"This is a firm that helps real people in its local community when they are at their most vulnerable and I am proud we have been able to help secure its future"
The daughters of the founder of a Liverpool family law practice who passed away last year have secured the firm’s future with the help of wide-ranging advice from a team of lawyers at Glaisyers Solicitors.
Maria Fogg Family Law was established in Huyton in 2011 and has in the intervening years played a vital role providing family and child care legal advice to the local community. The business has a long-term Legal Aid contract and serves a diverse range of clients.
The firm was operated by Maria Fogg as the sole practitioner, aided by her daughters Charlotte Fogg, Trainee Chartered Legal Executive, and Andrea Fogg, Practice Manager, together with support staff, until Maria passed away suddenly in November 2018 at the age of 55. Maria was passionate about supporting the local community and had strong links with several domestic abuse agencies across Merseyside.
Maria had great compassion and empathy with clients and understood the struggles and difficulties of separating, as a result of her own life experiences. This drove her desire to open her own practice.
Her daughters Andrea and Charlotte Fogg are committed to continuing running the firm.
According to Charlotte Fogg, “We wanted to keep the firm going, and in the family, because we felt passionate about continuing our mother’s legacy. The firm always had a fantastic reputation and does really important work for vulnerable clients, with many cases involving domestic violence or child protection.
“Maria Fogg Family Law has always had a real family ethos, with a relaxed, informal atmosphere that our clients really appreciate. That is something we are determined to maintain while, of course, providing the highest quality legal services to our clients”
Although Charlotte Fogg is a fee-earner with a wealth of experience and is in the process of qualifying as a lawyer, the set-up of the firm meant they could not take over its ownership under a traditional partnership model.
With the help of Manchester-based Glaisyers Solicitors’ Corporate team they have reconstituted the firm as an Alternative Business Structure (ABS), with approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). ABS firms are able to be owned by non-lawyers.
The firm has now employed Annemarie Hussey as the Supervising Solicitor and Director of Legal Services to ensure the firm continues to meet regulatory and service standards. Annemarie has ten years’ experience in family law and is also accredited by the Advanced Family Law Panel approved by the Law Society. The firm also employs four support staff.
The firm was advised on employment matters by Sarah Scholfield, Associate at Glaisyers Solicitors, and also by Akbar Ali, Head of Corporate at Glaisyers, who liaised with the SRA, the Legal Aid Authority and the firm’s insurers, and continues to provide commercial advice.
Charlotte Fogg said, “When we were looking for someone to help us with the corporate and commercial side of the business we came across Glaisyers and saw that they, too, had recently had a change of ownership so would understand the issues we were facing. They have been absolutely wonderful to work with and really buy into what we want to achieve here.”
Akbar Ali said, “Maria Fogg Family Law is a well-established business providing a crucial service. This is a firm that helps real people in its local community when they are at their most vulnerable and I am proud we have been able to help secure its future.
“I am also really pleased that the team here at Glaisyers has been able to work together on this case, cooperating across departmental boundaries to provide corporate, commercial, employment and probate advice. This interdisciplinary focus is only going to get more important as we grow over the months and years ahead.”
Glaisyers Solicitors has been established in Manchester for more than 40 years. It was acquired last year in a management buy-in backed by the international professional services group ETL Global and is currently implementing ambitious expansion plans with the aim of becoming the UK’s pre-eminent law firm for owner-managed businesses.