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I am a Partner in the family law team at Stephensons. I joined Stephensons in 1992 and have specialised in family law ever since. Separation and family disputes can bring a variety of situations which require careful management, advice and support and as a specialist family lawyer experience has shown that all situations are different and require a number of skills. My main areas of work are the more complex privately funded situations of asset division and arrangements for children and include both approaches of negotiation and litigation.

Within my children work I became specialised in advising parents, wider family members and has also represented children themselves when the court and social services became concerned about their immediate welfare.

I see my role as solicitor as one of advising, supporting and enabling clients to move successfully from their present situation onto the next stage in their lives. I find that team work with my clients, and using skills to promote discussion goes a long way to help achieve something that is fair, is reasonable and equally as important, is cost effective.

I am a good listener. The starting point is to understand clearly what it is that my clients want me to do for them and what it is that they really want to achieve. The importance of a good working relationship is to understand the objectives and to formulate a plan to move forward.

I am also a straight talker. It is important to have respect and understanding of a client’s aims and objectives but it is also equally important to be realistic about the prospects of success.

When there are children at the very heart of the family, it is vitally important to make sure that they are least affected by the situation they are in. Not many want a court process and I recommend the most appropriate way to resolve the situation in the way that my clients want.

I am proud to be part of the family team which is one of the biggest teams of family specialists in the country. We are recognised in the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession for our privately funded family work, in representing clients in the division of their assets. “This team really has its finger on the pulse” (The Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession) and for our specialist work for and involving children.

I regularly comment on topical family law issues in the media and have appeared in the Daily Mail (Online) The Guardian (Online) and on BBC Radio Manchester.

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