Posted by Norman Hartnell on 5th March 2024
Leading family lawyer calls for register of dual-qualified solicitors

Norman Hartnell, Managing Director at The Family Law Company, has called for a national register of dual-qualified solicitors to better improve access to justice for clients from the outset.

Commenting on this issue, Norman said: “An increasing number of cases now have cross-jurisdictional issues and being able to access a register of solicitors in a variety jurisdictions would be a huge help for family practitioners to enable them to offer comprehensive advice from the outset. At the moment, solicitors often have to delve into their own, personal book of contacts to try and get the advice they might need about a specific jurisdiction.”

The Family Law Company employs two dual-qualified solicitors. Senior Associate Solicitor Amelia Davey qualified in England & Wales before moving to Perth in 2016 where she became dual qualified in Western Australia. She recently returned to Plymouth. Solicitor Shreya Kallingal is from South India; she took her Indian law degree in Chennai and practiced family law in India for three years. She then studied for her Masters at the University of Edinburgh Law School, becoming dual qualified in England & Wales. Shreya now works in Exeter.

Norman added: “In this modern age, the world is getting smaller and families often have assets and interests in different jurisdictions and a knowledge of not just the local laws, but legal cultures and norms helps inform family solicitors’ approach to running the case.”

Commenting on the benefits they have personally experienced from their dual qualification, Shreya Kallingal from The Family Law Company, said: “I recently worked on a case where both parties work in England but have assets in India. My knowledge of the law in both countries meant I could advise my client on the most favourable jurisdiction for their divorce and financial remedy. For example, in India there is less inclination towards a 50/50 split, the tax laws are different, as is the way an asset is treated evidentially.”

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Norman is Joint Managing Director and a vastly experienced family law solicitor. He has spent over 30 years specialising in Family Law and was one of the country’s first family mediators. He is a pioneer in changing the face of family law and in driving the business from its creation to the striving business it is today.

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