Areas of expertise
I am a qualified mediator. I see couples together to help them resolve their disputes. They still have lawyers for advice but mediation can help couples to settle in a way more satisfactory to them. It is often much more cost effective. Mediation is not counselling but an alternative to lawyer negotiation or going to court. Much of my mediation is directive mediation in which I give direct legal opinions in the mediation to encourage a final settlement, taking account of what would happen if the matter were to be considered at court. These mediations are sometimes with the parties’ lawyers present, when disclosure has been given and when conventional negotiations or mediation have failed to produce a settlement.
I am also an arbitrator, a new area of family law resolution, where the dispute is heard by a qualified arbitrator but outside the court system, court rules and court timetables. The couple work out their preferred procedure and timetable for their own dispute. It has been strongly endorsed by senior family court judges. I was the initiator and co-creator of the English family arbitration scheme
I undertake international arbitration work, as co-creator of the International Family Law Arbitration Scheme which provides an independent, country neutral arbitrator in a forum dispute between a couple. More details can be found here or contact me for more information.
I am a qualified Australian solicitor, barrister and mediator. Although I am now based primarily in England, I maintain close professional links with Australian law firms, keep up to date with changes in the law and I have retained my professional qualifications and certificates to practice as an Australian lawyer and mediator. My firm has an association with Watts McCray, one of Australia’s leading family law firms
I sit as a Deputy (part time) District Judge at the Central Family Court (previously known as the Principal Registry of the Family Division) in London. This is the main central family courts in London but also hears many of the more complex cases from out of London. I sit about three or four days a month. I was appointed in 1995. I now mostly sit in their Financial Rememdies Unit, dealing with complex finance cases
With my judicial experience, I conduct private early neutral evaluations of what may happen if a case went to court, but to save it having to do so. These can be privileged