Innovation at FLiP

 

At FLiP we don’t innovate for the sake of it. Everything that we do, and the way that we do it, is guided by a desire to improve the experience of family change for our clients.

We listen carefully to our clients and adapt accordingly. Our initiatives are designed to promote the best interests of our clients and to match their changing needs.

We offer not only first-class family law expertise, but also:

  • A wide range of ways for clients to reach a solution to their family law issues;
  • Insight into both the emotional and the practical implications for children of the decisions that are made;
  • Emotional support running alongside the technical legal expertise of our lawyers; and
  • A truly bespoke service, matched to the individual needs of our clients.

A Background in Innovation →

FLiP has been at the forefront of initiatives to improve the experience of family change since our establishment in 1995. At that time the firm introduced a “one stop shop” where mediation and counselling would be readily available for clients alongside high-quality family law advice. This model continues at FLiP today.

Innovation, But Always With Our Clients in Mind →

We are guided by our determination to keep examining what help we can provide to support our clients and their families. Our innovations have included:

  • Collaborative family law – in 2003 we helped to introduce collaborative family law to the UK, offering clients an alternative process for reaching solutions to their family law issues. Our work included integrating the work of the “family coach” into the collaborative process.
  • Round table protocol – in 2004 we jointly developed a round table protocol as a means of carrying out more effective meetings in cases where the collaborative family law model was not adopted.
  • Private FDRs – in 2007, we set up the first Private Financial Dispute Resolution (Private FDR) appointment before Jonathan Cohen QC. The Private FDR is now a mainstay of family law practice.
  • Arbitration – we have embraced family arbitration, conducting the first ever family law arbitration in England. We boast three family arbitrators, more than any other boutique practice. We have gone on to develop the Med-2-Arb model which allows clients in mediation to “bank” the benefits of the progress they make in mediation and reduce the issues for determination in arbitration to a bare minimum.
  • Family mediation – promoting and developing family mediation has been at our core. We were early adopters of the ‘commercial model’ of family mediation, which became crunchpoint mediation and is now more widely offered as “Hybrid” mediation. Two of our mediators are also professional practice consultants, offering professional development and support to our team of in-house mediators.
  • Child inclusive mediation – this was another initiative to ensure the voice of the child is present in the decisions that affect them during family mediation. We had three “CIM-qualified” mediators from the earliest days of the scheme.
  • Parenting After Parting – in 2007 we launched specialist parenting after parting classes for our clients, delivering this vital help to parents through the early stages of separation.
  • FLiP Faculty – in 2017 we launched a training body, FLiP Faculty, which offers training in the non-law skills that every good family lawyer needs.
  • Our Wellbeing Hub – going through a divorce or separation is so much more than a legal process. At the heart of FLiP is a commitment to thinking about how divorce and separation affects our clients and their families. That is why we have developed a wellbeing hub to provide our clients with support and a space for reflection whenever they need it.
  • Thinking Events – we organise events and host talks designed with our clients in mind. They also ensure that our team is working at the cutting edge of good practice when it comes to families. Our talks cover a range of issues affecting families today.
  • Shaping the debate – our work in shaping the debate in family law continues with our engagement with numerous government-led consultations and with the initiatives championed by the influential Family Solutions Group, amongst others. We are prolific contributors to the leading family law handbooks and training materials, and our lawyers write articles and provide commentary across the board. We have published guides for professionals and contributed to books on The Family Law Act 1996, Child Support, First Meetings, Schedule 1, Emergency Procedures, Experts in Family Law, Mediation and Collaborative Practice, to name but a few.
  • In-house financial planner – having brought in a financial planner to make the financial planner’s services more readily available to our clients in the early days, we have gone on to develop a network of financial-planner connections from which our clients continue to benefit today.
  • Developing the earnings capacity argument – in 2006, FLiP developed the notion that earning capacity should be treated by the court as a thing of value, an argument that eventually saw voice in the House of Lords in the case which remains one of the foundation stones of current family law “Miller-McFarlane”.
  • Supervision for our family lawyers – therapists Chris Mills and Catherine Rodger offer confidential support to our lawyers based on the premise that lawyers are best able to help their clients if they are well supported too.
  • Settify – we were one of the first UK law firms to seek to promote more cost-effective information gathering and client intake through use of the Settify AI system.
  • Divorce Diaries – in 2014 we launched our Divorce Diaries initiative where clients can share their experiences of divorce and separation in the hope of helping others in a similar situation.

Recognition →

Numerous awards have been won by FLiP over the years including, in 2011, the inaugural Family Law Firm of the Year award from Jordans Family Law and more recently, the Family Law Award 2020 for Dispute Resolution Team of the Year.

For further information see our awards page here.

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