Mediation & Collaborative Law
Our partner firm, Stowe Family Law Settlements, is a dedicated family mediation service. We also offer a collaborative law service, which differs from mediation in that each party has a legal advisor present throughout the process and at all meetings.
Our partner firm, Stowe Family Law Settlements, is a dedicated family mediation service. It has offices in London, Harrogate, Leeds and Hale.
Stowe Family Law Settlements was launched to help couples and families whose relationships have broken down, but who wish to avoid protracted and expensive courtroom battles. What sets this family law mediation service apart is the way in which it combines a mediation service with family law expertise. It is staffed by a nine-strong team of “lawyer-mediators”: trained family mediators who are also qualified and highly experienced family lawyers.
The lawyer-mediators at Stowe Family Law Settlements are able to assist with a range of legal disputes, including divorce and separation agreements, cohabitation agreements, child residence and contact disputes, grandparents’ rights and prenuptial agreements.
For family mediation, couples meet in a neutral environment with a neutral lawyer mediator, who will provide a frank assessment and discuss the likely outcome of the case if it went to court. The lawyer mediator will then help the couple to arrive at a solution that suits everyone, and will also assist with drawing up a formal agreement that can be incorporated into an order.
With one lawyer instead of two, the legal fees are often lower. Other benefits include the ability to resolve legal issues without the need for court proceedings. Couples are also able to maintain their privacy, because there are no court judgements to be made public.
Collaborative Law differs from mediation in that each party has a legal advisor present throughout the process and at all meetings. The emphasis of the collaborative approach to resolving disputes between parties is that it focuses on what the parties themselves want, as opposed to what the solicitor thinks is appropriate and it enables the parties to prioritise what is important to them. Collaborative law assists to avoid unnecessary rifts between parties, through direct communication and helps them to work together in the future which is particularly important when they have children who they will continue to bring up together.
With collaborative law, the success rate in reaching collaborative agreement is high and the time required to reach a solution and also the legal costs incurred are, on average, less than pursuing a Court-based route. If the collaborative method is pursued, the parties agree that they will not issue Court proceedings. The parties will be required to sign an agreement that they will proceed on this basis and all disclosure will be made on a voluntary basis and that they will work together for the good of all concerned to reach a resolution.
The parties and their legal advisors arrange to meet in order to identify the issues within the case and the possible solutions. Once an agreement is reached it can be embodied into a court order and because the lawyers have been a part of the whole process through the discussions to reach an agreement there is no need for the parties to have to seek advice elsewhere.
This method of dispute resolution is becoming increasingly popular as people look for alternative ways to resolve their disputes than going to court. For further information or to make an appointment please contact Julian Hawkhead, the Managing Partner of our Leeds office.
For more info please contact:
Managing Partner, Leeds
0113 224 0580
Julian Hawkhead is Stowe Family Law's Managing Partner in Yorkshire and is based in the Leeds office. Having graduated in Law from Leicester University and the College of Law in York, Julian commenced…