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Margaret is a researcher, author and an experienced mediator, specialising in equalities issues and disputes between individuals and public bodies. She is accredited in special educational needs and disabilities mediation and in elder mediation.

As a Visiting Research Fellow with the University of Essex School of Law, she combines her rights-based mediation practice with research that explores the role of mediation and ombuds in administrative justice. 

In 2022, Margaret became the first mediator in England to be certified as a specialist mediator in disputes involving older people:


Margaret wrote the first guide to appropriate dispute resolution in the UK, Advising on ADR, published in 2000 by the Advice Services Alliance, where she worked with the independent advice service to develop awareness of alternatives to litigation for social welfare issues. She worked with the Public Law Project to carry out the first UK research into mediation in judicial review (2009-11).

Her other research has included evaluations of the court-based mediation pilots in Manchester County Court (2004-06), mapping the use of informal resolution by ombud institutions (2014), a study of equality and human rights dispute resolution (for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2016-18), and young people’s participation in resolving disputes about their special educational needs and disabilities support (2019). She is a member of the Academic Panel of the Administrative Justice Council.

Margaret was one of the original panel mediators with the Disability Conciliation Service established by the Disability Rights Commission in 2001, and she practised with that service’s successor, the Equalities Mediation Service, until it closed in 2013. Since 2003 she has been an independent mediator in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and in elder mediation.

Margaret’s approach as a mediator is facilitative and rights based. She mediates in claims against public bodies such as schools and local authorities, including discrimination (especially disability discrimination) claims and challenges to decision-making. She is a member of the College of Mediators and is accredited under the SEND Practice Standards and certified by the Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN).


‘SEND Review: Why mandatory mediation in SEND appeals isn’t wanted – or needed’, blog post, (2022) 

'Mediation values in citizen-state disputes’, blog post, (2020) 

Reimagining Administrative Justice: Human Rights in Small Places, with Nick O'Brien, Palgrave/Macmillan (2019)

‘Can kindness shape a new citizen-state relationship? A word with The Man in Black’, blog post, www.domarmediation, (2019) 

A Place at the Table: A report on young people's participation in resolving disputes about special educational needs & disabilities, UK Administrative Justice Institute (2019)

‘Anecdote rich but data poor’: The exponential growth of mediation in a shadowy corner of administrative justice’, blog post, www.domarmediation, (2019) 

‘What’s in a name? A discussion paper on ombud terminology’, with Varda Bondy, in Hertogh & Kirkham, eds, Research Handbook on The Ombudsman, Edward Elgar (2018) 

A Research Roadmap for Administrative Justice, with Maurice Sunkin and Varda Bondy, UK Administrative Justice Institute (2018)

Earlier publications:

Mapping equality and human rights dispute resolution services: A report to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2016)

‘Human rights and discrimination issues in complaints: what is the ombuds’ role?’, blog post, (2015

‘The use of informal resolution approaches by ombudsmen in the UK and Ireland: A mapping study’, with Varda Bondy and Carolyn Hirst (2014)

Why use ADR? Pros and Cons, Advice Services Alliance (2012)

Finding and choosing a mediator, Advice Services Alliance (2012)

Mediation in Judicial Review: A practical handbook for lawyers, with Varda Bondy, Public Law Project (2011)

Mediation and Judicial Review: An empirical research study,  co-researcher on report by Varda Bondy and Linda Mulcahy, Public Law Project (2009)

“Small claims mediation: Does it do what it says on the tin?”, with Val Reid, presentation to Hart Legal Workshop, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (2007)

“Enforcing Rights Through Mediation“, Legal Bulletin, DRC (2007)

“Doing the Rights Thing”, Mediation in Practice (2006), with Val Reid

Independent evaluations of the mediation pilots run by the Ministry of Justice at Manchester County Court (2004 – 2006)

“Seeking Resolution: The availability and usage of consumer-to-business alternative dispute resolution in the United Kingdom”, National Consumer Council and Department of Trade and Industry (URN 03/1616) (2004)

“The Use of ADR in Ombudsmen Processes: Results of a survey of members of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association” (2003)

“Ombudsmen”, Journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, vol. 69, no. 1 (2003), with Peter Fenn

‘Informal’ resolution through the Parliamentary Ombudsman: Pros and cons“, The Adviser (2001)

Advising on ADR: The essential guide to appropriate dispute resolution (Advice Services Alliance, 2000)

Training and Seminars

Working with older parties in mediation, workshop presented to Ealing Mediation Service (March 2022)

Making SEND mediation work for families, webinar from Garden Court Chambers Education Law Team and Garden Court Chambers Mediation Team (May 2021). Recording available here.

SEND Mediation, workshop presented at the Matrix Chambers/IPSEA SEN Law Conference 2021 (March 2021)

Reimagining Administrative Justice, presentation at the Administrative Law & Governance Colloquium 2021, University of Ottawa (March 2021). Recording available here.


  • Certified elder mediator, Elder Mediation International Network (2022)
  • Accredited SEND mediator, College of Mediators and Civil Mediation Council (2018)
  • Master’s in Research in Law and Sociolegal Studies (distinction), Birkbeck College, University of London (2006)
  • Accredited mediator, Mediation UK /  Legal Services Commission Mediation Quality Mark (2005)
  • B.A. (hons), Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, USA (1985)

Professional Membership

  • Elder Mediation International Network
  • College of Mediators

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