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Gardner Leader’s Suzy Hamshaw has completed specialised mediation training

Law firm Gardner Leader has strengthened its services to families as partner and family law solicitor Suzy Hamshaw has completed specialised mediation training.

Over recent months the Government has put a spotlight on mediation, a process that takes place outside of the courts, as a solution to help relieve continued pressure on the UK’s legal system.

This focus falls in line with proposals by the Ministry of Justice to make mediation compulsory for separating couples. A final decision on the proposals is awaited.

Suzy Hamshaw
Suzy Hamshaw

The backlog of family court cases nationwide now tops 110,000 according to the most recent data from the HM Court and Tribunal Service, while applications for financial remedy cases were up by 15 per cent for the period July to September 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.

Family mediation is a process where separating couples can work with a third party to make decisions about the future arrangements for their children and in relation to their finances.

Mediation is one of a number of forms of Alternative methods of Dispute Resolution (ADR), which are increasingly being looked at by separating couples as they seek solutions.

Suzy Hamshaw said: “The breakdown of a family is a hugely emotive time for all parties involved.

“While action through the courts in some cases is the only option, it’s important that those who find themselves seeking resolution are aware of the alternative methods available to them; constructive options that can often help reduce some of the stress and anxiety associated with going through the courts.”

Derek Rodgers
Derek Rodgers

Having practised exclusively in family law since 1997, Ms Hamshaw completed her mediation training through Resolution, a national body committed to dealing with family cases amicably, with compassion and sensitivity.

With a wealth of expertise dealing with all types of family law cases she specialises in cases involving complex, high value financial disputes in divorce proceedings and on the breakdown of unmarried relationships, the preparation of pre and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements, and cases involving arrangements for children including relocation.

Ms Hamshaw’s mediation training will allow her to work with separating couples outside of court to find arrangements that work best for their children and their particular family circumstances, and to find solutions in relation to property, investments, pensions, and savings.

A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MAIM) can help individuals to decide whether mediation is suitable for them and these can be provided via video call for convenience.

Ms Hamshaw said: “I’m thrilled to be able to offer our clients an alternative route for seeking resolution at what is a truly difficult time in their lives.

“Mediation can present a far more holistic approach focused around mutual, solution-oriented conversations on the future arrangements of financial affairs and arrangements for children.”

Gardner Leader managing partner Derek Rodgers said: “Suzy has been a valuable member of the family team since joining Gardner Leader in 2017.

“Over that time she has established a reputation for her empathetic, pragmatic and outcome focused approach.

“Our mediation service strengthens our commitment to providing our clients with the best legal advice, support, and peace of mind.”

Gardner Leader has offices across the South of England, including Newbury and Thatcham.

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