BSc (Hons), CPhys, MInstP, Chartered Physicist

Solicitor, CEDR Accredited Mediator,

Facilit8 Accredited Mediation Skills Trainer

 

Mediation Experience

Accredited in 1998 and registered in 2000, after his training Vernon gained experience working with some of the UK’s leading mediators.

Disputes have ranged in value from a few thousand pounds to US $250 million and have included substantial and complex matters such as power station construction, deregulated energy sales, banking, finance, IT, transport, landlord and tenant, nuisance claims, contested inheritance, and professional negligence.  The majority of these cases settled during the mediation or in the immediate aftermath.

Vernon’s personal style is relaxed and engaging.  His scientific and engineering experience means he is able to relate to parties very easily on technical issues, whilst maintaining the focus on guiding people to resolution.

Professional Background

A physicist as well as a practising Solicitor, Vernon worked in oil exploration for five years, spending time in charge of a seismic exploration ship at sea.  Immediately upon graduation, he trained with British Airways Plc as a computer programmer/analyst.

Having trained as a Solicitor and worked in a City of London law firm for three years, he now has a practice in Kent, at Thomas Dunton Solicitors. There he is Head of Dispute Resolution and Managing Partner with a significant role in planning the future of the firm’s practice.  He deals with the everyday issues which arise in the running of a business employing forty people, with a seven-figure turnover, in a competitive and highly regulated marketplace.

As a lawyer in Dispute Resolution since 1990, Vernon is experienced in a wide range of dispute disciplines including various commercial litigation, employment, personal injury, debt and property.  Commercial litigation experience has included defending a US $2,000,000 claim by a household-name computer corporation.  His personal injury experience includes a £350,000 head injury settlement; he is also a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.  His employment experience includes successfully representing parties, both employers and employees, in unfair dismissal claims, and advising on the introduction of grievance and disciplinary procedures.  Vernon also has experience as a party to Employment Tribunal proceedings, and therefore understands the parties’ perspective well.

Vernon maintains his Chartered Physicist credentials and has performed live science experiments on behalf of the Institute of Physics, to increase interest in science amongst the public.  He has played a similar ‘educational role’ in mediation since his accreditation.

Vernon has also been co-presenting a one hour live radio show on LBC 97.3, “the Legal Hour”, where he answers calls from listeners on any area of the law. Please click here to hear this series of programmes.

Relevant Skills/Business Experience

Chartered Physicist (CPhys)

Full Member of the Institute of Physics (MInstP)

Trustee (management of a Trust Fund for a minor)

Teaching and coaching skills: ECB level 2 qualified cricket coach.

Facilit8 Accredited Mediation Skills Trainer

Vernon has a basic knowledge of the French and German languages but is not fluent.

Influencing the Law

Vernon has made legal precedent in the following ways:  he had a personal injury case reported in Butterworths’ Personal Injury Law.  The case involved representing an adult with severe learning difficulties, injured whilst in the care of a Local Authority.

He developed a new line of argument in residential mortgage possession cases and, shortly before publication of the supporting article, the House of Lords handed down a new Judgment preventing such argument from being maintained in the future.

He has taken one matter to the Court of Appeal, successfully reversing a series of previous Orders of the High Court.

Additional ADR Experience

Vernon has trained student mediators as part of the Facilit8 Communications Foundation Mediation Skills Training course delivered for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London, and the Athens Bar in Greece, appraising their performance in mock mediations and providing practical coaching prior to formal assessment.

He has co-presented awareness/training seminars and mock mediations including regular events at The Treasury Solicitors.

Vernon has completed the MATA Advanced Mediator Training Course, and various interfaith and cross-cultural mediation training, leading to accreditation as a Faith Dispute Mediator.  He has a firm interest in conflict prevention and peace-making of all kinds.

Other Activities

Formerly Chairman and Secretary of his university’s Physics Society, Vernon is currently Trustee of a sporting and recreational park, and Trustee of the assets of a teenage child.  Formerly Men’s Captain of his local tennis club, since having children he has found himself coach to a junior football team and is now an ECB level 2 qualified cricket coach.

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