Expert knowledge

An Aberdeen lawyer has received a leading national honour in recognition of her success in the field of family law.

Ashley Simpson, an associate at Patience and Buchan, has received accreditation as a child law specialist from the Law Society of Scotland. The success recognises Ashley’s extensive experience in cases involving the welfare of children.

There are only 28 accredited child law specialists in Scotland, with four in the Aberdeen area – including Ashley and her colleague Lorna Buchan. Ashley is also expected to apply for accreditation as a family law specialist later this year.

Ashley, 33, said: “I’m delighted to have received this highly respected accreditation.

Ashley Simpson

“Clearly, it’s an important credential to have when dealing with clients and providing them with the best possible level of service.

“In order to achieve the child law accreditation, which lasts for five years, I was required to be qualified as a lawyer for a minimum of seven years and carrying out specialist work for a minimum of three years.

“This involved undertaking high-quality work, including complex and unusual child law cases, which proved to be challenging.

“The firm has been hugely supportive in helping me achieve my goals to date, while the knowledge and expertise possessed by the business, in particular partners, Iain and Lorna, has been of major benefit to me personally.”

Iain Patience, a founder and partner at Patience and Buchan, said: “Accreditations are actually quite hard to achieve, but in Ashley’s case it is well deserved and it is testament to the high-quality of work she has been doing for a number of years now.

“It also reflects our desire as a firm to help develop Ashley’s career.

“The firm has a significant range of accreditations or specialisations and we look forward to supporting Ashley’s continued growth and development.”

A former pupil at Aberdeen Grammar School, Ashley completed her LLB (Honours) in Law and Accountancy and subsequent Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Aberdeen, before qualifying as a lawyer in 2007.

She joined Patience and Buchan in October 2011, before being appointed associate last year.

In her current role, Ashley undertakes both private and legal aid work, dealing with the majority of child law cases that come into the office – including contact or residence arrangements, social work and adoption – where the primary concern is the welfare of children.

Ashley has also presented seminars on family law issues to colleagues and through Avenue, a charity which provides mediation contact centres and counselling services to people, including children, across the Grampian area.

Prior to joining Patience and Buchan, she was employed by Angus-based firm T Duncan & Company where she completed her traineeship, gaining valuable courtroom experience in a variety of civil and criminal cases.

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