Family Law

Collaborative Law & Mediation

Family Law

At Scott Duff & Co. Solicitors in Carlisle, Penrith & Keswick, we appreciate that confrontational litigation is costly in emotional and financial terms. We therefore take a constructive and conciliatory approach at the same time as recognising the need for strong negotiation and representation where necessary.

Our specialist team aims to work quickly to resolve your case cost effectively and we have immediate access to supporting expertise both within the firm and outside for example: mediators, valuers, actuaries and financial advisers.

Most of all we appreciate that every family legal problem is unique and we treat it that way.

Collaborative Law and Mediation

The traditional court process may be stressful and increase tensions between the parties. Mediation and Collaborative Law are alternative ways of resolving family law disputes which are designed to avoid this, to help people talk things through, reach amicable solutions, and to keep them in control of the outcome of their case. As the process encourages dialogue emotional and in many cases also financial costs are reduced, children benefit from seeing their parents working out problems constructively and the process can be adapted to meet your family's timetable and priorities.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative Lawyers work with their clients in a series of face to face meetings to resolve issues arising from separation such as children’s arrangements or who finances will be dealt with. The clients make a commitment to try to resolve the issues without going to court, and each client has their own solicitor representing them who can give advice to them at any stage in the process.

Philippa Cullen is a trained Collaborative Lawyer and Member of the North Cumbria Collaborative Family Law Group.


Mediation involves a meeting or series of meetings when the mediator helps facilitate discussions between people who have separated or are going to separate with a view to reaching solutions about issues arising from it. It differs from collaborative law and other models of resolving family law disputes because the mediator does not represent either party, is able to meet both parties together (although separate meetings are possible) and is committed to adopting an impartial approach. Philippa Cullen is a qualified all issues Mediator. She has completed the Family Mediation Council's competence assessment procedure and is qualified to conduct Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) which people may be required to attend before making an Application to Court.

Philippa Cullen is also an accredited Child Inclusive Mediator.

Mediation is an increasingly popular way for separated parents to agree arrangements for their children. It reduces the stress that is associated with court, it is vastly cheaper, and it gives people more control over the outcome of the case. With Child Inclusive Mediation the mediator sees the child or children on their own to ask them about their wishes and feelings. This is not about children making decisions, but it allows parents to have a clear and unbiased view of their child’s perspective of the family situation. It also helps children understand mediation and it can help them to see how their parents are trying to work together amicably. It can be particularly helpful for older children. Research has shown that when parents separate children can feel as though they do not have a voice in the arrangements that are made. They can feel very isolated and have anxieties about how those arrangements will impact on their lives. They can also feel very torn between their parents and may tell each one what they think they want to hear, rather than what they really want to happen. Child Inclusive Mediation is an opportunity for them to talk to someone who is independent and this can create a really positive outcome at what can otherwise be a very difficult time for them.

More information about Collaborative Law and Mediation can be found on the Resolution Website. More information about Collaborative Law can be found on the North Cumbria Collaborative Family Law Group.


We give clear costs advice and offer a range of payment options so that there are no surprises.

The Family Legal Team

Cheryl Corson
01228 633382

Sophie Dodds
01228 633384
Philippa Cullen
01768 865551
Philippa Cullen
01768 865551
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