Founder Edward Cooke said he was delighted to be joined by Michelle Lewis, who joins him from a well-known regional firm where she practiced for the last eight years.
Edward, who has practiced in the Chichester area for nearly 20 years and was brought up in the city, said Michelle’s approach as a family mediator as well as a solicitor mirrored the firm’s aspirations.
He said: “Family mediation and collaborative law are ways of resolving family law disputes without recourse to court, in such a way that puts the interests of any children at the heart of the solution.
“Whilst we do represent clients within the court process, where possible we also strive to enable clients to reach their own solution out of court, as in our experience this is not only less costly but also much less stressful for people.”
Edward said that, following 2015 government report ‘The Voice of the Child’, there is increasing recognition that listening to the wishes of children is very important, particularly those aged ten or older.
He said: “By meeting children in the mediation process, we can offer a neutral and safe environment for children to have their voice heard by their parents in a way that ensures that the interests of the family as a whole are taken into account in agreeing future living arrangements.”
Last year, Edward was recognised by fellow family lawyers across the country with the John Cornwell Award, for going the extra mile in his work supporting separating families, with particular reference to his outstanding work in securing alternative court provision in Chichester.
Find out more about Edward Cooke Family Law at www.ecfamilylaw.co.uk