Partner, Head of Family and Charities Departments
Services for individuals
Neale is the Head of the Family Law Department at Clapham & Collinge, based in Norwich but also acting for clients from the offices North Walsham, Sheringham and Brooke. He specialises in divorce and separation work having dealt with this for over 25 years. Neale is a member of Resolution and is committed to finding practical and constructive conclusions for his clients. He is a fully trained Collaborative Lawyer having been one of the founding members of the Group in Norfolk. The key to collaborative law is using a non-adversarial approach towards divorce and relationship breakdown especially where children are involved.
Neale is also the Head of the Charities Department at Clapham & Collinge. This multi discipline team includes commercial, property and employment experts providing a specialist service to charities of all sizes. Neale's background and involvement with charities means he has a perfect knowledge of what charities need (especially from solicitors) and he draws on that experience to ensure the Charities Department delivers a high quality package of legal services to charities.
A large part of Neale's family work is dealing with the financial arrangements surrounding divorce and separation but also involves the arrangements for children after a divorce or relationship breakdown. Financial settlements often require Neale to work with other professionals such as Accountants and Independent Financial Advisors dealing with businesses and pensions. A "prevention is better than cure" attitude means that Neale regularly works with business owners advising on pre-nuptial agreements and shareholders' agreements to avoid businesses being put at risk on a relationship or marriage breakdown.
Collaborating with the Clapham & Collinge later life teams Neale is increasingly involved with 'silver divorces' for those in retirement. Those types of divorces require a particular skill set to deal with the issues uniquely arising in later life situations.
Acting for unmarried people experiencing relationship breakdown is another important area of Neale's work. With the absence of legislation to give rights and responsibilities to cohabitees the urban myth of "common law husbands and wives" means that many people are in long term relationships without realising their lack of rights. Neale advises extensively in those situations about property ownership and arrangements for children as well as dealing with court proceedings that are needed if agreement cannot be reached.
Neale is one of the founding members of the Collaborative Law Group in Norfolk. Now known as the 'Good Divorce Group' the members (collaborative lawyers, mediators and arbitrators) aim to provide a more constructive and less aggressive attitude in family dispute situations. Whilst still fighting hard for clients, this enables Neale to achieve better outcomes for his clients.
Neale has been involved in various local charities including being a Trustee for a number of them. He has been a Trustee and Vice Chair of The Benjamin Foundation, Chair of the Norfolk Family Mediation Service and Chair of the Abbeyfield Society in Sheringham. He provides pro bono family legal advice through the legal charity Norfolk Community Law Service.
In his spare time Neale is a season ticket holder at Norwich City Football Club although was brought up in London and so from birth was a West Ham United supporter (but don't tell anyone at Carrow Road!). Neale tries to find the time to play golf but he says his swing definitely needs a lot more work.
The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2014: “Clapham & Collinge's family team became one of Norwich's largest with the hire of 'empathetic, considerate' Neale Grearson''
The Legal 500 United Kingdom, 2015 edition 'extremely measured and calm'
'Thank you very much for all your hard work and the many questions we fired at you' - Client Thank you email – March 2016
'Thank you to Neale who has really listened to my requests and made this process nice and smooth/simple!' - Client Thank you email - April 2016
The whole process for me was very straightforward. ..... professional, fair and made things happen.Mr A Stone
I'm in a much better place, the outcome of my divorce was much better than I ever imagined and a bright future to look forward too.Client Satisfaction Questionnaire - Anonymous