Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.52.00A DURHAM-based firm of solicitors has become one of the first in the region to pioneer a new legal approach to settling divorce disputes.

EMG Solicitors, based at Rivergreen Business Centre, is now offering couples the opportunity to be involved in a Collaborative Law process for divorce or separation issues, rather than go to court.

The relatively new method is carried out by specially trained solicitors working for both sides, which leads to the estranged partners and their legal representatives meeting face to face.

EMG’s Natalia Lalas was the first solicitor in Teesside to qualify in Collaborative Law and is now using that expertise to guide couples through a break up in a less intimidating way when appropriate.

“Going to court can be quite traumatic for a lot of people,” said Natalia.

“Using the Collaborative Law process means that matters can be settled round a table, with the couple both having the support of their legal representative at every stage.

“It’s a process that can help keep hostility to a minimum and it can actually improve the relationship between the two parties because they are having to deal with matters face to face.”

Natalia has years of experience dealing with family law matters which includes specialising in advice on children’s issues, grandparents rights, surrogacy, same sex partnership break ups along with general divorce and separation issues.

She is part of a growing team at EMG Solicitors, which is headed up by Court of Protection specialist, Emma Gaudern.

Emma, 39, has been working with Court of Protection cases for more than 10 years and currently acts as deputy for 45 clients along with being a trustee for a further 15 trusts for compensation.

Despite being in business for just over a year, the firm has gone from strength to strength and continues to grow its team and expand its areas of expertise which now include wills, trusts and probate.

For further information visit www.emgsolicitors.com