FNF Conference on the Future of Family Justice – Key Issues for Litigants

Location: Engineers' House, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 3NB

This will be an all-day event including lunch - with entrance by ticket only.

Speakers include

Sir James Munby * Dr Sue Whitcombe * Lori Busch & Paul Apreda * Sarah Phillimore

You will find details below of workshops, presentations and discussions which are taking place.

Some of the workshops will be run twice so that all attendees may take part in each.

There will be question and answer opportunities. We have received a number of questions from the public and these are being processed and summarised for putting to the President at the event.

There is a charge for attendees of the conference of just £36 for the day, inclusive of a good buffet lunch and refreshments.  Register now and obtain tickets here to attend the conference.

Lunch will comprise a selection of 4 - 5 hot main courses (including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options) complete with an extensive salad & buffet bar, fresh fruit, cheeses and dessert selection. For further details of the venue and nearby accommodation as well as to book tickets click here.

Hotel accommodation is available in the area, as well as parking, See link to the venue for more details of how to get there and where to stay.
The venue's comprehensive travel guide can also be downloaded here.

Note: Discounts may be available from some hotels - Please contact them directly for details.

There is also a Members-only AGM meeting taking place at 13.45. This is free to Members but all attendees wishing to come to the AGM must obtain their free ticket in advance.
Attendees for the main Conference event must purchase tickets in advance as well.

Further details and speaker biographies are below.


Keynote Speaker:

The Rt. Hon Sir James Munby President of the Family Division

Sir James Munby

Sir James (Lawrence) Munby, Hon., Kt 2000; President of the Family Division since January 2013.  Hon LL.D University of Bolton, July 2014. Lord Justice of Appeal 2009-2013, Chairman, Law Commission 2009-2012 (on secondment) & judge of Family Division 2000–09.  Called to the bar, Middle Temple, 1971 (Bencher 2000); QC 1988.

Sir James spoke at Families Need Fathers conference on 16th November 2014 and he promises to update FNF on progress since then and to be held to account for developments since then in a question and answer session after his talk.

We have received a number of questions from the public and these are being processed and summarised for putting to the President at the event.

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Key participants running workshops, presentations and discussions will include:

Parental Alienation

Dr Sue Whitcombe (Leading Practitioner in the Field of Parental Alienation)

Dr Sue Whitcombe is a Counselling Psychologist in the UK.  She is a Chartered member and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS), Deputy Chair of the Training Committee for Counselling Psychology and sits on the BPS Expert Witness Advisory Group.  Sue has 20 years’ experience working with children and families and is Principal Psychologist at Family Psychology Solutions, a not-for-profit social enterprise, which she founded with the support of Teesside University.  Sue works with children, adults and families who experience life and mental health difficulties as a result of relationship issues.  In particular, Sue provides affordable, targeted and tailored evidence informed interventions where there are entrenched and hostile relationship difficulties and parental alienation.  In addition to her therapeutic work, Sue also delivers training and consultancy to the legal, mental health and social work professions on implacable hostility and parental alienation.  She also provides expert assessments for family court proceedings.

Sue will provide run workshops on Parental Alienation with a focus on what works and early intervention.

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Domestic Violence

Lori Busch (ManKind) and Paul Apreda (FNF - BPM)

Paul ApredaLori Busch and Paul Apreda will jointly run workshops on dealing with Domestic Violence Allegations, with a focus on practical steps that can be taken by those who have false or unfounded allegations made against them.

Lori is a trustee of The ManKind Initiative which was the first charity in Great Britain to support male victims of domestic abuse (registered in 2001). For over 15 years they have been at the forefront of providing services and support for male victims and campaigning to ensure that male victims receive the support they need from other organisations.

Paul has for many years been the National Manager for our sister charity in Wales, FNF Both Parents Matter Cymru. He is also a trustee of our UK charity. Paul has a depth of hands-on experience of assisting with hundreds of family disputes, both easy and difficult.

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Getting Help for Litigants In Person

Sarah Phillimore (Barrister)

Sarah Phillimore is a barrister at St John’s Chambers in Bristol. She was called to the Bar in 1994 and is a member of the Family Law Bar Association and Association of Lawyers for Children. Sarah has received a number awards including the A C Thomas Bar Scholarship (UCL), Lincoln’s Inn Shelford Major Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke Scholarship. Sarah specialises in family law and has considerable experience in dealing with cases with complicated and long running histories. She will talk about initiatives in Bristol to assist litigants in person and the issues around intractable disputes.

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There will be an AGM currently planned for 13:45. This will take approximately 45 minutes and will only be open to members of FNF and trustees. An agenda for this meeting is sent separately to those eligible to attend. Attending the AGM is free and does not include lunch.  Members must obtain (free) tickets in order to attend the AGM.

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