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Collaborative law: a better way...

View profile for Melanie Loxley
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I have just completed my training to be a collaborative lawyer. I have to say it has shown me that there really IS a better way to deal with the breakdown of a relationship than the approach that family lawyers have traditionally taken.

I have been a member of Resolution for many years. I wholeheartedly endorse and adopt their values of dealing with family issues in an amicable, respectful and cooperative way.

Collaborative law, however, takes this a massive step further. It ensures that the couple themselves guide the process of how to resolve the issues they face, in a way that suits their family best.

The pace of the process, the matters they wish to discuss and ultimately the agreements they reach, are all firmly in the hands of the couple. The lawyers facilitate those discussions in a safe and professional environment at meetings attended by the couple and both of their lawyers. The lawyers support the couple and furnish them with the information and resources they need to reach that agreement.

If you have reached the sad decision that your relationship has broken down, contact me. I can explain more about the process and see if sounds like something that will work for you. I’ll help you find a better way to agree the issues that need to be resolved. At Birkett Long, we are fortunate to have two further collaborative lawyers in our Divorce and Separation team. Both Philip Hoddell ( and Francesca Cozens ( have many years’ experience of working in family law.

I am a collaborative lawyer based at our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217384 or