Catherine is a solicitor in the family law team and was made an associate of the firm in 2018.
Catherine began her legal career at Stephensons as a summer student in June 2007, only a matter of weeks after completing her legal practice course at the College of Law in Chester. She completed a work placement in the firm’s community care department before joining the family law team as a graduate paralegal in September 2007.
She has always had a passion for family law and studied both child law and family law at Nottingham University as part of her LLB law degree and also family law as an elective as part of her legal practice course.
As a paralegal Catherine gained real insight and great experience into public law matters concerning children i.e. care proceedings. She was heavily involved in co-running cases and regularly attended court hearings and meetings to support clients and their legal representatives.
Catherine secured a training contract with the firm in March 2010 and half of her training contract was spent within family law across two of the firm’s offices in both Leigh and Wigan.
Catherine then secured a newly qualified position in March 2012 and her role mainly involved dealing with advising and representing parents and extended family members in private law court proceedings i.e. disputes over residence (where a child is to live) and contact (who a child is to see). In addition, she advised wives and husbands in relation to divorce and all aspects relating to divorce including their children and their finances.
She has also dealt with cases concerning domestic abuse and helped to protect people by advising and representing them in court proceedings concerning injunctions / non-molestation orders. She also gained experience in relation to change of name deeds and child abduction.
Since having qualified Catherine has gained more and more experience with regards to representing parents and extended family members in care proceedings in both Manchester County Court and Liverpool County Court.
Catherine conducts the majority of her own advocacy in court itself, in addition to advising parents and extended family members right from the beginning of care proceedings through to their conclusion. She also advises and represents parents at pre-proceedings meetings held by local authorities.
Catherine also continues to advise clients with respect to issues concerning residence and contact and also continues to act for clients to obtain injunctions / non molestation orders. She continues to deal with many people who are victims of domestic abuse.
Areas of specialism
- Private children law – contact orders and residence orders
- Negotiating agreements relating to children i.e. residence agreements and contact agreements
- Issues relating to parental responsibility – parental responsibility agreements and parental responsibility orders
- Injunctions/non–molestation orders
- Divorce and finances
- Public law children proceedings
- Social services involvement with families – including pre-proceedings