HCR Law expands offering for separating couples due to client demand

29th May 2024

Two female family lawyers

Award-winning top 60 UK law firm, HCR Law has expanded its Unified in Separation (US) offering to clients, in response to demand for a seamless approach to separation. HCR’s family law team is one of the largest in the country and Partner Laura Williams and Legal Director, Hannah Nicholls, both trained family mediators, will lead the newly enhanced offering.

The expanded service now provides clients with immediate access to all aspects of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) – including the one couple one lawyer approach, arbitration, mediation, early neutral evaluation, round table meetings, private financial dispute resolution and collaborative law.

The launch chimes with new rules concerning Non Court Dispute Resolution which came into force in April 2024 and coincides with ongoing, widely-reported delays in the family court system which is exacerbating undue stress for individuals. The new rules allow courts to review both parties’ reasons for wanting to legally separate, if they have not considered ADR prior, and if they have failed to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. In some cases, the court may adjourn proceedings to encourage parties to undertake non-court dispute resolution, without requiring the agreement of either party, the court may also make cost orders against a party seen to be behaving unreasonably.

HCR’s Unified in Separation offering explores the options available to separating couples with a view to creating a bespoke way forward which best meets the specific needs of both parties. The process also allows for discussion around whether it would be beneficial to involve other professionals in the process, such as divorce coaches, family therapists, financial advisors or accountants. It fosters a truly collaborative approach.

Laura Williams, said: “The expansion of our Unified in Separation offering will bring further relief to couples going through separation. This outcome focused and collaborative approach will ensure that our clients experience a smoother path to resolution, in a less stressful and more efficient environment, both in terms of cost and time.”

James Grigg, Partner and HCR Law’s Head of Family, said: “Unified in Separation has been a much-needed alternative for many of our clients and this new enhancement, twinned with the market-leading expertise and guidance from Laura and Hannah, will undoubtedly help couples achieve their shared objectives. Couples will continue to receive a completely bespoke service for all aspects of their separation that is personalised to their needs and circumstances.”

The expansion follows on from HCR Law’s well-attended national family conference in Birmingham in February this year which included the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice Sir Andrew McFarlane. Sir Andrew opened the event and expressed the importance of resolving disputes outside of the court process.

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