Resolution Institute conference

Spotlight on practice

16–17 October 2019, Wellington NZ

The 4th Party: harnessing technology to support resolution

with Richard Binner and Denise Evans

The advantages of mediation are well documented and understood by practitioners world-wide, yet the overlay of technology as the ‘4th Party’ is still an area of great debate. To some it flies in the face of conventional wisdom that face to face is the best way to resolve conflict, but others are fully embracing the growing number of tools available.

Are you sceptical, does the mention of technology conscious mediation send you to a place you don’t want to go, or does even the thought of conducting mediations over the phone or via videoconferencing raise the heart rate?

Putting the parties at the centre of your thinking can provide an excellent lens through which to view technology, you may even be surprised with the results.

In today’s technology focused world all dispute resolution practitioners need to embrace technology as a potential means to move conflict forward. An openness to the potential of technology is something this session will explore using real experiences ranging from simple technology uptake (phone, smart forms) through to full integrated online mediation delivery.

We'll explore:

  • Fitting the forum to the fuss. Why use technology?
  • What tech is out there? (e-rooms, synchronous and asynchronous forums, blind bidding)
  • Considerations e.g. the use of language
  • Being in Control: Knowing your targets for technology; The importance of the engagement (ask rather than assume)
  • Before the Meeting: Best practice; Call set up; Party preparation; What could go wrong?; Having a plan B
  • At the meeting: Techniques that don’t translate well (visual cues); Trust (meeting set up considerations); Consciousness of inclusion; Attuning the senses; Using different tools (e.g. skype pencil, emoji’s, texting “. . . “); Careful use of language;
  • After the meeting: Use of email

Richard is the Chief Client Officer of FairWay, New Zealand’s largest specialist conflict management and dispute resolution organisation.

Richard has held a number of senior and executive management roles throughout his 20 plus years in the Financial Services industry. He has broad experience in developing and executing business strategies, together with leading client relationships, business development and service delivery functions.

Richard is experienced in dealing with corporate clients, charitable organisations, business clients and individuals, and enjoys the challenge of helping clients achieve the outcomes they desire.

Richard joined FairWay in November 2017 as General Manager: Business Development, having accountability for leading strategic business development and client relationship management for emerging opportunities within the business.

As Chief Client Officer, Richard has a commitment to achieving FairWay’s core purpose of ‘leading the prevention and resolution of disputes.’ He is responsible for providing strategic and people leadership of all client facing roles and for the effective delivery of all FairWay’s professional services.

Denise Evans is Principal, Dispute Resolution at FairWay Resolution Limited. As part of this role, Denise provides Dispute Resolution leadership within FairWay and champions the use of Dispute Resolution services in New Zealand and internationally.

Denise maintains Client Director oversight of FairWay’s Commercial Services, which resolves disputes between businesses, families and individuals. She leads a team of talented dispute resolution professionals and is an avid supporter of their ongoing development.

Denise is firm believer in alternative dispute resolution, with over thirty years’ experience in the industry. She is committed to finding a way forward that maintains relationships and achieves the best outcome for all parties. She champions this as a thought-leader in dispute resolution industry and regularly publishes articles, facilitates training workshops and presents at conferences.

She has experience resolving disputes in a wide range of areas including employment, property, childcare, Trusts and estates, contractual and educational disagreements.

With a law degree, masters in conflict resolution and as a Fellow of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand, Denise says dispute resolution has always been part of her working life.