At Anne Braithwaite Mediation Chambers, there are currently two very experienced family mediators, Anne herself and Vanessa Stirum, available to work with clients in mediation. Vanessa and Anne are both members of the Family Mediators Association (FMA), one of the industry’s professional bodies, which, in turn, is a member of the UK governing body, the Family Mediation Council. Both Anne and Vanessa have Senior Mediator Status with the FMA which means that they have a higher level of qualification. In addition to being members of FMA, both Vanessa and Anne are members of the board of trustees of the Association. Anne was secretary to the board and is now the treasurer. Vanessa is past chair of the complaints committee.Both of us are also directors of FMA Trading, the company which runs the Association’s training. We are both glad to be involved at such a high level in the exciting and challenging work of shaping the future of the family mediation profession.

For the first time in the history of family mediation in this country, there is now a designation recognized across all the member organisations of the Family Mediation Council for mediators who have gained a status as mediators beyond passing the basic foundation training. That designation is FMC Accredited Family Mediator (FMCA). Both Vanessa and Anne hold the FMCA designation.

Both Vanessa and Anne offer workplace as well as family mediation. Also the skills needed for family mediation are equally applicable to the resolution of any inter-personal disputes such as contested wills or where business partners or shareholders have fallen out.

Historically, Anne spent over 26 years as a family solicitor with a special interest in financial issues prior to setting up Anne Braithwaite Mediation Chambers. Before establishing her own company, Anne was a director of Lupton Fawcett LLP and head of its Leeds family department, Family Partners. An active member of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, separation and other family issues, Anne acted as its national treasurer from 2004 to 2010 and was a member of its national committee from 2002 to 2011. She is a mediation supervisor for Resolution and also for the FMA.

Anne trained as a family mediator in 1992, is fully recognised by the Legal Services Commission, accredited as a mediator and trained as a child consultant by the FMA.

Like Anne, Vanessa also trained with the FMA in 1992, is fully recognised by the Legal Services Commission, accredited as a mediator and trained as a child consultant by the FMA. She is also a Resolution and FMA mediation supervisor.

Vanessa’s background is in the Probation Service where she worked as a court welfare officer. She was also a manager in charge of developing probation training and gained considerable experience in HR. As a family mediator, Vanessa has worked on complex children mediations referred to mediation by the court. She carries out training in the use of mediation and mediation skills in the workplace as well as conducting workplace mediation.

Anne and Vanessa are both qualified to carry out MIAMs and are passionate about the benefits which mediation offers to separating and separated couples. Drawing on their different, but equally experienced backgrounds, Anne and Vanessa have wide-ranging expertise in the mediation process and are exceptionally well-placed to deal with even the most complex of cases. As a client, you can expect a highly professional service at all times and one that comes with just the right balance of sensitivity and practicality to lead all parties to a successful outcome.

Both Anne and Vanessa, as trained child consultants, can, where it’s appropriate, talk directly to children so that their views can inform their parents’ decision making.

In workplace issues, Vanessa and Anne are committed to the benefits of the early resolution of conflict in the workplace before individual positions become entrenched and believe that mediation is a particularly effective way to achieve this. We also believe that training line managers and human resources teams to use mediation techniques is a good way to resolve issues before they go too far. We can provide tailor made in house workshops for managers and human resources teams.