In almost all private law cases concerning children, and cases involving financial remedies, the court expects the participants to have explored what family mediation services can offer as an alternative to a court-imposed outcome. Long experience tells us that it is never too late to mediate, if the will to do so is there.

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process whereby the parents/spouses/partners meet with a mediator, or mediators, to set their own agenda and to explore solutions to their problems. Generally speaking, lawyers do not attend, sometimes however, the participants ask that they should do so. They are very welcome to attend and can offer independent legal advice as the session progresses, rather than having to adjourn matters to a later date. Legal proceedings, if they have been started, will be put “on hold” for the duration.

Mediation provides a confidential forum for an honest and open exchange of views in which, with some guidance from the mediator, participants can begin to formulate joint proposals.

Not every dispute can be resolved in one mediation session and it is not uncommon for parties to return on one, two or more occasions. A session will rarely last longer than 2-3 hours. If joint proposals can be reached, the mediator will prepare a ‘mediation summary’ document and advise the participants on the wisdom of obtaining legal advice on their proposals if lawyers have not already been instructed. If an ‘open agreement’ then emerges, it can easily be transformed into an order of the court if that is what is required.

The mediator can also help the participants produce a comprehensive ‘parenting plan’ for children, covering detailed issues such as future education, extra-curricular activities, attendance at school events and the involvement of wider members of the family in the children’s lives. But mediation is not confined to issues concerning children. The division of assets on separation or divorce can also be resolved, provided that the parties can give to the mediator and to each other a true and full picture of their respective financial positions.

Frequently the participants appreciate guidance in arriving at a fair outcome, such that they can be confident that the court will approve their joint proposals. Whilst our family mediation barristers cannot give legal advice, they are very well placed to offer an early neutral evaluation of competing proposals should that assist in the process.

We have 18 fully trained and experienced mediators, including the nationally acclaimed mediator Anthony Kirk QC, a past Chairman of the Family Law Bar Association and a member of both the Bar Council ADR Panel and the Resolution DRS National Committee.

If you would like to discuss your requirements with one of 1KBW’s Mediators, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our clerking team who will be more than happy to assist with your enquiry. | | 020 7936 1500 | Copyright 1 King's Bench Walk 2020

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COVID-19 and the operation of Chambers: important information for our clients and contacts


As part of 1KBW’s continuing commitment to overcome the challenges presented by the present situation 1KBW has fully implemented a stellar video-conferencing and remote hearing facility. We can confirm that it is fully operational both for court and private hearings.


Joining a remote court hearing, conference or private FDR, whether as a lawyer or as a Judge, is very simple: You simply ‘click on a link’. There is no need to subscribe to any software or download any ‘app’. We simply email a link to participants, and with one click each participant can join the video conference or hearing.

Click here for further details