Paula O’Halloran triumphs at the IADR Mediation Tournament

We are extremely proud of our colleague, Paula O’Halloran, who has returned victorious from the International Academy of Dispute Resolution Mediation Tournament, which was held on March 4th – 7th at Loyola University of Chicago Law School.

Paula was one of three trainee solicitors chosen to represent the Law Society of Ireland.  The Law Society of Ireland Team was one of the few teams that advanced as Mediators (Top 16) after their performance in three preliminary rounds. The Championship tournament draws more than 50 teams from across the world including the US, Canada, India and Europe.

Receiving the award for 1st place mediator team, Paula said of the achievement: “We are thrilled with the result. The competition was intense so we are very proud and grateful to our coaches, firms and the Law Society for their support throughout.”

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Paula and her teammates on their victory, along with having been selected to represent the Law Society of Ireland on such a prestigious stage. 

Joining Paula in the victory were teammates David Murphy (Michael Houlihan & Partners Solicitors) and Grainne Hussey (Eversheds Sutherland), along with their coach John Lunney.

In attendance at the tournament were approximately 177 participants that represented 59 teams from law schools across the world. 

The tournament sees participants compete through three preliminary rounds in which each team member must serve as a mediator, advocate and client. Mediators are paired with a co-mediator from different law schools, in recognition of the collaborative nature of mediation. 16 teams advance to the semi-final stages with only four mediators selected for the final, where they are judged on their ability to help guide the parties to a resolution of the dispute. 

The first four rounds and the semi-final involved a variety of disputes including Personal Injury,  Nuisance, Wrongful Death, and a dispute between a patient and pharmaceutical company. 

The final round centred on a contract dispute that arose between two parties in respect to the purchase of a building and the possible misrepresentation made by the vendor which the purchasers argued induced them to enter the contract. 

The mediator had to recognise the issues for each party and guide them towards resolution in respect of contract voidability, misrepresentation, repairs, early mortgage prepayment penalties, reduction of the contract price and alternative accommodation in addition to tabling alternative solutions such as reduction of contract price commensurate with the cost of web development professional services. 

(l-r) John Lunney (team coach), Paula O’Halloran (CDS Law & Tax), Grainne Hussey (Eversheds Sutherland) and David Murphy (Michael Houlihan & Partners Solicitors)

Paula co-mediated the final with Charles Campbell of the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law. 

Paula, a graduate of the University of Limerick, began working with CDS Law & Tax in 2017 and will qualify as a solicitor in November 2020.