The Legal 500

South West

United Kingdom > South West > Private client > Family

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Index of tables

  1. Family
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP is ‘at the top of the list for quality and expertise’. Areas of work include financial provision matters with international, agricultural and trust issues, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Catherine Hallam gives ‘well-considered and appropriate advice’; Sarah Woodsford is ‘very bright and empathetic

Clarke Willmott LLP is ‘able to deal with big-money cross-jurisdiction divorces’, and those involving inherited wealth and complex financial structures. Gareth Schofield ‘gets to the nub of the matter quickly’. Alastair MacLeod has ‘a meticulous approach to the detail of cases.

At Irwin Mitchell, Alison Hawes brings ‘a detailed and up-to-the-minute knowledge of law and procedure’ to multinational and complex VHNW ancillary relief claims. The firm also advises on TLATA claims by cohabitees, and international child disputes. Associate Nicky Howarth is ‘very good with clients’.

Michelmores LLP is ‘a high-profile firm that gives good, solid service’. Simon Thomas’ strength is ‘a straightforward and pragmatic approach to problems’, and consultant Rachel Cook is ‘very sensible and grounded’. The firm works with Stephens Scown LLP to win collaborative law instructions.

Stephens Scown LLP deals with pre-nuptial agreements, child disputes and high-end and complex financial provision cases. Liz Allen is ‘very supportive of her clients, but will give good objective advice’. Andrew Barton has ‘good experience of international family law issues’. The firm works with Michelmores LLP on joint collaborative law instructions.

TLT has ‘a very strong matrimonial offering, including high-net-worth divorces and child disputes. Natalie Drew ‘holds her clients best interests at heart, while seeking to find an outcome that is fair and proportionate’.

Withy King LLP handles high-value, difficult matrimonial work, and complex child disputes. Sharon MacDonald is ‘a sympathetic and professional divorce lawyer’.

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP brings ‘very efficient and effective case management’ to complex ancillary relief and international child abduction matters. Sean McNally is ‘a very good technical solicitor’.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ ‘very strong’ team handles both Children Act matters and matrimonial work. Associate John Lawley is ‘especially good on the pursuit of offshore and hidden assets’. Carolyn Green leads the team.

Lester Aldridge LLP is ‘a very safe pair of hands when it comes to any financial proceedings’, and has a ‘strong practice in advising on the developing law of pre- and post-nuptial agreements’. The team also handles child disputes. Jane Porteris smart, well-presented, professional and motivated’.

Stone King LLP’s ‘efficient and thorough’ team advises on child issues and high-value financial provision. John Brownrigg is ‘the ideal strategist’.

The Family Law Company by Hartnell Chanot provides a full service, advising on financial provision, domestic violence and international child abduction, with a focus on acting for emergency services and military clients. Norman Hartnell leads the team.

The Family Law Practice is ‘creative and flexible’ in its advice on financial provision and cohabitating couples. Ashley Palminteri is ‘outstanding’ and ‘extremely personable’.

Thrings LLP’s team, which is led by the ‘extremely experienced’ Matthew Kellow, acts in conventional and collaborative matrimonial disputes. James Myatt is ‘a stalwart in the Bristol family law scene’.

Wilsons is ‘a particularly good firm, with great expertise in big-money and farming cases’. Christopher Nisbet and Katharine Shaw work on international ancillary relief cases and high-value pre-nuptial agreements.

Ashfords LLP advises clients on pre-nuptial agreements, financial settlements, and private-law child matters.

Foot Anstey specialises in high-asset value matrimonial matters, with a particular focus acting for agricultural families.

Gregg Latchams LLP’s family team is led by Victoria Daniell, who ‘provides sensible and detached advice, but will fight hard for her client’. She is a Resolution-accredited specialist in complex financial provision. Associate Hannah Petherick is also recommended.

Laceys provides advice on cohabitation TLATA claims, and matrimonial and child law disputes. Jonathan Talbot leads the team.

Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors has a two-partner department that is ‘excellent in every case’; the firm acts in child and high-value matrimonial disputes. Tracey Smith has ‘all the qualities you would want in a matrimonial solicitor’.

The ‘very good’ team at Nash & Co has a focus on military and business divorces, and child disputes. William Giles has ‘a good brain and caring heart’.

Natalie Gamble Associates is a specialist firm that does nationally leading work on fertility, surrogacy and parenting by same-sex couples. Natalie Gamble ‘provides both expert advice and reassurance to clients’; she acted in the Family Court case B v C (Surrogacy: Adoption), which granted an adoption order to a lone father for the first time in England and Wales.

Porter Dodson LLP acts for children through CAFCASS, and also advises on divorce and ancillary relief proceedings. Richard Baker is ‘exceptional’, and Rebecca Marshall is ‘a talented advocate’.

Sharp Family Law gives ‘rapid and personal responses, with extremely good advice’. Richard Sharp is recommended for collaborative work, and Sharon Giles has a ‘no-nonsense, can-do attitude’.

Steele Raymond LLP has a focus on high-value and complex ancillary dispute matters. Julie-Ann Harris, ‘a fantastic husband solicitor’, has a ‘great working knowledge of companies, pensions and trusts’.

Tozers LLP provides advice on matrimonial finance, care proceedings and domestic violence orders. Tony Wood is recommended.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ family team works alongside other private client departments on high-value divorces. Michelle Rose is a ‘tough and highly skilful lawyer’.

At Willans LLP, James Grigg has a ‘sensible yet robust’ approach to high-net-worth and agricultural divorces, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and private child law.

Woolley & Co, Solicitors is a ‘proactive, professional and forward-thinking’ boutique family practice, that is particularly recommended for international matters. Susan Harwood is ‘honest, open and confident’.

At BPE Solicitors LLP, Elizabeth Saunders is recommended for high-asset divorces, and associate Jemma Jones has expertise in private child disputes.

Battens Solicitors Limited provides an ‘all-round service’ on child and matrimonial issues. Associate Louise Gidley and solicitor Hollie Knapman are recommended.

At Everys, Kim Stradling, ‘an indefatigable litigator capable of getting any case into shape’, is recommended in matters involving complex medical evidence.

Frettens LLP works on medium- and high-value divorces. Heidi Cardoza ‘goes to the furthest efforts to ensure clients get the best results’.

At Kitsons LLP, Tony Hunt is ‘courteous, diligent and professional.

Lyons Davidson acts for parents in private-law child disputes. Philippa Morgan is recommended for international child abduction matters.

Mogers Drewett LLP’s family team is led by Rebecca Silcock, who advises clients on high-value divorces, some with unusual income streams, and child disputes.

Pardoes acts on high-value divorces and child disputes. Maggie Roberts is ‘always on top of her clients case.

Parker Bullen LLP’s ‘very responsive’ team has a focus on military clients. Tricia Gower is ‘an excellent operator’.

Stokes Partners LLP has a focus on non-confrontational approaches to both financial resolutions and post-divorce child arrangements.

Trethowans LLP offers ‘a great standard of service’ to divorcing clients. Andrew Mercerprovides really practical and sensible advice’.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in South West for Family

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

    Government moves to force people to justify the source of their wealth will make the right legal representation even more crucial.

    How to build an investment fraud defence case that disproves prosecution allegations of dishonesty.

    With a town council now officially facing a fraud investigation, we examine what individuals in such a large body should do if they come under suspicion.
  • The risks of liberation

    The dangers that pension liberation and money laundering pose to those involved in pension funds and management.

    What has been achieved since the introduction of the Act that was intended to tackle bribery in business?

    Five banks being fined £3.6 billion in the US for manipulating forex is a stark reminder of the legal risks involved in currency trading. Here, Aziz Rahman of Rahman Ravelli examines how the brokers and the traders in forex can avoid legal problems.
  • Foreign Intercepts

  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to