Two join Lancashire family law team

A Lancashire law firm has expanded its specialist family and child care team with two new appointments.

By Tim Gavell
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 4:55 am

Vincents Solicitors has taken on family law solicitor Fahrat Unnisa and experienced paralegal Erica Fielding to focus on helping victims of domestic violence with urgent and ongoing support.

Fahrat Unnisa joins Vincents from Farnworth Shaw in Nelson, prior to which she was at Watson Ramsbottom in Blackburn where she worked with Val Shaw, head of child care department at Vincents.

Fahrat has spent most of her 22-year career working with victims of domestic abuse in East Lancashire. She is also a member of the Family Law Advanced Panel for domestic violence and children.

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Vincents solicitor Fahrat Unnisa and paralegal Erica Fielding

She said: “Victims of domestic violence need fast and effective access to justice. Within hours of being contacted, we can use the courts to help them by making an urgent application for a non-molestation order to prevent the perpetrator from being violent and threatening towards the victim.

"Where children are involved we can also secure emergency orders to prevent a partner from taking away the children, ensuring the safety of everyone in that critical period up to the hearing date, and through the process thereafter.”

As an Urdu and Punjabi speaker, Fahrat is also able to offer tailored support for families who may be struggling with a language barrier in domestic abuse or other child care matters.

Her arrival comes soon after that of child care solicitor Nina Ellement, formerly head of legal for Cumbria County Council, and further strengthens Vincents’ dedicated child care team.

Fahrat said: “I’m keen to focus exclusively on child care and domestic violence cases and to work as part of a really strong team. I was impressed with Vincents’ experience within the Family Law department, and the child care team in particular. Both Val Shaw and Nina Ellement are very well respected in this field and being able to work with Val once again was another huge draw for me.”

Paralegal Erica Fielding is also a specialist in child care and domestic violence cases, having worked in this area for 18 years and provided direct support through regular refuge clinics. She joins the firm from Watson Ramsbottom in Blackburn, prior to which she was at Roebucks.

Child care department head Val Shaw said: “Domestic violence and survivor support is a very sensitive area of work which requires the utmost professionalism and empathy, something which both Fahrat and Erica share. Their arrival complements the team’s existing strengths and provides our clients with access to highly skilled practitioners in all aspects of child care and private family law.”