In this instalment of Realm Talks To…, Family specialist Michaela caught up with Helen Pittard, Founder of 174 Family Law. During their chat, Helen explained what motivated her to become a lawyer, what advice she would give to her teenage self and her trip to California. You can read the full interview below.
Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I am a natural fixer and problem solver with a positive outlook. I always saw myself as helping people with their problems and knew I would get great satisfaction out of this so the law was a natural pathway for me to go down and I have never once regretted the decision. Seeing my clients through the transition of early separation through to independence and being part of that journey feels like such a privilege.
What’s the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome in your career so far?
I have specialised in mediation for over 20 years well before the Government promoted the process and when it was little well known. I had to convince my then commercial partners who were primarily litigators that ADR was the future and invest in me and the time it would take to train as a mediator and that I would get them the return on investment they would expect. I was able to seek their approval and became the first mediator in the North West to be accredited and to offer legal aid for this service.
What makes 174 Family Law different?
We are a boutique family law practice. We only offer family law and all aspects of law associated with family breakdown and disputes. This ensures we can offer expert advice to all of our clients. We maximise the use of IT and AI to be able to offer our clients the best quality and cost-effective service both from onboarding to the end of the retainer. This enabled, for example, our DV clients during lockdown to be able to provide us with instructions from the home where they were being abused without having to speak with us or come into the office with our online instruction questionnaires and the use of digital signatures.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Always have a smile on your face. Life is hard but you will learn from every moment. Work hard but play hard also. Life is for living. Trust in yourself and don’t look for gratification or praise from others. You don’t need it to succeed.
Which app couldn’t you live without?
My music App. I find music motivational. Music can lift your mood or energise you. I play music all of the time. The genre of music will depend on what I am doing, so if for example, I am working I will be having something quite calming but if I am exercising then you will find my AirPods blaring out some fast beat to keep me going.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
I am fortunate to have travelled quite a bit, short and long haul. It is therefore difficult to give just one destination because they are all so different. I am an avid skier and love being on the top of a mountain surveying the mountain range in the blue-sky sunshine. But if I was to have to choose one holiday which really stands out, it was my tour of California seeing the diversity of the country from LA to Vegas then into the desert of Death Valley, through to the national park and Giant Red Woods in Yosemite back to city life in San Francisco finishing off the along Pacific Highway along the Californian coast back to LA and finishing off at Huntington Beach. Amazing!
About Helen Pittard
Helen is the Owner and Founder of 174 Law. She is passionate about Family Law and has specialist experience ensuring children are safe and comfortable throughout the litigation process. She has over 20 years of mediation experience and is well respected in her field.