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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. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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The 'efficient, effective and dependable' team at Hugh James provides a 'responsive service' to a range of clients - including many high-net-worth individuals - across the gamut of family law, including contact cases, where the team is praised for its 'considerate handling of sensitive and difficult issues'. 'Extremely supportive and efficient' team head Malcolm Stevens provides an 'exceptional service which is based on years' of experience and a thorough understanding of his field'. Praised for his 'astute advice that is geared towards achieving as constructive an outcome as possible', Stevens is often involved in complex and sensitive family issues including Children Act matters, prenuptial agreements and the dissolution of civil partnerships. Despite the recent departure of Charlotte Leyshon - who set up her own firm - 'efficient, utterly dependable and supportive' solicitor Lucy Williams has begun to assume a more senior role within the team and is increasingly handling her own caseload, where she provides 'clear, structured and well-informed advice' across a broad spectrum of family matters, often involving vulnerable clients. Childcare expert Mark Powell rounds out the team.

Described by one client as 'the go-to practice in south Wales', specialist family law firm Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice has 'talented and able solicitors at all levels', and provides an 'excellent service' across a myriad of  family matters, often involving high-net-worth individuals and cross-border issues. The 'very experienced' Thea Hughes  'has an excellent rapport with her clients' and specialises in the financial issues arising upon separation/divorce. The 'supportive and very well prepared' David James  is known for handling high-value cases with a particular focus on business ownership and pension sharing issues. The 'very able' Melanie Hamer  and Sarah Wyburn  round out the team at a partner level, with Wyburn being particularly noted for her expertise advising on gay marriage and civil partnerships. At an associate level, the 'extremely hardworking' Rebecca Knight  is recognised as a 'star of the future'.

Since the arrival of the 'very approachable and thorough' Gaynor Dickens from Graham Evans & Partners in December 2016, Geldards LLP has provided substantial competition to other firms and is, according to one client, 'really stealing a march on some larger and more established firms in Cardiff'. Although Dickens very much subscribes to the tenets as set out in the Law Society's Family Law Protocol and Resolution guidelines for a non-confrontational approach wherever possible, she 'is more than capable of fighting her clients' corner' should she need to. The nascent Cardiff offering is able to draw upon the expertise of family lawyers from its broader network of offices including through the Midlands, as well being able to leverage the expertise of complementary practice areas including wealth management and tax.

Howells Solicitors provides a 'highly professional and personable service' across the panoply of family law matters from public/private child law matters through to high-net-worth divorces. Team head Richard Scott has a particular niche advising police officers on their divorces and has developed true insight into the peculiarities and complexities inherent in police pensions. A good deal of Scott's work in this respect comes from instructions derived from the firm's position on the South Wales and Gwent police federations' approved panel. In addition to his police force work, Scott also handles a wide spectrum of family law matters including cases relating to complicated financial proceedings involving foreign assets, children cases and prenuptial agreements. Based in the firm's Caerphilly office, Jayne Hunt is also recommended.

Since it opened an office in Cardiff in June 2014, Gordon Dadds LLP has rapidly built up a strong reputation in south Wales and its environs for having the ability to handle the gamut of family law matters, ranging from complex divorce instructions through to private Children Act matters for estranged parents and grandparents. A good deal of the success of the office can be attributed to the stellar reputation that 'hugely experienced' team head Wendy Hopkins has in the market. 'A very effective litigator whose reputation goes before her', Hopkins has extensive experience of advising in complex and high-net-worth family matters including those involving an international element. 'Completely unflappable and calm' associate Hannah Magee continues to develop a strong reputation in the market across the full spectrum of family law matters including divorce, cohabitation disputes, children matters and ancillary financial matters. Solicitor Sharon Priday is also recommended.

At niche family law firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors's Cardiff office, team head Kathryn McTaggart is a 'star performer' and is recognised for her ability to give 'excellent advice on financial cases and complex children cases'. Praised for her 'pragmatic advice', McTaggart 'takes a no-nonsense approach but is also very empathetic and understanding of her clients' needs'.

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