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ACI, the mediation and arbitration service, founded by Elizabeth Birch, barrister, mediator and arbitrator, is to join forces with leading mediation provider In Place of Strife (IPOS), in a move that will pose a serious threat to the CEDR model.

IPOS is one of the most prominent mediation providers in the UK, with a main panel of celebrity mediators and several specialist panels for specific types of dispute. ACI will bring expertise in the wider field of commercial dispute resolution, both in the UK and internationally, including arbitrations and early neutral evaluation. It currently operates the FSA mediation scheme, has close affiliations with ARIAS (representing insurance and reinsurance markets), and has a wide network of international affiliations.

Founder of IPOS, Mark Jackson-Stops, said: “ACI and In Place of Strife are complementary businesses. By taking advantage of economies of scale and streamlined administration, we are able to provide high quality professional services at remarkably competitive rates. This is a logical progression as we continue to grow, attracting more and more clients looking for cost-effective dispute resolution using the highest calibre mediators and arbitrators around.”

Elizabeth Birch said: “Bringing ACI and IPOS together will strengthen the shared principle of excellence which has been the hallmark of both organisations, while enabling the administration of the dispute resolution processes to be kept highly competitive. The combined organisation will be well placed to compete in the present market.”



Alison Harper (PR) 01604 820822 / 07801 861 721 /

In Place of Strife: 020 7917 9449

Further Information:

Both organisation have made a name in the market for providing expericed mediators, and in the case of ACI arbitrators of commercial disputes.


ACI (A Commercial Initiative for Dispute Resolution) mediation and arbitration service, was founded in 1997 by Elizabeth Birch, barrister, mediator and arbitrator practicing at 3 Verulam Buildings, Gray’s Inn.

ACI’s reputation in the commercial and international arena has centred on providing the most experienced and most appropriate mediators for disputes in those fields. It is also established in the wider fields of dispute resolution such as arbitration and early neutral evaluation (ENE). ACI currently operates the mediation scheme for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has close affiliations with ARIAS (representing the insurance and reinsurance markets) and has a wide network of international affiliations enabling it to provide strong teams of co-mediators and arbitrators for disputes involving parties and issues in the cross-border and worldwide context.

The joint practice will operate under the style of “In Place of Strife incorporating ACI”.


In Place Of Strife (IPOS) is entirely neutral and independent. Unlike some others, its model for providing mediation and arbitration services is completely transparent, offering wider choice, improved cost-effectiveness and better efficiency.

Further information, including details of panel members, fees, and a series of in-depth articles on the state of the profession, are available on the website at: