Ray Porter

Ray Porter Senior Solicitor

Contact number: 01642 266502

Email: rporter@watsonwoodhouse.co.uk

I am a Family solicitor dealing almost exclusively in Child Protection cases – for example when Local Authorities bring Care Proceedings because they are concerned for the safety and welfare of children.

I have seen websites, on which some boast of their experience and say how good they are. I was brought up to speak plainly so I will stick to the facts.

I was born and bred in Redcar. I was lucky enough to study law at Cambridge University but returned to Teesside in 1976 to do my training at a solicitors’ firm with offices in Redcar & Middlesbrough. I was awarded the William Hutton Prize in 1978 for exam results in the Law Society Final Exams (then worth £706, when a pound was worth a lot!). I was admitted a solicitor in 1979. I remained at the same firm until 1983 when I left to work for the Local Authority for 3 years, then I moved to one of the larger firms in the area where I stayed for 23 years (18 years as a Partner) until the firm decided to give up legal aid work. I decided to leave the partnership in order to continue my Child Care work, which is almost exclusively legal aid, but which shapes children’s lives and, I believe, is the most vital area of legal work. I then went to another firm on Teesside for two years until, in 2011, moving to Watson Woodhouse to join the Family Department. I am still here as part of the team, doing legal aid work in Child Care cases.

So there you have it! In 2018 I have survived 39 years as a solicitor and, apart from three of those I have been involved in Family work. But for most of the last 35+ years I have concentrated on Child Care work. I was made a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel in 1988 and, over the years since then, I have acted for all parties in child protection cases – Parents, Grandparents, the Local Authority, the Official Solicitor, a well-known children’s charity and, of course, I have been appointed to act on behalf of the Children themselves. Whatever else this shows, I must have a thick skin, or stamina!

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