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Thought Leaders

Michel Kallipetis QC

Michel Kallipetis QC

Independent MediatorsInternational Dispute Resolution Centre70 Fleet StreetLondonEnglandEC4Y 1EU

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

Global Leader

Mediation 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Michel Kallipetis QC is a “well-respected” figure in mediation, garnering recognition as “really excellent” and a “great mediator and teacher”.

Biography

 

With 40 years’ experience as a practising barrister in the field of general commercial, professional negligence and employment work, and 15 years sitting as a deputy High Court judge in Queen’s Bench, Chancery Division and the TCC, Michel is equipped to mediate most civil and commercial disputes. Ten years ago, he left Littleton Chambers, of which he had been head, and founded Independent Mediators Ltd to practise as a full-time mediator. With some 1,000-plus civil and commercial mediations behind him in the UK and abroad, Michel is recognised in the legal directories as an expert in his field in mediation both in the UK and internationally.

He is a distinguished fellow and president-elect of the International Academy of Mediators. He was the first chairman of the England and Wales Bar Council ADR committee and a member of the working party that drafted the EU Code of Practice for Mediators, and he gave expert opinion to JURI, the legal service committee of the European Parliament, prior to its adopting the European ADR Directive. In 2012 he was invited to join the Singapore Mediation Centre’s international panel of mediators. He is regularly asked to give seminars and mediation advocacy training in the UK and abroad. WWL named him “Mediator of the Year” in 2017, and placed him among a small number of Thought Leaders in mediation across the world. He represented IAM at UNCITRAL’s Working Group II, which drafted the Singapore Convention for the international recognition of international commercial mediated settlement agreements.

National Leader

UK Bar - Mediation - Silks 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The legendary Michel Kallipetis QC is appreciated by market commentators as “a hugely experienced mediator in the market”, with expertise in a broad array of disputes.

Biography

Failing my Greek AS level was a blow to my Father but as it turned out was probably the start of a series of changes in my life which brought me to where I am now. My place to read Classics at KCL gave way to my joining the Exchequer & Audit Department (now the NAO) and a three-year day release course to qualify as an auditor. The wonderful Professor Clive Schmittoff was my law tutor who encouraged me when I qualified to read Law and join Gray’s Inn as a student barrister. My Department gave me a sabbatical to take up a place at UCL and my bank manager lent me the money to pay the admission fees for Gray’s Inn. My tutor at UCL arranged pupillage for me in the Chambers of the late Sir Morris Finer QC with the late HH Brian Capstick QC, who taught me that compassion and law were bedfellows, and introduced me to the late HH David Croft QC for my second pupillage from whom I learned that cross examination was a skilled art. Between them and the other members of Chambers which included Alexander Irvine, later Lord Chancellor, Tony Blair and Cherie Booth the incomparable Sir Peter Pain and the legendary Michael Sherrard QC, I received a grounding in criminal, civil, family and employment law, court craft and client care which carried me through my career in those Chambers of which I became the Head upon the appointment of my great friend Sir Michael Burton. In 2018 I received a silver Griffin to mark my 50 years call to the Bar.

In the late 1980’s I heard the late Philip Naughton QC talk about mediation. It was another seismic shift in my life. I invited CEDR to train a dozen of us in Chambers and I began my career as a mediator. In 2007 I left Chambers and founded Independent Mediators with my close friend and colleague Nicholas Pryor and then a few months later we were joined by Bill Marsh and Charles Dodson. We are now nine and effectively a real mediation chambers, but above all a group of friends and experienced colleagues on whom we each call when the need arises. I was instructed by the ADR Group in Halsey v Milton Keynes, which gave an additional boost to mediation in general and lawyers professional obligation to advise on ADR in particular. Having sat as a deputy judge for over twenty years, the last 15 of which was as a High Court Judge in QB, Chancery and the TCC, and in the County Court before that, coupled with my practice at the Bar in Commercial Law, Employment and Professional Negligence, has equipped me with experience of a wide variety of disputes invaluable in my mediation practice, and, as a result, I am asked to mediate all civil and commercial disputes.  

As chairman of the Bar ADR Committee I was a member of the working party which drafted the European Code of Conduct for Mediators and subsequently I gave evidence to the EU Parliament prior to its adopting the EU Mediation Directive in 2013. The International Academy of Mediators invited me to become a Distinguished Fellow in 2009 and I was introduced to an academy of the leading mediators in the world. Their combined experience is millions of hours of mediation, mostly in North America, but with a significant membership outside. I have been elected President for the year 2021-22 with a mandate to enlarge the international membership and share their wealth of experience and knowledge with those countries now actively pursuing mediation as a preferred dispute resolution process. As IAM’s representative I was part of UNCITRAL’s WGII which drafted the Singapore Convention. Recently the IAM jointly with the HKMC organised a symposium spread worldwide over 5 days, in five different time zones, with 32 speakers from 10 jurisdictions and over 900 participants. As President I hope to hold another to include South America, Africa, India and the Middle East.

Training mediators and lawyers in several jurisdictions is an important part of my professional life. I took part in the first ICC Mediation Competition 16 years ago, and it is hugely satisfying to see how it has been replicated all over the world, whiIe still attracting law students from every continent each year in Paris. To see a whole generation of lawyers learning that disputes can be resolved rather than won or lost gives me hope for our future.
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