Partner, Head of Family and Charities Departments
Services for individuals
Neale is one of the Partners at Clapham & Collinge and the Head of the Family Law Department. He is based in Norwich but also acts for clients around the county from the firm's offices at North Walsham and Sheringham. He qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and specialises in divorce and separation work having dealt with this for over 30 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. Now known as the 'Good Divorce Group' the members (collaborative lawyers, mediators and arbitrators) aim to provide a more constructive and less adversarial attitude in situations of relationship breakdown. Whilst still fighting hard for clients this enables Neale to achieve better outcomes for his clients. The key to collaborative law is using a non-aggressive approach towards divorce and relationship breakdown especially where children are involved.
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 skills 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 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 that the Charities Department delivers a high quality package of legal services to charities. 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
Following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018 Neale became Clapham & Collinge's joint GDPR Lead. He has developed and delivered training and advice on all GDPR issues both internally and externally. Drawing on the expertise of the GDPR practice group within Clapham & Collinge to not only set the culture and direction for the firm's own policies and procedures on data protection but also to assist charities and businesses on the challenges and opportunities presented by GDPR.
In his spare time Neale is a season ticket holder at Norwich City Football Club although was brought up in London (and is a Cockney Boy!) 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."
The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017's guide to outstanding lawyers nationwide recommend family lawyer Neale Grearson for practice areas Family Law and Charities and not-for-profit.
"The whole process for me was very straightforward. Neale was professional, fair and made things happen."August 2016
"Thank you to Neale who has really listened to my requests and made this process nice, smooth and simple!"April 2016