LONDON law firm Anthony Goldman has started offering mediation services to its clients in the run up to the introduction of the Family Law Bill.
The practice, which has recently appointed family law solicitor and qualified mediator Kim Beatson as a partner in its family law team, rejects the idea that mediation will see the demise of lawyers.
Beatson, formerly head of the family department at Russell-Cooke, Potter & Chapman, said: "Most people would prefer to have lawyers as mediators. Mediation will be en- couraged by the Government's proposals in the Family Law Bill and is therefore an opportunity not a threat to family lawyers."
Jane Leigh, chair of the Law Society's family law committee, said she did not think mediators would impinge on lawyers' work loads and recognised that many mediators would also be lawyers.
David Hodson of the Family Law Consortium, which was one of the first law firms to introduce mediation into divorce cases, said: "I envisage a harmonious working together of lawyers and mediators. Lawyers cannot stand alone anymore."