Our team

Brighter Future is run by a team of volunteer committee members, who are all trained collaborative family lawyers, family professionals or specialist business advisers based in the North of England.

Meet the committee:

Fiona Draper, Pepperells Solicitors, Hull and Scunthorpe, Bright Future MemberFiona Draper, Pepperells Solicitors, Hull & Scunthorpe: Fiona qualified as a solicitor in 1987, having obtained her law degree at Newcastle University. She specialises in divorce, separation and the breakdown of civil partnerships. In particular she has experience dealing with high net worth financial cases and matters involving businesses. She also deals with prenuptial and pre-cohabitation agreements and matters relating to children. Fiona is a member of Resolution. She trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2005 and is involved with developing this innovative and non-confrontational form of dispute resolution at both regional and national levels. In 2011, she trained as a family mediator.

Kiren Dulkoan, Ardent Family Law, York, Brighter Future Member
Kiren Dulkoan, Ardent Family Law, York:
Kiren has specialised exclusively in family law since qualifying in 2002, and is a trained collaborative family lawyer committed to resolving family disputes in a non-confrontational way. She runs Ardent Family Law in York, having previously practiced in the south at a regional 'Legal 100' firm before relocating to Yorkshire in 2007. Kiren advises on the financial implications of relationship breakdown and children issues, and her experience spans a range of cases from complex, high monetary value cases with international element to those with very limited assets. Kiren speaks fluent Hindi and Punjabi and can converse and advise clients in either language.

Karen Tinkler, The Partners Group: Karen runs York-based PR and communications agency, The Partners Group. She has 18 years' PR and marketing experience, and has worked with a family law firms and organisations for more than a decade. Karen joined the committee to help with publicity and marketing, and acts as the group's marketing co-ordinator.

Sue McArthur, McKeag & Co, Gosforth, Brighter Future Member
Sue McArthur, Kidd and Spoor Solicitors, Whitley Bay:
Sue is a collaborative family lawyer, family mediator and Resolution accredited specialist in relation to finances, cohabitation and domestic violence who believes that couples should be the ones in control of the way in which their issues are resolved, with some element of specialist legal advice, assistance and guidance to get them to where they need to be.

Ed Heaton, Mills and Reeve, Leeds, Brighter Future MemberEd Heaton, Stewarts Law LLP, Leeds: Ed is an associate solicitor specialising in the resolution of family disputes. Before relocating to Yorkshire in 2008 he spent several years working at a leading family law practice in central London. Ed is a Resolution member and trained collaborative family lawyer committed to promoting a constructive, sensible and cost effective approach to resolving family disputes.

Nicki Mitchell, Lupton Fawcett Denison Till, York, Brighter Future MemberNicki Mitchell, Jones Myers, York: Nicki has practised as a solicitor since 1994, specialising for the vast majority of that time exclusively in family law. In 2001 she gained Resolution accreditation as a specialist family lawyer. Her specialist areas are financial provision and domestic abuse. Nicki was the first lawyer in York to qualify as a collaborative family lawyer in 2005. Nicki specialises in the financial aspects of relationship breakdown as well as advice on pre-nuptial agreements designed to avoid difficulties on separation. She advises clients from all backgrounds, from entrepreneurs and their spouses to those with more usual financial circumstances, and helps clients to find the process best suited to their needs.

Stephen Root, Berwins, Harrogate, Brighter Future MemberStephen Root, Berwins, Harrogate: Stephen was one of the first in Harrogate to qualify as a collaborative lawyer in 2006 and remains an enthusiastic advocate for it as a constructive means of dealing with issues on separation and divorce. Stephen was one of the first members of the Law Society's Family Law Panel and is a member of Resolution. He heads the local collaborative group in Harrogate and is designated by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leader in his field.  He gives training and presentations to groups such as CAB advisers and NYCC social workers on collaborative law, and can often be heard commenting on family issues on his local radio station, Stray FM.

Carmelita Ardren, Raworths, Harrogate, Brighter Future Member
Carmelita Ardren, Raworths, Harrogate: Carmelita heads the family law team at Raworths. She is an advanced family law specialist, having gained specific accreditation for dealing with financial and private children issues. Particular areas of expertise include divorce, financial issues arising on a divorce or separation with particular interest in business assets and private children issues.

Anthony Ball, Keebles, Sheffield
: Antony specialises in family law, advising on divorce, financial disputes, pre and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation disputes, injunctions and all matters relating to children.

He is also an accredited Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer and member of the Law Society Family Law Advanced Panel, The Law Society Children Law Scheme and Resolution Accredited Specialist. 

Elaine Gwinnett, Forty One Consulting, York:
Elaine specialises in dealing with the financial aspects within the divorce process and has gained accreditation from Resolution (the specialist association within the Law Society) to act as a Financial Neutral within the Collaborative Divorce process. This allows her to act alongside both parties, giving impartial financial advice relating to investments, pension benefits and family protection post divorce in order to achieve a workable solution.

If you are interested in joining Brighter Future, speak to your Pod Liaison Officer or contact a member of the committee by email here.