Susan is a very experienced advocate, solicitor and mediator. She qualified as a mediator in January 2005 having been trained by the Stitt Feld Handy Group of Canada on behalf of ADR Chambers. Formerly a partner with a leading firm of Essex solicitors Susan has some 25 years' experience of resolving disputes on behalf of clients by way of mediation, arbitration and litigation in the Land Registry, Employment Tribunal, Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, Property Chamber First-tier Tribunal; Magistrates, County and High Courts and the Court of Appeal.
Susan has mediated in excess of 175 disputes from small claims to claims in excess of £10 million, in person, by telephone and via Skype and has mediated a number of multi-party mediations. She has mediated disputes involving breaches of contract, negligence, nuisance, fraud, conversion, TOLATA, property and trust disputes, probate/inheritance/will disputes, neighbour/boundary disputes, disputes over rights of way, debt claims, building disputes, estate agency cases, intellectual property, misrepresentation, professional negligence, shareholder and partnership disputes, employment and workplace disputes.
"I have undertaken many mediations and am also a mediator in my own right. Susan Blake is by some distance the best mediator I have ever used."
“An exceptionally gifted mediator. Client handling was second to none. Exudes empathy which drew both lay parties into the process as active participants in difficult circumstances."
"Without Susan we would still be going to court. Her hard work, perseverance, wit and humility managed to bring both parties together to a final solution. Thank you."
"With Thursday's mediation meeting under my belt I cannot await my next mediation provided you are the mediator!! I must admit I was quite shattered by the time I arrived home, but not doubt that was the result of the champagne! It would be a very poor show if the opposing parties, friends of quite long standing, cannot put their differences behind them and move forward in a most convivial way!!"
"Thank you so much for you work on the case today. I thought you were just brilliant. This dispute has hung over me like the Sword of Damocles and I became convinced that nothing would move [the other party] from his entrenched position. I was in fear as to where this would ever stop - and what it might cost. You were the first person to see clearly into this dispute. I thought that you conducted the negotiation faultlessly. I don't think it was possible to do any better. So thank you Susan. I am now a free man again and can carry on with my life."
"I am grateful to you for the technical mediation skills that you brought and the thoughtful and compassionate way in which they were applied. I have worked with a number of elite mediators and without wishing to "blow smoke" you are head and shoulders above the others."
"What a day! So pleased for [my client] and I also hope she feels it was the right decision. Thank you so much for your time and dedication yesterday - we couldn't have done it without you!"
"I am most grateful to you personally for your guidance, expertise and diligence. You were very professional and presided over the proceedings in a calm, calculated and objective manner achieving a result which is clearly the ultimate aim of the mediation system. Thank you Susan for your help and guidance. I very much enjoyed meeting you and in a bizarre way enjoyed the experience!"
"I was most impressed with the way that you conducted the mediation and your guidance to our client was really beneficial in steering him to a negotiated settlement. I will certainly be recommending you to clients for future mediations. Many thanks again."
"Very helpful and eased much of the tension between the two parties and although I don't quite understand how she managed it, she made the the other party approach the discussions in a reasonable way."
"I highly recommend Susan as a mediator for contested probate disputes. She is always extremely well prepared and key to overcoming initial hurdles which enable the parties to get down to having meaningful discussions on the day. Thank you for your help in obtaining another successful outcome."
"Very interesting and valuable day. Susan was patient and extremely helpful. She guided us through the process with ease and made what could have been a very difficult day very straightforward and easy to understand. She was very good at setting the tone for both parties and ensuring that a solution was found. We would not hesitate to user her again should the need arise."
"I want to put on record both my client and my own thanks for your considerable efforts in helping to achieve a settlement when, at one stage, it appeared that was not likely."
"I would like to thank you for how you conducted the mediation. I was very much of the opinion at the beginning of the day that it was likely to deteriorate quite quickly, bearing in mind the personalities involved. However, this was not the case and I think that you should be commended for the same. The fact a settlement was achieved was an excellent result."
"I was extremely impressed with Susan Blake. I have been involved with many mediations and in inheritance cases it is often the case that a mediator is either sympathetic and a good listener to the concerns of the client or proactive to encourage settlement. Susan was brilliant in both roles. I would definitely use her again."
"Susan is a very skilled mediator and managed to be sensitive and kind while remaining completely professional. She made me feel at ease and is very good at communicating and explaining everything. I feel my outcome may have been different had I not chosen her."
"Many thanks for all your help. I am so pleased this is all over. Woke up this morning feeling like I had won the lottery. Really you never know what life will throw at you but I am so pleased it threw you our way. Your skill shone through."
"Thank you once again Susan for your highly valuable services in reaching settlement at our mediation yesterday. Your input is always extremely important on the day and particularly on this case where a number of parties and high emotions meant that there was a very real possibility of settlement not being reached without your help. Your compassion for the client's position was also, as always, really welcomed. Thank you and I will be using you again shortly I am sure."
"Mediation was a route I was sceptical about but having been through it with an excellent mediator I would consider it in the event of any further disputes. Susan thank you for your hard work - your experience showed through."
"Thank you so much for all your efforts bringing this matter to a conclusion yesterday. I had the opportunity to speak with [the barrister] last night and he commented on your sterling efforts and how well you conducted the mediation... Thanking you once again."
"Another excellent mediation with Susan Blake. My client was vulnerable and very sensitive given the nature of the claim and the mediation was handled with absolute sensitivity, understanding and care from Susan. The client very much appreciated this. I always value Susan's input at mediation as I find her to always be willing to go the extra mile to aid settlement and she is in no way a passive mediator. Highly recommended, excellent mediator."
"Susan was very good at communicating with my client, and helping manage his approach to the day. She also achieved movement, and thereby settlement, from the other side when their position had previously been intractable."
"Able to deal with large personalities effectively without getting drawn into their influence. Focused throughout on the needs of the clients. I would thoroughly recommend"
"Susan was excellent at creating an atmosphere on the day which fostered agreement. Her appreciation of mental health issues and the impact this can have on negotiations was invaluable and I would highly recommend her for future mediations."
"It was a pleasure to meet you today. Thank you for your hard work! An excellent service with a very competent mediator. I would not hesitate to recommend Susan to anyone who wants a courteous, kind and caring professional. Exceptional lady!"
"I am simply amazed that you managed to perform the mediation equivalent of turning loaves into fishes. Once again my heartfelt thanks."
"It was good to meet you under extremely difficult circumstances. Thank you for helping us all to reach a conclusion after a long year since mum's death. All of your professionalism and empathy was greatly appreciated."
"Thank you so much for all your hard work yesterday. I could tell this one was probably harder than most. Thank you for staying so late and, although I hope never to be in a similar position, I would happily ask you to help next time. You were fantastic!"
"Susan was phenomenal, helpful in every way. She really took the time to understand everything and we managed to come to a settlement. Thank you Susan for all your kindness, understanding and input. You listened and gave us time to think and act accordingly. You showed great empathy and you truly cared about resolving the matter. I felt so comfortable and at ease. Although I didn't want mediation in the first place, you made it so comfortable. Thank you and I hope I don't have to use you again but if I do, then I will be in contact."
"Thank you so much with everything. You put me at ease in a situation where I had so much emotion. Thank you for your support and kind words. I can't wait to start my new life. When I went back and told [x] it was all resolved, I could see the weight lifted off her shoulders. Couldn't be happier. Thank you again."
"On behalf of [my client] and I, thank you kindly for your professionalism, support and patience assisting the mediation today. This has been a difficult matter for [my client] and I to finalise and you have ably directed a resolution. Thank you again."
"It is clear that Susan enjoys her job and gains satisfaction in successfully mediating issues. Her relaxed and friendly approach helped put myself at ease for what could have been a very stressful day. Susan successfully applied her mediation skills in reigning everyone in and keeping the goal in sight for all parties. Overall I am delighted with having Susan mediate for me. Hopefully I will never require mediation in the future. However, if I do I could only hope that they will be as half as passionate as Susan."
“[Our client] has asked that I express the gratitude of [her company] (and she says her personal empathy) for dealing with some very difficult people so competently and resolving this matter”
“[The mediation] was stimulating and a very sensible result was achieved – even worth the 5 hour drive home!”
“[Susan] kept my clients at ease during a difficult and protracted mediation. She remained professional at all times, and proved integral in resolving the matters at hand”.
“I have dealt with Susan now on three occasions in person and on every occasion the mediation outcome was successful, largely due to Susan’s skills as a mediator”.
“Extremely good mediation. Parties settled very quickly and the client was very happy with the performance. The day could not have gone smoother. Thank you very much Susan!”
“Susan’s manner was relaxed and reassuring and reaching a settlement which was acceptable to the parties was less painful that I might have expected”.
“The mediator was very clear/helpful”.
“Susan had a very pleasant manner with us (solicitors and clients), and we would certainly recommend Susan or use her again”.
“The mediator was friendly and approachable and very professional and helpful in helping to resolve the dispute. I would highly recommend Susan Blake in the future”.
“Thanks for helping us through yesterday. We were quite stressed out, not knowing what to expect and we found you to be very helpful and personable. We expected it to be formal and stuffy, but you made it very comfortable and informative. We both agreed it was like discussing your problems with a friend – like we’d known you for years”.
“Susan Blake was approachable and focused; a robustly effective mediator with a strong sense of empathy”.
"Miss Blake was very kind and patient with our client (and her excitable husband). The mediation process was carefully explained. Miss Blake listened patiently to our client's views and comments and, by the outcome of the negotiations, was able to convey them adequately to the other party".
"Susan Blake was pleasant to deal with but nonetheless commanded authority. We briefed Susan at the last minute but she was calm and up to date. Susan used creative ways of developing the mediation which turned out to be very effective. Susan facilitated negotiations skilfully so as to maintain the parties' bargaining positions".
"Satisfactory resolution to a difficult set of circumstances".
"Good result from a potentially difficult case".
"Susan was v. good".
"Whilst Susan is a professional mediator, I think that we can all appreciate the effort that it took to bring yesterday's meeting to its exhausting, but happy, conclusion. Please pass on our sincere and grateful thanks to her".
"Excellent service from Susan in trying circumstances. Would wholeheartedly recommend".
"Susan was very professional, and listened carefully to the points made by the client. She assisted her to see the case from a different light, and to concentrate on what she really wanted to gain from the proceedings".
"Susan Blake was extremely approachable and worked very well with the clients".
"We were most grateful for your input. In the event I shall be pleased to instruct you again as the occasion requires"
"The fact that we managed to achieve any kind of consensus between the parties let alone agree settlement was a testament to the tact, diplomacy and application of our mediator on the day. A view shared by me and my clients. Thank you Susan."
"We write further to the above mediation in this matter which was presided over by your Susan Blake with aplomb. Both we and our clients feel that negotiated terms of settlement would not have been reached between the parties without Susan's decisive and effective input with both parties, but still managing to retain a pleasant manner for which we and our clients are most grateful. Once again, we are very grateful to you and your Susan Blake for her kind and most efficient dealings in this matter".
"Thanks Susan. Real pleasure meeting you. Thanks for your help in getting this deal done. Happy client!"
"Really helpful and approachable. We all felt at ease and felt [Susan] was interested and focussed".
"I just wanted to say thank you so much. My rant really helped me to make a decision about what I need to do. You were so kind and helpful, I really appreciate it".
"Very happy with the service provided, would certainly recommend Susan and use her again".
"Thank you for your efforts yesterday. A day well spent it seems".
"My thanks to you for dealing with this matter in a sympathetic and considered manner. I am very grateful to you and would not hesitate to use you in the future"
"Very happy with service provided by Ms Blake and would recommend her highly".
"It was good to meet with you yesterday and both [my client] and I were grateful to you for all of your efforts to resolve this matter."
"Susan was patient and extremely approachable. She was able to listen and present a neutral sounding board which is essential for facilitating constructive negotiations. Following mediation a settlement was reached and we are certain that the mediation played a role in this. Highly recommended".
"Thank you Susan, it was lovely to meet you and I hope we can work together in the future".
"Our involvement was somewhat peripheral and although we did not see the mediator as much as some of the other parties, she was clearly effective and worked extremely hard throughout a very long and demanding day."
"Thank you for working so hard yesterday to achieve the settlement".
"Much of Susan's time had to be devoted to helping resolve the dispute between the other parties. It was evident that Susan worked very hard to help achieve this. Susan had a very calm and focused manner and kept us informed of progress throughout the day and she was constructive when discussing possible options for settlement. Vey pleased with Susan's performance".
"Excellent service. Although Susan spent more time with the other parties it did not detract from the quality of the input she gave us on the day".
"Fantastic service. Ms Blake was prepared and willing to go above and beyond to help reach a settlement".
"Thank you for all your help yesterday. We will of course consider you in the first instance if we ever require any further assistance."
"Clients and I are entirely happy with the calm and capable manner adopted by Susan."
"All we can say, we thought she was excellent."
"We were impressed with the mediator. Susan was the most important thing on the day ... thank you very much for facilitating a fair and professional day with a sensible outcome for all, dramatically saving time and money for all, very worthwhile, thank you."
"Susan was very helpful and accommodating. Thank you!"
"Thank you Susan. Very much appreciate your help yesterday. We are pleased with the result."
"It was an interesting day yesterday and I enjoyed my first experience of mediation! Thanks for your help on the day."
"Thank you very much for all you did. You were extremely helpful in securing a fair and positive mediation."
"Thank you Susan. Well handled all round."
"I must thank you for the effort that you put in with [our solicitor] on [the mediation]. I personally thought that we would not get a result, let alone the result we came away with. I can only hope that a real truce has been won and we will not need of either of your services again."
"Susan was very attuned to the emotional needs and concerns of our opponents and demonstrated great flexibility in ensuring the negotiations continued to progress in a positive way until settlement was reached late in the evening."
"Susan was on the day the consummate professional, very helpful and a pleasure to deal with. An email a few days after just following up on the day's events and making sure I was ok. A wonderful, helpful lady. Thank you."
"Very pleased with Susan - so was my client and her son who attended - they stated she did an excellent job. Many thanks."
"Excellent service. Would thoroughly recommend."
"Thank you for your help yesterday in securing a settlement. It was greatly appreciated."
"Very helpful and understanding of both parties' needs and big influence on reaching a settlement on the day."
"Thank you very much for helping [x] and myself settle! Your approach was very valuable."
"Thank you for your calm and kind approach to the mediation. You did a great job."
"Thank you for all your help in achieving an agreement. I don't think we could have done it without your help."
"Excellent all round. Loved the venue."
"This was the first time we had used Susan but she helped the parties reach an agreement when, at the start, they were poles apart."
"We would like to thank Susan for her time and professional service in this matter."
"Hard day but good result achieved."
"Thank you for an excellent and professional service. Well done all round."
"Susan was fantastic! Thank you again."
"Susan was excellent and grasped the facts quickly - missing nothing and dealt with a difficult party at length and to a final end."
"An all round excellent service."
"Susan is always excellent with expertise in contested probate matters which is always invaluable - she is also good value for money."
"I was absolutely happy with the mediator and mediation. Susan gave me a very good example of real professional work."
"Thank you again so much for the most helpful mediation. You cannot even begin to imagine what an important event took place on [the day of the mediation]! To say that all my family is happy and grateful is to say nothing. Thank you again and again."
"Thank you for your efforts throughout the mediation. I was impressed with your efforts and would certainly use you again. I feel the settlement was a good one for the client."
"Thank you for your work with the mediation. It might have been hard work in the other room and I appreciate your managing to keep everything on track and in good time, too."
"Susan managed two somewhat volatile parties with ease and ensured everyone stayed focused - this helped to achieve a successful outcome for my client and made the mediation very worthwhile."
"Susan's mediation skills were outstanding and the result has provided us with a huge sense of relief that a court case has been avoided."
"Very many thanks for your great work yesterday in conducting the mediation so well."
"I woke up relieved that we had reached a deal. I would have kicked myself if I had left earlier without settling - thanks for "making" me stay because I was ready to walk out the door! I haven't got any regrets over the decision we reached and am looking forward positively. Hopefully I will never be in the situation again where I need a mediator but I certainly know where to come if ever I do. Once again, many thanks."
"Susan worked tirelessly in trying to find a resolution to a very difficult problem. She never gave up hope. We did not conclude until after 10 pm and whilst the rest of us were flagging she remained calm and focused throughout."
"Thanks again for mediating a dispute that really needed to be settled. Your efforts were appreciated."
"It was a pleasure to accommodate you at our offices for the day yesterday and I am extremely pleased that a settlement could be reached in the end. Thank you for all your efforts yesterday."
"Thanks for your follow up mails and thanks for your assistance with this matter. I have been involved in mediation before - for a company in the US. But this was the first time personally and I must say that it is definitely the more sensible route to take with disputes. I am pleased that [x] recommended mediation1st."
"Thanks for your email and for your efforts on the day. I was surprised, but delighted, to find that a settlement had been reached."
"Thank you for your help yesterday."
"I am very glad to hear that the case has settled. Many thanks for all your help in this matter."
"Thanks to your good offices, a deal was agreed; better than I expected. This closure, after several years, is a relief."
"Very good experience, with an exceptionally pleasant mediator."
"Excellent mediator who dealt with two very opinionated and forceful parties. Calm demeanour and a settlement achieved."
"Thanks for what you did yesterday."
"My clients were reassured by Susan's calm and approachable manner."
"Susan was empathetic with my client in a difficult situation and persistent without being overbearing at a time when it looked as if the mediation might not be successful and, as a result, we did eventually reach agreement."
"Thank you ... for your excellent, patient and disarmingly calm and effective service."
"Susan was exceptionally patient, civilised and effective. She was a calm and thoughtful influence on the discussions and worked hard to diffuse any acrimony. Her dignified and impartial approach ensured a satisfactory settlement."
"Very helpful and skilled mediator."
"Thanks for all your help yesterday. It is always gratefully appreciated."
"Susan worked very hard and late in the day to help achieve a settlement which was much appreciated by both my client and I."
"We have been very impressed by Susan in recent mediations."
"Thanks for your hard work at the mediation and I will be happy to recommend you in the future."
"You were grand and thank you."
"Many thanks for your help with this case.... Again, thanks very much in bringing this matter to a close."
"Thank you very much for your help and support on the day."
"Thanks Susan. Great seeing you again and having the opportunity to work together. I always enjoy these sessions - you make the experience calm and constructive."
"Thank you for your assistance on the day. It was a pleasure to meet you and I am sure we will have the chance to work again with one another."
"Many thanks for your assistance on the day - I know [my client] felt very relieved to have a mediator who was so sympathetic to her position, and how difficult she was finding the whole process. I would certainly recommend you to colleagues mediating similar disputes and I hope to work with you again in the future."
"I thought your assistance on the day was invaluable so thank you to you for moving the process along and showing a great deal of empathy for my clients on what was a very emotional day for them."
"Very personable and well prepared."
"Have used Susan several times and think she is superb - so easy to communicate with, applies common sense. I think she is great. Always look for opportunity to appoint her."
"Thank you for your help in achieving a settlement which I must say I thought right from the start was going to be impossible!"
"I was very impressed with the sensitive and eloquent way you dealt with [our client]."
"Susan worked very hard to secure what was a challenging settlement."
"Once again our considerable thanks for your expertise and skill in helping to steer this to a settlement."
"I just wish to reiterate my thanks for your help and patience in bringing me to a settlement."
"Many thanks for your sympathetic and realistic approach which helped bring this rather sad story to an end."
"Thank you for everything you did on [the mediation]. Settling the issues was definitely a good outcome for our client and I hope it has lifted a signifcant weight off his shoulders. I hope we have a chance to work together again in the future."
"Susan is a skilled mediator and worked hard to reach a settlement on the day. I would definitely use her again!"
"Susan was extremely helpful throughout the mediation, particularly when faced with what at one point appeared to be a stalemate between the parties. She explained matters throughout in a clear manner for the benefit of the client, providing the client with confidence and support when needed. I would not hesitate to instruct Susan again in the future or to recommend her to others."
"Thank you again for your help today, hugely appreciated."
"It was a pleasure to work with you and thank you. You helped make it a very comfortable and easy process. I hope to work with you again soon."
"I was very happy with the service and approach of a mediator for the first time in ages!"
"Thank you for helping us find a solution to what was quite a difficult medation."
"Susan was excellent as usual."
"Susan worked very hard at assisting the parties reaching an agreement in a very emotive case. I thought her interactions with the client were very helpful and assisted my client during the course of a very long and difficult day for her."
"Thanks Susan. Excellent result. Much appreciated."
"Must have done a tremendous job in the other room!"
"Thank you for your sterling efforts."
"Another difficult matter where Susan's invaluable assistance undoubtedly helped the parties reach a settlement."
"Really valuable day and would have been regardless of outcome. Thank you for making it so easy and calm!"
"You were very kind and helpful."
"It was a challenging mediation and I think you did a great job of helping to manage my client's expectations in terms of the feedback from the opponents."
"Super job Susan. You handled this sensitive matter expertly as ever."
"Our thanks once again for your tenacity and skill."
"I didn't think this case would settle in a million years. Well done, Susan for your perseverance and efforts. The detail involved and the characters in the room did not make it at all easy for you."
"I just wanted to send you an email on behalf of [x] and myself to thank you for all your efforts. It really was an exhausting day for all of us and, now that the dust has settled and heads have cleared, we both feel happy with the settlement we achieved."
"We can honestly say that neither of us thought a settlement would be possible - both before the mediation and probably up until around 8.30 pm ... so thank you for working so hard at getting us "over the line".
"Thank you for sorting it out today ... It was quick and simple and means we can all move on!"
"Very happy to recommend mediation1st and Susan Blake to anyone needing mediation."
"I thought you were very professional in your approach and skilful in the way you brought about the settlement. All in all a first class job."
"Susan was delightful and v v good with two v different parties."
"It was a pleasure to see you again and to have the opportunity of working with you and I thank you for your efforts."
"It was nice meeting you. I think I can speak for [my client] when I say thanks for all your hard work."
"Susan is a good listener and responded sympathetically to my client. The dispute was emotionally charged and Susan was able to guide the parties through to a settlement in a calm and rational manner, being respectful of their feelings but without letting them overtake the day."
"I have used Susan's services as a mediator before when I was very happy with the calm, measured and fair balance which she brings to what is a very important day to the parties concerned. Susan was no less impressive at last week's mediation when her input was almost certainly the difference between us bridging the gulf (as we did) between the parties and the matter proceedings to a costly and even more fraught trial. I would not hesitate to use Susan and mediation1st as a jointly appointed mediator in the future."
"Susan was instrumental in bridging the gap and getting a settlement concluded."
"Thank you for your help. If not for the mediation this would have been a long and expensive bit of litigation. Your help was vital in getting the matter resolved. My client is happy with the result - as am I."
"I cannot pick a fault in any aspect of the work today. This dispute has rolled on for months and Susan is the first person to truly understand it and then to make a good resolution. I thought she had very good instinct and I felt that everything that I said was heard and understood. Where she was able to guide and advise she did so wisely and I very much appreciated this wisdom and experience. One always baulks at legal fees, but in this case, I think it is the best value for money I have had for many years. I hadn't been aware of the mediation system but I think it is marvellous and it would be my first port of call in future. I couldn't recommend Susan more highly."
"Thank you very much for your help today. It has been and is very much appreciated."
"Susan was a delight to deal with."
"I am confident that I speak for everyone when I say that we all greatly appreciated your invaluable work and patience throughout the course of the day. I do not think that we would have achieved a settlement without it."
"[My client] and I were very grateful to you for your patience, hard work and invaluable contribution to achieving a settlement. I will certainly be recommending you as a mediator to my colleagues. It was a pleasure working with you."
Susan mediates in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Canterbury, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Coventry, Derby, Eastbourne, Hastings, Hull, Ipswich, Leamignton Spa, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Nottingham, Northampton, Oxford, Peterborough, Poole, Preston, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Swindon, Winchester and Wakefield. She will mediate throughout East Anglia, Greater London, the Home Counties, South East England, the West Midlands, and the East Midlands at her usual rates without charging travel expenses.