Celia rises to the mediation challenge
Tuesday 10 April 2012 9:25 AM
Warwickshire-based collaborative lawyer Celia Christie has recently qualified as a Resolution family mediator.
Since new guidance came into force last April, the Government has made it compulsory for couples seeking the courts assistance with settling a financial dispute or a dispute over children to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The idea behind this is to give more couples the opportunity of finding out about mediation and whether it would be suitable for them before the court application is issued.
There is also a general shift towards dispute resolution as an alternative to the court process. Celia wanted to ensure she was at the forefront of these changes.
“Being an active collaborative lawyer, I already see the benefit to clients in reaching amicable agreements with the assistance of their collaborative lawyers when they have been unable to sit together and discuss matters directly, “said Celia, based near Rugby and serving clients across the Midlands.
“Mediation is a natural progression for me in that I will be helping my mediation clients to explore all of the options open to them and enabling them to negotiate with each other in a safe and supported environment. It can also be very cost effective and significantly cheaper than using the courts.
“Although the proposed changes have been met with some scepticism from other legal professionals, the Government’s proposed launch of an information hub for separating families in the autumn will promote mediators as key practitioners and encourage couples to speak to a mediator to investigate their options before seeing a solicitor. Currently around 80 per cent of people see a solicitor first and I think that this will change in the future. ”
Celia is a Resolution mediator, meaning the training and qualification are regulated by Resolution, the organisation committed to non-confrontational divorce. She is also a collaboratively trained lawyer, again committed to non-confrontational divorce where both parties sign up to this approach, agree not to go to court and both engage a collaborative lawyer.
Woolley & Co Managing Partner Andrew Woolley said: “It is great to see Celia embracing this new opportunity. It further enhances her position as a family solicitor and collaborative lawyer allowing her to offer an even better and wider service to clients.”