LAWYER IN THE NEWS
Who? Paul Conrathe, 33-year-old senior partner who specialises in education law at three-partner Croydon firm Coningsbys.Why is he in the news? Acts for Stephen Hone, who dragged the rights of prospective fathers into the spotlight when he sought an injunction preventing his former girlfriend Claire Hansell from aborting his child.
It was argued that a termination would be unlawful under the Abortion Act 1967, but the case against Ms Hansell failed.
She terminated the pregnancy, and the case hit the headlines again when Mr Hone went back to the High Court to request that he be allowed to bury the foetal remains.Background: History degree from Birmingham University 1985-1988, then worked on a church-run inner city project for two years.
Returned to Birmingham to take the CPE in 1990, moving on to De Montfort University for his Law Society Finals.
Qualified with Graham Pearce in Solihull in 1995, staying until 1998, when he joined Coningsbys as a partner.
Became senior partner in 2000.Route to the case: I was working with one of the members of ProLife Alliance on a challenge to the government over the homosexual age of consent and the use of the Parliament Act 1949.
Then they rang me up and asked if I would also undertake an action to prevent an abortion that appeared to be unlawful.Thoughts on the case: Although no judgment was given, this has raised important issues as to whether a prospective father has a right to intervene to prevent an abortion alleged not to comply with the Abortion Act.
Under domestic law, the father has no rights, but as a result of the European Commission of Human Rights decision in H v Norway, it would appear that the father does have a right to appeal under European law.Dealing with the media: The media attention has been a mixed blessing.
Although it has been helpful in raising the important issue of the prospective fathers rights, the intensity of the interest has interfered with my other cases.
At first I enjoyed it, but after a while it all got very draining.
But it seems to be dying down now.Paula Rohan