Ruth Hetherington

Committee Member

Ruth, Partner of the Private Child team at McAlister Family Law, is a highly experienced family lawyer of more than 25 years and a specialist in Children Law, both public and private. She has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel for more than 20 years, is a Member of Resolution, Reunite and in 2022 was elected onto the Executive Committee, after being co-opted onto the sub-committees of the ALC. She is also a representative on the Cheshire and Merseyside Family Justice Board, often arranging training courses for her fellow professionals.

Ruth, who conducts her own advocacy, has acted for children, parents and grandparents on all areas of children law, including complex injury cases, sexual and physical abuse, infant death, jurisdictional issues, including trafficking, relocation cases, adoption and special guardianship.

Her many Children public law cases include drug and alcohol issues, complex jurisdiction issues, injuries to children, child abduction and international matters. When acting for parents, she understands learning disabilities, the cycle of domestic abuse and deals with experts in other fields to ensure all matters are presented to the court. Her Children private law matters include living arrangements for children, parents wishing to move children to another jurisdiction, the interplay of domestic abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse. This can lead to linked criminal proceedings, which Ruth has frequently dealt with.

Ruth also works as a collaborative lawyer when dealing with children issues in this area. β€œI believe that this approach brings with it a different perspective,” she says, β€œin that by working together with other collaborative lawyers, it is possible to better achieve possible settlement solutions.”

Ruth also works with teenagers in relation to deprivation of liberty/secure accommodation orders: having fostered children for many years, she has seen the other side of care proceedings and this experience allows her a deeper and more personal understanding of the issues inherent in such situations.