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The family team at BBS Law are well known for their contribution towards family law practice and policy. As we end 2023, we are proud to celebrate an important number of achievements that celebrate our work in the family law community and beyond.
In November, Head of Family and Partner Graeme Fraser won the prestigious LexisNexis Family Law Community Interaction Award shared with Yuliya Osudina, Professor Anne Barlow and Dr Jan Ewing. This national award was in recognition of a pioneering development which saw lesson plans rolled out nationally as part of the national curriculum, helping children to recognise that families come in all shapes and sizes. This has benefited many schoolchildren and their families and has overall made a marked difference to the communities in which they operate.
This followed Graeme’s individual recognition as a family law champion at the inaugural Resolution Awards in September, celebrating Resolution’s 40th anniversary of its formation. Resolution is the family justice professional’s organisation committed to resolving conflict and minimising confrontation for families experiencing divorce and separation. Following a vote by other Resolution members, Graeme won the Resolution Member’s Choice Award in recognition of his work supporting, mobilising and inspiring fellow members.
The BBS Team is at the forefront of the work being done for modern families, and we are proud to work with diverse and inclusive individuals and families to find bespoke solutions for them. We regularly receive instructions for cohabitation agreements; cohabitant separation agreements; and for TOLATA/ Schedule 1 litigation which are required to resolve cohabitant disputes. In 2023, we have also delivered workshops; published articles; and presented on cohabitation practice and policy for the benefit of others as a leading practice for this work.
A campaigner for cohabitation reform for 25 years, Graeme has observed important changes recently in the political landscape that is building a momentum for the reform of outdated cohabitation laws which are considered by an overwhelming majority of family lawyers to be outdated and unfit for purpose as it disadvantages many people, particularly women who have given up their careers to look after children, and with a disproportionate affect on ethnic minorities. Graeme believes that the question of cohabitation law reform has changed from whether the law should be reformed to how and when this should take place.
At the Labour Party Conference, Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry MP announced a commitment to reform cohabitation laws under a Labour government, subsequently announcing a commitment to work towards reform as a cross party initiative at the Parliamentary Launch for Resolution’s Vision for Family Justice.
As we look forward to 2024, many of our colleagues and industry peers agree that with the general election looming on the horizon, there is every reason to expect that important changes to our family laws are coming.
With our commitment to innovating practice, and campaigning for reform, we look forward to continuing to provide solutions for our clients that work for them and reflect the outcomes they wish to achieve as cost effectively and efficiently as possible. With our experience and expertise steeped in out of court processes including mediation, collaborative law, and one lawyer two clients through Resolution Together, the Family Team at BBS Law is extremely well placed to continue to deliver these services in 2024 to all our clients regardless of the formality of their relationship.