Our family lawyers comprise a director, Sarah Beskine and four solicitors, Celene Boatswain, Helen MacDonald, Martin Wolfenden and Avneet Panesar. Barbara Hopkin also continues as a consultant. We are supported by a team of trainee solicitors and paralegals. Members of our family team have a wide range of experience in all fields of family law, a number of them are on specialist panels and all are members of Resolution or other panels including the Children Panel.
Our family team is recommended in the Legal 500 guide 2021 which says that the team “combines a knowledge of the law with sensible, practical advice to provide reassuring assistance”.
When family relationships come to an end, it can be very difficult to reach agreements about the arrangements for your children, including where they will live, how often they will see each parent, carer or significant person in their life, what schools they will go to, which country they should live in. It may be necessary to go to court and these proceedings can involve any aspect of child care and living arrangements. Disputes about children are very stressful for the family involved. We are very experienced at giving professional advice in these circumstances so that you are aware of the options and can make informed decisions.
We are recognised as being one of the leading firms in children’s law. Our team of lawyers have a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise in all areas of disputes concerning children, and regularly act for parents, young people, children, grandparents and other family members.
Sometimes you may need to take urgent action to protect your child, and we can offer immediate appointments. If you are concerned that your child is at immediate risk of abduction to a foreign country or within the UK there are emergency steps that can be taken to prevent this and to protect your child. Public funding is sometimes available for these sorts of actions.
Mediation can sometimes be a practical way to resolve matters if both parties are willing to meet with a mediator to discuss matters and try to reach agreement. We will discuss this option with you and advise you about it.
Social Services can also become involved with a family if they believe there are parenting concerns which could cause a child physical or emotional harm. It is essential to seek immediate legal advice if social services indicate they have concerns, to get independent guidance from the outset. We can offer same day appointments in these circumstances.
Our lawyers who are accredited by the Law Society as specialists within this area are Helen MacDonald and Celene Boatswain, and Barbara Hopkin acts as a consultant. We have a London wide reputation within the community and Local Authorities alike as being effective, sensitive, and child centred lawyers in this area.
Members of our team specialise in all aspects of adoption work, including step-parent and international adoptions. We advise on the duties and responsibilities of Local Authorities or other adoption agencies; we can assist prospective adopters who are adopting in the UK Courts or seeking to take a child they wish to adopt overseas; we can advise parents or step parents who wish to bring a child into the UK.
We have a range of relevant articles on our Recent Publications page.
What will it cost?
Depending upon your financial circumstances you may qualify for legal aid (now called public funding). We will automatically carry out an assessment when we first have contact with you to see whether or not you are eligible.
If you are not entitled to public funding we will discuss with you other ways of funding your case including agreed terms of payment (see fees).
How to contact us?
Contact us on 020 7272 1234, or email us at Reception@hmbsolicitors.co.uk
Our Family Team can assist in all these matters.