About Stephen Barker

Stephen Barker is an independent commercial mediator and trainer.

Stephen has been involved with mediation since the mid 1990s. In 2001 he was accredited as a mediator by CEDR.

Since then, Stephen has mediated a wide variety of civil and commercial disputes. He has also trained hundreds of lawyers, mediators and business people in mediation skills.

Stephen has a creative and facilitative style and works tirelessly to enable parties to find solutions to their problems, however complex. His dogged approach has resulted in a very high settlement rate in his mediations.

Stephen has successfully mediated some seemingly intractable long-running sagas (in one recent case the dispute started 14 years before it was settled at mediation). In these mediations, the settlement of the disputes has been life-changing for the individuals and liberating for the businesses involved.

Prior to setting up Stephen Barker Mediation, for many years Stephen was a partner and head of commercial litigation for the Birmingham office of Eversheds, one of the leading international law firms. Subsequently, he became a partner at US law firm Reed Smith and later their Birmingham off-shoot, Hill Hofstetter. During his legal career, Stephen has been fortunate to gain fantastic experience representing many household name clients in major business disputes, sometimes with values in the hundreds of millions.

Stephen Barker received many plaudits during his legal career, including being rated by Chambers & Partners as one of only three Band 1 commercial litigators in the West Midlands. He was one of the first solicitors to be awarded Higher Rights of Audience in 1998 and twice acted as advocate in the Court of Appeal.

Stephen is a member of the CEDR Solve panel and the Association of Midlands Mediators' Civil and Commercial panel.

Mission

As a mediator Stephen sees his mission as:
  • creating neutral, calm and professional space where people are able to find solutions to issues of conflict and dispute
  • uncovering underlying barriers and hidden opportunities by listening patiently and allowing people to explain their needs and concerns in private
  • empowering decision-makers to identify solutions that meet their needs and that they consider to be fair
  • helping people to control the outcome of their dispute.
Beliefs

Stephen believes that:
  • a mediator is not a judge and should never judge the parties, their actions, motivations or their legal case
  • a mediator’s ego has no place in a mediation
  • a mediator should never divulge any information disclosed to him in confidence
  • a mediator should be in control of the process, but allow the parties to control the solution.

Detailed experience

Stephen Barker's Mediation CV