Felicity Steadman

Oxford Mediation Steering Committee Member

Fellow of the Civil Mediation Council
Legal 500 ranked mediator
CEDR accredited mediator
ILM Qualified Workplace Mediator
CMC Registered Mediator

Mediation Experience

Felicity is a full-time professional in dispute resolution and has worked as an independent mediator since 1989. She is accredited with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and a member of the CEDR Solve panel of mediators. Felicity is a member of the CEDR appointed panel of mediators in The Court of Appeal in the UK.

Felicity is also an ILM Qualified Workplace Mediator, she is registered with the Civil Mediation Council and she is certified by the International Mediation Institute. She attended an ACAS senior conciliator training course in 1991. Felicity is an active member of Oxford Mediation, of which she was a founder member.

She mediates commercial disputes, as well as employment and workplace disputes. She also has experience of boundary, landlord and tenant, property and neighbourhood disputes. She has conducted mediations in a wide range of organisations in the public and private sector, including in Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Personal Style

Felicity describes her style as ‘facilitative’, ‘firm but fair’. She works actively with the mediation process, encourgaing the parties to develop a deeper understanding of the dispute and then to negotiate practical outcomes that as far as possible meet both parties’ needs.

Felicity will typically contact the parties before the mediation day to help them prepare and thereby get the most out of the process.

As a result of years of experience mediating in the context of ongoing relationships, in particular in workplace and employment disputes, Felicity is comfortable with high levels of emotion. She encourages parties to speak directly to one another and likes to work in joint session when the circumstances indicate that this would be constructive.

Recent  Experience

Commercial contract

  • Commercial breach of contract dispute over unpaid fees between accountant and building company, which had gone into liquidation.
  • Commercial breach of contract. County court referred mediation in fast track claims between builder and homeowner over unpaid invoices and unfinished building works.
  • Commercial dispute between grouse, partridge and pheasant shooting estate and a farmer over shooting rights.
  • Commercial breach of contract dispute between homeowner and builder over a dispute concerning loft conversion.
  • Commercial breach of contract dispute between large food packaging company  and a recyclingservice over unpaid invoices.
  • Commercial breach of contract dispute between a laundry service and a family owned hotel over unpaid invoices and unsatisfactory service.

Employment and Workplace

  • Gender and religious discrimination between publishing house and director. Settled on various terms enabling director to continue employment in publishing house.
  • Post grievance mediation in large museum concerning poor performance and unco-operative behaviour. Settled on various terms with relationship on-going.
  • Disability discrimination claim between in-house solicitor, represented by trade union, and large public sector organisation. Settled post issue and six weeks prior to ET.
  • Age discrimination and unfair dismissal alleged by sales person against multinational. Post issue, a few weeks before ET.
  • Bullying and harassment alleged by project manager against insurance company. Post investigation but pre-issue of claim.
  • Managerial style. Clash of old guard manager and newly appointed CEO. Both valued employees who directors would prefer not to have leave the organisation.
  • Return to work after sick leave of team members following relationship breakdown between managers and team. Twelve individual mediations take place after careful conflict analysis.
  • Unfair dismissal and whistle blowing claim by senior scientist against multinational pharmaceutical company. Pre issue of proceedings.
  • Managerial style. Two partners in a law firm can longer work together and clash over how their departments interact and about how they deal with strategic decision making in the firm.
  • Managerial style. Two academics in a highly respected university fall out over decision making style of more senior one of the two. Both need to be able  to fundraise and work together.
  • Relationship breakdown. Employment solicitor and a transaction solicitor can no longer work together because transaction solicitor keeps straying into employment law when giving advice in mergers and acquisitions.

Professional Background

  • 1991 – PRESENT.  Felicity has worked as a freelance dispute resolution practitioner since 1991. In that time she has been a mediation and arbitration panellist of leading private and statutory dispute resolution agencies in the UK and South Africa. She has been a director of the training company Conflict Dynamics since 1996.
  • 1991 – 1992.  Project manager for the Community Dispute Resolution Trust at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies University of the Witwatersrand.
  • 1989 – 1990.  Assistant to the director and member of the mediation, arbitration, facilitation and training panels of the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa.
  • 1986 – 1989.  Group industrial relations advisor for the Premier Group of companies.
  • 1982 – 1984.  Senior professional officer for the Institute for Industrial Relations.

Other skills and training

Felicity trains extensively in conflict management and dispute resolution processes and skills. She is a lead member of the CEDR training faculty and also trains commercial mediators in South Africa. She trains extensively for the International Labour Organisation.

Felicity has a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Warwick (1985); and from the University of the Witwatersrand she has a BA Honours (1981), a Certificate Programme in Industrial Relations (1984) and a Higher Diploma in Labour Law (2003). She was top student in both the Certificate and Diploma courses and passed both with distinction.

Felicity recently co-authored a book on commercial mediation in South Africa – Commercial Mediation : a user’s guide Juta 2012, and in 1997 she co-authored the book Labour Dispute Resolution published by Juta (revised in 2008). She was a contributor to the book Dispute Resolution (published by Juta in 1993). In 2007 she authored the publication Handbook on Alternative Labour Dispute Resolution for the International Labour Organisation.