Welcome to Lisa Holden and Elle West and Julia Sacco
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 very largest specialist teams of family lawyers in the south-west.
Lisa, Julia and Elle all join our divorce and private law children teams, joining recent recruits Carolyn Croft and Alice Beck.
These additions really add to the strength in depth of our team – which already included high net worth specialists: Lauren Preedy (Chair of Somerset Resolution) and Bridget Garrood (former chair of Devon Resolution and member of the Law Society Diversity Committee). Our team now includes 10 divorce and private law children specialist solicitors.
Lisa Holden – family law solicitor, collaborative family lawyer and mediator
Lisa Holden – who is a very experienced family law solicitor/collaborative family lawyer and family mediator joins us as the head of our Family Mediation Team. Lisa will undertake a mix of family mediation and legal work. Lisa’s career has included being a partner for 17 years and head of the family law team at Dorset solicitors Blanchards Bailey. During that time Lisa was recognised in the Legal 500. Lisa specialises in sensible dispute resolution and has a particular expertise in cases where there are military pensions. Lisa is accredited both with the Law Society Family Law Panel and Resolution’s accredited specialist scheme for complex financial matters and children issues.
In addition, our team has also been joined by Bristol based Julia Sacco from Co-Operative Legal Services in Bristol and newly qualified Elle West from Devon’s Everys.
Strength in depth
Following a highly successful 2020 we are now in the process of transitioning from being a small to a medium-sized law firm. Despite the significant challenges of the pandemic, in 2020 we expanded and relocated our headquarters to new offices in Exeter. We also added additional locations from where we could assist clients. These locations now include Plymouth, Bristol, Bath, Shaftesbury and Frome.
Our objective remains as being to combine the provision of outstanding family law advice and representation with the promotion of sensible and child focused dispute resolution. Also, to provide outstanding client care – and for our services to be accessible.
In addition, in 2020 we were also very pleased to have been recognised as a leading firm for family law in the south-west in the Legal 500 and to have been named as the Boutique Law Firm of the Year (11+ employees) in the Modern Law Awards 2020.
Building on the successes of 2020
For us 2021 is about both consolidating and building upon our successes in 2020.
Behind the obvious growth in our legal team – we have also focused on putting in place a talent pipeline which will enable us to provide training opportunities for future family lawyers. This has been a project which is very important to us. We are particularly mindful that the number of solicitors who are members of the prestigious Law Society Children Panel shrinks each year (or at least it does in the south-west). We hope we are developing lawyers who will in time do a little to reverse that trend. (Our vulnerable clients – both children and their parents rely on having the best representation possible).
As our team has grown – it has been important to add to the overall strength in depth. The intention is that Lisa’s considerable experience (together with the considerable experience at the top of our team) will assist us to improve the skills and expertise of our more junior lawyers. Elle is newly qualified, and Julia is 10 years qualified (but not all doing family law work) – so having a core of really strong lawyers like Lisa within the team will assist with the growth and development of the more junior team members.
A law firm is only as good as its lawyers. I am humbled that from very small beginnings we have developed such a strong team of family lawyers. A good team should always be greater than the sum of its parts. Hopefully, we have this as well. Having good such parts throughout the team obviously helps immensely!
I am conscious that we have needed to expand our mediation offering – and I am absolutely delighted that Lisa has joined our team. With Julia and Elle and Alice we have also recruited talented lawyers who will hopefully part of the long-term future of our practice. The next stage in the development of the mediation side of our practice is to train one or two of our existing lawyers to become our future mediators as well. Lisa and I will be working together to share our mediation knowledge and expertise within the team.
We have a couple of things in the pipeline, but after these have worked their way through, the plan will then be to spend the rest of 2021 consolidating our progress.
This said – I am always interested if a good opportunity arises and I am always interested to hear from talented solicitors/mediators who might be interested to join our team. They should simply email me in confidence at email@example.com !
It goes without saying….
It goes without saying that we feel very lucky that 2020 was a very successful year for us. We are conscious that there are lots who have not been fortunate and indeed have faced significant challenges.
January/February 2021 have been very grey and cold and long. We sincerely hope that everyone’s sacrifices over recent months will be rewarded in a 2021 which when it gets going properly will allow everyone to get their lives and careers back on track and for us all to be able to enjoy each other’s company properly.
Hopefully some warmer weather isn’t too far away and life getting back to more like normality and recovery won’t be too long behind that.