Direct Mediation Services

Listening, understanding, resolving

Family mediators near me

We are a team of Family Mediation Council accredited mediators and we are here to support you in more than 230 locations across England and Wales. We offer Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM) both online and in person. All our mediators are accredited, which means they can sign important court forms such as C100 and Form A

It is good to put a name to a face and that is why we have this page! We are immensely proud of our diversity and believe it gives us a unique outlook. With our family mediators near you, we embrace difference ranging from age, gender, sexuality, race, culture, language, religion and disability.  We are looking forward to meeting you and supporting you through family mediation.

Our focus is to support you and your family during this time of change, such as separations, divorces or family reestructuring. As trained and impartial mediators, our aim is to help you find a resolution that works for everyone, without the need of making a court application.

Our team is supported by a non-executive board of directors who bring valuable business insight, governance and strategic guidance. We are all here for you, to give you the support and guidance you need at this time. Independent mediators for your divorce mediation.

Your independent mediators team

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Stuart Hanson B Mus (Hons), FMCA, PPC

Managing Partner, Internal Supervisor & Family Mediator

Stuart is a Family Mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council (FMC) in all issues and a member of Resolution. He is also a Professional Practice Consultant (PPC) and the Legal Aid internal supervisor at the firm. He also delivers training for mediators nationally on the subject of the LGBT+ family in the mediation room and the international family. He was previously a family magistrate in Leeds. Stuart works as a mediator both in the UK and abroad. He is the founder of the company and was instrumental in building the national network of mediators which the firm has. In 2018 Stuart was presented with a National Mediation Award and for a number of years was on the board of directors at The College of Mediators.

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Dorian Ramirez Sosa PhD

Office & Finance Manager

Dorian initially studied in his home country of Mexico and later graduated with a PhD from the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Leeds. His research focused on the development of alternative biological routes for the conversion of waste-to-energy. Dorian’s scientific and analytical approaches are applied in his managing of the company’s office and finances. He is fluent in both English and Spanish and is supporting the business in its development in Spain.

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Jan Coulton LLB (Hons), FMCA, PPC

External Supervisor & Family Mediator

Jan has been a mediator for 30 years. She is accredited by the FMC and has held many senior positions. She was previously the Director of the Family Mediators Association and a Member of the Ministry of Justice Family Mediation Steering Group. She is also a qualified solicitor. Until 2021 Jan was the Chair of The College of Mediators and in 2018 and 2020 won Family Mediator of the Year at the National Mediation Awards. She is the firm’s Legal Aid external supervisor.

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Ferdinard Chimere BA

Administrator

Ferdinard is the voice of Direct Mediation Services, as he handles all the calls coming into the business. He graduated from University of Nigeria Nsukka with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. Previously, he was a client service and quality assurance specialist for an outsourcing company. In his free time, Ferdinard loves football, music and literature. If you have heard him speak, you won’t be surprised that he is also a voice-over artist!

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Sandra Ospina B.Eng

Administrator

Sandra graduated from the National University of Colombia, with a degree in civil engineering, specialising in materials testing and quality management systems. In addition to this, she is also a professional translator, English to Spanish. Sandra works alongside Dorian working on maintaining the company’s compliance. In her free time, Sandra enjoys dancing and travelling.

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Donna Robinson FMCA

Family Mediator

Donna trained with FMA in 2018 and is accredited by the Family Mediation Council. Donna spent many years in Financial Services before coming to mediation. She qualified with the Chartered Insurance Institute to a degree level. She has a wealth of experience in the financial matters covering a wide range of areas, such as property, finances and mortgages. Donna is a member of the Family Mediation Council and the College of Mediators. Throughout her career, Donna has helped a number of high profile clients, such as Anthea Turner and features in her books “How to Survive Divorce”.  Donna is a mum with two grown up children.

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Lesley Dudleston FMCA

Family Mediator

Lesley trained as a mediator with the FMA (Family Mediators Association) in 2014. She is accredited by the Family Mediation Council in all issues. Lesley mediates on both financial and child cases with particular experience working with families with teenagers – she is a mum with two teenage children. Lesley also has experience of working with clients on the autistic spectrum. Lesley is a member of Resolution and the Family Mediation Association.

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Fran Bishop LLB, PGDL, FMCA

Family Mediator

Fran graduated from the University of Leeds in law and later was admitted to the Law Society of England and Wales to practice as a solicitor. After working for many years in commercial law, Fran decided to retrain as a family mediator with the Family Mediation Association (FMA). She is a mum to three teenagers and in her free time Fran is a trustee of the Friends of Erlestoke, a charity which looks to the wellbeing and rehabilitation of prisoners.

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Rachel Marsden LLB (Hons), LPC, FMCA

Family Mediator

Rachel practiced as a solicitor specialising in family law for 14 years. She then decided to embark on a new challenge and retrained as a Family Mediator. Since January 2016 she has worked exclusively as a Family Mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council and is a member of The College of Mediators. Rachel is a busy working mum with two young children. 

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Alan Nairn LLB (Hons), FMCA

Family Mediator

Rachel practiced as a solicitor specialising in family law for 14 years. She then decided to embark on a new challenge and retrained as a Family Mediator. Since January 2016 she has worked exclusively as a Family Mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council and is a member of The College of Mediators. Rachel is a busy working mum with two young children. 

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Andrew Smith LLB (Hons), FMCA

Family Mediator

Andrew (Andy) is a Family Mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council, and is a member of Resolution. Andy is a family law solicitor with many years of experience of working with families, having qualified as a solicitor in 2007. He has worked in family law in the Yorkshire region for over 16 years. Andy mediates on all issues, including finances and children. Andy is also a full-time dad, with two young children.

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Annabelle Flinn LLB (Hons), PGDL, FMCA

Family Mediator

Annabelle studied law at Aberystwyth University and gained a LLB (Hons). She then went on to do her postgraduate diploma in law. Annabelle has been a solicitor for 20 years practicing in many areas. She also works with community organisations to help those who are survivors of Domestic violence and provides support to vulnerable families and the homeless. Annabelle is working towards her full accreditation. Her aim is to help families find their new normal in difficult times.

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Will Heppel, BA (Hons), MSc, FMCT

Family Mediator

Will completed his post-graduate studies at the University of Leeds and has worked in the media and entertainment industry for 15 years. Will completed the Family Mediation Council-approved family mediation training and is working toward accreditation. He is a committed and enthusiastic mediator with a particular interest in assisting parents to work together to determine and sustainable co-parenting plan. Will enjoys the outdoor life and he regularly surfs, and enjoys running with his border collie and boxing.

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Jonathan Crosskey LLB (Hons), FMCT

Family Mediator

Jonathan practised as a Solicitor for 35 years following his graduation in law from the University of London. During his legal career, Jonathan undertook a variety of legal work but with a particular emphasis on family law, where he represented clients in the Family Court and the Family Division of the High Court.
Jonathan is a member of Resolution and as a family lawyer was accredited by them as a specialist and was also an advanced member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel. He then decided to leave legal practice behind and train as a family mediator, having come to the conclusion that mediation is a ‘better way” to resolve family issues.
Jonathan has two grown-up children and outside work, enjoys walking and sports generally-more watching than participating these days!

Non-executive board

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Mr Peter Wren

Chair

A dedicated educator and leader, Peter began his career journey as a History graduate from the University of Bristol, later obtaining a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Liverpool. His initial years were invested in teaching at comprehensive schools.

Transitioning from the classroom, Peter took on the mantle of curriculum development, firstly with a Local Education Authority TVEI scheme and subsequently for a Regional Advisory Council. This experience served as a foundation for what would become a remarkable two-decade leadership tenure. As Chief Executive/Executive Director, Peter provided strategic direction to several awarding organisations, including CENTRA, ABC Awards, VTCT, Gatehouse Awards, and ESB.

In retirement Peter has chaired the IWFM Awarding Organisation for six years, further cementing his legacy in the educational realm. On a personal note, demonstrating his commitment to lifelong learning, Peter recently achieved Level 1 proficiency in British Sign Language.

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Mr Paul Philbert Mbe

Non-Executive Board

A prodigious talent from a young age, Paul Philbert began his musical journey at the prestigious Purcell School, exploring various instruments before finding his true calling in timpani and percussion. He furthered his studies at the Trinity College of Music, London, and subsequently carved out a distinguished career, performing with renowned orchestras worldwide including the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Notably, Paul became the founding Principal Timpanist of the Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s pioneering majority Black, Asian, and Ethnically Diverse ensemble. Beyond performing, Paul’s dedication to education is very clear in that he has been a timpani tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, held leadership roles with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and sits on boards for esteemed institutions like the Association of British Orchestras. Recognised for his immense contributions, Paul was honoured with an MBE in 2020. Paul has sat on the non-executive board for The Intelligent Solutions Group Ltd for 3 years.

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Ms Rachel Seabright

Non-Executive Board

Rachel graduated from the Open University in law. She has carved a diverse career path anchored in advocacy, rights, and governance. She initiated her journey assisting Members of Parliament in constituent casework, a foundational experience that propelled her into rights-based roles with the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Refugee Council. Leveraging her expertise, Rachel specialised in immigration law for a decade before pioneering her own practice.

In her senior managerial role within the Corporate Affairs department of a prominent NHS Trust, Rachel has deepened her understanding of governance, translating this acumen to her role on the board. Her solution-oriented mindset, coupled with her extensive experience, facilitates person-centred and sustainable outcomes, addressing varied societal challenges. Exemplifying her commitment to social justice, Rachel serves on the board of ‘Changing Our Lives’, a charity steadfastly challenging health inequalities and social injustice and is a local councillor.

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Mr Brian Egan

Non-Executive Board

With an M.S. from Pepperdine University and a BS from San Jose State University, Brian founded Clarity Mediation and Facilitation LLC in 1999. His 26-year stint at Hewlett-Packard honed his skills in organisational development and team dynamics. A certified mediator and facilitator, he has adeptly managed almost 3000 mediation cases since 2001, even handling international disputes. Serving as a securities Arbitrator for FINRA since 2008, he is an active board member at the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and The Intelligent Solutions Group Ltd. Brian’s contributions to mediation have been recognised with the OMA’s Spirit of Mediation Award in 2019. He is also a Vietnam-era US Air Force veteran.

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Mr Alan Cotton

Non-Executive Board

Alan Cotton is a highly accomplished non-executive director with a wealth of experience in advising businesses on business and marketing strategy. With a BA in Business Administration, specialising in Marketing and Economics, and Honours in Marketing from Strathclyde University, Alan brings a strong educational foundation to his role. Having successfully run his own businesses for over 25 years and acted as a business advisor for more than 30 years, he has a proven track record of steering growth and facilitating effective structural change across various business sectors. Alan’s expertise and insights have been invaluable in helping organisations achieve their goals.

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Mr Joel Walker

Non-Executive Board

As our youngest board member, Joel infuses the organisation with the invaluable perspectives of Generation Z. While this is his inaugural board role, he seamlessly takes on this role alongside his accountancy profession and ongoing studies. Proudly affiliated with the Association of Accounting Technicians. Joel has been fortunate to train under the forensic accountant, Pete Con, with whom The Intelligent Solutions Group Ltd shares a robust professional bond. Joel’s unique blend of youthful insight, academic vigour, and professional association ensures we remain connected to evolving generational dynamics while upholding the highest standards in financial oversight and innovation.