New legal service launches to give parents direct access to barristers
|Published: 10th October 2019 09:02|
A NEW legal service has launched giving separating or divorcing parents wishing to make arrangements to see their children direct access to barristers to represent them in and outside of court.
The recently formed, Bristol-based Children in the Middle is the only practice solely specialising in this line of work nationally in the UK.
Elizabeth McCallum, who is a family barrister and co-founder of Children in the Middle, along with fellow barrister Sarah Evans, explained: “We’re a unique legal practice offering parents direct access to barristers to advise and represent them when making arrangements for the care of children following divorce or separation.
“Most of our work is done remotely, which means geography is not a barrier. It also means that we keep our overheads down, a benefit we can pass on to the client. What we offer is affordable, expert legal advice about your children.
“Rule changes several years ago mean that members of the public are now able to instruct barristers directly, rather than going through solicitors, but the public are still relatively unaware of this.
“By having direct access to us, you can save money by managing your own case through handling the admin and the paperwork, while still benefitting from specialist legal advice from a barrister, who is a children’s law expert.”
Elizabeth has practiced in this area of law for more than 14 years. She initially qualified as a barrister, then transferred to become a family solicitor and, more recently, became a family barrister.
Sarah has a wealth of experience having spent time as a family lawyer working in the USA, Scotland and London before joining Magdalen Chambers in Exeter as a barrister.
Prior to launching Children in the Middle, Elizabeth and Sarah worked together on the landmark case of Re W (Children)  Civ 999. Elizabeth as solicitor and Sarah as barrister acted for the successful father in Re W, where the Court of Appeal ordered direct contact between the father and his estranged children. This remains one of the leading cases on contact between fathers and children.
Sarah, who has been a children law specialist for more than 30 years, said: “Wherever possible, we will help a parent reach a voluntary agreement with the other parent over the arrangements for their child. But, if court action is required, as barristers, we can provide the experienced representation a parent needs for every stage of the proceedings, from initial advice, drafting an application to the court, representation at hearings anywhere in England and Wales and preparation of witness statements and evidence.
“However, as a parent you may just need one meeting with us so we can give you advice and guidance on the best way forward for you and your child.”
As well as assisting with court cases, Children in the Middle can offer assistance with appointments and paperwork to parents living anywhere in the UK.
Elizabeth added: “We have more than 45 years’ combined experience in the children law field and we aim to offer creative, practical solutions in even the most difficult situations.”
For further details, please call Children in The Middle on 0117 214 1797. Alternatively, please visit www.childreninthemiddle.co.uk.