Claire O’Flinn
Family Lawyers
Company Size
Email address

‘I am almost the fourth emergency service at times,’ says family law specialist Claire O’Flinn, Consultant Solicitor at Keystone Law. ‘Clients call me when they need urgent help. Sometimes this is because it is a legal emergency, and sometimes because it is an emotional one – and I treat them both with the same respect and importance.’

O’Flinn has also been witnessing the effect of Brexit first hand: ‘As with a recession, those who have a cushion of liquid assets are – to an extent – untouched. If they need a divorce then they hire the best, and can afford to do so. Those at the other end of the scale have to tighten their belts, and so don’t divorce. It is those in the middle who are most affected – those without the cushion of cash, for whom litigation takes on a new light, because losing will cost proportionally more to them.’

In recent years, O’Flinn has seen a rise in disputes concerning children. ‘More often, it’s a dispute years after separation,’ she explains. ‘“Parental alienation” is a buzz term, and cases where one parent is seeking to relocate to another country are also on the rise. This is undoubtedly linked to that previously-mentioned “middle ground” – because, more often than not, those looking to return to a country of origin, or relocate for a new job or promotion, are those who are relocating for financial reasons.’

In the past 12 months, O’Flinn achieved a substantial financial settlement for a wife after a four-day trial. ‘It was far better than I and counsel thought possible,’ she recalls. ‘In part, I believe, because of the way our witness changed the Judge’s view of the husband.’

O’Flinn’s career began in 1999 when, temping as a legal secretary for City of York Council to fund her Politics MA, she found herself having a chance conversation while making tea. ‘A solicitor told me how she had converted to law after completing her degree in English – something that I had never heard of,’ O’Flinn tells Spear’s. ‘I continued to temp while I studied, which I believe gave me a unique appreciation of the role of support staff. I know what can be done, and in what time frame. It also means that I don’t suffer fools, but can say “thank you” for a job well done.’

Known among her peers for her calm yet diligent approach, O’Flinn is also highly appreciated by clients. ‘Words that come to mind are patient, persistent and generous with her time,’ enthuses one, while another praises her for ‘making a difficult process much more bearable.’

‘For me, realising that I’m a trusted advisor probably came years after I actually was one,’ admits O’Flinn. ‘When you realise that the great settlements are reached because of your skill, your knowledge and your capability, it begins to dawn on you that maybe you have the knack!’

Claire O’Flinn
Tagged on: