On 29 November the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) announced the winners of its biennial CEDR Awards for excellence. The awards ceremony was held at the Waldorf Hilton in London and was attended by around 200 figures from the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and legal communities.
The panel of awards judges were The Rt Hon Lord Justice Rix, Brian Hutchinson of University College Dublin, Dr Gillian Dada of GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Guy Perring of Everything Everywhere Ltd, Professor Bryan Clark of Strathclyde University, Rhys Clift of Hill Dickinson LLP, Caroline Stroud of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and author, CEO and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan. Guests were also addressed by CEDR's chair, Lady Elizabeth Vallance, on the subject of dispute resolution's changing landscape.
There were six categories, with 22 finalists making the most extensive shortlist in the awards' 20 year history.
In the Excellence in ADR and Conflict category, my|deposits was recognised for its Tenant Deposit Protection Scheme, which uses an alternative dispute resolution process designed by the company.
In the ADR and Civil Justice Innovation category there were two winners. Judge Srðan Šimac of Croatia was recognised for his energetic work in bringing and popularising mediation in Croatia. He founded the Croatian Mediation Association, and has since been elected as its first president.
The Commercial Mediation Group was also given an award for their exciting, unique 'mediation purchasers' initiative.
In the ADR Champion category, Geoff Lloyd – currently with Ernst and Young – was recognised for his work on tax disputes as part of Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue Service– Geoff headed and directed a government initiative which uses mediation to free up resources tied up in tax disputes.
In the ADR Trainer category, John Brand and Felicity Steadman were recognised for their extensive work in South Africa with the African Centre for Dispute Resolution at the University of Stellenbosch.
In the Best Communication or Publication category, The Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative film series produced by the The Mossavar-Rahmani Center of Business and Government (M-RCBG), Harvard Kennedy School, USA, won in an especially strong category.
The judges also commended Henry Brown and Arthur Mariott's publication, ADR: Principles and Practice (3rd Edition), for a special mention.
The Tony Curtis Award for Young Professionals was given to Julie-Ann McCaffrey for her essay, Mediation as an Unadopted Road. The essay explores mediation in the workplace and within organisations, and suggests what we may expect to see in the future development of the field of mediation.
Dr Karl Mackie CBE, chief executive of CEDR said: "We are delighted by the innovative work that is being celebrated this evening, and the dedication shown by all of the winners and finalists to furthering the cause of alternative dispute resolution. The record number of finalists for this year's awards shows clearly how these practices are entering the mainstream, and their potential for transforming the way we approach conflict. As the diverse entrants show, the field of dispute resolution is changing to reflect the diverse needs of modern society."