The Managing Solicitor, Trizon Law Chambers, Mrs Foluke Akinmoladun, on Friday advised young lawyers to get trained to become both domestic and international mediators.

Akinmoladun, a trained arbitrator and mediator, gave the advice in a paper she delivered at a seminar on: “The Science and Art of Mediation, Looking at the Specifics.’’

She spoke on: “A brief Introduction to Mediation – Commercial and International Practice”.

The seminar which she organised in conjunction with the International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (ICCYAF) was held at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Lekki.

According to Akinmoladun, there is the need for more international mediators that are either of African origin or are Africa-based, to mediate in disputes involving African issues.

She noted that many international mediators were foreigners not rooted in African culture but handle disputes originating from Africa.

According to her, there is more development in the mediation space following the recent Singapore Mediation Convention which will enable mediation agreements to be enforceable as a court judgment once registered by the signatory states.

“The convention, if adopted, will promote the use of mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism for cross-border transactions.

“Mediators will even earn internationally but spend locally,” Akinmoladun said.

She advised mediators to be professional “because, as a mediator, you are not immune to professional negligence suit particularly if it is a private mediation practice”.

She urged young lawyers to join alternative dispute resolution institutions, attend trainings and be listed among the institutions’ panel of neutrals to enable them to get recognised and earn more income as mediators.

Mrs Yemi Adeyinka, Chief Counsel, Eaglecrest Legal Consult, who delivered a paper entitled: “The Science and Art of Banking Mediation”, said that mediation required patience.

Adeyinka said that mediators should be patient to understand the root of any dispute.

She added that banking mediation was scientific, and urged mediators to get trained in skills of resolving disputes emanating from loan recovery.

Adeyinka said that a mediator who understood the intricacies of banking should be able to, among other things, explain to his clients why a loan accumulated so much.

Mr Kenneth Onyema, A civil engineer and a lawyer with Uptown Solicitors, advised young mediators to use social media effectively to promote mediation.

“Practice makes perfect, mediate everyday with disputes which occur around you and be creative,” he advised.

Onyema, who spoke on:“The Mechanics of Construction Mediation”, said that mediation should be geared toward preventing disputes from escalating to project-threatening levels. (NAN)

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