My name is Nicki Mitchell. I’m a partner at Jones Myers solicitors and I work with Gary on cases where we work together to support couples going through a divorce.
Gary and I have probably worked together on cases for the last 10 to 15 years.
Gary and I work together in a variety of circumstances, we will work together on a case where a client will take legal advice separate from the financial advice that they take from Gary. But we also work in meetings-based-processes, where we will be with the clients and potentially another solicitor depending on whether it’s Collaborative Law or mediation. Gary brings the advice into the process if you like.
So, I’m a specialist family lawyer. Anybody who’s going through a relationship breakdown can come to me for advice, but my specialism is alternative dispute resolution. So, I work as a mediator, and I work in the collaborative process. Essentially, I favour meetings-based-processes where couples can keep control of their financial future and keep out of the court process.
It’s incredibly important that people going through divorce and separation get financial advice. In some cases, it’s more important than others. But, in a lot of cases that I deal with, there are pensions involved, and it’s essential in a situation like that, that financial advice is taken.
Gary himself instils quite a lot of confidence in me, he’s very approachable. He doesn’t come across as if he knows all the answers. He’s quite happy to talk things through, so you do feel like he’s properly listened to the issue. You get sensible advice at the end of it in a very straightforward way.
I think it’s really important, particularly in a situation where you’re probably going through one of the most difficult times in your life, that you choose somebody that you can work with. Somebody who you’re confident listens to you and has your best interests at heart.
There are lots of different reasons why financial advice will be of benefit to a separating couple. It’s an opportunity for couples to restructure their financial lives. There are often options there that you wouldn’t think of which form part of the problem-solving exercise, to get to a financial settlement that really works for them as individuals.
I’ve consistently had a lot of good feedback about Gary, and quite often beyond the piece of work that he does with me and the client. He’ll keep in touch with clients for many years to come.