About Our Mediators

Our mediators are fully qualified and experienced, and as well as having wide experience of mediation each mediator can bring a particular expert knowledge to the mediation if required. We know our business and we know what is important in your business. We are experienced in mediating in complex multi party and court referred mediations.

Mediated Dispute Solutions is registered with the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) as a provider of mediators for civil and commercial disputes. As such it is listed on the CMC website and on the Ministry of Justice Mediation Providers website.

All our mediators are accredited by one of the recognised mediation trainers in the UK and all conform with requirements of panel membership of the CMC, including indemnity, continuous CPD and an agreement to be bound by the European Code of Conduct for Mediators.

Mediated Dispute Solutions is led by Deborah and Michael Butterworth. Both are registered by the Civil Mediation Council (CMC).

Deborah Butterworth

Family and Civil & Commercial Mediator


Deborah Butterworth has had 18 years' experience resolving disputes and has been a mediator since 2012. She was Called to the Bar in 2013 having passed the Bar Professional Training Course.

As a qualified Family Mediator, Deborah leads Mediated Family Solutions. She believes that mediations work best when the parties work hard to find common ground and not wait for the other side to give ground. She has had a broad experience in conflict resolution and encourages creative thinking in parenting plans to allow parents to successfully move forward as separated co-parents.

As Civil and Commercial mediator, Deborah is effective at setting the direction, focus and priorities of a dispute and is able to bring parties quickly together towards resolution. Deborah uses a collaborative style engaging parties to work together to successfully challenge preconceptions and break down barriers. Openness and transparency are encouraged with an emphasis on preserving relationships and trust. Deborah focuses attention on resolving the issues to mutual satisfaction.

A confident mediator Deborah knows how to loosen the knots that tie problems together. She embodies a calm engaging empathy that is needed to draw issues out and has the gravitas to make parties work for resolution.

Michael Butterworth

Civil & Commercial Mediator


As a mediator Michael develops a dialogue between parties that allows them to resolve their disagreements and work together on the solution. He acts as a go between encouraging and developing ways moving forward from disputes by encouraging resolution. Michael is tenacious in not allowing parties to give up when the going gets tough. He has had great success in getting to the nub of the issue and finding a way to closure. Michael is experienced in working in Europe, Africa, South East Asia, Australasia, America and Canada.

Michael has 28 years' experience in resolving civil and commercial disputes including:

  • Breach of contract
  • Misrepresentation
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Supply of services
  • Racial harassment
  • Franchising
  • The aircraft industry
  • The railways
  • Contractor disputes
  • Building disputes
  • Professional disagreement, including breach of contract and partnership disputes

In addition to our directors, Deborah and Michael Butterworth, our panel comprises:

Andrew Perrin
Harvinder Singh Bhurji
Paul Sandford

Paul Sandford qualified as a mediator in 2012. He qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and was appointed as a tribunal judge in 2003. He currently divides his time between his mediation and judicial roles.

As a civil mediator Paul has a number of specialisms including commercial medical, sports, educational and faith mediations. As a family mediator he has a particular interest in trust disputes involving families and unmarried couples and disputes in family businesses. He draws on both his mediation skills and the considerable experience he has derived from his legal work. Paul has a particular knowledge and understanding of the entire spectrum of medical and disability issues. He is also very adept at working with people who do not have English as a first language and has an excellent understanding of any attendant cultural issues.

Paul is a good, calm empathetic listener and has a knack of asking the right questions at the right time. He uses plain, simple English, gets to the heart of the matter and comes up with creative but practical solutions and suggestions. He always gets the very best out of the people he works with, even in the most complex or demanding of cases.

Mark Reuben

Each of our mediators offers an individual background to mediation, which allows Mediated Dispute Solutions to provide a very broad range of experience. Professional negligence, medical negligence, re-insurance, construction, tax, trusts and wills are just some of the areas of expertise that the members have. Each individual member can work in two or more of the fields of either commercial and civil mediation, family mediation or community mediation and therefore Mediated Dispute Solutions has both the breadth and depth of experience required to be able to provide an appropriate mediator for any situation.

Directors in Dispute

We also offer mediation for Company Directors in dispute to help them resolve issues which have developed. This is particularly useful for repairing and maintaining the working relationship between them so they can keep working together.