Grandparents play an important role in children’s lives and research has shown that they can have a positive impact, particularly on adolescents and when families are going through difficult times. Their involvement is strongly associated with reduced adjustment difficulties in all family types, but particularly so amongst adolescences from divorced or separated families. When a parental relationship comes to an end, it often has far reaching implications in respect of the child/ren’s ongoing relationship and access to their wider family, such as grandparents. It is a sad reality that grandparents do not have an automatic right to contact with their grandchildren. However, family courts do recognise the often invaluable role that grandparents have to play in their grandchildrens lives and it is very rare that the court would refuse a grandparent access to grandchildren unless there is a safeguarding issue that would prevent that access taking place and/or unless there are practical/logistical reasons that would mean any contact would not be in the child/ren’s best interests (having regard to the welfare checklist in s.1(2) of the children act 1989). Can I make an application to the court? Only people with parental responsibility, for example parents, step-parents or guardians can make an application for a Contact Order (see s.10(4) and (5) of the children act 1989 for full details). Grandparents are not automatically entitled to apply for a child arrangements order, and they must obtain the permission of the court (“known as applying for leave”). When deciding whether the grandparents should be given permission, the court will consider (see s.10 (8)-(10) of the children act 1989 for full considerations):- The nature of the proposed application that the grandparent wishes to make Their connection with the child Whether the application might be potentially harmful to the child’s well-being in any way. If one or both parents raise objections, there is likely to be a full court hearing where all the parties can put forward… [...]
My current role is supervising a team of caseworkers, paralegal and a solicitor in our Birmingham office. I was previously working for a national law firm managing the Milton Keynes branch as well as supporting the Luton and Cardiff offices as a Director of the Family Law. I ultimately joined NLS, six months after my initial contact with them– I felt it was a natural progression for my career and me as a person. I accepted an offer to join and moved back to Birmingham to help launch & staff our Birmingham office.
My very first responsibility was to support a senior partner in childcare cases. I realised family law was my strength as I was helping the court make decisions for children – some of the most vulnerable in our society – and helping people in difficult family related situations.
I took on a family law caseload whilst still a paralegal and trained in the area. Now, I look back and feel it was the best decision and I am learning new things every day.
I specialise in private family disputes between families/couples in respect of children, divorce, matrimonial finances and domestic abuse protection. I also specialise in childcare law assisting parents and accredited by the Law Society to represent children and their interests involved in court proceedings including removal from their parents, supervision by the local authority and being placed in secure accommodation.
I particularly enjoy being in court- I believe I am an effective advocate in court and able to absorb large amounts of important information quickly and submit the key points to a court succinctly.
I am accused of being a perfectionist when it comes to content and presentation of court documents; I feel I am able to work well with vulnerable clients assisting the court in understanding their needs.
Challenging a local authority about the unfair and arbitrary way they had been treating my client over a month. This meant applying to court and waiting a further month before being able to bring the local authority to task about their behaviour. Once in court my actions asking for an urgent hearing were vindicated with the lack of care for my client being admitted by the local authority.
NLS is a firm focussed on client care- we deal with large volumes of vulnerable people whom need our help and help from the court.
We help our clients achieve what they need to safely live their lives without fear. To do this, we monitor every client very carefully ensuring discussions take place and court orders are secured where available within several days of first contact with a client.
Solicitors and caseworkers are directly available for clients to speak to, our teams are trained to high standards with direct support to empower them to work their best for the benefit of our clients.
My favourite element of my work is achieving a positive outcome for my client allowing them to walk away from court having achieved what they sought or needed for a safe, peaceful life or to ensure any children involved are safe & happy.
I am a volunteer for the University of Law and Birmingham City University as a mentor for students seeking help, guidance & support with entering the legal sector and working life.
When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my wife & sons, reading, cooking and keeping fit.
National Legal Service Solicitors is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Trainee Solicitors who will soon commence their 2 year training contracts.
Selected following a rigorous assessment process, the chosen two were among 8 internal applicants employed as Paralegals within our 19 branch offices.
Paul Scripps and Gurveet Kular, from our London and Birmingham offices, will provide legal advice and services to NLS’s clients across the country. NLS currently provides training seats within Family, Care, Crime and Extradition. We are now looking to develop secondment relationships with other firms which will enable us to provide an even wider variety of seats within other areas of law.
Kate Probert, Head of HR said:
We are delighted to appoint our second intake of Trainee Solicitors after what has been an exhaustive selection process. As a business, we choose to appoint Trainees from our existing team rather than recruiting externally. This allows us to reward the dedication and hard work of our staff and continually develop our teams. They are our Solicitors and Supervisors of the future. It is always disappointing for those who are not successful in their application but we now work to support them ready for the next round of applications later this year. I look forward to seeing all of our Trainees progress their careers with NLS.
Kirsty Richards, Training Principal & Head Of Family said:
It’s always a pleasure to reward hardworking and committed paralegals with the opportunity to further their legal career by becoming a Trainee Solicitor at NLS. Despite only being into a year of business, we have just awarded our 5th Training Contract and we are confident that will allow NLS to continue on it’s trajectory of growth and success. Well done to the successful applicants.
National Legal Service Solicitors is pleased to announce two internal senior promotions to support its plans for growth.
We celebrate the promotions of Fatimah Iqbal & Gita Duggal to Supervising Solicitors with effect from 1st April 2019. In recognition of their hard work & dedication, the firm supported them in completing their Family Law Panel Accreditation.
Fatimah based in our Guildford office specialises in Divorce, Financial Remedy, Private Law Children, Domestic Abuse, Public Law and Probate. Fatimah qualified in England and Wales in 2017 and subsequently joined a boutique practice in North London.
Gita Duggal spearheads the Luton office and is known in local community groups. Gita qualified in 2011 and has significant experience in dealing with a private caseload consisting of divorce, financial and children matters.
Kirsty Richards, Head of Family at NLS commented “It is great to be able to announce the promotion of these esteemed solicitors to supervisors. We believe in nurturing and developing talent and these well-deserved promotions are evidence to that commitment”
National Legal Service Solicitors have offices across 19 locations including Birmingham, Manchester, Luton, Wolverhampton, Coventry & Bristol. To view our current vacancies, please click here