Our administrative team
FMA is run with the help of David and Erin 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 email@example.com
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
Anna Vollans (Chair)
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.
Sally Clark (Vice-Chair)
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.
Leah Caldwell ( Treasurer and Legal Aid 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.
Beverley Sayers (Secretary, 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.
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.
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.
Summera Kauser (Diversity Committee)
I obtained my LLB (Hons) Law degree and was called to the Bar in 2012 and appointed as a Director/Trustee for The Meridian Centre. For a number of years as a litigation advocate I practised many aspects of civil law, representing clients at County Court hearings across England. In 2014 I trained as a civil and commercial mediator and I am an accredited mediator for Special Educational Needs and Disability as a member of the College of Mediators and the Civil Mediation Council.
I have practiced as a mediator since 2018 with varied experience in civil and SEND disputes. I completed my training as a family mediator with LADR Training and I am currently working towards accreditation with the Family Mediation Council. I became a board member of the Family Mediators Association in 2021 and also participate in the Family Mediation Council EDIT working group. I have a particular interest in diversity, equality and inclusion and I am dedicated in promoting mediation to become accessible for everyone.
Neil Robinson (Conference Commitee)
Neil Robinson is a mediator and consultant working with
Family Mediation Centre Staffordshire and others. He sits as a
Mental Health Tribunal Judge and is a Visiting Professor at
Staffordshire University. Neil has an abiding interest in the
interrelationship between mediation, peacebuilding, song
and sustainability and has now published a series of 17
“Conversation Pieces” for Family Law to encourage deeper
thinking and dialogue. Though “semi-retired,” he is delighted
to be still part of the mediation and FMA com
Rebekah Gershuny (Board Member)
Following graduation from Oxford University in Jurisprudence, and upon qualification as a solicitor, I practiced both family law and commercial litigation, and was a Partner at Nabarro LLP, now part of CMS.
I have extensive experience as a family solicitor, collaborative family lawyer, and accredited family mediator. I am also a qualified Child Inclusive Mediator and Hybrid Family Mediator.
I am a keen runner, and love hiking, yoga and pilates. I have two lovely black Labradors I enjoy walking, and like to read, knit and go to the theatre. I currently volunteer to teach English one on one as a foreign language, which has been an interesting new challenge!
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
Oliver Dobson (Young FMA)
I am an accredited family mediator living in Newcastle. Ever since I first had experience of it I have been passionate about family justice and frontline service; both of which I have been fortunate to explore and deliver studying my undergraduate degree at Durham University and then whilst volunteering for, and eventually being employed by, the Citizen Advice Bureau. Following my graduation, I had the opportunity to observe my now colleagues and supervisors; and I have been an ardent advocate for mediation ever since.
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
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