I was born and bred on Teesside and read History and Economics at Oxford University. I undertook my legal studies in London and completed my training at Cohen Jackson (formerly in Middlesbrough and Stockton).
I then spent 25 years working in Newcastle before joining Macks in June 2014 to head up the Family Department. I specialise in dealing with financial issues that arise when a relationship breaks down whether that is for a cohabiting couple, a married couple or as part of the dissolution of a civil partnership. I also advise upon steps to be taken prior to entering into such relationships to include pre- and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements. In addition, I have a wide experience in dealing with private law children cases.
After undertaking family work for 20 years and witnessing the negative impact on both parties and their children of traditional ways of resolving disputes upon relationship breakdown, particularly through the court process, I trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2008 and I am currently Secretary of the Executive Committee of the North East Collaborative Pod.
Given my collaborative training I am particularly passionate about Dispute Resolution and trying to keep disputes out of court. In the light of my experience, I readily acknowledge that in some cases there is no alternative to issuing proceedings at court. I will discuss options and potential costs with a client at the outset of a case. In litigation or as part of the negotiation process I am able to stand my ground to look after the best interests of my client but will always focus on the issues and provide realistic advice so as to reach a pragmatic and cost effective outcome
I am an active member of Resolution – an organisation comprising 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals who adopt a code of practice which includes taking a non-confrontational approach to resolving family disputes and who campaign for improvements in the family justice system. During my time in Newcastle I was secretary of the North East Committee of Resolution for over 10 years and more recently the Membership Development Secretary. I also spent over 10 years sitting on the Board of Relate, Northumberland and Tyneside. Based in Darlington, I act for clients all over the world and I am personally able to see clients across the North East of England.
At the tender age of three, I knew I wanted to become a lawyer and would tell everyone who wanted to listen.
Growing up in Nigeria, I wanted to make a change and give a voice to those who did not have one, fight injustice and stop illegal activities. Too bad I am not Superwoman or Catwoman for that matter, but the Law is a profession where I knew that I could achieve my quest in life.
I was born in Nigeria and relocated to London when I was a teenager. I attended college and university in London and went on to undertake the Legal Practice Course at the University of Huddersfield.
I enjoyed Family Law during my training contract and have specialised in this area since qualifying in 2009. My particular interest is in children matters and I am happy when I am able to achieve a better outcome for the children. I took to this specialist path because I take the view that when parties are separating, the children should not be used as pawns to spite one parent, as this is neither fair to the children nor in their best interest. Parents should be able to come together especially for the children as separation can be quite a traumatic experience for them.
I am a keen advocate and represent parents in the Magistrates and County Courts. My mother credits her genes for this aspect of my life but my father begs to differ. In my spare time, I love reading, spending time with my family and socialising.
I was born and raised in Darlington and spent my entire career with the same firm in the town before joining Macks in 2016.
When I started out as a 19-year-old office junior in 1983 it was Darling Heslop and Forster and over the years it became Darling Hodgsons, then Hodgsons and Mortimer and finally Newtons. I trained as a chartered legal executive and now specialise in all aspects of Family Law. By nature I’m a friendly and approachable person, which I think is very important, especially when you’re dealing with people at such a difficult and stressful time in their lives.
People need to have confidence in what you’re telling them and they also appreciate the fact that I speak the same language they do, so they understand what I’m saying. I get tremendous satisfaction from helping people come through traumatic times and to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
A lot of Family Law is about being able to look at things from both sides and being reasonable rather than hostile. If you try to point-score you’ll end up in the wrong frame of mind and won’t be able to reach an agreement. I’m all for conciliation where possible. If you have to go to court a judge will impose an order on you, so it’s far better to sort matters out yourselves.
Away from work I’m an avid caravanner and am secretary of The North Yorkshire Centre Caravan Club. My husband David works for Network Rail and has done so for 38 years and we have a grown up daughter, Chloe, and a Cavalier King Charles, who we’ve called Harley David’s-Son!