It’s a cold, crisp winter morning in Harrogate as the sun rises over the North Yorkshire town. There is a faint glint of ice in the blades of grass where the morning dew has frozen.
Every time I approach the Old Court House on Raglan Street in the centre of the town, I am reminded of its history. The Magistrate’s Court used to be in this building, and I actually appeared here as a young solicitor. I remember the chamber where the solicitors waited before proceedings began. It was not the nicest of rooms, to say the least. As a young, nervous lawyer it never occurred to me to think that one day I would turn that room into an office of my own.
Things have changed a lot since then. The basement of the building used to be the cells of the old court. Now, it is used primarily for storage.
It’s all fascinating to think about, but there is not much time to reflect for the staff of Stowe Family Law. The firm’s head office is already bustling before the official start of the day. In the world of family law, no two days are the same so our team must be ready for anything. That is not only true of the solicitors but for everyone.
People are often surprised that our entire firm is run from Harrogate. It is the central hub of everything we do. The reception team takes calls from all over the country as potential clients seek help in matters ranging from divorce to making a will and everything in between. They redirect people’s questions to one of our nine offices around the country based on what they need and where they are.
There are several solicitors based in the Stowe Family Law Harrogate office, whose expertise is invaluable. Whether they are in a courtroom speaking on behalf of a client or simply giving some free legal advice, they are always working. The days can be very tiring – both physically and emotionally – but that is the nature of family law. We deal with intensely personal matters, often at a time when people are at their most vulnerable.
The Harrogate office is also the base for our forensic accountants. From their office, they manage to track down any assets and accounts that someone has tried to keep hidden during their divorce.
Under the Old Court House’s high ceiling, we have the firm’s online hub. The communications team maintain this very blog, populating it with stories from detailed analysis of a recent judgement to the latest study on the effects of divorce. They also make sure the firm’s website and social media platforms are up to date.
Across the hallway, the management team takes care of pretty much everything else. This month, saw the opening of the Stowe Family Law Winchester office, so that has held much of the team’s attention for the past few weeks. Every time a firm grows, there will inevitably be bumps in the road but the management team has dealt with each of them effectively. The capable group is one of the reasons we have been able to expand as quickly as we have.
At the end of the day, our hardworking staff head out into the Yorkshire air and the busy office begins to fall quiet. Eventually, the last light goes off and the front door is locked.
Tomorrow it all begins again.