Henry Brown

Areas of expertise

Civil-commercial, family and hybrid mediation; establishing mediation organisations; training; writing



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Professional Memberships

Law Society of England & Wales (non-practising)
Life Member of the UK’s Civil Mediation Council
Co-founder and Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association
Life Member – ADR Net; Accredited mediator, CEDR
BIMA – Belief in Mediation & Arbitration (an interfaith mediation organisation)

Pre-retirement, my professional membership also included:
PIM Senior Mediator Emeritus (Panel of Independent Mediators)
Practitioner member, Law Society’s specialist panel of civil and commercial mediators
Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Professional Experience and Expertise

Admitted as an attorney in South Africa (1962) I practised as a commercial, family and litigation lawyer and also had a political practice, which included acting for Nelson Mandela on Robben Island. In 1971 I emigrated to the UK, where I requalified as a solicitor (1975) and practised in London, initially in my own firm with a partner and latterly as a partner and consultant in the City. I retired from legal practice in 2005.
I initially trained as a mediator in New York in 1985 then mediated until retiring in 2012. I co-founded the Family Mediators Association, was on the original training faculty of CEDR, and set up the mediation programme for the family lawyers’ organisation, Resolution (and served as its first Director of Mediation). I also co-ran mediation training in the UK, Hong Kong, Denmark, Iceland and South Africa.
I was author of the Law Society's Report on civil and commercial ADR (1991) and co-author with Arthur Marriott QC of ADR Principles and Practice (1993, 1999 & 2011). I co-wrote Managing Difficult Divorce Relationships (2006) with Neil Dawson and Brenda McHugh and our latest book Psychology, Emotions and Intuition in Work Relationships: The Head, Heart & Gut Professional is to be published in the autumn of 2017.


I believe that we need to work with “head, heart and gut” – combining psychology, “boundaried empathy”, emotional awareness, creativity and careful intuition with professional skill in mediation practice and indeed in all aspects of professional life. I have followed and taught traditional practice, and have also been involved in developing workshops on working with high conflict personalities and in developing “hybrid” practice merging different models.

Client Feedback

I received the Danish Mediation Institute’s inaugural award for my work in developing mediation in Denmark; the UK Civil Mediation Council’s 2013 Lord Slynn Prize for developing mediation in the UK; and the International Academy of Mediators’ 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.

I have retired from mediation practice, but when I was practising I consistently appeared as a commercial mediation specialist in Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession in which over the years I have been described as “an all-round ‘first class’ mediator with a reputation for settling unsettlable cases”; “the ideal mediator – cool, calm and a good listener”; “an acknowledged pioneer in the field”; “superb”; “unparalleled experience”; “…he specialises in mediations where there has been a breakdown in working relationships, especially those involving family businesses, partnerships and shareholders”; “a gentle, humane person with effective methods”; “tremendously impressive”; “excellent all-round mediator”.

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