Need an ACT family lawyer? Call Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.
If you have been thinking about engaging an ACT family lawyer, you may have started researching online and been confronted with the huge range of family lawyers out there. So how do you choose the right law firm for you? Here, we take a look at some things to consider to help you make a decision with confidence.
Size of firm? Remote and virtual ‘new law’ firm? Good old fashioned city office that’s been around for a long time?
Comparing family law firms
The size of law firms in Australia ranges from small boutique firms specialising in very limited niche areas of family law, to large operations with branches throughout Australia. There’s something for everyone.
If you’re more inclined to go with a traditional law firm, check out whether there is a strict hierarchy, with partners supervising every aspect of the case, and connections with inhouse accountants, planners and other professionals. Find out whether the quoted estimate of fees is based on time billing or is outcome-based. Will you only have partner contact, or might you be dealing with a range of professionals from partner down to paralegal. Find out how it works before you commit.
If a boutique, small firm appeals to you, you might want to weigh up the benefit of having a close relationship with just the one solicitor against the benefits of large teams brainstorming your issue.
Size doesn’t matter
The quality of a law firm is about much more than its size. You’ll also be considering whether the firm can handle your needs. No matter its size or heritage, a family law firm might choose to specialise in niche areas of family law while others may be part of a generalist practice and maintain a diversified team where they can advise clients on all legal matters in a one stop shop (conveyancing, Wills, commercial lease of the family owed business and so on).
Family law deals with all family related issues, not just divorce. There may be a self-managed super fund which needs to be wound up and split. A family business may need to be restructured, or a beneficiary may need to exit a family trust. All legal issues around the formation or dissolution of a family (and its businesses and assets) are covered. It really depends on how wide-ranging your needs are going to be. Not all firms will handle all these areas so that will narrow things down too.
Are they experienced enough?
Apart from considering whether the firm you choose should be a niche or full service firm, you’ll also need to ascertain whether a particular firm has enough relevant experience with your particular kind of matter. Judging this will depend on thorough online research including looking at your State or Territory’s Law Society ‘find a lawyer’ type website search, reviewing what year a lawyer was admitted (which can be a good guide to experience), looking at client testimonials, and even just openly asking the firm’s solicitors about their experiences.
Evaluating a firm – questions to think about
- Does the firm have a good track record of successfully resolving disputes – do they pride themselves on conducting litigation, or perhaps are they more mediation-focussed?
- Are you confident that the firm has taken on cases similar to yours?
- What are the credentials of the solicitors? How many accredited specialists do they employ? Do the lawyers have Masters Degrees in family law practice?
- Are there any testimonials from previous clients?
- What kind of court experience do the lawyers have? Local Court in a regional area? This can be very good in providing lawyers with a wealth of experience in family law, crime including domestic abuse and assaults, as well as other legal area. Family Court in a capital city? This may lead to more frequent court appearances doing lots of specialist family law work with a wide variety of clients from all walks of life; is Children’s Court experience going to be useful for your situation?
- Do you have a feel for the kind of service you will received? How did your initial phone call go? What was your first meeting like? Were the offices neat and tidily maintained, or were things worryingly ramshackle? How were you treated when you phoned? Are your phone calls promptly returned?
- Do you feel supported by the “culture” of the firm?
- What are the firm’s values? Choose a firm that has values consistent with your own.
Well, there’s loads to think about for starters!
Where we fit
At Alliance Family Law, we see ourselves very much as a medium-sized, boutique, specialist ACT family law firm. While we can advise on a spectrum of family law issues, we are highly specialised in certain areas.
We are an all-female team of family lawyers, assisting both male and female clients, including same sex, and from all cultures of the world. Our primary goal is to help you get through the legal system so you can get back to the normal and happy life you deserve. We want you to come out the other side stronger—psychologically and financially.
Whether you need help with separation, divorce, parenting and child custody, superannuation splitting, property settlement, dissolving family businesses and trusts, a pre-nuptial agreement, or any of the many ancillary family law issues – we can help. We have strong expertise with:
- distributions of assets and liabilities in property settlements, including large asset pools whether out of court through negotiation, or via a court hearing;
- parenting matters both by agreement between parents – with or without formal mediation – and through the court system;
- sensitive cases involving family violence allegations (including coercive control, non physical abuse and financial abuse), and cases where a party has a mental health or addiction issue;
- financial matters including advising on spouse maintenance, property settlements, child support agreements and Binding Financial Agreements (pre-nups and post-nups) or providing appropriate referrals to our associates in relation to business matters, valuations, including forensic financial valuations, Wills and Estates, enduring powers of attorney, conveyancing, re-financing mortgages and all ancillary legal matters.
We are strongly inclined towards Alternative Dispute Resolution processes such as assisting parties participate in mediation, arbitration (for property matters) and collaboration, with our firm specialising in collaborative divorce.
We are an Accredited Specialist in family law. Our principal lawyer Cristina Huesch is a New South Wales Law Society Accredited Specialist, under the Specialist Accreditation Scheme. Specialist Accreditation is a structured, Law Society assessment process, enabling legal practitioners to be recognised for their high level expertise. Our other lawyers have at least a Masters Degree in Applied family law practice.
We provide you with professional, cost effective, and caring family law services. As a client you will be treated with respect and dignity and we will do our absolute best to support you and to promote your best interests. We are committed to diversity and regularly represent LGBTIQ clients.
We will not push you into fighting battles you can’t win. We will explain to you why you should proceed based on the law and the facts, rather than on emotion. We will navigate your matter with you, aware of the likely emotions you will be feeling, but at the same time providing you with clear, objective legal advice.
Don’t just take our word for it…
We are proud to have carved out a reputation that has been validated by numerous reputable industry bodies and leading international resources. These types of ratings are unsolicited, unpaid for, independent assessments against transparent criteria. (TBR® inspection report 92%).
We regularly appear high on ratings lists, for example we are a “Recommended” ACT family lawyer by Doyle’s, are included in the “top 3 best rated ACT family lawyers”, and our blog has been distinguished as the best Australian family law blog by content aggregators Feedspot!
Sound us out with a free consult
You can book a free confidential first consultation with us, which is an opportunity for you to tell us a bit about your circumstances and for us to give you free general advice about family law processes and things to expect. We will discuss how we would approach your matter and advise you on the services we provide, and we will give you guidance on costs. (If you decide to engage us, we will send you a full costs disclosure.)
A key aim of this process is to assess your needs and your requirements as well as our ability to help or any need to refer on to trusted multidisciplinary partners. We want to make sure you are confident your matter will be handled professionally and in a way that will get you the best all-round outcomes.
Even if you are outside the ACT, you can still engage an ACT family lawyer. Australian family law is a Federal matter, so we can help clients in other states too.
So if you’re in search of specialist ACT family lawyers with fair fees and a free first conference, staffed by a team of caring, smart women, then give us a call here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 to make a booking for your free first ‘meeting’ (we are a COVID-19 safe work environment and conduct much of our business through virtual means).
Please call ACT family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Family Law.