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Changing Times - Essential Skills in Family Law


Essential skills set excellent family lawyers apart in modern practice. Knowing the law is not enough, practitioners need to be equipped with a range of skills such as being able to communicate, persuade and make decisions under pressure. Clients want their objectives met and delivered in a cost effective and workable way. Lawyers need to be able to develop their business and operate in an environment going through significant change.

This event is designed to give family lawyers a clear sense of how the emerging landscape may affect them, along with the ability to incorporate this change into their own professional practice.

You’ll gain a better understanding of:

  • The effects technological and policy changes have on the family justice system
  • Advocacy and presenting a case before a tribunal
  • Types of marketing working for law firms in 2018
  • The current DR landscape, including mediation and arbitration and how to use DR in difficult situations
  • How to think clearly under pressure and prioritise competing demands

Programme for the day

9.45 – 10.00 - Welcome and induction

10.00 – 11.00 - Family law and justice briefing - Angela Lake-Carroll (independent consultant in family law and Resolution’s Head of Standards). Angela’s presentation will focus on her recent family law and justice briefing published by Resolution and will explore:

  • What is happening at national and policy levels
  • How people’s behaviour is changing and the effects of new technology
  • What we know about how people are seeking to manage family separation or divorce
  • The opportunities changes in the family justice system bring for practitioner members

11.00 – 11.15 - Break

11.15 – 12.15 - Advocacy: hints, tips and traps for ‘non advocates’ - Tristan Harvey (mediator, arbitrator and barrister- QEB).

  • A review of the basic principles, skills and techniques
  • Becoming a better advocate: practical suggestions
  • Presenting a case before different tribunals including private hearings
  • What to do (and what not to do) when things go wrong

12.15 – 13.00 - Marketing basics - David Gilroy of Conscious Solutions

  • It’s no longer necessary to make a distinction between online and offline marketing – now we just call it marketing.
  • What marketing is working for law firms in 2018? PPC, SEO or social media? Are chat bots and artificial intelligence going to change the world of law firm marketing
  • Two weeks after GDPR came in...what’s happened?
  • How should you track your ROI from online marketing?

13.00 -13.45 - Lunch

13.45 – 15.00 - Modern DR – how to get the best out of your role in a DR process - Suzanne Kingston (Partner at Withers Worldwide)

  • The current DR landscape and how best to use DR in your practice
  • How to refer a case into arbitration – children and finance – and the main points that you need to be aware of regarding arbitration
  • The new mediation landscape to include lawyer-led mediation and shuttle mediation
  • How to use DR in difficult situations – high conflict clients or lawyers who don’t fully embrace DR

15.15-16.30 - When the team works - Matthew Whitfield (Director of 7 Miles a Minute Ltd)

When the team works - the art of trust, and belief in your co-workers. Autonomy, mastery and purpose, what it means to be valued in a high performing team.

  • A naval fighter pilot’s take on being the best at what you do. The sharing of mistakes at sea, and triumphs from aerial combat, and that dark night flying from the carrier.
  • The growth mindset and its place in family law.
  • The secret of leading an elite team: think, plan, act, brief and reflect, the winning ways of the elite teams I have worked in, and the complete read across to family law.
CPD points:
5.5 hours
£120(members)/ £144 (non-members)
How to book:
Please download and complete the booking form and return with a cheque to: Resolution Central Office PO BOX 302, Orpington, Kent, BR6 8QX or DX 154460 Petts Wood 3

Any queries please contact our Central Office on 01689 820 272 or

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