Our Friends 



Deborah Nelson
Jo Stead-Burgess

Deborah Nelson LLB (Hons); Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice; Solicitor (Non Practising) 


Deborah Nelson has practiced as a Solicitor in Family Law for 15 years and has been involved in 1000s of Family Law Cases.  She was awarded the Law Society Prize Certificate whilst training to be a Solicitor for the most outstanding student and trained as a Resolution (Family Law Specialist organization) accredited specialist member.


Her areas of expertise cover all types of Children Cases, including Public Law Child Protection; Residence and Contact (now Child Arrangement Orders), Specific Issue and Prohibited Steps Orders;  Divorce and Finances; Domestic Violence, Removal from the Jurisdiction; Hague Convention and issues arising from unmarried couples separating.   


Now as a non practicing Solicitor Deborah is using her knowledge and expertise to support people in Family Law Cases as a McKenzie Friend.  She offers support for people both prior to and during court proceedings, and offers informal mediation where couples are able to be relatively civil to each other.


She is a compassionate and understanding having gone through a separation herself and co parented her son with her former partner to adulthood.  This along with her knowledge and experience makes her a good all rounded McKenzie Friend to work with.   She believes that people go through not only a legal journey but also a financial and emotional journey and suggests that people get support and information in all these area.


In addition to raising her teenage children under a co-parenting arrangement, Jo has a varied background in marketing and sales. She has also worked closely with children over the years on a voluntary and professional basis as a chaperone within the entertainment industry.


Jo’s decision to train with Simon Walland Family Law as a McKenzie Friend followed personal experiences of an absent father, her own separation and successfully supporting her partner through family proceedings. This experience and knowledge gives her a strong empathy with parents and children, meaning she is able to offer both practical and emotional support during what can be incredibly difficult times.


A passionate believer that children should maintain positive relationships with both parents following separation and that access to legal support should not be determined by finances, Jo has supported both mothers and fathers as a McKenzie Friend in Children Proceedings both in a voluntary and professional capacity, receiving exceptional praise for her ‘outstanding’ and ‘dedicated’ work. She is also a member of Families Need Fathers.


Family Court Friend is NOT a legal advice service.  It is a support and guidance service.  


Although  Deborah Nelson is a qualified Solicitor she does  not hold a practising Certificate to be able to advise you as to the merits of your case.  We are providing a service to you as a McKenzie Friends/Legal Assistants and therefore will not be responsible for any adverse decisions made in your case resulting from documents we have helped you prepare and guidance given to you prior to or during court proceedings.  We will not be responsible for any decisions made by you, the court or the other party's solicitor. or applications, 


If you require advice about the merits of your case or application or what to say in your statements you should consult a Practising Solicitor who is regulated by the Solicitor's Regulation Authority or a Direct Access Barrister.  

2015 Deborah Nelson with Wix.com