- Divorce and separation including civil partnerships
- Financial claims, including maintenance and property claims for
- unmarried families
- Children disputes, including specific issues such as children moving to live abroad
- Collaborative law
I have years’ of experience as a family lawyer, helping people who are going through a divorce or separation. Whether you’re married, living together or in a civil partnership, I can help to guide you through what at first can seem like a maze of questions and uncertainties, through the legal process and out the other side, and I do so with kindness, empathy and straightforward advice.
I deal both with the financial issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, and with difficulties that may arise over the children. My approach is constructive and team-based, and I always have the needs of any children at the forefront of my mind. I like to work with my clients, their ex-partners and the other lawyers to try to reach solutions which suit everyone. This means that I am often able to help my clients reach agreement without having to go to court. If however court is the only remaining option, then my practical advice, experience and attention to detail helps either to settle the case at an early stage or, if a final hearing is unavoidable, then to get there with clear expectations and to leave with good outcomes.
My clients expect a good service, and that’s what they get. They also get warmth, humour and understanding – whatever their circumstances.
I am recommended by the Legal 500, with the family team at Paris Smith being ranked highest in the region.
I am also interested in financial claims by adult children. In a worrying world of tuition fees and family breakdown, such claims are becoming increasingly common.
The Review – May/June 2012 – “From Prince to Pauper: the story of paragraph 6(3) Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989″ (cited with approval in the practitioners’ handbook “Claims under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 Second Edition” by James Pirrie, Charlotte Bradley and Jan Ellis
Family Law Journal – August 2011 – “Imagine: a life without Payne” – analysis of the law relating to international child relocation
The Review – May/June 2013 – “The Dance of the Corporate Veil” – a look at the issue of corporate identity in a family law context
The Review – August/September 2013 – “To know a veil” – consideration of the Supreme Court’s decision in the high profile case of Petrodel v Prest
The Review – November/December 2013 – “Sharing the golden eggs” – the relevance of share valuations on an application for a financial order
Collaborative law in practice – hear from the people who really matter: the clients. The couple in this film are real-life graduates of the collaborative law process who have agreed to share their experiences. In it, they talk about the process itself, some of the difficult issues in their case, and what the process has meant for their future as a family.
I produced the collaborative law in practice film during my tenure as chair of The Collaborative Group, as part of a vigorous and enthusiastic campaign to raise awareness of collaborative law.
- When is an earning capacity not an earning capacity?
- Summer lovin’, happy at last! (But did you remember to get divorced first?)
- Divorce form error ‘could have led to unfair settlements’
- Should this woman be silenced?
- Annual Family Law Seminar
A huge thank you to you and Sarah. Your service, kindness, personal touch and stellar legal advice has been a godsend. The situation in which I have found myself has been incredibly isolating and having had legal representation that has been dismissive, and at times, deliberately confrontational in terms of trying to sell the houses and purchase another one, it is only more apparent how excellent your service is. Both of you are the only ones who know the full story and as a result, have been the only people on my side; and all done with humour and support.
- Anonymous for Rachel and Sarah
Sarah and Rachel were absolutely fantastic and I cannot thank them enough for helping me to go through a difficult time. They were always available, professional, diligent and wise but more importantly they were extremely good listeners and very human. They are amazing family lawyers and I would wholeheartedly recommend them.