A national children’s charity which provides legal support to thousands of children and young people has launched a new series of legal seminars which has brought together some of the North West’s leading family lawyers and barristers.

(Photograph above shows: Mary Mullin, Rita Waters CEO of NYAS and Judge de Haas)

The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is headquartered in Merseyside and provides advocacy and legal representation to children and vulnerable adults when important decisions are being made about them.

NYAS operates its own legal team providing independent representation to children involved in private law proceedings when their parents are separating. NYAS also operates Family Contact Centres in Birkenhead, Liverpool and London, enabling parents who are separated from their children to rebuild their relationship as a family

NYAS recently hosted its first legal seminar at The Athenaeum in Liverpool to provide an update on current trends in family law.  Judge Margaret de Haas QC, designated Family Judge for Cheshire and Merseyside, attended the event to share her experiences from the family courts in Merseyside of improving resolution of contact disputes in family breakdown.

Judge de Haas provided an introduction to settlement conferences and how they can benefit families here in Merseyside. Settlement conferences are currently being piloted in family courts in Liverpool. The purpose of the conference is to allow parties to meet before a judge, in private, to try and reach a settlement. Merseyside is the first region in the UK to be piloting this scheme.

Mary Mullin, Assistant CEO (Legal) at NYAS, talked about the issues affecting many of the families who visit the NYAS contact centres. Ms Mullin also highlighted how NYAS and the legal sector can work together to provide greater access to legal support to children in Merseyside.

Ms Mullin said: “NYAS has been providing legal support to children involved in public law family cases for more than 25 years and we have a wealth of experience and expertise in supporting children and young people through the family courts across England and Wales.

“NYAS is delighted to have launched our new legal seminars which will take place in Merseyside and London to provide updates on new and best practice to lawyers and barristers who operate in our family courts. We were delighted that Judge De Haas agreed to deliver the first seminar at The Athenaeum which ensured the event was a success.”

For further information on future NYAS Legal Seminars, please contact Mary Mullin at mary.mullin@nyas.net.