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Mediation Meander 4: A Brew with Ben Rigby

Those who follow Ben on Twitter (@BenRigbyJourno) will know that this week he ran a poll on what the correct term is for ordering a cup of tea.

As you can see, the result was overwhelming - in favour of "A cup of tea, please."

I'm more in the "A brew, please" camp, though I would never ask for a brew outside the house.

Indoors, I would say to my wife "Fancy a brew?", but if ordering outdoors I would go with "T please Bob". Sadly that was not an option.

Anyway, it was good to meet Ben in the flesh, having been aware of him and his influence as a legal journalist with a bent towards dispute resolution for many years. I first came across Ben during his time at CDR, not to be confused with CEDR, where I was at the time.

As the main idea behind the Mediation Meander series is to meet people locally, the fact that Ben is just down the road from me in Hutton was ideal, and we chose Bonnie's Cafe on the A129, linking our two towns (is Hutton a 'town'?).

I think we both agreed that it was good to meet with someone the same age who basically knows all the names of old and the history that goes with working in this small sector adjoined to the legal industry. We shared ideas on how we feel ADR and the law will develop post-COVID, and how we ourselves have adapted to the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at our own doorstep, as small businesses / freelancers in our own right.

Discussions naturally extended to football (Ben being of the West Ham persuasion, whilst I am of course Liverpool through and through) and on to gardening, at which point I was pleased to be able to gift Ben a Poinsettia Chilli grown from seed. Sadly I name my plants so can confirm that Ben was gifted Dalek Sec (pictured in his new habitat). Chilli's have to have powerful origins and there are not many more powerful than Dalek Sec, one of the toughest Daleks in town!

So thanks Ben, thanks to Bonnie's where the service was excellent and the bacon sandwiches were to die for.

I look forward to a follow up with Ben in a few weeks time, catching up on stories from the world of ADR and seeing how our theories on the future of mediation, arbitration and the law pan out once lockdown restrictions are removed completely.

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