How to divide a lemon2019-01-29T13:04:08+00:00

The idea behind Collaborative Law: How to divide a lemon

lemonWhat is ‘interest based’ negotation?

In Collaboration, we focus on the parties interests rather than taking an adversarial approach. It’s about understanding ‘why’ a person wants something, not just aiming to achieve ‘what they want’.

For example:
Two celebrity chefs are in a television cook-off. Let’s call them George and Stacey. George decides to make a lemon curd tart. He makes his pastry and his custard and he just needs to put the lemon in. Stacey decides to make a lemon crusted fish. Problem: there’s only one lemon.

George takes this very seriously and calls his lawyer. In retaliation Stacey calls her lawyer. The lawyers write to each other arguing about who is entitled to the lemon. They reach a compromise and agree to divide the lemon in half. Neither of them have enough lemon to make their dish tasty.

If George and Stacey sat down to understand their interests they would realise that George really only needs the juice, and Stacey needs only the rind.

Of course, not every case is that easy – but by focusing on why a person wants something and understanding interests, we can tailor solutions that work, not just solutions that make each person equally unhappy.

Learn more about Collaborative Law