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
Philippa Johnson (Chair)
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.
Anne Braithwaite (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.
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.
Beverley Sayers (FMC Liaison)
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.
Andrew Baines (Standards and Ethics Committee)
From a childhood in the red light area of Nottingham, through the rigours of a career in law, to a home in Hebden Bridge (fourth funkiest town in the world), Andrew has now fetched up in probably the greatest mediation organisation in the world. Having been utterly demoralised by mainstream family law Andrew set out on a voyage of discovery to see what lessons and invitations the leading edge of evolution is offering dispute resolution today. Armed with sensibilities honed in his youth by an immersion in classical music, in his middle age by training in Equine Shiatsu (not too dulled by his dalliance with non-directive counselling) Andrew is now treading the far shores of dispute resolution, paddling in chaos, swimming in complex adaptive systems and floating in the consequences of social evolution.
John Brownrigg (Membership Committee)
John was born in Nazareth on 28 February 1953
He was educated at Lancing College from 1966 to 1971 following which he attended Guilford Law College and subsequently Chester Law College to do his Part 1 and Part 2 legal qualification.
John did his training contract with Withy King and Lee in Bath from 1971 to 1977. When he qualified as a solicitor in 1977 he went travelling before returning to Bath and joining Stone King and Wardle as a newly qualified solicitor in 1978.
John was a litigation lawyer who focussed increasingly on matrimonial law. He became partner in 1980 and became a mediator in the early 1990. He retired from the law in May 2017 and is now a consultant and mediator still with Stone King where he had headed a thriving matrimonial team with 4 mediators doing both private and publicly funded mediation.
Ashley Palmer (Communication, Engagement and Marketing Committee)
I currently live in the rolling hills of Hampshire and enjoy working both here and in London. As an accredited family mediator I applied and joined the FMA board in 2015, the world of family mediation is going through a great many changes and I wanted to be actively involved in helping this incredibly worthy profession reach a wider audience. The general public is still a little unclear as to what we do as mediators and it’s time to change that. With a background in media I have now been appointed the new chair of the communication, engagement and marketing comity (CEM) I will be striving hard to look at ways to bring about more public awareness and therefore, more work to the profession. There will be times when I may ask for your input and ideas, if you could spare a couple of minutes every now and then it would help considerably.
In my spare time haha, I love to walk, talk and have the odd glass of bubbles!
Vanessa Stirum (Complaints committee)
I trained as a mediator in 1992 and combined my mediation practice with part time work as a senior probation officer (training) and as a NHS non-executive director. In 2003 I left the probation service and have thrown my energies into mediation and the further development of my practice. Being a busy mediator means not only have I been exposed to a great number of different issue that have required me to be creative and resilient, but also I have developed a real understanding of the inner workings of mediation , with all the highs and lows that come with that. I work with both legally aided and private cases and have a special interest in child only cases. As a PPC I am very lucky to be part of the development of trainees and can play a role in the ongoing success of established mediators. I enjoy spreading my knowledge and helping colleagues and clients along the mediation journey .
On the board I represent the views of my mediator colleagues and use my experience as a board member in other organisations to make the best of the role . I am a board member of British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Home start and an academy Trustee at my local senior school. On FMA trading I am involved in the sourcing of suitable trainers who can offer interesting and stimulating training events for mediators. We have much to learn from others !
Alexis Walker (Complaints & Membership Committee )
Since training in 1993, I have worked at the coal face of Family Mediation in both the profit and not for profit sector. Currently I work in both West and South Yorkshire.
For 10 years, in parallel, I worked in the Community Mediation field as a Development & Training Manager, recruiting, training, developing and supervising a team of community mediators. We extended the service to include Workplace Mediation, my responsibility being to write and deliver the workplace Mediation skills training programme for HR and other managers in local businesses, as well as mediating with employees. Since 2008 I have worked exclusively as a family mediator.
As a PPC since 2010, I view the role of PPC as the gateway to maintaining standards and the quality of our young profession. During this time I have supported a number of trainee mediators through their portfolios to gain accreditation.
In 2013 I was successful in attaining a place on the Board of FMA. Over this time I have been involved in the Legal Aid Committee, the PPC Committee, the Membership Committee and the Complaints Committee, currently chairing the latter two. I remain passionate about mediation, professional development, and good practice in these challenging times.
Janette Wood (Ex Officer)
I qualified as a solicitor in 1981, specialising in family law and trained as a mediator with FMA in 2001, enjoying membership of the FMA ever since. I hold full FMCA and FMA Senior Mediator status, am DCC qualified to conduct Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM) and a PPC. I am a FMA Complaints Adjudicator and Assessor for Senior Mediator status. I retired from legal practice in 2014 to dedicate myself to family mediation.
I am committed to prioritising children interests and have served on various children and educational charities. Over 25 years ago I set up and still serve on the management committee of our local Child Contact Centre.
I’m married, have 2 grown up children and love dogs, walking, cooking, reading and films but, most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends!
Leah Caldwell (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.
If you would like to contact any of our board members please email the administrative office.
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