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Domestic Abuse and Scots Law - Training for Solicitors

This legal workshop will equip delegates with the knowledge and practical tools to develop their approach to identifying and engaging with clients, including women, children and families, who have experienced domestic abuse.

Helen Hughes, an expert legal practitioner with over 30 years' experience in this area of law, will be delivering and facilitating the workshop. It will be presented in a facilitative manner, allowing delegates to work through a number of practical case studies in small groups, with ample opportunity for discussion, reflection and questions.

Photo of a courthouse facade.


By the end of this workshop, delegates will be able to:

  • Identify the key issues that arise when providing legal advice to women, children and families who have experienced domestic abuse
  • Explain the law and apply the appropriate procedure for seeking protective orders
  • Explain and apply the private law procedures for safeguarding children where domestic abuse is alleged
  • Effectively engage with other issues that arise in child contact and residence cases where domestic abuse is alleged
  • Reflect on their understanding of, and current practice in, working with women, children and families who have experienced domestic abuse.

Target Audience

This workshop will primarily be of interest to solicitors, advocates and other legal professionals working with women, children and families who have experienced domestic abuse. It may also be of wider interest to professionals, such as advocacy workers, social workers, and the police, who support women, children and families through these legal processes.


Helen Hughes is a partner with McAuley McCarthy & Co, Paisley and is a specialist in Family Law, with particular expertise in cases involving domestic abuse. She has practised in this area of law since 1987 and, when Chair of the Family Law Association, was involved in consultations with the Scottish Government and SLAB on legal aid issues in family law and domestic abuse cases. Helen is editor and co-author of Domestic Abuse and Scots Law and an editor of Greens Practice Styles. She is a member of the advisory board of the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre and is also a mediator accredited by the Law Society of Scotland. Helen is currently the Chair of CALM. She regularly provides training to solicitors and the public sector on family law, mediation and issues arising in domestic abuse cases.


9.00am – 9.30am Registration

9.30am – 10.00am What solicitors need to know about domestic abuse

10.00am – 11.00am Overview of the law in relation to obtaining Protective Orders

11.00am – 11.15am Break

11.15am – 12.15pm Case studies on Protective Orders in groups. Delegates will consider what the law is and what orders can be sought. There will be discussion on the relevant law, style writs and pleadings.

12.15pm – 1.15pm Lunch

1.15pm – 2.15pm Overview of the Law in relation to private law procedures for safeguarding children where there are domestic abuse issues.

2.15pm – 3.15pm Case studies on cases involving issues of domestic abuse in child contact and residence cases. In groups, delegates will consider the applicable law, style writs, pleadings and how to conduct such proceedings.

3.15pm – 3.30pm Break

3.30pm – 4.00pm Feedback and questions


Solicitor in Private Practice £150

Trainee £75

Charity/NGO Delegate £60

To pay for this training, click here. (An additional Eventbrite booking fee will apply).


The venue for this training is the Scottish Youth Theatre, which has the following accessibility features:

  • The building has lift access to all levels
  • There is an audio loop throughout the building
  • The rooms within the building are colour coded and are also signposted with braille
  • There is a choice of gender neutral toilets and gender assigned toilets.

Parking is available on street for a fee in the surrounding streets, but not directly outside the building.

If you have any other accessibility requirements, please get in touch with us at


If you have any queries related to this event, please get in touch with Natalia on the following:


Phone: 0141 331 4183

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08088 010 789

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Important: from 10 January 2022 our helpline is temporarily moving to a new format. You can read more about these changes here.