Thameside Family Collaborative Lawyers and Mediators News


Wishing Anne-Lise Wall a Very Happy Retirement in October 2017 from Morrisons Solicitors as a Family and Collaborative Lawyer, continuing as a Mediator with ALW Family Mediation



Training for 2017

Wednesday 5 July 2017
at Morrisons, Teddington 9am to 5pm : Mediation Update Day: presented by Robbie Clerke and Angela Lake-Carroll


Reforms to the Family Justice System

On Tuesday 22 April 2014, some of the most significant reforms to the Family Justice System in a decade are implemented. The new Family Court will open its doors, and many other changes come into effect.

MIAMS: The Children and Families Act 2014 includes provision to require the potential applicant to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before being able to apply for certain types of court order.

Child Arrangements Programme: The Child Arrangements Programme (CAP), which revises the Private Law Programme, is intended to be a more comprehensive guide to the Private Law process and to be more accessible for all, particularly Litigants in Person. It will also encourage disputes to be settled outside of the court system.

Child Arrangements Orders: The introduction of the Child Arrangements Order will replace Residence and Contact Orders under s.8(1) of the Children Act 1989.  The purpose is to bring greater focus on the practical issues of the day-to-day care of the child.

The Family Court: The Crime and Courts Act 2013 brought in new legislation to establish a Family Court which will replace the current three tiers of court. Proceedings will be issued by the Family Court and will be allocated to a level of judge according to their type and complexity.  The aim of these changes is to tackle delays and to improve judicial continuity.

Changes to divorce:  A Statement of Arrangements for the Children no longer needs to be completed and lodged at Court in divorce proceedings, as arrangements for children will no longer be scrutinised as part of the divorce process but can be resolved through separate proceedings.

We are able to assist you with any concerns you have about arrangements for your children, putting your children first with expert Legal Advice and practical support or Mediation, including MIAMS.

Lisa Broddle 24 April 2014


Benefits of Using a Family Consultant from the Start of the Case: Use the Full Collaborative Team

  • The family consultant is neutral and connects with each client prior to the first full meeting. When an intervention is needed the clients already know and trust the family consultant.
  • Having a trained expert to facilitate emotional triggers, rather than having them escalate, saves time, money and is healthier.
  • The collaborative lawyers feel secure knowing the family consultant will manage strong emotions throughout the entire process.
  • The family consultant helps everyone model good communication, including problem-solving skills.
  • A solid full team of experts is created to meet the legal, emotional and financial needs of the clients.

Lisa Broddle 11 March 2013 

Thameside Collaborative Community Drinks 6 to 8pm on Thursday 29 November 2012 at One Kew Road, Richmond

 Community Meeting Monday 21 May 2012 at White Swan, Richmond Upon Thames at 6pm

Thameside Collaborative Community Meeting at The White Swan, Richmond Upon Thames
on Monday 20 February 2012 at 6pm.  Speaker Fiona Read: The Legal Process

We are feeling like a community after an interesting and convivial evening.  Thank you to Fiona for a great overview on the legals with the insight from the bench.  We are getting to know each other, to discuss and exchange information and ideas.  Thank you for all contributions and to Louise Barretto for organising and Chairing.


Diana Pringle: Family Consultant has some thoughts following the discussions at the Community Meeting to address in our furture meetings in summary:

1. Clarification of FC work and what are the solicitors and clients needs and expectations
2. How to get clients to instruct other members of the team.  Lawyer to Family Consultant and Family Consultant to Lawyer.
3. What is Family Consultancy: writng the copy  for the website.
4. An explanation of Couple Dynamics, Brainstorming/Supervison/Case Discussion.
5. Name badges for ease of identity at Community Meetings.

Lisa Broddle: Family and Collaborative Lawyer, Mediator, suggests:

1. In addition to name badges that  we introduce ourselves at the beginning of the meeting or before dinner. 
2. To encourage more Family Consultants to join the Community and  be included in  Find a Family Consultant.  I will send details by email.
3. Louise Barretto, Chair needs someone to take over the organisation of the quarterly Collaborative Community Dinners.  Would a member of the Community be willing to do this please.

Attendees: Speaker Fiona Read.  Family Consultants: Diana Pringle, Patsy Bolton, Lucy Selleck, Maddie Campbell, Caroline Morcom.  Collaborative Lawyers: Louise Barretto, Lisa Broddle, Louise Connolly, Sarah Cornes, Therese Nichols, Jill Trelfa, Julian Waldon, Sian Whittaker, Jane Wright.

22 February 2012


What is Family Consultation? or What is the Role of Family Consultants? 

Great news.   Diana Pringle, Sylvia Duncan and other Family Consultants are coming together to discuss their role and to prepare a section for the Web Site.  We look forward to hearing from you further.

21 November 2011


The first Family Consultant, Diana Pringle, has joined the Thameside Community.  Welcome.  We look forward to working together, continuing to build our community to assist couples and families.


Thameside Mediators Ready to Provide Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMS)

The pre-application protocol for mediation information and assessment came into force on 6 April 2011.

From that date, applicants wishing to make an application in relevant family proceedings should provide a completed FM1 with their application — confirming that they have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (or are exempt from doing so.)

The assessment meeting will cover:

  • Eligibility for public funding. (Please note: Public funding is not available from our mediators.)
  • Information on family mediation and other alternative dispute resolution such as the collaborative process.
  • Suitability for mediation.
  • Willingness to mediate.

After the meetings with you and your partner (held either individually or together, as you wish) you will proceed with the mediation, signing an Agreement to Mediate.

If mediation cannot take place, the signed FM1 will be provided to enable the applicant to issue court proceedings.

6 April 2011



 Sarah Lloyd at Resolution has confirmed that the Susan Gamache Training on 4 March 2010 and the Training on 24 March 2011 with Duane Plant and William Hogg will be appropriate training for Family Consultant's in the Collaborative Process to be Resolution Approved.  The Police Checks for Resolution will be met if the Family Consultants satisfy their own governing bodies and such checks are avaiable on request.


Thameside Collaborative Lawyers Present

A Training Day with Duane Plant and William Hogg on Thursday 24 March 2011 in Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey.

Working Title:  “Building an ADR Future…. Are you Ready?”40 Training Places available.  Further details to be provided 18 January 2011.




Thameside Collaborative Community Dinners
For Collaborative Lawyers, Family Consultants, Financial Advisors and guests to promote Collaborative Practice. 

The first Meeting took place on Monday 10 th May 2010 at:

The White Swan, Richmond.

The usual format of the Meetings has been:

6pm to 7pm: General Meeting and Presentation
7 to 8pm: Dinner and Social


Thameside Collaborative Lawyers Present:

Lawyers and Family Consultants One Day Seminar
Interdisciplinary Collaborative Team –a Working Model

By Dr Susan GamachePh.D, Psychologist , MFT,Collaborative Divorce Vancouver BC, Canada. Collaborative Practitioner since 1999 and Trainer since 2001  And  Richard Sharp, Family Lawyer, Mediator and Collaborative Practitioner, Sharp Family Law, Bath & Bristol


Date: Thursday, 4 March 2010

Time: to be confirmed

Venue: Richmond Adult Community College, Parkshot, Richmond, TW9 2RE


Monday 1 June 2009: Presentation by Martin Longhust and Georgina Vintin of V&L Consulting on Supporting Family Members Through the Process of Collaborative Divorce and Separation


Martin and Georgina spoke to Thameside Collaborative Lawyers to explain their Systemic approach to Family Therapy. 

Each individual's and families' needs are different.  The service, which Martin and Georgina see as dealing with short term, problem solving orientated issues, will provide the Clients with the understanding and "tools" to engage in the Collaborative Process effectively.   The Clients and their family will benefit from improved family relations, learning new patterns of communication with maximized emotional wellbeing for all family members.

Thameside Collaborative Lawyers thank Martin and Georgina.  It was an illuminating presentation and discussion.  



Lawyers and Family Consultants working together in Collaborative Practice Workshop
By Dr Susan Gamache on Monday 2 March 2009

Thameside Collaborative Lawyers were fortunate to engage Dr Susan Gamache for a workshop focusing on how to engage ourselves as Family Collaborative Lawyers and our Clients in making the "Paradigm Shift", the integration of Family Consultants and improved understanding of the benefits of using  Family Consultants for our Clients and Family Lawyers in the Collaborative Process.

 Dr Susan Gamache is a Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, Collaborative Practice Divorce Coach, Child Specialist, Mediator, Writer and Trainer working in private practice in Vancouver.  Susan has been working in Collaborative Practice since 1999, providing training since 2001 and has many publications and papers.

The workshop was inspirational for the Collaborative Lawyers and Family Consultants attending.  Thank you to Susan and all participants.  We could really understand and see in the role plays, how the Family Consultant is an invaluable resource for Clients and Collaborative Lawyers alike.



Thursday 4 September 2008: Landman Mills Presentation to Thameside Collaborative Lawyers

Presentation by Bath Family Consultants, Chris Mills and Angus Landman of Landman Mills, to discuss Family Consultant roles in the Collaborative Process and working  with different models. 

Many thanks to Chris and Angus for explaining the single and dual model Family Consultants role outside and in the Legal Collaborative Four Way Meetings, providing us with a greater understanding and ability to inform our Clients.   



Monday 11 August 2008 Training with Ruth Smallacombe: The Role of the Family Consultant

Training by Ruth Smallacombe on the relationship and communication dynamics, the role of Family Consultants and the value of Initial In take Meetings prior to Clients starting to work in the Collaborative Process.

Many thanks to Ruth for an informative and thought provoking training.



News from the Waterfront: Thameside Collaborative Lawyers 5 May 2008
Collaborative Conference in Cork

Four of our POD have just returned from the 2nd European Collaborative Conference in Cork Ireland organised by the Association of Collaborative Practitioners in Ireland over the weekend 1-4 May 2008. This was an excellent event with the main conference opening with a welcoming and supportive address by the President of Ireland Mary McAleese no less.

 The conference continued with a depth and breadth of topics which aptly met the developmental and training needs of the collaborative practitioner, lawyers, family coaches and financial neutrals alike whether just beginning or further on the journey. Highlights for us were: Susan Miller, Richard Sharpe and Karen Ritchie and Liz Ferris in “Pennies from Heaven” a guided tour with role plays on how to integrate and put to best use for the couple the financial neutral in the collaborative process; Linda Solomon from Vancouver on “Where is the neutral voice? An overview of the use of family coaches again emphasising the need for getting on board multi-disciplines in this process; and what will remain most memorable for me was Pauline Tesler at her most effervescent and evangelical self on “Making the Collaborative practice irresistible to your clients: informed choice in the buy in phase of a collaborative case”. If ever there was an answer to “why am I getting no collaborative clients?” this is it…. and if you want collaborative cases Pauline tells us how to get them with every new client. If I had to recommend one piece of teaching from this so relevant conference this would be it.

 The message we came away with was we need to rethink and then turn on to a much broader road than we have thus far. We need to stand back to take in what clients need to make this process work for them if they want it. Integrated multi-disciplinary practice should be the norm, not the exception. This is the way forward if we are ever to offer our clients something of lasting value and even dare I say a positive life changing experience. A family coach/psychotherapist from Bath asked the obvious but telling question “how can we as lawyers possibly be expected to carry all the process without the help of other professionals?” The burden of lawyer driven collaborative practice is too great for us to carry, clients miss out, they get “shadow of the law settlements” not deep peace resolutions and as for a positive life changing event it is more like business as usual. Cork conference was a wake up call and if we do not respond appropriately then I believe real collaborative practice will wither on the vine.

 We have returned from the conference with plans to organise multi-disciplinary training to include lawyers, family coaches and financial neutrals. We will circulate to all when the training has been set up. Similar to the last training we organised led by Liz Ferris where we had a day on “How to Market your collaborative practice” this will be at Kingston University, so watch this space.

 As a POD we had a collaborative launch and an information evening about the collaborative approach last year on 10 October at the Salon in Twickenham. We we presented to a packed audience of lawyers/IFAs/counsellors/ CAFCASS Officers/accountants/mediators a birds eye view of this process and how this compared and contrasted with mediation and the court process. The evening was a stunning success and the only disappointment was that not one member of our judiciary from our local county courts was able to attend.

 Whilst we are just 13 in number we have all had collaborative cases ranging from some who have had 2 or 3 cases to some of us who have had 20 plus. We have had altogether 85-90 completed collaborative cases. We are completely committed to getting collaborative practice placed firmly on the map and as a process that clients seek out as first choice for them.

 Looking back to Cork the closing address given by Minister of Justice referred to the plans of the collaborative practitioners in Ireland to have a bill passed as law that provides collaborative practice as well as mediation as the first, proper and appropriate route for divorcing and separating couples rather than court. We have some way to go here in the UK before that can be anything more than a dream. But let’s rise to the challenge that our Irish collaborative colleagues have presented to us and let’s all of us work collaboratively together to make that dream a reality.

For teaching cds or download from Cork conference please see

Anne-Lise Wall
May 2008 



Thameside Collaborative Lawyers Presentation on Wednesday 10th October 2007, Thameside Collaborative Lawyers hosted a presentation on Collaborative Family Law Practice at The Salon, York House, Twickenham.

Speakers: Therese Nichols, Anne-Lise Wall and Peter Reynolds.

Guest Speaker: Ruth Smallacombe, Family Consultant and Mediator at Family Law in Partnership.