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Family Law

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05 JAN 2011

Denise Carter and Professor Patrick Parkinson join iFLG

iFLGThe International Family Law Group (iFLG) is delighted to announce that two of the world's leading family law professionals are joining as Consultants to contribute to its continued success as a dynamic international family law practice.

Denise Carter OBE, the former Director of reunite, the world's leading child abduction charity, and Prof Patrick Parkinson OA, a highly respected family law academic across the world and also Australian solicitor, become consultants on 4 January 2011.

Denise Carter is a Mediator and is Head of Mediation Services at iFLG. For the past 17 years, Denise has been the Director of reunite International Child Abduction Centre, the world's leading non-governmental organisation looking after the interests of abducted children and lobbying for improved changes in law and practice internationally.

In 2000 she received an OBE for her dedication to the cause of international parental child abduction through her work with the charity.  Denise is a highly experienced and hugely respected Mediator in international child disputes and particularly in the areas of parental child abduction and child relocation, covering both Hague and Non-Hague States. She has worked with many of the world's leading children law specialists including lawyers, judges and other mediators.

In recent years, she has been highly innovative in the development of mediation in high conflict family cases. She has led the very successful pilot project creating a model for mediation in child abduction cases simultaneous with court proceedings. Denise has mediated successfully a number of high profile cases.

Denise continues to be an independent expert to the Hague Conference working alongside Professor William Duncan, Deputy Secretary General, and other world leading experts. She has prepared reports, undertaken research and made representations to UK and other government departments, judges and family law experts, nationally and internationally in respect of international child issues.

She has been invited to speak by governments and international non-governmental agencies in many countries around the world. She has had particular involvement in building up protocols and inter-country arrangements for the return of abducted children with Pakistan, Egypt and other countries in the Middle East.

Denise is often the first port of call for media comment on international children cases by both national and international radio and television. Denise heads the iFLG Mediation Services team which offers family dispute resolution services in mediation, early neutral evaluation, arbitration, collaborative law and out of court settlements.

Patrick Parkinson is Professor of Law at the University of Sydney and one of the world's leading family law academics as well as an Australian solicitor. He has particular expertise on parenting after separation, relocation, child support, and complex property matters. He is Special Counsel at Watts McCray, Sydney and Canberra, iFLG's associated law firm in Australia. Professor Parkinson is also a member of the Executive Council of the International Society of Family Law.

From 2004 to 2007, Professor Parkinson was Chair of the Family Law Council which advises the Australian government on family law issues. He also chaired the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support in 2004 to 2005 which led to major changes in the child support scheme. He has been a member of the NSW Child Protection Council, and was Chair of a major review of the NSW law concerning child protection which led to the enactment of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

He has on several occasions been invited to meet with UK Government Ministers and officials to discuss English family law reform. Patrick is frequently invited as a speaker at national and international family law conferences. He has written extensively on family law issues.

Patrick studied Law at the University of Oxford and did a Masters' degree at the University of Illinois LL.M.). He has held positions at the University of Illinois and at the University of Wales, Cardiff. In 1986 he moved to Australia to teach at the University of Sydney, and has been there ever since. He has also held visiting positions at the University of Victoria, British Columbia and the University of Florida.

In 2009 he was appointed to the Order of Australia which is awarded for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group. Patrick's citation was awarded for his service to the law and to legal education, particularly in the areas of family and child protection law, as an author, through contributions to policy reform, and to the community.

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