Introduction

We are known particularly for our Family Law Service handling both public and private family law, as well as mediation, trading under the name The Mediation Centre, and achieving a national reputation. In recent years, we have developed a particular focus on other private client work, handling residential conveyancing, wills, trusts and the administration of estates. In addition, we provide commercial property services for our business clients.

We aim to provide a caring service that meets the real needs of our clients in our chosen areas of work and believe that this customer focus is a major strength differentiating us from a number of our competitors and influencing the manner in which we conduct our work. We believe that we have achieved a balance between the technical skill and expertise of our specialist lawyers and a caring service providing value for money. We have a reputation for being forward-thinking and innovative and make good use of information technology.

Types of Work Undertaken

The Family Law Service deals with all aspects of divorce and separation, matters relating to children including residence, contact and child-care, cohabitation and civil partnership issues, financial issues, adoption, care proceedings and the representation of children in private law proceedings, pre-nuptial and pre-partnership agreements, domestic violence and emergency matters. Steve Kirwan was one of the first Collaborative Family Lawyers in Staffordshire, adding to the growing number of Alternative Dispute Resolution solutions offered by the practice.

The Mediation Centre provides a suitable location for the resolution of all types of family dispute with the help of a neutral third party. The Mediation Centre is known nationally as one of the most successful in the family world and Neil Robinson, the centre's director, has published a number of articles in Family Law Journal. The Mediation Centre organises events and training on a regional and national level and has seen the volume of its work increase dramatically over the last few years. In recent years, we have also been extending into civil and commercial mediation.

All areas of residential property work are handled by our dedicated Property Service, including freehold/ leasehold sales (including auction sales), purchases, re-mortgages, transfers of equity, shared ownership arrangements, declarations of trust, deeds of gift and land exchanges. The team serves a wide range of clients including private individuals, property developers, holiday homeowners, farming families, charities and companies. The team is able to deliver the full range of services including Home Information Packs and is moving towards e-conveyancing. Commercial property work for business clients extends to the sale and purchase of business premises including offices, shops and factories as well as leasehold property. In January 2008, the practice was joined by new Director Jane Matthewman, formerly a Partner and Head of Private Client Services at another local law firm. Along with a number of members of her existing team, Jane is to lead the further development of the private client side of the practice. The team moved into new premises in Burslem in May 2008.

Wills, probate and the administration of estates are dealt with by our Time and Tide Service as are Lasting Powers of Attorney. The practice has developed a specialism in Court of Protection and Receivership work on behalf of patients who are unable to manage their own affairs.

Although no longer a core activity of the practice, we do handle some litigious matters for our private and business clients, including some debt collection work.

Mental Health Tribunal representation is also a specialism.