New president for Queensland Collaborative Law

New QCL president Kay Feeney

New QCL president Kay Feeney

Feeney Family Law director Kay Feeney has been elected president of Queensland Collaborative Law (QCL), the peak body for collaborative law practice.

Ms Feeney replaces Freda Wigan from HopgoodGanim Lawyers who served as QCL president during the past four years. Ms Wigan will remain on the executive committee of QCL as immediate past president.

Ms Feeney is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Family Law Council, Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Queensland, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

An accredited Family Law Specialist and accomplished mediator with more than 25 years experience, Ms Feeney is a proud sponsor of the QUT Feeney Family Law Prize in Dispute Resolution and the QUT Learning Potential Fund which assists students to access University.

Collaborative law is a form of dispute resolution where each spouse works with a collaborative lawyer to co-operatively resolve their legal, financial and emotional issues without going to court. (more…)

2016-12-05T15:25:27+10:00July 16th, 2015|Media Releases|

Resolution without combat

Interests based negotiation skills are a key factor in resolving matters arising from the breakdown of marriages and de facto relationships but as QCL committee member Anne-Marie Rice suggests, this unique form of dispute resolution offers other key advantages.

From adversary to problem solver

Although second nature for lawyers, to many family law clients the concept of trying to resolve a dispute after first amplifying it, is counter-intuitive.

However, in order to maximise their prospects in the traditional legal process, parties are required to define the issues arising from the breakdown of their relationship within tightly defined legal parameters and to then adopt and maintain a polarised position.  Understandably, the issues that concern former spouses and partners are not always confined to the concepts articulated in the Family Law Act (and the “no fault divorce” system) and many lawyers regard the exacerbation of existing conflict which results from a positional approach as a necessary evil and one which can be “undone” in subsequent negotiations.

In response to concerns about this approach to dispute resolution, in the late 1990s, Minneapolis-based family lawyer, Stuart Webb, articulated the key ideals of what would become known as “Collaborative Practice”.  In 2005 a group of local practitioners founded Queensland Collaborative Law (QCL) and interest among professionals and clients has grown steadily in the past decade. With more than 100 members, QCL is now the largest and most vibrant collaborative organisation in Australia.  (more…)

2016-08-04T15:49:44+10:00February 20th, 2015|Media Releases|

World expert in Collaborative Law to visit Gold Coast

An internationally-recognised practitioner and trainer in collaborative law will be hosted by Queensland Collaborative Law (QCL) later this month.

Collaborative lawyer, mediator, writer and educator, Victoria Smith, will visit the Gold Coast on 25-26 July.

The Canadian Adjunct Professor in Collaborative Lawyering at Osgoode Hall Law School will give a special two-day Intensive Collaborative Training Workshop to QCL members at the Palazzo Versace.

Collaborative practice is a unique form of dispute resolution, suitable for separating couples who are keen to resolve issues privately, with minimal conflict and with dignity and respect.

Unlike litigation, collaborative practice enables couples to work together with their collaboratively trained lawyers and other experienced professionals to resolve family law differences.  Couples are embracing this form of dispute resolution particularly as it avoids going to court. (more…)

2016-08-06T09:44:01+10:00July 17th, 2014|Media Releases|

A child friendly approach to divorce is changing the face of family law

A growing number of couples are turning to collaborative law to resolve complex family law cases to avoid the stress and emotional toll of protracted courtroom battles.

Australia has one of the highest divorce rates in the world with current trends suggesting between 32 per cent and 46 per cent of marriages will end in divorce, according to data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

In Queensland the number of couples living in de facto relationships has risen from 15 per cent to 20 per cent in the last 15 years with the same issues and pressures causing relationship breakdowns within both groups of separating couples.

This new approach to family law encourages couples to resolve the issues arising from separation in a collaborative way that promotes cooperation and puts the interests of the children first, according to the industry body representing collaborative law professionals in Queensland. (more…)

2016-08-06T09:45:56+10:00June 11th, 2014|Media Releases|