Our administrative team
FMA is run with the help of Northern Networking Events (NNE) www.northernnetworking.co.uk, a highly professional organisation providing support to various membership organisations. NNE have been providing FMA with professional administrative support since 2011.
For any enquiries please contact our friendly and efficient administrative team. Call the FMA telephone number 01355 244 594 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The FMA Board of Trustees
The Board consists of an unpaid volunteer team of professionals who are elected by the full members of FMA for 3 year terms. Board members give up huge amounts of their time and devote considerable effort to promoting and preserving the best interests of the FMA.
Current Board Members
Anne Braithwaite (Co Chair and Treasurer)
I trained as a family mediator with the FMA in 1992. Until April 2012 I mediated alongside my legal practice. I was head of family law at the Leeds office of Lupton Fawcett. Since 2012 I have worked only as a mediator at Anne Braithwaite Mediation Chambers in Leeds. Although I am able to do legally aided work, I only offer private mediation. I am a PPC and trained and practise as a child consultant.
Having been FMA’s secretary (which involves all the boring but essential constitutional and governance work), My role as Treasurer will continue until 2019.
The main value which I think I bring to FMA is the fact that I have quite a deal of knowledge about the legal context of governance and a bent for organisation.
Beverley Sayers (Co – Chair, FMC Liaison and Conference Committee)
Beverley is Retiring Chair of the FMA supporting the Chair and Vice Chair in their roles for two years. Beverley first joined the FMA Board in 1994 and following her initial 3 years in post was elected as Secretary to the Board in 1997. She was re-elected to the Board in 2004. Between 2005 and 2012 she became the National Mediation representative on the Family Justice Council before re-joining the Board in 2012 and is currently the FMA’s representative on the Family Mediation Council. During her various time on the Board she has worked on committee’s for PPC’s, Complaints, Legal Aid, FMA accreditation (SMS), Membership, Education, Standards and Ethics, Conferences and Special events and Marketing, Beverley is a PPC, an FMC competence assessor and undertakes child inclusive mediation. She is also a civil and commercial mediator, a family consultant to the collaborative law process, a lecturer and mediation trainer. She is the Director and founder of Mediation North West.
Philippa Johnson (Communication, Engagement and Marketing Committee and Conference Committee)
Like many mediators I have had a mixed bag of jobs and my path to becoming a mediator has been a winding one. I trained as a family mediator in 2012, having previously worked as a legal publisher with Sweet & Maxwell, as a freelance publishing consultant specializing in databases, as a law reporter for Jordans’ Family Law Reports, and as the administrator of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (now the IA of Family Lawyers). I still have some legal publishing clients, but spend most of the working week seeing family mediation clients with my splendid co-mediator Sheila Turner. I have found the mediation community a warm and supportive place to be based and would like to help it stay that way.
My favourite jobs at present are actually being a grandma – currently three grandchildren, but not done yet – and as the mother of four young men (not all that young any more) and the mother in law of three very wonderful young women. I have been married to Lewis, a family barrister, for a really long time, having met him on my first day at university. My life is based in London with Lewis, with occasional forays to Kidderminster and France.
I am most interested in people, but words run a very close second – reading, writing and performing them – and I know that sometimes all the words can get in the way of the people.
Sally Clark (Secretary)
I am a Solicitor and Accredited Mediator and run my own legal and mediation practice out of offices in Leeds and Harrogate. I have practiced as a mediator since 2009, qualifying as a solicitor in 2006. Prior to my legal career I worked as a mental health nurse working in London for a few years. I am a PPC and a Child Consultant and sit on the private Children sub-group of the West Yorkshire Family Justice Board as the mediation representative for the region. I practice as a mediator and solicitor on a more of less equal time basis as well as helping to run the legal practice. As a practice we currently hold an LAA franchise for family mediation. I mediate on children issues and financial matters and have done quite a bit of inter generational family mediation. I am also a work place mediator. I have been sitting on the FMA national board since September 2016 and have been acting as committee secretary for the past 12 months.
When I am not working I am running after 2 young children on the weekends they are with me and I am a very keen runner.
Rebecca Eels (Membership Committee)
I qualified as a family solicitor in 1998 and have always had a keen interest in encouraging my clients to resolve issues as amicably as possible. In 2002 I joined Stone King and with the support of my now PPC I carried out my training with FMA and began mediating soon afterwards. I am a qualified PPC and am able to consult with children, I am also a trained collaborative lawyer. My family work consists not only mediation work but also legal work, I am a Resolution accredited specialist in Domestic Abuse and Children and I regularly carry out training on domestic abuse, the impact on victims and children and the law. I very much look forward to bringing my skillset to the board and having the opportunity to look to the future of mediation and how it can work in the future.
William Hogg (Membership Committee)
I have spent a lifetime working in the family justice system. I am an experienced collaborative Family Lawyer and an FMC accredited Family Mediator. I was a member of Resolution`s DR committee for many years and a past chair of Law Net. I am a member of Resolutions collaborative law working party and the European Collaborative Network. I will bring all this experience to the board and FMA.
I have a wealth of knowledge dealing with complex financial and children matters. I have worked with some of the top London Family Practices. I am an experienced mediator and I am known for my ability to safely manage high conflict cases. I am also experienced in child inclusive mediations. I understand the process and challenges of the profession having worked in this capacity for many years.
Having spent a lifetime in the profession I have a wealth of contacts and connections with people in the Family Justice system which I feel will be of benefit to the board and FMA in general. I have trained dispute resolution practitioners both in England and internationally. I have presented extensively on the benefits of alternative ways of resolving family disputes outside of the court process. I am passionate in promoting the mediation process and I want to bring all of my passion to promoting the FMA.
Leah Caldwell (Legal Aid Committee and Complaints Committee)
Leah is a full-time Family Mediator and the owner of Mediation First in Northampton. She completed her Foundation Training in 2013 with the FMA and became an FMC Accredited Family Mediator in 2015. Leah became Vice Chair of the FMA in September 2017 and enjoys working with the Board to promote the FMA as a leading membership organisation for family mediation. Leah is also Chair of FMA’s Legal Aid Committee. In her role as Chair of the Legal Aid Committee, Leah wants to help mediators to share information regarding legal aid contracts and champion the interests of those that undertake publicly funded work. In her spare time, Leah enjoys being on her allotment and reading.
Sara Collins (Complaints Committee and Conference Committee)
I am a 51-year-old mother, wife, artist, poet animal lover and nature admirer. A creative lateral thinker and knowledge seeker. I will bring this curiosity and creativity to the table.
My entire working life has been spent working with adults and children involved in the breakdown of familial relationships. I have worked as a family and childcare solicitor, therapeutically as an adult and adolescent ACT therapist, mindfulness teacher and life coach and now as an independent family mediator. I have come into contact with all forms of complex child and financial matters. I continue to work as a school therapist two days a week in a large secondary school in Peterborough dealing with young people with complex emotional, social and behavioural issues. Many of which stem from living in difficult home dynamics and poorly managed parental separations.
I will bring this lifetimes worth of experience to the FMA and board in the hope that this experience can be of benefit and service.
I was chair of our local women`s aid charity for many years. I was a Trustee of a multi academy educational trust for 8 years and chair of their personnel committee before stepping down in July 2018. I was chair of the women`s sector of the Cambridgeshire chamber of commerce for 5 years and I have been an advisor to the board of the Mindfulness Association during 2018-2019. I have considerable experience of sitting on committees, working at board/trustee level, working collaboratively with others and providing robust challenge where necessary.
Anna Vollans (Complaints & Membership Committee )
Having qualified as a solicitor in 2003, my journey as a family mediator started in 2010 when I undertook the foundation training with the FMA. In 2011 I set up my own mediation practice, Vollans Mediation, based in Leeds. I became an FMC Accredited Family Mediator in 2015 (under the old system!) and since then have I qualified as a Child Inclusive Mediator and as a Professional Practice Consultant. In the last few years I have concentrated on running the service (which includes managing a Legal Aid contract), also completing a Masters in Conflict Resolution and supervising other mediators, including those working towards their FMC Accreditation.
The family mediation field has developed at a rapid pace over the time I have been in practice. It is now possible to call it a profession in its own right with a single approach to quality assurance and self-regulation under the FMC since January 2016. In this context I recognise and appreciate the special position of the FMA, representing family mediators from a diverse range of professional backgrounds. As a board member, I would be keen to continue to promote the FMA as a leading membership organisation with a strong sense of the distinctiveness of family mediation. The FMA is well placed to offer leadership and training in the development of family mediation within the family mediation community itself. It also has a significant role to play in the promotion of family mediation as an
effective dispute resolution process to the general public.
As a membership organisation, it is important that we maintain professional standards and practice requirements in tension with fostering creative ways of thinking about the work we do. Training, encouraging and welcoming the next generation of family mediators is also a priority. I recognise that the transition from foundation training to accreditation can be particularly difficult and welcome the current Review of the Accreditation Process. With pressure on family mediators to produce cheaper and quicker solutions in the context of narrowly defined family disputes, championing the interests of members who
undertake Legal Aid work is vital.
Anthony Syder (Legal Aid Committee)
Anthony has been working in family and commercial mediation since 2014 and has been a fully accredited family mediator in New Zealand since 2016. After moving to the UK in mid-2019, Anthony joined as a full member of the Family Mediator Association and is currently working towards accreditation with the Family Mediation Council.
Outside of work Anthony and his partner have a small menagerie of dogs, cats, birds and rabbits on the Welsh border which keeps him busy.
Anthony has a Masters in Human Rights focussing on the rights of children to be heard, a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (Dispute Resolution – Mediation) and a Bachelor of Laws and is an Enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
Anthony has been involved in the development and implementation of Family Mediation Policy and Practice in New Zealand and has worked ‘behind the scenes’ as the Client Manager to a nationwide service with over 80 mediators.
In the UK, Anthony has helped mediators adapt to working online, an area which he is passionate about. He also has a particular interest in diversity and would like to focus on increasing the amount of BAME and younger mediators into the profession to best represent the families we assist.
Sarah Manning (Communication, Engagement and Marketing Committee)
I am a practicing family solicitor and mediator and my work is split roughly 60% legal work and 40% mediations. I am an active member of FMA and I have promoted the ‘Mediation Awareness Week’ for the last two years and this year I will be part of the organising working group through FMC. I am well connected with local solicitor and mediators as I host a yearly conference promoting ADR which has taken place the last two years. I also host a successful ADR Networking event which is well attended.
I also helped set up the ‘The Family Court Advice Service’ which offers a pro bono service to litigants in person at court. This connection allows me to gain an insight at Court as we receive feedback from the local Judge who endorsed the project.
Following the recent pandemic I embraced remote working and adapted my way of working. I have also set up a Virtual mediation website to target client’s nationally through forward thinking in my approach and ideas. I am one of the few practising solicitor mediators in the local area and I believe that I am able to offer the FMA ideas and support through my experiences and actively engage in the board meetings. I am a keen networker with excellent organisation skills and marketing ideas.
Sarah Smith (Communication, Engagement and Marketing Committee)
Sarah has worked in family law for around twenty-five years, specialising in divorce, related finances, and arrangements for children. She left full time law in 2020 to set up her own mediation service, having previously spent approx. half her legal career in London law firms and the remainder at Berwins (Harrogate, Leeds).
Sarah is a registered and accredited Mediator and a Child Inclusive mediator. In 2019, Sarah was one of the first ten people in the UK to qualify as a Parenting Coordinator and that is now a part of the menu of services she offers.
Sarah is passionate about family mediation and the benefits of solution-focussed, holistic and non-litigious approaches to all things surrounding divorce and separation. Sarah joined FMA board in 2020 to help push this vital message out and will be working on the Communication, Engagement and Marketing Committee. When not mediating, Sarah finds happiness running or walking in the beautiful landscape of North Yorkshire.
FMA’s President and Vice-Presidents
Our work is supported by a number of very eminent family justice professionals, whose invaluable expertise and goodwill is provided on a voluntary basis. We are very grateful to them for all they do for us.
Mr Justice Andrew Moylan
FMA Vice Presidents
Prof. Chris Barton
Cherie Booth QC
Dame Margaret Booth DBE
Henry Brown (Co-founder of FMA)
Lord Mackay of Clashfern
HHJ Lord Meston QC
Lisa Parkinson (Co-founder of FMA and the first Director of FMA)
HHJ Isobel Plumstead
Judith Timms OBE
Emeritus Professor Janet Walker OBE