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West Norfolk lawyers work together for families

26th April 2012

 

 

 

Lawyers, judges, accountants, financial advisers, and other key members of the West Norfolk community are being invited to an event on Friday 4 May to mark the launch in the area of collaborative family law.

 

The reception at the Kings Lynn Business Centre on Tuesday Market Place runs from 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm. Henry Bellingham MP will be the guest speaker.

 

The collaborative process was described in a recent House of Lords debate as “admirable”, “flexible” and “adaptable”, with Government spokesman Lord McNally commenting: “Legal services are on the move.”

 

All family lawyers practising collaborative law must have substantial experience of advising in family cases and must undergo additional formal training organised by family lawyers’ group Resolution.

 

The backbone of the process is that family lawyers and clients work closely in a series of meetings to find solutions. The lawyers commit not to take the case to court. Clients can end the process at any time, but must instruct fresh lawyers if they want to take the case to court. The process has a high success rate. A survey by family lawyers’ group Resolution found that 85% of collaborative cases ended in out of court settlement.

 

Clients comment that: “it’s much better to be around the table discussing things rather than letters backwards and forwards” and “I was very happy – I’ve seen people go through long drawn out divorces and it’s horrible”.

 

The West Norfolk and Fenland lawyers work with collaborative professionals based across Norfolk, including Fakenham and North Norfolk. A full list of the group’s members is at www.collaborativelawnorfolk.co.uk.

 

Local lawyers belonging to the group include: Rachel Hepworth of Hawkins; Richard Pennington of Ward Gethin; Steve Welcomme of Metcalfe Copeman & Pettefar; and Sarah Whitworth of Malletts. Rebecca Woodley of Fraser Dawbarns (qualifying May 2012).

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