Family in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP provides 'premier London quality at local rates from friendly practitioners with a problem-solving attitude'. Oliver Gravell leads the practice from Ipswich, where up-and-coming partner Katie Beaven, who 'cares about her clients and works with dedication', acts for many local business people and farming families. Legal director Juliet Harvey, who is 'a whirlwind of organisation and dedication', is the national chair of Resolution. Senior associates Deborah Lloyd and Lisa Cornish are the main contacts in Norwich and both are 'invested in their clients' mental health as well as seeking the best outcome'. Senior associate Rachel Frost-Smith joined the Cambridge office from Irwin Mitchell in late 2020.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Gravell

Other key lawyers:

Katie Beaven; Juliet Harvey; Deborah Lloyd; Lisa Cornish; Rachel Frost-Smith

Testimonials

‘Katie Beaven is patient, understanding, able to explain issues clearly and simply, always pragmatic and looking for solutions and moved with good pace when needed at key process points.’

‘The department works well as a team. They are supportive of each other and their clients. They are a pleasure to work with, willing to take suggestions on board and to discuss all options to get the best outcome for a client.’

‘Oliver Gravell nurtures young talent and gently and kindly teaches young lawyers both legal skills but also people skills and how to view a case from both the long term and the short term perspectives. Katie Beaven cares about her clients and her team. She works with dedication to get the best for her clients. Is not afraid to give difficult advice but deals with it with humanity. Juliet Harvey – a whirlwind of organisation and dedication.’

‘Great value with premier London quality at Cambridge rates. Friendly, approachable practitioners with a problem solving attitude to family law issues.’

‘Rachel Frost-Smith is a rising star who deserves the highest praise for her sensitivity in handling complex children cases. A most able advocate. She also excels in financial matters – particularly those involving businesses and offshore assets where her background in corporate tax makes her a formidable opponent.’

‘Oliver Gravell – has been a Cambridge heavyweight for as long as I can remember! He is adept in all areas and has now added arbitration as another feather in his bow.’

‘The team were exceptionally helpful and supportive throughout my experience. I never felt passed from one person to the next and handover between the team always seemed smooth. There were only really 3 people from the Birketts team that looked after me which was very nice. The solicitors from Birketts carried out all the behind the scenes work with me and I always felt communication was very smooth and complete.’

‘I have worked with Deborah Lloyd and more latterly Lisa Cornish. Both members of the family team work with an enthusiasm and professionalism. I work in mental health, I find the fact that both lawyers are invested with their clients mental health and wellbeing as well as seeking a best outcome for their client.’

Cambridge Family Law Practice

Cambridge Family Law Practice is a specialist practice that is 'imaginative in finding solutions and provides empathy while giving straight and firm advice'. The firm's partners are vastly experienced and have broad-ranging practices, though each has specialist areas of expertise. Simon Bethel is adept in complex children disputes and high-value financial matters, and Gail Marchant-Daisley is a leading light in both local and national family law matters, including those concerning same-sex couples and alternative family structures. Adam Moghadas has experience in everything from legal aid matters to cases for high-net-worth entrepreneurs, and is a go-to mediator for complex cases. Qualified mediator and collaborative lawyer Tricia Ashton frequently handles high-value financial disputes, and Jeremy Ford's practice includes surrogacy law, child abduction work and medical treatment of children disputes.

Other key lawyers:

Simon Bethel; Gail Marchant-Daisley; Adam Moghadas; Tricia Ashton; Jeremy Ford

Testimonials

‘Simon Bethel is a highly knowledgable and accomplished litigator. Never short of a new idea to get the very best for his client.’

‘They are a really excellent practice providing a service that is as good if not better than many leading central London firms. Cambridge prices with Central London Magic Circle excellence.’

‘Gail Marchant-Daisley is outstanding – extremely approachable, experienced and she always provides sound and realistic advice. Tricia Ashton is another star – very able with a first class legal mind and also a very good.’

‘CFLP are unique in the sense that all of the fee earners are partners within the firm, so you are always guaranteed to be getting someone with a superior legal knowledge and years of experience. They are also able to deal with cases collaboratively, whilst always negotiating the very best outcome for their clients.’

‘Special mention would go to Jeremy Ford, who is an outstanding lawyer. He thinks outside the box and his years of experience working for CAFCASS sets him apart from the competition when it comes to Children cases. In finance matters, Tricia Ashton is a leading light. Her advice is clear and precise, but always first rate!’

‘Gail Marchant-Daisley – excellent all round. Simon Bethel – great with clients, bright, grade A1 attention to detail. Picks all the important points and runs with them. Tricia Ashton – super intelligent, gets the issues straight away and gives rock solid advice.’

‘Adam Moghadas is an outstanding family lawyer and partner. He is always looking for solutions and has an incredibly understanding but reassuring manner. He puts clients at ease and they know that he will find the best solution for their family whilst preserving the post separation relationship. Adam is a pleasure to work with on cases.’

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is 'the region's leading firm with a national presence and a well-deserved reputation for excellence and success'. The firm is known for handling highly complex domestic and cross-border matters of divorce, conflicted children proceedings and property disputes between family members. Clients praise it as 'organised, client-friendly and focused, as well as a pleasure to work with'. The 'clear and pragmaticNick Stone  in Norwich leads the firm's national family law practice, in which principal associate Frances Bailey 'has a fearsome reputation for predicting outcomes'. Caitlin Jenkins is the key partner in Cambridge, where George Sprague is 'consistently the voice of reason'. Senior associates Naomi Shelton in Norwich, who is the Chair of Norfolk Resolution and 'a high-calibre lawyer with excellent client care skills', and Rachel Brand in Cambridge are also pivotal to the practice.

Practice head(s):

Nick Stone

Other key lawyers:

Caitlin Jenkins; George Sprague; Frances Bailey; Naomi Shelton; Rachel Brand

Testimonials

‘The region’s leading solicitors with a national presence and a well deserved reputation for excellence and success.’

‘Naomi Shelton is a high calibre lawyer, with excellent client care skills, superlative organisation and a clear focus on client outcomes. Frances Bailey has a fearsome reputation for predicting case outcomes and imaginative solutions. Nick Stone has an unparalleled experience in regional high net worth cases and a deep understanding of the East Anglian area and judiciary with a clear pragmatism in case resolution.’

‘Mills & Reeve are a very slick operation – so organised, client-friendly and focused as well as a pleasure to work with. They delegate well and always ensure the client is looked after.’

‘Caitlin Jenkins has stood out for me particularly in a recent case where she went above and beyond to ensure she was there for the client and addressing all of his needs. I was really impressed with her pragmatism and sensitivity whilst also directing the client back to reasonableness when required. She was truly wonderful to work with.’

‘The Mills and Reeve family team are a close knit team who really gel. They are supportive of each other, and work in a fully interdisciplinary manner. They welcome (rather than shun) input from other professionals. They have good manners- they always return calls and emails. Clients are at the forefront of everything.’

‘Caitlin Jenkins- exceptionally well qualified across different legal skill sets. Excellent communicator- always finds the “right” words. George Sprague – consistently the voice of reason and calm.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on a number of Nuptial Agreements for members of the same family where the asset base exceeded £100m.
  • Secured a transfer of residence in protracted and conflicted Children Act proceedings where parental alienation was a feature.
  • Acted in a contested financial remedy case involving assets in the region of £15m, including businesses and farmland.

Taylor Vinters

Taylor Vinters in Cambridge has 'an excellent family law team that provides top-notch advice in all areas, particularly in cases involving tricky company, tax and farming issues'. Acting for high-net-worth clients across East Anglia, in London and further afield, the practice has notable experience in acting for innovators and entrepreneurs in cases involving substantial assets, complex financial disputes and private law children disputes, often with an international element. Lead partner Jackie Wells is 'innovative, sensitive when necessary, and has exceptionally sound judgment'. Senior counsel Alexandra Gooden and 'wonderfully calming but very sharp' associate Rachel Bevan are highly recommended by clients.

Practice head(s):

Jackie Wells

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Gooden; Rachel Bevan

Testimonials

‘High-calibre people, very thorough, excellent attention to detail, strong network of specialists to draw upon.’

‘Jackie Wells and Rachel Bevan make a formidable team, very thorough with complimentary strengths.’

‘Excellent family law team supported by a stellar company/commercial section. Provides top notch advice in all areas of family law particularly cases involving tricky company, tax and farming issues. Very tuned in to both the London and the local East Anglian market.’

‘Jackie Wells – innovative; exceptionally sound judgment; sensitive when necessary; just really gets to the core issues of a case, works out the best strategy and then gets a great result. My go-to solicitor in East Anglia. A country mile ahead of the competition.’

‘Rachel Bevan is a rising star with a wonderfully calming presence but a very sharp mind. Very mature approach to cases that belies her years.’

‘Rachel Bevan and Jackie Wells are excellent. Rachel handled a difficult client well and knew precisely when to involve counsel in strategy. Jackie is accessible and available to clients around the clock. She has a lovely tone and clients have the utmost faith in her.’

‘Good depth of talent, and a pragmatic approach to family law.’

‘Fantastic bedside manner. Responsive to clients and able to explain things in a straightforward no-nonsense way.’

Woolley & Co, Solicitors

Woolley & Co, Solicitors consists of a nationwide network of family law practitioners, with several key names located in East Anglia. Karen Agnew-Griffith in Thetford, Abby Smith in St Neots, Nick Wiseman in Great Yarmouth, Karen Willis in King's Lynn and and Fiona Spinks in Duxford, are vastly experienced in divorce cases, domestic violence matters, complex children disputes and high-value financial settlements, often with an international element. They frequently advise ex-pats, high-net-worth individuals, farming families, business owners and company directors.

Other key lawyers:

Karen Agnew-Griffith; Abby Smith; Nick Wiseman; Karen Willis; Fiona Spinks

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal has a family law practice that operates across East Anglia and provides clients with 'really sound, good-value legal advice that is wholly reliable'. Practice head Mary Pearce in Bury St Edmunds 'goes that extra mile for her clients and is dedicated to ensuring a good outcome in each case'. Stephen Williams in Ipswich, who has a niche in international war crimes matters, is 'always stellar and has an easy and fluid interaction with clients'. Associates Sameena Manzar in Bury St Edmunds, who is 'a rock and a constant steady and reassuring presence', and Joanna Cotgrove in Cambridge also play central roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mary Pearce

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Williams; Sameena Manzar; Joanna Cotgrove

Testimonials

‘I feel very lucky indeed to have found Ashtons Legal, as they were always available to me, always endeavoured to provide the best advice and service.’

‘Sameena Manzar provided me with a personalised and expert service and along with her supporting team, were able to provide me with the strength to continue to push through nearly three years of constant lack of engagement and tricky issues and to navigate the divorce when I was exhausted. Sameena was my rock, a constant steady and reassuring presence. I certainly would not be where I am today had it not been for her tenacity and professionalism in dealing with the complicated issues surrounding my divorce. I cannot praise her highly enough.’

‘The team are extremely approachable. They provide a very professional service to both their clients and counsel. The cases are extremely well prepared and presented.’

‘Joanna Cotgrove is prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ for her clients. Her instructions are comprehensive and clear. She provides an excellent hand-over to counsel.’

‘Excellent team providing all round service.’

‘They provide really sound, good value legal advice. Wholly reliable and well priced. Appeal to good range of clients.’

‘Mary Pearce – excellent judgement, very bright – totally safe pair of hands.’

‘Stephen Williams’ background case preparation is always stellar and in conference has a easy and fluid interaction with lay clients. Katy Rush can always be relied upon to provide detail in a complex factual matrix.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for East Anglian agricultural community clients in multimillion-pound divorces.
  • Representing a number of high-profile clients with overseas assets on multimillion-pound divorces.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has increased its workload for high-net-worth individuals not only in East Anglia, but also across the UK. Lead partner Roopa Ahluwalia now leads the firm's national family law practice, which is prominent in high-value financial disputes and complex Children Act proceedings. Clients describe 'a professional firm with an approachable nature that genuinely cares about its clients and is always striving to achieve the best possible outcome'. Others note that that Ahluwahlia is 'a very thoughtful and insightful lawyer who grasps complex dynamics quickly and offers both sensitive and pragmatic advice with a very relaxed, confident and reassuring manner'.

Practice head(s):

Roopa Ahluwalia

Other key lawyers:

Matt Hasler

Testimonials

‘The solicitors I worked with at the firm showed total commitment to the client and case, mastering the complexities and putting in the work around the clock to prepare, take instructions and then run a superbly presented case. There was a team approach within the firm that worked very well. I was impressed at the level of service given the client.’

‘I worked with Matt Hasler as associate solicitor with conduct of the case, supported by his senior partner, Roopa Ahluwalia. Matt was at all times calm, focused and thoroughly professional. In the context of a highly charged case, he provided a first-class service for the client, working tirelessly to advance the case. He is impressive.’

‘I was extremely impressed with Matt Hasler, so much so that when a friend was going through divorce recently I recommended him. He was completely on top of the detail, sensible and only took good points. One to watch for the future.’

‘Roopa Ahluwalia has helped me successfully navigate a very challenging divorce and childcare battle – her timely and pragmatic advice and calming manner have been very much appreciated throughout.’

‘BDB Pitmans has invested a lot in their Cambridge office and are steadily building their reputation. They’ve invested in good people, which makes a difference and haven’t tried to just move people from one of their other offices. They’ve invested in local talent.’

‘Matt Hasler – a sensible pair of hands, fantastic to have on a case, knows his stuff and is easy to talk to.’

‘BDB are a professional firm with an approachable nature who genuinely care about their clients and are always striving to achieve the best possible outcome.’

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP has a strong family law practice in Peterborough, with 'star performers who competently and confidently cover the full range of financial remedies work'. Handling the full range of work from highly sensitive Children Act and guardian matters to contentious co-habitation issues, the firm is 'invaluable as counsel'. Roger Gurney and Lyn Brisley, who has 'a winning combination of empathy and professionalism', lead the practice, in which associates Jane Tatlock and Sellina Kauser are highly recommended. Will Cowell is the main contact in Cambridge, where he works with newly hired senior associate Rebecca Varey from Woodfines LLP.

Practice head(s):

Roger Gurney; Lyn Brisley

Other key lawyers:

Will Cowell; Jane Tatlock; Sellina Kauser; Rebecca Varey

Testimonials

‘Buckles Solicitors LLP in East Anglia are star performers. Competently and confidently covering the full range of financial remedies work. Probably the go to firm in their region.’

‘Lyn Brisley is fantastic, with no case being beyond her. Clients feel part of a team. Great judgment on cases and clients. A winning combination of empathy and professionalism.’

‘All the people I work with from Buckles are very good lawyers and very good people. Clients get a thoroughly professional legal service delivered in a respectful and supportive way.

‘Proactive response pre-proceedings and during proceedings to clients. They constantly advise their clients on the realities of the case not just what the client wants to hear.’

‘Sellina Kauser is forthright and hardworking, clients would be lucky to have Sellina on their team.’

‘Roger Gurney is experienced and level-headed. You are not going to get a better family solicitor in the area.’

‘A high-calibre firm, keen to be ahead of the curve and with no weak links.’

‘Jane Tatlock is experienced, pragmatic and very client focused. Roger Gurney is a leader in his field with a significant and well-deserved profile.’

Gotelee Solicitors

The family law practice at Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich is 'outstanding, exceptionally professional and always helpful'. Demelza Butler leads the practice and is 'absolutely amazing, extremely knowledgeable and both clever and concise in her work'. She frequently advises high-net-worth clients across Suffolk on matrimonial and family disputes. She now has support from associate John Simpson who joined from Ellisons Solicitors in early 2021. Helen Stuart retired.

Practice head(s):

Demelza Butler

Other key lawyers:

John Simpson

Testimonials

‘The Team at Gotelee is exceptionally professional and always helpful. during the lock downs they have worked exceptionally well, with no apparent issues and a seamless service.’

‘Demelza Butler has been an exceptional support. as a parent of young children herself, she has been able to identify, been sympathetic and understood my issues and has at times when needed helped me to see the bigger picture. She has been reassuring and her work has always been outstanding. She is organised, professional and very calm.’

‘Gotelee solicitors have been outstanding in dealing with my family law case. They work seamlessly together to provide their clients with an outstanding experience. Everyone seems to be actively involved and both know and understand your case. Forms are filed promptly and issues are dealt with in a very timely manner. Billing is clear and fair and you are kept up to date at all times.’

‘My case has been dealt with by Demelza Butler who I cannot praise highly enough – she is absolutely amazing. Right from our initial telephone conversation, Demelza stood out to me to be the person that I wanted to have representing me. She was extremely knowledgeable and made sure I felt happy with the information she gave me. What I liked most about Demelza was the way she was able to be incredibly professional, whilst at the same time making it clear she really cared about you and your case – something which in family law is so very important.’

‘The overall level of client care is great, it seems that the client is very much seen as the customer and the partners in different practice areas, appear to have a strong interest in supporting one another.’

‘Demelza Butler has been exceptional. Not only did she support me throughout a complex and challenging time, but was always great at communicating well in advance of what the outcomes might be, with a great deal of compassion and understanding.’

Greene & Greene

At Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds, the family law practice is 'focused, hardworking, determined, bright and well-informed' and is 'a top-rated firm of dynamic, determined solicitors who will always get the job done'. Stuart Hughes, who is 'bright, hardworking, astute, extremely thorough and wise' and the 'responsive, articulate and helpful' Melanie Pilmer are supported by legal executive Emma Alfieri, who is 'efficient and good with clients'. The team frequently advises on high-value financial matters and complex private law children matters.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Melanie Pilmer; Emma Alfieri

Testimonials

‘They handled my case superbly and kept me fully informed at all times. The billing process was clean and easy to keep up with and most importantly the advice and support was fantastic.’

‘You are generally looked after by one individual in the company from start to finish. I know that the professional way in which Greene & Greene conduct their business is more accessible and efficient and therefore less stressful and time consuming than others.’

‘I was fortunate enough to work directly with one of the main partners, Stuart Hughes, for a period of time. His help, guidance and knowledge, delivered in a calm and friendly manner, was second to none in my opinion. Stuart was consistently clear and concise in his explanations and recommendations making sure I understood each part before moving on to the next part.’

‘The family department has excellent breadth and depth of knowledge, with a focus on sensible advice to clients to help them achieve the best possible outcome.’

‘Stuart Hughes in particular builds great rapport with clients, but maintains his impeccable professionalism. He is regarded as a Solicitor with trust and integrity.’

‘Melanie Pilmer is knowledgeable; responsive, articulate, helpful.’

‘Emma Alfieri is always a very positive person to work with; her advice to clients is clear and concise, she offers value for money and develops good working relationships with her clients, who clearly (and justifiably) trust her.’

‘Greene & Greene is a top-rate firm of dynamic, determined solicitors who will always get the job done.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the husband in respect of contested financial remedy proceedings.
  • Advised a client in respect of potential claims under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 for financial provision and in respect of a potential TLATA claim for a declaratory order.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP's family law practice is based in Norwich, though it also delivers services through its Cambridge office, and increasingly acts for high-net-worth clients in complex financial cases. Amy Walpole, who has 'a fantastic combination of great judgment, attention to detail and excellent client care', and senior associate Sophie Key are the key practitioners and the team's work encompasses complex divorces involving inherited wealth, trusts and investments, as well as contentious proceedings concerning finances and children.

Other key lawyers:

Amy Walpole; Sophie Key

Testimonials

‘What I found to be the most unique and reassuring factor about Howes Percival was its adaptability.’

‘In the main I dealt with Amy Walpole and Sophie Key who I always found to be extremely knowledgeable, able to offer accurate advice which was in a manner that could be understood. I greatly appreciate their frank assessment of my position which kept me reassured that they had my interests foremost but that not all outcomes were possible.’

‘A powerhouse in their region, taking on the more complex and difficult cases.’

‘Amy Walpole has a fantastic combination of great judgment, attention to detail and excellent client care. A great solicitor to have on your side.’

Hunt & Coombs LLP

Hunt & Coombs LLP in Peterborough is 'a well-known high street firm that is a market leader in family law in its geographical area and is friendly, approachable and hardworking'. Handling both private and public family law matters, the firm has one of the largest practices in the region. Practice head Farhana Butt 'commands great client loyalty and is always willing to go the extra distance when the pressure is on'. Consultants Denis White and Edward Owen play pivotal roles in the practice, as do associates Hannah Byatt, who is 'great at managing tricky litigants on the other side', and the 'personable and efficient' Louise Ballantyne.

Practice head(s):

Farhana Butt

Other key lawyers:

Denis White; Edward Owen; Hannah Byatt; Louise Ballantyne

Testimonials

‘The firm has long been established as a market leader in family law in its geographical area, and it works hard to continue to maintain that presence and reputation.’

‘Farhana Butt is extremely hardworking, she commands great client loyalty, she is a great communicator and is always willing to put in the hours to go the extra distance at times when the pressure is on. She does not buckle and she fights hard for each client.’

‘I have worked with Louise Ballantyne for many years and she is hardworking, personable, efficient and also a good advocate.’

‘The team is dedicated to the job it does providing a wide range of family law services which are adapted to meet each clients needs. They are friendly, approachable and knowledgeable.’

‘Farhana Butt is able to deal with clients of all backgrounds in a sensitive and compassionate manner whilst also being able to pack a punch in Court or when dealing with opponents.’

‘Hannah Byatt is extremely thorough in her preparation and knowledge of the client and their case. She is sensitive to the client’s needs and gives realistic, proper and well thought through advice.’

‘The family team in Hunt & Coombs are friendly, approachable and there is strength and depth across the team with strong individual practitioners. They are very client-focused and provide a very high quality client service.’

Vardags

Vardags is a nationally renowned matrimonial and family law firm specialising in high-net-worth and complex cases, often with an international element. The firm has grown its office in Cambridge in recent years and now provides a full family law service including advising on pre-nup and post-nup agreements, arbitrations, child arrangements, domestic violence issues and divorce matters. Clients praise the group as 'very approachable, compassionate and understanding, providing sound commercial advice in difficult cases involving corporate assets and international issues'. 'Forceful and hardworking' practice head Silvia Devecchi and associate Isabel Mee are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Silvia Devecchi

Other key lawyers:

Isabel Mee

Testimonials

‘Vardags have been amazing in dealing with my case – I have truly felt that I am with a safe pair of hands where both factual and softer matters are considered so I feel that they truly care and are invested in my case. There have been several times where I have not fully agreed with their advice, but have trusted their experience and professionalism and it has been evidenced that they were right and I was wrong!’

‘Given the emotional and financial stress, it has been really nice to work with Vardags who have been very approachable, compassionate and understanding.’

‘I have interacted with three people from Vardags and they’ve all shared the same traits and values, which is great and, although I hope I will not require their services once my case is favourably concluded, I will surely and comfortably recommend them to others!’

‘The team are incredibly efficient, understanding and helpful. The individuals I have worked with have all shown great professionalism, understanding and are very personable.’

‘The team is forward-looking and innovative in its thinking when approaching cases. The team works collaboratively with other external advisers to ensure the best client outcome. The emphasis is on excellence and the team are always developing knowledge through training and experience. It seems like a very vibrant and positive environment to be part of.’

‘Silvia Devecchi’s energy, tenacity, excellent knowledge and drive is exactly what you want in your corner when going through a relationship breakdown. Her positive attitude stands her apart from peers and gives you comfort that you are in safe hands in what is one of the most challenging times of your life. Isabel Mee’s attention to detail and knowledge of the cases is outstanding and she will undoubtedly rise to be an impeccable lawyer.’

Butcher Andrews

Butcher Andrews in Fakenham has a family law practice that is ‘very friendly, inclusive and easy to talk to, providing jargon-free explanations‘. Julia Buckingham leads the practice, supported by experienced consultant Adney Payne. Both are collaboratively trained and conduct their own advocacy in family court, as does solicitor Kate Jackson. They are able to advise on all aspects of family law including complex financial settlements, nuptial agreements, private law children matters and cases involving unmarried couples.

Practice head(s):

Julia Buckingham

Other key lawyers:

Adney Payne; Kate Jackson

Testimonials

‘Very friendly and inclusive, easy to talk to and jargon-free explanations and presentations.’

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

Praised as 'a great local firm with a loyal local following and a wealth of knowledge', Clapham & Collinge Solicitors supports clients across North Norfolk through its offices in Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham, providing advice on the full range of family law matters. Neale Grearson, who leads the practice from Norwich, provides 'superlative, personal client care and gives really clear advice so clients have their expectations set at a realistic level'. The firm also has strong associates in Caroline Eaton, who is 'very user-friendly and pragmatic', and the 'very helpfulLauren Abbs.

Practice head(s):

Neale Grearson

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Eaton; Lauren Abbs

Testimonials

‘Quickly adopting new technology and ways of interacting with existing and new clients. Lauren Abbs continues to be very helpful.’

‘Neale Grearson is fantastic with clients – he absolutely knows how to get the best out of them and gives really clear advice so the client has their expectations set at a realistic level. He is incredibly kind to the anxious or otherwise vulnerable client and is very responsive, which helps make the daunting prospect of court proceedings feel a bit more bearable and a lot less confusing.’

‘This is a great local firm with various regional offices. They have a loyal local following and a sense of helping their local community.’

‘Neale Grearson gives superlative, personal client care and is very straight about fees. Caroline Eaton is also very user friendly, pragmatic and a good lawyer.’

‘Always prompt with correspondence and have a wealth of knowledge and information, as well as knowing who to access for additional help and support.’

‘Neale Grearson was extremely helpful in my divorce case, having a calm and knowledgeable manner. He also made sure we were well prepared for the case and used a barrister to help with this.’

‘My case was handled by Neale Grearson. He was good at explaining the various stages of proceedings and was realistic about the likely outcomes and expenses.’

Fosters

Fosters in Norwich 'provides an effective and modern approach to legal advice, supporting its clients both practically and sensitively'. Lucy Simpson, who 'gives realistic advice and works hard to achieve a good result', and the 'hardworking and sensibleClare Sharpe are the partners in the practice, which acts for high-net worth individuals in divorce and ancillary relief claims, handles complex private and public law children matters, and represents vulnerable clients including those with serious mental illness and learning disabilities. It also supports victims of domestic violence and assists prospective special guardians including foster carers.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Clare Sharpe

Testimonials

‘Fosters Solicitors adopt a reassuringly personal approach towards their clients making them feel valued, paying attention to detail as well as maintaining an efficient and friendly approach.’

‘We have had close dealings with Lucy Simpson, who has worked tirelessly on our behalf. She is incredibly experienced, whilst acting with extreme empathy. She listens intently and maintains discretion, making her reassuringly trustworthy in such emotive and sensitive situations. Lucy is not only extremely efficient but she is also proactive and excellent at offering guidance/ideas as to how to meet the opposition half way in the least confrontation, but firm way, for the sake of our children’s welfare. Her communication skills have been faultless, and she has explained each stage of our case carefully, so we are all clear on the outcome we are trying to achieve. I would absolutely recommend Lucy to anyone who needs help in family law.’

‘I have had a long family case and Fosters treated me very well. They are thoughtful and helpful. I would recommend them.’

‘The solicitor I used was very calm and gave me sound advice, clearly pointing out my options as well as advising what was going to be the best option for myself and my son. I was made to feel that she genuinely cared about getting the best possible outcome for us both, rather than what was going to be the quickest resolution. She also advised me against things and sent succinct and to the point responses back to my husband.’

‘A really long standing and solid team with different lawyer options and very little turnover. A strong sense of serving the local community and some great client care.’

‘A larger scale high street firm. Very approachable staff. Good customer service.’

‘In general the solicitors and staff at Fosters are very down to earth, approachable and care about client outcomes. Clare Sharpe is very straightforward, efficient and has excellent client care. She has an easy way with clients who trust her and is an asset in case preparation from the perspective of Counsel.’

‘Fosters Family Department provides an effective and modern approach to legal advice, supporting its clients both practically and sensitively. The advice offered is focused and relevant and clear and tailored for the understanding and diverse needs of the clients.’

Spire Solicitors LLP

The family law practice at Spire Solicitors LLP delivers advice through seven offices in Norfolk, giving it a strong base of local clients, which it assists with divorces, pre-nuptial agreements, financial provisions, childcare matters and injunctions. Sarb Gosal, who is an accredited member of Resolution who works across the Dereham, Wymondham and Watton offices, and child care law specialist Richard Bevan in Norwich are the lead partners. Collaboratively trained partner Amanda Maruca, who works in both Norwich and Aylsham, is an advanced member of the Law Society Family Panel and a member of the Good Divorce Group.

Practice head(s):

Sarb Gosal; Richard Bevan

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Maruca

Work highlights

  • Represented the wife in divorce proceedings in which both maintenance and pension claims involved an overseas military pension scheme.
  • Securing a prenuptial agreement for a wife to protect a multi million pound family business and inherited assets.
  • Negotiating a financial settlement for a wife in divorce proceedings to secure a significant Pension Sharing Order to allow the husband, who suffered from ill-health and could no longer work, to remain in the family home.

Steeles Law

Steeles Law is 'high-calibre local firm with compassionate family practitioners who are very swift at dealing with queries'. Vastly experienced solicitor Sally Harris leads the practice and is 'well respected locally as a strong, pragmatic, experienced and client-focused lawyer'. Focused predominantly on financial remedy cases, she is 'calm and collected but also a formidable opponent'. Solicitor Emerald Priscott, who handles divorce, civil-partnership dissolution, family finance and separation disputes joined from Clapham & Collinge Solicitors in late 2020.

Practice head(s):

Sally Harris

Other key lawyers:

Emerald Priscott

Testimonials

‘I have known Sally Harris for many years and she is a safe and sensible pair of hands. You know the clients will be put first. She always listens to her clients and provides calm and pragmatic advice and encourages them to seek a negotiated settlement in a fair and reasonable way. I am pleased when she is on the other side of a case.’

‘The team work with professionalism and discretion and always sensitive with the transfer of information. ’

‘Sally Harris managed my case exceptionally well. It was an extremely difficult case in terms of those we were dealing with on the other side that were deliberately obstructive and very difficult to deal with. Sally, with her professionalism, calm approach and experience enabled my case to make solid progress through the courts where consistency is important.’

‘A high-calibre local firm with few weak links. Strong commercial team supports the family department well and they are well integrated.’

‘Sally Harris is well respected locally as a strong lawyer – pragmatic, experienced and client-focused.’

‘Sally Harris is a highly respected and competent divorce lawyer. Calm and collected but also a formidable opponent.’

Work highlights

  • Instructed in relation to financial matters following failed mediation.
  • Instructed by the wife in relation to her divorce, children, and financial matters.

Tees Law

At Tees Law in Cambridge 'everything is done with transparency and there is complete honesty so that clients are aware of all potential outcomes'. Clients describe 'a solid group of family lawyers who are personable and approachable'. Practice head Clare Pilsworth 'makes clients feel comfortable and provides clear precise direction'. She has a wealth of experience in all areas of family law, is collaboratively trained and is an experienced mediator. She works in close collaboration with the firm's other offices outside East Anglia to handle complex divorce and financial matters.

Practice head(s):

Clare Pilsworth

Testimonials

‘Tees were extremely good to work with as a company as a whole. For somebody like myself who has little to no knowledge on the legal system regarding family matters they were very fast to have me relaxed with completely thorough information. Everything was done with transparency so I always knew exactly what was happening at what time and the next stages, as it were. An extremely good company to be associated with and I would definitely recommend them!’

‘I always felt as though when I was dealing with Tees that my case was top priority. The lengths that in particular Clare Pilsworth went to make me feel comfortable and clear on what was happening made me feel this way. Always contactable with a lovely admin team making everything seamless. Away from the legal obligations they are all just lovely people!’

‘The team are friendly, conscientious and take the time to understand who you are and your requirements. They provide honest advice and feedback which will be in your best interests – even if it’s to advise you against something. They endeavour to always provide good solutions to move forward in the most affordable way. I felt very supported.’

‘Personable and approachable – a solid group of family lawyers.’

‘Clare Pilsworth – a good collaborative family lawyer.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a client on divorce, Children Act and financial proceedings with complexities arising for interrelation with criminal matters and interim funding and taking a creative approach to Children Act matters.
  • Advising a client in relation to a variation of maintenance and financial remedy order due to cohabitation and redundancy.
  • Advising a client on resolving financial matters through a collaborative process.

Barker Gotelee

Barker Gotelee in Ipswich is 'equally strong in both children and financial matters with an excellent knowledge of cases involving overseas elements'. It has a broad client base for matters of divorce, relationship breakdowns, financial settlements, child arrangements and both pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Associate Rory O’Brien leads the practice and is 'an absolute delight to work with - kind, compassionate and always on the ball'. 'Approachable and organised' associate Amanda Erskine is also recommended for her 'knowledge that is second to none'.

Practice head(s):

Rory O’Brien

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Erskine

Testimonials

‘Amanda Erskine was the main lead solicitor in my case and she dealt with everything very professionally. Her knowledge is second to none, and her being a parent as well gives her a good understanding of family situations and what is needed to get the job done for the better of all parties involved.’

‘Amanda Erskine was the solicitor assigned to me to deal with my divorce. I was immediately impressed by Amanda. She was professional, empathic and I knew from my first meeting with her that I was in good hands. Amanda patiently explained things that I did not understand. Amanda and her assistant always responded promptly to emails and phone calls. She dealt with my then spouse and advised me of the best way forward. Amanda made a very awful experience much more bearable and I would have no hesitation in recommended her.’

‘A great family feel throughout the practice. Excellent lawyers with a great way with clients.’

‘Amanda Erskine – approachable and organised.’

‘Rory O’Brien is an absolute delight to work with. Kind, compassionate but also always on the ball and very experienced. Equally strong in both children and financial matters with an excellent knowledge of cases involving overseas elements.’

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell 'responds quickly and efficiently to queries and has a well-respected team with good expertise across the spectrum of family work'. The practice frequently acts for entrepreneurs, landed gentry, senior executives and high-net-worth clients in complex matrimonial and financial matters. Practice head Toby Hales is predominantly based in London, but increasingly spends time in the Cambridge office, as does 'very sympathetic and understanding' senior associate Carmel Brown.

Practice head(s):

Toby Hales

Other key lawyers:

Carmel Brown

Testimonials

‘Transparent regarding various costs and provided comprehensive thorough advice. Responded quickly and efficiently to any queries.’

‘The people I have dealt with have always been very capable.’

‘Very personal approach and happy to go the extra mile.’

‘My dealings with this team were as a private client in a family matter over a period of 2+ years. What stood out was that all members of the team, of all levels, were always fully aware and cognisant of the relevant issues. The period of engagement spanned the pandemic and lockdown but the service received in terms of contact etc was totally unchanged and seamless. I think the strength of this team is that it is exactly that – a team. You never felt dependent upon a single individual.’

‘The main lawyer throughout the two years was Carmel Brown. Our experience of working with her was extremely good. She was very sympathetic and understanding of all the many issues my daughter raised, both over child custody issues and financial issues, but was always constructive and totally realistic in her responses.’

‘Well respected team, good expertise across the spectrum of family work.’