Since its inception in the 1980s, the Collaborative Law movement has spread rapidly to most of the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. Over 22,000 lawyers worldwide have been trained in Collaborative Law and England and Wales has seen more than 1,250 lawyers trained since the 2003 launch, encouraged by both the judiciary and Resolution – the speciailst family lawyers’ organisation (previously known as the SFLA – Solicitors Family Law Association).
Supreme Court Justice Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore became the first member of the Supreme Court to publicly endorse Collaborative Law in a 2009 address to London family lawyers. Supreme Court Justice Lord Wilson of Culworth also reaffirmed his commitment to Collaborative Law and other Family Dispute Resolution Services in a more recent address on 29 November 2011.
National Collaborative Law organisations have also been established in other jurisdictions including Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Kenya, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland and Uganda.
Resolution has assumed responsibility for the training and accreditation of all collaborative professionals in England and Wales. A growing number of English family lawyers join a local practice group called a ‘pod’ upon completion of their Collaborative Law training. This group will meet together with collaboratively trained members of other professions on a monthly basis to discuss practice issues. This collaboration will enable these professionals to improve effectiveness when working together on cases.