Elaine Richardson honoured with prestigious John Cornwell Award

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Elaine Richardson is awarded the John Cornwell award

Elaine Richardson was awarded the 2019 John Cornwell Award.

Leading family solicitor and mediator Elaine Richardson has been presented with the prestigious John Cornwell Award by Resolution, the family justice organisation.

Named after Resolution’s founder, the award recognises a family law practitioner who has gone above and beyond to support separating families in a non-confrontational manner. This approach is enshrined in Resolution’s Code of Practice, committing all members to support the constructive resolution of family issues while keeping the best interests of any children at the forefront. The award, which is sponsored by Iceberg Client Credit, was presented at Resolution’s 31st annual conference in Manchester.

Elaine has championed the development and promotion of modern family law practice through her own career and by working to help families find the best approach for them to achieve positive outcomes for everyone involved. She is a Collaborative Practitioner, an Accredited Mediator, Child-inclusive qualified and a PPC currently supervising 12 mediators.

In 2014 she was appointed to the National Mediation Task Force which made recommendations to the Ministry of Justice including the need to increase awareness of mediation, modernise court forms and abolish fault-based divorce. Elaine also developed and presented training on mediation awareness for court staff and changes to the family justice system.

Working across the sector with colleagues at Resolution, The Law Society, the Family Justice Council and the Family Mediation Council, with decision-makers in government, and with local practitioners, Elaine has made a vast contribution to the family law community throughout her career.

Elaine Richardson said:

“A non-confrontational approach has always been at the heart of my work and this is why I am and have been so interested in finding new and better ways to approach family problems throughout my career. Being able to access skills from different approaches like collaborative practice and mediation is a key asset for practitioners today working to find the best way for individual families to resolve their issues.

I am honoured to receive this award, especially on the eve of government’s announcement to remove fault from the divorce process, something I advocated for during the National Mediation Taskforce 5 years ago. In light of this divorce law reform, I encourage those just starting their careers in family law to invest in developing their own toolkit of approaches across family law, not only to improve the services they are able to offer to clients, but also to improve their impact upon helping families resolve their issues in the most appropriate way.”

Margaret Heathcote, National Chair of Resolution said:

“Elaine’s work throughout her career has embodied the values that Resolution stands for – finding the right approach for each family while minimising confrontation and conflict.

“We are fortunate to have members like Elaine who go above and beyond to promote the Resolution ethos and put our Code of Practice at the heart of everything they do. This award is thoroughly deserved and recognises the contribution Elaine continues to make to creating a better family justice system.


Notes to editors:

– Resolution is a family justice organisation uniting over 6,500 family law practitioners across England and Wales who agree to work in a non-confrontational manner to resolve family issues. Resolution also campaigns for improvements to the family justice system.

– The John Cornwell Award is sponsored by Iceberg Client Credit, one of a range of innovative financial products designed to meet the financing needs of firms and solicitors, and their clients.

– The John Cornwell Award is presented annually at Resolution’s National Conference.