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This award-winning mediator is on a mission to inspire

PICTURED: Selina Morgan-Gayle

SELINA MORGAN-GAYLE is a BA (Hons) Law, GDL, accredited civil and commercial mediator. She is also the CEO, founder, mediator of SMG Mediation Ltd based in London and the co-founder and member of Mediation Awareness Group (MAG) for Mediation Awareness Week UK in 2016 (MAWUK2016). She is a member of Lincoln’s Inn Court, the Civil Mediation Council (CMC), The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), and Alternative Dispute Resolution-Online Dispute Resolution International (ADR-ODR International).

In 2012, Selina volunteered at BPP Legal advice Clinic (BLAC), a clinic where she provided her legal skills and knowledge over the phone to people who did not have access to and could not afford legal assistance. She was selected by the clinic to give a speech on the ways the government could assist individuals who were less fortunate to access legal assistance, to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve and Jessica Lee MP for Erewash in the House of Commons.

She is a mentor for the Aspire Foundation a non-profit organisation that inspires and empowers girls and women to succeed in their lives, that currently positively impacts 17.5 million girls and women around the globe. Selina is a public speaker, delivering talks on mediation, self-empowerment and business and is currently the winner of Mediation Champion of the Year 2018 awarded by the National Mediation Awards (NMA).

Selina is a mother to her young son and enjoys spending time with him and her family. She is the middle sibling to three sisters and a brother and enjoys exercising, singing, dancing and often sings in her inspirational business videos. She is also a huge lover of fruit with her favourite being mangoes.

What is the idea and philosophy behind SMG and why did you start it?

SMG Mediation Ltd was built on and abbreviated by my name Selina Morgan-Gayle this then transpired into the ethos of the company “settlement through mediation with our guidance” as these are the three components I deem necessary to a successful mediation. The philosophy is built on the slogan “refresh your day and mediate your dispute away!”.

As anyone attempting the mediation process, much less with me as their mediator would feel relaxed to attempt a resolution to their legal dispute. The idea for SMG Mediation Ltd came after I was made redundant in 2012 at the age of 26 years old and a year after having my son. It was only my fourth job ever to date, but I did not want to find another job that was only paying the bills, I wanted to feel passionate about going to work every day and helping others, whilst still having the flexibility to be a mum and spend time with my family. SMG Mediation Ltd has provided all of the above and more.

Do you have a speciality?

Yes, I do as I am one of the very few active black female mediators in London that have an extensive legal background and experience, that is certified in civil and commercial mediation and offers free 30 minute consultations to anyone seeking mediation.

With all the services that you provide, do you have a favourite area of practice?

I actually enjoy all the legal areas as it enables me to daily explore different aspects of law, making my days exponentially exciting to be a mediator. But if I have to choose it would be civil and employment disputes. As civil enables me to deal with more individuals and employment was my favourite law area in law school and allows me to work with both individuals and companies.

If you could give any free advice to people seeking mediation what would it be?

I would say be as open minded to the mediation process as possible, allowing your inhibitions to be free to having a more relaxed and voluntary legal settlement. Find a mediator that you like or connect with well, whether it be their smile, experience or specialised mediation area, as this will make the mediation process more favourable to you.

What is your biggest professional challenge to date and how did you overcome it?

Starting a business in a field that was unrecognised and unaccepted to most people and businesses I came across and me having very little knowledge about my industry. Secondly, having no female black role models in my industry to mentor from. Despite this, all the mediators I did cross paths with were very welcoming and this made me more determined and empowered to set the mark in my industry to be a success, so I could guide the next generation of not only mediators, but BAME mediators.

What is your biggest professional achievement to date?

I will have to say the National Mediation Awards crowning me Mediation Champion of the Year 2018. This was a magical moment for me, as it showed true acknowledgment and appreciation as a mediator from the mediation industry. Especially, as this is the only award ceremony for mediators and mediation service providers in the UK.

It was an honour to be nominated for such a prestigious category, then to have the pleasure to win. What made the win more overwhelmingly fabulous is that I am the first black female mediator to win this category, which has set the bar to building a platform for other women mediators and most importantly the BAME mediators, professionals and businesses.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?

I will say I have five main points of advice. Firstly, have self worth, believe and know that you can run and build a business the way you envisioned it no matter what; that your service or product is worthy of paying buyers, especially when the naysayers say otherwise, as it is inevitable that there will be someone planting the seed of doubt to your success.

Secondly, create a business that you are so passionate about, you would volunteer full-time willingly, because this is exactly what you will be doing as a start up business when you are making little to no income. But it will also be the biggest reason you keep persevering when the hours you put into the business become so hard and long that you start to feel and think whether the day will arrive when your rewards synchronise with your efforts.

Thirdly, be your own competition, always strive to be a better you for you, as this will aid you to building an improved business to better serve others, after all “branding you is always brand new”.

Fourthly, find a mentor that did it and still is doing it. This will minimise mistakes and make a speedy growth in your business.

Lastly, genuinely help others because this will not only be rewarding for the person receiving the help but for you providing it as you will learn so much more from the help you give and in return you will receive an overwhelming amount of rewards in places that you will not even imagine!

Contact SMG Mediation for your FREE consultation by scheduling an appointment online, email or telephone and they will be pleased to discuss cases, fees and availability.

SMG Mediation Ltd
5 Chancery Lance, London, WC2A 1LG
T: 0207 406 1456
E: admin@smgmediation.co.uk
W: www.smgmediation.co.uk

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