Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Kara Swift
Kara Swift
Read on

A day in the life of ... Wendy Ramus (Family law executive)

Date:27 AUG 2015
Family Law Executive

What is your position and what you do on a day-to-day basis?

I am a family law executive in the Children’s Department at Dawson Cornwell.  I have a large caseload and represent clients in cases involving child abduction, wardship, domestic violence, forced marriage, child arrangement orders, special guardianship orders and in public law proceedings. The majority of my cases have an international element.

How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?

I have been in this role since 2001.  I previously worked as a guardian at the Official Solicitor’s Office where I represented children in complex cases.  I thoroughly enjoyed my role there.  I then moved to become a policy adviser for the Civil Service.  That job was as dull as it sounds so I leapt at the chance to return to the law.

What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?

I work with a great team at Dawson Cornwell.  We all share an interest in each other’s cases. I consider it an honour to represent the clients that I do, especially those who are vulnerable and marginalised.  My fondest memory (among many) is receiving the successful judgment from the Supreme Court in Re A v A [2013] UKSC 60 in September 2013.  My client was overjoyed with the result.

What is the best and worst part of the day for you?

The worst part of my day is battling with the Legal Aid Agency.  The best part of the day is succeeding in a case which, in my job, often means reuniting children with (usually) their mothers who have been abandoned abroad by their spouse.

What adjectives best describe you?

I hope my colleagues would describe me as hardworking, organised, diligent and fun.

Article continues below...

What keeps you motivated?

Many of my clients are separated from their children. I have a young daughter and the thought of not seeing her every day would be devastating. That is my motivation.

Tea or coffee?

Gin and tonic

What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?

This is one of the most rewarding and worthwhile jobs. You will never be bored and succeeding in a case is the most fantastic feeling.

What song do you listen to the most?

You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers – reminds me of home.

How do you enjoy your time outside of work?

Spending time with my family and friends, walking my dog, reading and cooking with my daughter.

If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?

A more pragmatic and common sense approach to cases from the Legal Aid Agency is essential. Recognition by them that a client stranded abroad in the Punjab or Bangladesh and who is unable to speak English cannot easily provide all the financial proof necessary in support of their application for funding. The fact that the Legal Aid Agency assesses the income of a friend or relative who may be helping by providing them somewhere to live is scandalous. Indeed in order to ensure that an obliging friend’s means are not taken into account, such applicants should be advised not to take refuge with their vulnerable children but to, in effect, live on the streets. This is especially so with those who have no recourse to public funds due to their immigration status.

Wendy Ramus has been nominated for the Family Law Chartered Legal Executive or Paralegal Award. Find out why she was nominated and place your vote here

Join the conversation #familylawdayinlifeof

As part of this feature we are asking a wide range of people who have links to the court system and family law to respond to the above questions and give us some information about what their role entails. We hope to get a wide cross section of people - to this end, if you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk