divorce mediation: complex finances separation mediation finances separation legal aid

Our Mediators

Our Mediators

Our people are our business and it’s thanks to their outstanding reputation gained over more than a decade that we have become the mediation service of choice throughout the South West.

Our family mediators have all had years of experience as both lawyers and now mediators so you can be confident that, not only are you getting the very best support from an expert facilitator, you are also benefitting from having the guidance of someone who understands the complex legal context of your situation.Trained to the highest standards, all our mediators are accredited by the Family Mediation Council and recognised by the Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Agency to provide publicly funded mediation. We are all members of the Family Mediators Association.


John Loram  

John Loram

Director

Director

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

John trained as a solicitor with Farrer & Co; one of London’s most prestigious law firms, before moving to Devon. In 2003, he set up South West Mediation and under his joint direction it has become the largest regional mediation service in the UK. As a mediator for nearly 20 years, John has mediated in excess of a thousand family disputes – covering every aspect of separation and divorce – with asset values of up to £50 million, making him one of the country’s most experienced mediators. He is also specially trained to consult directly with children as part of the mediation process. John has taught on the Legal Practice Course at Exeter University and more recently was invited to join the Government’s Family Mediation Task Force. John splits his time between working as a family mediator and as a civil/commercial and workplace mediator.

John was very professional at all times. He was very helpful in guiding us in a very difficult time

Mediation sessions were very skilfully managed in a calm, comfortable atmosphere

I thought John handled a very difficult situation with sensitivity and skill



Vicki Lewis  

Vicki Lewis

Director

Director

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

Vicki has worked for 30 years as a solicitor and mediator with clients going through divorce or separation. She is a director and co-founder of South West Mediation and over the years has also worked as a Professional Consultant offering support and guidance to dozens of trainee mediators working towards professional accreditation. Vicki has extensive experience of complex financial mediations as well as child mediations involving parents, step-parents and grandparents. She is also very experienced in consulting with children and young people within the mediation process. Vicki is passionate about supporting families to find their own solutions and thereby helping them avoid expensive and potentially acrimonious court proceedings. Vicki not only brings a wealth of experience to the work she does but she has a friendly and approachable manner and is sensitive to the needs of clients who find themselves in difficult and challenging times.

Fantastic service! A big problem solved which has been a life changing solution

I would like to thank Vicki for her assistance in trying to resolve our issues. It was a very tense and stressful situation even for Vicki to be sat in the middle of, but I have to say Vicki was remarkable and remained professional all the way throughout the sessions which was no mean feat. Thank you so much

Thank you Vicki. You made a very contentious issue manageable



Claire Heller  

Claire Heller

Mediator

Mediator

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

Claire started her career as a barrister and then worked as a principal lawyer for the childcare team of a London borough. She later moved to Somerset and, having a preference for out of court settlements, successfully completed the Resolution training to become a Family Mediator. Since 2011 Claire has worked full time for South West Mediation, undertaking a wide range of cases involving both parenting and financial issues. Claire is dedicated to providing a professional and constructive service within a safe setting and to achieve a positive outcome for all parties. Claire has a particular interest in mediating cases with an international element, such as parental child abduction or wrongful retention and contact across international borders. She speaks good Spanish, having lived and worked there formerly.

Claire’s support and diplomacy enabled us to move forward when we thought there was no way

Claire was very professional but showed a great deal of empathy and understanding at a very difficult time. Thank you

Claire made the process as painless as it could be. She was fair to both of us. I also knew she would not let my husband take over the meetings. The fact that there was a neutral but empathetic person in the room helped immensely with the emotional side of mediation



Jan Ritchie  

Jan Ritchie

Mediator

Mediator

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

Jan has a huge amount of experience with regards to family law both as a solicitor and mediator. From 1996 onwards, Jan worked with legal practices in Torbay and Exeter, focusing exclusively on family and matrimonial cases. She dealt with a range of issues arising out of the ending of a relationship – with regard to parenting issues, financial disputes between married and unmarried couples, and cases involving domestic abuse, as well as advising in relation to pre-nuptial agreements. Jan has presented talks to various organisations including Victim Support and the Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as to local professionals and members of the public on such issues as the rights of unmarried couples on separation, pre-nuptial agreements, domestic abuse, and the family mediation process. She trained as a Family Mediator in 2003 and has mediated with South West Mediation since 2005.

Keep up the good work, you are facilitating peaceful outcomes. Many thanks to Jan and all the team

The whole experience was great

I found the mediator very easy to talk to

Excellent all round service and I was very impressed as to how the mediation process works



Jill Sage  

Jill Sage      

Mediator

Mediator

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

Jill trained as a solicitor with London firm Taylor Joynson Garrett before returning to her home town of Bristol to join Lyons Davidson Solicitors. During her 22 years’ service there, Jill played key roles in expanding the family legal team and later on setting up the Family Mediation department. Jill has worked full-time as a Family Mediator since 2007 and headed up Lyons Davidson Family Mediation for 4 years. Seeking to develop and expand her mediation work, Jill chose to join South West Mediation early in 2015, recognising the benefits of working with a wholly independent and specialist mediation service. Jill continues to mediate full-time exclusively in the field of family mediation. Jill has mediated across all areas of separation and divorce establishing an excellent reputation in Bristol and surrounding areas. Jill is trained to consult directly with children.

My mediator, Jill, listened and understood what I had to say. She was very calm and patient with my ex-husband. I wouldn’t have thought she could have delivered a better service

The mediator was professional, supportive and independent. Jill was easy to approach and knowledgable

Jill was an excellent mediator, able to sum up what I told her in a way my ex-partner could easily understand

Jill Sage is fantastic!



Malcolm Lodwick  

Malcolm Lodwick      

Mediator

Mediator

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

Malcolm has devoted his professional career to family law, firstly as a solicitor in Kent, spending many years as an advocate before the Family Courts, and latterly as a Family Mediator in Kent and now in the West Country. Consequently, he brings a wealth of experience to the task of working with couples and families who are trying to manage change during critical periods of re-adjustment and transition. He encourages active listening in order to clarify and define issues, concentrating upon a future focus and endeavouring to build co-operation which leads to negotiation and problem-solving. Malcolm believes firmly in the advantages of mediation over the adversarial legal process and that early intervention by a mediator can assist couples to establish a dialogue and thereby reduce conflict. Approachable and amiable, Malcolm always helps participants to feel at ease whilst demonstrating the highest standards of professional competence.

I felt mediation gave us the opportunity both to talk and to listen and the outcome decided for the children was for the best

Although the separation/divorce process is painful, mediation actually focuses on the practical and legal aspects in a neutral way

The fact-based, no-blame, solutions-orientated approach worked well and made the whole process as stress free as possible. We easily came to a solution that would have taken a long time to sort out ourselves or through solicitors

I felt listened to by the mediator



Sarah Ravenscroft  

Sarah Ravenscroft      

Mediator

Mediator

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

Before qualifying as a mediator in 2009 Sarah worked as a legal executive for over 15 years dealing with family and civil disputes. As a mediator she has helped clients resolve a range of issues including property, finances and arrangements for children. She has experience of complex financial mediations including multiple properties, business and farming assets and child mediations involving parents and the wider family. She is specially trained to consult with children as part of the mediation process. Sarah has also set up and run her own business and can draw upon her wider experience in her work as a mediator.

I've achieved more than I'd hoped for, not only am I seeing the children every week my ex and I are now talking to each other too

I didn't know what to expect and was really nervous but Sarah was really reassuring. She helped us put our differences aside and our son first

Agreeing what to do with the house was easier than I thought and I can now move on. Thanks Sarah

Everything was explained clearly and I felt listened to and taken seriously



Victoria Williams  

Victoria Williams

Mediator working towards accreditation

Mediator working towards accreditation

workplace expert lawyer mediator - conflict resolution

Throughout her career Victoria has worked with couples and families, supporting them and assisting them to resolve issues relating to divorce and separation. She is a qualified solicitor and she worked in this role for over ten years in Bristol and Wiltshire during which time she gained specialist expertise in financial and children issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship. Victoria has been involved with mediation since 2011, joining South West Mediation in early 2016 to undertake further training in order to achieve accreditation with the Family Mediation Council.

Easy, unbiased service

Mediation is an amicable, informal way of meeting and deciding your options

I liked the way that mediation was non-confrontational and provided an easier way to reach a fair and reasonable outcome

I would recommend mediation to someone in a similar situation because it’s a great starting point for anyone, especially with children

The service was excellent throughout and a most friendly and helpful atmosphere was created. I had doubts about the whole process but they were soon dispelled