This year has certainly been a significant one for family law. We saw the arrival of ‘no fault divorce’ in April, a welcome change that has simplified the process and has hopefully removed some of the animosity that was found in fault-based proceedings.
We have also seen greater uptake of private FDR and arbitration to avoid delays in the court system. An unpleasant hangover from the pandemic, Today’s Family Lawyer reports that delays at the family courts have increased by almost a quarter in the last year, reaching a record high of 42.7 weeks for divorce cases to complete up from 34.4 weeks in 2020-21.
We are also disappointed that the government rejected proposals for cohabitation reform but remain hopeful that protections for cohabitees are being called for more widely and we are closer than ever before.
Since our formation in 2018, Peters May has gone from strength-to-strength. We have been recognized as a ‘Leading Firm’ by the Legal 500 directory and have been recognized again in The Times Best Law Firms list and as a Top Family Law Firm by Eprivateclient.
Our brilliant young solicitor Benjamin Pitman was shortlisted for Young Family Law Solicitor of the Year by Lexis Nexis for, inter alia, his involvement in the reported case of A v A (Arbitration: Guidance). He is a member of the Cohabitation Reform Committee and has been volunteering as a supervising solicitor at the BPP family law free advice clinic.
Our former paralegals have also been thriving. Edward Wells and Alex Aspinwall have taken tenancy at 1 Kings Bench Walk and FOURTEEN respectively, with Kieran Ball having left Peters May in August to commence his pupillage at 4PB. We are so proud of them all and it’s a joy to watch their careers develop.
Looking forward to the New Year, we are excited to welcome Mia Purdy on secondment from 1 Hare Court as a Consultant Junior Barrister. We are very excited about the new addition to our team and the exciting challenges 2023 will bring.
The Christmas period can be a wonderful time surrounded with friends and family, but we appreciate that such a period is not straightforward for many families. If the festivities have proved difficult with marriage or child arrangements, please do not hesitate to get in touch in the New Year.
Jessica May and Juliette Peters