Family

Mediation and arbitration

Mediation and arbitration

The breakdown of a relationship can have a devastating effect on the parties concerned and their families. This can be made worse if expensive and bitterly-fought court proceedings follow, forcing the parties even further apart.

The most successful outcomes are often reached without the adversarial requirements of the Law Courts. Each of the non-court processes mentioned here will keep the parties in control of how their disputes are settled. They are conducted in complete privacy and confidentiality, at venues and at times of the parties’ choosing.

We have a team of senior specialist lawyers, all partners in our department, qualified to work as mediators and collaborative lawyers. We cover all issues, of which disputes about finances and children are the most common. We also offer arbitration.

In mediation, both parties agree on the choice of a neutral mediator. The mediator’s role is to facilitate the discussions between the parties themselves, exploring options and taking account of individually important factors. This allows the parties to craft arrangements that are right for them whereas a court can only make a narrow range of orders which it imposes but which neither party might choose. By definition, mediation is constructive. The mediator cannot advise but is there to help, using their own background in family law. The couple make their own decisions, taking legal advice from their own lawyers where needed.

Collaborative law is a process by which the parties, together with their own solicitors (who must be qualified to undertake this sort of work), engage in a series of face-to-face meetings, to discuss their needs and their objectives with the aim of finding a tailor-made and mutually acceptable solution.

Arbitration mirrors the court system. With the agreement of the arbitrator, standard processes and procedures can be varied to suit the parties. Lawyers are involved in the same way as they would be in court. The arbitrator can deal with discrete issues or the whole of a dispute. The end result is an arbitration award (ruling) which is binding. The law applied is that of England and Wales.

Head of Department Henry Hood is a member of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA), fully qualified to conduct arbitrations. Henry, Jo Carr-West and Hazel Wright are all accredited mediators with the Family Mediation Council and are able to conduct mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs) for court use. Hetty Gleave and Jay Patel are qualified mediators. Henry, Hazel and Richard Kershaw are all qualified Collaborative lawyers.

Family Experts

We understand our clients’ needs and tailor our work to each set of circumstances, providing high quality, cost effective advice. We are a multi disciplinary practice and work collaboratively to provide a comprehensive service over all our practice areas.

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Jo Carr-West

Partner

Jo Carr-West

Partner

Hetty Gleave

Partner

Hetty Gleave

Partner

Henry Hood

Partner

Henry Hood

Partner

Richard Kershaw

Partner

Richard Kershaw

Partner

Jay Patel

Partner

Jay Patel

Partner

Hazel Wright

Partner

Hazel Wright

Partner

Vanessa Friend

Senior Associate

Vanessa Friend

Senior Associate

Amy Scollan

Senior Associate

Amy Scollan

Senior Associate

Alexandra Baggallay

Associate

Alexandra Baggallay

Associate

Rebecca Christie

Associate

Rebecca Christie

Associate

Nicole Derham

Associate

Nicole Derham

Associate

Latest Family Headlines

Apr 09, 2019
Henry Hood comments on the no-fault divorce reform in The Guardian
Apr 05, 2019
Jo Carr-West comments on a £1.3m divorce award despite signing a pre-nuptial agreement in Family Law Week
Apr 04, 2019
Richard Kershaw examines the case of Daga v Bangur and trusts in the Family Division in WealthBriefing
Apr 04, 2019
Rebecca Christie comments on the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths Act 2019 that came into force in The Times
Mar 07, 2019
Richard Kershaw comments on the case of Cowan v Foreman in New Law Journal
Mar 04, 2019
Richard Kershaw examines the case of Daga v Bangur and trusts in the Family Division in Family Law LexisNexis
Feb 06, 2019
Hazel Wright reaccredited by the Family Mediation Council as a specialist family mediator
Dec 17, 2018
Henry Hood comments on the sale of the £4.5 million helicopter in the Akhmedova divorce case in Family Law Week
Nov 23, 2018
Jay Patel comments on a racing driver’s ex-wife’s possible entitlement to a £5 million divorce settlement in Family Law
Nov 09, 2018
Henry Hood comments on Sharia court ignoring an order from the High Court that an oligarch must hand over a £350m yacht to his ex-wife in The Law Society Gazette and Family Law Week
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They have done really well, they have a good offering, and a good reputation in the market,” says an interviewee, adding: “They have really come up and they will carry on growing. Good all-round family firm”

Chambers HNW 2018

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