My Services

  • Give you strategic advice on your financial or child dispute.
  • Advise on the mediation, collaborative law, arbitration and court processes, and the pros and cons of each.
  • Communicate with your ex-partner/spouse to try and reach agreement, and save you the cost, both financial and emotional, of court proceedings.
  • Refer you and your opponent to a skilled family law mediator if agreement cannot be reached through correspondence.
  • Prepare court application where a respondent (ex spouse) will not sign the acknowledgement of service (in divorce proceedings).
  • Advise on the types of financial remedies available to unmarried people (or those not in a civil partnership).
  • Explain the purpose of contact centres, process servers and other agencies.
  • Explain the role and remit of the CAFCASS officer and the judge.
  • Prepare the necessary court application forms and/or advise you on the types of order(s) you should be seeking.
  • Accompany you to court to offer moral support and advise on points of law/act as intermediary with your opponent.
  • Prepare a letter of instruction for an expert.
  • Help you to draft a witness statement in accordance with court protocol.
  • Advise on and prepare trial bundles for use in court.
  • Research case law and prepare a skeleton argument/position statement on your behalf.
  • Help you to instruct a competent barrister if appropriate.
  • Draft consent orders, and associated court forms, in financial proceedings.
  • Explain the purpose of, and prepare on your behalf, a separation agreement for financial aspects.
  • Prepare a Will on your behalf.
  • Advise on and issue enforcement proceedings if appropriate.
  • Advise on, and effect a Notice of Severance of joint tenancy for a property, so that your respective shares pass under the terms of your Wills rather than to your ex spouse/partner.
  • Domestic violence – I can issue emergency proceedings, prepare statements and come along to court with you (if local to south Gloucestershire). It is possible that I may be able to address the judge/other side on your behalf but I would need to apply for permission from the judge first.

Read a more detailed description of my family law services here >>

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Constraints on a Litigation Friend’s
(McKenzie Friend) role

While I work to a code of ethics, these are less restrictive than the constraints imposed on solicitors by the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority.

I do not have rights of audience and therefore cannot, in normal circumstances, address the judge on your behalf or cross examine your opponent.

As with other branches of law, family law can be difficult to understand and often seem unfair to clients. It is however worthwhile to ascertain at an early stage your prospects of success so that you can make an informed decision about whether to try and settle your dispute, or initiate/continue with court proceedings. Also an important point to remember is that the role of your McKenzie Friend (or advocate) is to help you present (and/or submit) your case to the judge from a legal perspective, or to advise you how a judge will perceive the merits of your case.

My approach

Particularly where there are children involved, my ethos is to be polite, respectful and as friendly as possible, even when liaising with client’s former spouses.

That is not to say that I cannot “fight your corner” but a hostile approach is counter productive in my experience. My approach is totally anti-discrimatory, that is, I welcome enquiries from both male and female clients, regardless of sexual orientation, socio-economic group, ethnicity or creed.

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Client Testimonials

“Samantha was a great help and got my consent order documents in order meticulously and worked very hard to get everything done. Highly recommended.”

Sagar S - Hornchurch

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