Ian Walker Divorce Lawyer Photo headshotIan Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors are now 7 years old. We are a specialist Solicitors Practice based in Devon and Somerset. Our specialism is family law and family dispute resolution.

From a legal point of view this means we specialise in the law of divorce, divorce finance including high new worth divorce, separating non-married couples and their finances, child arrangements including where children reside and how they should spend time with family members, surrogacy and adoption. We also specialise in the law of child protection representing children and their parents (and grandparents) when there is intervention by social services.

From a family dispute resolution perspective, this means we assist as lawyers by giving advice and providing representation. We also assist as neutral family mediators.

Good family dispute resolution means finding the best dispute process to enable clients to achieve sensible outcomes. There are various processes through which disputes can be resolved; sometimes asking a Judge to decide is the only way, but most cases can be settled through negotiation. There are various ways to negotiate, these include; round table meetings, arm’s length letter writing, collaborative family law, divorce mediation, mediation with or without lawyers, mediator for family conflict, mediation with arbitration, early neutral evaluation, arbitration or combinations of these!

As specialists, we work with clients to find the best way to negotiate.

In the last 7 years, we have grown from me with a computer into one of the largest family law teams in the South West.

Join our team in 2020

This year we have exciting plans and are currently recruiting for 3 new positions:

Head of Divorce and Finance https://familylawandmediation.co.uk/we-are-recruiting-head-of-divorce-finance/

Head of Child Law https://familylawandmediation.co.uk/we-are-recruiting-head-of-child-law/

Finance Manager https://familylawandmediation.co.uk/we-are-recruiting-finance-manager-new-role/

All are exciting opportunities and together with other plans will help us to progress the practice to the next level

Award-Winning

In 2019 I was honoured to be Highly Commended as Practice Manager in the Law Society Recognising Excellence Awards.

In February 2020 I will be attending the Modern Law Awards in Manchester where we have been shortlisted for Boutique Law Firm of the Year 2020.

I have also been shortlisted in a further prestigious award which I cannot share yet.

These are all humbling, but what is most important is always doing the best for our clients.

New Year Message

I was thinking about a new year message to end this blog.

A lot of cases we deal with are high conflict, often unnecessarily so. Conflictual mindsets can get in the way of clear thinking and achieving sensible long term solutions.

I came across the following blog from New Internationalist about peace https://newint.org/features/2018/09/18/10-steps-world-peace

Item 10 on the list is particularly relevant:

10 Look within

Peace starts with you. Ordinary citizens can make a difference. When’s the last time you said sorry? Think about who loses when you win. Are the people around you heard and respected or marginalized, ignored and left out? Make a decision to care about what happens to them. Start a constructive conversation with someone you disagree with. Challenge ‘them-and-us’ thinking in yourself as well as in others. Every one of us can choose to make society more just and peaceful, or more unjust and warlike.

We could all follow this advice. All agreements require some form of conversation and the best and most durable solutions come from the best conversations (which include mutuality, understanding of the other and respect). If we want others to listen to us we need to listen to them.

Let’s make 2020 more inclusive, respectful and peaceful…

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Finance Manager (New Role)

We are one of the largest and fastest growing family law practices in the South-West. We are committed to achieving the best outcomes for our clients in the right way.

We have exciting plans for 2020 and we are seeking an additional member of our support  team who will assist us in progressing the practice to the next level.

Us

In the last seven years we have built a leading family practice in Devon and Somerset. Our achievements include:

  • Gaining and retaining Lexcel Accreditation 6.1 with minimal non-compliances.
  • Building a strongly performing website (traffic has increased by more than 4x even in the last year).
  • Establishing a business model which has delivered a growth in turnover of around 50% each year for the last 5 years.
  • Building a strong, committed and experienced team.
  • Embedding a strong commitment to our IT infrastructure and innovation.
  • Embedding a grown-up and supportive working environment where smart and flexible working are encouraged – no silly rules.
  • Our founder being Highly Commended in the category of Practice Manager of the Year in the Law Society Excellence Awards 2019.
  • Being shortlisted for Boutique Law Firm (11+ employees) 2020 in the Modern Law awards.

The role

  • You will be based in Exeter (outskirts).
  • You will report to our director and practice manager.
  • You will progress our legal aid bills and payment claims including in liaison with our external costs draftsman.
  • You will undertake some legal cashiering.
  • You will assist with payment control.
  • You will assist with billing and credit control.
  • Assisting with digital document management.
  • (Providing some reception cover when occasionally needed).

Hours

Full-Time but part-time (three full days or shorter days) also considered.

Salary

Market rate/subject to experience.

Candidate specification

  • Excellent IT skills.
  • Previous experience of legal aid billing (essential).
  • Previous experience of cashiering in a law firm or knowledge of Solicitors accounts rules are essential.
  • Familiarity with SOS practice management would be desirable although is not essential.
  • We are a relatively small and happy team and personality is important – because everyone needs to get on.

How to apply

Please send your C.V. and covering letter in confidence to Ian Walker; ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

 

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Ian Walker Divorce Lawyer Photo headshotThe role

We are one of the largest and fastest growing family law practices in the South-West. We are committed to achieving the best outcomes for our clients in the right way.

In the last seven years we have built a leading family practice in Devon and Somerset. Our achievements include:

  • Gaining and retaining Lexcel Accreditation 6.1 with minimal non-compliances.
  • Building a strongly performing website (traffic has increased by more than 4x even in the last year).
  • Establishing a business model which has delivered a growth in turnover of around 50% each year for the last 5 years.
  • Building a strong, committed and experienced team.
  • Embedding a strong commitment to our IT infrastructure and innovation.
  • Embedding a grown-up and supportive working environment where smart and flexible working are encouraged – no silly rules.
  • Our founder being Highly Commended in the category of Practice Manager of the Year in the Law Society Excellence Awards 2019.
  • Being shortlisted for Boutique Law Firm (11+ employees) 2020 in the Modern Law awards.

We have exciting plans for 2020 and we are seeking a Child Law specialist Solicitor to lead our Child Law Team and who will assist us in progressing the practice to the next level.

  • You will be based in Exeter.
  • You will lead our highly experienced Care Team.
  • You will grow your team.

Candidate specification

  • You will have good Child Law experience.
  • You will either be a current or former member of the Law Society Children Panel or with a background in working for a Local Authority and/or if you’re not currently a member of the Law Society Children Panel, you would seek membership at the earliest opportunity.
  • You will have a good understanding of Lexcel and regulatory compliance and Legal Aid.
  • You will be committed to the values of Resolution.
  • You will have a willingness to take on some management and training responsibilities.
  • You will be a leader and also a team player.
  • You will be a car driver.
  • You will have good IT skills.

What is most important is that you are an outstanding children lawyer, you share our values and that you have a good sense of humour.

What we offer

  • Going rate salary and bonus scheme.
  • Genuine equity prospects.
  • Flexible working.
  • Opportunity to join a committed and friendly team and to build this further.
  • Opportunity to further establish a reputation as one of the leading Child Law specialists in the South West.

Don’t join us if you want to work as part of a corporate machine where it might seem that all that matters is your ever-increasing billing target and the number of hours you are sat at your desk.

Do join us if you truly believe that the Resolution way is the better way and you would like to improve your quality-of-life/work-life balance by working not far from the seaside and Dartmoor in Exeter, Devon (the capital of the South West).

How to apply

Please send your C.V. and covering letter in confidence to Ian Walker ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

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The Modern Law AwardsMore recognition – We have been shortlisted – The Modern Law Awards 2020 – Category: Boutique Law Firm of the Year 2020

Hot on the heels of our founder Ian Walker being Highly Commended in the Law Society Excellence Awards 2019 in the category of Practice Manager of the Year, we have now been shortlisted in the category of BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR (11+ Employees) in the prestigious Modern Law Awards.

What are the Modern Law Awards

These national awards are organised by the Modern Law Magazine. This is essentially a periodical for legal professionals.

This is how Modern Law Magazine describes itself:

Modern Law Magazine has established itself as one of the leading B2B publications in the legal industry. As a number of distinct trends start to emerge out of the legal landscape, rather than being apprehensive of the scale of the change, now is the time to embrace the opportunities it will bring. Modern Law is focused on covering those trends and helping your law firm and/or organisation become more efficient, productive and sustainable in an increasingly competitive market.

As the needs and expectations of customers and clients are changing so are the expectations of our readers. We will continue to bring you high-profile interviews as well as views from the Top 100, regional outlooks and start-up diaries. Our expert panel of editorial board members will lead the discussion and provide our readers with exclusive insight into the ‘business of law’. In every issue you can expect to read about new technologies, AI, finance and funding, marketing for your law firm, best business practice and lots more. We are all about putting the modern into the modern law firm.

The Modern Law Awards

This is what Modern Law tell us about the awards:​

Now in their seventh year, the Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards were launched to celebrate and identify sparkling talent and success in entrepreneurship, market development, business management and best practice in the modern legal services arena. These exclusive awards reflect the ever-increasing reorganisation, new legal entities and business dynamism of legal service providers since the Legal Services Act came into force.

The Modern Law Awards offer a unique and timely opportunity to celebrate not only innovative business leaders, but those changing the face of business strategy and development, regulation management and client care throughout the organisation – for both short and long-term gain. Champions in ABSs, new legal entrants and pre-existing law firms that have successfully led engaging, relevant and new strategies for gold-plated services and business growth will be praised in the third of these national awards. The Modern Law Awards are the perfect opportunity for the sector to showcase and set the benchmarks for best practice in the ever diverse, challenging and exciting landscape for the business of law.

Who are the Judges?

This year the Judges include:

  • Simon Davis: President of the Law Society
  • Michael Napier CBE QC (Hon)
  • Sarah Walker-Smith – Chief Executive, Shakespeare Martineau LLP
  • Professor Thom Brooks – FAcSS FHEA FRHisS FRSA – Dean of Durham Law School, Chair in Law & Government
  • Shawnna Hoffman – Global Cognitive Legal Co-Leader – IBM
  • Professor Joan Loughrey – Deputy Head of the School of Law, Leeds
  • Tony Fisher – Senior Partner – Fisher Jones Greenwood
  • …and more legal industry experts….

In other words this is a weighty and knowledgeable panel of Judges.

This in turn means that these are prestigious national awards.

BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR (11+ Employees)

We have been nominated in the category of Boutique Law Firm of the Year (11+ employees), but what does this mean?

Here are the criteria for the category:

  • A firm who practices in a niche/specific area of law
  • A practice that has performed exceptionally in terms of establishing itself in its chosen market
  • Within the last year, has demonstrated extensive development and progress as a business, including, but not limited to; strategy, growth, financial performance, employee development, diversity and training
  • An innovative practice that can demonstrate its ability to creatively and effectively compete with multi-practice firms
  • A practice that exceeds the expectations of basic client care and professionalism

When are the winners announced?

The awards ceremony is on Thursday 6th February 2020 in Manchester

What does being shortlisted mean for us?

Ian Walker founded our practice in 2013. Since then we have built a fantastically experienced team and have expanded the area we serve across Devon and Somerset.

We have had 50% growth year on year for the last 5 years. We have achieved lots of good outcomes for clients and their children.

We have made good use of the current technology and early adopters of innovative software.

Our growth has been a team effort. It is always nice to have peer recognition. This recognition allows us to step back and remember how far we have come and the effort and contribution that everyone has made toward this.

It is particularly nice to receive this recognition as we move toward the Christmas holiday and a welcome rest.

Thank you to everyone and we are looking forward to 2020…

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Head of Divorce/Finance

The role

We are one of the largest and fastest-growing family law practices in the South-West. We are committed to achieving the best outcomes for our clients in the right way.

In the last seven years, we have built a leading family practice in Devon and Somerset. Our achievements include:

  • Gaining and retaining Lexcel Accreditation 6.1 with minimal non-compliances.
  • Building a strongly performing website (traffic has increased by more than 4x even in the last year).
  • Establishing a business model which has delivered growth in turnover of around 50% each year for the last 5 years.
  • Building a strong, committed and experienced team.
  • Embedding a strong commitment to our IT infrastructure and innovation.
  • Embedding a grown-up and supportive working environment where smart and flexible working are encouraged – no silly rules.
  • Our founder being Highly Commended in the category of Practice Manager of the Year in the Law Society Excellence Awards 2019.

We have exciting plans for 2020 and we are seeking a Divorce/Finance specialist Solicitor to lead our Divorce Finance Team and who will assist us in progressing the practice to the next level.

  • You will be based in Exeter.
  • You will lead our Divorce/Finance team.
  • You will grow your team.

Resolution Member LogoCandidate specification

  • You will have good HNW experience.
  • You will have a good understanding of Lexcel and regulatory compliance.
  • You will be committed to the values of Resolution.
  • You will be a Collaborative Family Lawyer or a willingness to train.
  • You will have a willingness to take on some management and training responsibilities.
  • You will be a leader and also a team player.
  • You will be a car driver.
  • You will have good IT skills.

What is most important is that you are an outstanding family lawyer, you share our values and that you have a good sense of humour.

Ian Walker Portrait photoWhat we offer

  • Going rate salary and bonus scheme.
  • Genuine equity prospects.
  • Flexible working.
  • Opportunity to join a committed and friendly team and to build this further.
  • Opportunity to further establish a reputation as one of the leading Divorce/Finance specialists in the South West.

Don’t join us if you want to work as part of a corporate machine where it might seem that all that matters is your ever-increasing billing target and the number of hours you are sat at your desk.

Do join us if you truly believe that the Resolution way is the better way and you would like to improve your quality-of-life/work-life balance by working not far from the seaside and Dartmoor in Exeter, Devon (the capital of the South West).

How to apply

Please send your C.V. and covering letter in confidence to Ian Walker ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

 

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We are seeking a solicitor NQ+ or very experienced or both to join our child law team.

The successful candidate will either a be a member of the Law Society children panel or they will have ambitions to join. (and we will support them to do this)

We already have one of the strongest child law teams in the south-west. This includes three current members of the Law Society child law panel and two former members. We regularly represent parents, children, grandparents and undertake local authority agency work.

Ian Walker Portrait photoWhy join us?

Our progressive niche practice is owned and run by Ian Walker who is one of our children panel members – so you won’t have to worry about our commitment to children law! (In the last 10 years quite a number of firms – some of whom have had large and reputable child law teams – have surrendered their legal aid contracts).(We are also a real living wage employer).

We are a dynamic and growing practice. Ian is the Chair of the Devon Region of Resolution and has been Highly Commended in the practice manager of the year category in the 2019 Law Society Excellence Awards.

There is an opportunity to work with and learn from our existing team. This includes Kim Stradling who is one of the leading child law solicitors in the south-west.

Our IT structure is cloud-based and easily supports flexible working and homeworking and paperless working. Flexible/smart working is positively encouraged.

We hold Lexcel accreditation. We have the practice support you would expect including LEXIS PSL and software to create our own electronic bundles.

Salary will be based on experience, but will be competitive.

We are also happy to consider both fee share consultancy.

As the legal market develops it is becoming increasingly obvious that niche practice’s such as ourselves enjoy a competitive advantage over traditional high Street practices.

We attract quality work from across our office network which is in Exeter, Taunton, Torquay, Honiton, Yeovil and Weston-super-Mare.
This is a fantastic opportunity with long-term prospects.

If you don’t already work in Devon and Somerset, you are really missing out, and this is a fantastic opportunity to improve your quality of life.

Person specification

The successful candidate:

  • will have a passion for children law
  • will have good/good IT skills
  • will have willingness to undertake advocacy
  • will be a team player with a sense of humour
  • will have a good knowledge of legal aid and good time recording discipline
  • they will either be a member of the Law Society children panel or ambitions to gain membership as soon as possible
  • Be a car owner/driver

A bit more about the job

You will be based on the East Devon side of Exeter.

Although we have multiple locations to see clients, we are all based at the same office – which is the central location in our office network.

This means they need to come into the office at least once a week so that they are fully part of the team (no competing and divisive branch cultures for us). However, there is very ample scope for flexible/smart working.

You will probably be primarily responsible for our Somerset care work.

Our practice is very much built around its team.

To find out more about our practice visit our website at https://familylawandmediation.co.uk/
Please send your CV and covering letter in confidence to Ian Walker at ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

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Highly Commended at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2019

We are delighted to post that our founder Ian Walker has been highly-commended in the Law Society’s Excellence Awards – the highest accolade for law firms in England and Wales.

The event in Central London – which attracted more than 1000 guests – is the most prestigious awards ceremony for solicitors in England and Wales. Professionals and their firms are recognised across a range of categories covering all areas of legal practice and business.

These are the most prestigious legal awards nationally.

Excellence in Practice Management

Ian Walker received a commendation in the Practice Manager of the Year category.

The Law Society Practice Manager of the Year category celebrates individuals who have introduced innovative change management initiatives which resulted in significant performance improvements.

The awards ceremony was hosted by BBC Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark  announced that:

“Ian Walker has founded and built a thriving firm in a relatively short period of time. His innovative “multiple client point” service impressed the judges”

Law Society President Simon Davis

Law Society of England and Wales president Simon Davis said:

“In such uncertain times, we must never forget the immense contribution that solicitors make to society. Our work is indispensable to upholding the rule of law. 

“At the Law Society Excellence Awards, we come together to celebrate outstanding success in the sector.

“There are more than 180,000 solicitors in England & Wales: to be highly-commended is to be recognised as among the best of the best.”

Ian Walker and our trip to London

Since Ian founded our practice in 2013 it has grown from being simply Ian and a computer to a team of 8 qualified lawyers and a support team of 7. We are now one of the largest and most experienced teams of family lawyers in the South West.

Ian Walker says;

Whilst my commendation was in an individual category, I am viewing this as recognition of our fantastic team.

There is only so much a person can achieve by themselves. So much more can be achieved through teamwork.

I have a brilliant set of colleagues. All are a pleasure to work with and it extremely rewarding to see the way they achieve the best results for our clients and in the right way.

Unfortunately we couldn’t all make the trip to the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Ian was accompanied by team members; Leanne Cornock-Stark, Briony Phillips, Nicole Phare and Sandy Powell. (All in main picture together with Ian and Law Society President Simon Davis)

Because it was half term, Ian’s wife wasn’t able to attend, but Ian’s family were represented by Ian’s oldest daughter Naomi, who works in London, but has previously assisted in the office during university holidays.

What sets Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors apart and makes us unique

In the last 6 1/2 years we have built a practice based on:

  • Excellence in legal advice and representation
  • Promotion of sensible, child focused dispute resolution
  • Making best use of cloud based and other software solutions and flexible working
  • Using business centres to enable us to assist clients with city centre quality but over a wider geographical area
  • A commitment to access to justice via Legal Aid
  • A commitment to running a happy and ethical practice promoting diversity and access to the profession (e.g. Real Living Wage).

The area we cover now includes: Exeter, Honiton, Torquay, Taunton, Yeovil and Weston-Super-Mare.

Why being being shortlisted is so important for us

This is the first major awards we have entered (being too busy building the practice). This is the most prestigious Legal Awards, and being highly commended is fantastic recognition of what we have achieved so far.

Because we are getting on with what we do, it is easy to forget or to minimise what we have achieved. The Law Society Excellence Awards have allowed us to take a step back and to take stock or and take pride in what we have done so far. It has very much been a team effort.

We have exciting plans for the next five years, so this kind of marks the end of our beginning.

It is important that we don’t rest on our laurels or stand still. We know that we can do so much more.

We may find the time to enter some other awards, but our clients will always be our priority.

Watch this space to see what we do next….

 

P.S. If you are a family lawyer or mediator and are interested in becoming part of our journey, please email: ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk 

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Ian Walker Portrait photoWe are recruiting: Family Law Solicitor: Divorce/Finance Law

We are recruiting a solicitor to join our divorce/finance team. NQ+

We already have one of the strongest family law teams in the south-west. This includes eight experienced solicitors.

We are firmly committed to the best practice divorce/finance law and to the Resolution Code of Practice.

Our director, Ian Walker is the long-standing chair of the Devon region of Resolution and a member of the Resolution DR committee. He is also a former member of the Law Society Family Law Committee, and a past trustee of the Family Mediators Association. Ian is an active collaborative lawyer and was instrumental in bringing collaborative law to Devon in 2005. Ian is also a member of the Law Society Family Mediation Accreditation Scheme and a Family Mediation Council accredited mediator.

the law society awards 2019Why join us?

We believe that being a dynamic niche practice gives us a long-term competitive advantage. How clients choose solicitors and utilise our services has changed considerably in the last 10 years and these changes are likely to continue. Being committed to sensible dispute resolution and being engaged in conversations about the development of the practice of family law will assist us to continue to attract good quality work.

  • We are a dynamic and growing practice. Our managing partner has been shortlisted for practice manager of the year in the 2019 Law Society Excellence Awards.
  • There is an opportunity to work with and learn from our existing team. In addition to Ian Walker, four of our solicitors have been partners and heads of the family law departments at previous practices.
  • Our IT structure is cloud-based and easily supports flexible working and homeworking and paperless working.
  • We hold Lexcel accreditation. We have the practice support you would expect including LEXIS PSL and software to create our own electronic bundles. We are also subscribe to various compliance and pricing software.
  • We a happy to consider both fee share consultancy and employment.
  • As the legal market develops it is becoming increasingly obvious that niche practice’s such as ourselves enjoy a competitive advantage over traditional high Street practices.
  • We attract quality work from across our office network which is in Exeter, Taunton, Torquay, Honiton, Yeovil and Weston-super-Mare.
  • We believe that skills are fundamental and would encourage training as a collaborative family lawyer and as a family mediator.

This is a fantastic opportunity with long-term prospects.

Person specification

the successful candidate:

  • will have a passion for children law
  • will have good/good IT skills
  • will be a team player with a sense of humour
  • will have a good knowledge of legal aid and good time recording discipline
  • they will either be a member of the relevant Law Society or Resolution accreditation is or ambitions to gain membership as soon as possible
  • they will have an interest in collaborative family law and or family mediation
  • they will be committed to the Resolution Code of Practice

A bit more about the job

Everyone in our team is theoretically based in Honiton office – which is the central location in our office network. This means they need to come into the office at least once a week so that they are fully part of the team (no competing and divisive branch cultures for us). However, there is very ample scope for flexible working.

Being based in Honiton has advantages. Our office is next to the A30 and has ample free parking. It is a 30 minute drive to central Taunton and to central Exeter. It is 45 minutes to Yeovil and under an hour to Plymouth. This means our office is centrally located between the courts that we cover. Coming into the office means avoiding commuter traffic.

Ideally the successful candidate will help develop our Devon work and in particular Exeter and East Devon – but we are happy to consider applicants who are located elsewhere – our practice is very much built around its team.

To find out more about our practice visit our website at https://familylawandmediation.co.uk/

Please send your CV and covering letter in confidence to Ian Walker at ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

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The Law Society Awards 2019We are recruiting: Family Law Solicitor: Child Law

We are recruiting a solicitor who is either a member of the Law Society children panel or who has ambitions to join.

We already have one of the strongest child law teams in the south-west. This includes three current members of the Law Society child law panel and two former members.

We regularly represent parents, children, grandparents and undertake local authority agency work.

Ian Walker photoWhy join us?

Our practice is owned and run by Ian Walker who is one of our children panel members – so you won’t have to worry about our commitment to children law! (In the last 10 years quite a number of firms – some of whom have had large and reputable child law teams – have surrendered their legal aid contracts).

  • We are a dynamic and growing practice. Our managing partner has been shortlisted for practice manager of the year in the 2019 Law Society Excellence Awards.
  • There is an opportunity to work with and learn from our existing team. This includes Kim Stradling who is one of the leading child law solicitors in the south-west.
  • Our IT structure is cloud-based and easily supports flexible working and homeworking and paperless working.
  • We hold Lexcel accreditation. We have the practice support you would expect including LEXIS PSL and software to create our own electronic bundles.
  • We a happy to consider both fee share consultancy and employment.
  • As the legal market develops it is becoming increasingly obvious that niche practice’s such as ourselves enjoy a competitive advantage over traditional high Street practices.
  • We attract quality work from across our office network which is in Exeter, Taunton, Torquay, Honiton, Yeovil and Weston-super-Mare.

This is a fantastic opportunity with long-term prospects.

Person specification

the successful candidate:

  • will have a passion for children law
  • will have good/good IT skills
  • will have willingness to undertake advocacy
  • will be a team player with a sense of humour
  • will have a good knowledge of legal aid and good time recording discipline
  • they will either be a member of the Law Society children panel or ambitions to gain membership as soon as possible

A bit more about the job

Everyone in our team is theoretically based in Honiton office – which is the central location in our office network. This means they need to come into the office at least once a week so that they are fully part of the team (no competing and divisive branch cultures for us). However, there is very ample scope for flexible working.

Being based in Honiton has advantages. Our office is next to the A30 and has ample free parking. It is a 30 minute drive to central Taunton and to central Exeter. It is 45 minutes to Yeovil and under an hour to Plymouth. This means our office is centrally located between the courts that we cover. Coming into the office means avoiding commuter traffic.

Ideally the successful candidate will help develop our Somerset work in Taunton and Yeovil family courts – but we are happy to consider applicants who are located elsewhere – our practice is very much built around its team.

To find out more about our practice visit our website at https://familylawandmediation.co.uk/

Please send your CV and covering letter in confidence to Ian Walker at ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

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Autumn update/new arrivals and new Ian Walker Portrait photoopportunities

At Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors we are constantly trying to improve the service that we give to our clients. So far 2019 has been a busy year.

New arrivals

This year Fiona Griffin joined our legal team in January. Fiona is a divorce expert (including high net worth clients) and a collaborative family lawyer. Fiona joined us from being a partner and head of family law at John Hodge solicitors in Weston-Super-Mare and Bristol.

Beyond Fiona, we have concentrated on reshaping our support team. In particular, we have decided to commit to the training of a new generation of family lawyers. Our first trainee solicitor is Tommy Fox. Tommy grew up in Honiton and attended Honiton Community College.

In September Tommy has been joined by Lydia Murray. Lydia joined us from Magdalen Chambers (barristers Chambers) in Exeter where she had been working as a junior family clerk after graduating from Exeter University. Like Tommy, Lydia is a Devon local having grown up in Crediton and attending Queen Elizabeth College, Crediton.

A further trainee solicitor is scheduled to start with us in December. More news to follow.

In addition, we already have Briony Phillips making good progress towards qualification as a legal executive. Briony is now working closely with our leading child law specialist Kim Stradling

Our Training Plan

Our plan is now to commence at least one solicitor training contract a year.

We are interested to hear from candidates for autumn 2020 with a good degree, and who will ideally have completed their LPC. Although we are open to running a training contract parallel to part-time LPC study.

We are particularly keen to promote the opportunity to enter the legal profession and to recruit talented candidates who want to enjoy a career with us. We do not wish to recruit graduate into dead end paralegal roles.

A passion for family law is essential.

Opportunities to join our team

We have finished work on a business plan to take us forward through the next five years. To this end there will be opportunities to join our team as our practice continues to grow.

We are happy to receive CVs from solicitors and legal executives who are newly qualified onward, and who might be interested in roles undertaking children law or divorce and Finance law. 

Roles could be as employed solicitors or legal executives or as fee share consultants. Either way its worth a chat….

We are happy to receive CVs from candidates who are already based in the south-west or who want to move down to our lovely part of the world.

Separate blog postings to follow…

The Law Society Excellence Awards

Following a successful first six years of trading, which culminated in our gaining the Lexcel practice management accreditation at the end of 2018, we were delighted to learn that Ian Walker has been shortlisted for practice manager of the year in the Prestigious Law Society Excellence Awards.

The award ceremony is at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on the 23 October 2019. A few of us will be travelling up to London for the occasion. We will let you know how we get on…

Lexcel Legal Practice Quality Mark LogoImproving our client experience

Since achieving the law society Lexcel practice management standard we have taken further steps to improve the experience of our clients. Some of this is explained on our website, but other things are behind-the-scenes.

In particular we have adopted additional software solutions which we believe will improve how we assist our clients. We have also introduced a client service guarantee because we want our clients to know that we mean it when we say that we want to provide an outstanding service to them.

As a niche legal practice we are conscious that how clients wish to access information and advice has changed over the last 10 years and we anticipate that clients needs will continue to change.

It is therefore important that we are a progressive practice and the we are always open to new ideas to help us improve what we do.

That’s why we have taken the step to start to train our future lawyers and that is why we are open to hear from specialist family lawyers with differing PQE he wants to be part of our journey, and make a real and positive difference to the lives of our clients and their families….

CVs to ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

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