Accredited family law specialist Alan Wright has joined Gillard Family Lawyers as in-house special counsel, bolstering the firm’s expertise and laying the platform for future expansion.
Alan has practised for over 30 years at some of Newcastle’s biggest law firms and brings a wealth of experience in complex family law matters. He is also an accredited mediator.
“Alan has been an accredited specialist for 23 years and fits the mould perfectly for a boutique family law firm like Gillards,” Gillard Family Lawyers director Michelle Gillard said.
“He is highly respected and brings outstanding mediation skills which complement our firm’s range of capabilities.
“Alan also really enjoys mentoring young family law solicitors and will take a leading role in guiding our juniors as we look to expand in the near future.”
Specialist accreditation is a peer assessment process overseen by the Law Society of NSW enabling legal practitioners to be recognised for their expertise, and is a credential held by less than six per cent of the profession in New South Wales.
“Family Law matters can cause extreme anxiety for most people,” Michelle said.
“Seeing an experienced lawyer in Family Law will help a person get realistic sound advice and a good understanding of what their options are and where to start. Seeing an accredited specialist underlines the credibility of that advice.”
Gillard Family Lawyers acts predominantly for private clients but also takes on Legal Aid matters on principle, believing it is important to give back to the community.
“It’s important for the legal community in Newcastle, including accredited specialists, to continue to represent vulnerable members of the community,” Michelle said.
Luke and Michelle have recently been appointed to the Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel with Legal Aid.
“Being accepted onto the panel is further recognition of the experience we bring to the table,” Michelle said.
“When appointed to this panel, you’re representing the interests of highly vulnerable children in often very unfortunate circumstances in typically complex legal matters, but we see it as a way of contributing to the greater good, and as a boutique family law firm, that’s where we position ourselves.”
Gillards takes the same proactive position to advancing the profession and providing a local career pathway.
“We currently employ a Newcastle University law student and we will look at actively employing local junior lawyers moving forward,” Michelle said.
“We don’t believe in throwing juniors into the deep end, and as the firm expands, one of Alan’s major roles will be to support and mentor our younger solicitors so that we can continue to build the business.
“There is definitely a buzz of excitement in the office as we look toward this next phase of growth.”
Gillard Family Lawyers is located at Bolton Street in Newcastle and offers fixed fee initial consultations for $220. Appointments can be booked by calling (02) 4910 0740 or completing a new inquiry form on their website. The appointment usually lasts an hour to an hour and half depending on if it is just parenting or property or both.
The original Newcastle Herald article can be found here.