Colin’s strength as a mediator comes from a rare combination of private and public sector experience. He practiced as a commercial lawyer in the private sector for over 20 years, but has also worked in conflict management and mediation as a field officer with the United Nations. His work in dispute resolution has spanned Europe, Africa and Asia, ranging from settling high value commercial litigations between multi-national companies to facilitating dialogue between armed groups in conflict affected countries. He now practices as a full time civil and commercial mediator in the UK.
Colin takes a friendly and relaxed approach to mediating and works patiently with each of the parties to help them fully understand their respective interests. He can quickly identify the underlying interests of commercial counter-parties, having advised in-house at board level for many years in the oil industry. He combines this commercial acumen with high stakes mediation skills developed at the UN.
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1994. He trained and practiced as a commercial litigator at the city of London law firm Richards Butler (now Reed Smith LLP) and then spent over a decade in-house at the Paris headquarters of the multi-national oil company, Total SA. There he was responsible for advising on all legal matters relating to the company's international trading activity and settled a wide range of complex high value disputes through international arbitrations and mediations.
Since leaving the energy sector in 2011 Colin worked for the United Nations where his role as a mediator was significantly enhanced through working as a UN representative in conflict settings. He has mediated between the military and political opposition groups and trained government officials and community leaders in mediation and dialogue techniques. He has lectured to judges, police officers and prosecutors on alternative dispute resolution and provided a wide range of technical advice to government officials on peace-building processes in post-conflict transitional environments.
In addition to his work with the UN, Colin has also worked in the field for the medical aid charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He currently combines his mediation practice with serving on the Board of Directors of MSF in the UK.