Michael Jones, Deans Court ChambersA summary of the legal provisions that apply to placing looked after children outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales. This article contains a brief summary of...
What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am the founder, director and senior partner of specialist family law practice, Rayden Solicitors.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I founded Rayden Solicitors as a sole practitioner in 2005 after leaving Farrer & Co. I wanted to work part-time and closer to home but not lose a legal career which I had worked hard to build. My firm was founded on the premise that working part time is not incompatible with excellent client care and service. Since then Rayden Solicitors has grown to three offices in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. We are top ranked for family law in all national directories. We remain true to the flexible working ethos and I am proud of that, our growth and success.
Any memorable stories from your career so far?
My first contested trial as a sole practitioner involved travelling to court with three suitcases of files. Going it alone, I had to bring my dad out of retirement to get them up the six flights of stairs to the court.
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
The best part of the day is first thing in the morning before my day properly gets going. I use the morning to take stock and prepare myself for the day ahead. I am not the most punctual person but the worst part of any day is being more than 15 minutes late for anything.
What keeps you motivated?
I genuinely love family law because I get tremendous satisfaction from being able to solve the problems that my clients face.
Tea or coffee?
Tea. Preferably peppermint. Never coffee.
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
If you love it, go for it. A sense of humour is essential.
Baroness Shackleton from Payne Hicks Beach. I worked with her when we were both at Farrer & Co and have remained in touch with her. Fiona’s reputation is unsurpassed in terms of quality and expertise and yet she has always been supportive of my career and very generous with her time.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
I have a PT instructor and have taken up running but most of my weekend time is spent with my family.
It is difficult to think of one as I love the one I’ve got. As the firms develops, I am becoming more interested in business development and so perhaps management consultancy could have been a good alternative.
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?
Bring back true Legal Aid funding so there is real access to justice within family law. I would like to see an amendment to the LASPO regulations so that for every pound the stronger economic party spends on legal representation, (usually the husband) the other side would get the same amount – the time, costs and risks associated with an interim hearing could then be avoided.
What has winning the Family Law Award meant to you and the firm?
It is the culmination of a 5 year goal to raise the national profile of the firm and a fantastic endorsement of a true team effort. I couldn’t be more proud. Nominations are now open for theFamily Law Awards 2018
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