The Collaborative Process

Following separation, the traditional process of resolution of issues through correspondence or the court process works for many. But, whether to avoid the long delays caused by court listings, the cost of complying with directions or simply the adversarial nature of disputes, an increasing number are now seeking a more amicable resolution.

The collaborative process is regulated by Resolution, and consists of a series of four-way meetings used to reach a bespoke agreement. All practitioners must be fully trained. The clients and lawyers sign up to using a non-adversarial approach to resolving the issues, and any agreement is signed during the process and a consent order submitted where appropriate.

While a ‘collaborative-lite’ approach is used by some practitioners, often involving the use of round-table meetings, the strict collaborative process goes further by committing the clients to resolving disputes amicably. Resolution data shows that a successful outcome is achieved in an impressive 83% of instances.

The process is also cost-effective and efficient, with clients leading the pace and determining the number of meetings. It can be used for all forms of family dispute including Children Act issues, financial provision, cohabitation claims and any other elements that clients want dealt with.

As a trained collaborative and Direct Access practitioner, Holly Coates can support a client through the collaborative process. She receives referrals from solicitors who are not collaboratively trained but who have clients interested in using the process. She also receives instructions direct from clients whose former partner has suggested the process, and who wish to know more.

Holly is happy to discuss the process with solicitors who are thinking of suggesting the collaborative process to their clients, and is willing to give a short talk to firms who are interested in this growing form of ADR.

With a Direct Public Access practitioner all fees are paid by the client up-front, and fixed-fee packages can be offered on request.

About Holly Coates

Holly has been working as a family law barrister in Kent since 2009, and she specialises in financial disputes. She qualified as a collaborative lawyer in 2016 and is a member of Resolution.

How to find out more

Please contact the clerks for Holly Coates on 01227 786331 or for more information on this process. The Direct Public Access website contains more information on the process for clients: