The popular BBC programme, The Split starring Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan, recently returned to our screens for the final season. It has proved a highly popular and much loved show which follows a Mother and her three adult daughters’ lives, and covers topics of love, betrayal, fertility issues, loss, separation and divorce. The Mother (Ruth Defoe played by Deborah Findlay) and two of her daughters (Hannah Stern played by Nicola Walker and Nina Defoe played by Annabel Scholey), are all family law solicitors. All of us within the Family Team are huge fans and it has sparked much discussion, including the various characters and at times, the inaccuracies with Family Law! Despite this, we are all still huge fans and all of us shed many a tear at the Season Finale.
The question we have all faced from family, friends and colleagues, ‘Is that what it is really like being a Family Solicitor?’ Whilst it might be rather nice to meet for a quick cocktail in a lovely bar to discuss a case this definitely does not happen. Nor would we align ourselves with the approach often taken by Melanie Aickman (played by Anna Chancellor) in the series, of going into battle and taking a combative approach to cases. We are all members of Resolution and our ethos is to try and resolve conflict and work closely with our clients and the other party, or their solicitor, to try and reach a resolution which is fair, whether this relates to children or financial matters, or often both. Where appropriate we will always refer clients to mediation and when assisting with the voluntary process take a mediation/collaborative approach. We will only advise our clients to file an application where it is absolutely necessary. We therefore as a team all unanimously agree that we would align ourselves with Hannah Stern, who whilst extremely knowledgeable and fierce when required, was compassionate, empathetic and always tried to achieve a fair solution as swiftly as possible.