Index of tables
- Ambrose Appelbe
- Bircham Dyson Bell LLP
- CKFT (Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor)
- Camilla Baldwin
- Covent Garden Family Law
- Davenport Lyons
- Finers Stephens Innocent LLP
Ashfords LLP (incorporating Rochman Landau)
- Bross Bennett LLP Family Law Solicitors
- Duncan Lewis & Co
- Freemans Solicitors
- Harbottle & Lewis LLP
- Howard Kennedy
- Memery Crystal LLP
- Douglas Alexiou - Alexiou Fisher Philipps
- Sarah Anticoni - Charles Russell LLP
- Gillian Bishop - Family Law in Partnership LLP
- Simon Bruce - Farrer & Co
- Jane Craig - Manches LLP
- Sandra Davis - Mishcon de Reya
- Gill Doran - Withers LLP
- Stephen Foster - Stewarts Law LLP
- Pauline Fowler - Hughes Fowler Carruthers Ltd
- Elizabeth Hicks - Irwin Mitchell
- Frances Hughes - Hughes Fowler Carruthers Ltd
- Anne-Marie Hutchinson - Dawson Cornwell
- Ann Ison - Hughes Fowler Carruthers Ltd
- Jeremy Levison - Levison Meltzer Pigott
- Julian Lipson - Withers LLP
- William Longrigg - Charles Russell LLP
- William Massey - Farrer & Co
- Diana Parker - Withers LLP
- James Pirrie - Family Law in Partnership LLP
- Jeremy Posnansky QC - Farrer & Co
Miles Preston -
Miles Preston & Co
Fiona Shackleton -
Payne Hicks Beach
- Barbara Simpson - Boodle Hatfield LLP
- Louise Spitz - Manches LLP
- James Stewart - Manches LLP
- Suzanne Todd - Withers LLP
- Ray Tooth - Sears Tooth
- Helen Ward - Manches LLP
At ‘top-notch’ six-partner boutique Hughes Fowler Carruthers Ltd, Frances Hughes is ‘intellectual and tough’; Pauline Fowler displays ‘professionalism and humanity’; Alex Carruthers is ‘the complete lawyer’; and Ann Ison is ‘attentive’. In 2011, the firm was involved in significant reported cases including Golubovich v Golubovich and Lykiardopulo v Lykiardopulo, as well as a significant number of pre-nuptial matters, often topping the £3bn mark. The firm continues to act for Vivian Imerman in his long-running divorce.
Manches LLP ‘remains a leading department for finance work’. The firm undertakes high-end work, and is valued for its ability to come up with imaginative, quasi-collaborative solutions. The undoubted figurehead of the group is big-money specialist Helen Ward, who is ‘tireless, incisive and scrupulous’; and department head Jane Craig is also highly regarded, for her collaboration and cohabitation expertise. Anna Worwood is a leading children lawyer. Jane Simpson retired in 2011.
Payne Hicks Beach ‘focuses on constructive and inspiring solutions’. ‘The absolute star’ is Fiona Shackleton, and Fiona Brown is ‘outstanding’. In 2011, the firm was involved in 50/50 split mitigation cases, such as N v F; complex children cases; and matters involving the treatment of nuptial agreements post-Granatino. Department head Ian Airey is also well respected.
The ‘premier league’ team at Withers LLP operates across offices in the US, Switzerland, Italy and Hong Kong as well as the UK, and has related strength in tax, offshore trusts, reputation management and property. The highly respected James Copson and Suzanne Todd have experience in Anglo-Italian issues; and Julian Lipson is well versed in Anglo-French matters. In 2011, Claire Blakemore and Copson acted for the husband in BJ v MJ, an offshore trusts case. ADR pioneer Suzanne Kingston joined from Dawsons LLP in April 2011.
Charles Russell LLP is noted for its ‘collegiate atmosphere’, and is ‘particularly attuned to mediation’, an area in which Sarah Anticoni has a strong reputation. The firm is also well known for cases involving farming, trusts, and estates. A group led by Tanya Roberts and Amy Radnor successfully represented a Japanese mother in the leave-to-remove case J v S. William Longrigg is ‘urbane and cool headed’, and Richard Collins is ‘outstanding’.
Family Law in Partnership LLP has been a pioneer in collaborative law, and remains ‘unique for its holistic approach’. In addition to conducting numerous ADRs and mediations, the firm is active in litigation, with a record in reported cases. James Pirrie acted in the 2009 House of Lords case McFarlane v McFarlane, which introduced the concept of compensation into spousal maintenance; and in 2011 the firm advised the husband in inherited wealth case Grubb v Grubb. Pirrie has ‘a keen desire to secure a child-focused outcome’; Gillian Bishop is ‘a doyenne of the ADR world’; and Bradley Williams is a ‘star of the future’.
Farrer & Co ‘enjoys a splendid reputation’. In 2011, the firm successfully represented the wife in Whaley v Whaley in respect of the husband’s appeal to the Court of Appeal. Jeremy Posnansky QC is ‘the complete solicitor’; Caroline Holley is ‘marvellous’; Simon Bruce is ‘charming and focused’; and William Massey is ‘calm’.
‘Knowledgeable, efficient and sympathetic’, Stewarts Law LLP has palpable momentum in the market. Stephen Foster is a ‘strong’ team leader; partner Debbie Chism is ‘calm and thorough’; and Emma Hatley also has a superb reputation. The team is currently advising a member of a royal family in multi-jurisdictional proceedings involving potential freezing injunctions. Helen Ward is set to join in October 2012 from Manches LLP.
All six partners at Alexiou Fisher Philipps are IAML members. The firm has a track record in high-value work, and a wide-ranging client base which includes senior figures in banking and industry. In 2011, the firm was bolstered by the arrival of Tom Amlot from Harbottle & Lewis LLP.
Collyer Bristow LLP’s ‘excellent’ team includes Toby Yerburgh, who ‘puts emotional clients at ease’; the ‘determined’ Michael Drake; and Gillian Rivers, who is ‘firm but sensitive’. The firm is seeking UK citizenship for twins born under an illegal surrogacy agreement; and is advising a married couple regarding the English aspects of an ongoing case against the Spanish government.
At niche firm Levison Meltzer Pigott, Nicola Fletcher represented the petitioner wife in Z v Z, a case involving premarital agreement and foreign property; and Alison Hayes advised the husband in Jones v Jones. Other highly regarded practitioners include Jeremy Levison, Simon Pigott, Julian Ribet, and Amanda Andrews.
Mishcon de Reya acts for ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs, professionals, and media figures. In 2011, the highly rated Sandra Davis negotiated settlement of complex financial arrangements on behalf of a prominent hedge fund manager, a matter worth £950m. In another highlight, Barbara Reeves advised the wife of an heir to a significant family fortune, successfully setting aside a prenuptial agreement.
In addition to its reputation for private and public children matters, Bindmans LLP has a pedigree in complex financial matters, with Louise Coubrough and Melanie Hay the key contacts. Janet Broadley regularly takes cases to the Court of Appeal; examples include 2011’s Mercredi v Chaffe, a multi-jurisdictional application-for-contact case.
Clintons’ Maggie Rae is noted for her experience in resolving high-net-worth matters via the ADR route. Liz Vernon is well versed in cases with complex business and trust elements; and newly promoted partner Paul Newton is noted for complex prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Dawson Cornwell’s multilingual department combines the skills of children law specialist Anne-Marie Hutchinson and Rhiannon Lewis’s big-money team. On the financial side, the well-regarded Russell Bywater successfully acted for the wife in C v S, a case involving habitual residence issues. On the children side, Hutchinson appeared in reported cases such as Re E, and Re P, the forced marriage case.
‘Forward-thinking West End firm’ Forsters LLP draws on the abilities of ‘tactician’ Ann Northover, who is ‘outstanding’, and Shona Alexander, who has an ‘excellent strategic outlook’. The team has particular expertise in cases involving family trusts and pensions elements, and is also noted for its fee-conscious approach.
Irwin Mitchell’s practice is led by Elizabeth Hicks, whose ‘knowledge is encyclopaedic’. In 2011, the firm acted for the wife in G v G, a complex financial case involving 13 respondents. The team was also bolstered by the arrival of John Nicholson from Speechly Bircham LLP.
At Kingsley Napley LLP, Jane Keir heads an ‘amazingly efficient’ team which includes European jurisdictions expert William Healing, who is ‘stunning in his commitment’; and leave-to-remove specialist Charlotte Bradley, who is ‘worth every penny’. The firm acted in five reported financial cases in 2011, including K v L (£59m), G v L (£70m), and P v P (£65m).
Founder Miles Preston is the key contact at Miles Preston & Co, which handles domestic and international family work. Rachel Freeman was promoted to the partnership in 2011.
At Sears Tooth, the ‘experienced’ Ray Tooth works alongside Susan Apthorp, who is known for high-value offshore trusts work. In 2011, the firm conducted a range of work including significant Russian and Caribbean cases, and complex Part 3 applications. It also secured freezing orders in a rabbinical court in Israel.
Anthony Gold has Ellie Chapman, who is ‘excellent’; Camilla Fusco (‘ten out of ten’); and Kim Beatson, who is ‘a superstar’. In 2011, Beatson and the highly rated Margaret Hatwood undertook several cases involving computer hacking injunctions. Fusco is dual UK/Hong Kong qualified, and is also highly regarded for UK/Italian cases.
At Boodle Hatfield LLP, Barbara Simpson is a ‘consummate professional’, and James Ferguson is ‘particularly good at acting for divorcing husbands’. In addition to pursuing major High Court financial litigation, the firm also represented Don Gallagher in the dissolution of his civil partnership.
Goodman Ray is particularly well known for public and private children matters, often with a multi-jurisdictional element. In 2011/12, it acted on several reported cases, including the adoption case Re PW. Team head Peggy Ray is ‘an inspiration’, and Kevin Skinner is ‘exemplary’.
Harcus Sinclair’s team is built around the complementary talents of Kathryn Peat and Roger Cobden-Ramsay. It draws on the firm’s related strength in tax and trusts to focus on high-end ancillary relief matters, usually with a multi-jurisdictional element.
The ‘dynamic’ department at Hunters has won a ‘wonderful word-of-mouth reputation’. The firm’s emphasis is on bespoke family breakdown services and high-net-worth claims. Henry Hood is ‘authoritative’; Richard Kershaw’s ‘judgement is second to none’; and assistant Anna Roiser is ‘going to be a name’.
Osbornes is ‘almost alone in being willing to take over complicated financial remedy proceedings on a public funding basis’. Mark Freedman ‘fights the whole way’; Bridget Thompson is ‘a fine exponent of care proceedings’; Lisa Pepper is ‘bright and engaging’; Hannah Fleck ‘gives sound advice’; and inter-country adoptions and surrogacies expert Naomi Angell is ‘a highly skilled and competent practitioner’.
Russell-Cooke LLP’s 20-fee-earner team handles the gamut of family work, and also offers fixed-price divorces. In 2011, the firm was involved in a ten-day nullity trial in the High Court.
Speechly Bircham LLP’s team saw some departures in 2011, and is now led by the ‘talented’ James Freeman, with Christopher Butler now at Boodle Hatfield LLP. The team is ‘strong on highly technical issues’, and is backed by strong capabilities in trusts and corporate matters.
The ‘results-driven’ team at Vardags is known for ‘fighting the client’s corner’. Ayesha Vardag ‘strains every sinew to achieve clients ’ goals’. In 2011, the firm advised on a large prenuptial agreement, and acted in a significant UK-US nullity case.
Ambrose Appelbe handles complex emergency multi-jurisdictional work, and enjoys a close referral relationship with Payne Hicks Beach, particularly in relation to prenuptial agreements.
Bircham Dyson Bell LLP’s Sian Jones has ‘a knack of predicting the right outcome’, and leads a team that advises a variety of high-net-worth individuals.
Camilla Baldwin’s ‘quick and efficient’ team at Camilla Baldwin includes Henrietta Thomas, who is ‘adept and level headed’, and the highly rated Amanda Sandys. The firm represented the wife in complex High Court litigation involving competing proceedings in UK and Peru. The firm also takes on complex child abduction cases.
Covent Garden Family Law is well known for children cases, and for handling issues arising out of same-sex relationships. On the financial front, the firm tends towards a collaborative approach. Haema Sundram is ‘constructive’, and Alison Burt is ‘a force’.
The ‘impressive’ team at Davenport Lyons is led by John Burrell, who has ‘outstanding empathy’. In 2011, the team assisted on a varied mix of abduction matters, Schedule 1 applications, and separation agreements.
Finers Stephens Innocent LLP is known for heavyweight matrimonial disputes, particularly cases involving individuals in the property and media sectors. Alan Kaufman is ‘a strong negotiator’.
At Fisher Meredith LLP, the highly respected Eileen Pembridge heads the family team, while Maria Healy heads the children team. The firm was recently instructed by the Official Solicitor to act on behalf of a husband with brain dysfunction.
Lee & Thompson LLP’s team is headed by the ‘dynamic’ Catherine Bedford. It acted for a media figure in Schedule 1 proceedings and Children Act proceedings in the High Court, involving issues of non-disclosure.
RadcliffesLeBrasseur’s recent work includes advising on the enforceability of English orders in Azerbaijan, and handling a Syrian-Lebanese matter. The firm also advised on a £500m postnuptial agreement.
Schillings’ team head Davina Hay counts among her clients an Oscar-winning actress, and various individuals in the hedge fund industry. Keith Schilling and Rachel Atkins are also recommended.
At Ashfords LLP (incorporating Rochman Landau), Philippa Dolan is ‘highly knowledgeable’, and assistant Georgina Hamblin is ‘an excellent mediator’.
Bross Bennett LLP Family Law Solicitors ‘does Central London work more economically than most London firms’. Caroline Falkus is ‘experienced’; Ruth Bross is ‘excellent’; and Sharon Bennett has a ‘no-nonsense approach’.
In 2011, Duncan Lewis & Co was involved in reported care cases including Re D and Re S. Laila Bhunnoo is the key contact.
Freemans Solicitors is known for its work in landmark child abduction cases, such as Re E.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP is ‘an emerging power’ in the area of family law, and a ‘natural choice for the celebrity client’.
At Memery Crystal LLP, Ursula Danagher is ‘extremely competent and puts clients at ease’.
Miles and Partners Solicitors’ Amanda Dench is ‘highly competent’, and Kate Hammond has a ‘masterly command of complex cases’.
Seddons’ Margaret Kelly is ‘very skilful’; and Deborah Jeff ‘sees the bigger picture’. In 2011, the firm was instructed in Schedule 1 Children Act proceedings worth £262m, as well as handling numerous other big-money cases.
T V Edwards LLP’s Maud Davis handles both public and private children work, and is well respected for her advocacy.