Family: Shaping New Law into Solution-Focused Answers for Clients

Wed 27 September 2017

The Playfair Building Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson St Edinburgh EH8 9DW

Answers to 10 Thorny Questions: Directly from 8 of Scotland's Most Experienced Lawyers

5hrs CPD

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  1. Registration and coffee

  2. Chair's Introduction

    Family: Shaping New Law into Solution-Focused Answers for Clients

    Chaired by: Sheriff Wendy Sheehan

    Wendy is a specialist family and adoption sheriff in Edinburgh. She is a founding director of niche family law practice, SKO Family.

  3. ​Setting aside agreements and orders

    What would move the court to set aside agreements and orders, because of (1) dishonesty or material non-disclosure, (2) bad legal advice, or (3) significant change in circumstances?

    Answered by: Philippa Cunniff of Gilson Gray

    Philippa is "especially well regarded for her work on high-stakes divorce". She is "sharp, clever and practical" and brings a huge number of cases to the table.

  4. ​Intractable contact

    In intractable contact cases, how do you balance the voice of the child with that of resident parents doing their level best (1) to ensure compliance or (2) discourage it?

    Answered by: Amanda Masson of Harper Macleod

    Amanda is regularly instructed by the Glasgow Sheriff Court to prepare bar reports in child welfare cases. She is a trained Childline Volunteer Counsellor.

  5. Morning coffee

  6. ​Cohabitation

    Why are the Courts making significant financial awards to cohabiting parties who have contributed little and suffered little or no economic disadvantage?

    Answered by: Shona Smith of Balfour & Manson

    Shona is a "trailblazer" - she "excels in her field". She is Co-editor of "Greens Family Law Bulletin" and past Chair of the Family Law Association.

  7. ​Child evidence

    With reference to relocation and alienation cases, when and with what frequency are the courts requiring children to give evidence?

    Answered by: Siobhan Kelly of BLM

    Siobhan frequently acts as curator to children in litigations and reports to the Court on the future arrangements for their care. She is "tough, empathetic and brilliant".

  8. Over-run

  9. Lunch

  10. ​Pension sharing

    How should you share the value of pensions on divorce or separation?

    Answered by: Richard Smith of Brodies

    Richard is "straightforward, no-nonsense and simply superb". He regularly acts on complicated, high-value financial provision cases.

  11. ​Difficult finances

    How do you protect a client faced with a spouse in difficult financial circumstances, e.g. pending bankruptcy or IVA or mortgaged to hilt with money lost on failed ventures?

    Answered by: Frank Burr of Arnot Manderson Advocates

    Frank is regularly instructed in financial provision cases and “is able to extract pertinent details in a very short timeframe”. He “exudes confidence and gravitas and is someone you want to listen to”.

  12. Relocation

    How are the courts balancing change versus the child being settled in placement, i.e. in international relocation for lengthy periods?

    Answered by: John Fotheringham of Morton Fraser

    John is "the guru for child support cases". He is General Editor of "Butterworth's Family Law Service" and a Contributor to "Wilkinson & Norrie: Parent & Child".

  13. Over-run

  14. Close of conference

** All speaker quotes are taken from Chambers Directory, Who's Who Legal and Legal 500