The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has announced plans to offer family mediation training to barristers in collaboration with ADR Group, via its Member Services department.

The family mediation training course, which will be available from November 2011, has been initiated in response to the changing legal landscape for family practitioners, which encourages families to explore mediation options before seeking assistance from the courts.

The Bar Council’s Member Services department has been expanding its portfolio of quality training courses since November 2010, with a view to making Bar-targeted training available to the profession at market-leading prices. In just ten months over 700 barristers have successfully completed Member Services’ public access course, representing over 15 percent of the total number of barristers qualified to accept public access clients.

ADR Group is a member of the Family Mediation Council and has been providing mediation training for both civil and family practitioners since the 1990s. It is a leading authority in mediation and other dispute resolution techniques.

Paul Mosson, Head of Member Services at the Bar Council, said:

“The number of significant changes affecting the legal profession has made it more important than ever for the Bar Council to provide top-quality, affordable training courses tailored to the Bar. I am delighted to announce the addition of family mediation training to our expanding portfolio of training options.”

Michael Lind, Managing Director of ADR Group, said:

“ADR Group welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the Bar Council’s Member Services department in the delivery of tailored family mediation programmes. Members of the Bar are experienced practitioners and well placed to play a direct and active role in the resolution of family conflict through mediation. On 6 April 2011 Practice Direction 3A and its accompanying pre-application protocol for family Mediation Information Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) was introduced. ADR Group supports the continued development of mediation as the primary dispute resolution process.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. For further information, please contact the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525.

2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:

· The Bar’s high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
· Fair access to justice for all
· The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and
· The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board.

3. ADR Group is a private limited company dedicated to the delivery of professional mediation services. It promotes and delivers:

· Excellence in mediation services
· A national network of experienced mediator professionals including family, civil, commercial and workplace specialisms
· Mediator selection and appointment service
· Approved mediator accreditation training programmes, and
· Recognised university education programmes and international mediation development projects.

ADR Group is a registered and approved provider of both the Family Mediation Council and Civil Mediation Council.