The Disruptive Lawyer

The Disruptive Lawyer: Legal negotiations & mediation in a global environment

A 3-day immersion in Rome – 22-24 November 2016

Lawyers are facing unprecedented disruption: reduced barriers due to the internet, increasing complexity of globalisation and significant changes in how organisations utilise legal services. And we are only at the beginning of what the World Economic Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution characterised by innovations in everything from business to bioscience.

With this in mind ACU has designed an innovative program to provide a leadership perspective on lawyering within a disruptive environment.

Download the program (PDF, 751KB)

Navigating disruptive changes

Over three days senior lawyers from around the world will meet in Rome to address two key leadership perspectives:

  • negotiating in a disruptive environment; and
  • understanding the Christian ethical challenge.

Negotiating in disruptive environment

There is a growing realisation of the critical role of the lawyer as a specialist negotiator and practical problem solver. Disruption forces lawyers to deal with unexpected events with innovative approaches to negotiation, collaboration and problem solving.

Over the first two days, we explore four key themes:

  • Industry disruption factors
  • Lawyers as specialist negotiators
  • Lawyers as practical problem-solvers
  • Lawyers as impartial dispute resolvers.

We also consider approaches from other disciplines such as behavioral economics, cognitive psychology and neuro-science with practical application for lawyers.

Understanding the Christian ethical challenge

Christian lawyers have two responsibilities – working with the law, and living their faith. This can be a personal challenge for many lawyers.

The final day covers several key areas:

  • Facilitated discussion about the personal role of the Christian Lawyer and how to manage competing values and pressures
  • Debate how to address ethical issues in an outcomes-driven legal environment
  • Panel discussion on what it means to be a Christian lawyer in a secular world.

Unique opportunity to visit the Vatican

Participants will experience an unforgettable and incredibly unique morning at the Vatican where they will:

  • Discuss the importance of faith-based behaviour in professional life with Cardinal Peter Turkson
  • Visit the historic Vatican Library, one of the world’s oldest archives of books and manuscripts, and view rare artefacts relevant to Christian lawyers
  • Hear Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher discuss the importance of faith in the business.

The course is designed for senior lawyers in private practice, in the government sector and in in-house positions in corporations, educational institutions, the not-for-profit sector and government regulators.

Laurence Boulle

Professor of Law, Thomas More Law School, Australian Catholic University
Laurence is a highly respected author, researcher and educator in the areas of mediation, conflict and dispute resolution. His books – “Mediation Skills and Techniques”, “Mediation: Principles Process Practice” and “The Law of Globalization – have been published in seven countries, including the UK and the US.
He has worked for Universities in Sweden, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Belgium and has consulted to private law firms and government agencies and bodies such as the World Trade Institute, the Mandela Institute and the Hong Kong Mediation Association.

Claudio Betti

Business Manager, Catholic University of America and Spokesperson for Community Of Sant’Egidio, Rome.
Claudio draws upon an extensive career in mitigation and law, and as a spokesperson for the Community of Sant’Egidio.
Claudio has extensive connections with the Vatican and is a frequent speaker on the role of Catholic leadership within the world.

Cardinal Peter Turkson

Cardinal Turkson was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the papal conclave of 2005 which elected Pope Benedict XVI. He was described as “one of Africa’s most energetic church leaders”.

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher

Archbishop Gallagher is the current Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, a position to which he was appointed on 8 November 2014.

This is a rare opportunity that combines professional development with reflection on personal values and behaviours in a challenging commercial environment.

Day One

Course objective and introductory themes

  • Trends and pressures in the legal services industry
  • Responding to the challenges – opportunities and constraints
  • Redefining access to law and justice
  • Disputes and resolution as lawyers’ business.

Delivering legal service

  • Disruptive technologies
  • Decomposing and multi-sourcing legal services
  • Responding to changing client needs.

Lawyers as specialist negotiators

  • Hard bargaining, soft skills
  • Communication leadership
  • Cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional challenges.

Day Two

Lawyers as practical problem-solvers

  • Lawyers as impartial dispute resolvers
  • Changing legal hats
  • Dispute Avoidance and lawyers’ role
  • Nudges from other disciplines
  • Behavioural economics
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Neuro-science.

Globalisation and beyond

  • Trends in future legal services
  • The reflective lawyer
  • Professional legal identity.

Evening panel discussion

  • Ethics to the modern lawyer.

Day Three

Catholic vs legal ethics

  • Why the debate is so important
  • Promoting justice in the justice system
  • Social contract v divine law – when to fight, when to stand down
  • How should our faith impact the manner in which we seek to develop the law?

Key issues in legal ethics

  • What are the different codes of legal ethics
  • Personal ethics v legal ethics
  • Key issues in Catholic ethics
  • Models for governing the interface between legal ethics and Catholic ethics
  • Perspectives from the Vatican.

The role of mercy

  • What is mercy and why is it relevant
  • The role of Mercy in litigation.


Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 November 2016


The Rome Centre
Located in Janiculum Hill, ACU’s Rome campus is a purpose built study center within minutes of The Vatican and other Rome attractions.


Flights, transfers and accommodation are the responsibility of the delegate and are not included in program fee.

Program Fee

A$3,000 (inc. GST) per participant.


  • Program materials and tuition
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea
  • Vatican and Vatican Library tour.


Travel, transfers and accommodation costs.