Clare joined Ridley & Hall Solicitors as a Partner in 2018. Clare graduated from Durham University and completed her legal training at the College of Law in York in 2006. Clare qualified as a solicitor in 2008 when she re-located to Leeds to join the niche family law firm McAras and was made a partner in 2013 following the firm’s merger with Simpson Millar solicitors in Leeds.
She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in all areas of family law, but her particular expertise is in representing parents, extended family members and children involved in care proceedings. Clare deals primarily with cases that involve child protection issues and often attends at PLO Meetings with parents who are facing the prospect of care proceedings being issued.
Clare became a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel in 2011, which recognises her experience and ability in dealing with legal issues relating to children. She is regularly instructed to represent the interests of children both through court appointed children’s guardians and by children directly.
Being passionate about this area of law, Clare’s priority is to always ensure that children can be brought up within their family, wherever possible. She understands that care proceedings are often highly emotive and that clients require clear, honest and jargon free legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Clare provides her clients with sensible and child focussed advice to ensure the best possible outcomes for families in every case that she is dealing with.
Clare has experience in dealing with some of the most complex cases that come before a court to include cases of infant mortality, alleged non-accidental injuries and serious sexual and physical abuse. She often instructs specialist experts in these cases to provide their own independent expert opinions to the court.
A strong working relationship with some of the most high profile and experienced barristers and QC’s on the Northern Circuit and regular representation of clients before circuit and high court judges mean that Clare is well respected by her peers.
Clare also has experience in representing parents, family members and children in private law proceedings relating to residence and contact matters.
Clare has a particular interest in working with local charities who provide support to young parents and families in the community. She has provided free legal advice clinics to a number of local organisations to ensure that parents are aware of their legal rights and adequately supported when social services become involved with their family and has supported law students through the Street Leeds programme and assisted in the preparation, and delivery, of presentations in respect of children related issues.
Outside of work, Clare likes to spend time with her family and friends.
Clare is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel, the Leeds Law Society, Resolution (formally known as the Solicitors Family Law Association), Lawyers for Children and the Association of Lawyers for Children.
Child Care & Public Law Team
Nicki ButterworthAssociate Personal Assistant
Head of Child Care & Public Law Team