Specialist lawyer Katharine Marshall has become the only Lancashire solicitor to join an official list of top lawyers accredited to handle cases involving children being taken abroad illegally.
Katharine has gained International Child Abduction Contact Unit (ICACU) accreditation and is one of only a handful of North West solicitors onthe ICACU panel.
This is a highly specialised government list that is used to make referrals on complex cases where children are taken abroad without the permission of a parent.
The accreditation follows Katharine’s appointment in January 2017 as head of the family team at Lancashire law firm WHN Solicitors, based at its Bury office.
In addition to the ICACU accreditation, Katharine is an accredited specialist in private law children and domestic abuse, as well as a member of the Law Society’s children panel.
She obtained accredited specialist status for international child abduction in 2015, while gaining ‘higher rights’ in December 2016, which enable her to represent clients in the High Court.
In order to become a Resolution accredited specialist Katharine had to demonstrate experience and expertise in dealing with a range of child abduction matters. To be admitted to the ICACU list, WHN Solicitors had to demonstrate firm-wide expertise and resources to conduct complex child abduction litigation in the High Court.
Katharine said: “The way the referral list works is that cases are allocated to panel solicitors on behalf of parents left behind in foreign jurisdictions, whose children have been removed to or retained in the UK unlawfully.”
Katharine added: “I am, of course, also qualified to advise parents and carers on a whole range of children matters, including cases in the UK with an international element, such as applications for leave to remove children from the jurisdiction.”
Katharine comes from Burnley and attended the University of Leeds, qualifying as a solicitor in 2005.