As Abe Lincoln once said:-
“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first 4 sharpening my axe”
Like Abe, part of our success at Hartley Healy has been our ability to not only have a high level of expertise and speciality in family law, but also to act in a very detailed and proactive manner for our clients.
Our Mantra of Plan, Control and Resolve can be explained as follows:-
Plan – from the outset, when acting for a client, we spend the first few weeks collating and gathering relevant information and documents, so as to put in place, as early as possible, a tailored strategic and tactical plan for our clients.
This involves obtaining a preliminary statement from our client, conducting searches, compiling preliminary schedules of assets and liabilities – where applicable in property matters, or for children’s matters, a relevant chronological history of issues concerning the children.
We then look to provide a preliminary advice to clients from a legal perspective, but more importantly, to then provide a step by step plan to our clients as to what we are going to achieve for them and how we are going to go about achieving that tactically.
We have found that this allows our clients to be fully informed at a very early stage about what their rights and entitlements are and what their options are as we take them forward through the process.
Control – this is the middle stage where we act pro-actively for our clients so as to put them and also us in control of their matter. Being in control means that our client is fully aware of what is happening and why the matter is progressing like it is. They have all the options available to them and our legal advice.
They may have not been in control when they first came to see us – but by taking certain actions under this second step, we are able to put the client back into control and also control the negotiations/resolution of the matter – according to our tactical plan.
Typical steps that get undertaken in the Control process involve the following:-
- Disclosing and obtaining relevant and important documentation from the other side, whilst fulfilling our own client’s obligations to disclose.
- Agreeing on values and/or obtaining independent valuations sooner rather than later so as to finalise schedules of assets and liabilities (in property matters);
- Liaise with our client’s professional advisors, (including accountants and financial advisors and commercial lawyers) so that no stone is left unturned and ensuring all relevant issues in relation to their matter (including tax and other restructuring issues) are dealt with proactively.
- Updating advises, schedules and chronologies and updating the tactical and strategic plans devised early on.
Resolve – this is the final step and it involves resolution of our client’s matter and the preferable way to resolve their matter is usually through Mediation. We prepare our client’s expertly for Mediation. We make sure that by the time we get to Mediation, their case is stated in the best possible manner with strong legal arguments to back up any position that we take on their behalf at the outset of Mediation.
We make sure that the Mediator is fully briefed and knows our arguments back to front. We prepare our client’s particulars for Mediation and provide them with various options and scenarios and we plan what offers shall be made at what stages during the Mediation well before walking in the door.
Our goal is to resolve the matter – but not at any cost – it is to resolve it as best as we can for our particular client based on their particular circumstances.
It is essential that we do everything to resolve our client’s matter without litigation, but at the same time, resolve it in a manner that provides them with a reasonable outcome and a commercially sensible resolution.