Collaborative law


Collaborative practice is a forward-thinking concept which involves both parties and their collaboratively trained lawyers signing up to work together to discuss and negotiate the best outcome for the family overall without going to court.

In order for the process to work it requires that both parties enter into it in good faith and must be willing to engage in full and frank discussions.

Other professionals can also be invited into the meetings to assist with the negotiations such as a barrister, financial advisor or accountant. If parties are struggling with the emotional side of things, a Family Consultant can also become part of the process.

Advantages

  • Parties have complete control which includes the frequency and scheduling of the four-way meetings
  • Parties will have support from specialist trained lawyers throughout
  • The process requires you to be completely open and honest with everyone in the meeting
  • It promotes a better relationship between the parties to determine what is best for the family
  • Questions can be asked and answered immediately so there is less room for misunderstanding.

Disadvantages

  • One party may enter into it in the wrong spirit which will result in the process failing
  • Should the process break down, then new lawyers will need to be appointed to make a Court application.

What to expect

Each party will instruct a collaboratively trained solicitor and sign a participation agreement committing themselves to resolving matters without going to court.

The parties will be encouraged to prepare and read an ‘Anchor Statement’ setting out why they have chosen this process.

Issues will be resolved through confidential negotiations through a series of four-way meetings attended by both parties and their instructed solicitors.

If the assistance of a third party is required, the other professionals will be invited to the meetings.

Once an agreement is reached then the instructed collaborative lawyers will draft the necessary documents for submission and approval by the Court.

Both Louise Masters and Elizabeth Gallagher are trained in Collaborative practice and further information can be found here.

For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you to talk through your options and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.