriously bad domestic violence is not mediatable, although to be fair I have, but I don’t think anyone thought it was a good experience.  We got a result, the result stood but part of mediation is having both parties in the room together at times and you can’t do that with gross domestic violence so you have got one person in another room and also it’s very difficult in that situation for the man to feel that he’s not being stigmatised because of you will both know that 99 point something percent of domestic violence in New Zealand is perpetuated by males upon females.

I didn’t know that. 

So it’s a very...it’s over 99 percent well it was when I was judging and I’m sure it’s actually worse now.  So that’s the only ones really I think. 

When is the right time to mediate?  Is it better to mediate after proceedings have issued? Is there a “raw” time after a break-up when it is never going to work?

There is no right time, it depends on the parties themselves, everyone is individual, it depends on that.

Do you think that there is a wrong time?  

Well a wrong time is when people cannot emotionally handle it, but I always remember mediating with two of our tops QCs as they were then over a reasonably well-to-do family and the lawyers decided that they would go and have a talk and they wanted me to talk to the parties by myself which I did, I do do that.  But that’s only with the permission of the lawyers of course and the parties themselves, and at ten to twelve, 2 hours after we started they said “look you talk to them for a bit on this issue and we will go and sort something else on the property issues”, I said “Ok”, and we sat talking and the husband said to his wife: “what do you really want and she said I want $1.4 Million” and he said “ahhhh” and I said look should we have a chat about this because there is a way to work through this called 3 blind mice.  And we got to the first stage where in 3 blind mice you decide what you need to have and we see if we work towards a common figure, 10 minutes later we had an agreement $1.35 million and I went downstairs and I said to the 2 lawyers look I’m sorry to bother your conversation but they settled.  And the lawyer for the wife looked at me and said “that’s impossible” and the lawyer for the husband said “that can’t be”, and I said “she has changed guilt to gilt” (guilt with a “u” to gilt without the “u”). 

Gold plated. 

She changed it from his guilt going off with his secretary to her gold and it was over and they both said - well it can’t be, and I said well they came to exactly the same figure so you go up and tell them they can’t - and both QCs went back up and were rapt and we went and had lunch. 

I have always wondered about that, I have been told it might be anywhere from 6 to 12 months...the guilt period after someone has behaved badly and whether you can take advantage of that or well not take advantage of that 

 Yes take advantage of that 

Because they are open to resolution at that point.

That raw time you can actually get more movement, than once the lawyers have put you in your trenches.

It’s a more realistic...

How should a lawyer best prepare for a mediation?  What are the things that really make a difference?

Very interesting.  First prepare your client for a range of outcomes, that’s vital.  Do not anchor, anchoring is a mediator’s term when someone says this is our position and we are not moving because we are right and you are wrong.  And particularly avoid anchoring when you base it on what you know are your clients views even though the client is ignoring reality because the client is just impossible.  

And the last one that is actually quite important for lawyers in this process is to be polite to the other side and - but I think it’s vital to prepare your client for a range of outcomes because as Justice Robertson said in Hildren v Strong, mediation is not court proceedings in mufti,  it’s a completely different process and you have to be ready to look at completely different outcomes and if you are a good lawyer you can traverse that change from common normal practice. 

Hm, roll with the punches. 

What can a party do to best prepare for a mediation? And a question that was really playing on my mind what do I wear to a mediation  what do I do to get ready...do I want to be formidable, does it matter what the party does? 

I don’t think I have ever worried about what parties wear!  The Northern Club where I mediate a lot does want some decorum and that has been challenged at times but I don’t think that’s important. 

So what can they do? 

I think the key thing, there are two that I think:  first be truthful to your lawyer, because the process, because the other side is there and they know your version of the truth that you have a slightly different version of but enough - so be truthful to your lawyer and also I think vital now, require time with your lawyer no closer than 2 weeks to the mediation to go through a range of scenarios with your lawyer and also for the lawyer with your client.  Look at the range of possible solutions, it will never be what you dream it will be apart from of course the apocryphal story I told a moment ago where she did turn Guilt to Gilt 

She still got $50,000 less.

Yes, but that was a very good result, believe you me on the property that they had that was 75% basically of the property. 

Which presumably was a good outcome for him as well.

He knew he could rebuild and of course he thought like so many people think, he’d he had actually found true love this time around, I never found out what their 2 children thought though. 

What role to do the lawyers have in a mediation and more particularly when have you seen a lawyer handling the medium particularly well – and what did they do?                                                            

Well the first part is very simple, lawyers are vital because you can’t have an agreement without them because in the work I am doing it needs a lawyer’s sign off for relationship property, no lawyer is not going to have a legal sign off on a Trust Matter and Estates of course someone has got to do the deed of arrangement and various other things you have got to have a lawyer there who has got to be present at the time and they have to be present right throughout. 

I guess they each need to feel they got what’s fair...

Three QCs and one who would have been QC but is now a District Court Judge are my examples really of people.  One of them opened a particularly difficult Estate case, third wife, children of the first two marriages, two of the children with their own issues in one family, two brothers who were of the first marriage and not particularly nice people would be my kind version of them but the QC opened up by saying to the two brothers: “you disgust me your avarice is appalling you have behaved disgracefully...” 

Was this her client? 

“...you should not even be here.”  No, not her client this is the other clients, and there was shock and awe I thought it was absolutely brilliant because they were conceited, revolting people who were trying to steal money and she gave them the ultimate reality test at the beginning.  It was stunning. 

And the last involves your former guest [Viv Crawshaw] and Deborah Chambers, Lady Chambers QC or KC now where I did a mediation for a former client of mine and they, I said well I can’t do that mediation to them both because I acted for this man, and they said we all know that, we have to have you.  I said “OK I’ll do it”.  So I went along - I think I got him out of his first marriage into his second marriage and I think he is on his fourth - but he was wealthy and you know fine, Lady Deb and Vivian started, they did their legal summary it wasn’t case by case it was paragraphs of cases to paragraphs of cases and it went on for at least 20 minutes it was conducted in the most professional way, of course they are both very professional, it was remarkable, and when they finished I turned to the husband and wife and said I don’t know about you but I am terrified.  And they said “we are too” and we settled by 3 o’clock that afternoon.  It was the most professionally conducted mediation by those two superb lawyers and it was remarkable. 

Hmm, made it all out and allowed everybody to step back and say OK what do we do about it now? 

I don’t want to say it’s a coincidence but all four of those lawyers were women. 

We hate to point out those coincidence too.

You will have seen lawyers handling the mediation particularly badly… what sort of behaviours that regularly upset you as mediator and what you do about it?

I think the only one is the point I mentioned about don’t anchor, don’t out yourself fin a position just because you think your client is going to love you if you stick and fight for them totally it’s not about fighting it’s about finding a path way that both sides can accept it’s always mutual dissatisfaction really in that way - apart from the odd conclusion in the odd case which someone does really well for reasons that we sometimes will never know about - I think the important thing is, do not just parrot your instructions, you are there to advise your client to move and please, please be up to date with current law and trends.  

I had a mediation last year with a lawyer acting for a client who simply just had no idea of relationship property law at all, absolutely appalling...so bad that I had to have a talk to him and said you are just completely out of touch with the law and you are going to destroy this, and he said well “how can I know that”, I said well I’ve got a vague idea and we talked a bit further and he went back and anyway we got it settled but it was most unsatisfactory. 

Can I slip in a couple of extra questions, as a mediator and a former Family Court judge how do you feel when lawyers explain to you law that you wither made or have applied as a judge, how do you feel when they do that? 

That hasn’t really come up to be fair Shelley, it’s not really come up, the law’s the law, if you’re practicing Family Law you are meant to know a bit about it.  In the cities you do, actually you have better lawyers basically in provincial centres than the city. In the city you have the very best and the worst.  In provincial centres you get some really good lawyers, I mean I could talk about Whangarei in the North I could talk about Hawkes Bay but provincial centres have the problem that  the quality of the lawyers go up and down more regularly because you can have a very good lawyer that leads the bar and then they get appointed to the bench somewhere and then the standard drops in a provincial centre but its better. 

And do you have to be super rich to do a mediation? 

You’ve got to be a lot richer to do the court proceedings.  That’s a fascinating question, yesterday just yesterday I mediated a matter and we had just that sort of issue, the legal cost to the parties, their first back up was in a months’ time, back up case in a months’ time they had by that stage collectively spent $230,000 with their lawyers and the lawyers anticipated that to get to the High Court stage - because who ever lost in the District Court would inevitably appeal - would cost them at least another $150,000 so they were about $400,000.  Mediation costs, you know you have got your lawyers costs which are always unquantifiable and I have an agreement which tells you what the cost is but ... I don’t know the maths, my maths has never been that good but it’s an awful, a heck of a lot less of that. 

I think that’s undisputed.

Let’s put it this way, they are in the 6 figure range and I am in the very earliest 5s.

Are there some aspects of mediations that can disadvantage a party and how can do you as the mediator guard against that... is it possible? 

Um, no it’s not possible because you never know what those things are going to be until you come to a meeting, I never meet clients advance in a meeting and I have had a lot of arguments, discussions with other mediators about that.  I find that the theoretical mediators say that you should, I never will for the very simple reason that if I meet you in advance and we talk about matters 

At least you won’t get attached to Shelley...

...and then I met Tom for an example and I talk with him in advance to the mediation and I go into the mediation and Tom says to me oh but you didn’t tell me that you told me this when I spoke and you immediately think - well he didn’t say that to me  - and where is my credibility it’s gone instantly so I only talk to the parties either together or with their lawyers or with one party and their lawyer and maybe other advisers as I have a lot of accountants who come in with valuation work and valuing section 15s and all that sort of thing that you have to deal with.  You have just lost your credibility and if you have lost your credibility I am certain I don’t know because it has never happened in that way but I am certain that you will never get it back in a day.                                           

So I never do and that’s - you know - you can have people entrenched and do these things but I would never do it to you without the other lawyer being present.  I’d never say to you – “You should just go...can it, this isn’t going to work.”  There have been cases where that has happened without a doubt but you have got to go to the lawyers and commonly, normally I would talk to both lawyers and say is this just utterly futile.  Funnily enough when I think It is utterly futile is when you often get the breakthrough of well we will do this, yesterday we were arguing over either $30,000 or $450,000 I think it was and we settled almost at the mid-point and we didn’t start to move until 4 o’clock in the afternoon by 5 o’clock we had the numbers by 8 o’clock it was written up. 

I think we had a similar experience, and the night before I rang my lawyer which is a Henderson Reeves...well, Stuart and said we are a million dollars apart this is a complete waste of time, I’m not doing it.  And he said to me “mediation is never just a waste of time even if you don’t settle on the day”.  Which leads me to the next question;

Walking away from a mediation must be a pretty difficult thing to do – everyone has so much invested in getting an outcome on the day.  Would you ever suggest a party not settle because they’d do better in Court?

Yes I have, but only via lawyers, only talking with the lawyers and saying look...actually the one process I think I have noticed more than ever now is lawyers ‘Calderbanking’ and ‘Calderbank’ means simply that you set a mark and if you don’t, if the other side doesn’t achieve what they think they will receive they are responsible for your legal costs going forward from that point in time, and there has been a lot more ‘Calderbanking’ I’ve noticed in the past year than I have before. 

And that is a good thing because it focuses the mind, 

It focuses the mind very quickly if you are arguing an impossible case but you are doing it because you are not thinking clearly and your client is not ready to move or any of those issues, it certainly focuses the mind because you know the lawyers rate on the other side is just going up. 

You’ve been involved in lots of Judicial Settlement Conferences - that happens in a Court context - it’s free but are there disadvantages compared to your sort of mediation? 

Yes, I think there’s quite a few disadvantages, first you can never give a final, definite decision. 

The judge can’t. 

Because it can always be appealed so even if you go to a Judicial Settlement Conference and you agree to things there is nothing to stop you reversing the things and saying “no no no I have been thinking about that, the Judge got that wrong he shouldn’t of led us there he shouldn’t of done this shouldn’t of done that” that’s one thing whereas in mediation it utterly is final and some judges didn’t know that and they have applied other, they have approached things in a different manner but in fact if you get into mediation that is just what it is. 

The second is that judges are over-loaded.  Our judges are incredibly over-loaded with work and I would be very surprised if many judges felt they had adequate time to prepare for a Settlement Conference that would deal with that and also they would not be allocated the time they need and it’s very important to know that my mediations invariably take a day.  Obviously there are some that take 5 and 6 days but very rarely under a day.  Well you don’t get that allocated to you in the court system, you get sometimes 3 hours it’s pretty hopeless.  I broke the rules and just allocated my own time well I could do it because I was in provincial centres and in Christchurch where they wanted me to come to resolve Civil Conferences so it’s - that’s where it’s at I think. 

Ok, so we are going to have to skip our last question but we are going to move to our Quick Fire round, so that’s Quick Fire round where you have 10 seconds to answer 10 questions and Shelley is going to go for the first 5.

1.                   What is the worst thing that can happen in a mediation?

Someone collapses. 

 

2.                   What is the best thing?

Settlement. 

 

3.                   What makes a great mediator?

Ability to listen.

 

4.                   What can you do if the other side won’t mediate?

You can’t do anything because I don’t set the mediation only the parties, only the lawyers. 

What can we do if the Party won’t mediate? 

Tell them you are going to court it’s the only option. 

 

5.                   If you could travel anywhere in time, what dispute in history would you mediate?

Julias Caesar and Brutus. 

 

6.                   What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be a Train Driver I think. 

 

7.                   When you were a judge, what is the funniest thing anyone ever said in your Court Room?

I can’t answer that, I just can’t 

 

8.                   What is one change you would make to the FC system?

Abolish and rebuild. 

Ok, a big one, we will have to get you on again to hear your thoughts on that. 

 

9.                   Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? 

(Present company excluded.) 

Nelson Mandela – one on one for an hour and 20 minutes. 

 

10.               If someone walked out halfway through your mediation would you: a) begrudgingly admire their audacity b) chalk it up to the hurly burly of mediation or c) make sure you let their tires down of their gold coloured Nissan Patrol next time you see them?

None of the above but send my invoice to their lawyer. 

 

11.               What is the best thing about your job?

Truly it sounds revolting or it sounds precious really, helping people get out of a jam it’s the most amazing feeling.  I don’t get much feedback, this is going to take more than 10 seconds I’m sorry, I don’t get much feedback, and most of the feedback I get comes from women and its always lovely to receive because you know you have made, you have helped them make, a real positive change.  lawyers as you both said early on in your introductory comments are always sometimes a bit miffy - I think was the word used - about the result achieved.  Very rarely are the parties miffed, they get over it, 3 days later the world starts, the sun comes up again. 

 

Do you remember the end of my mediation? 

 

I remember part of it.

 

And where at the end Damian and I hugged at the end of it, first time we had been in a room for a number of years.

 

And that is not uncommon. 

 

And that must feel good I guess from your perspective. 

 

We’ve talked about some lawyers in this and you have had Viv Crawshaw on your podcast programme, I always remember a mediation where this occurred and Vivian and I looked at each other and I think we had absolutely mirror emotions, we knew how important it was for those people and we knew that as professionals, all of us, the professionals had got them there.  It is never just the mediator, it’s vital - the lawyers assistance - is vital. 

 

And you are seeing the two people there but what they have got behind them is children and family and the change that makes to their entire... 

 

And parents 

 

...yes and parents.

 

So to wrap it up for the day we have our last section is called: Best Question Ever:

And for you Tony Lendrum, that question is:

If you could go back give 20 year old Tony some advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be?

Start mediating 10 years earlier!  If you’re going to be a lawyer Tony, start mediating as early as you can, you will struggle to get the work to start with because they like a bit of grey hair, they think it gives you some wisdom or something, you need life experience, but being a mediator has been in a professional sense only the best thing in my life. 

Thank you so much Tony that was an awesome and enlightening discussion and I look forward to being in mediations with you in the future hopefully... 

Not personally 

...hopefully not personally, I look forward to never being in a mediation with you personally. 

Than you for coming today 

Thank you both for inviting me 

Good to see you again 

Yes, it’s lovely to see you again.

This has been divorce café if you enjoyed this episode check out the other episodes on related topics and look for the content that on the links next the website, for articles and ways you can learn more about mediation.

Thanks very much.

Hei konei rā.