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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Dr Anna Howard (PhD, 2020)

Anna Howard (PhD, 2020) gives an overview of her CCLS experience and her pre-CCLS legal career.


Dr Anna Howard (PhD, 2020), CCLS SIA Research AssistantI am currently a Post-doctoral Research Assistant in the School of International Arbitration, CCLS. I joined CCLS in 2015 as an LLM Tutor and started my PhD (on cross-border commercial mediation) in 2016, supervised by Dr Debbie De Girolamo and Prof Stavros Brekoulakis. My PhD was awarded in March 2020.

My PhD explored the use of cross-border commercial mediation in the EU. A key part of my PhD research involved conducting interviews with in-house counsel of multinational companies regarding their use, and lack of use, of mediation for their EU cross-border commercial disputes. While it was, at times, challenging to gain involvement from participants in my research, persistence paid off. The interviews were one of the highlights of my PhD experience and they led to the identification of novel, and unexpected, findings. I am very grateful to the kind, and very busy, strangers who generously agreed to be interviewed. I am currently working on adapting my PhD into a book which will be published by Wolters Kluwer in early 2021.

Before joining CCLS, I was a lecturer at the School of Law, Singapore Management University (SMU), and prior to that I practised UK and EU competition law in London at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Field Fisher. I qualified as a solicitor (England and Wales) in 2003 following completion of my training contract at Freshfields, which included 6 wonderful months spent in Freshfields’ Madrid office.

My move to Singapore with my family in 2010 brought the opportunity to start my career in academia. While I was at SMU in Singapore, I taught courses on legal writing and ethics. It was in Singapore where I was introduced to mediation through conversations with my colleague and friend, Ian Macduff. On my return to England in 2014, I trained as a mediator and ever since have chosen to focus my research on mediation, and in particular cross-border mediation. On a lighter note, my mediation training seems to be helping with the current lockdown dynamics in my family.



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