I am delighted to have recently joined Bastian Lloyd Morris Solicitor Advocates, as Director of Public Family Law Proceedings. I hope to be able to enhance BLM’s already excellent reputation for hard work, honesty and integrity; qualities which are at the heart of their core values. These qualities are essential, coupled with relevant experience, expertise and an intellectual rigour that is needed to represent parties in both public and private family law proceedings.
I qualified as a Family Law Solicitor in May 2001 having successfully obtained a 2.1 degree in law and having passed the Solicitors Legal Practice Course (LPC) with a Distinction. Whilst I pursued the traditional route to qualify as a solicitor, I am pleased that there are so many more avenues available nowadays and I would encourage anyone who wishes to pursue a career in the law to consider each of them, particularly given the recent changes to the student loans system!
Family Law has always been the area that I have been the most passionate about and it has interested and frustrated me in equal measure. I specialise in representing children and family members in public law care proceedings across the UK and I have been a Member of the The Law Society Children Law Accreditation Scheme for many years. Sadly, there is a national crisis taking place as there are a lack of registered placements available for those vulnerable children who most require them. These children, who are in crisis, are being failed and are being placed in unregistered placements due to the lack of a suitable registered alternative. The hands of the local authorities are tied as for every one bed available there are numerous children who urgently need it. There does not appear to be any political appetite to address this issue despite pressure from all who work in this area.
I have recently seen a change in the willingness and openness of professionals who practice in this area of law to discuss their own mental health and wellbeing and the impact that this type of work has upon it. This is a welcome development. There is currently no provision for students on the LPC or Bar equivalent to learn how to identify and put in place measures to ensure that they are able to look after their own mental health and I would fully support further consideration of this. I know from my discussions with colleagues that there are moves afoot to try to address this. I was fortunate to recently attend a Local Family Justice Board meeting where this very subject was discussed by the guest speakers and it was very well received by all professionals who were in attendance.
When I am not in court I can often be found with a pair of secateurs in hand in the garden, searching for inspiration at the garden centre, at the gym, practising yoga, walking the dogs or spending time with my friends and family. These are the pursuits that strengthen me to approach my court advocacy with boldness, courage and purpose!
For more information about Bastian Lloyd Morris, visit their website or call 01908 546580.