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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Wales > Private client > Family: Cardiff > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Family: Cardiff
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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The ‘very strong’ team at Hugh James provides an ‘effective and high-quality service’ to a client base that includes numerous high-net-worth individuals (including several well-known sports personalities). ‘Highly experienced’ consultant Malcolm Stevensbrings a wealth of common sense to every case’ and is noted for his conciliatory approach; ‘he works very constructively with clients and opponents to resolve disputes’. ‘Assertive and dynamic’ senior associate Charlotte Leyshon handles a range of issues including more niche matters such as dissolution of civil partnerships and pre-nuptial agreements, where she is known for her ‘empathetic approach’ and her ‘complete focus on achieving the best outcomes for her clients’. Child law specialist Mark Powell QC rounds out the team.

Very knowledgeable’ boutique family law firm Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice fields a ‘strong team of lawyers’ with expertise across the spectrum of matters including high-value cases with assets often spread across multiple jurisdictions. The ‘decisive and pragmaticMelanie Hamer specialises in complex, high-value matters, often involving multi-jurisdictional issues; recent work includes handling a highly complex case involving numerous companies and properties spread across the UK and abroad, and assets in the value of £50m. The ‘hugely experiencedThea Hughes attracts praise for her ‘calm and approachable handling of high-value financial cases and complicated private law matters’. The ‘fantastically thoroughSarah Wyburn (who is a ‘really safe pair of hands’) handles divorce, financial and children matters, and also has significant experience advising on gay marriage and civil partnerships. David James rounds out the team at a partner level and is known for handling high-value cases with a particular focus on business ownership and pension sharing issues, while ‘straight-talking’ associate Rebecca Knight is ‘excellent and always manages to build a really good rapport with her clients’.

Since its inception in June 2014, Gordon Dadds LLP’s family law department has flourished, in no small part due to the ‘formidable reputation’ of team head Wendy Hopkins. Hopkins ‘has seen it all when it comes to dealing with difficult family matters’, and leads a four-lawyer team that handles the gamut of family matters including complicated contact issues, as well as divorces for high-net-worth individuals, often involving an international complexion and trust issues. ‘Knowledgeable and empatheticHannah Mageefights hard for her clients’ and is recognised as one of the ‘leading young matrimonial lawyers in the field’. Also recommended is ‘excellent’ associate Sharon Priday, who has broad-ranging expertise across care matters, private Children Act proceedings, divorce and financial matters, and non-molestation injunction proceedings.

Fielding two practitioners in Cardiff and one in Caerphilly, Howells Solicitorsreally does punch above its weight’ and provides an ‘excellent service’ on everything from public/private child law matters to high-net-worth divorces. ‘Standout lawyer’ Richard Scott provides ‘sensible, realistic advice and is able to quickly identify what the case is about and what the objectives for the client should be’. Scott has a particular niche advising police officers in divorce proceedings and regularly handles matters on behalf of the South Wales and Gwent Police Federations. As well as his police force work, Scott also handles work covering the waterfront of family law including cases relating to complicated financial proceedings involving foreign assets, children cases and pre-nuptial agreements.

Woolley & Co, Solicitors’ Cardiff-based team head Kathryn McTaggart has a ‘market-leading’ reputation for family law matters, with particular emphasis on cases involving children, including abduction and matters involving implacable hostility/parental alienation. McTaggart provides ‘refreshingly sensible advice’ couched in a non-confrontational manner, although she is ‘willing to fight very hard for her clients if necessary’.

The arrival in December 2016 of leading local family law practitioner Gaynor Dickens from Swansea firm Graham Evans & Partners has given Geldards LLP’s nascent family strength in the south Wales region. Dickens ‘takes a fair, constructive and co-operative approach’ to complex financial provision cases and children’s law matters. Other areas of expertise include acting for high-net-wealth clients on issues involving wealth protection, tax issues, partnerships and family businesses.

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Legal Developments in Wales for Family: Cardiff

  • 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

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