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18:49 on Tuesday
24 February 2004

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Local family lawyers set up group

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Speakers and members of the group

Nearly 30 local Family Lawyers recently attended the first meeting of the Peterborough Family Law Group at Broadway based Hegarty & Co Solicitors.

The meeting had been organised by Family Solicitor Jane Tatlock of Hegarty & Co Solicitors. Jane said "I wanted to set up the Family Law Group to help improve communication with the local Courts and as a forum for local family lawyers to discuss ideas and problems"

The main speaker at the meeting was Barrister, Lindsay Davies from Fenners Chambers who with fellow Barrister, Liam Gribbin discussed the topical Lambert Divorce case. Lindsay, who is also a Recorder explained that the case was ground breaking in so far as Lord Justice Thorpe now makes it clear that it is unacceptable to place more weight on the husbands contribution as breadwinner than the wife's contribution as homemaker. This case, unlike the majority of divorces which take place in Britain every year, involved assets totalling 20.2 million.

The case has led to an increasing public perception that settlements arising out of all divorce cases will be resolved by an equal division of the assets of the marriage. If this were true, it would make the job of lawyers and decisions of Judges a great deal easier. However, Miss Davies commented that the Court of Appeal who considered the Lambert case made it clear that the decision in Lambert does not change the fact that each and every divorce case will be decided on its own merits and in line with the circumstances surrounding that particular case. Thus, in a lot of cases the parent with care of the children, normally the wife, will potentially receive more than 50% of the total assets in order to ensure that she and the children of that marriage are adequately rehoused.

Also present were Margaret Pearce from Metcalfe Copeman and Pettefar and Duane Plant from Dawbarns Pearson who are Chairperson and Secretary of the West Norfolk and Fenland Family Law Practitioners Group respectively. Duane talked about the advantages of setting up such a group and gave advice on running a Family Law Group.

At the meeting were family lawyers from many local firms including, Buckles, Hunt & Coombs, Metcalfe Copeman and Pettefar, Waller Needham and Green, Roger Terrell & Co , Hannah & Co and Dawbarns Pearson. Janet Thompson was also present from the Solicitors Chambers.

Jane concluded, "The meeting was very beneficial to those who attended and I hope the group will become established as a valuable resource for all local family lawyers"

March 2003




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