Sarah-Jane Riddell is a consultant solicitor with Brighton and Hove Law. Sarah has specialised in family law for more than 20 years and is a collaborative lawyer and accredited family mediator. Sarah is also able to offer hybrid mediation which is an alternative way of mediating in which lawyers can be more actively involved in the process if this would be helpful and more supportive for clients. She is a member of Resolution, Sussex Family Solutions and Lawyers Who Mediate. Sarah has worked in a variety of legal environments and her experience has made her very aware that separation can be one of life’s most painful and traumatic experiences for the whole family, especially for any children involved. She sees the role of the family lawyer as working with clients to find the best possible pathway for them and their family through what can often seem an overwhelming minefield of information, enabling them to move forward in a positive direction.
Sarah works with clients to find the most appropriate option to meet their particular needs recognising that every family is different. Overall, she aims to promote non-adversarial ways of resolving disputes to give clients the opportunity of finding lasting and amicable solutions to all issues surrounding separation. Sarah is also able to draw on a large local network of other like-minded professionals such as family consultants and collaboratively trained financial advisers in cases where such additional expertise would be helpful in finding the best way forward for clients and their families.
I was really pleased to discover that there was an alternative to the traditional essentially adversarial process around divorce. For me the collaborative approach resonated strongly with my personal values of trying wherever possible to achieve a win – win; or at the least reducing the harm to either party.
"I also felt supported throughout by knowing that my lawyer was both looking after my interests, and honouring the process.
"It wasn’t easy, but in the end, I felt that both I and my ex-partner were able to close the chapter knowing that we had done the “right” thing by each other.