Focus Civil & Commercial Team
Mary Banham-Hall LLB FMCA Commercial Mediator
Mary was admitted as a solicitor in 1979 and has developed a strong reputation as a highly experienced mediator.
Mary trained as a commercial mediator with Henry Brown and her solution-based approach ensures a high resolution rate for her mediations.
Mary is highly practical. She has a sense of proportion and adopts a commercial, business-like approach to solving disputes. Her role as founder and managing director of Focus Mediation has kept her busy since 1999. Focus has grown and developed a regional reputation for mediation, whether family or commercial. Mary's favourite saying and the Focus slogan - is 'Solve your problems, don't fight over them'.
Jean McDougall Commercial Mediator
An Independent Consultant and Mediator Jean specialises in the Human Resources Sector, but also deals with an enormous variety of other commercial and civil disputes.
A Fellow of The Institute of Employment Consultants (now known as The Recruitment and Employment Confederation), Jean served three terms as elected Governor and two as Vice-President. She also served three years as elected member of the National Executive Council of Federation of Recruitment and Employment Services – Trade Body.
Jean founded the Human Resource Educational Trust, which offers the internationally recognised Recruitment Practice Diploma. She is also a member of the Institute of Directors. She has over 30 years’ experience in personnel and recruitment, including 20 years in the serviced office sector and 12 years in the relocation industry. Jean’s extensive experience contributes to her high success rate as an accredited ADR mediator.
Julian Evans Commercial Mediator
Julian has 20 years’ experience in conflict resolution. His previous roles centred on development planning and construction project design and management, from small-scale to strategic, which led him to sit on Corporate Management Teams for big organisations. He now specialises as a mediator working in commercial and civil mediation, family and business hybrid mediations and dealing with a variety of issues including workplace disputes. He also offers executive and psychological coaching.
Julian also had a voluntary role to facilitate staff-to-management relations for 600 staff and was chief negotiator, mediator and coach for individual and corporate staff issues, which were many and varied. He now helps people from board level in listed multi-nationals through to small businesses and private citizens, using either mediation alone, or his ‘blended’ conflict resolution service for deep or wide-scale issues.
Martin Banham-Hall Commercial Mediator
His professional background is as a Solicitor since 1977 and he has been Senior Partner of a mid-sized commercial law firm since 1996.
Those choosing Martin as Mediator have commented that he has the attributes needed to bring conflicted parties to agreement. Advanced negotiating skills, integrity, patience, determination, perceptiveness and sensitivity to the personal dynamics of a dispute are required of any Mediator. Martin adds to these the ability to gauge the most difficult legal, factual and emotive issues in a dispute, and to steer the parties towards those avenues most likely to bear fruit.
Dave Owen Commercial Mediator
As the owner of a property development and investment group, he is all too aware that management time is often diverted from creating value, rather than just dividing it.
Aileen McDonald Commercial Mediator
Aileen’s work as a psychotherapist, together with her strong commercial skills, make her ideally suited to facilitating the resolution of disputes between individuals and corporations.
Mark Crane Commercial Mediator
When not acting as a Mediator or an Adjudicator, Mark’s day to day activity involves the settlement of contentious matters before the need for formal dispute resolution proceedings and/ or litigation.
Areas of Expertise include:-
• IT Contracts
• Construction and Engineering
• Rail Infrastructure
• Defective Works
• Facilities Management
• Service Contracts
• Framework Agreements
• Property Leases / Landlord and Tenant
• Boundary and Party Wall Disputes / Easements and Rights of Way
• Professional Negligence
• Unpaid Invoices
• Transport and Logistics
Recent feedback for Mark includes:
“…Mark’s ability to grasp the underlying issues very quickly was a real benefit to achieving a rapid settlement…”
“…Marks relaxed style immediately put the participant’s as ease…”
“…His no nonsense, straight forward approach was like a breath of fresh air…”
Lawrence Harrison Commercial Mediator
Lawrence read Law at UCL and Queens’ College, Cambridge. After a brief period at the bar he joined the Simkins Partnership specialising in the music and theatre industries, becoming a partner in 1992. In 1998 he left to found the specialist entertainment and media firm Harrison Curtis which merged with Russell-Cooke in 2005.
Lawrence now divides his time between his work as a mediator and providing legal and commercial advice to a wide range of clients in the entertainment, media and creative industries. He is also a part time lecturer in law at the University of Westminster.
Polly Gavins Commercial Mediator
Clients say her style is intelligent and thoughtful, results focused and supportive, humorous and challenging. Her quick understanding for the real issues gives her great rapport when working with a diverse range of clients across different disciplines.
Polly has worked with international clients in the United Kingdom and is most prominent in public sector organisations, accountancy, and sales industries, demonstrating an ability to build good working relationships across different disciplines. Client companies include: ACNielsen, BDO Stoy Haywood, GlaxoSmithKline, Huntswood Consulting, Manchester Primary Care Trust, Mencap, National Blood Service, Police Superintendent’s Association and Virgin Cosmetics.
Principals for whom she has worked as an associate include FranklinCovey, Ken Blanchard, Full Potential Group and Aspire.
Polly is a mediator trained and accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). She is a member of the International Coach Federation and a graduate of Corporate CoachU, one of the leading corporate training organisations. She is also a licensed facilitator of their coaching skills training programme. She holds a Law degree, class II(I), Solicitors Final Examinations and a Relate Graduate Certificate in Relationship Counselling.
Joanna Chawla FMCA Commercial Mediator
Away from the rigid, and costly framework of litigation, mediation allows clients to work collaboratively to unlock deadlock; and her friendly, hard working and intelligent approach helps parties to find a workable solution, quickly and cost effectively away from Court.
Simon Aronsohn Commercial Mediator
Formerly a solicitor, Simon’s background includes nine years running his own firm, S Aronsohn & Co (solicitors) as a general practitioner, dealing with a wide variety of legal issues. He was also a Director of The Anglo- Group of companies, focused on work with the Former Soviet Union and a Director of Law Firm Ltd, which runs a bilingual website in English and Russian, advising Russian speakers on immigration matters. Simon has a working knowledge of Russian, French and German.
Gill Rouse Commercial Mediator
Gill has over 20 years' experience in HR, Coaching and Change Management with blue chip companies, including 4 years' work overseas. Formerly an HR Manager for 8 years with BT, the HR Development Director for AT&T-Unisource in The Netherlands and a Principal Consultant in the Change Management Practice at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Gill has run her own HR and Change Management consultancy, People & Change, for over 9 years.
Jonathan Lux Commercial Mediator
His vast experience and the range of Mediation and Arbitration cases that he has been involved with, have given him the tact and robustness that leads to a satisfactory conclusion, enabling all parties to cost-effectively put the case behind them and get on with their business. His wise guidance, flexible approach and excellent communications skills as a team player make him the right choice for contentious or straightforward mediation cases.
He has lectured widely and written numerous articles on the subject of mediation, and is co-author of ADR and Commercial Disputes. Jonathan was awarded Global Shipping & Maritime Lawyer of the Year for both 2010 and 2011 by Who's Who Legal. In December 2011 he featured in Lloyd's List of Top Ten Legal Personalities and was a finalist for the Lloyd's List global Shipping & Maritime Lawyer of the Year award 2012.
Jonathan has received regular appointments as Mediator and Arbitrator both in relation to maritime disputes and international commercial law disputes more widely. He is a fluent French and German speaker making him much in demand for national and international mediations.
Nicola Lewis FMCA Commercial Mediator
Nicola now works as a family mediator for Focus and works mainly in the London and Watford offices.
Nicola is committed to helping couples to communicate during difficult times. As well as using her legal background and experience, Nicola has also trained in mediation based on non-violent communication: she can assist couples in working out how they will communicate going forwards as parents in a way that is positive and beneficial for their children (and often for themselves too) as well as sorting out practicalities such as the financial issues.