top of page

 Speakers for our 2020 Conference

Our 2020 Conference features international workshop presenters and keynote speakers including the following:

michelle+May+(1) crop.jpg
The Hon. Michelle May AM QC (Australia)

Having retired from the Bench in 2017, as Senior Judge of the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia, Michelle May has returned to the Bar to practice in alternate dispute resolution.

Michelle May is an accredited mediator and arbitrator by the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM), and a member of the Resolution Institute.

Michelle was a barrister for 17 years before her appointment as a judge.


Other roles include the President of the AIJA, Chair of the Judge’s Forum of the International Bar Association, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.


Most recently in June 2017, she was appointed a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Jacinta Gallant headshot reszied.jpg
Jacinta Gallant (Canada)

Jacinta Gallant is a Collaborative Lawyer, Mediator and Trainer living in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

She is the principal of Waterstone Law Group and owner of Innovation for Lawyers Inc.  


Her law practice focuses on helping parties resolve legal disputes through mediation and collaboration.

As a trainer,  Jacinta works most often with experienced professionals who want to deepen their skills to be more natural and authentic in practice.


Jacinta offers innovative approaches and experiential learning that has been described as “transformational”, “really useful”, “fun”  and “insightful” by colleagues around the world.

Jacinta is a member of the Training Faculty of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, a member of the Canadian Bar Association National ADR Section,  the IACP Training Curriculum Task Force and a co-founder of Collaborative Professionals of Canada. She has delivered highly-acclaimed training throughout North America and in Europe, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. 

Suzanne Todd.jpg
Suzanne Todd (UK)

Suzanne Todd leads the divorce and family team of Withers Worldwide in London.

She is amongst the most highly accoladed international family lawyers of her generation in London, and is rated highly in all legal directories.


Suzanne’s strength is her effectiveness as a communicator - she is able to strike a rapport with individuals from all backgrounds, and to build and earn their trust, which in turn enables her to get to the nub of what is needed quickly in times of high emotion. 

Her practice varies from dealing with complex financial cases (many with an international angle and often dealing with family businesses, inherited wealth and tax and pensions issues) to handling private law children disputes and the negotiation of pre and postnuptial agreements.

Suzanne’s career has a substantial Italian theme running through it, which has resulted in her establishing a strong reputation as one of the ‘go to’ family solicitors in London for Italian family-related matters. She is recognised in the marketplace for this niche, as well as having the confidence to deliver family law presentations in Italian.

Suzanne’s practice firmly encompasses all dispute resolution processes. She is a Collaborative lawyer and Mediator.

She is part of the firm’s Italian team and chairs the Women’s Networking Group.

Suzanne contributes to the national press (including the Financial Times, FT Weekend, The Times and the Evening Standard) and legal press (The Lawyer, Law Society Gazette, Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal, AIAF [Italian Family Law Journal], Family Law, LexisNexis and Trusts & Estates Law and Tax Journal), as well as publications such as Managing Partner, Spear’s, Vanity Fair - Italy.

Shelby Timmins45264 (1) resized.jpg
Shelby Timmins (Australia)

Before stepping away from the 'dark side' of family law, Shelby Timmins was an Accredited Family Law Specialist.

Shelby holds a Masters in Law from the University of Sydney, is a Nationally Accredited Mediator, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, Conflict Coach, Collaborative Professional and Doyles 2019 recommended mediator.

Shelby is a training faculty member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, Collaborative Professionals (NSW) Inc and President of Southern Sydney Collaborative Professionals.

Shelby has over 18 years experience as a family lawyer and spent much of this at one of Sydney’s most respected specialist Family Law firms. Shelby is now an author and presenter in the area of family dispute resolution and interdisciplinary collaborative practice.

Shelby is passionate about doing things differently in the family law space and is determined to get parties, their lawyers and other professionals to look at separation, divorce and the breakdown of families in a more respectful and future focussed way.

With this in mind, Shelby stepped aside from practising law and established a boutique family law dispute resolution practice which specialises in mediation, interdisciplinary collaborative practice, conflict coaching, separation and divorce support and family law wellness workshops.

Her business is called DIVORCE DONE DIFFERENTLY!

Renata Padrao (Brazil)

Renata Padrao is a Family lawyer and Senior Mediator in Brazil with the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro and has undertaken more than 200 sessions.

In 2018, Renata undertook her dissertation for the LLM at the University of Westminster in London regarding international child abduction and wrongful relocation (involving theory and practice of Law and mediation) and received the sole Distinction in the class.

She published an article The need for a new International Families' Convention on parental child abduction or relocation and other measures concerning children"in the first issue of 2019 of the International Family Law Journal, UK.

Renata is currently providing training for mediators at the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro to enhance awareness about child abduction and how to deal with such cases.

Brian Galbraith.jpg
Brian Galbraith (Canada)

Brian Galbraith is an experienced Barrie, Ontario divorce and family lawyer and mediator.   He has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Brian helped bring mediation to Simcoe County as a founding member and shareholder of The Mediation Centre of Simcoe County Inc. It was awarded the contract to conduct all mediations for Family Court in both Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka.


Brian also served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association for Family Mediation and was its president for two years.

Recently, he was instrumental in bringing Collaborative Practice to Simcoe County serving as the first president of Collaborative Practice Simcoe County, an organization supporting the promotion and development of Collaborative Practice in the area. He was also president of the Simcoe County Family Law Lawyers’ Association. Brian teaches the Collaborative Team Practice to lawyers and other professionals through The Divorce Team. 


Brian is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Cropped pic of Me in Christchurch - Apri
Leanne Bamford (Australia)

Leanne Bamford is a Social Worker who has been working in the Family Law arena since 2003, first as Family Consultant with the Family Law Court of Australia, and then as a private practitioner, mainly as a Family Report Writer. 

Leanne is trained in the area of collaborative practice and can work as a Child Expert or a Mental Health Neutral (Coach) for mediations and collaborative meetings. 


Leanne is also trained as a Parenting Co-ordinator.

Through out her 20 year plus career, Leanne has had a keen interest in Trauma, and trained as a Critical Incident Debriefer in the early 90’s which saw her play a role in the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre and the debriefing of Flight Crew and Medical Teams from the Royal Australian Air Force who responded to the Bali Bombings.  She has also been involved in many smaller scaled debriefing and defusings over the years, and continues to provide support to a variety of professionals who require debriefings, or an opportunity to process the stresses and strains of their professional responsibilities. Leanne offers this service to lawyers, barristers, social workers, vets and medical practitioners.

In recent times this has led Leanne to study and research areas such as the neurobiology of the brain, and in particular the response to trauma and how this relates to many associated issues in family breakdowns, such as domestic violence, mental health and drug and alcohol issues, for her own professional development, and is very keen to share what she has learnt and how this knowledge has enhanced her practice. 


Leanne presented at our 2018 Conference on the impact of coercive and controlling abuse on children from a trauma-informed perspective.  She is excited to be able to present once again and expand on the understanding of trauma and how effectively this can enhance our approach to assisting our clients, and also maintaining our own “sanity.” 

Rachel Hernandez resized.jpg
Rachel Hernandez (USA)

Rachel Hernandez is the founding partner of Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions.


She is a fellow of both the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.


Rachel is Co-chair of the International Academy’s 2019 Annual Forum Local Host Committee and serves on Illinois State Bar Association Solo Small Practice Committee.

Rachel serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Crisis Center and volunteers in her church and community.

Rachel utilizes an innovative approach to family legal issues including collaborative divorce, mediation, limited scope representation and mid-marital or pre-divorce legal counselling.

Rachel offers clients mid-marital (postnuptial) agreements in order to strengthen marriages or reduce stress and litigation in the event of an eventual divorce.

Michael Keogh (Australia)

Michael is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.


He operates his own mediation practice in Cairns, North Queensland.


He is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and collaboratively trained practitioner.


He has practised as a family lawyer for over 30 years

Dr Tina Sinclair R Psych (Canada)

Having over 40 years in clinical/counselling psychology, mediation and collaborative practice, Tina’s experience is broad. She completed an undergraduate degree in Hobart, Tasmania, a Masters degree in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and her Ph.D. at Cambridge, England.

Along with being a co-Founder of MELCA, Tina has a private practice in Calgary, and is Founder and Director of Peacemakers for Families She provides individual, couple, and family psychotherapy, as well as relationship conflict resolution (mediation and collaboration).

Tina has worked with children and teens, as well as individual adults, couples and families, in occupational, domestic, clinical and institutional settings. She has worked with corporations and academic institutions as an organizational consultant as well as a therapist and mediator. She has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level in counselling programs and Continuing Legal Education.


Tina’s recent teaching has focused on training collaborative professionals (family lawyers, psychologists and financial advisors) in how to work in interdisciplinary teams in collaborative practice, the powerful ADR approach to separation and divorce. Through trainings, conference presentations and workshops, Tina’s reputation as a skilled and innovative collaborative practitioner is known within Canada and overseas – Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Europe.


She also provides mentoring and supervision to relationship counsellors, mediators, and mental health professionals in the collaborative movement.

Marguerite Picard (Australia)

Marguerite Picard is an Accredited Specialist Family Lawyer, collaborative lawyer and trainer, mediator and arbitrator.


She is driven by a passion to help families flourish after separation, and to keep them out of court.


To create a new standard in divorce, Marguerite established MELCA in 2009 with financial planning and psychologist colleagues, so divorce can be seen as an emotional crisis with financial and legal consequences, rather than as a strictly legal problem. The depth of resolution and the quality of family law settlements created by integrated interdisciplinary teams is far removed from court-based solutions. The financial planners, lawyers and psychologists are all able to do their best work for families in this model of practice, which is used in mediation and collaboration at MELCA, and is all about the preparation.

Beryl McNeill (Canada)

Beryl McNeill strongly believes that mutual respect and understanding go a long way toward resolving family law matters.


As a Registered Collaborative Law practitioner in Calgary, she has dedicated her firm to amicable, cooperative negotiation as a means for settling divorces.

In 2012 Beryl established the McNeill Family Law office so that she could concentrate her practice on assisting couples to divorce amicably and constructively, without the destruction that often accompanies a traditional separation or divorce.

Beryl is very active with the Family Bar and the Collaborative Law Community. Beryl’s involvement provides her clients with assurance that she has her finger on the pulse of Family Law in Alberta, offering them a distinct advantage in their quest for equity and civility.

Her professional commitments include:

  • Collaborative Practice Canada Steering Committee

  • Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Dispute Resolution Officer

  • Alberta Bar Admission Course Instructor and Evaluator (CPLED)

  • Alberta Family Wellness Initiative Innovation Team Leader

  • The Association of Collaborative Professionals Board of Directors and Past President

  • Collaborative Divorce Alberta Association, board of directors and Past President

  • The Canadian Bar Association Family Law Section Alberta South President 2009-2010

Sharna Clermont (Australia)

Sharna Clermont has a depth of passion for quality of life like no other.


With over nine years as an award-winning Chef, five Years as a Personal Trainer over two years as a Biogenetic Health Coach utilising one of the world's most comprehensive science and technology-based health and wellness platforms, Sharna has spent years supporting staff, companies and clientele to:

- expand, grow and work smarter not harder in all areas of life

 - streamline and create ease of implementation of products and systems to support all to maximize productivity whilst maintaining a healthy life balance

- empower everyone to understand their own unique genius along with each other's genius and how together they can co-create a company, business or lifestyle that is at the forefront of 2020 and beyond.

Chris Arnold (Canada)

Chris is a family law lawyer, mediator, and Collaborative professional who has passionately advocated for family-centred spouse-controlled separation solutions since he started his practice more than 25 years ago. 

He was an early zealous participant in the growth of Collaborative movement in Ontario, organizing leading and energising various Collaborative groups and organizations in Ottawa and at the provincial level. 

Chris has presented on peacemaking for the Law Society of Ontario, taught the Bar Admission course, at Algonquin College, and established and taught one of the first law-school-level Collaborative courses in the world at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.  That started long enough ago that he has now had cases with his former students – and peacefully and respectfully resolving family law issues outside of court with them has been one of his happiest professional achievements. 


Chris is excited to collaborate with such a dazzling group of speakers and is really looking forward to the event!

bottom of page