Bill Holohan, Solicitor and Senior Partner of Holohan Lane LLP solicitors, Cork and Dublin is unique among Irish solicitors, a fact recognised by the September 2020 decision of the Irish Government to award him a Patent of Precedence as result of which he became one of the first group of solicitors in Ireland to become a Senior Counsel Solicitor. Prior to this he had also been appointed in 2000 by the Chief Justice of Ireland as a Notary Public for Cork & Dublin. He is also an Irish and EU Trade Mark Practitioner and Intellectual Property Attorney.
An Accredited Mediator, he has been accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Mediators Institute of Ireland.
He is a past Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Irish Branch) having also served as Treasurer and as Secretary.
He is a member of the ADR Committee of the Law Society of Ireland, having been first appointed in 2015.
He served as Director / Council Member of the Mediators Institute of Ireland for many years.
As well as being a member of the Irish Commercial Mediators Association, he was a Founding Member of CommercialMediators.ie and is a member of the Irish branch of Groupement Européen des Magistrats pour la Mediation (GEMME), the European Association for Judges interested in Mediation.
He is a member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Arbitration Panel and a member of the Law Society’s Mediation Panel. He has acted both as a disputes resolver in a very large number of cases over the past 40 years, including appointments on the invitation / nomination / suggestion / request of:
the President of the Law Society,
The Chair/President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,
The CEO of the Irish Dental Association, and
other ADR professionals,
dealing with disputes arising out of contracts for the sale of land, share sale agreements, insurance policies, professional indemnity claims and coverage disputes, company / shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, franchising and commercial agreements, intellectual property agreements, publishing agreements, leases and letting agreements, employment disputes etc.
He has acted, successfully, over the past 15 years in this country as a Mediator in a wide range of commercial and non-commercial disputes, (as well as acting as a representative and advisor in many such matters). He has also participated in high value commercial mediations in the UK and in Florida in the USA.
In 2010, through the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, he produced a report on promotion of mediation in Ireland and was also the author of a 2010 publication produced through the Law Society of Ireland entitled “ADR & Mediation in Ireland, 2010 & beyond”.
Representing the Chartered Institute, he appeared before and spoke at the hearings before the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) Committee on Justice & Equality in 2012 in relation to the formulation of the heads of terms of the Mediation Bill 2012, which ultimately became the Mediation Act 2017.
In 2010, at the request of the Law Society of Ireland Diploma Programme he wrote the aforementioned "ADR and Mediation in Ireland, 2010 & Beyond" a comprehensive review of the development of ADR and mediation in Ireland up to that point in time. Other ADR articles published by him include:
"Mediation: a fact of life and our duty to advise." (Arbitration and ADR Review, 2010).
“The European Directive on Mediation”. (Arbitration and ADR Review, 2010).
“Judges powers under the new European Communities Mediation Regulations.” (Arbitration and ADR Review, 2011).
published in the journal: "Arbitration and ADR Review", published by First Law, Dublin.
He is also a Practitioner Member of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland.
In 2015, Chambers Ireland promoted a Business Mediation Scheme with the support of the Law Society of Ireland, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Mediators Institute of Ireland and the Bar Council of Ireland, and Bill Holohan had the unique distinction to be nominated by three of the four supporting bodies for membership of the 12 member panel of Mediators for the scheme. For 2017 – 2018, he was:
Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in Ireland,
Member of the Council of the Mediators Institute of Ireland,
Honorary Secretary/Treasurer of www.commercialmediators.ie,
A member of the Law Society of Ireland ADR Committee,
A member of the Irish Commercial Mediators Association,
playing a key coordinating role in relation to the advancement of ADR and mediation in particular, particularly in light of the recent enactment of the Mediation Act 2017.
In 2013 he was awarded the Irish Law Awards Award for: “Mediation, Arbitration & Disputes Resolution Lawyer of the Year 2013” and in 2021 he was awarded the Irish Law Awards Award for:
"Irish Lawyer of the Year, 2021".
Suite 319 The Capel Building, St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin D07 DNP6 and
Water View House, 16 Sundays Well Road, T23 Y952
Austin is a CEDR accredited mediator (2004), a Mediators Institute of Ireland Practitioner Member (2009), a member of the International Mediators Institute (IMI) and has completed his study of advanced mediation with MATA (2008). He is also an accredited Conflict Management Coach (2010) and a Master Trainer in Conflict Competence (2013). Austin has been a member of the CEDR International Panel since 2010 and is the only Irish Mediator being referred work in the UK.
Since 2008 Austin has mediated a significant number of civil and commercial disputes in Ireland and the UK across a wide range of sectors as well as handling workplace and community mediations and coaching clients through difficult conflict situations.
Austin was on the Council of the Irish Commercial Mediation Association (ICMA) for 10 years and was Chairman for four years up to 2014. He also regularly lectures in Irish Universities, Professional Bodies and Business Colleges on mediation, negotiation and conflict management.
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
His background is accounting and business and he ran his own successful accountancy and consultancy practice for 20 years. While in professional practice his areas of expertise included forensic accounting, insolvency, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance. He worked extensively advising on legal business agreements including share sales, partnerships, co-ownership, business sales, Directors employment contracts and option agreements.
He has been Chairman of a number of companies including motor, property, hospitality, retail, distribution and manufacturing sectors. He has been adviser to many family businesses dealing with challenging issues involving business transition, succession planning and tax planning.
He has been coach and mentor to a number of business owners working in the areas of goal setting, building business vision and strategic planning.
Austin has had excellent success in his mediation work with over 80% of cases settled. He offers disputing parties an opportunity to step away from the adversarial legal approach and benefit from his personal brand of commerciality, common sense, humanity and relentless positivity. He has mediated across a wide range of sectors and case types including:-
Banking and finance
Compulsory Purchase Orders
Construction and engineering
Employment & Workplace
Energy & Utilities
Media & entertainment
Supply of Goods & Services
Technical & IT
Wills & Probate
Austin has also mediated a number of workplace and separating couples/divorce cases. These cases require a deeper understanding and capacity to work with interpersonal conflict and often highly irrational behavior. As a Certified Conflict Management Coach (Cinnie Noble) and a Master Trainer in Conflict Dynamic Profile (Eckerd College, Florida), Austin has become highly competent in working with disputants to help them build self-awareness with view to achieving the best possible outcomes in mediation.
Austin is predominantly a facilitative mediator with a keen eye for a deal. His commercial background, business acumen and high level of numeracy skills helps him sit comfortably in commercial cases involving high levels of monetary calculations, formulae and accounting standards and principles.
His personality and people skills are his big strength. He has the capacity to build trust from early on with parties as well as recognize and work with the emotional blockages that often get in the way of settling cases.
Preparation is central to his work. Pre-mediation meetings and site meetings are a regular feature. He works with Parties and their representatives to design a mediation process that they buy into. As a mediator he believes his job is to bring creativity to the dispute resolution process. He works hard on reality testing, risk analysis, option generation key and widening the cake where possible.