Otley, West Yorkshire ( livepressworld ) September 11, 2012 - A family lawyer in Wakefield( http://cflnorth.co.uk/family-lawyer-wakefield/ ) will line up alongside speakers from around the world next month to share her specialist legal knowledge.
Clare Thornton, whoheads a team of four family law specialists in Wakefield( http://cflnorth.co.uk/family-law-solicitors-wakefield/ ) , based at Thornton Jones Family Law, will speak at the third annual collaborative law conference in Leeds on 5 October.Clare has been practising family lawfor 17 years,and is also an experienced collaborative lawyer and mediator.
She says the annual Northern Lights conferencehelps equip collaborative lawyers with the expertise and skills to develop this specialist area of family law, which helps separating couples avoid the courts:
"Most people assume that if you separate or divorce it involves a court battle, but that's not the case," she says. Collaborative family law is still relatively new in the UK, but it is growing in popularity because it allows couples to separate without going to court.
"Instead, they each appoint a collaborative family lawyer, and hold a series of round table meetings where the key issues relating to their divorce or separation are discussed and agreement is reached, with legal advice on hand."
Often, the lawyers will also enlist the help of other specialist family professionals - including financial advisers or life coaches - to help people through the financial and emotional aspects of their separation.
The Northern Lights conference in October will bring together lawyers and family professionals to hear from speakers including family law specialists from the USA and some of the UK's most experienced collaborative family lawyers, alongside experts in child welfare, psychology, verbal and non-verbal communication.
The event is run by CFL North, a group representing collaborative family professionals across the north of England. The group was established in 2009 to raise awareness of the collaborative process and to help practitioners develop their collaborative caseload.
Clare's workshop will look at 'the elephants in the room': friends, family, children and other people who can have a profound impact on a separating or divorcing couple as they work their way through the collaborative process. She says it's vital that lawyers are alive to those external influences:
"It's that 'unseen influence' that often dictates how the collaborative process develops," she says. "A four-way meeting that has gone well can quickly be derailed if someone outside the room disagrees with a decision that has been made. Equally, there are people who provide a calming influence or act as a sounding board for clients and can have an incredibly positive impact.
"My workshop will help collaborative lawyers find a way of tuning in to the people in their clients' lives, so that they can best help their clients reach the decisions that are right for them and for their wider family."
For more information about collaborative law in the north of England, visit www.cflnorth.co.uk.