If your relationship has broken down, you will want to resolve issues in an amicable and constructive way where possible. We aim to use the collaborative process or mediation to resolve family disputes wherever possible as we find it is less stressful for our clients and these methods keeps costs down compared to going to court.
All of our family solicitors are trained in the collaborative process which involves all parties agreeing to work together and not go to court during the negotiation. We also have trained mediators in our team who will help parties reach an agreement they are both happy with. Our mediators are also fully qualified solicitors and understand the complexities involved in family law.
We will advise you on the best method of resolving your dispute, whether that is the Collaborative Process, Mediation or through the courts.
Vanessa trained and then qualified as a solicitor in 1991 with Hart Brown working in the Cobham office, family department for a decade. She then worked for us on a part time consultancy basis while devoting more time to her family. During this period she was instrumental in implementing Hart Brown’s family department’s case management system and later, the quality system that led to the firm’s ISO 9001 accreditation.
In 2005 Vanessa returned to client work and joined Mackrell Turner Garrett where she stayed for ten years, before re-joining Hart Brown in 2015. Vanessa knows Woking and the surrounding area well and enhances the work covered at our Woking office as she re-joins the family department.
Vanessa has been a Resolution member since 1991, committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational and constructive way. She has served on the Surrey Resolution committee since 2008. She is a Resolution accredited collaboratively trained lawyer and welcomes the opportunity to help separating couples adopt this process as an alternative to the more traditional options available.
Over the years, Vanessa has gained a wealth of experience in dealing with all the legal aspects of relationships coming to an end. She prides herself on being approachable and understanding as she helps her clients go through the legal process.
Here are Vanessa’s answers to a brief interview about her interests:
What’s your favourite book?
Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Rebecca, The Kite Runner, many more…
What’s your favourite saying?
‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ and ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’
What are your outside interests?
Getting out in the fresh air with her dogs, theatre, reading, entertaining at home with friends or family
Sharon has over 20 years experience on all aspects of family law and in particular the financial aspects in high value divorces. She is particularly experienced in dealing with couples who have assets abroad.
She is a Resolution Accredited Specialist and qualified in mediation and collaborative family law.
“A break up of a relationship is very sad for everyone concerned” says Sharon. “I believe that our role is to try and help both parties reach a solution which they are both happy with. When feelings are running high this can sometimes be difficult but I believe we can make a difference”.
Sharon is often thanked by her clients for her sympathetic and supportive approach through a traumatic time in their lives.
Her most memorable case was in a divorce where financial matters involving significant assets were resolved amicably yet parties persisted to argue about kitchen utensils!
She qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and joined Hart Brown in 2007 becoming a partner a few months later.
A client thanked Sharon for her work: "I would especially like to thank Sharon Powell for all her support and guidance throughout. Thanks indeed."
Here are Sharon’s answers to a brief interview about her interests and achievements.
What are your interests?
Cooking and enjoying a well prepared meal.
Where is your favourite destination?
Tell us about your notable achievements?
I was particularly proud when I became a partner and then head of the family department. I like the challenge of developing a department and helping others develop in their own careers.