Family lawyer brought back to her Sheffield roots

Family law experts


A leading family law solicitor has rejoined national top 10 law firm Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield after five years away.

Alison Fernandes, 36, has moved to the firms offices in Riverside as associate solicitor in the family department, after leaving the Nottingham office of Rothera Dowson.

Family law solicitor

An expert in resolving family disputes, Ms Fernandes was recruited back to Irwin Mitchell - where she had previously worked as assistant solicitor, specialising in matrimonial finances, between 1999 and 2001 - by Martin Loxley, national head of family law, also based in Sheffield.

Ms Fernandes - who is a fully trained collaborative lawyer and Resolution (formerly Solicitors Family Law Association) accredited specialist in financial and private children matters “ is one of only a handful of trained collaborative lawyers in the South Yorkshire area.

Collaborative family dispute resolution

The collaborative process involves clients and their lawyers signing an agreement at the outset, which stipulates they will not go to court but instead, work together to find a solution. A series of round table meetings are then held, at which discussions take place to achieve an outcome that both parties are happy with.

Ms Fernandes said: In my new role I am keen to promote the use of the collaborative process in helping to achieve amicable solutions to family disputes. Collaborative law allows the clients to retain control, instead of being led by their lawyers and find a solution without the threat of going to court hanging over their heads. This is a new approach to family law and in my opinion is often the best way to solve this kind of matter.

I am delighted Martin asked me to return to Irwin Mitchell, as I am back in a team with whom I remained friends since I left the firm in 2001. I am now keen to get on and provide a quality family law service to high net worth individuals and others in the South Yorkshire area and beyond.

Originally from Lincoln and now a resident of north-east Derbyshire, Ms Fernandes enjoys travelling and is a keen snowboarder. Her enthusiasm for extreme sports saw her carry out a 12,000-ft, tandem sky dive for charity last year, when she and helped to raise over £10,000 for the Royal National Institute for the Blind after free-falling at 132mph.

One of the largest and strongest family law teams in the country, Irwin Mitchell has established units in Leeds, Birmingham and London, as well as Sheffield.

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Relevant contact - Alison Fernandes