Leading law firm Slater and Gordon has expanded its family team in Chester.

Sara Ismail will deal with all aspects of family law including divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitation disputes and prenuptial agreements.

She is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer who says more separating couples want to resolve their issues amicably and avoid the bitter showdown in court that is often associated with divorce.

The 33-year-old, who is from Liverpool, said: “I do think there is an increasing need for something that’s going to help keep families away from the court system.

“Particularly in cases where there are children involved, you want to preserve that family relationship as much as possible and help them reach an agreement that everyone’s happy with.

“It is rewarding when you can help someone turn a difficult situation into a more manageable one that allows them to move forward with their lives.”

Sara qualified in 2010 and worked at firms in and around London before the opening at Slater and Gordon’s city-centre office on Nicholas Street.

She will work alongside solicitor Lucy Williams and principal lawyer Roland Humphreys, formerly of Walker Smith Way, who heads up the family team in Chester and Wales.

Roland said: “Sara’s committed approach to guiding our clients through such a difficult time in their lives will continue to ensure that we have the best resources and expertise to help people, whatever their situation.

“Her experience of mediation and collaborative law fits with our ethos here and we are delighted to welcome her to the team.”

Sara Ismail, Roland Humphreys and Lucy Williams.