Jane Killerby-Nicholls

Where/when you studied:
St Joseph’s College, Bradford, West Yorkshire Newcastle Polytechnic
Chester Law College
           
Professional expertise before joining the firm:
Assistant Solicitor with Winder and Taylor, Bolton (1986 -1989)
Assistant Solicitor and then Partner with Kirk Jackson, Solicitors, Swinton, Manchester, which subsequently merged with Rowlands Solicitors (1990 – 2004)
Assistant Solicitor with AST Hampsons, Rochdale and Bury (2004 – 2007)
 
When you joined the firm:
August 2007
 
Department responsibilities (within the firm):
General supervision
 
Areas of special legal expertise:
All areas of Family and Matrimonial work, including divorce proceedings, financial matters, children matters - contact and residence and care proceedings for both legally aided and privately paying clients
 
Committees or organisations (to support the claim of specialist legal expertise):
Member of Law Society Family Panel
Member of Resolution
Law Society Family Law Advanced member - Children Law Practice - Violence in the Home - 2012
 

Notable Cases:

(2016) Acting for Wife in divorce as respondent but also as applicant in application for a financial remedy order. 

Parties had moved to UK after marriage and had signed a prenuptial agreement in their country of birth which did not comply with protocol here resulting in it being likely that it would be disregarded by the English court.  Wife had used the proceeds of a property she had owned prior to marriage to fund the purchase of a property in UK but equity in property was now less than the amount she had contributed.  At the same time there were ongoing issues in respect of where the 2 children of the family would live.  The financial matters were concluded once the child arrangements had been finalised.  Wife was in the process of retraining at time the application was heard and husband was in highly remunerated employment.  They had enjoyed a high standard of living but had little in assets to form the basis of a financial order.  There was considerable marital debt.  Wife had remained in the former home but ultimately due to the expressed wishes of the children they were to spend most of their time with the husband.  The husband made threats not to pay the mortgage and then reduced the direct financial support he was providing to the wife at a time when the children were still spending an equal amount of time with each parent.

Made an application for a financial remedy order but at the same time requested an order for interim maintenance for the wife to assist in meeting her everyday expenditure until such time as a final order was made.  The husband was now in a new cohabiting relationship, the wife was in a new relationship but had no plans to remarry or cohabit.

Issues to be addressed:-

  • What were the parties' immediate needs and how were these going to be met;
  • What were the parties' long term needs and requirements;
  • Should the matrimonial home be retained by one of the parties or should it be sold;
  • Should the wife be granted a pension sharing order to recognise the disparity in their respective pension provision;
  • Was this a case for there to be any provision for spousal support until the wife was in a position to obtain well remunerated employment;
  • Who should be responsible for the matrimonial debt;
  • Should the prenuptial agreement be given any weight in the settlement.

At the initial hearing to deal with the interim maintenance an order was secured that the husband would provide enough financial support, including meeting the mortgage payment on the marital home, for the wife to meet her basic needs, having taken into account the limited income she was able to earn for herself.

At the Dispute Resolution hearing the parties were able to agree terms so as to avoid a contested final hearing.

The final order provided for:-

  • House to be sold with the proceeds of sale being divided equally save that there was a proviso that the wife would receive a minimum lump sum from the proceeds of sale if the property had to be sold for less than the parties envisaged it to be worth;
  • Husband to remain liable for all matrimonial debt;
  • Wife to receive the benefit of a pension sharing order that gave her 50% of his pension;
  • Thereafter a clean break between the parties.

(2016) Acting for husband in an application for a financial order within divorce proceedings.  Long marriage with grown up children.  Wife already retired through ill health.  Husband nearing retirement.  Wife’s pension already in payment.  Husband’s pension from one employment already in payment but husband also in well remunerated employment with a further pension being accumulated.  As well as the matrimonial home which was of considerable value and free of mortgage, there were properties abroad and other assets of considerable value including the proceeds of insurance policies that had matured since the parties separated, one of which had paid out and the proceeds of the other being retained by the insurance company until the conclusion of the financial order proceedings.  Both parties were in considerable debt and this grew during the currency of the proceedings.

The issues to be addressed were:-

  1. Whether the matrimonial home had to be sold and if so how the proceeds of sale should be divided, based upon what the parties’ future needs were given their respective positions in relation to obtaining mortgage funds.In the event that it was not to be sold what lump sum should be paid to the party not retaining an interest in the property
  2. Whether the wife was entitled to ongoing spousal support and if so at what rate and for how long
  3. What should happen to the properties abroad
  4. What should happen to the proceeds of the insurance policy that had not yet been paid out
  5. Whether there should be a pension sharing order

Parties were unable to compromise their respective positions at early hearings and matter was listed for a 2 day contested hearing.  Even at the late stage of the first day of the final hearing the parties, after considerable negotiation, were able to agree terms and a consent order was possible.

(2015) – Representing paternal grandparents in respect of their application to be able to spend time with their grandchildren.  A previous application had been withdrawn as it had been agreed they would spend time with their grandchildren at the same time as they saw their father. Unfortunately this agreement was short lived and the grandparents had not seen their grandchildren for in excess of 12 months.  They made an application and at the same time the children’s father made his own application for reinstatement of him being able to spend time with his children.  The application to the court lasted a considerable time due to the mother’s failure to engage in the court process and comply with court orders that the court made.  However ultimately grandparents successful in getting an order that they see their grandchildren on a regular basis.

(2015) – Representing husband in proceedings relating to financial matters arising from divorce.  Husband was not English and as well as having property (matrimonial home) in England he also had interests in properties abroad and had a pension abroad.  The matrimonial home itself comprised of two properties on the same plot of land and the husband’s in laws had an interest in the property as well as the husband and his wife.  There were children of the marriage one of which, at the time the negotiations commenced, was still under 18.  The wife was in a new relationship but denied any intention to remarry or cohabit.  The issues were complicated by the fact that the former matrimonial home comprised of 2 properties and there were third party interests.  During the course of negotiations, which were protracted, the youngest child reached the age of 18 and one of the ‘in laws’ died.  The parties involved were able to agree the splitting of the two properties into two separately registered properties at the Land Registry and thereafter the husband and wife were able to agree financial arrangements between them which they were able to incorporate into a consent order.

(September 2012) - Successfully applied to the High Court in Wardship proceedings for the discharge of an order of Wardship relating to the child of the parties.  The parties had previously been married and then divorced.  The mother was Russian the father was Iranian.  Following their divorce the father had made an application for contact. No order for contact was made under the ‘No Order’ principle as contact was already taking place as frequently as was appropriate given the child’s special needs. The Wardship order had been made following an application by the father when the mother had returned to Russian to visit her elderly mother who was ill.

 

 

Where educated: St Joseph’s College, Bradford, West Yorkshire Newcastle Polytechnic
 
First job: Saturday Sales Assistant with Boots the Chemist (Record Department)
Hobbies: Going to the Gym, Gardening, Reading
 
Favourite food: Chocolate
Favourite film: Thriller/Comedy
Favourite group/artist: Radio Edit (my son’s band)
Ultimate holiday destination: Australia
Favourite sport/team: Formula 1 Racing
Favourite book: Crime Fiction
Likes: Pretty laid back about most things but hate lack of manners and anyone who will not wait their turn
Dislikes: See above
 
Personal ambition: To continue to be happy with my lot!