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Hall Brown “coup” sees Mike Devlin appointed as firm’s sixth partner

11th September 2019, 8:58 am

One of the country’s most dynamic law firms has announced that it has further strengthened its ranks with the appointment of one of the UK’s most respected family lawyers.

Hall Brown Family Law has said that the recruitment of Mike Devlin as Partner has coincided with an increased demand for the services of its specialist Children’s Law division.

Mr Devlin, who is a former President of the Manchester Law Society, has won a string of awards and accolades over the course of a 40-year legal career, including being described as an ‘eminent practitioner’ by two of the legal profession’s most prestigious rankings, Chambers UK and the Legal 500.

Katie Welton-Dillon, Head of Hall Brown’s Children’s Law team, has expressed her “delight” at his decision to join the unit, which was seen a steadily growing volume of work in the two years since it was established.

She revealed that the number of complex cases – many of which span different jurisdictions – which it had handled over the course of the last four months was 25 per cent higher than in the whole of last year.

“The Children’s team here is one of relatively few dedicated units of its kind among family law firms.

“It’s work which requires something of a different skillset and yet we have shown that there is a real need for the sort of very specialist support which we’re able to provide.

“Having someone so capable, so experienced and so very highly thought of as Mike come on board is quite a coup and will make us even more able to help those children and adults who find themselves caught up in these incredibly sensitive matters.”

Mr Devlin becomes Hall Brown’s sixth partner along with founders James Brown and Sam Hall, Beth Wilkins, Andrew Newbury and Claire Reid.

In just over three years since the firm opened its doors, it has grown to 38 staff – 27 of whom are fee-earners. As well as occupying an entire floor of the grade-II listed Ship Canal House in the heart of Manchester’s business district, it opened a new London office at Lincolns Inn Fields in February, headed by Izzy Walsh, another high-profile recruit.

During the last full financial year, Hall Brown’s turnover topped £3.54 million – an increase of £1 million on the previous 12 months.

Under Mrs Welton-Dillon, the firm’s Children’s team has also grown into a six-strong unit and seen a dramatic and continued increase in its workload.

As well as serving as President of Manchester’s Law Society, Mr Devlin was previously in charge of one of the North West’s other large family law teams for more than 20 years.

Having qualified in 1981, Mr Devlin built such a reputation for handling delicate cases involving children that he served as a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel. He was also named the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards.

Mr Devlin explained how he was “immensely excited” about joining Hall Brown.

“Hall Brown has made a tremendous impact in the last few years not only in the number and type of cases which it has handled but in the manner in which it has done so.

“The decision to establish a unit which is devoted to resolving children’s disputes is, in itself, quite unusual but clearly is desperately needed by those embroiled in what can be rather high-conflict cases.

“We place great importance in focusing on a solution from the child’s point of view as opposed to merely regarding these cases as just another issue in a disagreement between parents.”

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