Mediation of Will Trust & Probate Disputes

Civil litigants in England and Wales can lawfully be compelled to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR), according to a new report by the Civil Justice Council. See:

Mandatory (alternative) dispute resolution is lawful and should be encouraged: Mandatory (alternative) dispute resolution is lawful and should be encouraged | Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Compulsory ADR: Civil-Justice-Council-Compulsory-ADR-report-1.pdf (

A move towards compulsory ADR? (

In the Foreword to my book the ‘Contentious Probate Handbook’ published by the Law Society in 2016, Toby Graham, Partner and head of the Contentious Trusts and Estates Group at Farrer & Co LLP wrote,

The author considers alternative dispute resolution, an important alternative to litigation, at length.  Mediation is geared to problem solving rather than apportioning blame.  It also helps to identify and address the underlying causes of family disputes in a way that litigation does not.  Mr Islam is a proponent of mediation and has pioneered a method called ‘Guided Settlement’, which is rooted in early neutral evaluation.’

My more recent book, the ‘Contentious Trusts Handbook’, published by the Law Society in 2020, also contains a methodology that I specifically designed for the mediation of trust disputes.

For a mediation methodology I designed for cases in the Court of Protection, see:

“The Advocate and the Expert in the Court of Protection”, published in the Expert Witness Journal (Autumn 2018). Co-authored with Dr Hugh Series of Oxford University.

The Advocate and the Expert in the Court of Protection | Expert Witness Journal

I had the great privilege of meeting with the late Professor Roger Fisher for two hours in his study at Harvard Law School during an academic visit from King’s College London in 2002, and his parting advice was,

‘Appreciate their point of view:

  • understand it – it’s very important to appreciate the way they see it,
  • even if you don’t agree, say that it merits serious consideration, don’t say that they are wrong.

Appreciate their self-esteem.

Acknowledge that the other person has been heard.

Be prepared to argue their case better than they can before you answer it.’

I am undertaking the Bar Council Mediator Foundation course in July 2021. Successful completion of the course results in:

  • Certification as a Society of Mediators recognised mediator;
  • Accreditation as a Civil Mediation Council civil and commercial mediator; and
  • Recognition by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.