Collaborative practice for wills and estates: A new way to practise? 24 August 2022

Host group
Host Left
Hosted by
STEP Western Australia
Event Type

Level 20
1 William Street
Perth WA 6000

The seminar will cover

Join us for an engaging discussion around and introduction to collaborative practice in the wills and estates context.

Topics that will be discussed between our expert presenters are:

  • Why do things differently?
  • Collaborative practice as an alternative to litigation and lawyer-led negotiation;
  • What is collaborative practice?
  • Where it began and where it is now being applied?
  • How it is different from traditional mediation?
  • The role of the clients, and each member of the team;
  • The value of the neutrals - coach and financial;
  • How to get involved.

About the speakers:

Zinta Harris

Zinta is the owner of Resolve Estate Law, a Brisbane-based boutique law firm specialising in contested estates and complex estate administrations. She is the only dual-accredited specialist in succession law and business law in Queensland and the only specialist of this kind in Australia who is also a nationally accredited mediator and an accredited collaborative practitioner.

Over the last 25 years in practice, Zinta has helped steer dozens of complex and bitter estate battles to resolution without going to court. But in many cases, settlements were reached at a late stage in the process when the damage had already been done, financially and relationally. It was not until recently, when Zinta first learned of the collaborative practice dispute resolution model, that she considered approaching the resolution of contested estate matters differently. This integrated, team based dispute resolution model has been used successfully in family law divorce contexts in Australia for over a decade but has only recently been used in other contexts, including contested estates, in the United States and the United Kingdom. Taking this approach Zinta has observed that when a holistic approach is taken, involving communication coaches and neutral financial advisers, estate disputes resolve more quickly, ensuring that the inheritance is not gouged by huge legal costs incurred in lengthy and hostile legal proceedings. By surrounding with a professional support team to guide them through their dispute over inheritance and taking the time to address the underlying issues that often drive inheritance disputes early (which are often human issues, not legal issues), families are able to reach a mutually beneficial compromise without the aggression and emotional toll of traditional court pathways.

The benefits of working in a team-based resolution model aren’t just for clients and their families, but it is also law-life changing for the professionals involved because the framework allows lawyers to operate collaboratively as positive problem solvers rather than aggressively as adversaries.

Zinta is the author of Rest in Peace – how to manage an estate dispute without inheriting heartache an award-winning book written for those facing an actual or anticipated fight over inheritance. She also runs collaborative practice training for wills and estates professionals nationally looking for a better way to resolve the family conflict over an estate.

Zinta was recognised as the WLAQ Trailblazer of the Year and Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards Sole Practitioner of the Year in 2019 and received the QLS Agnes McWhinney Award in 2021 for her work in this area.

Penny Keeley

Penny is a former family lawyer with over 40 years of experience practicing initially in civil litigation, crime, and family law but achieving accreditation in and turning her primary focus to family law in 1992. Since the early 1990s, Penny has trained in mediation focusing on resolving clients' issues prior to them reaching the formal legal process. She has pursued a holistic approach to the law.

Trained in collaborative practice and a nationally accredited mediator, Penny helped found Collaborative Professionals WA in 2007 and is also a founding member of the Australian Association of Collaborative Professionals.

Penny has been involved in the running of numerous organisations in the wider community including school parents associations, a sporting club, a hospital, and a number of associations related to the practice of law in WA. She was named Senior Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2010 by the Women Lawyers of Western Australia.

Cost group
Event Cost
Australian Dollar
Australian Dollar
17:30 - 19:30
CPD Points
CPD Certificates are not automatically supplied following an event. Should you require a CPD certificate confirming your attendance at an event please contact the person on the calendar listing to request this.
1 CPD point in Competency Area 2 (Professional Skills)
Payment Options
Debit card
Credit card
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