Susan Jacklin QC, chair of the Family Law Bar Association, has branded the US phenomenon of all-male law firms a gimmick and says that the opening of a practice in the UK only serves to engender distrust in the system.
“I think that’s unfortunate,” she said.
Ms Jacklin was speaking about the London opening of a branch of a men-only divorce firm, based in the USA, which aims to target husbands and fathers who feel they will get a raw deal in the English and Welsh family law system.
Family law practitioners and divorce solicitors in London and across the UK have expressed concern that, ultimately, this marketing intent is dangerous as it promotes the notion that the legal system is unfair and biased towards women.
Ms Jacklin commented, “The court’s focus is on the welfare of the child. There have been quite a few cases where fathers have not achieved contact for very sound reasons of child protection but they haven’t seen it that way.”
She said of the firm’s London launch, “It’s a gimmick. It’s just a way of bringing in a certain sort of client.”
Marketing material for the opening does not go so far as to say that there is evidence of bias against men in the courts but it does suggest that men may lose out in the family law system.
A spokesman for the London branch is quoted in their press release as saying, “The launch of the London office is a fantastic opportunity for the firm to make a real difference and balance out the representation of men in the UK.”
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