Exam Success for Ursula

As part of our commitment to invest in our team, we are pleased to be supporting our PA and credit controller Ursula Herbert through her AAT accounting exams and her success so far means she is on track for a distinction.

After studying hard for the first two modules Ursula has just been awarded 97% in Bookkeeping Transactions and 92% in Bookkeeping Controls.

The Foundation Certificate in Accounting covers the basics of finance administration, double entry bookkeeping, costing and using accounting software.

Ursula said: “I am already putting my learning into practice in my day-to-day role at Harrogate Family Law and really value having been given the opportunity to develop my skills and work towards an industry recognised qualification.”

Andrew Meehan, managing director of Harrogate Family Law, said: “As a firm we are keen to develop our team and provide opportunities for them to work towards professional qualifications where possible.

“Ursula’s hard work and dedication has really paid off and she thoroughly deserves her excellent marks.

“She has exceeded the requirements in the majority of tasks in the exams she has taken so far and is well on track for a distinction overall. We wish her every success in her remaining modules.”


Top Tier Ranking for HFL Founder and Team

Harrogate Family Law and its founder Andrew Meehan have both achieved the highest possible ranking for family law in the latest legal guide Chambers UK 2018.

Andrew has been ranked by Chambers UK each year since founding Harrogate Family Law seven years ago. This year’s edition describes him as “pragmatic and sensible” with a strong reputation in advising high net worth individuals on financial proceedings arising from divorce.

Harrogate Family Law is recognised by Chambers UK 2018 as a dedicated family law firm with extensive experience advising on challenging divorce and separation claims, prenuptial agreements and cases involving property portfolios and pension issues. The guide also mentions the firm’s expertise in handling cross-border children relocation work and maintenance orders.

The team is noted to be “very efficient, very cost-effective and disciplined.”

Andrew said he was delighted that the firm had been ranked as one of the best family law firms in York, Hull and the surrounding area.

“These top tier rankings for me and my team are especially welcome because they are the result of independent peer research and client feedback.

“The comments by the sources acknowledge our technical excellence as well as our commitment to client care.”

Harrogate Family Law’s ranking by Chambers follows its recent praise by Legal 500 as ‘the best in Harrogate’ for financial proceedings arising from divorce, separation and civil partnership dissolution. Legal 500 also recognised the firm’s diligence in ‘leaving no stone unturned; its very quick response times, detailed knowledge and thorough approach amounts to a first-rate level of service’.


Andrew Meehan is individually recommended for family law by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500. He is also a Resolution accredited specialist solicitor for divorce cases involving complex financial and property matters.

This article has been prepared with the aim of providing general information only and does not constitute legal advice in relation to any particular situation. While we aim to ensure that the information is correct at the date on which it is added to the website, the legal position can change frequently, and content will not always be updated following any relevant changes. In addition, everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon. If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing enquiries@harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk. Harrogate Family Law accepts no liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss or damage caused by or arising directly or indirectly in connection with any use or reliance on the contents of any part of our website, except to the extent that such liability cannot be excluded by law.

Raising Awareness of the Risks of Cohabitation

More than 5.9 million people in the UK are choosing to live together without marrying yet few are aware that they have little or no legal protection if their relationship ends.

With cohabiting couple families now the fastest growing type of household, the family law body Resolution has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the risks facing those in this kind of relationship.

More than half of cohabitees still believe they are protected under “common law marriage” and Cohabitation Awareness Week (27th November to 1st December 2017) aims to dispel this myth and present options for people to protect themselves.

It doesn’t matter whether they have been living together for a few months or many years, there are no laws to dictate how cohabiting couples should divide their assets if they separate. As a result, relationship breakdown can lead to severe financial and emotional stress and hardship.

In practical terms, if the house shared by a cohabiting couple is in one of their names, the other can be asked to leave and would have no claim on the property. There is also no legal requirement for one party to support the other financially after separation.

In the absence of a marriage contract, unmarried couples should seriously consider a cohabitation agreement to provide some legal protection in the event of relationship breakdown. All cohabiting couples should seek legal advice about drawing up a will to set out their wishes should one of them die.

Cohabiting couples who separate should seek legal advice as soon as possible to discuss their options. Ideally, they should talk to a family solicitor in the early stages of their relationship basing their plans on staying together but deciding what arrangements should be made if life doesn’t turn out as they hope. A legal agreement will help them avoid issues in the future if things don’t work out between them.

Contact us for advice on cohabitation, separation and living together agreements.

Carol Jessop is the only family lawyer in Harrogate accredited by Resolution as a cohabitation law specialist.

HFL Celebrates Seven Years in Harrogate

Harrogate Family Law is marking seven years in business this month, at a time when the firm’s excellence has been recognised by two national guides to the legal profession.

The niche practice, which set out to bring to Harrogate the level of specialist expertise found in large law firms, has been praised by both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK guides, both published this month.

The Legal 500 described the firm as ‘the best in Harrogate’ for financial proceedings arising from divorce, separation and civil partnership dissolution. Founder Andrew Meehan was described in the guide as ‘very thorough in his handling of cases, and a good listener to boot’.

Harrogate Family Law recently welcomed a new partner, Carol Jessop, to the team. Carol sits on the national Standards Committee for the family law body Resolution and is accredited by the organisation as a specialist in cohabitation and complex financial divorce cases.

The firm is also investing in up and coming legal talent by awarding a training contract to top law graduate Laura Mounsey, who has been working with the team as a paralegal since graduating from Durham University.

Founder Andrew Meehan said: “With such a strong reputation and talented team we are looking forward to building on the success of the first seven years to continue delivering our unique brand of technical excellence combined with sensitivity and approachability.

“The latest editions of the legal guides praise us for our know-how as well as our ability to listen to our clients and it is this mix that has won us a reputation as a leader in our field regionally.”

HFL Helps Kick-start Technology Fund at Western Primary School

We are pleased to have been able to support one of our local schools, Western Primary School, with a donation that will help kick-start the PTA’s new technology fund.

HFL founder and managing director Andrew Meehan presented a cheque for £540 to headteacher Cheryl Smith in conjunction with Ken Gibson of Alexander Gibson Estate Agents and Clare Wright, co-founder of Classlist.

Western Primary was an early adopter of Classlist, a private social network for school parents. More than 90% of parents are now active school community participants through Classlist’s platform.

Helen Ellis from the school’s PTA used Classlist’s revenue share scheme, where PTAs which introduce local sponsors keep 50% of the proceeds.

She said: “Classlist makes me feel much more involved with what’s happening in my children’s lives. The fact that Classlist also helps us to raise money for the school is a huge bonus. We will be putting today’s cheque towards the purchase of new IT equipment.We will be putting today’s cheque towards the purchase of new IT equipment.”

Andrew Meehan said: “As a Harrogate business owner and parent of a child at Western, I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the school community in this way and support the PTA in its fundraising for new technology that will help students build the skills they need for future learning and employment.”

Ken Gibson added: “The Classlist platform has some great benefits for schools and for parents, particularly in fundraising. We’re very happy to support Western Primary, and look forward to supporting other schools in the area in this way.”

HFL Leads the Field in Family Law

Harrogate Family Law has been ranked as a leader in its field by Chambers UK 2018, a top authority on the legal profession.

The announcement comes following the completion of research for the Chambers UK 2018 guide ahead of its publication in the autumn.

Andrew Meehan, who founded Harrogate Family Law in 2010, said he was delighted that the firm had been ranked as a regional leader in family law following last year’s top tier ranking.

“Chambers UK carries out extensive peer research and analyses feedback from clients during its comprehensive analysis of the legal profession nationwide which makes this ‘Leaders in the Field’ ranking so important,” said Andrew.

“Harrogate Family Law set out to become a specialist and by developing a culture of empathy alongside our strong technical competence we have successfully differentiated ourselves from other practitioners in our region.”

More detailed rankings for individual lawyers and firms will be published by Chambers UK in October.

6 early steps to take when you’re preparing for divorce

When you are preparing for divorce the things you do in the first few weeks can have quite an impact on the financial outcome. That’s why it’s important to take advice before you make any decisions that could affect your long term position.

Harrogate Family Law Appoints Carol Jessop as Partner

Harrogate Family Law has appointed North Yorkshire family lawyer Carol Jessop as partner.

Carol sits on the national Standards Committee for the family law body Resolution and is accredited by the organisation as a specialist in cohabitation and complex financial divorce cases. She joins from Langleys in York.

Andrew Meehan said: “Carol has significant experience in complex areas of family law including financial and child arrangements for separating couples.

“She is also extremely knowledgeable in the issues and challenges faced in cases involving business assets and pensions, areas that the Harrogate Family Law team is recognised for regionally.”

Carol said: “Harrogate Family Law has a strong reputation in North Yorkshire and I am looking forward to being part of a high calibre team.”


Trainee Role for Top Law Graduate

A top law graduate who recently completed a prestigious Baroness Cohen Scholarship at BPP Law School in Leeds has begun a new role as a trainee solicitor at Harrogate Family Law.

Laura Mounsey has been working as a paralegal at the North Yorkshire law firm since graduating from Durham University. She recently received a distinction in her core topics at BPP and an award for her pro bono work.

Andrew Meehan, founder and managing director of Harrogate Family Law, said: “Laura is a gifted and talented lawyer who has enhanced our team during her time as a paralegal.

“We are delighted to be able to offer her a position as a trainee solicitor with the firm and look forward to supporting her as she develops her career.”

Laura said: “I have been fortunate enough to work on some interesting and complex cases alongside a highly experienced team during my time at Harrogate Family Law.

“I am pleased to be part of a well regarded and growing law firm that is committed to nurturing my career.”