Quentin Smith - Mediator


Mobile:  +44 (0)7775 586 415
Quentin Smith is a full-time, independent, mediator.

He is CEDR trained, and accredited, Mediator who has mediated well over 1000 cases across the country and abroad with a very high success rate.

Listed in the current editions of Chambers UK Guide (Band 1) and Legal 500 (Band 1).

Winner of the "Mediation Achiever of the Year" category at the Personal Injury Awards 2012, 2013 and 2017.

He frequently writes, lectures and presents on Mediation. He has made presentations at meetings with insurers, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Commercial Bar, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, In-House Employment Lawyers' Network, Law Society (UK and Dublin), Clinical Negligence Conferences, Association of Local Authority Solicitors, solicitors' practices, corporate and commercial bodies, ADR Group's AGM, CEDR’s forum and conferences and CIArb's Mediation Symposium.

Member of Panel:  "Resolving Commercial Disputes" (joint venture between Institute of Chartered Accountants and ADR Group).

He has mediated in a wide variety of disputes including:
  • agriculture
  • aviation 
  • banking
  • clinical negligence
  • commercial contracts
  • construction
  • corporate
  • costs 
  • defamation
  • discrimination
  • education
  • employment
  • film funding
  • fires and floods
  • governing bodies  
  • group actions
  • inheritance/trusts /estate /intestacy
  • insolvency
  • insurance
  • intellectual property
  • multiple parties
  • nhs 
  • partnership
  • personal injury
  • political parties
  • procurement 
  • product liability
  • professional negligence
  • property
  • public bodies/government
  • sport
  • universities


Examples include:

  • Claims of abuse re two children scheduled at £108m and £115m
  • Break up of world famous rock band – corporate, commercial and IP issues
  • Agency agreement between German and Chinese companies - high value
  • Logistics distribution agreement for global restaurant brand - high value
  • Super-injunctions involving celebrities and privacy
  • Claims with allegations of contaminated crops, treatments, animal feeds, accidents 
  • Meltdown within an office of a major law firm involving whistleblowing, issues between management and HR, allegations of harassment and loss of personnel/business
  • Employer's liability action with a scheduled value of £8.5 million, liability, causation and quantum in dispute
  • Partnership dispute with large GP practice facing dissolution and the sale of property with negative equity
  • Multi-million pound intellectual property dispute involving passing-off and trademark infringement
  • Air crashes, fatalities with liability disputes; piloting and mechanical issues 
  • RTA caused by mother as the driver, who died leaving a brain damaged child with a claim scheduled at £25m
  • Clinical negligence claims (incl brain surgery; fatality; laser surgery; incorrect diagnoses; hospital infection;prosthetics)
  • Banking disputes (incl claim scheduled at £26m) 
  • Defamation arising from radio broadcast with 11 claimants
  • Defamation involving libel and slander between senior professionals; politicians; academics, (medical) consultants 
  • Defamation re police investigation of child abuse and media coverage
  • Defamation involving national newspapers; broadcasters; internet; super-injunctions 
  • Minority shareholders' disputes including allegations connected with offshore companies, trusts with significant tax implications
  • Shareholder /Company Valuation disputes over £50m
  • Sport (contracts; transfers; injuries; defamation; refereeing; governing bodies) including professional football; professional rugby, boxing, motor racing, horse racing, golf and martial arts
  • Stress claims within the insurance industry including from a large loss claims managers
  • Harassment/Discrimination/Victimisation (academic institutions, police, political parties,health and local authorities)
  • GP funding within a Primary Care Trust and Strategic Health Authority
  • Claims against solicitors (eg commercial property transactions; business collapses; tax issues)
  • Subrogated claim brought by insurers against accountants following fraud prosecution
  • Fires and flooding insurance incl issues of liability and cover
  • Fire in power station - £80m
  • Solicitors' and other partnership disputes (doctors; accountants; architects: commercial; family businesses)
  • Accountants' negligence claims including £100m tax dispute; trust funds; offshore arrangements
  • Disputes over PFI contracts and building management systems
  • Claims involving mineral extraction, retained rights, disputed boundaries....
  • Commercial contracts including breaches or warranties; product liability
  • Multiple vehicle accidents on motorways including fatalities, spinal and brain injuries, disputes between insurers
  • Facilitation of consultants' disputes with NHS Trust
  • Employment incl discrimination; "whistleblowing"; dismissals; stress
  • 6 Claimant stress claim against a local authority
  • Probate / Trusts (UK and offshore; Inheritance claims; admin of estates; structures of trusts; issues between Trustees; Beddoes Applications; prof negligence)
  • Construction disputes contracts; collapsed buildings; defects; architects' and surveyors' negligence claims; insurance aspects
  • Costs claims (individual claims and group actions) 
  • Property transactions and planning issues
  • Many motor accident claims scheduled at over £10m including MIB Agreements 
  • Police (whistleblowing, defamation, injuries)
  • Group actions eg 17,000 personal injury claimants; hearing loss; flooding; property/community disputes; clinical negligence claims
  • Procurement in health and educational organisations


Some feedback includes:

"...clearly very experienced and we had full confidence in him "

" Successfully facilitated a satisfactory settlement in a case with a very emotional Claimant where the parties were, initially, a long way apart "

"…made several important breakthroughs; would recommend him; very professional "

" Quentin really got the parties to open-up from entrenched positions. He got a fair result "

"…as a result of Quentin's calm determination and refusal to give up, terms were eventually agreed."

" Handled the case intelligently and with refreshing deftness "

"…supportive and helpful".

“He created and maintained a relaxed environment which was crucial to the success of the mediation".


ADR Group Award:  "Mediator of the Year 2007"

Legal 500 - "Hall of Fame"

Personal Injury Awards 2012: Winner of "Mediation Achiever of the Year"

Personal Injury Awards 2013: Winner of "Mediation Achiever of the Year"

Personal Injury Awards 2017: Winner of "Mediation Achiever of the Year"

The Judges introduced the award, commenting: "This highly regarded and experienced mediator impressed the Judges with his involvement in a number of very complex and high value mediations His grasp of technical, medical and financial issues, coupled with his ability to calm the waves and put the parties on track, enables him to get a resolution in even the toughest of cases."


Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession:

Recommended in the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2001/2 as a leader in alternative dispute resolution, he is described as winning "plaudits from practitioners across the country" and "young, earnest and clearly one to watch".

2002/3 edition: "energetic and persuasive" with a useful ability to "tune into what people want". Commentators say that "he thoroughly deserves the hype" and consider him a "growing player and future star".

2003/4 edition: "a rising star" and "a hard-working mediator able to pick up difficult issues quickly."

2004/5 edition: Ranked in the top 25: " he retains a prominent position in the market".

2005/6 edition: Ranked in the top 18: "…(he) has acquired an excellent reputation. Clients and peers alike praise his assured touch, and his understanding of the mediation process. His practice has experienced exponential growth over the past twelve months."

2006/7 edition: "...(his) assertive approach lends itself well to the mediation process, according to clients, who say that he controls the process well….establishes a good rapport with clients from the outset….involved in a number of sensitive media and defamation cases and regularly deals with commercial disputes, reinsurance, pensions, employment and personal injury…mediates regularly and is appointed in high-profile, multiparty mediations."

2008 edition: Highly recommended: "…(his) decision in early 2007 to mediate independently of Addleshaw Goddard while retaining a consultancy position has been well received by a marketplace whose members anticipate great success for him. Peers are full of praise for his "charming manner" and envy his ability to "win the trust of both sides; he can get through to people on a human level." His profile continues to grow throughout the country..".

2009 edition:  "The name that keeps coming up right now", and "a good operator."  His continuing success is attributed to his ability to "encourage parties to look at the bigger picture."

2010 edition: Listed in the Top 14 (Band 1): “ an increasingly familiar face in complex mediations. He "really drives the other side to a bargain"......"he stands out because he not only sees the big picture, but he also gets into the nitty-gritty detail."”

2011 edition:  Band 1: “...another fantastic year. "He's very pragmatic and very practical, but also very creative – he makes things happen."

2012 edition:  Band 1: "... charismatic, personable and down-to-earth" with an "agile mind".  Smith "understands the issues and knows how to adapt to different personalities to get the best from them"

2013 edition: Band 1: Sources say Smith's "likeable manner and understanding of the issues" proves "highly effective." Impressed solicitors note his "speed in getting to grips with the key issues" and aptitude for "exploring every avenue he can think of to bring parties closer together." "Fantastic at building rapport and creating a positive atmosphere for parties to negotiate".

2014 edition: Band 1: "(he) brings a very assured manner to the mediation and forms a real rapport with the parties." Someone "at the top his game," Smith has "a great attitude with clients and really gets an understanding and a grip of a case." Sources particularly recommend him for "commercial resolutions that require thinking outside the box."

2015 edition: Band 1: “In addition to his well-recognised expertise in sports law, the "remarkable" Quentin Smith is regularly instructed in a range of commercial matters, including personal injury, product liability and finance. Commentators note that "he's simply first-class. He always has something interesting to say to put someone at their ease; a mediator meeting strangers for the first time has to acquire their trust in a very short space of time, and Quentin is just brilliant."

2016 edition: Band 1: "He has an active mediation practice and disarms people with his charm and sense of humour. He has a strong track record in group actions and multiparty claims."

2017 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): "A highly flexible mediator with a diverse practice which sees him appointed to cases covering the full spectrum of commercial disputes including property, professional negligence, clinical negligence and product liability matters. He is praised for his ability to empathise with the parties to get them to put aside the grandstanding and get to a resolution".

2018 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): "Informal and deal-focused - he understands people and what gets them to a deal. He prepares thoroughly and is on top of everything. He has a good manner, understands the issues and gets cases over the line at mediation."

2019 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): Sole practitioner who handles a broad range of commercial and high-profile private individual mediations. “Excellent. He had clearly prepared well which meant he demonstrated a good understanding of the dispute. He also had the confidence of the parties and kept the mediation on track."

2020 edition: Band 1 (Top 20):  Receives plaudits from clients for his "gravitas, experience, and strategic and emotional intelligence." His prominent practice handles a wide range of significant commercial and private individual mediations. Sources report: "Quentin is personable, calm and focused. He picked up, in a commendable fashion, many technical aspects of the case and used them to achieve a settlement."

2021 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): Quentin is widely sought after for his experience mediating high-value multiparty disputes. "He is calm, approachable, very knowledgeable and engenders confidence." "Quentin has an excellent manner: he is sensitive and sympathetic, while also firm."

2022 edition: Band1 (Top 18): Continues to be widely sought after for his experience mediating high-value multiparty disputes. He is particularly proficient in professional negligence disputes and displays additional strength in sports matters. "He is very personable and has a nice way of putting things that ensures both parties think he genuinely cares about them." "Quentin was outstanding - his approach was perfectly open and reasonable but tough and assertive when required."

2023 edition: Band 1 (Top 23): "Quentin cuts through the verbiage to get a case sorted.""He has a good manner in how he builds trust. He is extremely thorough, well prepared and knows the issues beforehand. He comes up with innovative solutions." He is the perfect all-round mediator."
2024 edition: Band 1 (Top 26)

Legal 500 - "Hall of Fame":

Recommended in the 2005 edition of Legal 500: "thoughtful and very bright".

2006 edition: "….is a veteran of some 200 mediations and remains prolific despite the pressures of a private litigation practice. He is popular with clients who appreciate his sense of humour, 'assured touch', and 'no-nonsense' manner. With a success rate of over 95% and wide-ranging contacts, Smith and his 'tough facilitator' style are fast gaining ground."

2007 edition: "…increasingly prolific….mediates a wide range of disputes…..regarded as an ‘activist’, he pushes parties hard in mediations and an astonishing settlement rate is testament to the success of his approach."

2008 edition: Ranked in the Top 30: "An instinctive and shrewd negotiator, his friendly, easy-going style quickly builds trust and confidence. His analysis is 'spot-on' and he identifies and tackles the issues 'head on'. His persistence in seeking the deal on occasion goes well beyond the call of duty".

2009 edition: Ranked in the Top 30: “Quentin Smith has a well-honed, highly effective style. While ‘convivial’ and ‘self-deprecating’, he is considered ‘hugely clever, a skilled and intuitive negotiator’, and a ‘tireless worker’. ‘A good operator’, and ‘generous with his time’, he has ‘a clever way of bringing parties to settlement’ which rarely fails.”

2010 edition : Ranked in the Top 15, "... blends professional experience with impressive personal qualities, and a noted commitment to ‘thorough preparation'. Winning trust through ‘concrete knowledge of the issues', Smith ‘excels at building rapport', maintaining an enviable settlement rate in what clients describe as ‘complex' ‘intractable' and ‘multiparty disputes'."

2011 edition; Ranked in the Top 16: "(Quentin) has built up a very strong following in the market. He is noted for his impeccable professional expertise and thorough preparation, which helps him win the trust of the disputing parties and has maintained a very impressive settlement rate".

2012 edition: Ranked in the Top 16: “A magnificent mediator” and “certainly the best in the North West”. “Top-class”. “He never loses sight of the end goal, and will continue to strive to achieve a successful outcome even when it may appear a lost cause”.  “He brings an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to mediations”.

2013 edition: Ranked in the Top 18: "A real professional with a human touch"; particularly recommended for highly emotive matters, enjoying a market-leading reputation for clinical negligence and personal injury cases as well as Chancery disputes. His "calm and affable manner" means that "clients always warm to him", and he is "particularly good at persuading parties to overcome personal animosity and deal with a case commercially". "His commitment and utter desire to facilitate a suitable settlement where possible results in him going above and beyond what would be expected of a mediator".

2014 edition: Ranked in the Top 20: "a standout mediator - approachable and friendly, but determined to bring the parties to terms "; " has a unique approach that is highly effective: his force of personality will often drive through a deal where it is proving difficult to conclude the case"; clients also appreciate his ability to "understand both the commercial interests of the parties and the human and emotional aspects".

2015 edition: Ranked in the Top 19. Quentin "brings gravitas and common sense to his work and to the mediation process. He impresses with his ‘down-to-earth manner, which immediately makes clients relaxed and feel comfortable with the process'. His ‘patient, friendly and conciliatory approach' and ‘ability to read difficult characters' ensures he ‘calms the waves and puts parties back on track'; also noted for his ‘ability to adapt easily to a range of cases'. "

2016 edition: Band 1 (Top 20): "recommended for his very commendable approach and for producing very reasonable outcomes - best known for commercial cases, professional negligence and personal injury disputes".

2017 edition: Band 1 (Top 21): "an experienced mediator for high-end commercial disputes, and he is sought-after with good reason - his relaxed and pragmatic manner is popular with clients, and disarms parties that are intent on being aggressive for the sake of it; he understands that mediations are about building a deal and not arguing legal points. Recommended for large and complicated mediations that are often multi-party. Recent highlights include mediating a dispute involving financial management, distribution issues and profit shares, following the financing of a major feature film."

2018/19 edition: Band 1 (Top 21): "A supreme people person who has fantastic interaction skills and a good commercial mind". He "has a nuanced and flexible approach and is able to adapt as the case requires; one of the great advantages of this flexibility is that he is able to gain the trust of the parties at an early stage of the process and is able to drive the mediation process forward towards an early settlement, rather than losing the early hours of the mediation as many other mediators have a tendency to do". "Work highlights include a dispute over a multi-million euro distributorship and service agreement between a German manufacturer and a Chinese company; a break-up of an undocumented partnership owning several properties, created by the patriarchs of two family dynasties and operating for over 40 years; and a 12-party dispute over a disparate and very valuable estate containing businesses, an industrial park and properties including arguments over shareholdings and the management of minorities'/minors' interests".

2019/20 edition: Band 1 (Top 23): A "very personable" independent mediator who "creates a relaxed atmosphere, prepares very thoroughly and generally presides over successful mediations", predominantly in London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and the Channel Islands, contributing to a total of over 1,000 mediations. Recent cases include a defamation claim involving an allegation of sexual assault, a motorway incident and subrogated insurance claims.

2021 edition: Band 1 (Top 24):  "Quentin Smith (Independent) is a really strong and sharp mediator who gets the confidence of all the parties, which is what you really want. He seems to have the knack of cracking difficult matters. Certainly a go-to mediator and one of the best out there at present". Recently, Smith undertook 45 mediations, which added to his total of over 1000 mediations and success rate of approximately 90%. He is particularly active in relation to multi-party and high-value mediations. One example concerned a fatal air crash, with nine parties at the mediation that lasted seven days. Smith also acted in a number of professional negligence claims. 

2022 edition: Band 1 (Top 23):  "incredibly affable and calm....has a way of making everyone feel very relaxed and ready to compromise - he is also effective and swift to respond". Notwithstanding the pandemic, Smith's mediation practice remained highly active during 2021/22...with a high success rate. Recent work highlights have included a group action against a firm of solicitors, alleging under-settlement of several historic abuse claims; the termination of a high-value sports sponsorship agreement, following Covid-19 rules preventing crowd attendances; and a technically complex claim concerning offshore fund management.

2023 edition: Band 1 (Top 24): "builds an excellent rapport with all parties, allowing him to communicate effectively and broker solutions. He is extremely thorough, bright, and appreciates where each party is coming from'. Smith is currently restricting his work to cases that are complex, high value or politically natured; and in a recent 12-month period, Smith was appointed in over 40 mediations, including several multi-party matters and large-value mediations. Recent mandates include a group action against a well-known specialist firm of accountants which concerned offshore tax avoidance film schemes; and a large and politically sensitive claim, arising from non-payment of government subsidies to bus companies.

2024 edition: Band 1 (Top 24)



Professional Background

Graduated in B(Hons)Econ from Manchester University in 1977. Employment in social work and then management before qualification as a Solicitor in January 1988; Articled Clerk, Solicitor and Partner with James Chapman & Co, 1985 - 1996; Partner in Addleshaw Sons & Latham then Addleshaw Booth & Co and then Addleshaw Goddard from 1996 until 2007 specialising in commercial/insurance litigation, personal injury, professional negligence and sport. Head of Safety, Health and Environment Unit and Chair of Sports Business Group.


Other Experience/Skills

Member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Chairman of Sale Sharks 2000 - 2010

Chairman of Premiership Rugby 2010 - 2016

Director of England Rugby 2015 Limited - the company which delivered the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England 2012 - 2016

Chairman of The Football Association's "Exceptions Panel" which determines work permits for top overseas players, managers and senior off-field staff. July 2015 - Current.

Chairman and Trustee of Wooden Spoon - The Children's Charity of Rugby. September 2017 - Current.

Chairman of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee (PFNCC). October 2019 - Current

The PFNCC is the forum in which its members - the English Football League, the Premier League, Professional Footballers' Association and the The Football Association - consider matters relating to the employment of, and any associated rules and regulations relating to, professional footballers employed by Clubs in the English Football League and the Premier League, and can be used to facilitate consultation on any matter relating to professional football upon which any of the members considers appropriate.  

Panel member (March - November 2023): Independent Review of Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) investigating allegations of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism, and examining the organisational culture and behaviours of leadership at all levels of the WRU.

Report published in November 2023:




What the Press are saying . . .

These links open in separate windows.

Sport Resolutions, 16th Nov 2009 - Quentin Smith on the Value of Mediation in Sport

Manchester Evening News, 11th June 2009 - New era for mediation

Manchester Evening News, 22nd January 2008 - Quentin is mediator of the year

The Daily Telegraph, 5th October 2006 - The man with a settling influence


Please direct any comments regarding this website to webmaster@quentinsmith.co.uk