What is your position and what you do on a day-to-day basis?
On paper I am sole principal of a divorce and family law firm. In reality, I am simply one of a team of committed family lawyers in our niche practice, whom I like, respect and admire.
I need to be a business person as much as a lawyer. One is conscious that family law is transactional. As such, one needs a very good flow of quality work.
We are based in Berkshire but have clients up and down the country, as well as abroad. We offer all forms of dispute resolution.
I am a family law arbitrator. I was lucky enough to be asked to chair the marketing sub-committee for the Forum of Family Law Arbitrators. We have put a lot of effort into explaining why family law arbitration is such a useful and versatile tool in the box.
On a day to day basis, I look after our clients, supervise the office, oversee our financial aspects and ensure regulatory obligations are complied with. I am conscious that we spend a third of our lives working so try to make it as enjoyable and interesting as possible for everyone in the practice.
I have always loved writing and been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to write articles on various topics for leading publications like Family Law
. I am honoured to have been shortlisted as its Family Law Commentator of the Year. Good luck to all those in the running for the Awards.
I sit on the Law Society's Family Section Advisory Group, for which I have written and presented webinars, as well as presenting and helped producing some of its events.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I have been a family law solicitor for over 25 years. I set up this firm in 2008, at the start of the recession. My previous firm, a medium-sized commercial practice, where I was a partner, decided it no longer wanted to offer family law. They closed the department but did me a favour. I took the work and set up in an old brewery in a former coaching village with excellent modern day transport links. I was soon joined by one of my solicitor former colleagues and we have continued to grow since. We are now looking to recruit additional junior lawyers and paralegals.
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
They are loyal and committed individuals with a good sense of humour. They are also very good lawyers. We have social events for the team. These might be outings to open air Shakespeare which we support or child friendly lunches with our youngsters.
We have compared notes over some of the more bizarre cases we have had. At the top of the list are two separate financial disputes. One was a matrimonial dispute over curtain rings. The other involved a rubber plant.