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Ruth Hetherington will head the Private Law Children Division of Beyond Group’s specialist family law practice
McAlister Family Law, the North West-based, award-winning specialist family law practice, has appointed Ruth Hetherington as partner and head of the firm’s Private Law Children Division.

Ruth, previously a partner and head of the Family department for FDR Law, is a highly experienced family lawyer of more than 25 years and a specialist in Children Law, both public and private. She has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel for more than 20 years, is a Member of Resolution, Reunite and works closely with the Association of Lawyers for Children as a Member of their organisation, attending the executive committee meetings. She is also a representative on the Cheshire and Merseyside Family Justice Board, often arranging training courses for her fellow professionals.

Ruth, who conducts her own advocacy, has acted for children, parents and grandparents on all areas of children law, including complex injury cases, sexual and physical abuse, infant death, jurisdictional issues, including trafficking, relocation cases, adoption and special guardianship.

Her many Children Public Law cases include drug and alcohol issues, complex jurisdiction issues, injuries to children, child abduction and international matters. When acting for parents, she understands learning disabilities, the cycle of domestic abuse and deals with experts in other fields to ensure all matters are presented to the court. Her Children Private Law matters include living arrangements for children, parents wishing to move children to another jurisdiction, the interplay of domestic abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse. This can lead to linked criminal proceedings, which Ruth has frequently dealt with.

Her work also encompasses divorce and financial matters, including complex company assets, pension and trusts. She works as a collaborative lawyer when dealing with divorce, finance and children issues in this area. “I believe that this approach brings with it a different perspective,” she says, “in that by working together with other collaborative lawyers, it is possible to better achieve possible settlement solutions.”

In addition, Ruth works with teenagers in relation to deprivation of liberty/secure accommodation orders: having fostered children for many years, she has seen the other side of care proceedings and this experience allows her a deeper and more personal understanding of the issues inherent in such situations.

McAlister Family Law, which is part of Beyond Group, has climbed the rankings in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners year on year and has offices in Manchester city centre and throughout Cheshire. It is home to the leading Children Law team in the North West which now boasts seven Law Society Children Panel-accredited solicitors.
“I am thrilled to join a family law firm that specialises in Children Law and puts the welfare of children at the heart of everything it does,” said Ruth. ““I believe, very strongly, in the culture and ethos of McAlister Family Law, so to be a part of this trail-blazing firm fits perfectly with my own outlook and ambitions. I am very much looking forward to our working together to shape, in a positive and holistic fashion, the provision of family law in the UK.”

Amanda McAlister, managing partner, added: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Ruth to McAlister Family Law: she will be a tremendous asset to the firm and will make a significant contribution to the development of our Children Law division, as we continue our programme of strategic growth and cement our reputation as one the UK’s leading family law firms.”

Beyond Group Head Matt Fleetwood said: “The appointment of Ruth as a partner within McAlister Family Law enables the Group’s family law business to enhance significantly its offering. She is a natural fit for us, both as a person having the human perspective that is important for all our businesses and as a fellow professional, highly regarded throughout the industry. We are all delighted to have her on board.”

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