‘I knew early on that I only wanted to practise family law, and this was confirmed by my two trainee seats in the family department,’ says Rebecca Carlyon.
‘Due to the very high level of day to day client interaction that you have when practising family law, you realise that you are a trusted advisor at a very early stage, even while a trainee. In many cases the legal team is the only place to turn to for clients, so you play a pivotal role from the beginning of a case.’
Clients are mostly professionals, entrepreneurs, wealthy individuals and their partners. ‘Clients call to discuss all issues arising from divorce and relationship breakdown, both financial and children related, domestic and international,’ she explains. ‘In the lead up to wedding season I also get a lot of calls about pre-nuptial agreements. Wealth protection is a key concern, but where there are children involved the overwhelming aim of clients is generally to achieve a resolution which protects the children and enables effective co-parenting.’
‘When my two year old asks what I do, I say that I help families reach agreements when they aren’t able to do that themselves. Simplistic, but probably sums it up well!’
Highlights from the past year included taking over a case which had already been running for three years (‘during which time my client had got precisely nowhere’) Within six months, Carlyon had achieved a final settlement which was very advantageous to the client, while allowing the family to move on.