Head of Risk & Compliance
“Freeths LLP’s Charles Powell, is ‘an exceptional mediator’. He ‘finds patches of common ground in battlefields littered with casualties’ and ‘parties trust him to guide them towards a resolution because he understands the necessary ingredients for settlement and does not allow himself, or the parties, to become hung up on irrelevant aspects’. Powell has over 20 years of mediation experience and has conducted over 500 commercial mediations; he specialises in commercial and partnership disputes, property and fire damage claims, professional negligence and banking and asset finance disputes.”
(The Legal 500, 2020)
Charles has been advising corporate clients, insurance companies and financial institutions on dispute resolution for over 35 years. He is National Head of Risk & Compliance and has also been an active Mediator for over 15 years. He was a partner at Pinsent Curtis solicitors in Leeds for six years and at Shoosmiths in Nottingham for five, before joining Freeths LLP as a Partner in 2001. Charles became Freeths’ Head of Risk and Compliance in 2012.
Charles trained as a mediator with both ADR Group (accredited 1992) and CEDR (accredited 1996). He has conducted well over 500 commercial mediations and, in addition, has considerable experience of taking clients through the mediation process.
Charles is listed as a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 (2020 edition) and is ranked in Chambers (2019 edition) as a Leading Individual.
Charles’ experience as a mediator includes:
- Professional negligence claims (solicitors, architects, accountants and surveyors)
- Construction & property claims (including Landlord & Tenant and fire damage claims)
- Shareholder/warranty disputes
- Commercial Agents claims
- Contractual and negligence claims
- Partnership disputes – particularly Solicitors partnership disputes
- Banking and asset finance disputes
- Personal injury claims
- Employment disputes
- Contested Wills & dependency claims
- Franchise disputes
- Product liability claims
Charles is a founder member of the Association of Midlands Mediators, a member of ADR Group, a member of Civil Mediation Council and a member of the Sport Resolutions mediation panel. He is also a founder member of Hexagon Mediation which is a small specialist mediation provider.
Charles is a regular speaker at seminars on mediation in particular, and ADR in general, and the author of many articles and newsletters on the subject of mediation. He is also a panel member of In Place of Strife.
- Mediated in a dispute concerning breach of fiduciary duty against the First Defendant; a debt claim against the Second Defendant and a Petition for relief under s.994 of the Companies Act 2006. The issues in the matter were complex but Charles was able to achieve a settlement on the day of the mediation.
- Mediated in a dispute relating to the purchase of a hotel and the accountant’s business plan at the time the hotel was acquired. The Claimant’s case was that the market value at the time of the acquisition did not reflect the actual business operation which the Claimant claimed was far less than the price paid for it. Charles was able to assist the parties to reach a settlement shortly after the mediation.
- Mediated in a solicitor’s professional negligence claim arising out of their handling of a personal injury RTA. The matter was high value and involved complex issues on liability, causation and quantum. Settlement was achieved at the mediation.
- Mediated in a claim under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 and a Counterclaim for losses suffered as a result of the Claimants’ alleged repudiatory breach of contract. This matter involved significant expert evidence on the counterclaim for loss of profits. Settlement was achieved at the mediation.
- Mediated in a negligence claim made against an architect in respect of a residential construction project that did not proceed as the Claimants had hoped. The issues in the matter were complex but Charles was able to assist the parties reach a settlement in the week following the mediation.
Charles has received instructions to mediate cases from, amongst many others, the following firms:
- Addleshaw Goddard
- Bell Lax
- Emms Gilmore Liberson
- George Green
- Gowling WLG (UK)
- Hallmark Hulme
- Ironmonger Curtis
- Lupton Fawcett
- Lyons Davidson
- Mills & Reeve
- Walker Morris
- ADR Group
- Association of Midlands Mediators
- Civil Mediation Council
- Hexagon Mediation
- Sport Resolutions
- In Place of Strife
“…handles mediations exceptionally well; he establishes a good relationship with parties and assists in achieving results; he also has a good grasp of the facts and the law and explores the strengths and weaknesses of cases in a sensible manner”.(The Legal 500, 2019)
“Charles Powell at Freeths is praised for the “incisive” mediating style that he applies to partnership, professional negligence and property disputes, among a number of other commercial claims. Clients report: “He’s very approachable and level-headed, and has a calming manner that puts clients at ease. You feel he goes the extra way to coax things towards a settlement”.(Chambers & Partners, 2020)
“Charles Powell has a strong mediation practice which centres on partnership, professional negligence, banking and other commercial claims. One market source states: ‘He is very professional, approachable and personable. He is hands-on and pushes in the right direction.’ He is often instructed on particularly contentious matters where relations between parties are acrimonious.”(Chambers & Partners, 2017)
“Just wanted to convey my thanks for your efforts yesterday. I thought you judged the mood perfectly. Whether or not that is your normal style I don’t know but it works and I wish more mediators would do the same.”
“I should like to take this opportunity to express both my and my clients’ thanks for your sterling efforts in bringing this long and hard fought litigation to a complete and satisfactory conclusion last month. I do not think many of us fancied your chances on the lead up to the mediation and we were all very grateful and impressed that you managed to bring the parties together – despite the additional hurdle which materialised on the day.”
“Masterfully guided the parties to finding a solution. Never felt rushed. Managed the parties well when the lawyers were drafting.”
“Charles had a calm and affable demeanour which I believe contributed to the success of the mediation. He was quick to assess the parties’ positions and clearly worked hard in both rooms to achieve a settlement on the day. Very effective mediator and will recommend to others.”
“In our opinion the mediator was faultless in his approach both before, during and after the mediation and we would not hesitate to recommend Charles Powell as a mediator in the future.”
“We were struck by Charles’ professional yet personal touch in dealing with our lay clients. We very much appreciated Charles’ expertise and friendly approach to the matter and Charles ability to cut to the chase when required.”
“Charles’s knowledge of the litigation process enabled him to provide, in a firm but polite way and putting them in a commercial context, the pros and cons of each side’s arguments which resulted in a successful mediation. Obviously a skilful mediator.”
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