Contact is a professional service established by John Denbigh in 2010 to provide high quality affordable assistance, guidance and support for parents representing themselves in disputes in the Family Court.
Services Provided by Contact
Areas of expertise include:
- Residence and contact issues (Child Arrangements Orders);
- Specific issues, including choice of school, change of name;
- Prohibited Steps Orders, where the court prohibits a certain action;
- Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders;
- Removal from England and Wales to relocate to another country;
- Parental Responsibility agreements/Orders;
- Grandparents’ issues;
- Paternity issues;
- Enforcement of Child Arrangement Orders;
Contact can offer support and guidance in these areas with correspondence, applications to the court, the court processes and procedures, the options available to the Litigant as well as preparation of any statements required, opening/closing statements, cross-examination, questions around the law and discussions/negotiations with ‘the other side’.
The Role and terms of assistance
John is legally qualified, holding all the academic qualifications required to practice as a solicitor (see below), and has 20 years experience working in the area of family law. However, rather than take the traditional training contract route to enable him to qualify as a solicitor, John offers more affordable rates for similar services in the role of a McKenzie Friend, a recognised legal term to describe someone who can assist a litigant with the court process who is not a solicitor or barrister. A McKenzie Friend cannot conduct litigation on your behalf and does not have rights of audience so cannot directly address the Court on your behalf. As a McKenzie Friend John can, however, sit alongside you in the courtroom or judge’s chambers and offer advice to you and be consulted, as well as provide case management advice in all the areas outlined above. Judges will also sometimes allow a McKenzie Friend to address the court if the Litigant in Person makes an application. In addition, Contact can arrange for an advocate to attend with you if you do not wish to represent yourself in court.
The advantages of using Contact are that you are able to maintain close control over your own case and minimise your fees, while benefiting from accessible professional support and guidance.
What you can expect from Contact
- Experienced and Qualified Legal Professional
- Constructive, child centred, objective advice.
- Solution orientated flexible and empathetic approach.
- Experience of 100’s of Family Law Cases over 15 years.
- Affordable, competitive and transparent fixed fees and hourly rates.
- Referrals to other professionals (if required).
- Support and Guidance based on solid legal knowledge and experience.
About John Denbigh
Having previously worked in a range of roles in the UK Civil Service, including a period in Government Legal Services, John Denbigh – https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-denbigh-b8154846/ – established Contact and Residence in 2010.
Prior to that, personal experience in the Family Court in 2002 had led John to provide support and advice as a McKenzie Friend/lay adviser in Family Law on a part time basis. In that role he gained comprehensive knowledge and experience of Children Act and Family Law Act proceedings. Since establishing Contact and Residence in 2010 (the former legal terminology for the current Child Arrangements Programme) John has operated full time in the role and consolidated relevant experience and knowledge through a combination of involvement with hundreds of court cases and the acquisition of relevant legal qualifications. Based on John’s successful 20 years’ experience in Family Law proceedings, he frequently receives referrals from Family Law solicitors and barristers who he has been able to work with constructively to achieve desired outcomes for the litigants.
John is a member of Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family law professionals, who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters.
John holds the Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies, Common Practice Exam, Masters in Law and the Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (LPC), including the Family Law elective. He has had his Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) confirmed by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) under the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) route to qualification: https://www.sra.org.uk/become-solicitor/sqe/qualifying-work-experience-candidates/