Family Law

The Essential Family Law Conference

October 23rd 2024

Virtual Seminar

The Essential Family Law Conference

October 23rd 2024

1 - 5pm

Speakers: Amy Donachie; Amanda Masson; Alexis Harper; John Douglas

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4hrs CPD

Family Law is becoming one of the most complex and ever-changing areas of law. Recent and upcoming changes to legislation need to be navigated carefully by Family Law practitioners in order to meet client expectations and continue to offer the most up to date advice.

Join our outstanding panel for this 4 Hour session designed to cover the most important areas of legislation and hopefully provide you with the most current and relevant practical guidance.

This session will cover the following 4 topics:

Amy Donachie, Westwater Advocates: Jurisdiction in family actions

This session will explore practical hints and tips for practitioners in actions of divorce, financial provision for spouses and children, and section 11 actions.

Amy is an experienced Advocate and family law specialist with a specific interest in child law. Prior to calling to the Bar, Amy gained 8 years’ experience as a litigation solicitor, practicing in all areas of family law and child law. She has many years of experience of dealing with all matters arising from the breakdown of relationships including financial provision on divorce and claims arising on the breakdown of cohabitation, including disputes in relation to children including contact, residence and relocation. Since calling to the Bar, Amy has continued to be instructed regularly in all aspects of family law and child law. She has been instructed in a number of relocation and permanence cases and she is regularly appointed as a Child Welfare Reporter, Curator ad Litem and Reporting Officer. Amy is also a contributing editor of the Butterworth’s Scottish Family Law Service, a LawScot Foundation Mentor and she is on the Faculty of Advocates’ Scholarship Committee. In addition to her family law experience, Amy has also gained some experience in personal injury law, criminal injuries compensation, professional negligence and property disputes.

Amanda Masson, Harper Macleod - The Children (Scotland) Act 2020: what can practitioners and children expect?

The Children (Scotland) Act 2020 received royal assent in August 2020. The changes have not yet been brought into force as the Government, Local Authority Courts and Children's Hearings prepare for the changes before they have to start delivering them.

This session will look at the potential impact of the changes the new act will bring and the advice which requires to be given by family/child law practitioners.

Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland in Family Law, Child Law and Family Mediation, Amanda heads up Harper Macleod’s Family Department. Amanda’s practice is wide-ranging. She is experienced in complex high value financial provision cases, both in the Court of Session and Sheriff Courts. She also takes pride and satisfaction in children’s cases including those involving relocation of children, residence and contact. Amanda also has specialist expertise in issues concerning fertility, surrogacy and non-traditional family structure, subsequently launching Harper Macleod’s Modern Families Initiative in 2016 which aims to assist clients create families whether that be via adoption, donor conception or surrogacy. Amanda is regularly invited to speak at professional conferences, and often contributes to professional publications including Green’s Family Law Bulletin and the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.

Alexis Harper, Harper Macleod: Cohabitation

In November 2022, the Scottish Law Commission published its ‘Report on Cohabitation’ which assessed the provisions contained within the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 with a view to reforming the law on Cohabitation. This session is designed highlight the latest developments and will cover the practical issues to keep in mind in relation to advising clients and drafting agreements.

Alexis has more than 15 years’ experience practising exclusively in Family Law and is accredited by the Law Society as a specialist in this field. Alexis has worked at Harper Macleod for more than 10 years, being promoted to Partner in 2016. She deals with all aspects of family law including separation, divorce, child law matters including residence and contact disputes, claims upon the breakdown of a cohabitation, and the financial issues arising from the breakdown of a marriage, including maintenance, pension sharing, and the division of assets. Alexis has considerable experience working with Harper Macleod’s private client team on asset protection issues to include the preparation of Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements and Cohabitation Agreements. She is also experienced in advising in cases where there are business interests on divorce, having written articles for Scottish Business Insider, and the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.

John Douglas, Finesco Financial Planners: Complex assets

Complex assets – where specialist valuations are required and practical considerations for adding value for higher net worth clients. This session will explore the scenarios in which expert input may be required in assessing the matrimonial property for division including complex pension arrangements and business interests. The second part of this session will consider where refined practical advice can assist clients in planning for a post-divorce future.

John has been in the financial services profession for over 39 years and has been a Senior Consultant with Finesco since 1987. He has amassed considerable experience in dealing with professional intermediaries and is highly regarded by Accountants and Solicitors throughout the UK as a specialist Wealth Manager and Independent Financial Adviser who is fully conversant with taxation, legislation, investments and the financial planning marketplace. John has been a speaker at courses and conferences for over 35 years and regularly comments on BBC and Commercial Radio and Television programmes as a financial expert on topical matters of a financial nature.

The event begins at 1pm. Delegate registration is open from 12:30pm.