A ‘good, solid and sensible’ family lawyer according to market sources, Kate Allen is respected for her thriving collaborative law practice and strong negotiating skills. The family courts system she works with is anything but good, solid and sensible. ‘It is no longer fit for purpose,’ she says. ‘Underfunding has led to unequal access to justice. The pressure on parents to resolve private law children’s matters without judicial assistance means parties are left to struggle.’ For all her prowess in court, Allen is a conscientious lawyer as much as anything else: ‘At the moment there has been an unhappy shift in focus to litigation – an attitude that litigating well is something to aspire to rather than a sign that an opportunity has been lost,’ she says.