The Family Law Panel – An Expression of Gratitude

The thinking behind the launch of The Family Law Panel began 18 months ago with a ‘phone call from Mary Shaw. During the course of that conversation I explained to Mary that we had just signed an exclusive contract with a national firm of family solicitors…

…I distinctly remember calling my colleague Rebecca afterwards to say we had just been given a right royal rollicking some valuable professional opinion. The core of Mary’s advice was that we were missing a trick if we ceased our signposting role to “local” solicitors and mediators.

Mary was right!

So, in January this year we made the decision to neither extend nor renew our contract with our national provider of family law information/advice. We had to think about alternative solutions so we set about seeking advice as to how best we look after and cater for the thousands of enquiries we get each year on matters to do with divorce and separation and Children Act proceedings.

Our first port of call was Roger Bamber. Roger invited us to London for a pow wow. He brought along his brightest and best (Rose and Robin) to the meeting; invited us to talk straight and explore all options and kicked off the meeting by reinforcing the bottom line – that mums and dads coming through our websites were parents in the “twilight zone”… parents who were motivated enough to look for support and direction; dedicated parents who needed the best possible service.

By the end of the meeting Rebecca and I walked out into the City of London and knew we had the furthered Mary’s basic idea of “going local”.

Chris Fairhurst was frequently on the blower! For those who don’t know, Chris is a mate on Twitter who was always bending over himself to help our dads. “Chris, I have a dad in Kent. He lives in his van, has absolutely no money, 15 convictions for this and that, hasn’t seen his kids for three years and is now looking for contact”. Such calls have always been met with an immediate “put him on”.

Chris – you really are a credit to your firm and the legal profession.

In between helping parents, Chris was also telling us very clearly that we needed to build up a panel of the best family solicitors around the UK. We listened!

With an outline plan beginning to crystallise we found ourselves in the offices of Norman Hartnell and The Family Law Co on a bright spring morning.

Norman doesn’t mess around!

We walked into the meeting he had arranged. Assembled around the table we found he had brought together his senior solicitors and partners, marketing managers, his human resources manager and (believe it or not) a senior naval officer with proven, top-level skills in team building and strategy.

Within about 10 minutes, The Family Law Panel began to take shape. What an astonishingly competent group of people!

During the next couple of months we received more help from Norman and his team than you can imagine – we really can’t thank them enough.

This short ‘thank you’ note would not be complete without passing on our gratitude to Jo Edwards and her team at Resolution for inviting us along to their Manchester conference so we could meet their membership and discuss our plans further. It was a kind gesture and one we really appreciate.

So today, The Family Law Panel is up and running. We are giving preference to Resolution members firms and individual solicitors who can demonstrate a commitment to the ethics contained in the Resolution code and utilise social media to reach a wider audience; we are not ashamed to say we are hand-picking the cream of the UK’s family solicitors.

Offering the very best service to the mums and dads who come through our organisation requires team work – and it is our privilege to have had your professional input and support.

Thank you.

Bob and Rebecca

 

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About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded www.onlydads.org in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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