Mercy Messenger > Solihull, England > Firm Profile

Mercy Messenger
B37 7HW

Private client > Family: elsewhere in the West Midlands Tier 2

Mercy Messenger is a specialist firm that advises on all aspects of family law with a particular focus on dealing with family businesses and supporting on children matters under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Mercy Messenger heads the team that deals with many multi-million pound cases and has recently noticed increased instructions in maintenance and variation orders. Messenger is highly regarded for her work with non-married parents (with mothers in particular). Harpreet Saund specialises in cases involving children. Lauren Parton is particularly strong on the financial aspects of relationship breakdown.

Practice head(s):

Mercy Messenger

Other key lawyers:

Harpreet Saund; Lauren Parton; Patrice Coughlin


‘Delightful team – very responsive, kind, expert. Feel as if it is by your side throughout’.

‘Lauren Parton is brilliant. She is detailed in her knowledge, expert in her advice, always happy to seek further advice if she is is uncertain, calm, kind, brilliant at listening and understanding.’

‘All of the team at Mercy Messenger (including Mercy herself!) are delightful in their communication and professional in their manner’.

‘I think that the team’s main strength is that it is a small team who all work very well together. I have been treated very well by each member of the team that I have been in contact with. My main point of contact has been Lauren Parton. She has always been very kind to me and always listened to me and tried to help me the best she can. Lauren and Mercy Messenger have always had the time for me. They have respected the fact that my funds are low and have tried to help me wherever they can’.

‘Great communicators and totally behind their clients. Mercy Messenger and her team are streaks above their competitors. Always put your mind at rest’.

‘The premier out-of-Birmingham family finance firm. Specialists in their field with unparalleled experience of complex high net worth work. Respected and feared!’

‘Other than Mercy Messenger herself (a class act in every respect), I would like to commend Lauren Parton for her calm, clear and efficient attitude to her work. Nothing is ever too much for Lauren, she adapts effortlessly to challenges, and deals with clients in a genuinely caring and attentive manner’.

‘Mercy Messenger, Patrice Coughlin and Lauren Parton are all excellent lawyers and it is a real pleasure to work with them all’.

The firm: Mercy Messenger Solicitors was established by founder partner Mercy Messenger in 1983 and is continually developing and strengthening its expertise.  The firm is widely regarded as one of the leading matrimonial and family law specialist practices in Birmingham and the West Midlands. The aim of the firm is to provide services of the highest quality which produce fair and effective results.

Whether the issues are divorce, financial, children or arising from a non-marital relationship, the team at Mercy Messenger Solicitors is able to provide the highest level of advice and support.

The team is fortunate to have the consultancy services of partner David Messenger who is a specialist commercial lawyer with extensive corporate finance experience. To the firm’s clients he brings a thorough understanding of their business concerns and of the valuation aspects that can arise out of relationship breakdown, especially the implications for family businesses.

One of the firm’s strengths relates to the impact on family businesses of a relationship breakdown and we do our very best to get alongside clients who operate their own business and ensure they have the best possible advice as to mitigation of the impact of a divorce.

Clients: Clients come from a broad range of backgrounds and the majority, if not all, of the firm’s clients come by way of recommendation by colleagues, friends or family, as well as via referrals from other lawyers, accountants, surveyor, pension advisers, and indeed in some cases “the opposition”!

The firm have also established a reputation in successfully concluding cases for clients coming for a second opinion with reservations about advice they have previously received.

Certainty or risk: In today’s tumultuous times, clients are increasingly wishing to exert control over their futures by way of resolving issues with their former partners and reaching a consensus as opposed to the uncertainty and expense of litigation.

The team are fully supportive of this approach and keen to advise on ADR with particular reference to private FDRs.

Types of work undertaken
Marital and civil partnership breakdown: A decision to separate has an enormous impact on clients and their families. The firm encourages clients to take their time and consider carefully at the outset all options available to them in order to assist them in reaching such a big decision.

The aim of the team is to focus on the financial futures of their clients and their needs going forward and into retirement.

When clients switch to the firm from previous advisors, a constant theme is that a divorce/dissolution petition has been issued before the client has been made aware of the financial implications. It is the firm’s practice to ensure that the client is informed at the first meeting of the parameters of the financial settlement to enable them to make an informed decision as to how to proceed.

Children: Arrangements for children can become particularly controversial and problematic following a relationship breakdown, whether within or outside a formal relationship.

The firm have found that an increasing number of clients have been refused access to their children following separation with allegations made to the Police and Children’s Services. The firm understands the emotional impact this has on the parties and the importance of ensuring their children are protected/contact is re-instated where appropriate.

A highly technical field is that of Fact Finding Hearings in children matters. The complex cases the firm is used to dealing with frequently involve such a hearing. Support and reassurance is offered to those involved to help alleviate the pressure of going to court.

The team assists clients in relation to:

  • Deciding where and with whom a child will live;
  • Agreeing how much contact a child has with the non-resident parent or grandparent;
  • Making decisions in relation to particular circumstances affecting a child (such as schooling, health, or holidays) (Specific Issues);
  • Preventing a problem from occurring in relation to a child (such as removal from the country) (Prohibited Steps); and
  • Determining the issue of Parental Responsibility for a child.

When advising clients in relation to children matters, the welfare of the children is the paramount consideration. With this in mind, the firm encourages clients to consider arrangements with their former partners which are in the best interests of the children. The firm discuss and negotiate on behalf of the client in cases where relations between the parents are no longer amicable.

Financial arrangements: The financial team advises clients as to the right “package” of financial settlement orders for them based on a careful analysis of the assets and income of the parties, as well as looking to the eventual outcome and the practical impact of the settlement for the client moving forward.

The firm is experienced in utilising the court’s powers to safeguard assets if clients have concerns regarding the manipulation of the asset base.

Reallocation of family assets: A 50/50 start point is just that – a start point. The firm considers needs and what assets are matrimonial and shareable and what are not, for example, assets acquired by one party before the relationship started or inheritances.

The firm advises across the spectrum, from modest asset bases to multi-million pound cases, but also the team works hard to assist clients with limited assets to achieve a fair outcome for them and their children.

The team are alert to the fact that a number of clients have suffered a financial disadvantage as a result of the breakdown of their marriage and one party may have suffered in terms of their ability to generate an income for themselves. The firm understands that this can be a key worry for clients and is an area that is thoroughly examined during the course of negotiations and within court proceedings.

Maintenance: Dealing with maintenance can be a challenge, and from the perspective of the payer it can seem an extremely unattractive feature of a financial settlement. The firm explores all possible options, either to reduce the burden of maintenance on a payer, or to maximise the amount and duration of maintenance for a recipient.

Questions which arise include:

  • Is this case suitable for a maintenance arrangement or should there be an immediate cut-off of support between spouses (Clean Break).
  • If there is a maintenance liability, for what duration should this be in payment – short term or life long?
  • What impact does a maintenance award have on the division of capital and pension?

The wider team: Considerable attention is given to building a team at an early stage, including retaining Counsel and technical experts who are best suited to the individual client.  The firm has established connections with the leading sets of Family Law Chambers across the country as well as with very experienced forensic experts.

Agreements:  pre, post and mid nuptial agreements: The team has experience in advising clients who are looking to protect pre-acquired, family or inherited wealth against the risks of relationship breakdown.

In the right circumstances pre, post and mid nuptial agreements can be extremely valuable evidence of what was intended by the parties at the relevant time in their relationship provided they are entered into legitimately and according to conditions set out in recent case law.

In the alternative, as pre, post or mid nuptial agreements are not automatically binding on the court, the firm assists clients who feel that they ought not to be held to a financial agreement which is unfair to them in the event of a subsequent breakdown of the relationship.

Breakdown of a co-habiting relationship: The firm advise on the protection available by way of property trusts and Agreements, particularly important where one party has been primarily responsible for the funding of the family home.

Personal arrangements: The firm are supportive of clients who arrange their own financial agreements and strive to achieve what is discussed in the form of a legally binding court order, whilst advising about the importance of having a complete picture and understanding of the parameters that would be adopted by the court when reviewing an order.

Family and property protection: coercive control and other inappropriate behaviour: It may be that the client feels vulnerable or threatened in the aftermath of a relationship breakdown. Alternatively, a client may feel that they are being wrongly accused. The team are alert to these problems and have extensive experience in advising clients in relation to their position in respect of protective court proceedings such as Occupation Orders or Non-Molestation Orders.

The firm is also alert to the difficulties faced by clients who have experienced coercive control over the length of the relationship, particularly in terms of psychological and financial abuse.

Property issues: The firm is experienced in dealing with related property issues for clients and liaising with the Land Registry to provide protection by way of appropriate regulations. Most commonly, in relation to:

  • Protecting home rights for our clients in the event that the matrimonial home is solely owned by the other spouse;
  • Obtaining other protective registrations;
  • Dealing with the transfer of property between spouses once a financial settlement package has been defined.

The firm are also used to “getting to grips” with more specific property issues where they will impact upon the future use of the land or property by the spouse who will retain it. Examples include ensuring that a valuation of a matrimonial property was adjusted to take into account the blight of the land by the HS2 development, and that commercial land that had development potential was properly valued for the purposes of the matrimonial “pot” and the sharing principles.

Confidentiality of information: The possession of documents belonging to the other party to the breakdown of a relationship is now a highly regulated and complex area. In certain circumstances, use of confidential information belonging to another can constitute a criminal and/or civil offence.

That said, the firm understands that access to detailed financial information is required in order for cases to be comprehensively and fairly resolved.

The team stay fully up to date with the latest case law developments guiding this area of the law and can advise clients as to their remedies, either when steps have been taken by their former partner to invade their personal privacy and the privacy of their documents, or alternatively as to the steps that can be taken within divorce proceedings to secure, if required, crucial documents.

Appeals: The firm has unrivalled experience in relation to Appeals, and have an in depth understanding of the time sensitive nature of Appeals whilst being fully aware of the technical aspects involved.

If it appears to us, on a transfer of representation, that earlier advice was deficient we can point clients in the direction of specialist firms dealing with professional negligence.

Second opinion: The firm have established a reputation in successfully concluding cases for clients coming to the firm because they are looking for better advice for an ongoing case due to a variety of concerns about their current lawyers due to their failure to:

  • Be responsive and pro-active;
  • Take the time to understand the case thoroughly;
  • Think the financial aspects through and advise at the earliest opportunity the likely outcome;
  • Follow what we term the “jigsaw puzzle approach” to cases. That is looking at all aspects and slotting in the financial pieces of the jigsaw to give the client the overall picture; and
  • Think ahead, not just dealing with the current situation but how clients are to be placed in terms of future financial changes, such as:
  • The ending of child support payments;
  • How to deal with the cost of keeping a house for children at University; and
  • What income will be available on retirement.

In some instances, clients are also looking for advice to re-open old cases.

Alternative routes to a successful outcome: Settlement away from the court is always encouraged.

Financial mediation is excellent, but many cases that come to us are as a result of this not being properly thought through. To be successful, there should be complete transparency of finances between the parties, and knowledge of their rights and responsibilities. The firm strongly advise when this point is reached that this is the time for professional family mediation.

Managing partner David
Senior partner Mercy
Number of UK partners : 2

CLIENT: Mary Montgomery
COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Mercy and her team have been fabulous! I have no hesitation in recommending them – friendly, responsive and professional. Lauren has been totally amazing – she is an expert, calm, professional and lovely kind person, and she’s been so important to me through the last 2 1/2yrs. Thank you! Mary

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: I could not have survived the stress and trauma of my divorce, had it not been for the total expertise, compassion and professionalism received from Mercy, Lauren, Harpreet and all the staff at Mercy Messenger Solicitors. Thank you. I have already recommended them to other friends.

CLIENT: Camilla Patrick
COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: I cannot fault Mercy Messenger and her team, especially Harpreet who has been nothing but amazing throughout the whole process. I would highly recommend to anyone who needs a Solicitor’s firm who they can trust in and know that any concerns will be answered with professionalism. Thank you Mercy Messenger and Harpreet for getting me the best outcome.

CLIENT: Simon Bartlett-McCourt
COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Absolutely over the moon with the outcome of my case all thanks to the dedicated, hardworking team at Mercy Messenger. From the initial meeting I was impressed with the level of service, knowledge and communication received. I found the team to always be friendly, personal and professional at all times. I was lucky enough to have Lauren (who Rocks!) looking after me and in a stressful and at times emotional journey Lauren was constantly there in person, by email and phone. They won my case and I’m still grinning. Thank you Mercy, Lauren and Ellie 10/10

CLIENT: Susan Hunt
COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Mercy Messenger Solicitors. I was referred to Mercy Messenger Solicitors by personal recommendation and from the outset I knew that I was in safe hands. Mercy is hugely experienced, and every member of the team is a consummate professional. I was given good advice at every stage and when things got very stressful, I knew I had absolutely no need to worry. I am indebted to Mercy for her guidance and oversight and to my solicitor, Lauren Parton, who is quite simply amazing.

She is incredibly efficient, and her organisational skills are second to none. She is articulate and incisive and managed my case superbly. I was particularly impressed at how accessible she was via. phone and Email and always responded promptly to both. Lauren kept me informed at every stage of the process and no stone was left unturned in terms of preparation for a very complex case. Furthermore, I was grateful for Lauren’s pastoral support. It has been a very difficult period and I could not have imagined such a s positive outcome had it not been for Mercy and her Team. I will be forever indebted to them.

CLIENT: Deborah Linfoot
COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Cannot recommend this firm enough for it’s professionalism, expediency and caring attitude. Attention to detail is fantastic and you feel that anything is possible with them on your side. Mercy has an excellent team working with her who communicate with you at all times throughout your case. Best decision I have ever made to hire Mercy Messenger. Thankyou to all of you.

CLIENT: Graham Fuller
COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Serious quality advice on family law, at a fairly serious price.

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Thank you so much for all your hard work. You are so kind, helpful and professional. It has been a pleasure working with you and I really appreciate the support and kindness through this difficult time

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Your staff are so lovely, kind and professional and made a really horrendous time more bearable with their support and kindness.

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Thank you for caring, it’s a key differentiator for people who are good at what they do.

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: I am really grateful and would highly recommend you to anyone.

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: It has been a pleasure working with such lovely, knowledgeable and professional people.

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: During my divorce I changed from another firm of lawyers to Mercy Messenger. They are streets ahead of anyone else, as soon as they took over I felt confident I was getting the best advice. I have since recommended Mercy Messenger to two other friends.

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: As I leave the year of hell behind me, and look forward to the happy life I’ve already begun, I want to thank you again for your work and for helping me keep my home and my garden and the lovely life I have here with my good friends and neighbours.

COMPANY/FIRM: Mercy Messenger
TESTIMONIAL: Tell the truth or someone will tell it for you… At last someone has listened. Thank you.