Jane Walmsley MCIArb practices as a commercial and workplace mediator, coach and psychotherapist and is a non-practicing barrister. She is a very experienced trainer and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators mediation training faculty. She is also a member of the mediator accreditation panels for CIArb and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. She assesses candidates for accreditation as commercial mediators in the UK and internationally, acting as both assessor and chief assessor.
Jane’s practice as a psychotherapist is underpinned and informed by 30 years’ experience of working with individuals and groups in a wide variety of circumstances that give rise to anxiety, stress, conflict, low confidence and inappropriate or self-sabotaging behaviour. Her approach is founded on existential therapeutic principles. She is experienced in working with people who seek to address: anger, control, depression, inertia, recklessness, difficulties with eating, performance anxiety, rape, childhood sexual abuse, self-harm, bullying, difficulties in relationships. She is in private practice in London.
Why have you decided to specialise in mediation? Tell us about your legal journey to ADR.
I first came across mediation in the mid-1990s. At that time, I was delivering a lot of negotiation skills training to lawyers and was being asked increasingly frequently about how mediation aligned with negotiation. I looked into the process and very much liked its common sense and pragmatism. I realised that there were many transferrable skills between mediation and my role as a coach and trainer. So, I trained and qualified with CEDR as a commercial mediator and have been practising ever since.
How is your mediation practice different from your other professional activities?
For the first 20 years of practicing as a mediator, I continued to practice as a coach and trainer to lawyers in private practice. Alongside that and for the past 6 years, I have been practicing as a psychotherapist, working with individuals and couples. So many of the skills and approaches which I use in both of my additional professional occupations are relevant and applicable to the mediation process and they inform my approach as a mediator.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in the field thus far?
I have been a member of CIArb’s Mediation training and assessment faculty for many years. I was invited to redesign the CIArb Mediator Training Course to align with a training video and handbook produced by David Richbell FCIArb. I then delivered the training course regularly over 6 years or so, together with a great team of fellow tutors and administrative support, both in London and for the Kenya Branch. I feel proud that the course has produced many skilled and dedicated mediators who meet CIArb’s exacting standards for accreditation and membership.
Tell us about your interests, hobbies or activities outside of work.
My professional life involves a great deal of sitting down! Even more so now, in the time of coronavirus, when I’m doing everything on Zoom. So, keeping active in my free time is important. I walk, practice yoga and do barre classes to keep myself mobile. I’m a decent cook and enjoy - enjoyed - entertaining friends and family when that was permitted. I look forward to being able to do this again. And looking at beautiful art whenever possible provides me with a counterbalance to the deep distress which I experience from my clients, both in therapy and in mediation.