Andrew is an experienced Family Law Solicitor and Accredited Family Mediator.
Family Solicitor and Accredited Family Mediator Andrew Baines joined Switalskis Solicitors in 2007. He is currently based in Bradford but offers family mediation and family law advice to clients across Yorkshire.
Andrew takes a particular interest in the psychological aspects of legal problems affecting families and has completed courses in counselling and psychotherapeutic strategies. He uses his knowledge in these areas to assist clients to take a constructive approach to relationship breakdown.
Andrew is a board member of the Family Mediation Association and Chair of the Practice Standards Ethics and Education Committee. He is an experienced trainer and has provided training both to Switalskis staff and external organisations. He is also a former member of Resolution and has written several articles on family law practice for the Review, Resolution’s monthly journal for family lawyers, as well as other publications. Recognising the need for children to play a more inclusive role in resolving family issues, Andrew also offers Child Inclusive Mediation.
- No more Clients from Hell Human Givens Journal 2008
- A Contextual Framework for Addressing Family Disputes The Review March 2008
- Helping the Client The Review November 2008
- Beyond Reason, Using Emotions as You Negotiate The Review 2009
- Finding Solutions Family Law Journal March 2016
Andrew Baines is accredited by the FMC (Family Mediation Council) (URN: 0576A)
We asked Andrew:
Q: How long have you worked in the legal profession?
A: I started work in the Nottingham County Magistrates Court in 1981 after a short stint working for Nottinghamshire Social Services Child Care Department, moving to Bradford Magistrates Court in 1988 where I was Principal Court Clerk for the Domestic Panel.
Q: What do you do in your role at Switalskis?
A: I am Switalskis’ accredited mediator, having initially qualified as a mediator in 1998. I also undertake a wide variety of family work calling upon my 32 years of experience in family work.
Q: What can clients expect from you?
A: When clients attend for mediation, they can expect someone who understands what they are experiencing and will help them to meet in a safe place, both physically and emotionally, where they can discuss the difficulties they are experiencing as a separating couple. As a family solicitor a client can expect the same understanding and support together with the experience necessary to ensure that their wishes and needs are fully supported and expressed through the legal process.
Q: What do you love about your job?
A: As a mediator, it is great to help parents to talk sensibly and constructively to each other – and then to see the many benefits that their children will experience now that their parents are talking to each other. As a family solicitor I love speaking up for my clients in court. Often it is the first time that they will have had the opportunity to have their story properly and fully explained.
Q: What drew you to your specialism?
A: The two areas of mediation and advocacy seem to be poles apart, in that mediation is about the couple working together with the support of the mediator whereas advocacy appears to be very much one parent pitted against the other. However to be successful at either practice requires a deep understanding of the psychology of how people tick. It is this fascination with helping people at a deep level that drew me to this work.
Q: Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
A: Professionally: Helping a client “keep it together” during two days of intense cross examination in person from her ex partner – we were successful in obtaining an order protecting her and her child. Personally: nearly three decades of marriage, each year better than the last.
Q: What are your interests outside of work?
A: I still get a buzz from watching the British Dressage, Showjumping and Three Day Event teams – once having competed in eventing against a British Olympian. I am also a director of the Pennine Community Power Co. a co-operative organisation which set up a wind turbine, the profits from which are used to fund local community projects.