Team MBH: A Growing Wigan Business

McCarthy Bennett Holland is delighted to welcome family and matrimonial lawyer Gillian Lavelle to the fast-growing firm.

Gillian, dual-qualified as both a Solicitor and a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives, brings with her over ten years’ experience in dealing with all aspects of family issues. Here, she speaks about her move to MBH and the services she can offer.

Gillian, has your career always focused on family and matrimonial matters?

Yes; my early experience was gained as a paralegal within a litigation team but I concentrated primarily on disputes relating to unmarried, cohabiting couples. I continued to build on this, moving into more general family matters, including those relating to children, and subsequently to develop my expertise in dealing with divorce. I now deal with cases across the full breadth of family and matrimonial separations and disputes.

What prompted your move to MBH?

McCarthy Bennett Holland is a long-established, well-regarded and growing firm in an area within which I have worked for some time. When the opportunity to join the team arose, I jumped at the chance; I’ve worked with MBH on a professional level before and so I knew the quality of the work that the firm does and I was keen to continue to develop my career here.

What will you be offering clients of the firm?

We always offer family and matrimonial clients a free 30-minute initial consultation to discuss their case and agree a way forward. We will discuss costs and potential outcomes so clients are fully aware of what to expect. MBH is also able to offer mediation services, ensuring a full service to separating and divorcing couples is available.

Family law and financial settlements in particular have featured heavily in the news recently; how has the law been affected?

The recent ruling by the Supreme Court stresses the importance of reaching and concluding a financial settlement as part of divorce proceedings. A former wife, who split from her husband some 20 years ago, is pursuing her former husband for a substantial financial sum. Following their split, he went on to have a successful career which led to him accruing considerable wealth.

The case has many different strands to it but central is the fact that, when the divorce was finalised, the former couple’s financial matters were not. No agreement was agreed or signed and no ‘clean break’ achieved which would have drawn to a close any claims that either husband or wife had against the other. As a result, even 20 years on, the Court has ruled that the wife is able to lodge a claim against her former husband’s estate.

What lessons can be learned from the case? 

There are two strands to divorce proceedings; concluding the divorce itself in order to bring the marriage to an end, and reaching agreement on financial issues. Couples going through a divorce must ensure that they not only receive their Decree Absolute but conclude a full and final settlement dealing with all financial matters, setting out what each party will receive from the couple’s assets.


  • Together with Gillian’s appointment, MBH has promoted two colleagues to Partner status. Conveyancers Caroline Rooks and John Petrie join the partnership at the firm and will continue to grow the busy residential conveyancing department.

Of the recent appointments, Senior Partner Mark Boon comments, “McCarthy Bennett Holland has experienced significant growth in recent months and we are pleased to be able to announce these latest appointments and promotions.

Gillian’s all-round expertise in family and matrimonial cases, and her particular specialism in managing cohabitation disputes, will serve our clients well and she brings with her new ideas to develop the family team.

Promoting Caroline and John to the partnership is an exciting step for MBH and recognition of the significant contributions they have made to the firm. We are proud to be able to offer these opportunities to valuable members of our team and look forward to continued growth in the coming months and years.”

Are you a Commercial or Commercial Property solicitor looking for a new opportunity with a growing local firm? McCarthy Bennett Holland’s commercial team is expanding and we are looking to recruit solicitors from newly qualified to 3 years PQE to join our respected and ambitious practice. Please contact Mark Boon at MBH for more information; details below.

About MBH

McCarthy Bennett Holland, established in Wigan since 1971, offers a personal service across a wide range of legal practice areas, including residential and commercial property, family and matrimonial, wills and probate, employment, personal injury and company commercial.

Contact Mark Boon, partner at MBH Solicitors, to discuss your property or other legal requirements in confidence at:
Tel: 01942 206060
Address: 26 Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan WN1 1TD
Twitter: @MBHSolicitors

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