1. As a former commercial law partner and former family lawyer litigant, it is clear, beyond any doubt, that the family justice system is wholly unskilled in all those areas of expertise which clients of family law firms need to resolve their disputes whether relating to divorce, separation, finances or children.
2. Clients of commercial law firms expect their lawyers to
- understand the subject matter of their practice, not just the relevant law. Without this fundamental skill set, family lawyers are unable to fully understand, analyse and formulate a strategy for a client’s case (beyond the stereotypical fact driven “he says, she says”) and the relevance of family law, in an individual's case, is very limited if, non-existent;
- offer “can do” dynamic advice to maximise the chances of a successful conclusion to their case, not simply implement the client’s solution to the problem as the client sees it (otherwise, why use a lawyer in the first place?). Lawyers should not be paid for simply trying to predict the outcome (a common tactic to demonstrate "added value", when that outcome is beyond their control and family law outcomes are completely inconsistent and, frequently, hypocritical) or be "aggressive" (when there is no strategy or advantage in doing so) or tell clients the problems in their case, so as to manage their expectations. Family lawyers should be sufficiently skilled, in all relevant areas, to take instructions from the client on all legal and non-legal aspects of their case and the individuals involved. The difficulty is that without sufficient training, family lawyers minimise those non-legal aspects, which include the personality, psychology of the individuals and of the case, the dynamic of their communication and conflict resolution and any issues of clinical mental health (including narcissism/NPD and EUPD/BPD).
- be available to communicate with the client at times convenient to the client, not the other way round.
3. By combining these legal and non-legal skill sets, this firm has achieved universal success in relation to this entirely unique joint legal and psychological approach to family law which utilises strategic approaches in order to maximise the chances of agreement and, where necessary, successful litigation. As no other law firm is capable of such an approach, it is very easy to predict and achieve successful outcomes for clients. We have been doing so for years.
4. These non-legal skill sets, focusing upon personalities and the psychology of the family dynamic in dispute, means that not only are cases run successfully by incorporating this information, but in the process, clients learn insights and skill sets which enable them to present their case to maximum effect to Cafcass, the court, social services and court-appointed experts, as well as manage their separated families and parenting beyond any conclusion of the legal case.
5. There is simply no future or benefit to the client in setting out their case factually to their solicitor, who then believes it is their function to document the blame to the other side in communication and court documentation at the factual level only, simply to experience the other side doing the same thing (often deflecting away from the real problem through the creation of “white noise”). This "white noise" or deflection, is particularly dangerous where the courts, Cafcass, social services and its experts, through a failure to understand these non-legal skill sets in the application of family disputes, are very prone to adopting adopt “a plague upon both your houses” approach by blaming everything upon joint acrimony. It does not matter how dysfunctional one party is, either in terms of their personality, mental health or engagement in the dispute, the failure by these individuals and institutions to understand these non-legal skill sets means they are prone to consider the issue as a joint problem of acrimony. One can see this when Judges, Cafcass, social services et cetera, urge the parents to "get along" for the sake of the children but are unable to answer the question "yes, but how".
6. Strategies are required for every single aspect of a client’s case, not only to ensure that it is presented in its strongest terms to reach agreement or succeed in litigation but to accommodate these stereotypes and lack of understanding of the non-legal aspects of a client's case.
7. Any client of a family law firm should be able to receive answers to the following three questions, having given their case history:
(a) what is my strategy?
(b) how are you going to implement it?
(c) does my lawyer have empathy? ( the answer can only be in the affirmative if the lawyer has the skill set to answer the first two questions, which we do).
Contact our Family Law Solicitors in Guildford, Surrey and Central London
Based in Guildford, Surrey and London we can help you. If you have a family dispute that needs resolving, we are here to help and look forward to your call. Please feel free to contact us, or call us on 01483 826 470