Resolution Chair puts Collaborative Family Law in the spotlight

01 Jun 2012

Liz Edwards, Chair of Resolution, addressed the fourth European Collaborative Conference today in Edinburgh. Several hundred delegates from across Europe have gathered to hear from some of the world’s top collaborative practitioners and participate in workshops and plenary sessions.

As a collaborative practitioner herself, Liz talked about her passion for this method of dispute resolution and highlighted it as one of the options available for separating couples wanting to resolve their issues outside of the courtroom.

In her address Liz Edwards said, “I suspect some of us chose this profession, because we felt there were inequalities and people who might be at a disadvantage that we could champion. I know that many have personal experience and a desire to help their clients do it better than their parents were able to.

“Our members have embraced the development of collaborative practice. A number of Resolution members became familiar with collaborative practice through contacts in the US and five years ago arranged for an American trainer to come over to train the first English collaborative lawyers. Enthusiasm for the approach grew quickly, and the following year Resolution was approached to manage and develop collaborative training in England and Wales, where we remain the only current provider.”

Liz went onto say, “We have now trained over 1,400 collaborative family lawyers - over 25% of our membership. We have also developed our own trainers and training courses, accreditation, and run familiarisation courses for family coaches and other professionals who support the collaborative process.”

Speakers joining Liz over the two day conference will be collaborative lawyer and trainer Neil Denny, Austin Lafferty – President of the Law Society of Scotland, Lynda Robbins – President of the IACP and event organisers Consensus-Collaboration Scotland’s Chair Craig Samson.

Read the full speech here


Notes to editors

· Collaborative law is a dispute resolution mechanism that allows both partners to be represented by lawyers, while meeting to receive advice and discuss solutions in the interests of the family. The process involves two clients and their lawyers attending a series of face to face meetings. Other professionals are brought into negotiations where needed.

· The process can be very effective, as it allows separating couples to talk through their difficulties with the support of their lawyers, but having agreed that they will not instruct the lawyers to go to court. It can allow disputes to be resolved outside of the court room, even when mediation is not suitable.

· To arrange an interview please call Victoria Sutton on 0203 195 0191 or Matt Bryant on 0203 195 0190.