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Duncan Lewis welcomes new Directors Hildegard Rauf, Rachel Caswell and Catherine Ashton (9 September 2015)

Date: 09/09/2015
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Duncan Lewis welcomes new Directors Hildegard Rauf, Rachel Caswell and Catherine Ashton

Legal 500 “Top Tier” firm Duncan Lewis Solicitors are pleased to announce the external appointments of Directors Hildegard Rauf, Rachel Caswell and Catherine Ashton to the firm’s Personal Injury/ Employment Litigation, Mental Health and Family departments respectively.

Hildegard Rauf

Hildegard Rauf joins Duncan Lewis as a Personal Injury and Employment Director based in the firm’s Harrow-on-the-Hill office. Hildegard, who was born in Germany is a member of the British German Jurist Association and welcomes German speaking clients and cases connected with German law. Hildegard is experienced in handling Personal Injury matters,, such as accidents at work, trips & slips, occupier's liability, children's and vulnerable adult’s injuries and road traffic accidents. She also deals with harassment, anxiety and stress at work injuries. As well as Personal Injury Experience, Hildegard is experienced in Employment law Claimant and Respondent matters, with her area of expertise including Employment Tribunal proceedings; Redundancy issues; unfair, wrongful and constructive dismissal; TUPE Transfers; Settlement Agreements; Drafting or advising on Contracts of Employment; Disciplinary, Grievance, Absence and Capability Procedures; Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Claims; Maternity & Paternity Rights and Breach of Contract and Restrictive Covenant Claims.

Hildegard joins Personal Injury Director Julie Leslie leading the Personal Injury department which boasts a wide practice in all forms of dispute resolution and offers varied and appropriate private funding packages, such as no win no fee and damages based agreements, to suit all client’s needs. The Duncan Lewis Personal Injury department has a niche focus on personal injury, commercial litigation, claimant professional negligence work on behalf of individuals claiming negligence against legal (solicitors, barristers) and construction professionals (architects, surveyors); and clinical negligence. The company’s Clinical Negligence team act in claims for children and adults who have suffered profound and permanent brain, spinal or neurological injuries and associated disabilities as a consequence of failings in medical care in both NHS and private hospitals.

Hildegard also joins Director David Head in leading the Duncan Lewis Employment department. Duncan Lewis offers a full range of Employment Litigation services matters, providing claimants and respondents pragmatic and authoritative legal advice on employment law issues in all Employment Tribunal related matters. Duncan Lewis are equally comfortable representing both large and small employers, as well as individual employees in matters including but not limited to; unfair dismissal; redundancy; discrimination on grounds of sex, race, disability, religion & belief, sexual orientation and age; maternity rights; drafting contracts, staff handbooks, policies and procedures; advice and assistance with disciplinary and grievance procedures and representation in the employment tribunal, high court, employment appeal tribunal and above.

Rachel Caswell

Rachel Caswell joins Duncan Lewis as a Director in the firm’s Dalston based Mental Health department. Rachel has experience in all aspects of Mental Health law, with particular expertise in representing patients detained in adolescent Mental Health units at First Tier Tribunals. Rachel also has a keen interest in Restricted Mental Health cases. Rachel has been a Legal Aid Agency Supervisor since 2011 and is also a member of the Mental Health Lawyers Association (MHLA). In addition to this, Rachel has been a member of the Law Society Mental Health Panel since 2010.

Rachel joins Director Peter Wusu and Cardiff based Director Nerys Thomas in leading the Duncan Lewis Mental Health team. Duncan Lewis is the UK’s largest provider of Legal Aid Mental Health services and can advise Mental Health patients on a wide range of issues – including access to NHS Mental Health services and detention under the Mental Health Act. Duncan Lewis Mental Health Solicitors regularly visit NHS hospitals and police stations to advise on Mental Health law – and are available nationwide at short notice for hospital and police station appointments. In some cases, Duncan Lewis Mental Health solicitors may be able to advise the nearest relative or carer of a Mental Health patient on a range of issues, including initiating treatment reviews where appropriate.

Catherine Ashton

Catherine Ashton joins Duncan Lewis as a Family Director based in the firm’s Shepherds Bush office. Catherine brings to Duncan Lewis her extensive experience dealing with all aspects of Family law; with particular interest in financial matters and assisting clients with the financial aspects of separation. Catherine deals with divorce proceedings and dissolution of civil partnerships. She also deals with children matters, advising clients in relation to the arrangements for children following separation. Catherine is recognised as a specialist Family Lawyer by both the Law Society and Resolution. She was appointed to the Law Society Family Law Advanced Panel in 2010 with specialisms in Ancillary Relief and Cohabitation. She was also appointed to the Resolution Panel of accredited lawyers in 2010 with the same specialisms and in 2011 she gained a further specialism in Domestic Abuse.

The Duncan Lewis Family & Childcare department is one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Catherine joins the 18 strong Director department consisting of London based Adeeba Naseem, Alia Lewis, Annette Hinds, Emine Mehmet, Forida Hakim, Frances Clare, Kathy Walker, Kirsty Richards, Michelle Bird, Misbah Ali, Ravi Mahey, Sarah Jopling, Vanket Appalakondiah; Birmingham based Chambers 2016 recommended Director Krina Parmar and Richard Gray; and Leicester based Idnan Deen.

Practising from offices in London and throughout the UK, Duncan Lewis’ Family & Childcare team specialises in all aspects of legal aid and privately funded family and private children law matters, with a particular family specialism in representing victims of domestic abuse and assisting in financial matrimonial matters relating to the breakdown of a marriage/relationship. The company holds a broad practice representing parents, family members and children through their children’s guardian in all children public law proceedings and are regularly appointed by guardians to represent babies and young children in cases involving severe non-accidental injuries, fictitious illnesses and allegations of sexual abuse. The company’s childcare specialists have conduct in high profile international child abduction cases and regularly practice in inherent jurisdiction/forum disputes, international relocation cases, cross border care proceedings and wardship proceedings for the return of children taken out of the jurisdiction. The Duncan Lewis Family & Childcare department was recently shortlisted in the Jordans Family Law Awards 2015 for ‘Family Law Firm of the Year’ and boasts over 40 accredited Law Society panel members across all offices.

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