LKW Family Mediation was started by Louisa Whitney in 2013. After working as a family lawyer for 11 years, Louisa shifted her focus to family mediation. Louisa found that her expertise in communications, understanding separating couples’ needs, as well as her ability to empathise were better suited to this approach to separation.
Now, as a family mediator, she is better equipped to give her clients the tools they need to avoid escalating situations and to make the process run more amicably. She helps them to minimise the effects of their separation on their families, and on themselves.
Louisa’s approach to mediation is tailored to the couples themselves. What makes Louisa unique is her connection to spirituality. Being a Reiki and yoga practitioner in her personal life has helped Louisa to be more in-tuned with her clients’ needs during mediation. Louisa is also a Highly Sensitive Person and she has dealt with both the low of this in being overwhelmed by things happened around her and the strength of this in helping her to see what’s going on in the mediation room at a greater depth. This led to her developing the four Cs which she sees as the four essential pillars of effective communication. These are Calm, Conscious, Conscious and Compassionate. It also led her to develop tools for HSPs going through divorce.
She brings patience and a certain calm to a space that fosters constructive and practical conversations, this is very beneficial when the couple can be feeling overwhelmed by fear and anger.
Don’t let the spirituality fool you. Louisa is also an expert number cruncher and a whiz at spreadsheets when it comes to finances. Her formal training as a lawyer keeps her grounded in her practice and she brings the knowledge from her practice as a lawyer into the mediation room. Louisa is also a PPC supporting and mentoring 20 other mediators. She trains other family practitioners including lawyers, mediators and other professionals. She also sits on Resolution’s standards committee and has recently been appointed as an assessor to the Family Mediation Council (the professional body for mediators). Louisa balances these commitments with her mediation workload and achieving a good work life balance which she knows makes her a better mediator.
Outside of work Louisa enjoys yoga and swimming and is often to be found in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes in the vain hope of finding a dish that everybody in her house will eat. She offers mediation client meetings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
In recent years Louisa is delighted to have been joined by other professional, empathetic and committed mediators so please meet the other members of the LKW Family Mediation Team:
Emma is an Accredited Mediator having achieved this status in 2023. This is a huge process putting together the portfolio of experience and skills. Emma has experience of mediating child arrangements, property and finance matters. She is also a non-practising solicitor, with over 8 years’ experience of all aspects of family law. She has a particular specialism in children and parenting matters, having a Masters Degree in Child Law. Emma is a member of the Family Mediation Council and the College of Mediators.
Emma decided to train as a Mediator after taking a career break to raise her two daughters. When thinking about returning to work, she realised that she missed helping and supporting her clients but she did not miss the court process! Emma is known for her empathetic and caring approach to mediation. She takes great pride in applying her legal knowledge and communication skills to support her clients with moving on from the issues that are causing them difficulty.
Emma enjoys spending time with her friends and family (usually over coffee and cake), reading and recently started running (very, very slowly).
Jo is a Trained Family Mediator and non-practising Solicitor. Jo worked as a solicitor within the criminal and family court judiciary for 14 years and has extensive experience of seeing first hand that the Court process can be lengthy, protracted and can negatively affect couples and children both emotionally and financially.
Jo also worked for many years in contentious civil litigation and has used mediation in this area as a method of resolving disputes. She believes in the mediation process to help families communicate better, resolve disputes and reach agreement in a positive and constructive way.
Jo is a member of the Family Mediators Association and the Family Mediation Council and is also a Mental Health first Aider. She enjoys running, yoga and travel, and spending time with her family.
Michelle is a trained Mediator, working towards Accreditation, with experience of mediating child arrangements, property, and finance matters. She is also a Counsellor, with over 18 years of experience working with couples, individuals, and young people. Michelle is a member of the Family Mediation Council and Resolution.
Michelle decided after working with couples for over 18 years, more couples were coming into her practice wanting advice and support on how to tell the children they were separating and how to be supportive parents in the process. Michelle was drawn to the role of a mediator seeing the great benefits it had for couples. Michelle has good listening skills and is very approachable and caring and always has her clients interest at the forefront of her work. Michelle has seen the devastation of high conflict in families and wants to put her skills to supporting families have the best outcome. Michelle is also able to offer mediation appointments on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings to help those struggling to arrange mediation within the working week.
Michelle enjoys travelling to Spain, spending time with her family and running half and full marathons.
What to expect when you work with LKW Family Mediation
- Extensive knowledge about the divorce process
- 17+ years’ experience working with separating couples and seeing the different arrangements that have worked for each of them
- Individualised approach to each problem
- Technical know-how around financial issues
- Understanding of child development and the effects of separation
- Empathy and Compassion
- A sense of humour!
More on mediation
If you’d like to hear more from Louisa talking about her passion for family mediation then have a look at the video below. It’s under 5 minutes and gives you an idea of why Louisa is so passionate about using this process for separating couples and how this led her to set up LKW Family Mediation: