A ground-breaking law firm has expanded into Wales for the first time.
Experienced Cardiff solicitor Kathryn McTaggart has joined family law specialists Woolley & Co and will work from a home office serving clients across Wales and south west England, as well as retaining her West London links.
“Virtual” law firm Woolley & Co sets itself apart from many others by having partner level solicitors based at home offices working around the needs of the clients rather than occupying town centre premises. It relies on new technology to speed the legal process, with transparent prices on services which can be bought direct from the website and email used to send and receive documents.
Originally from Cardiff, Kathryn qualified in 2002 after graduating from University College London with a degree in law. She began working at a national firm based in London, before moving to a regional South East firm and then moving to Queensland, in Australia for two years.
“I was not able to practice there but was allowed to work as a mediator so I did that. Mediation is compulsory in Australia before the family law process can be started. It is a system that can work very well, particular in children disputes, and I think it is the sort of thing we should encourage here,” said Kathryn, who is married and has a five-year-old stepson.
“Whatever else parents can be at each others’ throats about, when it comes to the children they generally do want what is best for them and so it is easier to thrash out an agreement with a mediator.”
After two years in Australia, Kathryn returned to the UK and began working with a niche family law firm in Chiswick before seeking out a new challenge and getting in touch with Woolley & Co, allowing her to move back to her Welsh roots.
“It was the flexibility and emphasis on excellent client care that really attracted me,” added Kathryn.
“It is about recognising what makes a good service and being able to organise things around the needs of the client. It is a very modern and forward-thinking approach. Using emails to send and receive correspondence and documents whenever possible, for instance, is a simple innovation but something legal firms do not normally do. It saves a huge amount of time and cost.”
She is more candid about her reasons for going into law than many others in her profession though.
“I think I just watched too much LA Law as a kid,” she laughed. “It was nothing more than that but I am delighted it has led me into such a fulfilling career.
“I was never really interested in any other law discipline than family law. I am interested in people and it is absolutely fascinating the way the law in this area is constantly changing because society is changing.”
Kathryn offers a complete range of family law services, from divorces to pre-nuptial and living together agreements, but has a particular specialism in matters relating to children. She has been involved in a number of landmark cases involving “leave to remove” cases where children have been allowed to move with one parent to other jurisdictions during divorce cases.
Woolley & Co now has 19 lawyers working across England and Wales. It has just published its third book – Exploring Myths about Divorce and Separation – which can be ordered free from its website at www.family-lawfirm.co.uk
Managing partner Andrew Woolley said: “We are delighted to welcome Kathryn to the team.
“While the way we work means we can easily serve clients anywhere, having a solicitor based in Wales for the first time is a very positive move for us, allowing us to be in touching distance of many more people in need of reliable, transparent family law services.”
Kathryn can be reached on 0845 680 2507 or at firstname.lastname@example.org