Inspired by Resolution Dispute Resolution Conference

Ian Walker SolicitorInspired by Resolution Dispute Resolution Conference

I was away from the office last week attending the Resolution Dispute Resolution Conference in Nottingham.

Dispute Resolution Conference

This conference is an annual event organised by the family solicitors organisation – Resolution. I am the current chair of the Devon region of Resolution and I am committed to Resolution’s values. These are essentially encouraging sensible negotiation and trying to moderate family conflict to find solutions.

I am always open to new ideas and especially in respect of ways in which we can improve our service – ways in which we can meet the needs of our clients better.No one and no service can ever claim to be perfect.

I have returned to the office brimming with ideas and with enthusiasm to make things happen.

Holistic practice

I was particularly inspired by some of the thoughts of Petra Slingenberg-Beishuizen who gave the Henry Brown Lecture. This is a lecture named after Henry Brown who was one of the founders of professional mediation in England (a founder of the FMA and of Resolution’s own mediation training programme). Henry who is now retired (and he was present at the conference) was a great innovator. He is a mediation legend. I was fortunate enough to be trained by Henry both as a family mediator and as a civil and commercial mediator.

Petra Slingenberg-Beishuizen’slecture was about holistic practice. This is legal practice in a family context which aims to assist clients to find a way to meet all of their needs when divorcing. It is about assisting clients to achieve better overall outcomes and a more positive future.

Our approach to the practice of family law is very much in line with the ideas that Petra was putting forward. She has however given me ideas as to how we can improve our service. Hopefully we can introduce these over the next few months – watch this space.

What clients need

I was also impressed with some of the ideas from the eminent psychologist Sylvia Duncan in her keynote address which focused upon what clients need. Sylvia talked about how we receive information and how we make decisions. How we can sometimes let anxieties and trauma get in the way of good decision-making. Again I was left with ideas about how we can improve our service.

I also particularly enjoyed the session the mediators run by the well-respected Australian mediator and trainer Bill Hewlett – how to keep your client out of the warehouse of resentment. Bill also looked at how we sometimes avoid accepting any/some/appropriate responsibility for our own actions – and focus blame on the other party – which gets in the way finding solutions.

The advantage of being a small and specialist practice is that we don’t have a massive bureaucracy to get ideas past before we implement them.

I was back to earth with a bump on Monday – representing a client in a fractious childcare hearing which went on all day.

Join our team?

We are always open to hear from Solicitors who share our values who are looking to practice in an environment where the focus is doing a good job and well – without the same fees pressure that you would have within a larger and more corporate structure, or from practitioners who offer complimentary services looking to build alliances.

Thank you Resolution

Thank you very much to the team at Resolution. It was well worth making the trip. It’s always very enjoyable to spend a couple of inspirational day catching up with old friends.

New ideas coming soon – watch this space!

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