EJ Coombs Solicitors has added mediation and collaborative law to its portfolio of legal and advice services. Solicitors Vicky Robertson and Hannah Kelly are both practicing collaborative lawyers and Vicky is also a trained family mediator.

What is mediation?

Mediation allows you and your partner to meet, perhaps on several occasions, with a trained mediator (occasionally a pair of mediators) who will encourage you to discuss the arrangements that would best suit your family, whether these be in relation to finances or the children.  Mediators are independent and are there to encourage an agreement, rather than to take sides or give advice.  In our experience their role is invaluable in many cases.

If, at the end of mediation, you have been able to reach an agreement with your partner, you will each be referred to your own legal advisers to take advice on the agreement reached before it can be binding upon you.  Assuming that you and your lawyers are happy with the agreement, it can then be drawn up into a legal format.

If mediation does not result in an agreement, it can still be invaluable in defining what the issues are in a case and resolving some of the smaller (but important) points that cannot be dealt with by the court system.

What is collaborative law?

In collaborative family law, each person has their own qualified collaborative lawyer and you all meet together in the same room to work things out face to face.

You have your lawyer by your side throughout the entire process and therefore benefit from legal advice as you go. You make a commitment at the outset not to go to court.

As in mediation, issues are discussed using principled negotiations. However, whereas in mediation both parties discuss issues with a neutral mediator (with the option to subsequently enter the court system if agreement cannot be made), in collaborative law issues are discussed between both parties and their respective lawyers, with a written commitment at the outset not to enter the court process and to resolve everything through the collaborative process. This promotes working together towards an agreement which suits the family as a whole.

Mediation and the collaborative process are both great options to consider when separating. Of course, they are not the only routes to settlement and there may be other ways which are better suited to your case. At E J Coombs, we can help you decide which route would be best in helping you reach the best possible outcome for your particular circumstances and support you through that process.


To contact Vicky or Hannah please ring  01245-221699 / 01277-286499 or email vicky@ejcoombs.co.uk or hannah@ejcoombs.co.uk