Putting the family first: how a boutique family law firm can help
PUBLISHED: 11:16 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:59 27 May 2015
Choosing an independent family law firm could protect you and your family, say Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers.
Legal disputes between members of a family can be difficult, especially when children are involved. As experienced lawyers, we know from first hand experience of the difficulties and emotional turmoil a separation or divorce can cause within families. All too often, children would be stuck in the middle of heated exchanges and endless legal discussions, whilst the issues of their welfare were being discussed. We also know, having built our own family law practice, that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Hiring a boutique firm of family lawyers such as Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers can really help families through difficult times. Family law specialists offer a unique blend of specialist knowledge and professional experience, to guide spouses, partners and families through a turbulent and often worrying time in their lives. Boutique law firms also offer a level of personal service and attention that larger firms necessarily can’t match.
So, if you’re looking for a firm of specialist family lawyers, here are our top five tips for finding the best firm for your needs.
1. Choose a specialist in family law
This might sound obvious, but family law firms should have a high degree of expertise in all issues around family law, including divorce, separation and other legal issues that affect family life. A general law firm may have expertise in one area, but for the complex matters arising from separation or dissolution of civil partnerships, expert knowledge is essential to ensure the best outcome for all parties. Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers was founded as a specialist niche family law practice for the Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey borders areas.
2. Who will manage your case?
In large law firms, you may not be allocated a single point of contact for your case, and senior partners may not always conduct the whole case. Don’t be afraid to ask from the outset who will be in charge of your case, and make sure you meet them beforehand face to face. To be blunt, you need to trust them and to be able to work with them. LGFL Partner Rita Gupta explains further:
“What makes Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers different from larger firms is that all work is conducted by myself or my fellow Partner Anne Leiper, so you have one contact throughout your case, and all work is undertaken at Partner level. All our new clients are offered a free initial consultation with no obligation, so you can meet myself or Anne Leiper before committing your case to us.”
3. How committed are the Partners to family law and family issues?
A good family law firm should have a child-centred approach to family law, prioritising the need of any children involved, their welfare and future security. They should also be experienced in dealing with complex children act matters, and be able to offer you practical advice focusing on the interests of the children. At Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers, Partner Rita Gupta is constantly interested by the unique demands of family law, especially as a parent herself.
“In family law, no two cases are the same and people are so different. There are always shades of grey in each case and discretion in the way the law is applied, so it is a fascinating sector of law, where you can make a real difference to someone’s lives. When I had my son, I wanted to maintain my career but like many working parents, I didn’t want to miss out on sports days or a song recital. Running my own law firm has given me the flexibility to have both, and ensures I am in touch with the everyday reality of being a parent and a working mother too. It’s a difficult work/ life balance, and hard work, but continuing to make a success of the practice drives me on a daily basis, and I genuinely still love my subject matter.”
4. What is the law firm’s approach to finding solutions?
It is essential that when dealing with family matters that the complexities of the legal aspects don’t overtake the needs for pragmatic and practical solutions for the present and for the future. LGFL Partner Anne Leiper explains further;
“As family lawyers, you have a duty to adopt a sensible approach as you are dealing with people’s lives and emotions. As a practice we always protect our client’s interests, but practical advice has to be given suited to the individual client. So much of our role is about empowering the client for the future and allowing them to make their own decisions, whilst ensuring that most importantly the long term welfare of any children is protected.”
5. Do they offer Collaborative Law practices?
Collaborative Law is a way of potentially reaching an agreement with former partners and spouses outside of normal court proceedings. Collaborative law involves face to face meetings between both parties and their lawyers, backed by a signed agreement that every attempt will be made to resolve matters out of court. As a result, decisions can be made more quickly, and within a timeframe set by the parties involved, not by the court. However, Collaborative Law is not appropriate for every case, so if you are considering this approach, make sure your family law firm offers a free 30-minute consultation to new clients, as Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers do.
If you need a local firm of family lawyers with extensive experience in family law, call LGFL on 01189 739749, or see our website at www.lgfamilylawyers.co.uk