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Business Continuity Update - 2nd Lockdown

In the light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we are maintaining the measures previously put in place to ensure that we still continue to keep the highest level of service to our clients and to help to protect our clients and our team.

Ash House office

We remain open for business and the office continues to be staffed by a combination of working from home and operating with a minimum number at Ash House. We can all be contacted directly on our mobile numbers for each team member supplied to our clients, or by the Ash House main number of 0121 770 1221.

As existing clients are aware, meetings are now virtual by phone or Zoom. If you wish to deliver papers to Ash House, please liaise with ourselves first, to save a wasted journey as the main gates may be closed.

Existing clients

Virtual attendances at conferences with Counsel and the Court, as before, are reviewed on an individual basis.

The Court remains open for Hearings. Routine hearings continue to be conducted remotely via telephone or Microsoft Teams.

We are finding that hearings other than routine ones are now likely to be attended in person. Attendance is limited depending on the Court and their Covid-19 plan. In attendance it is likely to be the parties and Counsel or Solicitor (if Counsel hasn’t been retained). If you are represented by Counsel, if possible and subject to arrangement with the Court office, your solicitor will attend virtually.

New clients

As far as new clients are concerned, we offer a first virtual meeting via Zoom, Teams or Skype on the basis that we receive in advance details of the client’s concerns, whether personal, financial, or involving children or any combination of those issues. We find this works well, particularly if followed by a meeting note or an email summarising the advice provided.

For the re-assurance of our clients, all confidential emails will be encrypted and the password information supplied on each occasion. The system we have is very user friendly.

General

Any queries or concerns please give me a call on 0121 770 1221 or email me on [email protected]

As the situation develops we will continue to be alert to government advice and will keep you updated as to any changes in our procedures and plans.

Who We Are

The Team

Square for Aspect Ratio

Mercy Messenger


Senior Partner

Mercy oversees all cases dealt with in the firm and ensures that she is the first point of contact for new clients. Mercy deals exclusively with matters involving complex legal issues, cases of particularly high value, or with corporate and business interests. Mercy has also developed a particular interest in carefully analysing and computing claims on behalf of non-married parents, usually mothers for the benefit of their children.

Having developed a vocation for family law, Mercy set up her own firm specialising in all areas of family work in 1983, leading on to a part time judicial appointment for a number of years.

Mercy has for several years been personally recommended in industry guides as a Leading Individual in Family Law, including Legal 500.

Mercy is very proud of a leading case she was involved in, one of the first cases to start the trend to alleviate the burden of maintenance payable by husbands, L v L 2011 EWHC 2207

A particularly rewarding side of the work for Mercy is to see clients moving forward with financial security into a new phase of their lives after the initial shock of their relationship breakdown.

Before the concept of coercive control became general public knowledge, Mercy has, and does, ensure that meticulous instructions were and are taken to find out if the client has been abused in this way. It is then discussed with the client concerned who sees it as a “light bulb" moment. This then means the client can be encouraged to assert his/her control over the situation and move away from the shadow of abuse.

In her spare time Mercy's interests after family are gardening, theatre, cinema, cooking new recipes (the more obscure the better) and collecting old cook books.

Mercy oversees all cases dealt with in the firm and ensures that she is the first point of contact for new clients. Mercy deals exclusively with matters involving complex legal issues, cases of particularly high value, or with corporate and business interests. Mercy has also developed a particular interest in carefully analysing and computing claims on behalf of non-married parents, usually mothers for the benefit of their children.

Having developed a vocation for family law, Mercy set up her own firm specialising in all areas of family work in 1983, leading on to a part time judicial appointment for a number of years.

Mercy has for several years been personally recommended in industry guides as a Leading Individual in Family Law, including Legal 500.

Mercy is very proud of a leading case she was involved in, one of the first cases to start the trend to alleviate the burden of maintenance payable by husbands, L v L 2011 EWHC 2207

A particularly rewarding side of the work for Mercy is to see clients moving forward with financial security into a new phase of their lives after the initial shock of their relationship breakdown.

Before the concept of coercive control became general public knowledge, Mercy has, and does, ensure that meticulous instructions were and are taken to find out if the client has been abused in this way. It is then discussed with the client concerned who sees it as a “light bulb" moment. This then means the client can be encouraged to assert his/her control over the situation and move away from the shadow of abuse.

In her spare time Mercy's interests after family are gardening, theatre, cinema, cooking new recipes (the more obscure the better) and collecting old cook books.

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Lauren Parton


Associate

LL.B (Hons) LL.M

Lauren is a law graduate from the University of Sheffield who joined the practice in 2014 as a paralegal. Lauren was offered a training contract with the firm and was admitted as a Solicitor in January 2018. She was promoted to Associate at the beginning of 2021. Her interest in family law began to flourish at University and her Masters Dissertation focused upon Pre-Nuptial Agreements.

Lauren is heavily involved in the financial remedy side of the practice. She manages her own case load which comprises a variety of different areas including divorce/dissolution, cohabitation and financial remedy both on a negotiated and litigated basis. Lauren also enjoys assisting Mercy on her complex and demanding financial cases. Lauren enjoys the mathematical number crunching and tax calculations involved within the more complex cases and unearthing assets that were not previously disclosed.

Lauren is experienced in advising in relation to children law issues and is the second point of contact for all children law clients.

Lauren understands that a divorce/separation can be a very uncertain time for her clients. She takes pride in her client centric approach and is mindful of the emotional impact the process can have on her clients. Lauren’s specialist family law advice and calm approach puts her clients at ease- they know she is available to discuss their concerns and to put them into context.

Lauren has noticed an increase in the number of self-represented litigants. She understands the importance of liaising with the litigant in person in a helpful manner, however she ensures that a cost-effective approach is adopted, corresponding only in respect of topics that will progress matters for her clients.

Lauren has unrivalled experience in relation to Appeals. She is familiar with and an expert in the Appeal process having been heavily involved in several. Lauren has an in depth understanding of the time sensitive nature of Appeals and is fully aware of the technical aspects involved.

Lauren is involved with a number of cases where the clients have transferred to us after starting the process with another firm. Lauren meticulously reviews the files received in order to pinpoint the areas that need to be explored further and is on hand to answer any questions and to put the client at ease.  

Lauren is vastly experienced in all aspects of protecting rights of residence and financial claims against the property, regularly liaising with the Land Registry in respect of conveyancing issues.

Lauren has built up expertise in dealing with cases involving cohabiting couples and is competent is advising in relation to the claims that can be made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Lauren is also highly experienced in preparing Separation Agreements.

Lauren enjoys every aspect of her role and finds it very rewarding.

Outside of work Lauren enjoys going to the gym, attempting new recipes (not always successfully) and socialising with family and friends.

 

‘I am indebted to Mercy for her guidance and oversight and to my solicitor, Lauren Parton, who is quite simply amazing. She is incredibly efficient, and her organisational skills are second to none. She is articulate and incisive and managed my case superbly. I was particularly impressed at how accessible she was via. phone and Email and always responded promptly to both. Lauren kept me informed at every stage of the process and no stone was left unturned in terms of preparation for a very complex case.’

Harpreet Saund


Associate

LL.B (Hons) LL.M

Harpreet Saund, our Children specialist and Legal Executive, has been with the practice for over 14 years and deals solely with the children aspects within the firm.

Harpreet graduated from the University of Birmingham after completing her Masters in 2005. She joined the practice in 2007 as a paralegal. In 2009, Harpreet completed her CILEx exams and became a fellow of FCILEX. Initially, Harpreet assisted Mercy with complex financial cases. Harpreet then developed an interest in the children law aspects of the firm and now solely concentrates in that field, she is the first point of contact in relation to children matters.

Harpreet manages her own case load and specialises in cases involving children both under the umbrella of Court proceedings as well as on a conciliatory basis and has obtained outstanding results for her clients.

Harpreet has in depth knowledge and experience within the field, and regularly deals with Child Arrangement Orders, Live With, and Residence, Prohibited Steps and Specific Issues Applications, together with removal from the Jurisdiction. In addition, Harpreet also deals with Fact Finding Hearings, which are legally complex hearings, which she understands can often be an emotional and stressful time for the clients. Harpreet offers support and reassurance to those involved to help alleviate the pressure of going to Court.

Harpreet is committed to achieve the best results for her clients and has an impressive success record for all her clients. Just recently she obtained an unusual No Contact Order for a child where there were allegations of abuse involved in a highly sensitive case.

Harpreet is a member of Resolution.

Outside of work Harpreet enjoys attending her spin classes, however, is also kept busy with her two daughters.

 

‘I cannot fault Mercy Messenger and her team, especially Harpreet who has been nothing but amazing throughout the whole process. I would highly recommend to anyone who needs a Solicitor’s firm who they can trust in and know that any concerns will be answered with professionalism. Thank you Mercy Messenger and Harpreet for getting me the best outcome.’

Patrice Coughlin


Associate

LL.B (Hons) LL.M

Patrice is a law graduate from Aberystwyth University and has graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Masters in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. Her interest in family law began during her time at university and during work experience which she undertook at a law firm in Northern Ireland which dealt with cases involving family law.

Patrice joined the firm in July 2015 as a paralegal and was offered a training contract with the firm in September 2017 and was admitted as a solicitor in September 2019. She was promoted to Associate at the beginning of 2021.

Patrice deals predominately with financial matters, managing both her own cases and assisting Mercy with more complex and demanding financial cases which include complex business structures, remuneration packages and bonus structures.

Patrice has experience in advising in relation to financial matters in the context of a divorce/dissolution both within the court arena and conducted on a voluntary basis between the parties/between solicitors. Patrice understands that divorce is a particularly stressful time for clients and, where appropriate, will suggest alternative methods for reaching a final agreement in respect of finances outside of the Court arena. Patrice combines her professional specialist advice with an empathetic manner, ensuring the delivery of a first class, individual client centred service.

Patrice is also experienced in advising clients in relation to claims which can be made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Further, she has extensive experience in preparing and advising in relation to Separation Agreements.

Patrice enjoys her role, finding it challenging and rewarding, particularly in trying to find a way towards a solution which meets the needs of all parties involved and unpicking complex issues which may arise during a case such as superior contributions made by one party to the marital assets.

Outside of work Patrice enjoys spending time with her family, going to the gym and volunteering at her local Scout group.

 

‘You pay for what you get and when it comes to getting the best advice when your children are involved this is even more apparent and important so I highly recommend Mercy and her professional team... Special thanks to Patrice for her support through these difficult times.’

Mercy Messenger


Senior Partner

Mercy oversees all cases dealt with in the firm and ensures that she is the first point of contact for new clients. Mercy deals exclusively with matters involving complex legal issues, cases of particularly high value, or with corporate and business interests. Mercy has also developed a particular interest in carefully analysing and computing claims on behalf of non-married parents, usually mothers for the benefit of their children.

Having developed a vocation for family law, Mercy set up her own firm specialising in all areas of family work in 1983, leading on to a part time judicial appointment for a number of years.

Mercy has for several years been personally recommended in industry guides as a Leading Individual in Family Law, including Legal 500.

Mercy is very proud of a leading case she was involved in, one of the first cases to start the trend to alleviate the burden of maintenance payable by husbands, L v L 2011 EWHC 2207

A particularly rewarding side of the work for Mercy is to see clients moving forward with financial security into a new phase of their lives after the initial shock of their relationship breakdown.

Before the concept of coercive control became general public knowledge, Mercy has, and does, ensure that meticulous instructions were and are taken to find out if the client has been abused in this way. It is then discussed with the client concerned who sees it as a “light bulb" moment. This then means the client can be encouraged to assert his/her control over the situation and move away from the shadow of abuse.

In her spare time Mercy's interests after family are gardening, theatre, cinema, cooking new recipes (the more obscure the better) and collecting old cook books.

 

‘Mercy Messenger has a good analytical mind. She is an astute solicitor with very good judgement and a good understanding of human nature. She has extensive experience (including a knowledge of the judges she deals with and her professional opponents) and is tough – both with the other side and her own clients’

Ellie Sofroniou


Trainee Solicitor

LL.B (Hons) LL.M

Ellie has been offered and was delighted to accept a training contract with the Firm.

Ellie is the first point of contact for many clients and has developed an understanding as to how she can assist clients with a number of their enquiries. Ellie's role includes making sure clients are made to feel welcome upon their arrival to the office.

Ellie is a law graduate from the University of Law Birmingham and has also completed her LPC and LLM in Professional Legal Practice. Ellie's interest in family law began whilst at university and continues to grow during her time at the firm.

Ellie also deals with the invoicing and credit control within the firm and is able to assist clients with queries regarding billing, disbursement payments, and costs budgeting, which many clients find helpful and reassuring.

Ellie assists all members of the team and enjoys the variety which her role offers on a day to day basis.

Outside of work Ellie enjoys spending time with family, travelling and attending gym classes (occasionally!)

 

‘They won my case and I’m still grinning. Thank you Mercy, Lauren and Ellie 10/10’