How I can help
My service is tailored to each client’s individual needs and is available in many forms.
I like to see clients during school hours at my home in Thames Ditton in Surrey. I find that face to face meetings are by far the most productive, particularly the initial meeting. However, I do have clients who live abroad or too far away to make regular face to face meetings viable and we conduct meetings via the telephone or email which also works well. I ensure that my clients know they can speak to me openly about anything at all in complete confidence.
Clients come to me at various different stages of the divorce or separation process: some are considering ending their relationship and want to know their options, others have already made the decision to divorce or separate and need advice about how to go about it. Many of my clients are already involved in the process and are seeking a second opinion or some help with a specific aspect of their divorce. Some clients have divorced but need support moving forwards with their lives or need help to enforce court orders and manage contact arrangements for their children. Everyone experiences divorce differently and my service is tailored to the individual needs of each client.
If clients come to me right at the outset of the process, I make a full note of their situation during the first meeting so that if we decide subsequently that they should see a solicitor they can simply send a copy of the notes to them in advance and avoid a lengthy first meeting and the consequent large bill. I can then give some advice about how the process works, which aspects can be done on their own or with my help, rather than with a solicitor, and give some strategic advice about keeping legal fees to a minimum.
With links to local and London-based solicitors and barristers, mediators and counsellors, I am able to refer my clients to someone appropriate for their case and budget. I can then, if needed, continue to work alongside them and their solicitor, offering support and advice. Many aspects of family law are administrative, and not necessarily something that needs to be done by a solicitor, for example the financial disclosure forms.
Sadly it is almost always the case that communication between husband and wife has broken down by the time a client comes to me, but I have been able to step in at this point to help them draft emails or letters to their husband or wife which have allowed them to rebuild their ability to communicate together.
Although I am unable to represent clients in the traditional role of a solicitor, e.g. representing them in court or writing letters in my name on their behalf, I have several clients who are to all intents and purposes litigants in person but in fact are receiving advice from me behind the scenes.
I charge a flat rate of £175 per hour. There is no VAT and there are no hidden extras – you will be charged only for the exact time taken. For example, if we have a meeting that lasts 57 minutes, you will pay £166. My rate is the same irrespective of whether I am working for you during normal working hours or not. You can pay me by cash, cheque or bank transfer.
My charging policy is different to solicitors who charge in 6 minute units. I charge very conservatively, and only for work done, not a voicemail or telephone call setting up a meeting.
However, if you do need to instruct a solicitor further down the line, I can give you the tools to keep your legal fees to a minimum.
I am a qualified solicitor and, although I am no longer practising, still have the experience, expertise and connections to advise you and help you through the process.
It is crucial to be able to talk about what you are going through but doing this with your solicitor can become very expensive. While it can feel important to get your side of the story across, your solicitor needs to know very little about the details of your marriage breakdown. I can give you emotional support and an outlet for your emotions at a far less aggressive rate.
Although face to face meetings work best, if you live too far away for this to be viable I am happy to conduct meetings over the phone or via Skype. After the first meeting or phone conversation I find clients communicate with me in the way that suits them best, whether that is phone, email, WhatsApp or text. I will always respond swiftly to any communication.
It depends on the complexity of the circumstances of your case. I have had several clients who have conducted their case as litigants in person with me in the background helping to advise at each stage and draft forms and letters. The ‘other side’ was unaware of my involvement.
If your case goes to court, however, I am unable to represent you or speak on your behalf.
If you and your former husband or wife have been able to agree a financial settlement without needing to involve solicitors I can get this to the final stages so that it just needs to be approved by a solicitor and lodged at court.