Preston-based Vincents Solicitors has expanded its family law team.

Allan Pickup joins the family team and will be based at the Vincents headquarters in Winckley Square, Preston. He follows former colleague Val Shaw who joined Vincents last year.

Both have been members of the Children’s Panel for more than 15 years, a status also recently achieved by colleague Kathryn Dodds.

Only solicitors who undertake specialist training, and demonstrate significant experience of children’s cases and care proceedings, can be invited to the panel by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The family team also welcomes new legal executive Sarah Lloyd to assist with the growing workload.

Allan (pictured, left), who sits as a deputy district judge in the north-west, is an expert in care proceedings. He also undertakes a substantive amount of courtroom advocacy on behalf of family clients.

He said: ‘I’m delighted to be working with such an experienced team here at Vincents, and pleased to bring my expertise to a fast-growing business. I’m looking forward to building on existing relationships with officers of the children and family court advisory and support service and working with new clients across the county.

‘Children’s law is an extremely specialised area and there is no substitute for experience. In almost 30 years of practice I have worked on some difficult, and complex, cases acting for parents in some cases, and for the children in others, when instructed by their court appointed guardian, to ensure the best interests of the child are always at the forefront of the case.’

Allan is the latest in a string of new appointments as the firm expands right across the business.

Director Mark Mosley, head of family law at Vincents, said: ‘As a firm we are having to grow in order to meet the demands of new instructions across all our departments.

‘In particular we identified the benefits both Val (pictured centre) and Allan would bring to the family team for our existing clients, and have confidence their reputation will see them bring in new business and referrals from across the region. I’m also delighted to congratulate Kathryn (pictured, right) on her appointment to the Children’s Panel.’