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Paul Balen

Civil and Commercial Mediator


Practice Overview

Building on his creation of successful alternative dispute settlement schemes in his historical specialist area of clinical negligence and product liability Paul has developed into a highly successful commercial mediator.  Paul is able to marry inter-personal skills with business and legal acumen often devising unique practical strategies to resolve deadlocks.  Since qualifying as a mediator in 2004, Paul has conducted a wide variety of commercial mediations involving contract, construction, and professional disputes.


Professional Background

Paul graduated from Cambridge University with a first in law before joining a well known national law firm where he qualified in 1977 becoming a partner in 1980. 

He is a Past President of the Nottinghamshire Law Society having been Secretary between 1983 and 1988 and was a legal eagle on Radio Nottingham for over 20 years.  He writes extensively and regularly lectures on legal topics and in 2000 was appointed one of the first 3 Senior Fellows of the Association of Personal Injury Law (APIL).  He also accepts invitations to lecture on ADR and recently lectured at an international conference on global dispute resolution.

He is a past President of the Nottinghamshire Medico-Legal Society and was national secretary and an executive committee member of APIL between 1998 and 2000. He is legal advisor to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and has advised international sportsmen from a variety of sports.


Recent Experience 

  • Represented family at inquest into death of patient CS sprayed and restrained by police in hospital.
  • Represented three families of patients who became infected with prosthetic valve endocarditis during heart surgery at the Trent Cardiac centre at Nottingham City Hospital.
  • Successfully represented a widow in the Court of Appeal which quashed an inquest verdict and ordered a Coroner to hold a new inquest.
  • Successfully represented victim in claim for defamation against a national newspaper.
  • Represented widower at an inquest held after a mother of 4 children under 10 died when she was left unmonitored after being given three doses of morphine.
  • Represented the family of a 94 year old Lincolnshire pensioner who died after an operation conducted by a German locum surgeon described by an expert witness at an Inquest as "the worst case of negligence I have come across in my clinical career".
  • Obtained compensation for women supplied with defective breast implants.



  • "Just a note to say thank you for your help on Monday at the Mediation. It was my first experience of a Mediation and I was impressed with your skills and delighted that we were able to reach a settlement in a case with so many difficult issues. I did not think we were going to settle but at the eleventh hour we managed it and I have to say it is unlikely that we would have done so without your last minute shuttle diplomacy". 
  • Paul is described in Chambers 2008/09 as “like a dog with a bone” when given a difficult case. “He’s incredibly clever and hard-working and he gets results,” “He is particularly commended for his strategic thinking”. He "knows what's what," say commentators. He is famed for his "extremely professional" demeanour and his "sensible approach to cases"
  • Described as 'a good all-rounder'. He is rated as “one of the most highly rated practitioners in the country”


Other Experience

Paul has combined his legal career with the Chairmanship of his son’s technology company until it was taken over and Chairmanship of the governors at Nottingham High School, an independent public school which recently celebrated its 500th anniversary.


Panel Memberships

Paul is a panel member of: Sports Mediation; Trust mediation; UK mediation and the Association of Midlands Mediators.


Personal Interests

He plays golf (badly) having long since given up cricket and rugby. He supports and will watch any sport and enjoys travelling and his grandchildren!


Areas of Specialism

  • Healthcare
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Sport
  • Trusts

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