What is Collaborative Practice?

What is Collaborative Practice?

Collaborative Practice is a voluntary process designed to allow parties to settle their dispute without resorting to litigation.

Features of Collaborative Practice

  • The parties agree to disclose all information that is relevant and important;
  • The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach an agreement that is mutually acceptable;
  • Each party must be represented by a lawyer who represents the party only for the purposes of settlement negotiations and therefore their representation terminates if the parties decide to proceed to Court;
  • The parties may jointly engage other experts as part of their team;
  • The professional team, including lawyers, do not use adversarial language and behaviour.

For what type of dispute?

Collaborative Practice is ideal for any dispute where the parties have an interest in maintaining a relationship beyond the dispute for example:

  • Family and de facto property
  • Children’s issues
  • Child support
  • Adult child maintenance
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Business or partnerships
  • Employment
  • Probate and Estate matters
  • Medical negligence
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Franchises
  • Leases
  • Companies

Any dispute where parties wish to effect sensible, lasting, cost effective outcomes will benefit from a collaborative approach.

Why Collaborative Practice?

Court processes are slow – often taking months or years, costly, time-consuming, stressful, uncertain, destructive of relationships, embarrassing and very public. The Judge are limited in the Orders that they can make.

Contrary to this, a Collaborative approach is normally:

  • Faster
  • Confidential
  • Less expensive
  • Controlled by the parties as to timing and outcome
  • More creative as to options

Collaborative practice aims to:

  • Reduce costs: Turn off open-ended Court related expenses
  • Empower parties: The parties keep control and participate fully in crafting the result
  • Meet the pressure of time: Often a solution is needed promptly in today’s busy schedule. The process avoids the Court delays, as the parties determine the pace of resolution
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Maintain relationships: Is a continuing relationship desired or required? Collaborative practice can preserve/reduce damage to valued relationships
  • Reduce stress, distractions and lost opportunity costs: Collaborative Practice works to reduce the very real costs of the dispute
  • Achieve the best possible outcomes: Fully explore and develop “win, win” and creative solutions. Parties are not bound only by solutions available in a Court.

Find a Professional

Select the area of practitioners you require to resolve your situation.