“Legal Aid is still widely available for Family Mediation” and “Family Mediation allows families to resolve disputes after separation in a cost effective way” – These are the messages from a gathering of Mediators at Exeter County Court on 4th December 2013.

The event was Exeter’s contribution to Dispute Resolution Week, which has been organised on a national level by members of the Family Mediation Council including Resolution and the Family Mediators Association. There have been events all over the country to remind families of the value of family mediation and that Legal Aid is widely available for family mediation.

In the true spirit of mediation, 10 family mediation service joined together to host an event at Exeter County Court attended by many local Solicitors and other professionals who assist after family breakdown.  Guests of honour were Exeter’s resident family Judge, His Honour Judge Tyzack QC and District Judges Arnold and Waterworth.

The participating mediation services were, in alphabetical order:

  • Accord Mediation
  • Compass Resolution
  • Devon and Exeter Mediation Practice
  • Devon Family Solutions
  • The Family Law Co
  • Gilbert Stephens Mediation
  • Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors
  • Magdalen Chambers
  • South West Mediation

Several of these organisations have contracts with the Legal Aid Agency and several take part in the mediator’s rota run at Exeter County Court aimed assisting parents in avoiding expensive and drawn out court cases.

His Honour Judge Tyzack QC told the packed audience;

“The Judiciary are very much in favour families resolving their own arrangements and we encourage all families to consider mediation before setting off on Court Proceedings.”


“Legal Aid is still available for mediation and for Legal Advice in support of mediation.”

“We are lucky to have such a broad range of family mediation services in Exeter. Exeter has long been one of the leading centres for mediation in the UK and we would urge families to make greater use of our mediators.”

Photographs (Left to right) – Back row;

Penny Rogers –
Devon Family Solutions,
Terry Bastyan –
Gilbert Stephens Mediation,
Christopher Naish –
Magdalen Chambers,
Norman Hartnell –
The Family Law Co,
Vicky Lewis –
South West Mediation,
John Hind –
Compass Resolution,

Front Row;

Gavin Fennell –
Accord Mediation,
Ian Walker – 
Family Law and Mediation Solicitors,
His Honour Judge David Tyzack QC,
Fiona Yellowlees –
WBW Mediation.
Adrienne Cox –
Devon and Exeter Mediation Practice
John Loram –
South West Mediation

There is a website for DR week at http://www.nationalfamilydrweek.org.uk/

Family Dispute Resolution Week is a national awareness-raising week, to raise the profile of alternatives to court for separating and divorcing couples. Members of the Family Solicitors Organisation; Resolution will, across the country be carrying out activities to highlight family Dispute Resolution during the week.

The other member organisations of the Family Mediation Council are encouraging their own members to participate in the week, and dispute resolution professionals from ADR Group, the College of Mediators, the Family Mediators Association, the Law Society and National Family Mediation are all getting involved.