The Legal 500

South West

United Kingdom > South West > Private client > Family

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The team at Burges Salmon LLP is experienced in complex legal and financial issues, including asset protection and estate planning matters. Practice head Catherine Hallam specialises in complex financial settlements on divorce, and pre-nuptial agreements. Sarah Woodsford is also a name to note.

Clarke Willmott LLP advises on privately funded family breakdown, and is experienced in cases involving multiple jurisdictions. ‘Pragmatic' practice head Gareth Schofield specialises in divorce settlements, cohabitation disputes and asset protection, and is ‘one of the best'. Daniel Eames has particular expertise in financial disputes involving international elements.

Irwin Mitchell is ‘excellent in terms of its strength and breadth of experience'. Alison Hawes is ‘second to none', combining ‘an excellent brain, a sharp eye for detail and a common humanity in her dealings with people'.

Stephens Scown LLP is active in adoption, international abduction and domestic abuse issues. Liz Allen is ‘highly competent' and a ‘good communicator', and ‘a first-class divorce lawyer'.

The Family Law Company by Hartnell Chanot is ‘a specialist firm with tremendous experience and empathy'. Norman Hartnell has experience in divorce and related financial issues, and the ‘highly experienced' Jane Chanot specialises in international parental child abduction. The firm has a niche grandparent access practice, led by Stephen Sowden.

Withy King ‘stands out for its unrivalled level of advice'. Team head Richard Ellis has particular expertise in child protection work, and Rebecca Stevens is ‘highly successful at achieving the very best outcomes, whether through a negotiated settlement or contested proceedings'.

Carolyn Green heads a sizeable team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, covering a wide range of financial and childcare issues. John Lawley is also recommended.

Lester Aldridge LLP has a strong practice advising high-wealth individuals on the developing law of pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and is also recommended for children law matters and financial remedies. Jane Porter‘blends rigour and a strong client-focused approach with a healthy dose of pragmatism'.

Michelmores LLP’s Simon Thomas is ‘committed' and ‘builds good relations with clients', and regularly acts in complex ancillary relief and financial disputes following cohabitation. Zoe Porter specialises in matrimonial disputes and the rights of unmarried couples, in particular ToLATA claims. In 2014, Louisa Ghevaert joined from Porter Dodson as head of fertility and parenting.

Stone King LLP’s family practice handles the full range of matrimonial work, and has a particular focus on ADR mechanisms. Resolution-accredited specialist John Brownrigg has experience in handling financial issues.

TLT’s ‘organised' and ‘professional' team is led by recently promoted partner Natalie Drew, who ‘holds the client’s best interests at the forefront whilst seeking to find a fair and proportionate outcome'. David Wheeler has expertise in child abduction issues.

Matthew Kellow at Thrings LLP specialises in high-value ancillary relief and Children Act matters. Fiona Kellow deals with high-net-worth matrimonial finance.

Rachel Daniells at Ashfords LLP is experienced in advising on large financial settlements and children issues.

Gregg Latchams LLP’s ‘strong' and ‘knowledgeable' team is led by Victoria Daniell, who ‘not only brings a wealth of knowledge from a legal perspective, but also has a calm and assured confidence'.

Jonathan Talbot heads the team at Laceys, which handles a full range of matrimonial disputes and childcare and protection issues.

Natalie Gamble Associates is a niche firm with a particular focus on fertility law and family law for non-traditional families. Natalie Gamble is the key contact.

At Porter DodsonRichard Baker is a ‘clear' and ‘realistic' collaborative lawyer. Louisa Ghevaert moved to Michelmores LLP in 2014.

At The Family Law Practice, Ashley Palminteri, previously of Burges Salmon LLP, has a strong focus on collaborative law.

Tozers LLP has particular expertise in public law children work and matrimonial law. Collaborative lawyer Tracy Lambert has experience in areas including cohabitation and civil partnership, separation and pre-marital agreements, and Tony Wood is recommended for children matters.

Christopher Nisbet at Wilsons has a focus on divorce and all forms of ancillary financial relief.

Elizabeth Saunders at BPE Solicitors LLP is experienced in financial and children issues.

Martin Davis is recommended at Battens Solicitors Limited.

Crosse & Crosse handles relationship and finance, children and domestic abuse matters.

Kim Stradling at Everys specialises in child protection matters and care proceedings.

Mediator and collaborative lawyer Mark Chanter leads the team at Foot Anstey, acting for a range of high-net-worth individuals.

Lyons Davidson specialises in areas including domestic violence, forced marriage and children law.

Rebecca Silcock at Mogers Drewett LLP specialises in divorce-related financial matters.

The ‘approachable' team at Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors covers care proceedings, pre-nuptial agreements, divorce and financial remedy proceedings. Tracey Smith is noted for her ‘pragmatism'.

Maggie Roberts at Pardoes has experience in cohabitation matters, pre-nuptial agreements and childcare proceedings.

Parker Bullen LLP has particular expertise in working with armed forces personnel on family law issues.

Stokes Partners LLP has particular expertise in complex financial matters arising from divorce or separation.

The ‘extremely knowledgeable' Andrew Mercer at Trethowans LLP is ‘particularly good' on the financial side.

Collaborative lawyer James Grigg is recommended at Willans LLP, and covers financial and children issues.

‘Experienced' mediator Kate Westmacott at Wolferstans specialises in children law issues, representing parents and children in care proceedings and residence and contact disputes.

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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

    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. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

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