Firm Introduces Ready-Made Family Law Team

Posted: 6th October 2023

The appointment of three family law practitioners has created a fully formed new team to serve private clients at a Penrith legal practice.

EMG Solicitors has welcomed the three professionals to build its family law services that include divorce, separation, asset protection, child arrangements, nuptial agreements and family mediation.

Chartered legal executive Angela O’Neill, solicitor Shannon Skilling and trainee legal executive Fiona Miller all come with vast experience and expertise.

Head of the family department at EMG Solicitors, Julia Middleton, said: “In expanding EMG into Cumbria we intended to provide the full range of services that we do in the North East. The arrival of Angela, Shannon and Fiona at our Penrith office within only 12 months of our office launch demonstrates our commitment to providing the full range of private client services across all our locations. With our Penrith team, we now have 11 colleagues operating from four different offices.

“Angela, Shannon and Fiona all live in Cumbria and have the local knowledge which is as important to us as their legal expertise as we seek to engage and work with the local community, which is a key part of our business strategy and ethos.

“We have recently become corporate members of Cumbria Community Foundation and we are committed to giving back to the communities where we operate. Samantha Edward, lead director at our Penrith office, is also delighted to be strengthening the wider team at the firm.”

Angela has been practising for 30 years and was working for a large firm of solicitors in Hertfordshire when she decided to train and become a lawyer.

Having holidayed in Cumbria for several years she decided to relocate, initially working for a firm in Ulverston and later with a firm in Barrow where she built the family team, which included recruiting and mentoring Fiona through her legal executive training.

Angela has been a family mediator since 2017 and supports clients using EMG Mediation to resolve their disputes.

“It was EMG’s cultural values, not only in terms of looking after their employees but also supporting local communities, that attracted me to the firm. I’m delighted to join the Penrith office. Throughout my career I’ve been able to mentor younger staff and I’m keen to continue that here,” she said.

Shannon, who is from Workington and has 3 years’ experience in family law, was one of the first cohorts to study law at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle. She later concluded her legal practice course at Northumbria University and worked as a paralegal in Carlisle alongside studying.

She said: “I completed my training contract with a firm in Whitehaven and one of the big draws for me to joining EMG was how warm and welcoming Julia and director Gemma Holmes were in my interview. Having been born and bred and educated in Cumbria, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to establish myself as a family lawyer here and just shows that you don’t have to leave the county to have a career in law.”

Fiona is originally from Devon and worked in health care before moving to Cumbria in 2016 for a better quality of life.

She said: “It’s fantastic that Angela and I have been able to move together so I’ve got the same mentor and still get to draw on her experience, as well as the wealth of knowledge within the rest of the team. The culture and values of EMG really excited me because they align with mine, looking after clients on an individual basis, not one size fits all, and doing what they can for charity.”

EMG Solicitors recently funded an Aardman model making workshop for Year 2 pupils at Brunswick School, in Penrith. The firm is a sponsor of the Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne Art Trail in partnership with Aardman and Wild in Art and once the trail concludes in October its hand painted sculpture of Shaun the Sheep will be displayed in reception at the Penrith office for the community to enjoy.