Y-ADR Spotlight Series – Interview Questions with Fritha Wheeler-Ozanne

Y-ADR Spotlight Series,

1.    What has been a beneficial aspect of engaging with the CPR Institute for you personally or professionally?

Fritha Wheeler-Ozanne

Senior Counsel at Fluor Corporation

1.    What has been a beneficial aspect of engaging with the CPR Institute for you personally or professionally?

It has been a great opportunity to meet with existing contacts outside of cases / formal settings, make new connections from around the world and to learn more about others’ experiences with ADR.

2.    What inspired you to steer your career toward ADR, and what steps did you take to make it to where you are today?

I have always enjoyed meeting people from other places and wanted to travel.  Working on complex international construction and engineering disputes let me do that and naturally led me to ADR since that lends itself to disputes with multi-jurisdictional aspects.

3.    What is one piece of advice you would give to somebody who wanted to pursue a career in ADR?

There are many different paths to building a career with a focus on ADR.  For me, focusing on an area of law that I enjoyed practicing in was key.  Beyond that, being open to opportunities and willing to overcome hurdles that might otherwise stand in the way of furthering an international career in ADR, although I have no desire to requalify anywhere else! 

4.    What personal characteristics are most beneficial to you in your career?

Staying positive, determined and respectful throughout stressful points in a process is important. In particular, it helps to ensure that a team is pulling in the right (and same) direction.  Also, clear and regular communications with stakeholders help to ensure that the outcome being pursued, and how it is being pursued, compliments commercial objectives. 

5.    How can people with an interest in ADR get hands-on experience to further their career?

Look for opportunities within your firm / company as well as outside of it, like through CPR! The more interactions you have with practitioners the better a perspective you will have on the read and how you might develop your career.   

6.    What is your favorite ADR process to practice?

I appreciate the control and certainty around established international arbitration, although the best path forward for resolution is unique to every case.  I do also think that it is important to remain open to creative alternatives even if you have adopted one form of ADR, for instance to allow negotiations to take place at certain points or to narrow the issues in dispute.

7.    Describe your perfect Friday night in 5 words or less.

5 words is tough! Mexican food with family and friends. (Ok that’s 6...)