Family lawyers from different firms and chambers have joined forces to set up a specialist group dedicated to ensuring the neurodivergent community has equal access to justice.

FLANC (Family Law Advice for the Neurodivergent Community) has been spearheaded by Duncan Lewis’s Alia Lewis  and Beck Fitzgerald’s Jenny Beck KC (Hon). Also on the team are Coram Chambers’ Caroline Croft, Duncan Lewis solicitors Sheena Vadher and Fauzia Mumani, and Beck Fitzgerald solicitors Jasmine Hollis and Flora Hughes.

Lewis’s son was diagnosed autistic in 2017 at the age of three. Lewis said the journey to her son receiving his diagnosis and subsequently securing an education, health and care plan made her acutely aware that despite her job as an experienced child protection solicitor, she had little understanding of what it meant to be autistic or the complexities of an autistic profile intersected with special educational needs.

Lewis set up what is believed to be the first autism and ADHD team at Duncan Lewis last year and approached Beck, her former training principal, to help secure fundamental reforms within the family justice system.

Lewis said: ‘Jenny immediately recognised the importance of what I was hoping to achieve and helped to refine my ideas for change to focus on achievable outcomes, providing her infinite wisdom, support and practical assistance. Jenny also agreed to create a mirror autism and ADHD team within Beck Fitzgerald so that there would be a streamlined mechanism in which we could cross-refer parties in family cases involving neurodivergence.’

Lewis, Beck and their team are campaigning to secure major reforms, such as compulsory neurodivergence training for all professionals working in the family justice system.

Beck said the team wants to build awareness of the additional challenges faced by neurodivergent clients in the family justice system. ‘Fair access to justice should be everyone’s right,’ Beck said.

FLANC will host its inaugural conference at Slaughter and May’s London office on 24 April, where family division president Sir Andrew McFarlane will speak.  

Jenny is a founding director and an award-winning family lawyer committed to accessible justice and the rights of the individual. She specialises in complex financial disputes and helping resolve arrangements for children. 

She is an accredited Resolution specialist and an Advanced Family Law Panel member. In 2021 Jenny was made an Honorary Kings Counsel (KC Honoris Causa) in recognition of her contribution to changing the law of England and Wales



Book to attend the FLANC event here