Can divorce ever really be amicable

One often hears the expression ‘amicable divorce’. It seems like a contradiction. After all, divorce entails the breakdown of the relationship between the spouses. Surely, that means that the divorce will be characterised by animosity, rather than good will?

Well, not necessarily.

The answer to the question as to whether a divorce can really be amicable depends of course upon the parties, and whether they are both prepared to proceed in an amicable fashion. If the other party is not prepared to adopt such an approach, then an amicable divorce may not be possible.

But the approach that you take towards the divorce can also improve the chances of it being amicable.

Here are four things to consider:

 

Non-confrontationalcouple considering divorce

The first, and perhaps most obvious, piece of advice is to put your feelings to one side, and concentrate upon being constructive in your dealings with your spouse.

There will be much that needs to be sorted out: the divorce itself (see below), arrangements for any dependent children, and resolving financial and property matters. If you can adopt a non-confrontational approach to these matters, then it is much more likely that you will be able to sort them out by agreement, saving yourself the time, expense and stress of contested court proceedings.

Our lawyers are members of Resolution, the largest membership organisation for family justice professionals in England and Wales. Resolution members sign up to a Code of Practice, promoting a non-confrontational approach, which results in better outcomes for families and children.

 

Mediation

Of course, it is not always possible to agree matters directly with your spouse, even through solicitors.

However, there are other ways to sort things out in a way that avoids the conflict and confrontation of contested court proceedings.

One such way is family mediation, whereby a couple meet with an independent mediator, who will assist them to discuss and resolve the issues that they wish to resolve.

Mediation is purely voluntary, but if you want an amicable divorce, why not consider using it to sort out arrangements for children and finances?

We offer a family mediation service – for further details, see here.

 

No-fault

At present we have a divorce system whereby if you have not been separated from your spouse for two years then you can only proceed with a divorce by blaming them for the breakdown of the marriage, either because of their adultery or because of their ‘unreasonable behaviour’. Needless to say, attributing blame in this way can make an amicable divorce less likely.

But there are ways around this. You could, for example, sort out arrangements regarding children and finances now, and agree to divorce without blame after two years have elapsed from the date of the separation. Alternatively, you could try to agree allegations of ‘unreasonable behaviour’ with your spouse, before issuing the divorce proceedings.

Of course, if the Government’s Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill passes, then we will have a no-fault divorce system in which it will never be necessary to attribute blame for the breakdown of the marriage. However, it is still likely to be some time before the Bill becomes law, as we explained in this post.

 

Put children first

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, when dealing with your spouse put your children first. This does not just mean put them first when sorting out arrangements as to what time the children will spend with each parent. Other decisions will also affect the children, for example decisions regarding the former matrimonial home. And remember that children will be affected by animosity between their parents.

If your spouse sees you putting the interests of the children before your own then they are obviously likely to realise how important it is that the children’s interests should come first. They are therefore more likely to adopt a similar approach, making an amicable divorce more likely.

* * *

If you follow these simple rules then the chances of achieving an amicable divorce will be much greater, and of course if both parties follow these rules then an amicable divorce is quite possible.

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Can divorce force the sale of my house?

When a divorce takes place any matters relating to the parties’ finances and property need to be sorted out. If the parties are not able to agree matters, then either may ask the court to sort things out for them. But does this mean that you could be forced to sell your house (i.e. the former matrimonial home) against your will?

The answer to the question, as with so many things, is: it depends.

It depends upon the circumstances of your case. The court certainly has the power to order a sale of your house, but whether it will do so depends upon whether that is the appropriate thing to do in the circumstances.

 

Equal sharing starting-pointLady holding house - Can divorce force the sale of my house?

The starting-point when considering a financial/property settlement on divorce is that all matrimonial assets, including the former matrimonial home, should be divided equally (note that it does not usually matter whether the home is owned jointly, or just by one party). Thus if the matrimonial home has an equity, i.e. the value of the property less any mortgage, then that equity should normally be divided equally between the parties.

That does not, however, mean that the property has to be sold. If one party wants to keep the property, then they can buy out the other party’s share by paying them half of the equity, or by agreeing to them having other assets to the same value. If this is a feasible possibility, then the court would usually agree to it, rather than forcing a sale and ordering that the net proceeds of sale be divided equally.

Whether it is feasible depends upon such things as whether the buying party can afford it, and whether the other party can be released from any mortgage on the property if, as is usually the case, they wish to be released. Note that if the mortgage is not being paid off, then it is up to the mortgagee, not the buying party, whether the other party is released.

 

Equal division not always appropriateMeeting - Can divorce force the sale of my house?

But that starting-point of equal division is not always appropriate, in which case the amount needed to buy out the other party may be considerably less, or even nothing. There are any number of reasons why this may be so, and we couldn’t possibly list them all here. For example, if it was a short childless marriage and one party owned the property before the marriage, it may be appropriate for that party to keep the whole property, with the other party having nothing from it.

Or the earning capacity of the two parties may be considerably different, meaning that the lower earner will need a greater than half share to rehouse themselves, due to their limited mortgage capacity. And if they don’t have any significant mortgage capacity, it may be appropriate for them to have the whole house.

If the parties have been separated for a considerable time and one party has remained in the former matrimonial home ever since, paying the mortgage and other outgoings, then that may be a reason for them to have a greater than half share of the property.

Another common scenario is that the house is required as a home for any dependent children. Here, the court would not usually want the house to be sold, unless it was really necessary (the sale could, for example, be delayed until the children have grown up). Of course, if there is not enough money available to keep the house (in particular to pay the mortgage), then a sale may be unavoidable.

In summary, the court can force the sale of your house on divorce, and will usually do so if it considers that the other party is entitled to a share, and you are unable to buy them out.

The above is of course just a brief summary of what may happen to the former matrimonial home on divorce. This is a complex subject, and if you require detailed advice then you should consult an expert family lawyer.

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No-fault divorce on the horizon at last

The Ministry of Justice has announced that the Government has reintroduced the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, which will bring in a system of no-fault divorce, to Parliament. The Bill was first introduced in June 2019, but was lost due to the General Election.

If, as expected, the Bill is passed it will not be the first time that Parliament has passed an Act bringing in no-fault divorce. An Act that did that was passed back in 1996. However, the no-fault divorce provisions in that Act were considered by some to be unworkable, and never became law.

 

Statement of irretrievable breakdown no-fault divorce image

The new Bill will retain the one ground for divorce as at present – that the marriage has broken down irretrievably – but will do away with the need to prove irretrievable breakdown. Accordingly, it will no longer be necessary to show that the other party has committed adultery, that they have behaved unreasonably, or that the parties have lived separately for a certain period of time.

Instead, it will simply be necessary for one or both of the parties to file with the court a statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

If the statement is filed by only one party, the other party will not be allowed to contest the divorce. Defended divorces will therefore become a thing of the past.

As drafted, the Bill provides that there must normally be a 20-week ‘period of reflection’ after the start of the proceedings, before the party or parties that filed the statement can apply for the divorce to continue.

The court will then make a conditional divorce order, equivalent to the present decree nisi. As now, it will not usually be possible to apply for the final divorce order (equivalent to the present decree absolute) until six weeks has elapsed after the making of the conditional order.

Commenting upon the Bill Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland QC MP said:

“The institution of marriage will always be vitally important, but we must never allow a situation where our laws exacerbate conflict and harm a child’s upbringing.

“Our reforms will stop divorcing couples having to make unnecessary allegations against one another and instead help them focus on separating amicably.

“By sparing individuals the need to play the blame game, we are stripping out the needless antagonism this creates so families can better move on with their lives.”

The Bill has been generally welcomed by family lawyers and those working in or around the family justice system.

 

When will it become law?boy with family cutouts

It is not yet clear when the Bill is likely to be passed and, if it is, when its provisions will come into effect. The Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on the 7th of January, and its second reading, when all aspects of the Bill will be debated, is yet to be scheduled. After that the Bill will have to go through committee and report stages, before passing through the House of Commons, and finally receiving Royal Assent.

The Bill is supported not just by the Government but also by the other main parties. It is therefore expected to pass. However, much work remains to be done, including the making of the necessary rules to give effect to the new law, and it seems unlikely that it will come into effect until late this year, at the earliest.

The Bill will also make similar changes to the law governing the dissolution of civil partnerships.

It should be noted, however, that the Bill will not alter the way in which financial arrangements between the parties on divorce/dissolution of civil partnership are dealt with.

You can follow the progress of the Bill here.

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What will a divorce lawyer ask me?

Consulting a divorce lawyer can be a worrying prospect for some.

Divorce lawyer in a meetingDivorce is such a personal matter, and many people are reluctant to give details of their private life to someone who is, after all, a stranger.

So exactly what information will your divorce lawyer want from you?

Well, apart from basic personal details like names, addresses and dates of birth, the answer depends of course upon what your case involves. We will look at some of the possibilities in turn (note that we are only giving examples of the information your solicitor may require).

 

Information relevant to the divorce

If you are instructing your solicitor to issue divorce proceedings, then they will require details of when and where the marriage took place. Provide your solicitor with your marriage certificate, if you have it.

Otherwise, your solicitor will need information to prove to the court that your marriage has broken down irretrievably (this will no longer be necessary once the Government introduces a system of no-fault divorce). What information is required depends upon how you intend to prove irretrievable breakdown.

If you are alleging that your spouse has committed adultery then your solicitor will need to know the date when you first become aware of the adultery and, if known, the dates and places where the adultery took place. They will also want to know if your spouse is likely to admit the adultery. They will not, however, usually need to know the identity of the other party involved.

If you are alleging that your spouse has behaved unreasonably, your solicitor will need some examples of that behaviour, including the worst and most recent incidents.

If the divorce is to be on the basis of separation, your solicitor will need to know the date of the separation and the date upon which you came to the conclusion that the marriage is at an end. If the divorce is to be on the basis of two years’ separation, your solicitor will also require confirmation that your spouse consents to the divorce.

 

Information about your children

If there is any dispute about arrangements for any dependent children then your solicitor will need full details.

These will include the children’s personal details, with whom they are living, mother and childwhat schools they attend, what arrangements each parent is proposing and why, any special needs that the children have and, if they are old enough, whether the children have expressed any preferences about what the arrangements should be.

 

Financial information

Your solicitor will want to know whether you have agreed financial arrangements with your spouse.

If arrangements have been agreed then your solicitor will still want some basic details of the financial circumstances of yourself and your spouse, including your incomes, the value of any assets, what is to happen to the former matrimonial home and whether either party has a pension.

If arrangements have not been agreed then your solicitor will want full details of all financial matters (note that if you have to ask the sort to sort out finances then the court will require both parties to disclose full details of their means).

 

Where there has been domestic abuse

If either party is alleging that the other has abused them then your solicitor will require full details of any such allegations, including what happened, when and where. If you have needed medical treatment for injuries suffered at the hands of your spouse, then your solicitor will want details of the treatment.

*

As stated, the above is not an inclusive list of everything your divorce solicitor will ask you – it is just intended to give an indication.

As will be seen, your divorce lawyer will not generally want intimate personal details of your marriage, as the court will not usually require such details. Your solicitor will only request the information that the court will require, and sufficient information to allow them to properly advise you.

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Can you divorce without a solicitor?

It’s a common question. Getting divorced is likely to cost money, and divorce lawyers are expensive, aren’t they?

Why not save money by doing the divorce yourself, rather than paying a lawyer to do it for you?


Solicitors meeting - Can you divorce without a solicitor?

A deceptively simple answer

The answer to the question is simple: yes, you can get divorced without a solicitor. There is no requirement that you must have a lawyer do it for you, or that you must take legal advice.

But that simple answer is deceptive. Just because you can get divorced without using a solicitor does not mean that it is a good idea. And as we will see, even if the divorce appears to be straightforward, there are traps that you can fall into if you do not take proper legal advice.

In fact, there are so many potential pitfalls involved in doing the divorce on your own that we could not possibly list them all here. Instead, we will just mention some of the more common problems that can arise.

We will do that by breaking down the divorce into its constituent parts: the divorce process itself, sorting out arrangements for any children, and sorting out finances.

 

The divorce process and divorce adviceboy with parents cutout figures

At the moment we still have a fault-based divorce system, at least unless the parties have been separated for two years, and they both agree to the divorce. Hopefully, this will soon change, as the new government has pledged to introduce a system of no-fault divorce.

Until then, however, anyone who has not been separated for two years (or five years, if the other party does not consent to the divorce) will have to prove to the court that the marriage broke down as a result of the other party’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

But there are pitfalls here. Common ones are unnecessarily naming the ‘other party’ in an adultery divorce (which can make the divorce more complex than it need be), and upsetting the other spouse with unnecessarily serious allegations of their unreasonable behaviour, which could encourage the other spouse to defend the divorce, thereby making things much more complicated.

A lawyer will be able to advise you whether you need to name any other party, and what behaviour allegations are sufficient to prove to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

 

Sorting out children arrangements

Sorting out arrangements for any dependent children can often be the biggest area of dispute when a divorce takes place.

One of the reasons for this is that often the parents do not know what sort of arrangements a court would expect in any given situation. If they did know this at the outset, then they would be far more likely to resolve matters by agreement, rather than having to ask the court to sort out arrangements for them. All too often cases go to court simply because one or both of the parents has unrealistic expectations.

An expert family lawyer will be able to advise what arrangements a court would consider to be appropriate and if possible will help you to resolve matters amicably, without having to go to court.

 

Sorting out financesStacks of pound coins

This is the area where there are perhaps the most potential pitfalls. Without proper legal advice parties often have little idea of their financial entitlement on divorce. Are they entitled to maintenance, what should happen to the former matrimonial home (especially when there are dependent children), and do they have a claim against the other party’s pension?

How often has a party walked away from a divorce without their proper financial entitlement?

These can be complex issues that really should not be considered without expert legal advice when filing for divorce.

And even if matters appear to straightforward, for example because there are no dependent children and neither party wishes to make a financial claim against the other, there is still the possible problem of one party making a financial claim against the other, possibly long after the divorce. A lawyer can ensure that this does not happen.

In short, you can divorce without a solicitor, but to do so is to take a risk that could end up costing far more than the solicitor’s fees.

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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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