Is Court the only option?

I recently went on a Collaborative Training Course in Nottingham and the guest speaker was a Neil Denny. Neil Denny is an international trainer and author in Collaborative Practice as well as a Consultant Collaborative Lawyer with a practice in London. He was shortlisted as one of England’s most innovative lawyers in the 2012 Family Law Awards. I can understand why as I found him to be inspiring and was enthused by his passion and commitment to Collaborative law; so much that I decided to write this article for our website.

Neil made me reflect not only on the huge benefits to clients of resolving their issues arising from separation but also the huge benefits to me as a lawyer. I feel privileged to be able to say that I have helped a number of couples sort out their issues through this process. Granted, it isn’t for the faint hearted, either client or solicitor and can be quite an emotional rollercoaster. There is no hiding behind lawyer’s coattails (or correspondence) and all is bared. Provided everyone is prepared to be respectful then no subject is off limits. However small a matter may seem it can be bought to the table and discussed.

My client’s experiences of resolving their problems this way have, with no exception, been positive. What is more I take pleasure in bringing about a happy outcome for them to which they have contributed so much. Sadly, happy outcomes in Court are rarely achieved as the decision making process becomes that of the Judge. Judges are overworked and often frustrated about the issues that come before them and can be short tempered and intolerant. Normally by the time cases come before them any problems have been compounded not least because of the cost and turmoil involved in going to Court.

There is a freshness to sitting down around a table, yet sadly there are not that many lawyers who are trained in the Collaborative process. This is necessary if a couple really want the best chance of resolving their problems. My message to couples is to find a trained Collaborative Lawyer and to give it a go. You have nothing to lose from it but much to gain, both in the short term and longer term.

Should you wish to give the Collaborative process a go then contact me on 0116 2554855.

Emma Mitchell

Partner

emeryjohnson

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