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With more than 6 decades of experience between them, the founding members of Immediate are Stephen Ritchie  and Michael McCreaStephen and Michael’s professional relationship and personal friendship has grown throughout 30 years of working together from the Bar Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Believing in mediation as an efficient, cost and time saving initiative that will play a central role in the future of the legal professions, the pair were involved with others in setting up a mediation service to accredit members of the Bar in the provision of mediation services.

Outside of their profession, both family men are keen travellers who enjoy the occasional game of golf, fly fishing or the ski slopes depending on the season.



Stephen Ritchie

Stephen was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1978, Bar of Ireland in 1997 and trained as a mediator first with SLS in 2004, then with John Sturrock QC of Core Solutions between October 2011 to January 2012 and completed a family dispute resolution training with Quest in August 2014.

He has extensive experience in personal injury and professional negligence litigation, public inquiries and inquests, employment law, and extradition. In recent years he has been briefed on behalf of the police in the Omagh Bombing Inquest, The Bloody Sunday and Hamill Inquiries and a number of controversial legacy inquests.

He has appeared on behalf of employers in Industrial Tribunals and the Court of Appeal in cases involving unfair dismissal; transfer of undertakings; religious, sex, race and age discrimination allegations. He has recently represented plaintiffs in numerous industrial hearing loss claims and is currently involved in a series of cases involving allegations of professional negligence against solicitors.  

His mediation experience includes workplace, commercial, land and defamation disputes.

McCreaMichael 2

Michael McCrea

Michael graduated in law from Queen’s University in 1982, was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1983, called to the Bar of Ireland in 1993.  He is a widespread commercial, personal injury, professional and clinical negligence practice.  He also specialises in public inquiries. 

Michael was trained as a mediator by John Sturrock of Core Solutions and has been involved in mediation in commercial land employment and business disputes.