“To help you through a difficult time in your life, in a caring, sympathetic, but realistic way, and to treat you in the same way as I would wish to be treated”
How much will it cost?
We charge for all the work that I do on your file on an hourly basis. Family cases, particularly those involving a court case, can be lengthy, complicated and therefore expensive. It is not often possible to tell you at the start what the precise cost will be as it depends on what happens and how reasonably everyone behaves. I will do my best to give you an estimate of the likely cost as soon as I can. I will also keep you informed as the case proceeds. You can always agree a ceiling on costs, but this might mean I cannot finish your case without it being increased.
We do not provide legally aided work for you. If you think you may qualify fill in the Eligibility Calculator http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/civil/guidance/eligibility_calculator.asp before you come in to see me. It may save you a journey if you qualify and wish to use a Legal Aid Solicitor. We would be able to recommend another solicitor.
My Promise to you:
- I will always discuss all options open to you, your priorities and concerns
- I will keep you informed of the costs involved in your case, and unlike some solicitors I will do all I can to stop them escalating
- I will explain everything in a language that you can understand and relate to, keeping the use of legal expressions to an absolute minimum
- I will be sensitive to your feelings, and not be dismissive of your fears and concerns
- I will never boss you around, but I may be firm if this is in your best interests
- I will not create unreasonable expectations for you which leave you disappointed with the outcome of your case
- I will always try and take the heat out of the situation, and we will always consider the likely ramifications of any action before we take it
- I will offer you practical solutions to problems tailored to your own needs and circumstances
- I will abide by the Resolution Code of Practise, which seeks to achieve an amicable child focused settlement to cases if at all possible, and avoids conflicts and unpleasantness. You can find the code at http://www.resolution.org.uk/
Why Choose me?
A friend recently asked me to describe myself as a person, and this is what I came up with; I am sympathetic and patient, hard working, dedicated, intelligent, honest, imaginative, dependable and I have a sense of humour. Then I realised the attributes of a very good friend are the same as for a very good family solicitor. I am also an Accredited Specialist with Resolution (First for Family Law) in Advanced Financial Provision and Private Children Law, and I am committed to achieving the best for all my clients in a non-confrontational way if at all possible. I have been a family solicitor for over 17 years, I am proud to have helped many people recover from a painful and distressing experience, to recover their self-esteem, and to make a new life for themselves. I am also a Mentor with the Prince’s Trust.
Dont forget to read our free tips on break up
What exactly is Family Law?
It covers all areas of law relating to relationships between cohabitants (either same sex or opposite sex) and married couples. It deals with issues relating to the beginning and end of a relationship (eg marriage, divorce etc). It does deal with the rights of children, where they should live and with whom, (“Residence”), and when they should see the other parent (“Contact”), together with other important issues eg whether a child’s surname should be changed, or if they should live abroad. It does not deal with wider family issues (eg caring or making financial provision for elderly relatives, or the making of wills). For specific advice on wills please see our wills page.
What does it include?
Pre-marital also called Pre-nuptial settlements. These do not only apply to the rich and famous and should be consider at least three months before the wedding. They are not guaranteed to work but will influence the court when assets are divided. This is a hotly debated topic at the moment. For more information see our News page. Both of you will need to see different independent lawyers for this to be as effective as possible. The agreement is not guaranteed to work, especially if you have children and the agreement does not provide for this, but it is something the court will not ignore, and will in most cases, place considerable weight on
The rights of couples who live together, and what they should know before moving in together. Again this area is developing so keep an eye on the News section
Living Together Agreements should be considered to avoid costly legal disputes if you separate. Expert legal advice is needed if you wish to enter into such an agreement
Relationship breakdowns, divorce, financial settlements on divorce, including pension provision (see Finances Page), and
Children’s Rights to see, stay with, or otherwise contact both their parents, and wider family members
Parent’s Rights in relation to the children, and when the consent of the other parent or the court is needed
For example, to holiday abroad, consent of both parents is required unless you have a court order agreeing to this (unless the holidaying parent has a Residence Order)
Changing a child’s surname should not be done without consent, or a court order (which is rarely given unless the circumstances are exceptional)
Domestic violence – how to protect yourself and the children.
A useful website which provides more detailed information on the scope of Family Law can be found at