Lawyer Monthly - Women In Law Awards 2022

FamilyLaw, Financial Settlements Lawyer of theYear what may need to move where in order to achieve a fair outcome, an equality of income, or indeed meet the needs of any minor children, as may be the case. It is quite often the emotion which makes reaching a financial settlement more complex, rather than the financial structures or mechanisms themselves. What key steps do you turn to help these clients ensure their divorce proceeds smoothly? I try to approach each client as an individual and look at their individual needs, which can also include maintaining their mental health or recognising their emotional needs as they reach the different stages of their divorce or separation process. Maintaining emotional and mental health through a divorce is important for everyone, but it can be particularly important where you are the less financially secure party. Overall, I take a holistic approach in relation to any other professionals who may need to be drawn into the process, such as counsellors or coaches and independent financial advisers, depending on the circumstances of the case and again the needs of the particular client. I endeavour at all times to enable my clients to feel informed and empowered throughout the process, which I think, in turn, makes it somewhat easier for them. They understand the strategy, they understand why we are doing what we are doing, and they understand what it is that I am trying to achieve for them. Please tell us a little about your career as a lawyer. I have always been a lawyer, despite a few short career breaks for personal reasons and a few changes to my areas of practice. My career in law will soon span two decades, two countries and four states. I originally practised corporate and commercial law, including white collar crime, and later moved into pharmaceutical defence litigation. However, after I represented myself in my own no-fault divorce, I knew I had found the area in which I wanted to practice and where I could truly make a difference. When I came to this jurisdiction from the US, I qualified as a solicitor here and have since only practised family law. I’ve never looked back. How do you help your clients to navigate complex financial settlements? The easiest way to navigate complex financial settlements is often, in fact, the most difficult. It comes with helping the client to be able to look at what can be a highly charged and emotional time as more of a business transaction. This is because when one can look at it as a balance sheet exercise and remove the myriad of emotions surrounding those figures, then it can become a lot clearer as to 24

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