I am a Senior Associate in the Birmingham family team. I specialise in resolving complex financial matters on divorce and children cases with a complicated welfare or international element.
I also have specialist knowledge and experience in surrogacy and fertility law, which is a niche but growing area. I have over 13 years' PQE experience and I'm skilled practitioner in all aspects of family law.
I'm known for my forensic approach and seek from the outset a commercial solution to the resolution of family matters.
I believe that going through this process is intensely personal. People skills are just as important as legal skills when resolving these issues. I always try to find out-of -court solutions, but I'm also a robust litigator when necessary and strive to achieve the best outcome for my clients.
Notable cases include:
- Dealing with jurisdictional issues in both divorce and children cases
- International child abduction
- Schedule 1 Children Act cases
- Resolving complex financial matters on divorce
- Cohabitation disputes
- Wealth protection.
What inspired you to get into law?
From a young age, I always envisaged that I would work for the police, having read too many detective and crime stories! Then Ally McBeal was the programme of the moment while I was doing an BA in Medieval and Modern History. I contemplated whether practicing rather than enforcing law may be in my future.
After finishing my GDL, LPC and training contract, I soon realised that family law embodied everything I was searching for in a career. I have met some truly inspiring people along the way, including clients who've faced adversity but have overcome many challenges. Their resilience and humour makes the job very rewarding.
Leadership specialists often discuss ‘finding your why?’ I've found it in my clients and the colleagues I work with in achieving the very best commercial outcomes for my clients and their families.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
The clients that I work with. It’s very fulfilling to disentangle people from an apparently impossible situation and put them on a path where they can see a positive future.
What do you like about working at Irwin Mitchell?
It's a privilege to work at a national firm which is innovative and ground breaking yet where everybody is personable. I believe that Irwin Mitchell attracts the very best lawyers, but emphasises the personal touch and the importance of bringing your own personality to the job.
The resource and the immense knowledge of the family team means we're not just national leaders in practicing family law. We also shape the discipline through reported cases and being integral to legislative change.
What do you do away from the office?
Away from the office, my two loveable (but very lively) daughters keep me on my toes! We love being out in nature and spending time together.
When I have free time I love to cycle. I started road biking in 2019 to raise money for NICE (The National Institute of Conducive Education) whereby I and an incredible team cycled from Birmingham to London raising over £60k for charity.
There is nothing as freeing as the open road (provided it’s downhill!).
"Fiona Farrell has extensive technical knowledge" - Legal 500, 2022 (Rising Star)
"Fiona has fantastic interpersonal skills and is meticulous - she leaves no stone unturned... She has a conscientious, respectful and sensitive approach with clients, quickly gaining their respect and confidence." - Chambers & Partners, 2022 (Star Associate)
“She is able to lend clients her strength, her insights and intelligence. She knows how to go forward with a case and supports her clients through it.” - Chambers and Partners
"Thanks to the hard work of Marie Kilgallen and Fiona Farrell at Irwin Mitchell. I was able to reach an excellent and fair (to both parties) outcome. I was impressed by their efficiency of service and the human approach, to what has been a very challenging time for the family. Thank you." - 5* Trustpilot review
I have been named ‘Associate to Watch’ in Chambers & Partners and I am also a Tier 1 ranked lawyer in the Legal 500.
International Child Abduction - Family Law journal