A speciliast medaition service. John Walker, FMCA, is recognised as an accredited by the Family Mediation Council, College of Mediators and the Law Society.
Mediation just made sense. After nearly 20 years as a specialist children and family solicitor, mediation made so much more sense. As a solicitor my role was clear, to advocate on behalf of a client. Put the client’s case, get the best outcome and take a tough stance whenever necessary. Of course, I wanted to make sure that the process was polite and professional but my role was fixed. Make my client’s case, fight their corner. To be honest at times it never felt right.
In every other part of my life, negotiation, problem solving and finding a solution that suited everyone - as far as possible - was normal and every day. At work, at home, with the kids it is all about give and take absolutes rarely win out. Also, we don’t need someone to do it for us.
Of course there is a really important role for solicitors in family law. Some cases cannot be mediated. Legal advice is necessary at various stages in the process. Clients need an advocate, someone who speaks just for them. For me, I always want to find an answer, and as a mediator it is even better – my clients find the answers themselves.
I was privileged to be recognised as a specialist children law practitioner by the Law Society for 12 years until 2012. As my approach changed I took the very difficult decision not to seek a further 5 years accreditation. I have spent years representing clients, parents, separating couples, Local Authority officers and children.
Good client care, and comments like ‘The first time I spoke to John I put the phone down thinking I’d just spoken to a friend, not a solicitor that I had never met. ' are really important to me. I want to work with people to get the right result for them. Ensuring that phone calls and emails are answered in a timely manner, being clear about costs information from the outset and by delivering on promises is at the heart of my practice.
For me, Equality and Diversity are not simply tick boxes, or empty phrases. My practice is committed to ensuring that every client is treated with respect, and everyone's views are of equal importance. I am proud to have worked with clients with challenging mental and health needs, to have supported vulnerable people through a legal maze. Sexual identity and orientation are part of life's rich tapestry - to be celebrated not condoned, criticised or embarrassed by.
When mediating these attributes are important and combined with mediation techniques and styles the odds of a good outcome are significantly increased.
Mediation puts my clients back in control. You work out the answers to the problems, with the mediator facilitating the process. You get your own answers, and you broker your own way forward. Mediation feels right to me, and it really does just make sense.
I don’t work alone. I have access to other mediators, solicitors, IFAs and will writers who feel just as passionately as I do about really delivering the services that they offer. When appropriate I can make those introductions and make my client’s experience as positive as possible.
I really enjoy my role as a mediator. When people come to an agreement that works for them, that greatly reduces the stress, removes the uncertainty and blows away the conflict I get a sense of a job well done.
Every case I take on begins with a simple, no obligation phone call. I am always happy to explain the process, answer queries and go through the practicalities.
Please ‘phone me on 0333 772 9763 or use the Contact Form. The first call is free, no obligation and no pressure. Find out what your options really are..
'The first time I spoke to John I put the phone down thinking I’d just spoken to a friend, not a solicitor that I had never met. Throughout, John communicated to me on my level and was always clear, easy to understand and prepared to explain his reasoning.'MW