Dunn & Baker are pleased to be able to offer an additional service of Alternative Dispute Resolution. (ADR) There is an increasing sense of expectation and in some instances requirement by the courts to encourage parties whether they are former partners or business contacts to explore a solution to the dispute in question by utilising ADR. We are able to offer mediation and also Collaborative Family Law as two independent processes to assist discussion, reduce impasse and increase the prospects of reaching an agreement that both parties can, at least, live with and move forward. ADR can help to reduce both the financial and emotional cost of disputes and particularly where a family situation is being considered. These problem solving alternatives can enable the parties to set their own priorities and agenda whilst focussing upon a solution focussed outcome.

It is now necessary for parties to potential court proceedings to meaningfully consider the prospect of ADR before having permission to begin court proceedings. ADR must, at least, be offered to the intended recipient of any proposed proceedings and there can be adverse cost implications ordered by the court in the event that this step is ignored or not given sufficient consideration.

Our solicitors, Darren Cleverdon and Kathy Trist are each mediators in their respective fields.

Darren Cleverdon

Darren CleverdonDarren is a Partner at Dunn & Baker and is Head of the Family Department. As an experienced family solicitor Darren strives to use his skills, where appropriate, to assist parties by attempting to resolve their family disputes without the need of resorting to formal court proceedings.Darren is both a Collaborative Family Lawyer and an all issues Family Mediator who is able to deal with relationship disputes involving issues surrounding separation such as the arrangements to ensure the children spend time with their non-resident parent and also the practical financial issues.Darren was trained by Resolution for both mediation and collaborative law.  Resolution is a professional body of specialist family lawyers who are committed in adopting a pro-active and constructive manner to help minimise the acrimony and impact of divorce and separation on couples. In fact, all of the Family Team at Dunn & Baker subscribe fully to the principles and Rules of Conduct associated with Resolution.

Kathy Trist

Kathy TristKathy is an Associate Solicitor within the Litigation Department and has been working within litigation for nearly 15 years. She is an Accredited Civil Mediator and specialises in resolving commercial, contract and family (non matrimonial) disputes.Kathy sees the benefits of mediation and will endeavour, in her daily working life, to encourage everybody to consider mediation as an option and means of resolving their dispute. Kathy’s view is that mediation can be successful in most cases in achieving a settlement with the least amount of financial pain to the client as possible. She feels that this can be beneficial to all clients that have the need to call on the services of a solicitor and or mediator when they have an issue that they need to resolve.


What is Mediation?


Mediation is a means of resolving a dispute either before or after court proceedings are underway. The participants use a mediator as a means of facilitating and assisting those involved in reaching an agreement which they have reached themselves rather than having a court make determination that often invariably results in at least one party being disappointed.

Mediation offers a neutral, safe and controlled environment in which options and solutions can be discussed away from the threat of the court arena in which the mediator helps to generate discussion and keep the participants focused on the issues at hand.

The mediation and collaborative processes usually allow the parties to set their own pace and agenda to work towards a solution they can live with in the future. Any consensus can then be underpinned in a binding legal document to give effect to the agreement reached.


What is Collaborative Family Law?


Collaborative Family Law aims to resolve divorce and separation issues in as low key and dignified manner as possible. The process involves increased cooperation or collaboration between the couple themselves and also their specially trained lawyers. There is an increased sense of working as a team to help achieve goals that are mutually important to the couple concerned.
Within the Collaborative Family Law process couples each retain separate lawyers but also have the benefit of their individual advice. There is more focus on face to face meetings and discussion. It is possible to bring in the expertise of other professionals to assist the chances of reaching an agreement such as counsellors, therapists and accountants. At the very heart of Collaborative Family Law is the agreement that whilst the process is continuing neither party will involve the Court.
Within the Collaborative Law process there is a focus on the needs of the children as it is always hoped that once this aspect is discussed and resolved it will assist in easing the overall negotiation process and increase the chances of a solution.
By agreeing not to involve the Court this enables couples to create a more relaxed environment which will assist in keeping the channels of communication open and ultimately will help to increase the chances of an early settlement. When looking at the financial aspects it is mutually understood that the couples will each receive speedy full and frank disclosure of all information to enable them to enter into negotiations. This focus on basic financial transparency means that agreements can be reached with added certainty.


Mediation Fees

Different fees are necessary for the different types of mediation.

Family mediation usually takes place over a series of sessions and it is usual for there to be a number of sessions until a final agreement by all participants has been reached.

Civil mediation usually only requires 1 mediation session and where settlement is achieved a Settlement Agreement drawn up and signed at the end of the session.

Case Type Duration Fee Per party
Family Hourly £100 + VAT per hour
Under £10,000 2 hours £250 + VAT
£10,000 – £50,000 3 hours £350 +VAT
£50,000 – £100,000 4 hours £500 + VAT
£100,000 + Negotiable Negotiable


As with anything Mediation is a flexible process and our Mediators would be willing to discuss how the service we provide would meet your needs.


Contact Us

We offer a free and no obligation half hour consultation for all new clients. In addition, we are also able to provide public funding (legal aid) to those clients who are eligible or alternatively discuss our fee structure openly. For further information or to speak with a member of our team to discuss how they can help you.


Associated team members