Lawyer-Inclusive Mediation enables solicitors to be present during parts or all of the mediation meetings, so that clients can have advice as they negotiate, as well as support and help with negotiation.
As experienced family solicitors as well as family mediators, we recognise that there is no such thing as 'one size fits all' when it comes to negotiation.
The 'traditional' model of family mediation is a series of short meetings, usually without lawyers present, usually with both clients in the same room, and clients then take advice between meetings. However, in non-family matters, mediation is often a shuttle type with the clients and their lawyers in separate rooms, coming together at certain points.
We recognise that during the process there may be a requirement for the clients to be in separate rooms. We acknowledge that the clients should not feel under an obligation be in the same room together all of the time. We understand that clients often want advice and support from their solicitor during meetings rather than between meetings.
How We Can Help
Our mediator, Zen Thompson, has had training in and experience of both family and civil forms of mediation, and is a member of the Civil Mediation Council and the Family Mediation Council. He has practiced neighbour dispute mediation, where the process is an initial separate meeting with each client. Zen has practiced boundary dispute mediation where shuttle mediation is practiced with long meetings with clients in separate rooms, often with lawyers present.
Zen brings these elements of these non-family mediation models into Lawyer-Inclusive Family Mediation, whilst always ensuring that the mediation provided is compliant with Family Mediation regulations.
This model permits a great deal of flexibility in the process. Some clients choose to attend mediation to deal with financial disclosure without their solicitors, and then have solicitors with them for the mediation meeting which looks at options for settlement. Others prefer for financial disclosure to take place between solicitors and then just have one mediation meeting with their solicitors present. Others prefer that for particularly tricky areas, the solicitors and clients are invited by the mediator at the meeting to resolve matters including the wording of draft orders.
Before any mediation starts, we will meet with the clients separately for a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, to clarify if mediation is suitable and if so what form of mediation would suit the clients best. We aim to provide a tailor-made service, and will discuss with you the different process options and where mediation is suitable draft a bespoke mediation plan.
For more information on Lawyer Inclusive Mediation, please contact our Family Team on 01279 755777 or get in touch with Zen Thompson, Solicitor and Mediator in our Family Department.