North West law firm Jackson Lees has strengthened its family with an experienced lawyer to offer their services in family legislation.

Anna Francis joins the firm from Merseyside-based Berkson Family Law and has more than 15 years’ experience in family law, choosing to specialise in matrimonial law in recent years.

In her new role at Jackson Lees’ Hoylake office, Anna will play a key role in supporting clients and helping the wider team.

Since entering the legal sector as an office junior, Anna studied at the Law Academy in Liverpool and worked her way up to Chartered Legal Executive, qualifying in 2015.

The Chartered Legal Executive (CLE) path focuses on studying towards a degree level qualification whilst working in industry and provides an alternative route into the legal sector. Anna champions the CLE route for being more accessible.

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Anna said:

“The culture at Jackson Lees is fantastic – everyone wants to make a positive difference and believes they have the ability to. There is also constant support and training available to us as well as a focus on work-life balance, which really appealed to me when looking at potential opportunities.

“I am passionate about family law and find it extremely rewarding especially when resolving issues for clients which can often be sensitive and emotional times. My goal now is to continue to progress whilst supporting junior lawyers and office members.”

Anna is also a member of Resolution, a group for lawyers who strive for a non-confrontational approach to family law issues to provide better outcomes for separating families and their children. Anna receives training and support from the group in addition to applying Resolution’s Code of Conduct which promotes dealing with cases in an amicable way and avoiding unnecessary conflict between parties amongst other things.

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Her appointment coincides with the biggest shake-up to divorce law in more than 50 years, as No-fault Divorce legislation is brought in, meaning separating couples no longer need to apportion blame to one another as a reason for the breakdown of their marriage when applying for a divorce.

Anna added:

“The No-fault Divorce will set parties up in the best possible position to deal with things amicably from the outset. It’s certainly something we’ve waited a long time for as lawyers. It will help the courts who are already overwhelmed by cases, and both parties will benefit from spending less time dealing with claims of misbehaviour, instead focusing time on finances and any arrangements for children.”

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Esther Leach, Managing Director at the Jackson Lees Group, said:

“Anna stood out to us for her personable and friendly approach which we know will be key when helping to resolve matrimonial issues for our clients. Her abundance of experience and membership of Resolution will also provide support to our junior team members who are looking to progress through their career.”

Jackson Lees is an award-winning solicitors which provides a full-service legal solution to personal and commercial clients. With over 280 committed employees spanning over six offices, the Jackson Lees Group has a wide range of expertise to support legal needs and make a positive difference.