I am the Head of the Family Law team at the Leeds office. My work concerns all aspects of family law involving married and unmarried relationships. This includes divorce cases and resolving the financial arrangements that follow the breakdown of a relationship. I also deal with cases involving the arrangements for children on behalf of parents and grandparents. This can include where children shall live and how they will spend their time between their parents or any other specific issue about their upbringing.
I deal increasingly with cases involving an international element such as overseas assets, choices of jurisdiction or parents wishing to relocate to another country with their children. I am also experienced in acting in same sex relationships either in relation to Civil Partnerships, property or children. I have experience of cases involving the legal position of same sex parents undergoing IVF treatment and surrogacy arrangements. Pre nuptial agreements and pre civil partnership agreements are an increasingly important area of our work. I am a trained Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer.
I am a member of Resolution (see resolution.org.uk) and sit on the Resolution CSA and maintenance sub-committee. I am also a member of the Law Society Children Panel. I am an active member of the management committee of Behind Closed Doors, a Leeds based organisation providing support to victims of domestic violence.
What Inspired You To Get Into Law?
As a school leaver, I wanted my work to make a real difference to people’s lives. I came into law by default but I soon realised that as a lawyer not only was the work interesting and rewarding but it also gave me the chance to help people.
What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?
The consequences of relationship breakdown can be devastating and leave people feeling at their lowest possible point, particularly if children are involved. Clients often simply lack information and I find it genuinely rewarding to be able to advise people of their position, set out their options (because there are always options) and help them to move towards a positive future.
What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?
Irwin Mitchell is a law firm which is genuinely not afraid to be different. I work with some exceptional people who come from a diverse range of backgrounds. What they all have in common is that they have progressed on merit. We also take our social responsibilities seriously.
What Do You Do Away From The Office?
Away from the office I spend as much time as possible with my family, and my three children teach me far more than I could teach them. I play too many sports than is good for me and last year I ran the London Marathon. I am passionate about music and play guitar at weekends in a band with people who are all old enough to know better.