Lead Forensics
Prettys Solicitors Ipswich

Talking Works

Collaborative Working

Are you considering collaborative working to help find a resolution to a family dispute? If so, your solicitor can help. Prettys works with many people in Ipswich, Chelmsford, Suffolk and Essex and beyond to help them find a satisfactory outcome. 

Who is present?

This is where both parties and each or their solicitors meet for discussions with the stated aim of finding a solution that is acceptable to the parties.  All negotiation takes place in face to face meetings.  Other specialists such as accountants, IFAs and family consultants may be brought in to assist either by attending a meeting or providing a written report.

What are the rules?

Collaborative discussion is a formal process that takes place within a framework of rules called a Participation Agreement which is signed by both parties and their solicitors.  To encourage focus, effort and creativity in finding solutions the agreement requires each party to appoint a new solicitor if the discussion process breaks down.  During the process you agree not to threaten each other with court.

How does it work?

You need a collaboratively trained solicitor and so does the other party.  The solicitors check with each other that the case is suitable for a collaborative approach. All discussion takes place in face to face meetings with each party supported by their own solicitor, there is limited background correspondence as all issues are brought to the table; this encourages dialogue between the parties, provides an opportunity to hear the other’s point of view and explore potential solutions. 

How long does it take?

Meetings tend to last for 60 – 90 minutes and it is likely that a number of meetings will be necessary.  The timeframe will depend on the circumstances and complexities of the case. Although discussion is not always easy, the process can narrow the issues and help achieve a solution.

What happens with the outcomes reached?

If a solution cannot be reached other methods of resolution remain available so the parties lose nothing by trying to resolve disputes in this way.  Even if full agreement has not been reached the areas of dispute may have been narrowed.  It is still an option to apply to the court.

What happens if it doesn’t work?

If a satisfactory outcome cannot be reached through this process the parties remain able to use other methods of resolution but both parties must appoint new solicitors.  It is still an option to apply to the court.

What happens if the other party is a Litigant in Person?

Collaborative working requires both parties to be represented by a solicitor. It is not suitable where one party is a litigant in person or has a solicitor who is not collaboratively trained.

What should I do now?

Prettys works with clients in Suffolk, Essex and other areas of East Anglia. If you would like to try a self-help guide to assist in choosing what styles of resolution may suit you click here. The Family Team is here to help, so call 01473 232121 to speak to us, request a call back here or e-mail us here.


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