One of the many advantages of running a specialist family law firm with no “central” office is that we have partner level family lawyers placed to offer advice and help to people across swathes of England and Wales. They work from home offices, offering a flexible service designed to fit around the client rather than traditional office hours and restrictions.
But, as we have grown, we have now created our first regional “hotspot” where there is a small, but perfectly formed collection (is there a special group noun for family solicitors?) of our solicitors within shouting distance (almost) of each other.
With the arrival of our latest family lawyer, Kimberley Bailey, a hotspot is developing around Bristol and the south-west. We now have Kimberley, who joined us on July 30, in Bristol, Kathryn McTaggart, in South Wales, and Judith Buckland, in Wells. Our newest recruit is an experienced family law specialist, Resolution accredited and juggles being a married mum of two with her career.
In her words: “Having a young family, I was looking for a greater work-life balance and Woolley & Co offered that. It is something that is difficult to find at many more traditional firms. I can now manage my caseloads and my time in a way that suits my clients and my lifestyle.
“What is also nice being at a dedicated family law firm is that I now have 20 other specialists around me, between us we have experience of absolutely all areas of family law and that has to be a big advantage for our clients.”
Reform of rules on cohabitation, the issue of increasing numbers of litigants in person slowing down the family court system, and mothers using children as pawns in contact wrangles – all of which we have discussed previously in these columns – are industry issues which are key for Kimberley.
It is always difficult to attract the right type of lawyer to the firm and I am delighted Kimberley is joining us and, in so doing, creating a pocket of particular expertise around Bristol and the south-west.
And bearing in mind my blog at the end of April (What makes a great family lawyer?) – that a lawyer working with us needs to have a good sense of humour – when asked why she was suited to working, effectively, as her own boss and running her own office, she said: “I craved autonomy at my last firm, having previously managed and headed a family law team. I’m really looking forward to this new challenge. ”