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Virtual mediation here to stay, experts believe
Helen Kilroy of McCann FitzGerald

13 Jul 2020 / law society Print

Virtual mediation here to stay, experts believe

Virtual mediation and dispute resolution will still have a role to play after COVID-19 restrictions end, according to experts from the Law Society’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee.

They were speaking on a webinar on the issue for the LegalED talks series, which is available on legaledtalks.learnskills.ie.


Brian McMullin, of law firm Brian J McMullin, outlines on the webinar the basis of mediation, pointing out that litigation represents a failure by the parties involved in a dispute, and their lawyers, to resolve their differences themselves.

Helen Kilroy of McCann FitzGerald (pictured) says mediation still works virtually, adding that the available technology is “manageable and effective”. She believes the positive attributes of mediation remain with virtual technology.


She has completed eight mediations during the pandemic restrictions, and says that most have settled, and the failure of the others to settle was for reasons other than the virtual technology.

Helen Kilroy and arbitrator Éamonn Conlon, who looks at the practicalities of conducting arbitration remotely, both agree that careful preparation for virtual hearings is important, including testing the technology and managing what documents need to be reviewed.

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