Volunteers are often the bedrock of charitable organisations, but they are not protected from sexual harassment within those organisations.
Chris, who had been provisionally accredited since 2015, joins Elisabeth Howe and Maria Ramon as fully Accredited Family Mediators at Anthony Collins Solicitors, making them the largest family mediation team in Birmingham.
Although Accredited Family Mediators are in short supply in Birmingham, the increase in demand for mediation sees no sign of slowing down. In April 2014 it became compulsory for most prospective litigants to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) – the first step in mediation – to see if issues were able to be resolved before going to court. Our 'Jaw, jaw not war, war' article highlighted Government findings that qualified lawyer mediators conducted, on average, 10 MIAMs and three full mediation sessions each month and that fewer cases go to court when people are aware of mediation.
Chris also commented on the benefits of having experience of being both a family solicitor and a mediator, allowing first-hand insight into the evolution of the family dispute resolution system in his article earlier this year 'The growth of family mediation and the benefits of mediators with a legal background'.
Increasing support for mediation is essential in helping people to make difficult decisions about their futures with someone who isn’t on either side. Maria commented, “Being able to conduct mediations allows us to help clients who are going through a difficult time, in a very different way than by going directly to court. Although there are still difficult conversations to have, as mediators we are a neutral party with the best interests of all parties in mind – including children, who will find their parents’ divorce or separation difficult. We're not here to take sides, but to ensure all options are explored before going through the traumatic experience of a court hearing”.
Elisabeth added, “With three accredited mediators at Anthony Collins Solicitors, we can share our experiences and continue to develop our skills. We will be able to offer more mediations and, hopefully, see the number of court hearings continue to come down”.
Also, Maria and Elisabeth can also speak to children directly during mediation if the need arises. Such ‘child-inclusive mediation’ allows children to relay their views, via the mediator, in an unbiased and neutral way. This can help parties to reflect on the child’s views and come to a speedy and child focused conclusion.
For further information about our mediation services visit our website, or to discuss any family issues that could require legal advice, please contact Maria Ramon, Elisabeth Howe or Chris Lloyd-Smith.
Here at Anthony Collins Solicitors, we have been hard at work advising a charity client, BICMP, on its new music project, ‘Resonance’.
Currently, the only ground for divorce is irretrievable break down of a marriage. Following a consultation, the Government has announced its intention to reform the legal requirements for divorce.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recently made some noteworthy changes to its guidance around data subject access requests (DSARs).
In the fourth part of our series on contract management pitfalls, we look at the risks arising out of varying the terms of construction contracts.
A local authority recently received a "roasting" by the Pensions Ombudsman for their delay in processing an employee’s ill-health retirement pension, following her diagnosis with advanced cancer.
The Times is looking for three or four charities to feature in their editions running in December 2019 and early January 2020.
Cliff Mills defines and talks about the importance of social value in his blog, and its potential within Greater Manchester.
Following a power outage at Anthony Collins Solicitors’ (ACS) Birmingham office, our employees and partners currently have limited functionality, including no access to emails.
Joint ventures present an opportunity for housing associations to build organisational capacity, the revenues from which could help deliver on wider social housing commitments.
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