Essex Law firm recruits new Collaboratively trained solicitor

Birkett Long has recruited Shelley Cumbers, a collaboratively trained solicitor into its Divorce and Family team.

The collaborative law process is one of many options for separating and divorcing couples and involves the couple working together with their collaborative lawyers to achieve fair out of court settlements.

Shelley’s appointment means Birkett Long now has four collaboratively trained lawyers, the largest number in Essex. Shelley joins Birkett Long’s existing collaboratively trained lawyers Philip Hoddell, Mel Loxley and Francesca Cozens.

Shelley will provide specialist legal advice and assistance to a wide range of clients across all aspects of private Family law with particular emphasis on assisting with the consequences of relationship breakdown, divorce, financial and property issues for married and unmarried couples, as well as disputes regarding children. 

In addition, she can advise clients on relationship agreements, including pre and post marital, civil partnership, cohabitation and separation agreements.

Shelley has 13 years’ experience in this area of law, having trained at a firm in London before qualifying as a solicitor in 2007. She then continued her career at a local firm prior to joining Birkett Long. Having worked both in London and Colchester, Shelley can bring both City and local experience to cases in order to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients.  

Shelley has been a member of Resolution since qualification and a collaborative lawyer since 2012 and is committed to resolving disputes constructively and sensibly.

On being a collaboratively trained family lawyer Shelley says “I enjoy helping people move onto the next chapter in their lives so that they can begin to plan for the future. I believe the benefits of collaborative law are far-reaching and that the process enables couples to concentrate on what is important to the needs of their particular family.”

Shelley finds the collaborative process allows parties to resolve matters at their own pace, with their own agenda, whilst always focussing on what is best for the family now and in the future. This can be significantly beneficial for families with children as the process can help separated parents manage their relationship as ongoing parents.  In turn, this helps children cope better with the family breakdown as they see their parents working things out together.

Having been a member of the Collaborative Lawyers Colchester Group since 2014, she has recently been appointed as its Liaison Officer.

On what she likes about working at Birkett Long Shelley said “The firm has a focus on putting people first, coupled with the fact that Birkett Long is a highly regarded, successful and thriving Legal 500 Top Tier firm.”

Shelley is a Parent Governor at Heathlands C of E Primary School in West Bergholt, sitting on the Curriculum and Pupil Matters Committee. Her young family keeps her very busy, but in her spare time she enjoys keeping fit, HIIT and running.

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