Collaborative Law

By Carlos Turini – Family Law Specialist

Collaborative Practice is a dispute resolution process designed to keep parties out of Court and focused on settlement from the beginning. The parties and the respective solicitors agree to resolve all matters in dispute by negotiation.

The core elements of collaborative law are that the parties and their respective clients enter into a contractual arrangement :

  • To “negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without using court to decide any issues for the clients”
  • For the “withdrawal of the professionals if either client goes to court”
  • To “engage in open communication and information sharing, and
  • [To] create shared solutions that take into account the highest priorities of both parties”[2]

Negotiations within the collaborative law model is superior to mediation for a number of reasons.  Normally, in mediation parties take positions based on their expectations about legal entitlements. Instead the approach in collaborative law is focused on individual parties’ needs, it is open and problem-solving.

The table below lists some basic differences between “positional bargaining” as against “interest based bargaining”.

Positional Bargaining Interest-based Bargaining
  • Moving target, False demands
  • Based on hopes and concerns
  • Win/Lose
  • Mutually acceptable agreements
  • Use of emotions to manipulate
  • Stare downs / Flinching
  • Focus on objective criteria
  • Use of people and personality to manipulate
  • Problem solving and open
  • Not concerned with relationship with children, extended families
  • Focus on children and concern about other client
  • Focus on past
  • Future focused
  • Forced resolution
  • Creative problem solving
  • Dividing the family
  • Re-structuring the family
  • Limited choices
  • Divide Resources and split the difference
  • Explore choices and expand the resources
Combative Creative
Equal Equitable

elringtons has embraced collaborative law in Canberra.  Carlos Turini (Partner) is a trained collaborative law practitioner.

For more information, contact Carlos Turini:

p: (02) 6206 1300 |e:


[1] ABC Online  –  [Online] 2007 At

[2] Collaborative Lawyer Handbook L.H. 1.5  © CDTT LLC – Principles of Collaborative Practice – © IACP

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