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Jones Myers lawyers are acknowledged leaders in their fields

A guide that ranks the UK’s top family law firms has acknowledged Jones Myers’ reputation for excellence for the second year running. Jones Myers is the only family law practice in Yorkshire to feature in Tier 2 of the eprivate Top Family Law Firms guide which recognises and promotes best practice in the sector.

Just 52 family law firms – the majority of which are based in London – feature in the publication which is renowned as the definitive guide featuring leading providers of advice in key areas such as divorce, pre and post nups and child protection. The prominent listing, which is determined after a comprehensive survey of the firm’s expertise, follows Jones Myers recent expansion to York with the opening of an office in St Martin’s Lane and a three strong team whose combined experience in family law exceeds six decades. Heading the team is partner Nicki Mitchell, who became the first collaborative family lawyer in York in 2005. Nicki specialises in the financial aspects of relationship breakdown and particularly complex cases involving family businesses, multiple properties – and complicated pension arrangements. Associate solicitor Samantha Gunnell, also a collaborative family lawyer, has a strong track record in matters including financial settlements, cohabitation and pre and post nuptial agreements. Lynne Richards, an experienced legal assistant, supports the team. Jones Myers has also expanded its Harrogate office this year with the appointment of senior family law solicitor Rachel Baul whose extensive expertise includes high net worth financial cases involving business and trust assets in the UK and overseas. Regularly representing sports professionals and members of the medical profession, Rachel is also adept in cases involving farming and agricultural assets in marriage and relationship breakdown. Consistently retaining top tier regional rankings in Chambers and Legal 500, Jones Myers has been acknowledged as an outstanding niche family law practice for over two decades. Founder Peter Jones said: “2019 is a formative year in the firm’s expansion and we’re delighted to be recognised among the UK’s best family law firms for the second successive year. Our reputation attracts lawyers who are leaders in their field and who share our values.” For queries on family law and children related issues, call our Leeds office on 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office on 01423 276104 or our York office on 01904 202550. Visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet us @helpwithdivorce

Jones Myers partner and in-house barrister, Andrew Fox, was invited to take part in Family Law’s ‘A Day in the Life of’, feature which we’ve recreated in full below.

A collaboratively trained lawyer, Andrew has an impressive record dealing with complex children cases and in dealing with matrimonial finance matters where there are extensive assets.

Skilled in dealing with business valuations, Andrew’s knowledge of trust related matters and off shore structures is extensive having practised in Jersey for some years. Here’s a flavour of his background and role.

1 What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?

As in house Barrister at niche Family Law firm Jones Myers, I deal with all aspects of family law. This ranges from matrimonial finance cases involving complex trust structures to child relocation cases.

2 How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?

I’ve been a Barrister for almost three decades. I initially set out to be a Doctor and studied science ‘A’ levels but mathematics was not my forte. I immediately swapped to arts ‘A’ level subjects and had to consider another career. Law seemed an obvious choice and my mother said it would suit me because I was both dramatic and argumentative! After studying at the University of Buckingham and the Inns of Court School of Law, the rest, as they say, is history!

3 Any memorable stories from your career so far?

Yes, which include arguing about ownership of a family dog, to who should have the cooker. Needless to say the court gave the parties short shrift in both cases!

4 What is the best and worst part of the day for you?

Walking to work on the beach when I was based in Jersey was an uplifting start to the day. My worst bugbear is the daily commute on packed and stuffy trains.

5 What keeps you motivated?

Developing a strategy with a client and implementing it to achieve a good outcome for them along with the cut and thrust of advocacy in the courtroom.

6 Tea or coffee?

Double espresso – I kick start the day with caffeine, and am still consuming it late into the night.

7 What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?

Don’t feel under pressure to take a law degree first as there are so many fascinating subjects that will also equip you with the skills to become a lawyer.

Law is truly a vocation which requires pouring your heart and soul into it along with being empathetic and an attentive listener. Being there for your clients is also a prerequisite. I once stopped halfway down a ski slope in Canada to take a client’s call because I knew how important it was to them.

8 What song do you listen to the most?

Turning Japanese by the Vapors, it’s upbeat and energetic – and now I’ve given my age away!

9 Who inspires you within the world of family law?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are quite a few. My initial decision to become a Barrister was inspired by the late Richard du Cann QC. At University a lecturer recommended that I read his book: ‘The Art of the Advocate.’ Having read it my mind was made up. My subsequent decision to go into family law was down to the kind and sage advice of a Barrister in the nascent stages of my career who now sits as a Designated Family Judge.

10 How do you enjoy your time outside of work?

I enjoy watching my daughter play netball on Saturdays in a local club and in her school team. I also find going out for meals with family or friends, without a mobile phone, to be one of the most enjoyable ways to switch off.

11 What book would you recommend to others?

Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited’ – it’s a tremendous story and well written. I must have read it a few dozen times and a copy always accompanies me on holiday.

12 What would be your alternate career?

Despite being one of the most dangerous professions in the world, I’d be a tree surgeon. There’s something magical about trees and forests and working in the great outdoors.

13 If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?

I’d overturn the decision to scrap Legal Aid for a wide range of family matters. Its damaging effect was to abandon thousands of parents and children, often the most vulnerable, in a legal wilderness. Deprived of the means to pay for specialist legal advice, it has resulted in a substantial and sustained increase in litigants in person which are straining our already overstretched family court system.

Contact us on family law matters – call our Leeds office on 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office on 01423 276104, visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet us @helpwithdivorce

By Norman Taylor, collaborative family lawyer

The prospect of divorce can be overwhelming, exhausting and frightening.

In our experience, most couples who’ve decided there is no going back, want to avoid a costly and stressful courtroom battle over the division of their assets and ensure the best interests of their children.

Even though their relationship as husband and wife has ended, their futures will be inextricably linked with planning and sharing their children’s development and well-being. (more…)

By Kate Banerjee, head of the Children Department

Reports that Angelina Jolie may lose her role as primary carer of her six children unless she improves her relationship with Brad Pitt reinforce how vital it is to get on with your ex.

It’s claimed that Angelina’s involvement in their sons and daughters lives could be substantially reduced if she tries to prevent her former husband from spending time with them.

In our experience children will be unsettled by any split and the importance of keeping divorce and its aftermath civilised – with co-operation, negotiation and rancour-free agreement – is paramount. (more…)

Our latest blog on The Divorce Magazine puts the spotlight on how to avoid a financial settlement being rejected. Below is the article in full.

Separating or getting a divorce [Splitting up] from a partner can be an emotional roller coaster and planning your future finances may be the last thing you feel like doing.

However, it is vitally important for the long-term wellbeing of both you and your ex that on divorcing a financial settlement is reached that is mutually satisfactory and will stand up to legal scrutiny. (more…)

Elizabeth-Bell-Solicitor

By Liz Bell, solicitor

Following on from our earlier blog, which highlighted how a high percentage of cohabiting couples wrongly believe that they have legal protection when their relationship breaks down, we answer more of your most commonly asked questions.

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It’s celebration time as we mark 25 years as a niche family law practice which continues to go from strength to strength.

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Jones Myers team

 

Our highly experienced team at Jones Myers has opened a new office at Windsor House, Cornwall Road in Harrogate as we mark our 25-year anniversary.

The milestone for our specialist family law firm, which operates out of Leeds and London, is to accommodate an increase in instructions from our clients in North Yorkshire.

The move has been widely featured across print and broadcast media including The Yorkshire Post, The BusinessDesk, BusinessLink, Bdaily, the Harrogate Advertiser and Stray FM.

2017 has been a formative year for our practice, which was founded in Leeds by Peter Jones – one of the country’s leading family lawyers and a former national chairman of Resolution.

We are consistently ranked in a joint Top Tier position by the Legal 500 and Chambers guides for Leeds, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.

Chambers 2018 describes us as, “A very strong firm – not just in finance but also in children cases.” It adds, “Expertise in dealing with financial remedy nuptial cases adds depth to their practice.”

The latest edition of the highly respected Legal 500 guide describes Jones Myers as “a family practice that is one of the best in the area” and attracts praise for our “sensible, expert, conciliatory advice that does what it says on the tin.”

Our clients are based regionally, nationally and internationally, and we have earned an enviable reputation working exclusively in divorce, separation, complex financial disputes, children issues and contested wills and estates.

Our team of experts, which include a Deputy District Judge, an experienced mediator, a family law arbitrator and our own in-house barrister, jointly combine 250 years of legal experience.

Our move to Harrogate follows the recent expansion of our highly respected children’s department who are regarded as leading experts in issues of residence, contact, relocation, child protection and international child abduction.

Peter Jones said: “The services we provide at our Harrogate office complement those at our Leeds and London locations. We are proud to be recognised as lawyers who look for solutions to problems and are acknowledged for supporting families and children. We advise and guide where possible on options which can avoid conflict and unnecessary costs.

“A big ‘thank you’ to our valued and talented team in what is a momentous year for the firm.”

For more information about any aspect of divorce or family law, call Jones Myers at our Leeds office on 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office on 01423 276104, visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet us @helpwithdivorce

By Liz Bell, solicitor

Cohabiting couple families remain the fastest growing relationship in the UK, but many mistakenly believe that they have the same legal rights as married couples in critical areas such as savings, income, pensions or business interests.

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Our talented team of family lawyers are frequently invited to share their expertise and present at conferences and forums.

The latest invitation saw Norman Taylor, a champion of collaborative law which helps to keep divorce out of court and preserve privacy, co-present on its benefits at the West Yorkshire Family Justice Forum. (more…)