THE Mediation Specialists for the East Midlands

Family Team

Elizabeth J Bilton LLB (Hons)

Elizabeth J Bilton heads the team of Family Mediators at Midlands Mediation

She started out in her career by qualifying as a Solicitor in 1993. She has consolidated her legal practice by gaining experience in all aspects of traditional family disputes in addition to achieving qualifications as an Advanced Family Panel member and member of the Children’s Panel with the Law Society (for further information see her linked profile with

In 1997 Elizabeth trained as an All Issues Mediator with Resolution, which is the leading training organisation for solicitors in professional practice (

Elizabeth set up Midlands Mediation in 1998. She has developed her Mediation experience and developed a team of professional and experienced Mediators who would be able to meet the diverse needs of families in conflict.

Elizabeth was granted a Legal Services Commission contract in 1999. She has gained over 14 years direct experience in offering All Issues Mediation services to the public, which has been invaluable in increasing the likelihood of supporting those undertaking mediations in achieving successful outcomes.

Elizabeth undertakes both sole and co mediation, and offers to her clients face to face mediations or shuttle mediations to deal with all property, finance, business, workplace, debt, and pension matters, families with a high or more modest asset worth, and the associated arrangements for children and ongoing communications which will entail.

As a solicitor in traditional practice with over 17 years experience Elizabeth is acutely aware of the emotional and physical conflicts that may arise on the breakdown of a family unit with the competing concerns of the parties in reordering the family structure and finances. The need to offer a safe and balanced environment for parties is carefully assessed and reviewed.

Accessing the appropriate information from the Mediator within the process is vital to the success as is the timely provision of legal advice and other professional advice which supports the parties explore and find a practical and suitable outcome for their specific circumstances.

Elizabeth supports the parties accessing legal advice throughout the Mediation process, summary information being provided to respective solicitors throughout the process. She has developed strong working links with her colleagues in the profession to achieve this.

Elizabeth has used all her skill and experience to draw to her service other disciplines which parties are likely to need to have to refer to such as Valuers, Independent Financial Advisors, Accountants, Pension Actuaries, counsellors, hypnotherapists and many others. (Please refer to the section on Family Support Services for hyperlinks.)

In 2002 Elizabeth expanded the Mediation services available to families by training in Direct Child Consultation.

The addition of this service has been increasingly popular and has offered parents and children a unique opportunity in certain situations to express their wishes and feelings safely, and have these fed back for parents, enabling them to ensure that the decisions they make meet the needs of the whole family and increasing the chance that they will work in practice.

Elizabeth is also a Private Practice Consultant, offering advice and support to those who are new entering the profession and wishing to develop their practice.

Jennie Byrne LLM

Solicitor, Specialist Family Lawyer / Child Lawyer,  Matrimonial Department (Chesterfield), Family Solicitor Mediator through Resolution

Jennie joined our Matrimonial Department in 2008, and is primarily based at our Chesterfield office.

Jennie has been dealing with family cases since 2005.  Jennie’s case work as a Solicitor covers the full spectrum of family cases, including domestic violence and abuse, financial disputes upon separation and disputes in respect of children following relationship breakdown.  Jennie also advises and represents parents in Public Law matters involving Social Services.  Jennie has provided advice to couples who are to marry as well as those wishing to separate. She is able to advise in respect of divorce proceedings as well as civil partnership dissolutions.

Jennie is able to provide advice in respect of all issues resulting from separation including change of name.

In 2010 Jennie completed her Masters in Child Law and therefore has specialist knowledge in cases involving children.

Jennie is a member of Resolution First for Family Law and fully supports the ethos which this organisation promotes.

In 2010 Jennie trained with Resolution First for Family Law as a Solicitor/Mediator for family matters and as a result is able to provide an independent advice to facilitate discussions and decisions relating to family issues, and in May 2015 Jennie became qualified as a Resolution PPC.  As a Professional Practice Consultant, Jennie  is able to supervise and support other mediators to help them develop their skills.  All qualified mediators must have a PPC and now Jennie in her new role can help other mediators acquire and maintain the appropriate standard required by Resolution.

Mark Bilton LLB (Hons) Sheff, MBA

Mark has over 25 years experience as a solicitor. He was admitted to the roll in 1985. Mark is our Managing Partner and a solicitor with considerable experience of advising clients on Commercial and Private law issues as well as being a qualified Mediator.

Mark has been a qualified commercial mediator since 2005 and qualified in 2010 as a family mediator.

Mark’s 25 years practice experience and MBA business qualification makes him a good choice for mediating many different types of issues including the following:

  • Family property disagreements
  • Building disputes
  • Will disputes
  • Contractual disputes
  • Partnership and business disputes
  • Employer/Employee disputes
  • Company disputes
  • Landlord and Tenant disputes ( commercial and domestic)
  • Property and Boundary disputes

Mark is happy to talk to people considering mediation and to their legal advisers. We can mediate where lawyers are present and when they are not. Our most successful mediations are shuttle mediations and many disputes can be resolved in this way. Mark has recently said:

“too much money and time is needlessly spent on legal proceedings, many of which can be resolved at a fraction of the cost by mediation and avoiding the stress of the prospect of going to court”.

Kate Hyland


Kate qualified as a solicitor in Ireland, prior to moving to Sheffield in mid 2009. Kate specialises in advising and assisting clients regarding all issues arising from the breakdown of relationships including divorce, co-habitational disputes  financial disputes as well as issues concerning children and domestic

Kate trained as a mediator in 2011. Prior to working as a solicitor, Kate had a full and varied career as a Marketing and Public Relations Manager in Dublin as well as five years in the USA as Public Relations Associate with the San Francisco Opera.

Sherrall Pickford LLB Hons


Sherrall has over 25 years experience as solicitor. She qualified in 1983 and has worked in general practice, Family law and Criminal law.

She has spent many years being involved in court proceedings with the victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault – she knows how these things affect individuals, children and families. Sherrall knows how court proceeds impact on the families.

Sherrall has developed excellent communication skills through years of assisting people who have survived traumatic situation. She is able to set people at their ease. She is also alive to child protection issues.

Through years of working litigation and appearing in court she has also skilled exploring solutions in difficult situations.

Sherrall qualified as a workplace mediator in 2008.

Sherrall cross qualified as a family mediator in 2012.

Chris Dawes LLB (Hons)

Chris qualified as a Solicitor in 1977 and has worked in general practice since then, specialising in family law since 1993.

A member of the Law Society Children Panel, Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) and the Association of Lawyers for Children, Chris  trained as a Family Mediator with the Law Society.

Chris represents children in care proceedings through their Children’s Guardian, as well as children directly when separate representation is necessary. Chris also acts for parents, grandparents and other family members in care proceedings. When required he represents adults through the Official Solicitor. Chris will represent individuals who have been invited to intervene in care proceedings. He regularly advises and assists in relation to Child Protection Conferences and Public Law Outline (PLO) meetings and other Social Care queries. Chris also represents parties in applications for orders for placement of children for adoption.

Chris represents both parents and children in disputes concerning residence, contact arrangements for children, adoption, prohibited steps and specific issues. Chris provides a sympathetic, common sense and professional approach in representing the best interests of his clients.

Clive is fully committed to using his skills and experience to assist people to reach an amicable outcome to their dispute.