Hat-trick at Devon and Somerset Legal Awards 2019

Hat-trick at Devon and Somerset Legal Awards 2019

4th April 2019

South West Mediation, the largest firm of family and commercial mediators in the region, scored a hat-trick at the Devon and Somerset Law Society Awards ceremony held in Exeter Cathedral in April by being recognised in three categories. Its Family Team won Team of the Year while founders, John Loram and Vicki Lewis, won Leaders of Year. More controversially, South West Mediation was Highly Commended in the Law Firm of the Year category. This is the first time that a mediation firm, rather than a traditional legal practice, has been recognised for this prestigious award.

Traditionally disputes such as family separations are settled through the courts in a prolonged and often disruptive adversarial process. Mediation offers a modern, collaborative alternative which is rapidly being adopted across the country. Last week’s Awards represent an acknowledgement that the profession has truly “come of age”.

In 2003 South West Mediation’s, John and Vicki left behind careers with major family lawyers with a mission to put mediation on the map. “We could see at first-hand how damaging it is for so many families – and especially for children – when divorce settlements are battled out in the courts”, says John Loram, “We thought ‘Surely there’s a better, more grown-up way of doing this!’. So we started getting people round the table.”

In the ensuing fifteen years South West Mediation has been at the forefront of developing and professionalising mediation as a specialist discipline so that it is now firmly part of the family justice system and also used more and more to settle complex civil and commercial disputes as well.

South West Mediation 2019 DASL legal awards team winner South West Mediation 2019 DASL legal awards leader winner South West Mediation 2019 DASL legal awards firm highly commended