In conversation with Resolution’s newest National Committee members

Today’s Family Lawyer recently sat down with the three newest members of Resolution’s National Committee following their election last month to discuss what they’re setting out to achieve. Here’s what they had to say.

What does it mean to you to have been elected to the Resolution National Committee?

“It’s a real honour and a privilege to have been elected by my peers onto the Resolution National Committee,” said Laura Clapton, Director, Family Solicitor, and Mediator at Consilla Legal:

“I take this responsibility very seriously and hope I do the role justice, particularly for those who have put their trust in me to make a difference.”

Laura’s sentiment was echoed by Marc Etherington, Legal Director and Collaborative Lawyer, Rayden Solicitors:

“For me it is a real privilege to have been elected by my fellow Resolution members to sit on the Board and help shape the direction of Resolution moving forward. I certainly won’t take their votes for granted and I hope with the rest of the Board, we can serve our members as best over the next few years.”

Oluwapelumi Amanda Adeola, Partner and Solicitor Advocate at BHP Law, added:

“I believe in the power of my voice and being able to use it as a force for change no matter how difficult and uncomfortable that may be. Being on the National Committee gives me the platform to continue to do so.”

What are you hoping to achieve throughout your term?

“I hope to continue to call for change to our Family Justice System, change to the culture in law firms with a focus on us as humans and not just family lawyers, to continue to champion Equity, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion,” said Oluwapelumi.

Laura also said one of her main aspirations relates to the wellbeing of lawyers:

“I believe working practices need to evolve in the current climate to promote a healthy working environment and enable lawyers to thrive including emotional and practical support and improving working conditions.”

She added that she plans to focus on alternative dispute resolution:

“I am a huge advocate for evolving practices and passionate about ADR. Strides have been taken to promote and improve awareness and accessibility of ADR, but there is still much more to be done.”

Marc also plans to focus on the wellbeing of family lawyers:

“Following my work on the YRes National Committee on the subject of wellbeing, I wish to progress wellbeing so it is at the forefront of Resolution’s strategy moving forward. The subject of wellbeing is an issue currently affecting many family law justice professionals across the country.”

As well as this, he wants to put the spotlight on the regions – which are “the heartbeat of Resolution” – and ensure members’ voices are heard at national level. He also wants to continue to help Resolution become “even more inclusive and welcoming to different types of family professionals”:

“It is my belief that every member of Resolution, regardless of their background, experience or geography, should have an equal voice within our organisation mirroring the way we practice.”

What are the pressing issues affecting family lawyers, and what is the role of Resolution in supporting its members?

“Post-Covid-19, the issues facing the family court system is having an undeniable impact upon the work of family lawyers,” said Laura:

“However, this also gives way to a new landscape of family law practice which is exciting time for family  practitioners who have the opportunity, through an array of offerings, to provide a more holistic approach, aimed at keeping separated families out of Court.”

Oluwapelumi shared a similar sentiment:

“The Family Justice System is crumbling under the weight of numerous court proceedings thereby leading to backlogs and delays for a lot of families. How we encourage separating families to consider alternatives to Court proceedings such as Arbitration, Mediation, Early Neutral Evaluation, and Collaborative law is very important and ensuring that the right support is in place to keep families out of court remains key.”

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