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 February is Jane Swannell. Jane is based at our Exeter office.
Q&A – Ten Questions
- What is your job title?
Solicitor specialising in mental capacity law and relationship breakdown for unmarried couples
- How long have you been at The Family Law Company?
Exactly a year.
- How did you come to be at TFLC?
Having worked for a large national commercial law firm for 12 years, I was looking for a new challenge, an opportunity to use my Mental Capacity expertise and to experience working with private clients rather than commercial entities. TFLC is a dedicated and hard-working team of lawyers who are specialists in their field and experts in what they do. That ticked all the boxes for me!
- What inspired you to go into family law?
I have always enjoyed working for private clients and have a real passion and commitment to helping families, having a young one of my own. I love being able to use my legal expertise and experience to help people through difficult times by offering legal solutions as well as practical and emotional support. I understand the problems faced by families, young and old, and the importance of approaching those problems sensitivity and thoughtfully.
- Describe your specialism/s
I have a wealth of experience helping individuals and businesses to resolve disputes. However, I am passionate about being able to use my specialism in Mental Capacity Law to help families plan for the future and to overcome difficulties presented when they or someone close to them has a condition that affects their ability to make decisions and care for themselves. Many of those problems can be easily avoided by taking the relatively simple and inexpensive step of granting Power of Attorney to someone you trust. I encourage all adults of any age to do so.
- What would you say are your key strengths as a family lawyer?
I am an energetic and enthusiastic lawyer dedicated to helping clients to solve problems, overcome difficulties or avoid them altogether. I enjoy working with people from all walks of life and pride myself in being able to handle things sensitively and with understanding – a quality that I consider essential to be a good family lawyer.
- What is the achievement you are most proud of in your job?
There are opportunities to have a positive and significant impact on people’s lives every day as a family lawyer and I am always proud to be a part of that. However, the achievement that I am most proud of recently is in being able to help a terminally-ill gentleman with a recent diagnosis of dementia to make arrangements with his family to ensure his finances are taken care of and to plan ahead for a time when he may not be able to make decisions about his own health and welfare. I know this sort of careful planning will not only take away some of the immediate stress of the situation for himself but will also make a big difference for his family who care for him.
- Why do you think TFLC is different from other family lawyers?
The company’s people make the difference – we are legal experts, specialists in helping families and truly caring about our clients.
- Are there any related volunteering roles you undertake?
I lead an active lifestyle, running and cycling, and enjoy using those pursuits to fundraise for charities I feel passionate about supporting (for example Hospiscare and Force). I am excited about the prospect of working with two locally -based charities in the forthcoming year – Reminiscence and BIBIC – that provide important support and care to the elderly (Reminiscence) and children (BIBIC) with conditions that affect their cognitive ability.
- What do you do to relax?
I spend as much time as possible with my family and friends and love to be outdoors and active. Some of my favourite ways to relax are trips to the beach, bike rides and watching my children participate in their chosen sports.