Paul Jacobs FCCA – Finance Manager – Our in house accountant

In-House Accountant


We are lucky to have within our team our own in-house accountant in the form of Paul Jacobs FCCA. Paul is also the firm’s finance manager.

To be clear – as a firm we are not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and we do not therefore provide financial advice. Where financial advice is needed by a client – we will work with their existing financial adviser, or if they do not have a financial adviser then we will refer to a panel reputable financial advisers who are familiar with divorce -related issues.

As our in-house accountant, Paul’s role is not to give financial advice – but it is a rule which can assist our clients and add additional value into our services.

In a nutshell – lawyers are trained as lawyers. The core skill of any lawyer is to understand the law and to apply it to their client situation and to assist the client to obtain a good outcomes their case. (The outcome can be obtained in a number of ways including court proceedings or different forms of negotiation). Lawyers will gather evidence and will prepare a thorough case in order to best present the client’s case either in court or in negotiations (or both).

Most lawyers are not graduates in mathematics. Whilst lawyers or analytical – their skills are more often in words than in numbers.

Of course, just as children lawyers pick up a background knowledge in psychology through reading psychological reports, divorce-finance lawyers will have a basic knowledge of related financial matters through repetition.

legal 500 leading firm logoThe advantage of as having an in-house accountant is that we have within our team someone who is more at home with Excel spreadsheets than with Word documents. Our in-house accountant works with our divorce lawyers to assist in the analysis of the various financial evidence with which we are routinely presented. This can be in aiding with the preparation of spreadsheets which will allow us to better argue our client’s case, or it could be in the reading of business accounts and other financial documents.

A little knowledge can sometimes be a bad thing. If you think you know something and you do not – then this can cause problems. In our more complex cases, the inputs that Paul can provide is useful in determining when external and specific expert financial advice is required and from what type of adviser. Paul is able to provide a sounding board/double-check when our finance lawyers are going through the other party’s financial evidence as well as when they are collating a client’s financial evidence.

Paul isn’t needed to assist in every case – but is available as needed.

It also helps that Paul is sat in the office next to our divorce team. The larger and more corporate practices will have accountants working within their finance teams – but many smaller practices will not. Having our own in-house accountant is nothing original – but is something extra that can assist us in doing the best for our clients.

Latest News

Mixed messages from latest Family Court statistics

The Ministry of Justice has published its latest Family Court statistics for cases dealt with by the Family Courts, for the quarter October to December 2020, and the messages sent by the statistics are somewhat mixed.

Read more
We are participating in the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme – worth £500 towards the cost of family mediation

The purpose of the scheme is to promote the benefits of family mediation and to encourage families with suitable cases to mediate – rather than to take their cases to the family courts.

Read more
Research provides insight into child applications made by mothers and fathers

We wrote here last month about research carried out by The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (‘NFJO’), which carries out research with the aim of improving the family justice system, into who is going to court to resolve children disputes

Read more
The consequences of lying to the court

As everyone knows, anyone involved in court proceedings should tell the court “nothing but the truth”.  This applies not just to giving oral evidence at court hearings, but to every dealing with the court

Read more
Why it is so important to legalise an agreement

As we will see in a moment, those involved in disputes over financial arrangements on separation/divorce are constantly being implored by judges, lawyers and others to resolve the dispute by agreement. But simply reaching an agreement isn’t

Read more
The importance of confidentiality in mediation

A High Court judgment published last week both highlights and confirms the importance of confidentiality in mediation between separating couples.

Read more
Team Member Briony Phillips helps with the Exeter Bomb

World War II Exeter bomb. Over the weekend it was widely reported in the national mediator that a very large – eight-foot – World War II and unexploded bomb had been found in Exeter.

Read more
Who owns court documents?

Court proceedings can generate a vast quantity of documents. These include applications, statements and, most importantly, judgments and orders. Normally of course the court, the parties and their lawyers will access court documents

Read more
Welcome to Lisa Holden and Elle West and Julia Sacco

We are delighted to welcome solicitors Lisa Holden and Julia Sacco and Elle West to our team. This takes our legal team to 16 qualified lawyers supported by 8 trainee and future trainee lawyers and means that we are comfortably amongst the

Read more
What is matrimonial property, and why is it important?

In a recent case the Court of Appeal had to consider whether a certain asset comprised ‘matrimonial property’. But what is matrimonial property, and why is it important?

Read more
Research suggests separated parents in deprived areas more likely to use family courts

As we all know, the distribution of wealth in England is not evenly spread. Many areas of the country are poorer than others, and that certainly applies to parts of the ‘catchment area’ of Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors.

Read more
Husband not entitled to rent from wife who occupied matrimonial home

When a couple divorce the former matrimonial home can be sold. (What happens will depend on the needs of the family). If this happens, it may take some months. Until the sale is completed just one party will normally remain in occupation.

Read more