The role of a mediator
A mediator’s role is to facilitate a settlement of the issues in dispute, and in order to achieve this everything discussed within private sessions remains confidential unless specifically waived. Unlike a judge in court proceedings, a mediator’s role is not to pass judgment on the merits of the issues in dispute, but to enable open and frank discussion. A mediator will challenge issues in order to assist parties towards reaching an agreement and, if parties are at the same time legally represented, engage with those representatives and challenge the legal arguments being advanced, if helpful. Whether legally represented or not, a mediator will ensure both parties are able to state their case, address underlying concerns and ambitions, and work through the issues that are important to them; issues they may not have had the opportunity to explore or address in formal legal proceedings.
Serena trained and practised as a commercial litigation solicitor in London and the Southwest with Ince & Co, Bond Pearce LLP and Davies Johnson & Co, with emphasis on international shipping, superyacht design and build, as well as mainstream civil and commercial litigation. She now works as a consultant with a large nationwide firm, in order to help those who need legal support if mediation has not been possible. Having been involved in a number of mediations as a legal representative/adviser to the parties, she subsequently qualified herself as a mediator in 2008 with Clerksroom, London, with her focus then migrating towards Dispute Resolution and in particular Mediation. Serena has also developed specialty in Workplace & Employment Mediation (The Society of Mediators, London), in part reflecting the increase in disputes relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) issues; a subject that she is passionate about, and currently practises within her military career.
Serena is also a Commander in the Royal Navy Reserve. She has undertaken and been appointed to a number of tactical and strategic roles and is currently Commanding Officer (CO) of HMS Vivid. Previous roles have included Equality Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) advisor, trainer and case-handler, ensuring compliance with ED&I policy, personnel training, implementation, and resolution of adverse incidents arising.
Serena is a fully accredited member of, and Panel Mediator for the Civil Mediation Council (CMC the regulatory body for mediators). She is a Panel Mediator and committee member of the Association of South West Mediators (ASWM) and a certified member of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Serena is also associated with and supports a number of charity organisations, is a member of the Society of Mediators (London), the Mediator Network and the Association of Women Solicitors (London). Latitude Mediation is fully compliant with the European Code of Practice for Mediators 2004.
Business associations include the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, the Torbay Business & Chambers network and the Plymouth Law Society.