Associate Director & Family Solicitor
I qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and I have been employed at Oliver & Co Solicitors since January 2004. I have expertise in all areas of family law but have specifically focused my career and expertise on Child Care law in the last 5 years. I became a Children Panel Member in 2009, enabling me to represent Children in Care Proceedings. I am also a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children and Resolution.
I pride myself in working in a conciliatory manner endeavouring to get the best for my clients with as little stress and upset as possible. I ensure I give my clients direct and honest advice to ensure they know exactly what is required of them. In dealing with Child Care matters I recognise that a sympathetic and personal approach is necessary, and I strive to ensure all my clients get that. I often have to deal with cases on an urgent basis and I always endeavour to make myself available to deal with cases that come in and require immediate attention. Any clients who instruct me can expect to have direct contact with me and a fast response time. Oliver & Co are situated in close proximity to Chester County Court and I am therefore available at short notice to represent someone at court should they require it.
In dealing with Child Care matters I work alongside a number of professionals. I regularly liaise with other solicitors involved on a case and mutually refer clients to other firms of solicitors should there be a conflict of interest. I deal with the Local Authority on a daily basis and have good relations with the legal team, social workers and court liaison officer. Representing children also means I regularly am instructed by Children’s Guardians, employed by Cafcass. The nature of Care Proceedings means that there is a lot of court work and I endeavour to undertake all my own advocacy at court where possible, to ensure consistency of representation for my client, whether a child or a parent. I regularly liaise with the court over court hearings and have a good relationship with court staff.
I recently represented a mother in care proceedings, whose baby was removed from birth following concerns in respect of an elder child’s care and potential non accidental injuries caused by a parent. Throughout the court proceedings the local authority made it clear that they felt the best option for the child was to be placed for adoption. After a court case lasting over 12 months and hard work on behalf of the mother to prove she could and had changed, the local authority reconsidered their plan and agreed for the child to be returned to the mother’s care. I fought hard for the mother to ensure the local authority could see that the risks were manageable and that the mother would not place the child at risk of harm. This was a great success for the mother.