Sir Henry Brooke

On behalf of all mediators at Trust Mediation, past and present, I would like to offer a few words of tribute to Sir Henry Brooke who, so sadly, passed away on 30 January. He was a great lawyer, an inspirational mediator, a great communicator and a wonderful man.

Sir Henry, then recently retired from the Court of Appeal, was a founder member of Trust Mediation in 2008 and our first chairman. For over 5 years he led what was then a brand new organisation in its work of bringing mediation to a new, and sometimes sceptical audience. Instinctively, he knew that to be a mediator it was necessary for him to, as he put it, take his “judge head” off. So, with the thoroughness to which many will be accustomed, he took not one but three different mediation training courses.

Unsurprisingly, he was a brilliant mediator. It was once commented that the most effective form of reality testing in mediation was a raised eyebrow from Sir Henry. In a board meeting one day, about two years after he started his new career, he and his fellow directors were discussing mediation statistics. Casually, and with the modesty that Sir Henry always showed, he mentioned that each of his last 20 mediations had led to settlement. That achievement was of no moment to him but he did want the statistics to be accurate and bought to the attention of clients.

Clinical negligence was a subject of particular interest to Sir Henry, and he had enjoyed this work when he was at the bar. He soon developed a mediation following in this area. This work foreshadowed the NHSR mediation scheme which started last year and is now gathering some momentum.

Sir Henry cared about justice and about people. He won people over with his intellect, the vast experience that he could draw upon on and with an almost ever present twinkle in his eye. We know that our little corner of the forest was a small part of his domain for a short period, but those of us who had the privilege of working with him are grateful for the experience and will always remember him with great respect and affection.

Tim Wallis

Chair

Trust Mediation Limited

One Response to Sir Henry Brooke

  1. This is a lovely tribute: thank you. One slightly unnerving outcome of all the mediation training courses Dad went on in his 70s was that he learnt all sorts of communication techniques that were entirely new to him (leaning forward,nodding, making eye contact, that sort of thing) & started practising them at home on his family.

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