I like to acknowledge good practise when I see it. In the current climate of funding cuts which includes legal aid funding, it is very difficult for women to find a good family law solicitor that is committed to publicly funded work. Well, I have found one! I have been referring my clients to Moss, Beachley & Mullem, for some years now. A firm based in the West of London, tucked away behind the busy Marylebone Road, they have been serving the community for over 40 years. Whilst they do practise other areas of law, they specialise in Family Law and Housing Law.
Moss, Beachley & Mullem is not a big, corporate firm employing lots of high flying lawyers. The current partners, Alan Mullem and Denise Lester offer a be-spoke service to women who are/have been experiencing domestic abuse. They also offer free drop in clinics where women can go for advice and an emergency helpline number which runs from 6am – 4pm daily. They can give women advice and support around applying for various civil options to help keep them safe, for example – Non-Molestation Injunctions, Prohibited Steps Orders, Occupation Orders and Child Arrangement Orders. Wherever possible, they endeavour to get applications in to court on the same day when women are in immediate risk of further abuse.
I always like to attend the first solicitor’s appointment with my client’s whenever possible, and I work very closely with Moss, Beachley & Mullem. I will usually already of completed a risk assessment and taken background/history of the relationship and the abuse from my client. This can then be used (with the clients permission) to help form the affidavit needed when applying for civil orders. This serves a very important purpose. It means that the client does not have to repeat her ‘story’ in detail to the solicitor. Research tells us that this is what women fear the most when reaching out for help. They will be asked to tell numerous different agencies and organisations what has happened to them in the process of seeking help. This is distressing, embarrassing and frustrating. It can make leaving an abusive relationship much harder than it is already and trust me – it is hard!
So three cheers for this amazing firm of solicitors who I will look forward to continuing to work with now and in the future.
If you would like more information about Moss, Beachley & Mullem, their services, or their helpline number and advice clinics, please click on the links for their website and contact details.