Family in East Midlands
Freeths LLP's high level of family law expertise is reflected by its coverage of a wide range of matters, including divorce, financial applications, pre and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitee disputes, surrogacy and child arrangements. Key clients of the firm include high-net-worth individuals and clients with family-owned limited businesses. The practice works closely with Freeths Platinum Service to offer high-net-worth clients wealth preservation advice. Practice head Rachael Oakes works with Judith Speed, who is 'reliable' and 'very experienced'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Judith Speed is a reliable and experienced pair of hands.’
‘Judith Speed is a very capable, very experienced and accomplished family lawyer and has earned her respect in the market place. She was an opponent in a very difficult financial remedy case and Judith was very clearly in tune with all of her fragile client’s needs. I would not hesitate to recommend Judith Speed.’
‘Judith Speed gives great attention to detail and is a very accomplished financial remedy lawyer.’
John Hooper & Co is a specialist family law practice that handles cases involving divorcing spouses and separating cohabitees, children law matters and financial disputes, among other areas. The team is led by John Hooper, who has 'exceptional knowledge and experience' of matrimonial law. Clients praise the practice for its 'professionalism' and high-quality client service.
Other key lawyers:
‘John has exceptional knowledge and experience in dealing with matrimonial issues. He brings the complicated legal world into plain English, making sure his client fully understands the processes they are going through and guides them to the best possible outcome. Would thoroughly recommend.’
‘There is no doubting the depth of knowledge and practical experience of John Hooper himself and his straight talking approach to both understanding and dealing with all issues discussed.’
‘John Hooper & Co has proved to be the best family law firm I have ever dealt with. The team has provided excellent communication and service through a difficult process. My case has been handled with common sense and professionalism.’
‘John Hooper has provided excellent service and advice through a traumatic situation. He has dealt with my case professionally and with empathy. Good judgement and perseverance has been demonstrated.’
Langleys Solicitors LLP
Langleys Solicitors LLP's family law practice has strong expertise in complex divorce cases involving substantial assets. Typical clients include high-net-worth clients, farming clients and clients with business and property assets. The team also advises on wealth preservation, divorces with an international element and cohabitation disputes. In addition to divorces, the practice focuses on children law (including complex Children Act proceedings) and is regularly instructed by CAFCASS. John Conlon heads up the children team, while Emma Lawler leads the family team. Clients praise Lawler for being 'knowledgeable and patient'.
Other key lawyers:
‘A very personal touch given at all times, excellent customer service and a very quick response to any queries/correspondence.’
‘Emma Lawler was always knowledgeable and patient – whilst being fair and keeping my expectations realistic.’
‘I have been under Emma’s care and guidance for nearly 10 months, and my experiences during this time have been exceptional. The guidance and support provided throughout has been reassuring and as good as I could have asked for. Emma listened to me and I always felt she had my best interests at heart. Nothing ever seemed too much to ask or too much trouble. I could not recommend Emma highly enough.’
Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an experienced family and children law practice, and is noted for its strength in cases with an international element. The family team, which is led by practice head Kelvin Henderson, regularly advises high-net-worth individuals on financial relief cases. Melanie Bridgen, who heads up the children team, is experienced in complex children proceedings; this includes matters concerning international relocation, parental alienation and non-accidental injuries. Senior associate Gareth Protheroe is also recommended.
‘Kelvin Henderson in Nottingham is very highly regarded. A sensible and capable practitioner. Well-liked and respected. He will fight his client’s corner with vigour but is fair and even-handed.’
Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a well-established presence in the family law arena. It demonstrates strong capabilities in complex financial disputes arising from divorces, and also advises on nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements. The practice has a growing presence in advising family businesses. Practice head Katherine Marshall heads up the team in Leicester, while Caroline Elliott leads the Nottingham-based group. Clients describe Elliott as a 'great source of expertise' and praise the team's 'high-quality work'. Sonia Bachu is another key individual.
‘Caroline Elliott was an inspiration and a great source of expertise and wisdom, and provided me with great advice over a long standing and difficult period. Her personal attention to my situation was greatly appreciated. I would recommend her services to anybody requiring legal assistance with issues pertaining to divorce proceedings.’
‘My solicitors were Katherine Marshall and Stephanie Kyriacou, who both addressed my case with such care and attention that I felt reassured every step of the way. They both showed such compassion and care and I really feel went above and beyond to ensure not only that I was successful in my divorce settlement but also that my mental wellbeing was accounted for. I feel very lucky to have had the pleasure of having two great solicitors working on my case.’
‘I have worked with Sonia Bachu for almost five years. Throughout she has demonstrated not just a high standard of expertise and professionalism, but also a high degree of emotional intelligence as we navigate through a difficult and stressful situation. She has always been highly responsive and I have never had to chase her for a response.’
‘The team works harmoniously together, with good infrastructure and support. Response times to emails and calls are good and the approach is friendly yet professional at all levels. Good top tier management with a wealth of knowledge therefore a reputation for high quality work. Always a cohesive presence at networking events.’
Smith Partnership has a leading children law team with a high level of expertise and experience. Practice head Muctar Johal has 'a wealth of expert knowledge' and is frequently involved in high-profile cases. The team handles a wide range of cases, including care and supervision orders, child arrangement orders, as well as cases with a multijurisdictional element. The team works closely with CAFCASS and has a dedicated public child law practice. The firm also has a broader family law practice, which is led by Ruth Jones, who is a member of the Solicitors Family Law Association.
‘Muctar Johal has a wealth of expert knowledge on matters of complexity such as brain injuries through extensive research of medical journals that I believe makes him stand out from other children’s solicitors.’
‘I have worked with Clare Coumo on cases involving older children. Clare Coumo is very good at communicating with competent children. She is also very thorough and attends Court hearings well prepared and has been a very good advocate for older children when I have worked with her.’
‘Such a friendly team – from the receptionist to solicitors. So very supportive, knowledgeable, emphatic and kind. Always a warm welcome and respectful service. Excellent guidance and information throughout the process.’
‘Deepa Tanna was outstanding in getting me through a difficult and exhausting divorce. Her guidance, knowledge and expertise was outstanding. I felt completely supported throughout the process not just legally but emotionally as well. I would recommend her to anyone in the same position.’
‘Communication has been exemplary. Ruth Jones in particular with whom I dealt with was outstanding in terms of her level of knowledge, the law and her honesty about the process and situation.’
Wilkin Chapman LLP
Wilkin Chapman LLP has a wide offering and demonstrates particular strength and expertise in handling financial cases involving complex and high-net-worth financial divorces, divorces with farming assets, and divorces involving businesses and trusts. The team also specialises in dealing with MOD divorce cases and military pensions. Lisa Boileau, who heads up the sizeable team, is an experienced mediator. The group is described by clients as 'friendly' and 'professional', with Boileau being particularly noted for her 'organised and client-focused' approach.
‘They work with the support of a commercial practice and offer a wide ranging service which is extremely professional.’
‘Lisa Boileau is thorough, organised and client focussed.’
‘Wilkin Chapman proved friendly, helpful and informative throughout and conducted everything very professionally.’
‘Lisa Boileau is fantastic, the wording and approach in correspondence politely yet specifically addressed any conflicting aspects within my divorce and she provided great advice and support throughout. Processes and procedures were clearly explained at all stages.’
Banner Jones Solicitors
Banner Jones Solicitors has specialists in both family and care law, and advises clients on matters such as divorce, cohabitation agreements, domestic violence and international care proceedings. Kelly Parks, who leads the family group, specialises in complex divorce and finance cases. Vince Beckworth took over as the head of the care team, following the retirement of former head Helena Downing.
‘They are all extremely competent, always well prepared, very skilled advocates and always prepared to fight for their clients’ case.’
‘They are prepared to pursue a point, even when not supported by colleagues, when they see this as in the interests of the client.’
‘Shetal Gudgeon has a long history of working with women fleeing domestic abuse. We recommend her to our residents because we like the manner and tone of voice she uses when communicating with our women. She makes them feel valued and important. She shows empathy and respect. This is something some of our women have never experienced. Our women need a certain kind of person as they have fled domestic abuse, lost their homes and sometimes children. They have complex needs and are dealing with trauma.’
- Acted on a complex care proceedings case covering the cultural issues surrounding forced marriage and honour-based violence.
- Acted on a complex Children Act case listed for a Final Hearing with two experts giving differing opinions as to the way forward.
- Acted on a financial remedy case where the client’s mental health complicated proceedings resulting in the need for a psychiatric assessment.
Flint Bishop LLP
Flint Bishop LLP focuses on wealth preservation and advises clients with family businesses, farms, international trusts. The team also handles pre- and post-nuptial agreements, dissolution of civil partnerships, and cohabitation disputes. Practice head Kirpal Bidmead specialises in advising on complex financial disputes for high-net-worth clients.
- Negotiating a settlement for a client in a case worth c£10m, including assets held around Europe.
- Drafting a Post Nuptial Settlement designed to protect our client’s assets valued at c£7m.
- Negotiating a divorce settlement which secured our client’s interests in various family Trusts and property in the Isle of Man.
Geldards LLP demonstrates strong expertise in family law and offers clients representation in family mediation, collaborative law and family arbitration. The team focuses on medium to high-net-worth financial remedy cases, particularly those involving businesses, inherited assets and farms. In addition, it specialises in civil partnership breakdowns and private children proceedings. Fiona Apthorpe, who heads up the practice, also acts as a deputy district judge. Clients praise the team for its 'professional' support and describe Apthorpe as 'wise and caring'. Claire Dean is also recommended. Ben Lawson recently joined Family Law Group.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Geldards team have been so incredibly professional and in every way have eased me through the process of my divorce with compassion but appropriate robustness when it has been needed. Everything has been dealt with in a timely fashion and they have given me a great deal of support at appropriate times.’
‘Fiona Apthorpe has been exceptional as the partner dealing with my divorce. She has been a rock of support and her experience and calm advice has made a huge difference at a difficult time. She is professional, quick to respond, calm, wise and caring which has meant that the whole case has been dealt with well. She has been reassuring at the more stressful moments and helped to source excellent external advice when it was needed.’
‘As someone who has had very few dealings with legal firms in the past, Geldards LLP has a great sense of friendly professionalism, tailoring their client interaction appropriately. As you would expect, attention to detail was faultless.’
‘Fiona Apthorpe is determined and ambitious. She has considerable experience and works collaboratively.’
Howes Percival LLP's family practice has a notable multidisciplinary approach, with its specialist practitioners working closely with the estates and private client teams. This allows the family group to advise clients more effectively on wealth preservation and complex financial disputes involving businesses, estates and property assets. The team also handles divorces and civil partnership dissolutions, as well as pension arrangements. Justine Flack leads the Leicester-based team.
‘Howes Percival is a very professional yet friendly family team. They work very hard for their clients and give practical, sensible advice.’
‘Alishia Marrocco is a pleasure to work with. She is proactive, approachable and excellent with clients.’
‘Justine Flack is excellent.’
Rotheras displays a high level of expertise in dealing with financial settlements and private children issues. Qualified collaborative practitioner Paul Cobb is experienced in acting for high-net-worth individuals and cohabiting couples. Ann-Marie Bowman, who co-heads the practice with Cobb, focuses on public law and children law matters. Bowman acts in various types of cases before the High Court, including Hague Convention matters, Special Guardianship matters and cases with an international element. A growing specialism for the firm concerns advice to clients undergoing transgender-realignment surgery. Joanne Millward and Sally Hartland are also noted.
‘Sensitive and attentive yet calm and considered under pressure. Good systems and processes.’
‘Attentive and responsive. Understated presence who changed approach when appropriate to get to the best client outcome.’
Woolley & Co, Solicitors
Woolley & Co, Solicitors is a specialist family law firm with locations in Derby and Northampton. The firm operates exclusively in family law and the practice is split up in the following areas: marriage, civil partnerships, divorce and separation, cohabitation, financial settlements, children and parents. Andrew Robotham and Kate Butler are individuals to note.
Knights plc has a sizeable family law team, which advises on children agreements in relationship breakdowns, cohabiting couples and living agreements, divorce and dissolution, finance in divorce, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and separation agreements. Key individuals include Swati Somaiya and Martin Ridings.
Sills & Betteridge LLP has a sizeable practice, which focuses on four key areas. John Mitchell, who leads the matrimonial and finances group, handles both divorce and financial cases involving trusts, pensions and farming businesses. An emergency work team, which is led by Chrystal Theofanous, is active in national and international child abduction and domestic abuse cases. Elsewhere, Mo Hayes heads up the care group, which handles complex regional and multijurisdictional work. Helen Derry, who leads the mediation team, is also the head of the overall family practice.
Representing Appellant mother in Court of Appeal C(A Child)(Interim Separation)  EWCA Civ 1998
Representing Father in Royal Courts of Justice MC  EWHC 3662 (Fam)
Representing Appellant mother in Court of Appeal G(Children: Fair Hearing)  EWCA Civ 126
Representing Mother in the Court of Appeal Y and E (children sexual abuse allegations)  EWCA Civ 206
Representing Mother in the High Court Z and Y  EWCH 2255 (Fam)
- Representing applicant wife in financial proceedings in the Family Court in the East Midlands. Husband has partnership in extensive farming business. Case involves analysis of settlement trusts, inherited wealth, wider access to family wealth and judicial encouragement.
Stowe Family Law LLP
Stowe Family Law LLP's family law expertise is reflected by its involvement in a wide range of matters. The group frequently works on cases with an international element and has been growing its presence in nuptial agreements. Practice head Sushma Kotecha leads the 'friendly' and 'professional' team. Also noted is Maria Coster, who is an 'intelligent and pragmatic' lawyer.
Other key lawyers:
‘Maria Coster is an intelligent and pragmatic lawyer. She works hard for her clients. Most importantly she is a pleasure to deal with. I would recommend a client to her without hesitation and I don’t say that about many competitors.’
‘The team are friendly, listen and hear what I have to say as a client. As a team they ensure I have all information for my case as well as some of the administration clarities. They are all extremely professional.’
‘I work with Sushma Kotetcha – professional, considerate and demonstrable compassion. She is different as she is genuinely interested in my case and is proactive to support me. I value the professionalism, listening and interest demonstrated during my appointments. She goes above and beyond to ensure I am fully briefed and updated.’
- Instructed on behalf of respondent father in April 2019 to re-instate time with him and two children, after false allegations made against him regarding mental health and alcohol issues.
- Contested divorce proceedings as the husband did not want to proceed with the divorce based upon her unreasonable behaviour; for cultural and religious purposes it was important to him that there was an admission or a finding of adultery.
- Financial remedy proceedings: with an extensive residential and commercial property portfolio in the UK and abroad.
Wilson Browne Solicitors
The 'friendly and helpful' family law team at Wilson Browne Solicitors offers high-quality advice to clients on relationship breakdowns and financial disputes. In addition, the team has a niche specialism in fertility law and surrogacy, which is led by practice head Sally Robinson . Clients describe Robinson as 'professional and experienced', with a 'sensible and pragmatic' approach.
‘I found Wilson Browne Solicitors team very friendly and helpful and they were always willing to help as much as they could.’
‘Wilson Browne LLP has a number of excellent, committed and caring lawyers who are very knowledgeable and experienced within the private client sector. Clients are well advised and valuable time is spent with them ahead of a hearing in order to ensure that they are prepared and confident. This is of great assistance to Counsel.’
‘Sally Robinson is an experienced and professional partner at the firm. She goes above and beyond to ensure that clear and cogent advice is given to each of her clients. Sally Robinson is very approachable and responds quickly to any queries raised in advance of or even on the day of the hearing; she is able to respond to any issues in a sensible and pragmatic way. As an advocate, I always look forward to receiving instructions from Sally Robinson as they are well-organised, detailed and provided in good time ahead of a hearing.’
‘Wilson Browne are an excellent, efficient and client-focused firm of solicitors. They are experts in their respective fields and give sound, comprehensive advice. Bundles are always delivered in advance and they have excellent communication with counsel.’
Gateley Plc has a 'very capable' and 'friendly' family law practice that covers a broad cross-section of matters, including divorce, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, family businesses and offshore financial structures. As a member of the Camelot panel of advisers, the team acts for lottery winners. Also notable is that ITV is another key client. Jane Cowley, who leads the practice, gives 'sound advice in a supportive and sympathetic way'.
‘Friendly, capable and always willing to help.’
‘Technically very capable, and most importantly proactive.’
‘In Jane’s absence, the team was always prompt and accurate in its cover arrangements.’
‘Jane Cowley consistently gave sound advice in a supportive and sympathetic way, but at the same time taking a rational approach to a very emotive conflict.’
Roythornes Solicitors specialises in advising clients on agricultural-related matters. The family law team frequently handles high-value cases involving farming assets and businesses. The team handles both matrimonial cases and Children Act proceedings. Nick Ingrey, who leads the team, is 'an outstanding communicator'.
‘Roythornes’ uniqueness is in its attention to detail, thoroughness and fairness, however long the process takes. Their strength is their teamwork, and a key capability is leaving no stone unturned. Everyone I dealt with always made me feel valued, respected and reassured.’
‘Nick Ingrey was highly professional, outstanding communicator, supportive and understanding.‘
‘Roythornes Solicitors handled my recent divorce case. From the moment I instructed them I had no doubts about their integrity. Their communication was excellent, effortless, efficient with an ability to quell anxiety and worry through a very difficult time. Teamwork was excellent throughout. I am hugely satisfied with their work.’