News Article

How did you find your experience of the law in a family dispute



How did you find your experience of the law in a family dispute is a question the regulatory body for solicitors is asking of practitioners in an effort to identify the need for consumers to access advice for legal problems. The SRA are regulators independent, for example, of the Law Society and family lawyers organisation Resolution and have commissioned pollsters to canvas views as follows: “The SRA is to survey family law firms in an effort to ‘understand the experiences of consumers in family, children’s and social welfare law.’

Northwich solicitors Stonehewer Moss employ experienced family law solicitor Michael Brennan to address family law enquiries, having moved into this area of law in September 2015 from their traditional litigation base. Michael is an accredited specialist by both the Law Society and Resolution. The firm offers consumers, known as clients to a lawyer, an initial meeting without obligation to instruct or make payment. Michael says,

” The free initial meeting is essential from the perspective of a consumer with a family crisis involving legal issues as they must feel their problem is being appropriately handled and affordable. The service you need may depend on your emotional, financial or health status; some people need advice only and will get along without the need for more support, others want an honest broker to negotiate in a civilised manner when their ex simply cannot face them personally and others are either in Court or heading that way and prefer a representative in Court to acting as their own advocate.The SRA research indicates the awareness of the authorities that over the lifetime of successive governments the area of family law has been politicised with efforts made to take professional representation out of the Courts. This has primarily been by a limitation and in many cases removal of legal aid. While there are funding products available they have not been taken up widely by the public and solicitors have had to offer unbundled services or fixed fees as alternatives to the traditional hourly charge. I think the research implies consumers know what to expect from the law but my experience over 25 years is that the manner of delivery of legal services changes with the times. The concept of mediation, for example, hardly existed when I began but today is enshrined in the court rules. I like the collaborative option but I have to say it is not taken up that often. My somewhat jaded view of legal life is that the public gets the legal profession it deserves. The law follows public shifts in manners; shop around for the individual lawyer that reflects how you want the future in your family to be represented after the current break.”

For advice, negotiation or representation in family law matters in Northwich and Cheshire call 01606872200 e mail visit


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