Below are details of the friendly team of family law specialists and divorce solicitors who will look after your case at Barnes Family Law.
The team is led by Alison Barnes, Managing Partner of the Year 2015, as voted for by the attendees of the Yorkshire Legal Awards.
Alison Barnes – Solicitor / Director
I am 46 and I live with my partner, who is a police officer, and my two sons who are 20 and 10. I divorced 19 years ago but thankfully remain on good terms. My parents are a retired police officer and teacher, and now spend most of their time in France which is good for escaping to occasionally.
I qualified as a solicitor in 2002 but have over 20 years experience of the legal profession. Prior to that I had various jobs including Yellow Pages (regional sales) and working 12 hour night shifts on the factory floor in a plastic injection moulding factory. As the only female this was often challenging and always hard work!
I started Barnes Family Law in 2010 following a bout of swine flu and pneumonia that landed me in a coma and on a life support machine. I have not looked back and enjoy the different challenges every day brings. My objective from the start was to make sure all my clients received the level of service and client care that I felt they should have and, I hope, based on the feedback we get that we have achieved that.
My eldest son is just finishing his third year at University and plans to go on to be an Architect whilst my youngest son plans to be either a chef or a professional footballer. In what little spare time I have I enjoy skiing and riding motorbikes up trees!
Jason Deacon – Chartered Legal Executive
I am 45, married and the proud father of our 3 year old daughter.
I left school and began work as an office assistant at a high street practice in Leeds, then moved into their family department and began training as a family advisor. I have therefore worked within the legal profession throughout my working life.
I qualified as a Legal Executive in 2000 and have experience and understanding of all types of family law matters. I am also a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Advanced Financial Provision, Children Law and Domestic Abuse.
I have always enjoyed physical activities, having regularly played football and undertaken a great deal of hiking in the UK and abroad. I have not had enough time to do much of these activities though since I , perhaps foolishly, began playing golf about 5 years ago. I have since discovered that it is one of the most rewarding sports to do whilst at the same time is definitely the most frustrating.
Anneka Howie – Facilities & Accounts Manager
I am 30 and up until 6 years ago I ran the family business with my father. I worked in a garage where I spent all day in overalls running the office but also in the workshop where I was a qualified MOT tester and worked as a mechanic. Unfortunately my father became seriously ill and the garage closed.
I met Alison who gave me a foot on the ladder to a whole new career and I have been with Barnes Family Law for 5 years now. I have used my existing office skills but also developed a whole new set which I hope to progress within Barnes Family Law.
I love my job and the people I work with. I get job satisfaction knowing we help people start a new chapter of their lives.
I love to ski and have a large family and close knit group of friends that keep me busy and happy.
Lesley Pugh – Legal Secretary
I am 47 years old and have worked as a Legal Secretary for 32 years, I have been with Barnes Family Law for nearly 3 years now. I am married to my second husband and have two children, a boy aged 18 and a girl aged 10. My son is heavily into rugby and I spend many a happy wet hour on the touchline watching him, and hopefully he will be going to university in September. My daughter loves swimming and is close to obtaining her gold award. She has also probably watched 1 million tutorials on the internet on how to do hair, make-up and nails. I do try to have my own activities as I like exercise classes but being a mum (especially the taxi bit) comes first.
On a daily basis I do general administration tasks, typing, answering the phones and keeping the files in good order.
I really enjoy working with the people I work with and the type of work we do. We work as an excellent Team.
Laura Fortis – Legal Secretary
I am 30 years old. I am married with three stepchildren and one child of my own. I am a classic “soccer mum” and my social time is spent attending all four children’s out of school activities such as football, cricket and gymnastics. I can honestly say I am the proudest parent at any event my children take part in!
I left school at 16 to work in a nursery and qualified as a Nursery Nurse two years later. I left the nursery in 2005 and began working as a receptionist in a local Law Firm. I quickly worked my way up to a Legal Secretary role for the partner of the firm and worked there for 8 years.
I began working for Barnes Family Law in 2012 and left to have my son in 2014. I decided to take some time out to be a stay at home mum for the next two years but luckily for me Barnes Family Law were happy to welcome me back with open arms in 2016. As well as my job role here at Barnes Family Law I also do all the administrative work for my husband’s plumbing/joinery business. I actually do not know what I would do if I had spare time on my hands!
I am proud of the fact that I am a busy working mum of four and that I am part of a great team at work too!
Sam Grogan – General Office Assistant
I am 18 years old and having achieved my A Level grades this summer I decided I wanted to get out into the real world and get a full time job. I had my work placement at Barnes Family Law in 2016 and given I enjoyed my time there so much I decided to approach them for a job opportunity. Fortunately for me they agreed to have me back on a full time basis as the General Office Assistant.
Whilst studying for my A Level exams I worked for the local cinema complex. This enabled me to develop my customer service skills. I decided I wanted a career in Law and now here I am.
My time at Barnes Family Law so far has been brilliant. I have already learned an incredible amount and can’t wait to learn more and expand my knowledge base. I love spending time with family and friends. I also have a keen interest in football and go to the gym as often as I can.