Senior Associate/ Head of Family Law Department
Melissa is the head of IMD Solicitor’s family law department.
Whilst leading a team of experienced family lawyers, Melissa also runs her own caseload and specialises in divorce, financial issues and settlements, children matters, child abduction and surrogacy law. A large part of her work deals with cases that have an international aspect and particularly cross-border family issues, from relocation to divorce.
As a compassionate individual, Melissa is able to put her clients at ease from the very outset and has a high level of client care.
Melissa has worked on both private and public law matters including representing clients with vulnerabilities and disabilities. Melissa qualified as a Solicitor in 2013.
A Selection of Recent Successful Cases
- Represented a mother who needed to apply for a passport for a child but the father was estranged and outside the UK. Ms. Cunningham secured a successful outcome for her client with the court granting an order allowing the mother to apply for a passport in the father’s absence.
- Advised a respondent mother who alleged a history of psychological, emotional and physical abuse against her and the children by the applicant father. During court proceedings Ms. Cunningham successfully argued that the court dismiss the applicant father’s application for a child arrangements order and grant a child arrangements order to the mother for the children to live with her instead. In addition, the court went on to further grant the respondent mother permission to apply for Polish passports for her children and also to permit her application for a costs order against the father.
- Instructed by a businessman in relation to his financial settlement following a UK divorce. Ms. Cunningham helped her client avoid potentially costly and lengthy court proceedings by successfully negotiating a consent order which included a £1.4 million pound lump sum order and the transfer of the family home worth in the region of £2.5 million pounds. The client was very satisfied with the result.
- Advised another businessman in relation to his financial settlement following a UK divorce. Ms. Cunningham successfully secured a consent order whereby her client retained his business and the parties reached a clean break consent order from one another.