Devon Resolution Conference 2018 – our best yet

devon Res Conf 2018 2On Friday 11 May 2018 I was privileged to Chair the 4th Devon Resolution Conference.

This was attended by 120 family law solicitors and mediators, not only from Devon, but also from Somerset and Cornwall.

The aim of the conference is to provide the highest quality training. Just as important is the need for family law practitioners to be able to meet in a relaxed and sociable environment to foster good communications and relations. We achieve the best for our clients when we work well together in a sensible professional way, fostered by best practice.

I have to own up to the fact that the conference was my idea. As Chair of Devon Resolution, I am also the conference Chair. But the conference would not have been the success that it is without the hard work of the Devon Resolution Committee (drawn from a broad range of Devon family lawyers and mediators) and the generosity of or speakers and also the support of our delegates

The consensus seems to be that 2018 was our best conference yet.

Keynote Speaker – HHJ Stephen Wildblood QC

Stephen Wildblood is the Designated Family Judge for Bristol. He is also an old friend of ours having previously sat as a Family Judge in Devon and before that regularly appearing in our courts as a barrister.

Stephen’s speech reminded us of the importance of ensuring family court users were treated with fairness and dignity.

Stephen brought with him the Behind Closed Doors Theatre from Bristol. The group gave an amazing and highly thought provoking performance. Their work encourages us to think about how court users can find the experience incomprehensible and distressing, and reminds us of the lack of support to the vulnerable, particularly when care proceedings conclude. We hope to have them back another year.

Resolution News

Angela Lake-Carroll  (Independent consultant in family law and Resolution’s Head of Standards) gave an update from National Resolution.

Angela also gave a thought provoking presentation – Changing Times – Family law and justice briefing – the message being to encourage family lawyers to improve their soft skills and use of dispute resolution. Angela also ran an excellent workshop for family mediators the previous day.

What colour are you?

On the subject of communication, James Knight -iMA Strategies Alison Bull Mills and Reeve opened the conference and then ran a workshop looking at how improved understanding of our communication styles can help practitioners better meet the needs of their clients and also to work together.

I had previously attended their workshop; Spontaneous, controlling, cautious or precise?Communication strategies to achieve better outcomes at the national Resolution Dispute Resolution Conference last November.

As a firm we have adopted the iMA communication questionnaire which is now embedded on our website.

A fantastic group of speakers

Our other excellent speakers and workshop providers were; Sue Campbell QC of Magdalen Chambers who spoke on; How to deal with the evidence of children and vulnerable witnesses.   

Anthony Kirk QC of 1KBW –Placement Orders – Setting Aside and the Relationship with Care Proceedings./What do you expect from your judge?

Markanza Cudby also of 1KBW – Appeals

Claire Wills-Goldingham  QC of Colleton Chambers – The mentally disordered parent in the context of private law proceedings 

Lucy Reed of St Johns Chambers –The Transparency Project.

Nick Miller also of St Johns Chambers on  the possibility/desirability/mechanics of preserving jointly owned businesses post divorce

Rhys Taylor of 36 Family, 36 Bedford Row – TOLATA: (property disputes where the parties have not been married)

George Mathieson – Director of Mathieson Consulting Ltd and Pension Advisory Committee member with a Pension Advisory Group Update

Paul Meaden and Rory Kilbride- Brewin Dolphin together with Mena Ruparel specialist Family solicitor and author on Complex investments explained in a nutshell –Forms E often contain complex specialist investments- this workshop will look to address the most commonly identified specialist investments and will provide the answers family lawyers need for the purpose of an accurate financial settlement

Ben Laskey – psychologist on  the Psychology of Shame

The consensus was that the speakers were universally excellent and the delegates were spoiled for choice.

Thank you to our sponsors

Our happy delegates left with Goody bags to take away including materials provided by sponsors Lextox, Class Legal, Wesleyan, Iceberg Client Credit and Brewin Dolphin.

Thank you everyone for an amazing day

Thank you to all of our speakers, the Devon Resolution Committee and to all of our delegates for making it such a great day.

We are already planning 2019….

P.s. The Photo is of me, Angela Lake-Carroll Ben Laskey and Stephen Wildblood