It was a positive start to the year as The Family Law Company welcomed four new starters to the teams in Exeter and Plymouth.
The growth in cases concerning children and domestic abuse during the lockdown months is well documented. Solicitor Hannah Duddridge has been engaged in Exeter to join the busy Children and Domestic Abuse Response team. Hannah qualified in 2019 and will be working with Team Leader, Senior Associate Gemma Sparks.
Victoria Power is also joining the team as a Paralegal. She will have the opportunity to assist the team working with victims of domestic abuse as well as parents and grandparents engaged in matters involving children, with support from Gemma and Imran Khodabocus, also a Senior Associate and Team Leader. Gemma says: “With the team so busy, we are pleased to have more hands on deck with Hannah and Victoria – they are both already proving to be a real asset to the team.”
The specialist Child Abduction team has seen increasing demand for complex cases, leading to the appointment of Solicitor Kate Torney. Kate recently returned to the UK after living in Australia for 10 years. Working with Jane Chanot and Holly Crook, Kate will be managing matrimonial and child contact cases whilst developing skills in the niche area of international abduction. She says “During my training I identified most with family law and helping people with a genuine need. Specialising in this area means I can draw on my own life experiences and challenges to inform my approach to work, clients and outcomes.”
Evidencing the company’s continuing commitment to training, Michelle O’Neill joins the Plymouth team as a trainee. Michelle will be the first in the company to train under the new SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Exam) system, which removes the requirement for trainee solicitors to work in a specific number of different areas of law. Business Development Director, Rachel Buckley explains “Where previously trainees often had to undertake work at different firms to meet this requirement, they can now train in the specialism of their choice.
“We see this as an ideal opportunity to support the growth of our business, and to help with succession planning as we train from within.”
As a thriving South West legal specialist, The Family Law Company has openings for all levels of legal staff from experienced solicitors to reception and support staff, welcoming enquiries from those interested in a career in family law.