I do not recognise the supposed self-serving family law solicitor that Chris Nicholls describes.
As a solicitor, collaborative lawyer and family law arbitrator employing a team of dedicated experts, including a solicitor mediator, I am alive to the benefits of all types of dispute resolution. Indeed, paragraph 1.53 of the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol, 3rd edition, requires us to consider all alternative methods.
My firm makes clear to clients the implications of part 3 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. They are advised that the court will wish to know at the first hearing whether mediation has been considered by the parties, that the court can adjourn for this purpose and that there may be costs implications. This advice is confirmed in writing.
Mr Nicholls’ letter is timely. Resolution is launching its second annual national awareness-raising week (25 -29 November) to promote the benefits of alternatives to court for separating and divorcing couples. Moreover, National Family Dispute Resolution Week is being organised in conjunction with Resolution’s Dispute Resolution Week to help promote mediation and other forms of dispute resolution.
Tony Roe, Tony Roe Solicitors, Reading