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Family law expert nominated for top national award

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 29, 2014

By Olivier Vergnault, WMN Business Editor, Twitter: @OliVergnault

Rachel Carter 2014

Rachel Carter, a solicitor with Wollen Michelmore's family law department has been nominated for the Jordan’s Publishing Family Law Awards in the category of Associate Solicitor

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A solicitor has been nominated for a prestigious award for the second year running for her work reuniting wrongly accused parents with their children.

Rachel Carter has been nominated for the Jordan’s Publishing Family Law Awards in the category of Associate Solicitor.

Last year she was nominated for the same awards in the same category and was also nominated for the 2013 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award.

She also won the 2013 Women of Achievement award which was organised by the WMN’s sister paper the Herald Express.

Rachel has gained a national reputation for work in defending cases of parents who have been accused of harming their children.

Amongst other successes, earlier this year she successfully reunited a little boy whose parents were accused of child abuse by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Social Services Department.

The child began to fit after falling out of bed one evening.

He spent three weeks in hospital being treated for multiple brain haemorrhages and was then put into foster care while the parents suffered the nightmare of court proceedings.

At a High Court hearing in April, Rachel successfully presented medical evidence that showed the baby had suffered a brain haemorrhage during his birth by emergency caesarean and that the fall had caused it to start bleeding again.

She also proved that the boy had probably inherited a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type 3 from his father which leaves sufferers prone to bleeding.

In 2012, Rachel, who is part of the Wollen Michelmore’s family law department, set up the www.parentsaccused.co.uk website to gather together information for parents to help them understand and present their cases.

Rachel said: “It is a great honour to be nominated for this award, particularly for the second year running.

“We have had a very rewarding year reuniting parents who have been wrongly accused of the abuse of their children.

“I now deal with parents all over the UK who are in desperate and terrifying circumstances and who often find me through the website.

“To have this recognised is a tribute also to them and their courage to fight for their children.”

Last year Wollen Michelmore’s family law department dealt with 337 family cases and 181 childcare cases.

There are 15 categories within the awards including those for entire firms, barrister, QCs and paralegals.

Only one other South West law firm features in the line up.

Wollen Michelmore managing partner Chris Hart said: “We have had an exceptional run of nominations and awards at the firm in the past couple of years, and Rachel is one of our undoubted stars.

“She has gained us a reputation on the national stage. Most importantly though, her work is helping families move on from nightmare situations and to be reunited with their children.

“Our family law department continues to go from strength to strength and is undoubtedly amongst the busiest in the region, with a reputation for high quality work, swift outcomes and a sensitive approach.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on October 8.

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