- 03 Aug 2023
- 4 min read
Grant Cameron: 8 weeks as National Chair of Resolution
Grant Cameron with Resolution co chair Melanie Bataillard-Samuel.
It’s been over 8 weeks since I took on the role of Chair of Resolution and what a whirlwind it has been. I dusted off my dinner suit, took it to the dry cleaners and it has had more action these past couple of months than Tom Cruise on the set of his new movie (well there is a similarity in height). I am not so sure my wife (or my secretary) are particularly pleased with the late nights, early starts and jaunts to London but I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity and experience. I feel very proud to be part of something so vitally important to our profession.
It hasn’t been all dinners, dances and networking after hours. I have been involved in some really challenging and humbling committees and events; and party to a variety of discussions affecting the family law world. It is exciting to be given the opportunity to bring my ideas and direction to the table.
So who or what is Resolution? Resolution is a national community of family law professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive, sensitive and conciliatory way. Resolution, as a body, provides excellent training and support to all their members allowing family law professionals of all qualification to grow and achieve their goals, personally within their own careers and hopefully in our mission to actively help others along the way. Resolution also actively lobbies for changes in the law and one of the biggest success stories to date is the introduction of No Fault Divorce.
Resolution has turned 40 years old this year and so the huge privilege to take over as Chair on its milestone anniversary year is just the more inspiring.
My first ‘big event’ was National Conference back in May. This is when I took the stage in front of 500 of my peers to give my first speech as Chair. I was of course slightly nervous, but the overwhelming feeling of pride settled me down and I just spoke from the heart.
It was a fantastic weekend event, full of family law professionals the width and breadth of the country, all gathering together to share knowledge, receive training and provide encouragement to each other in our field. I have always enjoyed National Conference, a highlight of the year for me; I get to meet new faces and catch up with some older ones! This year however, National Conference was very different in that it was when I was coronated with my Crown.
I have often wondered whether, back in 1982, if John Cornwell and the other pioneering 30 Solicitors realised the major impact their idea would have the world of family law in the four decades that followed, and how their actions have helped improve the practice of our area of law whilst encouraging a constructive resolution of family disputes. We now have 6,500 members across the country – well that’s quite some achievement.
Remaining central to our ethos today, as it did 40 years ago, is the Code of Practice, adopted by our members, embodied in the Law Society protocol and incorporated throughout our good practice guides. The Code has fundamentally changed the way family law is practised with a positive effect on individuals, couples and their children.
Over the last 40 years Resolution has achieved some major milestones – I have mentioned No-Fault Divorce, but also with the introduction of new and innovative practices such as collaborative law and ‘one lawyer, two clients’ known as Resolution Together, the development of YRes (for our junior members) and the continued development of our committees who offer a wealth of experience. It also is important to highlight that EDI and wellbeing quite rightly have secured our central focus.
Resolution membership has been the backbone to my career. I have been a member for over 30 years, and I have seen first-hand how the organisation has grown, changed and met the various challenges head on.
Sadly, we hear all too often of many stories of prolonged court battles within the family law system and the lengthy delays that many of our clients have had to experience. We know it should not be like this; but as John Cornwell believed 40 years ago…. there has to be “A Better Way”.
It’s this belief that drove my journey into family law and subsequently into Resolution, and I am delighted to be the new Chair of this incredible organisation.
I myself have a blended family, I have therefore personally experienced some of the issues my clients have and can relate. I try to adopt these personal experiences into my advice and support I provide to my clients. My brother went through a divorce, and he instructed a lawyer who was a member of Resolution. He was so grateful to his Solicitor adopting such a conciliatory approach to his case as he felt this undoubtedly mitigated and soothed the situation and really turned what quite easily could have been a very highly emotive and contentious case, into one where agreements were reached, and harmony was maintained.
Our clients can be on a very emotionally difficult and stressful journey when they come to us; we need to make sure we play our part well and serve to only help and improve their situation best we can. Resolution’s Code of Practice is the foundation to this approach.
My goal, as Resolution Chair, is to campaign to ensure that as many families as possible get to benefit from practical, helpful, early legal advice. I also hope in my time as Chair we will be able to forge stronger links with other family law organisations such as the Family Law Bar Association and Association of Lawyers for Children, amongst others.
One of the things I enjoy most about being a member of Resolution is the high level of support and encouragement we can offer one another. As family professionals we understand the demands and pressures of our work and through the work of the organisation we can share our experiences. I am excited by the more holistic approach taken by professionals these days and believe that will go from strength to strength and will be constantly developed with Resolution actively promoting this.
We have had an amazing first 40 years, and the challenge now is to ensure we deliver a successful future for all those working in the family justice system. The Code of Practice lives and breathes within each of our members. We continue to carry the flame lit 40 years ago in our everyday work. We have much to be proud of looking at our past and look forward to an exciting future.