Stephen Ritchie

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9056 2048

Email Stephen Ritchie

Stephen Ritchie

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9056 2048

Email Stephen Ritchie

More Information

What is BMAS?

Areas of Mediation

  • Commercial and Property
  • Compensation Claims
  • Employment and Discrimination
  • Family & Matrimonial
  • Wills & Estates

My Approach to Mediation

Mediation does not just happen ‘on the day’. My preference is to engage with parties early on to discuss their dispute, without charge or obligation, to determine at the outset if mediation is appropriate, explain what it is, its advantages, the cost and how to set it up.

In addition to the formal mediation agreement I provide the parties and their lawyers with details in writing of what is required from them to prepare for the day.

The objective is to make most use of the time available and ensure the parties appreciate they are not only in control of the cost of the resolution of their dispute but crucially in control of the outcome their decision. The alternative is to give control of the outcome to a judge where neither knows either what the outcome will be at trial or the cost to them.

I believe litigation experience is crucial for expertise in mediation because, as a barrister, I am trained to ‘reality check’ the legal and factual arguments of the parties.

Whatever the outcome, I maintain contact to assist with implementation of the agreement or further contact to help encourage a result.

My Mediation Training & Experience

I trained as a mediator in 2011 with Core Solutions Limited and became successfully certified after rigourous assessment in 2012.  I enhanced my training in 2013 when I worked with QuEST to achieve the necessary qualification to become accredited as a specialist in Family mediation.

Since then I have mediated in:

Commercial and partner disputes,
Defamation and privacy compensation claims,
Employment workplace disputes
Wills and property disputes.
Matrimonial disputes.

More than 80% of my mediations have been successful and where they have not resolved in totality, collectively we have reduced the contentious issues significantly at the conclusion of the process. A common outcome of the mediations I have been involved in is the way it has allowed the parties to retain professional relationships after the dispute is settled which often does not happen if disputes have been litigated.

I was chair of the steering committee that set up the Barrister Mediation Service in 2012 and am currently an active member of the Barrister Mediation and Arbitration Committee set up to oversee mediation accreditation at the Bar and the Resolution Centre.

My Legal Background

Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1978 and the Bar of Ireland in 1997 I have extensive experience in personal injury and professional negligence litigation, public inquiries and inquests, employment law, and extradition. In recent years I have been briefed in Public Inquiries and a number of controversial legacy inquests.

I have appeared on behalf of employers and claimants in Industrial Tribunals and the Court of Appeal in cases involving unfair dismissal; transfer of undertakings; religious, sex, race and age discrimination allegations. I have recently represented plaintiffs in numerous industrial hearing loss claims and am currently involved in a series of cases involving allegations of professional negligence.

I believe litigation experience is crucial for expertise in mediation because, as a barrister, I am trained to ‘reality check’ the legal and factual arguments of the parties.

I am also a member of the Advocacy Training Board at the Bar of Northern Ireland training less experienced colleagues in the art of advocacy.

My Other Interests

I am a firm believer that skills gained in a personal capacity are transferable to a professional environment and I strive to develop my interpersonal skills with each and every new personal experience I encounter.

Over the years I have been involved with Habitat for Humanity building houses in Uganda and Cambodia - humbling and highly worthwhile experiences.

I am a keen golfer and am a member of the Bar's Golfing Society.  I also enjoy the tranquility of fly fishing and am an active member of the Bar's Fishing Club.

More Information

What is BMAS?

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