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Posts tagged ‘domestic violence’

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June Venters QC Top Ranked in Chambers UK 2016

Chambers 2016

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Top Ranked Leading Firm Chambers 2015

Interview with Denise Hoilette

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

I first joined Venters Solicitors as a Locum Solicitor at their Reigate office and then subsequently became a Senior Solicitor and Head of Department in 2011 and was made a Salaried Partner in 2012.

I love the challenge of the variety of work that I conduct at Venters.  I meet very interesting people in very distressing circumstances and am privileged to have a role where I assist in some crucial decisions that are being made in their lives.

I have had an extensive Family Law practice for over 21 years.  I specialise in divorce, finance orders relating to marriage and relationship breakdown including international elements and assets, injunctions both civil and domestic violence and co-habitation work.  I was involved in setting up a Domestic Violence One Stop Advice Service many years ago and have continued throughout my years of practice to take a special interest in domestic violence issues and the protection of victims.

I specialise in representing parents and children in Care Proceedings and other child related Court actions such as special guardianship, residence and child arrangements applications. I have often represented clients with an international element and have also represented clients in child abduction and leave to remove cases. I conduct a large proportion of my own advocacy in various courts.

I am a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel (Adult and Child), Family Law Panel and am a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children, Resolution and advise clients via The Grandparents Association.  I have represented children in non-accidental injury cases and other complex care cases. I act for children with significant mental or physical health or behavioural problems.

I have a very active and challenging parent care case load and take great care to listen to my clients to ensure that I understand their position and their lives and what they have experienced.  It is a great privilege which I take seriously, no mater what type of case I am involved in.

In 2003 I obtained an MBA (Legal Practice).

WHAT DREW YOU TO THE LAW

I wanted to be a Solicitor from when I was 12 years old. It attracted me as it seemed like a challenging and exciting career- and so it has been!

I have been fortunate to have conducted 3 cases at Court of Appeal level.

I like to add to my knowledge all the time and I am currently turning my attention to add into my specialisms in advising clients in relation to alternative family issues for single sex couples.  Given my extensive experience in the law relating to relationship breakdown and children this fits very well with my professional interests.

WHAT DO YOU OFFER YOUR CLIENT

I develop a close working relationship with my clients and listen to them very carefully and actively as I like to understand their motivations and experiences. Clearly working with clients in distress is a huge privilege and there is a delicate balance to strike. I am very clear in the legal advice that I give and the reality of an individual’s situation so that I can provide realistic options.

I believe that being clear and honest with clients is absolutely crucial so that clients can make informed choices about their lives.

As I am a Solicitor Advocate I provide a seamless service from the very first meeting through to court hearings and I believe that this is very reassuring for clients.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT LAWYERING

I love singing and I am a member of a large London based choir who have performed at various major London concert venues.  I love running (when my knees allow!) and walking and going out.

I am a former Chair of a Board of School Governors at a local school and continue to be a Governor which is very interesting and rewarding.

I love spending time with my friends and family and many people say that they never know what I am going to be up to next as I am a great believer in seizing the day and having as much fun as possible!  I have travelled extensively around the world.

CAN YOU DECRIBE YOURSELF OF IN FIVE WORDS

Not really – I don’t think anybody can!  People have said that I am fun, caring, vibrant, passionate and a straight talker.

Rise of Domestic Violence during World Cup

With the First game of the World Cup on 12th June 2014, it is a concern to consider the statistics of the 2010 World Cup which saw an overall increase to level of Domestic Violence during that period.

Whether England won or lost in 2010 there was an increase to the level of Domestic Violence after each match.

Women’s Aid have set up a new campaign – Football United Against Domestic Violence to send a clear message that domestic violence is always unacceptable.

If you are at risk, we are here to help you take the appropriate steps in securing the necessary orders to protect you.  Please do not hesitate to contact Venters Solicitors on 01737 229 610 or 0207 277 0110 for urgent assistance.

Domestic Violence and Contact – are they being properly investigated?

I am currently researching how effectively the courts are properly investigating allegations of domestic violence when considering applications for contact having had a recent experience where a court’s failure to do so caused a mother and her children three years of emotional turmoil as she struggled to convince the professionals involved that she was not implacably hostile to contact but had genuine and legitimate child protection concerns.   She was only vindicated when some three years later the Fact Finding Hearing was listed and determined.   I am reminded of what Dame Butler Sloss said in Re L [2000] 2FLR 334 at 341-2

‘If the allegations might have an effect on the outcome, they must be adjudicated upon and found proved or not proved. It will be necessary to scrutinise such allegations which may not always be true or may be grossly exaggerated…In cases of proved domestic abuse, as in cases of other proved harm or risk of harm to the child the court has the task of weighing in the balance the seriousness of the domestic violence, the risks involved, the impact on the child against the positive factors (if any) of contact between the parent found to have been violent and the child. In this context, the ability of the offending parent to recognise his past conduct, be aware of the need to change and make genuine efforts to do so will be likely to be an important consideration.’ 

I am in contact with Dr Danya Glaser consultant psychiatrist who was instructed by the Official Solicitor at that time to prepare a joint report with Dr J.C. Sturge, to advise on the four appeals with a view to considering the situation further.

If anyone has any similar experiences where the courts are either not listing cases for fact finding hearings in such circumstances or who are accepting “watered down” admissions so as to change significantly the nature of the allegations made thus making them less serious I should be grateful if you would send me details.

June Venters QC

 

1 Billion Rising for Justice – Walk with ESDAS

ESDAS organised a walk to support 1 Billion Rising for Justice.  A Venters team of Carly Fiander, Christine Boot and Floris Shoebridge joined ESDAS to participate in the event in the name of a great cause.

At the top of the hill the staff from ESDAS gave a reading, and it was followed by a minutes silence for all those who suffer abuse across the world.  Bubbles were then released as sign of freedom.

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Interview with Carly Fiander

Tell us about yourselfCarly Fiander

I joined Venters in 2002 as a paralegal, before undertaking my training contact and qualifying as a solicitor in 2005.  I specialise in Family Law and am a Resolution accredited specialist in Domestic Violence and Children Law.

I undertake all children work whether proceedings have been issued by the Local Authority or by family member.

What drew you to law?

I have always been interested in Law and to be honest was unsure what I wanted to do when at school/College.  I was encouraged by my Law tutor at the time to study Law at University.  I then gained work experience with different firms and knew that I wanted to work helping families.

What do you offer clients?

I offer reliable down to earth advice to my client’s, along with a willingness to listen and help families work through the issues currently before them.

What do you do when you are not lawyering?

I am lucky to have a supportive family who I like spending my time with when I am away from work. I do enjoy watching TV box sets and am currently watching ‘Lie To Me’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’.

Can you sum yourself up in 5 words?

Caring; reliable; professional honest; realistic

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