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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Private client > Family > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Birketts LLPcarries the clout of a City firm and its team features genuinely impressive lawyers spread across its offices’. Team head Oliver Gravell stands out for his combination of ‘gravitas, experience and a desire to ensure a fair result’, and recently settled a £20m financial remedy matter. Other key figures include collaborative lawyers Ginny Colman and the ‘dynamic and tenaciousRoopa Ahluwalia (who ‘really stands up for her clients’), and Katie Beaven, who ‘gets straight to the point’.

An excellent boutique practice’, Cambridge Family Law Practice’s clients consider it ‘the best at what it does’. The five partner-team ‘takes a practical approach and is sensitive to clients’ needs’, with Simon Bethel and Gail Marchant-Daisley singled out for being ‘absolutely on top of their subject’. Other standout figures include Sue Varty, who ‘always fights for her clients’, Adam Moghadas and the ‘positive and efficientTricia Ashton. Bethel represented a family law silk in a high-value divorce.

Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘at the top of its game’. Nick Stone’s team includes ‘leading lightCaitlin Jenkins, who ‘combines a scary amount of knowledge with a brilliant feel for cases’, Hannah Wilson, and associates Amy Starnes and the ‘unbelievably bright’ George Sprague, who is ‘of the highest calibre’. Stone represented a wife in financial remedy proceedings with £5m in assets. Frances Bailey joined as a principal associate from Stewarts Law LLP’s Leeds office.

Ashtons Legal is noted for its ‘non-combative but firm approach, and for its especially good service in finance matters’. Family law head Stephen Williams represented a wife in a divorce involving £5.5m in assets. Mary Pearce is ‘efficient, easy to work with and goes the extra mile for clients’. Consultants Ian Winterbone and Brenda Head are also recommended. Elisabeth Sneade joined Tees Law.

Fosters’ ‘highly experienced’ team includes Iain McClay, who specialises in financial remedy and cohabitation matters; Lucy Simpson, who advises many high-net-worth clients; and senior associate Claire Sharpe. Mediators Catherine Iliff and Andrew Saul are also recommended.

For some, Gotelee Solicitors is ‘the best in Ipswich’. Its three partners include trained mediator Helen Stuart, collaboratively trained Jane Fowles, and Ivana Radovic, who advises on many international matters.

Hunt & Coombs LLP is ‘an excellent firm, one of the best in Peterborough’. Team head Farhana Butt is noted for her ‘objective advice; she knows when to twist and when to stick’. Denis White (who is ‘at the top of the game for care work’) and Edward Owen are known for ‘sound advice and a sympathetic approach’ to public law matters. Louise Ballantyne ‘is developing a reputation as one of the best young solicitors in the area’.

Taylor Vinterscan hold its own in Cambridge and the London market’. ‘Star performer’ Jackie Wells is ‘very assured with opponents and very reassuring with clients’. Associates Alexandra Gooden (who is ‘exceptionally bright’) and Sylvia Haigh (who is noted for her ‘instinctive grasp of what works’) are also recommended. Wells handled a divorce with £80m in assets.

The team at Woolley & Co, Solicitors comprises ‘experienced, knowledgeable and responsive’ partners across East Anglia, including Karen Agnew-Griffith (whose ‘knowledge of all aspects of divorce is invaluable’); the ‘committed and professional’ Tamara Glanvill; the ‘approachable and friendly’ Abby Smith; and Nick Wiseman, who advised on a complex divorce between British nationals residing in the US.

Buckles Solicitors LLP is ‘an excellent firm for family cases’, with clients singling out experienced partners Lyn Brisley and Roger Gurney in this regard. Brisley advised on a £4m financial remedy matter. ‘Conscientious and diligent’ associate Donna Sandall is also recommended.

Butcher Andrews is ‘a reliable and straightforward firm that provides pragmatic advice’. Clients appreciate the ‘experienced and immensely likeableAdney Payne, chair of Norfolk’s local collaborative group, for his ability to ‘steer away from protracted litigation’. The ‘friendly, supportive and fairJulia Buckingham is also recommended.

Clients cite the ‘impressive service’ from Clapham & Collinge Solicitors’ team, which includes the ‘clear, realistic’ Neale Grearson, who provides ‘calm reassurance and is sensitive to the stresses clients face’. Grearson is ably supported by Caroline Mitchell, who joined from Spire Solicitors LLP.

Cozens-Hardy LLP has three of Norfolk’s most experienced practitioners in Iain White, the ‘hugely experienced, very child-focused’ Sandra Nunn, and collaboratively trained Jane Anderson. The practice attracts praise for providing ‘sound expert advice you can always rely on’.

FM Family Law opened a new Norwich office in 2015, and celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2016. Fiona McLeman and Christina Hale in Cambridge, and Sue Bailey in Norwich are all highly experienced mediators. Clients note the firm’s ‘modern and client-friendly approach to sensitive matters’.

Greene & Greene’s team is led by Stuart Hughes, who is ‘a robust litigator with a forensic approach to detail’. Hughes and collaboratively trained Melanie Pilmer acted in a £3.5m divorce. Juliet Harvey excels in Children Act matters and consultant Kate Chandler specialises in financial matters.

Hegarty LLP is ‘pragmatic and keen to reach speedy resolutions’. Clients appreciate Carl Russell for his ‘emphasis of substance over form and for his impeccable judgement’. Lesley Knight provides ‘sound and realistic advice’ on domestic abuse and Children Act matters. Jane Tatlock and Rachel Strong are ‘approachable and empathetic’.

Kerseys Solicitors fields several respected partners including Clare Thomas, who is ‘calm, competent, and a good listener’, and Elaine Webb, who is ‘incredibly thorough and explores all avenues for her clients’. Consultant and accredited mediator Rosemary Carter is also recommended.

Leathes Prior provides ‘excellent service and thorough responses’. Alisdair Douglas is noted for his ‘good interpersonal skills and ability to point out the best way forward’. Associate Simon Willis is ‘a real people person’ that ‘really cares about clients’.

Prettys has ‘one of the strongest teams in the region’, which stands out for its ‘client-centric approach’. Georgie Hall is ‘a compassionate and understanding lawyer who looks for creative solutions and leads the team with gusto’. Georgina Rayment is a ‘reassuring presence with a no-nonsense approach’. The ‘calm, unflappable’ Victoria Jones is also recommended.

At Steeles Law, ‘understanding, supportive’ team head Amanda Owens has ‘outstanding knowledge’. She represented a father seeking contact with his son and stepson. Associate Emma Alfieri is also recommended.

Tees Law has ‘a great team with a very positive attitude’, which includes the ‘energetic, pragmatic’ Elisabeth Sneade, who joined from Ashtons Legal and advised a wife in a £1.5m divorce. Simon Gummer moved to the Bishop’s Stortford office.

At Barker Gotelee, resolution member Nicola Furmston has over 20 years’ experience in matrimonial matters. Associate Josephine Hayes joined from Margary + Miller after its merger with Gotelee Solicitors.

The ‘hardworking’ Matthew Clemence at Edmondson Hall is ‘an up-and-coming presence in the region whose reputation is growing quickly’. He recently represented a former MP and a partner in a leading accountancy practice in maintenance reduction cases.

Among the best in King’s Lynn’, Fraser Dawbarns has a ‘strong all-round team’ known for ‘good service and value for money’. Deborah Allen and Melinda Smith are ‘a pleasure to deal with’. The ‘meticulous’ Erika Perrin stands out for private law Children Act matters.

Howes Percival LLP has a ‘small but strong and effective team’ that includes collaborative lawyer Amy Walpole, who is ‘top rated in her field, a genuine standout character utterly at ease in large and complex matters’.

Irwin Mitchell’s ‘sensitive and sensibleAlison Fernandes is building a strong reputation in the region. She provides ‘realistic and honest advice delivered sympathetically; she is warm, humorous and a pleasure to deal with’.

Rogers and Norton is ‘very helpful, quick and good value’. Resolution-accredited solicitors Kerry Rowell and Averil Ballam ‘cannot be faulted’.

Spire Solicitors LLP’s Richard Bevan is well known for Children Act matters. Collaborative lawyers Amanda Maruca and Sarb Gosal are also recommended.

Demelza Butler at Blocks is known for ‘exceptional client care’. She secured permission in the High Court for a mother to remove a child for a holiday to a country that is not party to the Hague Convention.

At Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar, experienced family partner Stephen Welcomme ‘provides high-quality service and puts everything into his client’s case’.

Woodfines LLP’s Cambridge presence centres on chartered legal executive Jackie Jessiman, who successfully settled a £1m divorce following a short marriage.

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