Cornish legal firm Hine Downing has welcomed Katie Nightingale into its family law team, as it looks forward to a new era of ‘no fault divorce’ which comes into effect on April 6 – the biggest reform of divorce law in fifty years.

Nightingale begins the new year with the prominent Falmouth-based practice having honed her skills in all areas of family law over 15 years within firms in Berkshire and Middlesex.

“This is an exciting time to be joining such a highly respected and friendly firm, working in the area of law I am passionate about, in the county where I was born,” she said.

“Family law is sensitive and delicate and it’s so important to help clients get it right.

“It has never been helpful emotionally or financially to have to apportion blame in a divorce case – so the concept of ‘no fault divorce’ is welcomed by everyone working in this field.”

The BBC’s recent dramatisation A Very British Scandal about the acrimonious divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in the early 1960s was an extreme illustration of the fact that a legal requirement to lay blame is no route to an amicable separation.

Though in recent decades divorcing couples have been encouraged to focus their energies on any children and the financial aspects of the marriage, there remained the insistence that if someone wished to divorce, they had no option but to make allegations about their spouse’s behaviour, adultery or to claim that they had been deserted.

Kerys Deavin, head of family at Hine Downing, added: “Katie is a great asset and she is further strengthening our like-minded family team at Hine Downing.

“Wherever possible we’ve always encouraged clients to work together constructively to settle issues amicably – we all agree that the new ‘no fault divorce’ has to be the best prospect of this happening.”