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Richard Schiffer

Civil and Commercial Mediator


Practice Overview

Every lawyer should experience in their career one litigation which is “no-expenses spared - it’s about the principle not the money!”  I had mine and then, disillusioned by the litigation process, decided that there has to be a better way to resolve disputes.  I read Getting to Yes and in 1989 established ADR Group, the first mediation service provider in the UK.  Since then my career as an international business lawyer and dispute resolver has been guided by the principles and practice of mediation. 


Professional Background

Qualifications: UK qualified Solicitor (currently non-practicing) and member of the Bar of the State of Illinois (USA)

Professional Memberships: Law Society and the American Bar Association

Professional Legal Practice: Law Office of Richard Schiffer – International lawyer and mediator.



  • “The transaction has been extremely complicated, involving as it did not only numerous and complex matters between the disputing parties but also protracted negotiations and agreements with outside bodies. Without in any way derogating from the work done by the lawyers on all sides, it is my conviction that the transaction would not have been completed, if it were not for Richard Schiffer who –with his knowledge of the facts, professional skill, untiring work, total dedication and tactful diplomacy – has, in the final stages of the negotiations, proved to be the catalyst of the agreement.”  Haim J. Zadok, Israeli lawyer and former Minister of Justice of the State of Israel  (1986)


  • “On my retirement from the Court of Appeal in 2013, I was appointed Chairman of the Civil Mediation Council. Richard is its finance director. Richard is the keenest advocate of mediation and has been steeped in its development in this country for many years having founded the ADR Group and the CMC as leaders in the field. I do not, of course, have direct knowledge of Richard as a mediator but I have been able to observe him as we have worked closely together in the CMC. He is a skilful financial manager who has the ability to listen to the arguments, master the facts and find an acceptable solution. I also watch his astute man-management. Whilst not lacking in firmness and directness where that is necessary, he is quick to bring a unique and empathetic approach to bear when dealing with differences.  He accordingly commands the trust, respect and even affection from those immersed in the problem at hand. As a result he is able to persuade those on the CMC Board who hold different views to reach a compromise in the Council's best interests. In other words he possesses all the skills necessary for a good mediator.”  Sir Alan Ward, former judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (2017)


  • “I worked very closely over the last eight years with Richard.  He has run a niche partnership of former Ambassadors specialising in resolving problems between companies and foreign governments. The Partnership also provides high quality training and development in diplomatic skills and conflict resolution. Without Richard’s untiring leadership and determination the Partnership would not have got off the ground and achieved the success it had, which included recovering for a client some US$65 million from a foreign government. Richard’s skills as a mediator were demonstrated daily in his client handling but also in keeping some strong willed partners pointing in the right direction. Richard’s legal expertise, mediation skills, financial nous, coupled with a deep understanding of human nature, make him a talented and natural mediator”. Sir Stephen Brown KCVO, former British Ambassador to Korea, High Commissioner to Singapore and Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment (2017)


Other Experience

  • Co-Chairman, General Counsel, and a founding partner of The Ambassador Partnership LLP (
  • Treasurer and a founding director of the Civil Mediation Council (2003-2017)
  • Director of the Family Mediation Council


Areas of Specialism

  • Company
  • Contract

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