Dawn is a Paralegal and Certified Family Law Assistant in the Family Team. Having joined Trethowans in 1987 she obtained a Paralegal Diploma in Family Law in 2000 and in 2007 was awarded a Certificate with distinction in Family Law & Practice; a course run by the ITC.
In August 2015, Dawn was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Paralegals, the highest grade of membership for the top practising paralegals.’
Dawn specialises in advising parents on settling the arrangements for their children following separation or divorce and has particular expertise in cases with complex issues.
She has had four reported cases in the Family Law Journal. In one of those cases, Dawn acted for the mother of teenage children who wished to be separately represented. The case has received high profile coverage and has set an important precedent for the separate representation of children. It is also frequently quoted in family law training courses throughout the UK. In another case, Dawn acted for the mother in proceedings where an Order was made transferring the child's residence to his father, against his express wishes and feelings. The case received a lot of media interest and is also now being quoted in training courses and other cases.
In 2006, Dawn received a Judges' Commendation in the National Paralegal Awards, as they felt that she very much epitomised the high standards of professionalism to which the paralegal profession aspires. The Judges were particularly impressed by the positive client feedback that Dawn has received from a number of clients, who praised her commitment, empathy and professionalism.
Dawn is recommended in Legal 500 (2013) "whose knowledge of children law is without equal".
She is also a member of Resolution.
Examples of how Dawn has helped clients include:
In one case, Dawn was advising a mother whose child had been placed with his father by Social Services. The mother had serious concerns for the welfare of her child in the father's care and did not feel that she was being listened to. Dawn assisted the mother in securing the return of the child to her care. The client commented:"I would like to thank Trethowans for their total professionalism and empathetic approach to an extremely complex and distressing family law case. I contacted several local family law solicitors, who simply did not take my case seriously and said that I would not be successful and it would be too difficult to prove otherwise. However Trethowans, took on my case immediately and completely put my faith back in the justice system. My case was successful and my life now is completely transformed! I cannot thank Trethowans enough."
- In another case, Dawn advised a father whose contact with his child was being frustrated by the mother who subsequently made serious allegations against the father. The father was distressed and frustrated by the mother's actions and Dawn assisted him through the lengthy legal process which resulted in findings being made against the mother and contact between the father and child being restored.
One client thanked Dawn for "being so professional, supportive and understanding" and said that she was grateful that Dawn had helped her "through a challenging journey".
Away from the office ...
In her spare time, Dawn is a keen archer and shoots for Tenzone Bowmen and for Hampshire Archery Association. She also enjoys foreign travel and spending time with her family and dog.
- Children Issues
- Divorce and Separation