Climbing out of the box together:

Mary Shaw & Brian Cantwell

About five years ago, Brian and Mary began to work together with separating clients and couples.
This interactive workshop looks at their journey to examine how working with a family consultant can add value to collaborative lawyers’ “offer” to their clients (both collaborative and otherwise) and explores the benefits of not only thinking outside the box but getting out of it altogether in multidisciplinary working in partnership.

Click here to book a place on this workshop at the Northern Lights 2017 conference, or click here to return to the conference overview.

About Brian...

Brian Cantwell is a Family Consultant, based at The Children & Families Consultation Group in Hexham.  With 25 years’ experience in working with families dealing with separation and divorce issues, Brian offers the opportunity for confidential and independent support. 
Brian is accredited by the Health Care Professions Council (H.C.P.C) and is social work trained. He practised within the Family Court Welfare Service for a number of years, before training as a mediator and branching out into a number of mediation services across the North of England. He has considerable experience working within a family therapy team for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Cumbria. For the past 12 years he has co-ordinated a multi-disciplinary group (the Children and Families Consultation Group, based in Hexham) to provide Courts with detailed family assessments in long running cases involving children. He is a Resolution trained Family Consultant, and is a member of the North East Collaborative POD, which meets regularly to ensure best practice in Collaborative Family Law in the North East. 
Brian has delivered training for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS), and the Family Justice Council, which includes senior judiciary and members of the legal professions.  

About Mary...

Mary was admitted as a solicitor in 1984 and has practised as a family lawyer continuously since then. She joined David Gray Solicitors in Newcastle in 1987 to head the family team there.
Mary has been a Children Panel member for 25 years. Frustrated and dissatisfied with her role as a litigator in separation and relationship breakdown cases she considered specialising exclusively in child representation in public and private law cases. However she then undertook collaborative foundation training with Resolution and Pauline Tesler in 2006 and since then has become increasingly involved with out of court and conversational ways to manage families’ separation “stuff”.
In 2007 Mary was involved with the first collaborative case in the north east. In 2010 she trained and began to practice as a mediator. 
Mary led the NE Collaborative Group for some time. She is a member of the Resolution DR Committee. This year Mary was recognised nationally as Family Lawyer of the Year at the LALYs.
Mary has several collaborative cases on the go and currently has no cases in court.