Commercial Conflict Attorney David Shapiro Retires At 80

LAWFUEL – Law Firm Newswire – David Shapiro is leaving SJ Berwin LLP. During the last twelve years, David has made an outstanding contribution to the firm and to the practice of mediation in this country. It is typical of this extraordinary man that at the age of 80 he will not be retiring as such but will continue to act as a mediator. However, having been given the opportunity to advise on Class Actions both here and in the US, he has concluded that this work is best undertaken on an independent basis to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

Craig Pollack, Head of Litigation, says, “We are very grateful to David for his contribution to the practice and he will be deeply missed. He has put SJ Berwin at the forefront of mediation in the UK. We cannot be anything but supportive and encouraging to a man who at the age of 80 is always looking for the next challenge.”

David Shapiro says, “I have had twelve great years at SJ Berwin during which everyone has provided me with fantastic support. I will miss them all: lawyers, secretaries, support staff…even management.

“All the SJB lawyers, secretaries and support staff should know that I appreciate all they have done for me and that leaving here has been a truly difficult decision.”

Phillip Howell-Richardson, who joined the firm in 2005, will succeed David as Head of the ADR unit. Phillip was recently admitted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and is also the Honorary Chairman of ADR Net.

Phillip Howell-Richardson says “David will continue to be a magnificent friend and inspiration. We broke the mould here, bringing mediation to the heart of English High Court Procedure. My challenge now and in the future is to build on SJ Berwin’s great platform to develop ADR internationally.”

David Shapiro came to SJ Berwin when the Woolf Reforms were in the planning and consultation stages on the initiative of David Harrel (then Senior Partner and Head of Litigation). Lord Woolf has publicly acknowledged David Shapiro’s influence in the introduction of incentives for parties to mediate, being included in the reforms of the Rules of the Supreme Court in 1999.

David Harrel says “David Shapiro’s passion for inventing creative solutions to commercial conflict immediately struck a chord with the team at SJ Berwin, and we are proud to inaugurate an Annual ADR Lecture in his name to mark both his legacy to the firm and his contribution to dispute resolution here and abroad. Details of the first Annual ADR Lecture planned for Summer 2008 to be entitled The David Shapiro Annual Outrage will be circulated shortly.”

Ralph Cohen, Managing Partner, says, “We wish David every success as he embarks on the next phase of his illustrious legal career.”

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