About us

A new option in mediation

About

Offering Something Different…

@ forge mediation we want to offer something different:

  • innovative
  • empathetic
  • affordable
  • sustainable

 We are passionate about the benefits of online mediation in resolving commercial disputes of value under £250k

We aim to be a leading light in advocating the cost, time and environmental benefits of AI-enabled online mediation

Introducing Paul Tovey

Director & Lead Mediator

Paul is a Civil Mediation Council accredited mediator and ADR Group certified online mediator and a member of the Clerksroom panel.  He is able to navigate to the heart of a dispute, combining a sharp legal mind and business acumen with positive energy, warmth and a knack for putting people from all walks of life at ease.

Prior to becoming a mediator, he worked as a commercial lawyer for 12 years and has extensive experience of working on complex matters at boardroom level with senior executives and international business teams

Paul invests time prior to mediation in getting to know the dispute and the players and familiarising participants with the process, facilitating swift and effective progress on the day.  His considerable experience as a lawyer allows him to understand and engage with the parties’ commercial interests and gives him an ability to see all sides of the dispute.

Paul is calm and creative, using the mediation process flexibly to overcome barriers to settlement and keep the parties on track. Perceptive, he is not afraid to ask difficult questions and challenge preconceptions.  His ability to build rapport, combined with a proactive approach, allow him to deal with entrenched positions and to defuse difficult dynamics.

In his free time, Paul is a sports fanatic, cycling nut and a helicopter pilot. He is planning a self-build ‘Grand Design’ passivhaus on a Somerset smallholding, where he hopes to set up a local not-for-profit community-owned solar farm. 

Specialist knowledge and experience

Born and raised in Hampshire, Paul obtained an Honours degree in Law with Australian Law at the Universities of Nottingham and Queensland in 2004 and was admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2008. 

Paul’s legal experience is broad. He began his professional life as a project finance lawyer for 7 years with White & Case LLP in London, including 3 years at the firm’s Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi offices and on a client secondment in Cairo. He worked predominantly with clients in the oil and gas and telecoms sectors, building significant industry knowledge. 

In 2013, Paul moved in-house with Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund helmed by Khaldoon Al Mubarak (to football fans out there, he of Manchester City Chairman fame). As a General Counsel and Company Secretary, Paul spent 2 years supporting Mubadala’s operations in the aerospace and technology sectors, including an aircraft maintenance company (part of which was sold to Etihad on his watch), an aircraft engine leasing company and one of the largest commercial data centres in the middle east. He then spent 3 years in the healthcare sector, supporting two hospitals, the world’s largest diabetes clinic and a start-up telemedicine company. 

Walking into work through a hospital reception, rather than through an ivory tower lift lobby, provided a little life perspective, and Paul returned to the UK in 2018 by way of a career break (mostly spent cycling around the world!) to set up his own legal consultancy practice in Somerset armed with a mind-set to do something useful for society.

 

Paul is particularly well placed to mediate the following: 

  • commercial contracts
  • corporate governance, shareholder and director issues
  • aviation/aerospace
  • renewable energy
  • sport
  • start-ups, scale-ups, not-for-profit enterprises
  • IT, telecommunications, technology, data protection
  • healthcare, clinical negligence and patient complaints
  • professional negligence
  • construction
  • property, landlord & tenant, party wall

new thinking

How to select the right mediator

All Civil Mediation Council-accredited commercial mediators are professionally trained, carry professional indemnity insurance and are required to abide by a Code of Conduct.  In any mediation, it is important that the mediator can build rapport with participants.  Take a look at a number of profiles and go with your gut.  Mediators have different personalities, professional backgrounds and mediating styles.  Some are naturally more facilitative, others more proactive and at the end of the spectrum, and increasingly popular in the USA, some extol the virtues of providing a neutral evaluative solution, more like a judge.  The best will tailor their approach to the facts and the parties’ preferences.  Although figures show that in the UK 60% of mediators are lawyers, a number of the best mediators I know aren’t.  Often a barristers’ ingrained instinct to argue for what they think is right risks missing the wood for the trees.  Integrity, perseverance, respect for the process and emotional intelligence often count more than any professed expertise.  At the end of the day, the mediator is there to facilitate and guide.  YOU hold the keys to a solution.  That said, selecting a mediator with some experience or niche expertise in your business sector can certainly help in terms of rapport, a common vernacular and acquainting the mediator with the issues.  It also lends credence to the outcome in cases suited to settlement by evaluative mediation.