Each month we are featuring one of our solicitors or chartered executives. We feel strongly that our clients should be matched with the right lawyer, so this is one way of finding out a little more about our team.
Our lawyer of the month for August is Mark Langsworthy. Mark is based at our Plymouth office.
Q&A – Ten Questions
- What is your job title?
Chartered Legal Executive
- How long have you been at The Family Law Company?
Two years, four months
- How did you come to be at TFLC?
I had been working for a firm based in Somerset who decided to downsize their care team – a case of last in, first out. A local County Council legal department snapped me up to be an in-house advocate on a short-term basis but then decided that they wanted to keep me permanently and asked me to stay. I received an offer from TFLC on the same day and the opportunity to work for the firm back in Plymouth was too good to turn down!
- What inspired you to go into family law?
I actually fell into family law. I intended early in my legal career to go into civil litigation and was initially studying to do so. I started out in the care proceedings team at Hampshire County Council in the early 1990s and got bitten by the bug of working in this area of law. It certainly has its challenges but is the most interesting area in which to practice in terms of helping people with real-life problems. As the saying goes: “all human life is here”.
- Describe your specialism/s
I have, at various times, specialised in virtually all areas of family law. The common thread running through my legal career has been care proceedings work and I would say that this has been my main specialism for the last 12 years.
- What would you say are your key strengths as a family lawyer?
Court work has a particular interest for me and, I would say it is one of my strengths. I would also say that I have a strong ability to reframe complicated issues so that they are readily understandable for clients, particularly those who may be vulnerable or disadvantaged themselves.
- What is the achievement you are most proud of in your job?
Still being a practicing lawyer after nearly three decades in the law! But seriously, care proceedings are often the most gruelling and demanding area of practice for everyone involved, lawyers, child care professionals and, of course, the clients. While the outcome is often not what the client would ideally want, helping that person through the process and enabling them to have their voice heard can be very rewarding.
- Why do you think TFLC is different from other family lawyers?
TFLC as a firm just does family law. It’s as simple as that really. For the client that means an assurance of real expertise from a specialist firm. As a lawyer, it is refreshing to work somewhere where everyone from the top downwards fully understands the pressures and challenges of this area of practice.
- Are there any related volunteering roles you undertake?
The nature of my work means that there is seldom enough time to become involved in volunteering roles – although I know that some of my colleagues somehow seem to find that extra time. Kudos to them!
- What do you do to relax?
Play saxophone, listen to music (mostly jazz), make (and drink!) cocktails, and try to work out what the two weird cats that I live with want me to do for them (stop playing saxophone probably).