Michelle began her legal career as an office junior, working her way up to a secretary after university and going on to become a caseworker in 2001. From here, she began studying in law, initially undertaking an AS level in law in 2002. In 2003 Michelle enrolled at the Institute of Legal Executives, now the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, where she obtained membership in 2007.
Michelle moved from the Northampton firm at which she had undertaken her training to a large regional Milton Keynes based family specialist firm in 2009 and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2011. She then worked with a large Bedford based firm from 2012 until December 2013, helping to establish the family department and gaining experience representing clients who were incarcerated which provided valuable experience in the specific difficulties face by clients in prison. She then began a new challenge with Duncan Lewis, the largest legal aid provider in England and Wales, in January 2014.
In June 2015 Michelle joined Swain & Co, moving to the Portsmouth area to be closer to her extended family.
Michelle has a passion for legal aid work and strongly believes in providing advice and assistance to the most socially and financially vulnerable members of society. Throughout her career Michelle has tended to focus on divorce and assisting couples who are facing this difficult time in their lives to achieve the best outcome for themselves and their children, including assistance with reaching a financial settlement which is fair and beneficial to all. Michelle has a particular expertise in dealing with pensions on divorce and is usually described as the 'go to girl' in this area.
Michelle is committed to using her best endeavours to reach agreement on issues without the need for stressful and often costly court proceedings. That being said, if court action is necessary Michelle is an experienced and competent advocate. For those clients who have been victims of domestic violence Michelle offers a sympathetic and empathetic approach, whilst providing sensible and pragmatic advice and dealing with matters on an individual and, if necessary, emergency basis.
Where children have been placed in care Michelle has extensive experience of representing parents in care proceedings and has represented parents facing allegations that they have seriously injured their children. She has also represented clients throughout lengthy and protracted proceedings including appeals both to the High Court and the Court of Appeal. She has also represented high net worth clients dealing with seven figure assets.
Michelle is no stranger to building networks of contacts and has an easygoing nature which makes her effortless to be in the company of, no matter what background you are from.