Partner Brian Speers who has been described as a “pioneer” of mediation in Northern Ireland delivered training in February 2016 to lawyers in Namibia. As part of an initiative between the Law Society of Namibia and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association or CLA (on which Brian serves as a Council member and as a member of the Executive Committee) the CLA agreed to deliver in country training for lawyers interested in mediation. Brian devised the training programme and delivered the training to 36 Namibian lawyers in Windhoek on 25th and 26th February.
Brian Speers with Retha Steinmann (LSN: Director), Stacey Bock (LSN: Manager Professional Affairs), Anne-Doris Hans-Kaumbi (LSN Councillor), Melki Uupindi (LSN Councillor), Hon Mr Justice Hosea Angula (Deputy Judge President), Toni Hancox (LSN CLA Councillor) and Gaenor Michaels (LSN Councillor).
The aim of the training was to equip lawyers to advise their clients about the mediation process, experience the role of mediator, understand core mediation skills and discuss ethical issues and an appropriate Code of Conduct for mediators. Legislation in Namibia makes mediation compulsory in a wide range of cases and the CLA training delivered by Brian assisted practitioners in Namibia to develop their skills and prepare to represent clients in mediation as well as act as mediator under their court scheme.
Brian said on his return “Namibia is a beautiful and interesting country. Their lawyers are adjusting to the requirement to mediate disputes before coming to court and the opportunity to deliver the CLA in country training was an honour. It is anticipated that the training could be delivered in other commonwealth jurisdictions in conjunction with local law Societies.”