Lawyer sees no conflict of interest

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 July, 2011, 12:00am


Lawyers are trained to argue in an adversarial setting while mediators are taught to help parties in a dispute find a compromise. Young barrister Danny Chan Kin-keung, who is also an accredited mediator, does not see conflict between the two professions.

'The major difference is lawyers are fighting for the best interest of their clients while mediators have to have a neutral stand.

'But both professions are still required to hold an objective view about the disputes,' Chan said.

Despite the strong promotion of mediation by the judiciary, Chan said he found many people remained unaware of the process until told of it by a court or their lawyers.

From his practical experience, Chan said parties who had family ties might not always be helpful in resolving disputes through mediation.

He added: 'Some of their disputes have been aggravated by personal grievances which may not easily be resolved through payment.

'But we also see cases in which the parties would make concessions about the payment if the other side was willing to apologise.'