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Ulster Appoints Leading Commercial Mediator as Visiting Professor

17 February 2011

One of Northern Ireland’s leading commercial mediation solicitors has been appointed visiting Professor of Law at the University of Ulster.

Brian Speers, managing partner with CMG solicitors in Belfast and current President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland has been appointed visiting professor to the Graduate School for Professional Legal Education at the Magee campus.

For more than a decade, Professor Speers has been widely acknowledged as pioneering the use of mediation as an alternative form of dispute resolution in Northern Ireland and abroad.

As President of the Law Society he has been focussing on encouraging solicitors to consider mediation as an alternative means to resolve disputes.  

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Speers said:

“In Northern Ireland and indeed globally there is a growing awareness that mediation, in appropriate cases, presents a highly effective and cost efficient way to resolve business and personal disputes.

“It has practical applications in business, employment,  family and neighbourhood disputes, offering an effective process for resolving disputes with the best possible outcome for the parties involved.

“It can meet the needs of both parties, saving time, expense and the stress associated with court proceedings and, because both sides are involved in the process and are part of the outcome, there is generally greater compliance.

“People looking for disputes to be resolved expect their advisers to present the most appropriate, cost effective and practical option – which in many cases will involve bringing cases to court.  

“However there are many different ways to resolve disputes so we need to look imaginatively at all the options and seek to come up with innovative ways to resolve issues which may involve improving dialogue and understanding between the parties.

“It is important to ensure that young people entering the  solicitors’  profession are equipped with the necessary skills to mediate.

“I am therefore  delighted to have been appointed to a Visiting Professorship at the University of Ulster, Graduate School for Professional Legal Education and I look forward to drawing on my knowledge of mediation in helping to shape future law professionals.”“Welcoming the appointment, Dr Paul Mageean, Director of Studies of the Graduate School for Professional Legal Education said:

“Professor Speers brings an ideal combination of qualities to the Graduate School. With his extensive experience, and unique understanding of mediation gained at every level, he will make a valuable contribution to our teaching and research.”