Profile

Christopher is well known as someone who is prepared to be direct and to work with the parties to find away to achieve settlement.He is always keen to go straight to the point and see what can be done. To date, settlement has been achieved in about 82% of mediations conducted by him.

He is happy to speak with potential clients at no initial cost, to ascertain what is needed. Christopher is happy to act as mediator in a wide range of disputes, including:

Defective goods and services
Contractual disputes & money claims
Franchises
Faulty vehicles & technical claims
Building disputes,domestic and commercial
Disputes involving engineering issues
Ancillary relief and family money
Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
Personal injury & sports accidents
Inheritance disputes & probate related matters
Professional negligence
Shareholder disputes in private companies
Employment and equal pay
Boundary disputes and land issues

Before becoming a barrister in 1988, Christopher owned and ran two aviation-based
companies, a sport parachute centre and a flying school. He has acted many times for clients involved in litigation in both those fields. Because of his business background, he has an appreciation of commercial matters.
He is a former private pilot’s licence and IMC holder and BPA sport parachute
instructor. He holds a full motor cycle licence and has conducted a number of
cases involving motorcyclists.
Christopher has extensive experience in a number of areas of litigation. He has conducted High Court trials involving quantum of more than £1,000,000 and numerous other civil trials.
He is at present instructed as sole counsel in a £3
million contractual claim against a High Street bank, listed for a 7-day trial
in the High Court.
He has undertaken a large number of ancillary relief cases, ranging from low
quantum to £1,000,000, and a number of Trusts of Land and Appointment of
Trustees Act 1996 ("ToLATA”) cases.
In 2010 / 2011 Christopher defended a High Court libel action involving a claim
against the publisher of a film placed on internet sites. The claim was
defended successfully. The Defendant pleaded justification, the Claimant
withdrew the claim and the Defendant recovered costs from him.

His main area of practice at the Bar is general civil law, including
contractual and building disputes and personal injury, and ancillary relief.
Having been involved in civil litigation as a barrister for many years before
qualifying as mediator, he is very aware of the financial and other advantages
that mediation can bring to a dispute. He has an understanding of engineering
and scientific principles, and has acted in a number of cases where knowledge
of such matters was helpful.
Christopher is the former Head of Chambers of Assize Court Chambers in Bristol. He has 4 children of school age. His interests outside work include sport parachuting
and judo.

Feedback:
"Chris played a helpful role in ensuring that the parties maintained a dialogue and
reached a settlement rather than walk away." January 2013
"Chris Austins is an excellent mediator. His sensible, pragmatic approach and ease of
dealing with the parties definitely helped to resolve the matter." - Feb 2012
"I was going to provide feedback even if I had not been asked as I am anxious to say just how well Mr Austins performed. Mr Austins never put a foot wrong. Also, he was very balanced and very tactful. He made all parties feel at ease. Leon Hines Hines & Co, Solicitors 7th July 2011." 
"Christopher understood the facts and issues of the dispute very quickly and was very good at managing both parties' expectations. Christopher's approach helped the
parties to come to a commercial agreement which was a good result indeed."
- April 2012
 "I liked the approach taken by you in pushing the sessions together" - May 2011
"Chris Austins was excellent. he had full command of the facts and had an
authoritative air about him. Got straight into the case without any time
wasting preamble" - July 2011
"I really enjoyed working with you, I liked your down to earth approach which that case
needed" - Sept 2011
"Very impressed with Chris Austins. He was robust, and took a direct approach in
difficult circumstances and successfully facilitated a settlement. Our client
did not expect the mediation to be successful, therefore the input and
experience Chris Austins provided as mediator was invaluable" - Sept 2011

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