Family Law

Family Law

Leadenhall Law Group’s Family Law department is accredited by various professional bodies, highlighting our position as the standard bearers in Family Law. Katherine McNally heads the department and with 20 years’ experience has an outstanding reputation for providing expert legal advice and representation in all aspects of Family Law.

Katherine’s expertise covers all aspects of children law, representing clients in the High Court, County Court, and Family Proceedings Court.

Katherine acts for parents (including those represented through the Official Solicitor), children, and grandparents in proceedings. Katherine advises and represents parents, children, and other family members in relation to private law children act proceedings.

A Law Society Children Panel member since 2003, Katherine is valued by her clients for her empathetic manner and sensible approach.

The family law team are encouraged to reach and maintain the high standards Katherine has set.

If you find yourself requiring a family solicitor, it is important that you are represented by the very best solicitors; by the nature of family law, it will probably be one of the most important decisions made about your family. We ensure all our clients receive friendly and expert advice, in our safe and welcoming environment. We want to get to know our clients and establish a relationship from the beginning, which is why we always offer a free consultation before we begin to act for you formally.

Please see below areas we cover:

Private Law Children

These are called private law proceedings because a public agency such as Children’s Services is not usually involved. It is usually a dispute between parents of the child/ren. In all applications concerning children, the welfare of a child must be the paramount consideration.  The types of order that can be made include:

Child arrangements order – Where a child should live and with whom.  Also, how a child’s time is be divided between both parents. A ‘live with’ order or a ‘spend time with’ order.

Specific Issue Order- issues that may arise, such as which school the child is to attend, change of surname, should the child receive certain medical treatment or be raised in a particular religion.

Prohibited steps order – An order preventing a person from taking a particular step in relation to a child, such as removing a child from the other parent or out of the jurisdiction.

Whilst treating the children’s best interests as the paramount consideration, the Court must follow the ‘welfare checklist’:

The children’s wishes and feelings (having regard to their age and understanding)

The needs of the child

The effect the change of circumstances is likely to have on the child.

The child’s age, sex, background, and so on

Any harm the child may suffer or be at risk of suffering.

How each parent is capable of meeting the child’s needs

It is important to obtain legal advice at an early stage. Legal Aid is sometimes available for private law children matters; this is something we will discuss with you.

Grandparents Rights

Increasingly, Grandparents play greater roles in care of their Grandchildren as hard- pressed parents juggle busy home and work lives which is why Grandparents’ rights is more important than ever. When a relationship breaks down, the impact on a Grandparent can be much greater than might have been the case, through no fault of their own and a child’s emotional wellbeing can be at risk when losing such close relationships. It is important to get advice at an early stage to ensure the relationships and existing arrangements are maintained. If a parent is obstructing your relationship with a Grandchild, you may be able to get an order to maintain your contact.

Legally speaking, there are no Grandparents’ rights, as usually grandparents do not have “Parental Responsibility” in the same way as a parent might have, although they might acquire it if a parent is unable to care. However, the Family Court recognises that it is in a child’s best interests to maintain good relationships with close family members, particularly Grandparents, even if the parent of the child cannot, and as such, a court order called a Child Arrangements Order may be obtained to protect such relationships.

Grandparents do not have an automatic right to see a Grandchild and above all, whatever the relationship between estranged parents, it is important to step back and try to avoid becoming involved in any disagreement. Maintaining good relationships with the other parent goes a long way in avoiding difficulties further down the line.


Please do not hesitate to get in touch by phone 01603 621722 or via email on the website.