It’s important before one goes into discussing who practices family law, to understand what family law is.
Family law is an area of the law that deals with with all aspects of the family. For example divorce financial matters, separation and of course children’s issues. Here is a the definition that is given by wikpedia. Unlike the USA where family law differs from state to state. Here in the UK there is no difference to the law if you are based in London or Manchester.
In London alone there are over 100 law firms who specialise in Family Law. So how do you decide who to go with?
Well it depends. It depends on what area of family law you are in need of expertise for. Is it a simple case of getting divorced? Although the divorce rate is nearly 1 in 2, divorce is never straight forward, especially if children are involved.
Maybe you just need a pre-nuptial agreement or even a post-nuptial agreement. Nowadays it is very common for a lot of couples to get an agreement in place before one gets married. So if your partner asks you for one, it’s not because they are looking to get divorced and don’t love you!
Without having dealt with all of the firms in London it is extremely difficult for me to say one is better than another. However there are some firms that have a great reputation and some that don’t. One of the family law specialists that has a great reputation is Coram Chambers. Coram are not solicitors but barristers. Up until recently a member of the public was not able to hire a barrister directly, you had to go through a solicitor. Now it has changed and there is something called direct access or public access. This enables a member of the public to directly engage with a barrister in certain circumstances. As a firm of 68 barristers, Coram are experts in what they do.
Times are changing – with the ages of the internet, everyone is suddenly an expert in family law. But in reality all most people know is a snippet of information. They haven’t studied for years, or have worked in the trenches like most solicitors. So if you are thinking that you can get away without hiring a solicitor or a barrister, think again. There is a reason they charge what they charge. It’s because they are experienced in what they do and they know the law and the interpretation of the law.
Another firm of family law solicitors that also has a great reputation is MHHP Law. Unlike Coram who are based in the heart of London, MHHP are based in Barnet. They are a small niche firm that offers a much more personalised service. So what you have here is two high quality companies that both specialise in family law, but they both are very different firms and cater to specific requirements of potential clients.
In future posts, we will delve into further details about all the areas of family law and which family law firms are at the top of their game. In the meantime, should you have any questions feel free to drop me a line.