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Shanika Haynes

Senior Associate, Leeds

I have been described by clients as kind, patient and understanding whilst giving sound, practical advice. My experience includes high-net-worth divorce cases, domestic abuse, right of grandparents and children cases. I am part of the adoption team at Stowe and have dealt with a number of military family breakdowns. Shanika won the Rising Star Award at the 2020 Yorkshire Legal Awards.

Specialisms

Shanika has advised and represented clients who are in the process of divorce and has also helped those who have not been married. Her experience includes cases involving high income and capital, including assets abroad and business structures.

She has a particular interest in domestic abuse cases and child law work, including reaching an agreement in relation to where children will live and how much time they will spend with the non-resident parent. Shanika has acted in several cases where the child has a disability.

She has also been involved in external and internal relocation cases. She has experience in dealing with grandparents’ rights as well.

Shanika is part of the adoption team, you can read her blog article on adoption, family and law here.

She has dealt with military families and has a real grasp of the issues they face. She has first-hand experience of the intricacies of military life as she is married to an army veteran.

Shanika has represented members of the LGBTQ+ community where sexual orientation and gender was raised in the proceedings.

She has also acted in cases where religion was a key factor.

Training & employment

She was educated at Keele University in Staffordshire. She studied the LPC at the University of Law, York, where she achieved a distinction. Before starting her training contract at Stowe, she worked at a legal aid firm for a few months, gaining experience in matters involving domestic abuse and children.

She started her training at Stowe in October 2014. During this period, she worked in the Harrogate, Ilkley and Wetherby offices. She now works predominantly in the Leeds office although she travels to Harrogate and Wetherby for client appointments.

Having trained at Stowe, Shanika was able to focus on family law for two years and therefore has had the benefit of very varied and niche training.

Shanika is joint Vice President of the Leeds Law Society (the first Asian/minority president in the 150 years it’s been established), D&I co-ordinator and lead court liaison for the family court, founding member of Leeds Junior Family Lawyers and a panel member of Only Mums and Only Dads, as well as contributing to the “101 questions answered about separating with children” book.

She is also part of the solicitors working group and DIB group at Stowe Family Law, board member of the West Yorkshire Family Justice Board and has regularly written articles for magazines, papers and Lexis Nexis.

Approach

Her approach is always to put the client and their needs first. She has been described by clients as kind, patient and understanding whilst giving practical advice which they are able to digest and understand.

She appreciates the importance of speaking in straightforward terms and has a no-nonsense approach. She is able to adapt to her clients’ needs and is able to recognise the most appropriate way to move matters forward.

Awards

Shanika won the ‘Rising Star of the Year’ at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2020.

Finalist in the Women in Law Awards 2020 in the rising star category.

Outside of work

Shanika enjoys cooking, travelling and going to the theatre in her spare time.

What our clients say

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