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April 1, 2020

Law firm’s new ‘separation model’ launched alongside Mariella Frostrup podcast

By Arun Kakar

Withers has unveiled a new initiative that allows divorces to be conducted remotely

Private client powerhouse Withers Worldwide has announced a new ‘separation model’ and a podcast hosted by Mariella Frostrup.

The firm’s ‘new approach’ to separation dispenses with the traditional model for divorce which sees each party represented by their own lawyer, and instead offers ‘one solution under one roof’. 

The ‘clear, straightforward’ service, will set clients up with one lawyer, who acts as an independent facilitator, as well as other members in its family law team, who will identify the options for outcomes and ‘narrow down their disputes’. The process is kept away from the ‘clogged up’ family courts, and can be conducted entirely remotely using video conferencing, phone and email. 

The initiative also aims to prevent couples from ‘pushing apart’ during the process by helping them to achieve the best result for both sides in an efficient and cost-effective way. The firm said in a statement that the aims of both parties can be ‘far more’ aligned because it works in a ‘neutral capacity’.

‘Whether you choose marriage, civil partnerships or cohabiting, the way we live together now is vastly different from how it was 50 years ago,’ said Withers partner Claire Blakemore, who developed the approach with Diana Parker, a Spear’s Top Ten divorce lawyer. ‘Unfortunately, the legal system doesn’t offer the flexibility that modern couples need when relationships go wrong and the current system unintentionally creates polarisation.’

Blakemore noted that many people want to deal with their separation by keeping confrontation to a minimum, something the firm said would be avoided by its innovative model.

‘The new approach can also overcome the lack of direction that can arise in mediation, or we can bring in an experienced arbitrator to deliver a resolution,’ Blakemore said. ‘We have designed this new service to fit the needs and circumstances of each couple. Modern relationships require speed, flexibility, privacy and fully accessible service no matter where they are located.’ 

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The launch of the service coincides with a new podcast from the firm, Mariella on Modern Relationships.

The podcast sees host Mariella Frostrup discuss family life, love and law with members of the Withers team, clients and independent professionals. The six-part series, available on Apple, Spotify and Google, will be ‘busting myths, revealing risks, and answering your questions about relationships in the 21st Century’.

‘There’s nothing more important than family, and the modern world is changing our relationships and family structures in so many ways,’ said Frostrup. ‘Whether it be scientific developments that have revolutionised fertility and altered our concepts of gender, or the range of new ways in which we can marry and separate, there’s so much to talk about!’

Read more

Divorcing or separating in 2020? Know your property rights

The case for taking your divorce to court

Is this the end of ‘quickie’ divorces?

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