Here at Worthingtons, we strongly believe that investment in experienced, high quality, knowledgeable, yet personable staff is key to our continued success and we hope that you enjoy getting to know some of them a little better, in our new ‘Meet the Lawyer’ feature.
This month, we are talking to CLARE CURRAN, PARTNER AND HEAD OF THE FAMILY DEPARTMENT.
Year of Qualification: 2001
What attracted you to a career in law?
I decided to study law in my late teens having spent some time on work experience with a family member whilst still at school and enjoying watching the cut and thrust of being in court. I knew that it would be an interesting and challenging job. It was later, whilst working as an apprentice solicitor that I developed a more specialised interest in family law. I am very much a ‘people person’, I hope I am a good listener and have a lot of empathy for those experiencing traumatic personal problems, which I think are key attributes for being a good family lawyer.
What do you do in a typical day?
I am in charge of the matrimonial/ family department, and I am lucky to have the support of an excellent solicitor in Naomi Devlin, as well as a number of support staff, all of whom specialise exclusively in this field. We operate out of both our city centre office in Belfast and our North Down office based in Newtownards but we represent clients from all other Northern Ireland and much further afield. As a team, we are responsible for advising clients on all aspects of family law. This can range from advice and representation in relation to separation and divorce; children’s issues, such as child custody arrangements, moving abroad with a child after a relationship breakdown, sorting out specific issues such as schooling or holidays or changes of name; advising on resolving financial affairs after a split, including home ownership, pensions, inheritances, claims, businesses and other assets; advising on domestic violence issues; preparing pre nuptial agreements; and helping clients through what can sometimes be viewed as the minefield of areas such as adoption and surrogacy. On a typical day, I will be in court in the morning advising and representing clients and in the afternoons I will have client appointments, or will be carrying out research on up to date case law and legislation, drafting court documents or preparing arguments for up and coming cases.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
I get great satisfaction day to day by helping to calm the choppy waters in what can be a time of real personal crisis for my clients. And it is, of course, always great to get a good result for clients in financial cases and allow them to move on with their lives in a positive and financially secure way. But the case that has given me most satisfaction in recent times involved successfully securing the return of our clients’ baby boy to their care. He had been removed from them by Social Services due to concerns about a suspected non accidental injury. We worked extremely hard to ensure we quickly identified appropriate medical experts to investigate the evidence in the case, ultimately resulting in our clients’ exoneration and crucially the quick return of a much loved boy to his family. That was an extremely emotional day in court for everyone involved.
What is the key to your Department’s success?
It is important to me that our clients have the peace of mind to know that when they instruct us to act on their behalf, they are in safe hands. It is imperative that when you are going through something as stressful as a relationship breakdown or a child custody dispute, that you can talk to, understand and have faith in your solicitor. It is the primary aim of our team to ensure that each and every one of our clients benefits from the hard work and professionalism, experience and training of our staff. It is equally important for them to know that we will do everything we can to ensure that we achieve the best possible outcome for them and their family.
What Your Clients Say
“Thank you so much for all your help and advice…your guidance, support and friendship throughout is greatly appreciated. Please convey my sincere thanks to the team for being so cheerful and super efficient at all times…Wishing you continued success in the future Clare.”
“There were times I thought this day would never come but thanks to your expertise, it has arrived ‘with bells on.’ And so a new chapter begins… Many thanks again.”