LONDON firm Fisher Mere-dith is to set up its own international child abduction and adoption unit.
The four-lawyer unit will be led by partner and child specialist Nina Hansen and will be geared to do both legal aid and private work.
Fisher Meredith, one of London's largest legal aid law firms, is well known for its family work. Senior partner Eileen Pembridge said lawyers in the family department had always carried international abduction and adoption work.
The unit marked a "a stepping up of a gear" to expand the firm's international niche.
The firm has applied to be put on the Government's panel of specialist firms equipped to deal with abduction and adoption cases abroad. It is also in touch with charity Reunite, which aims to reunite families.
"The unit aims to be able to send one of its members abroad at a moment's notice," said Pembridge. "It will also be able to draw on the expertise of other family department members."