Charles Nupen

Charles Nupen

Executive Chairman

Charles Nupen is an attorney and an ADR specialist. After several years of legal practice, most notably at the Legal Resources Centre where he served under Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, he was appointed executive director of the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa in 1987 From 1987 to 1995 he steered IMSSA’s growth into a national organisation, and conducted several hundred mediations and arbitrations across all sectors of the South African economy. In the early 1990’s, during a time of heightened political conflict, he chaired the Soweto Peace Committee. In 1994 he was appointed as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission which oversaw South Africa’s first national democratic elections. In 1995/6, he assisted in the establishment of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration, South Africa’s first national public dispute settlement agency and served as the CCMA’s first executive director From 1998 to 2007 he divided his time project managing for the International Labour Organisation, a Geneva based UN agency, and expanding his business and consulting interests. He has facilitated labour law reform projects and the establishment of several national dispute settlement agencies in Southern African countries.

Since 2007 he has been involved in high level interventions to resolve commercial disputes, labour disputes, and to address dysfunctional relationships and systems in corporate settings and in professional service firms. He has also managed major multi stakeholder negotiations in both the public and private sectors. In 2009 he received Tokiso’s Mediator of the Year award. He is a CEDR accredited commercial mediator and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Cape Town. He serves on the board of Resource Africa an NGO committed to promoting sustainable resource management to benefit rural communities in Southern Africa. He serves on the board of governors of Michaelhouse.

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Additional Experience:

  • Facilitated labour law reform projects and the establishment of several national dispute settlement agencies in Southern African countries. This work required him to establish relationships with government, business and unions at a senior level in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In addition he has undertaken work with the tripartite partners in Angola, Nigeria and Tanzania.
  • He has conducted conciliation and mediation training in South Africa, the Philippines, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Co-facilitating the development of the financial services sector empowerment charter in 2003.
  • Assisting in the establishment of the Millennium Labour Council a body of business and trade union leaders committed to bipartite social dialogue in matters of economic and social policy.
  • Facilitating the establishment of the Private Healthcare Forum, a business coalition of private hospitals, medical aid administrators, doctors, medical device and pharmaceutical companies to engage government on health policy.