Topic outline

  • Overview

    Welcome to our 2016 Dispute Resolution Conference. Once again, this year’s programme is packed full of workshops, plenaries and opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues.

  • Le Café


    Since its launch in 2012, Le Café has become a delegate favourite. In this discussion-based session you’ll find innovative practitioners keen to share their experience and useful tips. This session is divided into two slots of 40 minutes each. Registration for the Café session will be available at the conference registration desk.

    On arrival at the conference please put your name down for one table in each session. The choices for the tables are listed below and you should only sign up for one slot for each session. Further instructions will be given at the start of the session.

    Table 1

    How does DR accommodate cultural and religious issues?

    Sarah Anticoni and Dr Zaza Elsheikh

    With MIAMs now a pre-requisite for court applications, how proficient are mediators in the exploration of conflicts that include multiple dimensions of culture, law and religion?

    Table 2

    Lump sums versus lumpy sums

    Lisa Conway-Hughes and Sarah-Jane McNuff

    Lisa Conway-Hughes is a highly qualified independent financial adviser that specialises in divorce. She is joined by actuary Sarah-Jane McNuff. Together they will get under the bonnet of divorce lump sum calculations and point out what you as lawyers need to be aware of from a mathematical standpoint. Lisa and Sarah-Jane have developed a new alternative to the Duxbury tables that they believe ticks all the boxes that a modern day divorce would ask of it.

    Table 3

    All you ever wanted to know about mediation accreditation but were afraid to ask

    Angela Lake-Carroll and Elaine Richardson

    Our session aims to equip you with all the information you need if you are thinking about either accrediting or are due to reaccredit with The Law Society Family Mediation scheme. We will also try to answer any questions that you have and help you to understand what our assessors are looking for when they are considering portfolios.

    Table 4

    The insurance implications of drafting Consent Orders

    Angela Donen

    This cafe session will look at the insurance position of those who decide that they wish to draft consent orders. We will look at their options and the risks involved. There are lots of questions and principles to guide us but as yet no clarity from insurers. Participants might wish to bring a note of their insurance cover to aid discussion.

    Table 5

    “Can’t you just write them a letter?”

    Mary Shaw and Georgie Hall

    In the 21st-century a written letter is a rare thing. How do we stay relevant and needed? Clients can be lost to lawyers when letter negotiation fails, builds stress and exhausts funds for legal fees. This cafe session will explore the pressures to conform to tradition and the ways to offer clients what they want and need. It may also be of benefit to you to help you help your colleagues back in your office to look at their practice and improve their profitability and client satisfaction.

    Table 6

    The big collaborative conversation

    Jo Edwards

    With mediation getting many of the recent headlines as a result of government policy, Resolution set up a collaborative working party in early 2016 to develop collaborative practice to the next level. With a focus on interdisciplinary practice, new training, various toolkits, standards and ethics, collating returns information and helping pods, we have many work streams ongoing. In this cafe session, Jo Edwards, chair of the collaborative working party, would love to share the group’s plans and hear your views as to how we may grow collaborative practice.

    Table 7

    Next generation DR

    Joanna Blakelock and Patrick Daniels

    How can we ensure the next generation of family law professionals build their understanding and experience in dispute resolution? Those coming up through the professions face many obstacles and challenges, including the cost of training, access to opportunities to practice, not to mention regulatory barriers. This session aims to identify practical actions that can help to address these issues and improve future professional routes into DR. Joanna Blakelock is an associate solicitor and mediator. She’s Chair of Surrey YRes Committee and Secretary of the National YRes Committee. Patrick Daniels is Resolution’s Head of Professional Development.

    Table 8

    Should mediators draft consent orders?

    Dominic Raeside and Alison Bull

    Following on from yesterday’s debate, the conversation continues…. this Café session is another chance to discuss this topic and to add your views.

    Table 9

    How do the courts treat dispute resolution?

    David Emmerson

    Dave Emmerson from Anthony Gold solicitors takes a spin through how the courts and particularly judges are treating the opportunities for dispute resolutions. He will be looking at the current data and success of the MIAMs process and also looking at the new court applications and draft order forms in children and finance to see how they might improve. He will also reflect on the mixed success of establishing a mediation rota at the Central Family Court as part of His Honour Judge Altman’s Family Solutions Court. How could judges use DR more effectively in the court process? How do the FDR help or hinder us?

  • Friday 14th October

    The conference will start with an address from our National Chair, Nigel Shepherd, at 9.15am. Registration and refreshments will be in the Conference Centre atrium from 8.45am-9.15am. The conference will finish at 5.15pm.

    • Annual Henry Brown Lecture


      Annual Henry Brown Lecture, presented by Petra Slingenberg-Beishuizen, Mediator and Lawyer at Delissen Martens, The Hague

    • Keynote address by Sylvia Duncan


      Keynote address by Sylvia Duncan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist

    • Completing the jigsaw


      Completing the jigsaw - with members of the Dispute Resolution Committee.

      Including a live demonstration using client scenarios of how to approach the latest dispute resolution options with clients. Audience discussion and participation will be welcomed.

    • Workshop A: A family arbitration from start to finish


      • Gavin Smith, Barrister and Arbitrator, 1 Hare Court
      • Janet Bazley QC, Barrister and Arbitrator, 1 Garden Court

      Suggested Level - beginner

      A practical walk through the stages of a family arbitration:

      • Is the dispute suitable for arbitration?
      • Selecting the arbitrator
      • Preliminary meeting
      • Safeguarding in children cases
      • Directions
      • The voice of the child in children cases
      • Hearing or no hearing?
      • From directions to award/determination
      • Court orders
      • Challenge to the outcome of the arbitration

      Workshop room: 4A

    • Workshop B: Recognising and working with complex DR cases (primarily in mediation)


      • Adrian Clarke, Solicitor, Mediator and Psychotherapist
      • Sally Parsloe, Solicitor, Collaborative Practitioner, Mediator and Psychotherapeutic Counsellor

      Suggested Level - intermediate

      Dispute resolution is never easy, but sometimes the constellation of factors in a case can make it especially knotty. If not anticipated, understood and attended to, these can bog the process down, ending in tears for you and your clients. This workshop addresses difficult areas in complex DR cases (primarily mediation), from intake to conclusion, with emphasis on integration of tools, skills and tactics from the modalities of law, mediation, and psychology. Discussion and participation by attendees is welcome.

      Workshop room: Suite 2

      • Workshop C: Getting your financial ducks in a row


        • Paul Cobley: Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioner and Chartered MCSI, Resolution Mediator and Accredited Specialist; and
        • Ian Taylor: Chartered Financial Planner, Mediator and Resolution Accredited Specialist

        Suggested level - intermediate/advanced

        This workshop provides essential financial information and an innovative technique to enhance your information gathering, option providing and reality checking processes as mediation or collaborative practitioners. Paul Cobley and Ian Taylor will guide you through some of the key financial planning indicators they use when working with couples in mediation or single joint expert meetings, including tax year of separation and pension sharing processes and pitfalls. An action packed, information providing session.

        Workshop room: 3A-3B

        • Workshop D: How to keep your client out of the warehouse of resentment


          • Bill Hewlett, Mediator, Counsellor and Child Consultant

          Suggested Level - advanced

          Many clients present with a story that holds no tolerance for the perspective of the other person. This lack of reflective capacity is evidence they have probably suffered social trauma early in their own lives, where as children their capacity to be accountable has been teased and shamed out of them. With the use of an actor, this workshop will demonstrate how to assist the stuck client to acknowledge their part in their conflict, whilst keeping their sense of self reliably intact. This reduces the intransigence normally associated with dispute resolution processes. 

          Workshop room: 4B

        • Workshop E: Collaborative law is dead. Long live collaborative law


          • Neil Denny, Collaborative Practitioner

          Suggested Level - intermediate

          Has collaborative law failed and if so, what are we going to do about it? Only a handful of lawyers are doing regular collaborative work. For many groups collaborative law has no real presence at all and practitioners feel they have no voice. This workshop seeks to start a frank dialogue on what the next generation of collaborative practice looks like: what is required? What have we learned? And how might a collaborative practice revival be instigated? 

          Workshop room: 3C

        • Tea, cakes and networking