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What is Collaborative Law?

With Tasha Bevan-Stewart, family law solicitor and specialist collaborative lawyer with Watson Thomas Solicitors

What does the word ‘collaborative’ mean?

To work with others in a co-operative, rather than adversarial way towards a common goal.

How is ‘collaborative law’ different from other dispute resolution methods?

We start off with an agreement that we won’t go to court to resolve matters. The case is conducted through a series of four-way meetings between the clients and their lawyers. Advice is given in an open context, instead of in secret behind closed doors. Neutral third parties such as financial advisers or counsellors can be asked to join the process and provide additional expertise and support. We use creative problem-solving to resolve disputes and everyone is focused on achieving the best possible outcome as efficiently as possible.

Does using the collaborative process mean I have to sit in the same room as my ex?

Yes. The process works through open communication and it often helps to build trust between the participants. If this is not for you, mediation might be a suitable option where a neutral mediator can shuttle between two parties seated in different rooms.

Is collaborative law cheaper than other methods?

The intention is to save costs in using the collaborative process. It is almost always cheaper than using the court process.

Do you offer a capped fee package for collaborative law cases?

Yes. Please talk to us about your requirements if you would like to find out more about the costs of using collaborative law.

What made you join Watson Thomas Solicitors?

I wanted to be part of a firm that offers high quality, specialist family law advice and premium service to clients. I think that people seeking family law advice are entitled to clear information on legal costs and Watson Thomas provides that.

What skills do you bring to the firm?

I have specialised in family law since qualifying in 2007, advising clients on divorce, financial and children-related issues on relationship breakdown. I am experienced in a range of matrimonial finance issues, including applications to preserve marital assets or vary maintenance, interim maintenance applications and separation agreements. I have a background in forensic financial investigation which is helpful in cases involving more complex assets. I also advise on residence, contact and relocation matters involving children, whether cases involve court proceedings or out-of-court settlement. My clients often comment on my professional and supportive approach as well as my clear advice on legal options. I am a member of Resolution and a trained Collaborative Lawyer, an approach which helps families to resolve their disputes without going to court.


For further information on Collaborative Law and other legal services offered at Watson Thomas Solicitors, please visit www.watson-thomas.co.uk or call 01252 622422.