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Solicitor who advocated abolition of fault-based divorce wins legal award

Leading family solicitor Elaine Richardson, who advocated to abolish fault-based divorce, has been presented the prestigious John Cornwell Award by family justice organisation Resolution.

Named after Resolution's founder, the award recognises a family law practitioner who has gone above and beyond to support separating families in a non-confrontational manner.

The award is sponsored by Iceberg Client Credit, Paragon's legal finance firm that provides unsecured loans to law firms towards litigation finance for their divorce and probate clients.

Solicitor who advocated abolition of fault-based divorce wins legal award

Elaine (pictured above centre with Margaret Heathcote from Resolution and Mike Stevenson, Managing Director of Iceberg Client Credit) has championed the development and promotion of modern family law practice through her own career and by working to help families find the best approach for them to achieve positive outcomes for everyone involved.

In 2014, Elaine was appointed to the National Mediation Task Force which made recommendations to the Ministry of Justice that including the need to increase awareness of mediation, modernise court forms and abolish fault-based divorce. Elaine also developed and presented training on mediation awareness for court staff and changes to the family justice system.

Working across the sector with colleagues at Resolution, The Law Society, the Family Justice Council and the Family Mediation Council, with decision-makers in government, and with local practitioners, Elaine has made a vast contribution to the family law community throughout her career.

Award-winner Elaine Richardson said:

A non-confrontational approach has always been at the heart of my work and this is why I am and have been so interested in finding new and better ways to approach family problems throughout my career.

I am honoured to receive this award, especially on the eve of government's announcement to remove fault from the divorce process, something I advocated for during the National Mediation Taskforce five years ago.

In light of this divorce law reform, I encourage those just starting their careers in family law to invest in developing their own toolkit of approaches across family law, not only to improve the services they are able to offer to clients, but also to improve their impact upon helping families resolve their issues in the most appropriate way.

Mike Stevenson, Managing Director of Iceberg Client Credit, said:

As a specialist lender that works closely with legal firms involved with family law issues, we are proud to see such a dedicated solicitor as Elaine recognised with this prestigious award as she has made a real contribution to modern family law and mediation. It is thoroughly well deserved.

Margaret Heathcote, National Chair of Resolution, said:

Elaine's work throughout her career has embodied the values that Resolution stands for – finding the right approach for each family while minimising confrontation and conflict.

Iceberg Client Credit offers a revolving credit facility for both divorce and probate Clients introduced by Law Firms for the purpose of financing fee notes, disbursements and other legal expenses. Its products can be found on www.clientcredit.co.uk.

30 April 2019

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