Expanding family law firm urges sector not to be afraid of new challenges
Thursday 8 September 2011 10:10 AM
Specialist family law firm Woolley & Co has recruited three new solicitors as it continues to expand as the legal sector faces up to one of its biggest ever shake-ups.
The Warwickshire-based firm sees its roll grow to 23 this month with the recent arrival of Ian Giddings, in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Kate Brooks, in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and Celia Christie, in Rugby, Warwickshire.
It is the latest chapter in the success story of the specialist family firm established in Warwickshire in 1996 with a business model of attracting senior level lawyers to work from home offices and offering flexible services built around the needs of the client.
And it bucks a trend being seen elsewhere in the industry with firms shedding jobs or merging as they prepare to face the challenges of the Legal Services Act which comes into force in October, allowing for greater competition in the sector from well-established household consumer brands.
“The industry is seeing a bit of a hiatus as some firms appear to scramble to prepare for the advent of so-called Tesco’s law which will see other high street organisations free to enter the legal market place and offer legal services,” said Andrew Woolley, managing partner at Woolley & Co, based in Warwickshire but with lawyers working across England and Wales.
“Some are merging because of the economic climate, some because they are trying to beef up on the range of services they offer as the new regulations come in, but we are finding that by offering specialist advice and quality customer service, business is going from strength to strength as it is.
“Competition is healthy so this change is nothing to be afraid of – if you have an effective business model and are offering expertise in a specific area of law.
“Ian, Kate and Celia joining us in the last six weeks reflects the general rise in cases we are seeing in the family law arena. That itself is set against additional changes in family law, such as a greater push for couples to use mediation rather than going to court, which some predicted would cause family law practices to take a significant hit.
“We continue to offer a flexible service to our clients, with services tailored around them, and make best use of technology, like emailing documents, something that is still not widely used in the sector and yet can significantly speed up proceedings. The flexible approach of working from a home office is also popular with our lawyers which means we are attracting high quality candidates and I for one am looking forward to the challenges that the next few months bring.”
All three new lawyers with Woolley & Co are members of Resolution, committed to non-confrontational divorce. In addition, Celia is one of only a relatively small number of specially trained collaborative lawyers in the country, who represent individuals in break-up who want to reach settlements without going to court.
Ian has been exclusively practicing family law since becoming a solicitor in 2003. Working predominantly in Coventry and Warwickshire, he has a wide range of contacts in the local community.
Kate specialises in resolving disputes about children following separation, such as where the children should live and the arrangements for contact with the absent parent.
Celia, who will cover clients in Rugby and Leamington, has handled more than 20 collaborative divorce cases, working with other collaborative lawyers in the Leamington area.
For more information about Woolley & Co, visit www.family-lawfirm.co.uk