Head of family law at Mackrell Turner Garrett, Alison Green joined 1989 where she qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in 2010. An expert in matrimonial work, she works on cases relating to divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.
‘The best part of the job is working out a solution and getting that implemented for clients, many of whom are in a state of emotional turmoil. Being able to take the pressure off them and secure a good outcome for them is massively rewarding,’ says Alison, whose mantra is ‘to be available for clients when they need us and help them to secure a solution to whatever problem they may have,’ she says.
Founded in 1845, Mackrell Turner Garrett is a central London based law firm with an international outlook. Clients are from the UK and overseas and include a significant number of HNWs, foreign nationals, Premier League footballers and members of royal families. Alison herself works often with expats, and especially those based in the Middle East, Monaco and the South of France. ‘The key to a successful relationship is flexibility, efficiency, contactability and the value your input has to a client’s reputation and security,’ she explains.
As founder of Mackrell International , an international network of independent law firms made up of 94 member firms in 60 countries, the firm is able to provide clients with easy access to global legal advice anywhere in the world. ‘Together we are over 4500 lawyers worldwide and speak over 40 languages. There is very little we cannot advise on,’ Alison explains. ‘Simply put – no other law firm combines our level of personality and ability with the worldwide coverage of lawyers through a single phone call or email.’
A recent development affecting the industry has been the introduction of Artificial Intelligence which is impacting certain areas of the profession, and especially the managed legal services sector. ‘We see this as an advantage providing technology is utilised to improve efficiency and not dilute quality,’ she explains.
Another theme is the decline of marriage and the increase in parties cohabiting, which provides additional challenges as England has no specific legislation which deals with the rights of cohabiting couples, unless they are same sex. Global mobility among clients is also an issue which the firm has been addressing: ‘this is why we place great importance on the development of our International network so that one point of contact enables a client to reach legal expertise globally.’
The accessibility to legal services is not well understood, says Alison. ‘Legal services is still considered a ‘needs based’ service. It is there to fix a problem. I think greater emphasis should be placed on the promotion of lawyers assisting individuals and businesses more as strategic consultants. This route is often more efficient and as a result less costly.’
She also feels strongly that the industry as a whole needs to be more adaptable to the market it operates in. ‘Talking the client’s language and making an effort to make a client feel at ease,’ she explains. ‘It helps to establish trust. Without that you will have a much harder time getting your point across.’
In her spare time, Alison likes to travel, cook, garden and cycle. ‘Having taken part in a charity London to Paris cycle ride to raise money for Larchfield a couple of years ago, I have tried to maintain my cycling fitness,’ she explains.