Tribute to Carol Jessop

It is with great sadness that we report on the sudden death of one of our dearest members, Carol Jessop of Harrogate Family Law.

Carol had been a member of Resolution for many years, becoming an Accredited Specialist (Cohabitation & TOLATA Complex lower income financial remedies) and had faithfully served on the Standards Committee for over 10 years. She helped to steer Resolution’s principles and standards, emphasising the importance of working within the Code of Practice. Carol gave her time freely, with enthusiasm, and was well respected by all her colleagues and acquaintances in the Resolution family.

Andrew Watson, chair of the Standards Committee says:

“I worked with Carol for a number of years on the Committee, where she was an amazing vice-chair. Her contribution was immense, including in particular to the Good Practice Guides on Correspondence and Guidance Note on Cohabitation, which remain in regular use by Resolution members. Carol was always willing to volunteer and was the epitome of a Resolution unsung hero. More importantly, she was a lovely person and a pleasure to work with, she will be sorely missed.”

We can say no better than reiterate Carol’s own words (from her personal profile page with Resolution):

“Over 30 years ago I took a job as an assistant to an excellent family lawyer. I didn’t originally plan to be a family lawyer, but I discovered my vocation. I still find it as rewarding as ever supporting people through one of the worst periods in their life and helping them to start afresh with a secure future.

The way separation is handled causes a lasting impact and the approach of the lawyer and the support received makes a huge difference. After seeing how devastating the impact of the wrong approach can be by other lawyers, I became a member of Resolution and I was part of the Standards Committee for 10 years.”

Her legacy to us all in her Resolution family, and all work colleagues, is demonstrated by the wonderful tributes she received from her own clients:

“Please do not underestimate the diligence and perseverance… accomplished in ensuring my divorce was settled to my satisfaction. Forever grateful.”

“I am grateful for the kindness and understanding shown throughout.”

“Simply excellent”

“A totally professional team and I can’t speak highly enough for Carol Jessop.”

Carol is warmly remembered by her friends and colleagues at Harrogate Family Law, where she worked for many years. A statement on the firm’s website says:

“… to say that we will miss her immensely is an understatement. Her professionalism, dedication and warmth of character will be the things we treasure, as we continue to build on everything that she achieved for our firm.”

Carol was a DR champion. While she never shied away from doing what needed to be done when it came to positive outcomes for her clients, she was also a firm believer in exploring ways to resolve disputes between couples without the need for the court’s intervention, particularly in cases involving children.

This was an approach valued by the clients she worked with, and her ability to navigate complex legal matters with a calm and friendly attitude was just one of the reasons why so many chose to work with her.

Carol’s colleagues remember “a true team player” who wasn’t just valued by her clients but who was valued by her entire team. She was the first to congratulate colleagues on their successes and always there to help when help was needed. Carol particularly loved to nurture those who were at the start of their legal careers and loved the energy and enthusiasm that new team members brought with them.

Andrew Meehan, managing director of Harrogate Family Law, says:

“I had the pleasure of working alongside Carol for several years. Her dedication to her clients, her inherent sense of fairness, her impish sense of humour, and her steadfast determination to achieve the very best outcomes will be something our firm continues to learn from as we continue to honour her. She will be very sadly missed.”

Carol will be missed by so many people. We send our heartfelt condolences to all her family, friends, work colleagues and acquaintances.