Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Legal Services

What is the Collaborative Legal Process

Briefly, the Collaborative Legal Process is a process where you, the opposing disputing party (partner/spouse, family members, business partner, contractor, employee) and the respective lawyers and other participants commit to resolving issues in a manner acceptable to the participants, without the threat of court proceedings.

The Process consists of face-to-face meetings attended by the parties and their support team, which consists of their respective lawyers and other chosen professionals, such as coaches, consultants, accountants, and valuers to work together to settle all of the issues (participants). Resolution is achieved during those face-to-face meetings via meaningful discussion and negotiation. A major focus of the collaborative process is to maximise settlement options for the benefit of all parties.

At the face-to-face meetings we follow an agreed agenda. The meetings are face to face in order to gain understanding and work towards resolution. The participants form a team whose focus is to identify and discuss issues, decide which documents need to be exchanged, and agree on joint experts (additional team members) if they are necessary. Experts that may be brought in by agreement include coaches, child consultants, accountants, and valuers.

A significant component of the collaborative process is a commitment that, in the event that the process breaks down, neither lawyer will represent their client in litigation. Further, the joint experts, if there are any, are precluded from giving evidence for either party in any future Court hearing. This ensures commitment to the process and distinguishes Collaborative Practice from the more traditionally used litigation-based negotiation. The focus is on preserving the parties’ integrity and working constructively towards an outcome that they have complete control over and can live with. It means that the participants and additional team members are truly committed to achieving resolution through face-to-face negotiation.

More Information

You can find further information about Collaborative Law Practice at the Collaborative Resolution NZ website,, or at the international site,

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