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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 > London > Private client > Family > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is headed by the ‘calm and fiercely intelligent’ Sarah Higgins. William Longrigg  has a ‘very high profile in the international family law world and attracts some very large cases’. James Freeman  ‘fights his clients’ cases with skill and expertise and is totally solution-focused’. Miranda Fisher  acts for HNWIs from overseas as well as a number of Premiership footballers. The ‘very calm' James Riby has a ’good head for figures’. Sarah Anticoni has a ‘great reputation’ and the ‘dynamic and clever’ Jamie Kennaugh is a newly promoted partner. Senior associate Joshua Green  is ‘extremely hardworking and is a rising star’. The team has particular expertise in the sports and media sectors and regularly acts for actors, musicians and other media and sports stars. Victoria Francis has left the firm.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Vardags

Having initially trained as a Magic Circle corporate solicitor and a barrister, Ayesha was determined to bring blue-chip, City quality to the moribund area of family law. In 2005, she founded Vardags as a sole practitioner, combining razor-sharp expertise on complex financial matters with the empathy and common sense afforded by her own experience of divorce. A landmark Supreme Court win in the case of Radmacher v Granatino, which made prenuptial agreements legally enforceable in the UK, cemented Vardags’ status as a game changer in matrimonial law.

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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

Hughes Fowler Carruthers was established in July 2001. The firm is led by Frances Hughes, who has been consistently rated as a leading individual in this publication over many years. All partners are internationally acclaimed for the exceptional standard of their work. The other partners are Pauline Fowler, Alex Carruthers, Mark Harper, Renato Labi, Caroline Park and Bryan Jones. All the partners share a considerable breadth of experience which enables them to offer a wide range of skills from skilful negotiation to complex litigation to suit the individual demands of each client.

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Dawson Cornwell is a ‘leader in the field of international children’s law offering a bespoke service to clients from all walks of life in many different countries who want the best legal representation and support’. Anne-Marie Hutchinson has a ‘stellar reputation’ particularly in the field of child abduction. It also has ‘some excellent practitioners in the area of matrimonial finance’. The ‘excellent’ Kate Allen  has ‘impeccable judgement’ and Russell Bywater  ‘passionately fights his clients’ corner’. Zoe Fleetwood ‘strives hard to achieve the right outcome and to ensure that the client gets the best care’. Charlotte Conner is also ‘very supportive of her clients’. The team has a number of ‘first-class younger lawyers who are also beginning to make their mark’ among them senior associate Colin Rogerson who is an ‘unsung hero both domestically and internationally’ particularly in the area of surrogacy, parentage and assisted reproduction. Jessica Reid has an ‘excellent manner with clients’. The ‘diligent’ James Netto has a ‘wide breadth of experience in child abduction’ and Caroline Korah  ‘works tirelessly for her clients providing practical and supportive legal advice’.

Farrer & Co has a ‘well-established and extraordinarily talented team that offers a high-class service in both family finance and children work’. Its practitioners receive a lot of praise. Simon Bruce  has a ‘genuinely global reputation with effortless charm, vast experience and acute understanding of what the client wants and expects’. The ‘very knowledgeable and dedicated’ William Massey  is also recommended, as is Mark Fenton for financial remedy work; 'he gives sensible advice and can pull out all the stops if needs be’. The ‘immensely able’ Caroline Holley  has a ‘very incisive mind’ and Eliza Hebditch  has a ‘dedication and commitment to her clients’ cases that is simply extraordinary’. The ‘phenomenally impressive’ Claire Gordon has a ‘really analytical mind that is combined with exceptional client focus’. Other key figures include Richard Parry, who specialises in family law and contentious trust matters, Jeremy Posnansky, the ‘bright and thorough’ Sarah Hutchinson and 'fast-thinking' Nicholas Bennett. The department is recommended for high-value, complex and international cases involving substantial assets.

Hughes Fowler Carruthers is the ‘premier boutique divorce firm in London’. Frances Hughes is ‘one of a small group of practitioners who has been conducting and shaping all the leading cases for a generation. She is clear-sighted and very tactically astute’. Pauline Fowler is 'the grand dame of the matrimonial world’. The ‘calm and reassuring’Alex Carruthers ‘never gets flustered and always gets it right’. Mark Harper is ‘magisterial in managing a team on a big case and is unrivalled on trust issues. He is an exceptional and a fearless litigator’. The ‘outstanding’ Renato Labi ‘listens well and has the ability to acknowledge the emotional factors whilst targeting the pertinent issues’. Caroline Park is ‘forensic on detail while never losing sight of priorities’. It remains a firm of choice where there is huge money involved especially for prenuptial and post nuptial agreements frequently with cross-jurisdictional aspects.

Mishcon de Reya LLP  is one of the ‘most effective firms for high-profile financial remedy litigation and in all areas of private family work’. The ‘exceptional’ Sandra Davis is ‘extremely personable, astute and unflappable. She is determined and brings a great deal of experience and skill to her cases’. Barbara Reeves and legal director Miles Geffin  are ‘hugely experienced solicitors with highly tuned client-care skills’. Melissa Lesson  is ‘wonderfully calm and urbane, with an efficient and unflappable manner’. Legal director Claire Yorke  is ‘resilient, exceptionally diligent and solution-driven’. Managing associate Emma Willing has the ‘case facts at her fingers and can immediately see the right solution’. The practice frequently acts in ultra-high-net-worth cases with an international element involving complex tax and trust issues as well as substantial business assets and partnerships.

Payne Hicks Beach ‘occupies a favoured position in the pantheon of private client firms offering a sophisticated and refined level of service in the most high-profile cases’. Ian Airey  is ‘hugely respected’ and Fiona Shackleton  is ‘probably the most celebrated family lawyer of her generation. She has unsurpassable client care skills and a sixth sense at sorting out cases’. Philip McGuirk is a ‘bright and engaging lawyer who knows the law inside out’ and Matthew Booth is a ‘very safe pair of hands indeed’. Simon Beccle has an ‘extraordinarily impressive case load. He is one of the very few family finance solicitors to have appeared in both the House of Lords and the Supreme Court’. Consultant Fiona Brown is a ‘superb forensic sleuth’. Newly promoted partner Ben Parry-Smith  is ‘supremely competent and gifted at negotiation’. It is recommended for its skill at advising on all aspects of family and matrimonial law.

Stephen Foster at Stewarts Law LLP is an ‘excellent team leader who has pulled together a fabulous team that continues to go from strength to strength’. Foster’s clients are figures from the City and entrepreneurs and many of his cases have an international dimension. Emma Hatley  is described as being ‘in a league of her own. She is a tenacious litigator- calm and measured as well as a real fighter with grit if necessary. She is destined for the top’. Matthew Humphries is an ‘excellent all-round lawyer with a great brain’. Also recommended are Debbie Chism (brings a vast store of experience to all her clients and is completely unflappable’), Richard Hogwood (‘frighteningly efficient’)  and Sam Longworth. Toby Atkinson  ‘strives to achieve a peaceful resolution if there is one to be found whilst preparing to fight if required. His advice is thoughtful and measured and his judgement is sound’. Helen Ward  is ‘superb in every way’. Other key members of the eight-partner practice include newly promoted partner Carly Kinch.

Withers LLP  is ‘absolutely first-class with star individuals at every level from senior partners through to associates. It is a firm that knows exactly what it is doing and always delivers’. The ‘excellent and hardworking’ Suzanne Todd heads the practice and spans complex international financial remedy work through to private international child and family matters. The ‘strategic and pragmatic’ Julian Lipson is also recommended, as is Diana Parker, who is ‘a fighter with clairvoyant abilities’. Michael Gouriet  provides ‘wise and considered advice with a perfect bedside manner’. Claire Blakemore  ‘combines professionalism with being very commercial, responsive and also entirely empathetic in difficult times of divorce’. Suzanne Kingston is ‘highly skilled’. Special Counsel Laura Winterbottom  and associate Adele Pledger  are also singled out. The firm fields a large team of family and divorce lawyers that is well –equipped to handle the most complex international cases.

Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP  is a boutique family law firm with extensive expertise in children work and high-value financial litigation often with cross-border elements. It also has strong mediation and collaborative law expertise. Susan Philipps  is an ‘outstanding lawyer with a phenomenal reputation with cases and clients that are the envy of most’. Tom Amlot  has ‘the confidence that comes from being utterly on top of your game’. William Healing  has ‘built up an excellent knowledge of private international law within the EU so far as it relates to divorce, children and finances. He is a fluent French speaker who has acquired an enviable client base among London’s French-speaking community’. Emma Harte has a ‘good way with clients’ and Sara Hannell is a ‘very intelligent and insightful lawyer’. Katie Longmate  is a ‘very effective family lawyer’. Douglas Alexiou  is well respected as a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.

Family Law in Partnership Ltd  has an ‘excellent team of family lawyers who really try to seek solutions rather than litigating for litigation’s sake’. The ‘incredibly impressive’ Gillian Bishop  is a ‘very experienced family lawyer who is utterly dedicated to helping her clients through a divorce without destroying their family relationships’. David Allison  adopts a ‘really constructive and co-operative approach’ and James Pirrie  is a ‘fantastically persuasive advocate’. The ‘very able’ Bradley Williams  is a ‘star who is outcome focused; he stays calm under pressure and works tirelessly to achieve the right outcome’. Daniel Coombes  ‘makes it his business to know every detail in every one of his cases. He is extremely well prepared and meticulous’. The ‘brilliant’ Elizabeth Fletcher  ‘really knows her stuff and looks after her clients exceptionally well’ and the ‘very pragmatic’ Helen Greenfield ‘rolls up her sleeves to get things done’. The ‘calm’ Pamela Collis  is praised for her ‘impeccable response times’.

Freemans Solicitors has a strong reputation for handling international child abduction and other cross-border matters such as enforcement under the Brussels 11 Revised Regulation. Team head Nina Hansen  has ‘reached the top of her upward trajectory in the field of international children’s cases; she is equally at ease representing HNW individuals as well as damaged children’. Laura Coyle  is ‘child focused, pragmatic and forensically analytical all combined with a dose of common sense’. Newly promoted partner Hilka Hollmann  is highly recommended for international adoption – ‘what she doesn’t know about this subject isn’t worth knowing’. Mark Kosmin  is ‘excellent on detail and keeping to deadlines; he is not the kind of solicitor to miss something important’.

Goodman Ray  is a ‘leading firm in the area of children’s law with a wealth of excellent lawyers who have particular expertise in same sex relationship breakdown and fertility law’. Kevin Skinner  has particular expertise in alternative family structures; ‘he is able to provide clarity in what is often a complex and opaque area of law and is very much in demand’. Jemma Dally  ‘goes beyond the call of duty to ensure that her clients receive an excellent service’. Peggy Ray  ‘remains at the top of her game and pulls in extremely interesting and complex cases’. Other standout individuals include Trudi Featherstone, who handles a significant amount of financial and Schedule One work and ‘has a fantastic manner with clients’. Consultant Ann Thompson  is ‘vastly experienced in international children law - a steely fighter and a master strategist’. Janet Broadley (also a consultant) is ‘extremely experienced in international children work; she has a real eye for detail and a calm and reassuring manner’. Senior associate Emma Sherrington  ‘knows how to build a winning case’.

Hunters incorporating May, May & Merrimans  has a ‘calm team that provides intelligent and cost-effective advice – in a word it is ‘classy’. It is attentive to the clients’ needs whilst giving them robust and sensible advice’. Henry Hood heads the department, which includes the ‘tactically superb’ Richard Kershaw, who is a ‘force to be reckoned with’. Hetty Gleave  is ‘charming, efficient and a very strong lawyer’ and Jo Carr-West 'leaves no stone unturned; she has a great eye for detail and approaches each case with sensitivity’. Hazel Wright  is ‘sympathetic and a wonderful mediator’. The team is ‘strong’ across the board and is regularly involved in high-value financial cases and complex children work. Senior associate Amy Scollan  is a ‘rising star of the future – she is clever and extremely thorough’.

Kingsley Napley LLP is a ‘stellar firm with well-regarded partners and associates alike. It is known for being very experienced in both finance and children cases. The firm as a whole provides a Rolls Royce service’. It has particular expertise in cases with an international/jurisdictional element. Charlotte Bradley  is a ‘superb figurehead with an excellent grasp of the law’. Michael Rowlands  is a ‘champion for the client – he will relentlessly pursue the best possible result for his client’. Jane Keir  is an ‘outstanding lawyer’ and Rachel Freeman  is ‘extremely conscientious with impeccable judgement’. Senior associate Abby Buckland  is one of the ‘firm’s many rising stars with exceptional judgement’. Stacey Nevin has ‘client care that is second to none’. Alexandra Bishop  is ‘incredibly diligent and misses nothing’ –both are associates. Claire Wood recently left to join Rayden Solicitors  and the ‘highly regarded’ Sital Fontenelle  joined the team from Irwin Mitchell.

Levison Meltzer Pigott is a ‘brilliant boutique law firm with an excellent reputation. It provides top quality advice and excellent value for money’. Simon Pigott is particularly good on complex finance cases and ‘is very focused on helping couples to find solutions- he is the elder statesman. Few have the combination of so many years of legal practice and so many years as a mediator. He is gentle but can be very tough as necessary’. The ‘top class’ Julian Ribet  is ‘a great tactician’. Alistair Myles  has the ‘deft touch and doesn’t allow opposing solicitors to rile him, remaining calm and focused on his clients’ interests’. Jeremy Levison has ‘so much experience that he always starts at an advantage to his opponents’ and Alison Hayes’ ‘dedication to her clients seems boundless. She is fantastically thorough and a team player through and through’.

At Penningtons Manches LLP James Stewart  is ‘renowned for tricky international cases’ and Anna Worwood  is ‘one of the go-to lawyers for complex children disputes’. Jane Craig  heads the team, which has ‘fantastic strength and depth not only in the partners but also the associates. Every case is well managed at the practice’. Gillian Rivers  is ‘technically superb’ for both financial remedy and children cases. Rivers ‘combines charm and an ability to reach favourable settlements for her clients with a willingness to litigate forcefully on their behalf when necessary’. Rebecca Carlyon is skilled on advising on both financial and children issues that arise on relationship breakdown. The team has been expanding. The ‘outstanding’ Linzi Bull recently joined the team from Harbottle & Lewis LLP  and is known for her ‘good people skills. She is a first-class case runner'. Edward Floyd  was promoted to partner.

Russell-Cooke LLP  is an ‘excellent firm with many experienced practitioners who really understand the law’. The ‘calm and technically creative’James Carroll  is a ‘star’. The ‘clever, insightful and empathetic’ Fiona Read ‘brings her years of experience as a deputy district judge to her cases to really good effect’. They both have ‘the ability to digest complex information swiftly and economically and have their clients’ best interests at heart’. Samantha Little  is a ‘brilliant’ children’s lawyer whose ‘knowledge is second to none’. The ‘bright’ Kate Hamilton  is ‘always looking for creative and constructive ways to resolve issues’. For financial cases Camilla Thornton  is ‘able to get to grips with complicated financial arrangements’. Sarah Richardson is a ‘superlative strategist who always goes the extra mile for vulnerable clients’. Senior associate Anna Keat  is ‘one of the hidden gems in family law’.

The International Family Law Group LLP  is a ‘go to’ firm for cases with an international element. The team really puts clients at ease and provides solid legal advice and assistance’.Ann Thomas  is ‘highly recommended’ for her work in children and relocation cases and Helen Blackburn  is also regarded as being ‘top of the field’ in international child abduction. Blackburn ‘is caring and tenacious and knows every important detail of her cases’. David Hodson  is ‘very sharp, very reliable and very helpful. If anyone can get a case to settlement he can’. Lucy Greenwood  is ‘accurate, commercial and fast’ and Lucy Loizou combines ‘international knowledge of different laws with excellent clients care’. The firm looks after international and national families and is equally respected for its work in financial and children’s matters relating to relationship breakdown.

Vardags  ‘will fight your case all the way and stop at nothing to win. The advice and level of service it offers is unparalleled’. The team is headed by the 'excellent' Ayesha Vardag and includes Catherine Thomas, who is praised for her ‘remarkable intellect, formidable legal prowess and client care that is out of the movies’. Georgina Hamblin  is a ‘wonderful lawyer who always goes the extra mile for her clients’ and the ‘very personable and knowledgeable’ Kelly Edwards  has a ‘vast array of experience to call upon’. It has a ‘truly excellent team of junior solicitors’ including senior associate Cate Maguire  who is also ‘absolutely excellent’ and Sophie Cantillon who has ‘excellent knowledge of the law and takes command of the situation’. The firm specialises in high-net-worth and complex cases often with an international dimension.

Wedlake Bell LLP  has a ‘strong team of fee earners possessed of the highest calibre of legal knowledge'. The ‘hugely experienced and knowledgeable’Charmaine Hast heads the team and is ‘never phased by anything and has seen it all before’. Conrad Adam is particularly adept at dealing with complex financial cases. Senior associate Trisha Siddique  is ‘committed to her clients, is great at drafting, pragmatic and resolute and feisty when called for’.

Anthony Gold  has a ‘first-rate team that provides exceptional client care in a friendly and industrious atmosphere’. David Emmerson is ‘entirely sensitive to the fact that in family law, the relationships often have to continue when the lawyers leave’. Kim Beatson  is ‘vastly experienced not only as a practitioner but also as a mediator’. The team is well equipped to handle the full array of matrimonial work such as children matters and prenuptial agreements for clients including high-net-worth individuals and alternative families. It places a strong emphasis on alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

The ‘excellent’ Amy Rowe  heads the team at Bindmans LLP, which is ‘one of the leading children firms in London and is noted for is international work’. Rowe is ‘thorough, incisive and brilliantly prepared. Her knowledge of international children disputes is outstanding’. Associate Olivia Piercy is ‘very committed to each client and has boundless energy’. Solicitors Jamie Phillips  and Tracey Ann Mason are both ‘knowledgeable ‘. The team’s matrimonial practice is flourishing with an increasing number of high-net-worth cases with a complex cross-border dimension.

Boodle Hatfield LLP  has an ‘excellent reputation which it can live up to. It is a top player in matrimonial finance’. It is led by James Ferguson  who is ‘superb with clients, cool-headed and a supreme strategist’. Emily Brand  is ‘highly experienced. She is very supportive of her clients alongside having superb technical skills’. It is the ‘quality of its junior solicitors which partly sets the firm apart’. Alexandra Hirst  has ‘amazing attention to detail and is one of the most dedicated associates around’. Harriet Errington  is ‘engaging and very effective’ and Katie O’Callaghan  is ‘capable of running complex cases on her own’. The team is also skilled at advising clients on cross-border children disputes as well as other issues such as child abduction.

Bross Bennett has ‘a number of high-calibre lawyers who provide an excellent service at more reasonable non-‘City’ rates’. Sharon Bennett  is a ‘star at dealing with complicated cases without charging the earth’ and Ruth Bross  ‘understands her clients’ needs’. Anna Wagstaff  is ‘sympathetic but fair’ and Adam Witkover  has a ‘keen eye for seeing the wood from the trees’. The ‘incredibly hardworking’ Simon Lim  ‘sorts things out’. The practice handles the full range of family issues from complex financial disputes to problems concerning children.

Camilla Baldwin  provides a ‘high-quality bespoke service’. Camilla Baldwin  ‘has a wealth of experience and gets to the heart of the matter very quickly’. Newly promoted partner Emma Percy  is ‘extremely hardworking and is all over her cases. Her commitment to her clients and cases is extraordinary’. The firm specialises in all areas of privately funded family and matrimonial work.

Clintons ‘punches well above its weight when dealing with high-value cases’. Liz Vernon  is ‘very hardworking and does everything that she can to further her clients’ cases. She knows the law inside out and shows great attention to detail’.The team is ‘not overly aggressive but is tenacious and very effective even in the most difficult cases’. Patrick Kearns, Paul Newton and Maggie Rae joined Newton Kearns LLP.

Collyer Bristow LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’. Team head Toby Yerburgh  ‘really gets to grips with the most complicated of facts and does so in a calm and supportive way’. Michael Drake  provides ‘clear and helpful advice at every stage’ and Philippa Dolan  ‘continues to operate at the very top level of family lawyers’ particularly on prenuptial agreements. Senior associate Mark Harrop  is ‘bright and forward thinking and is committed to finding the best resolution for his clients’. Susan Breen is now at NGA Law .

Forsters LLP's Joanne Edwards is a ‘tireless campaigner who leaves no stone unturned to get the best for her clients. She is the doyenne of the family law world and is a real leader in finding less confrontational routes to solutions whilst retaining a steely core’. Rosie Schumm is ‘calm and empathetic’. Senior associate Amanda Sandys is ‘one of the future stars of the family legal profession. She is very quick to grasp the nub of a case’. Dickon Ceadel  is a ‘very bright associate who is on the road to partnership’. Edwards is skilled at advising on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown and at resolving issues about arrangements for children including the relocation of children. She has extensive experience of advising on multimillion pound pre-nuptial agreements. Schumm specialises in advising wealthy clients on complex divorce and financial matters including those relating to children. She is also attracting clients with complex international surrogacy requirements.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP is a ‘very high-performing central London family law team with a top class client base and first-rate lawyers’. Catherine Bedford, Nicholas Westley  and Mark Irving  are all ‘big hitters who have a steely determination in terms of getting the best results for their clients’. Tom Farley-Hills is ‘incredibly good at spotting the strengths and weaknesses in a case from the beginning and his client care is fantastic’. Associate Lidia Cantele is ‘dogged and determined but hides this behind a beguiling and friendly approach’. The team is best known for representing wealthy clients who have public profiles to protect. Linzi Bull recently moved to Penningtons Manches LLP .

The team at Harcus Sinclair LLP provides a ‘personal service’. Head of department Kathryn Peat is described as ‘as one of the best family lawyers currently working. She is great with clients and her letters win cases in themselves’. Consultant Roger Cobden-Ramsay  has ‘years of experience, sound judgement and practical common sense’. Associate Beth Mason  ‘deals very well with complex cases and does not lose sight of the bigger picture’. The group is well regarded for its work with high-net-worth individuals with a range of business and trust assets in various countries in addition to its work in private children matters.

Ketley Miller Joels Ltd  acts for high-net-worth clients in financial remedy matters and in complex private children matters. Clayton Miller ‘leads by example and delivers clear and precise advice’. Philip Cooper  ‘knows exactly what he wants out of a case at the outset and knows how to get it’.

Miles & Partners LLP is a ‘strong firm that is doing good quality work with professionalism and sensitivity’. Members of the ‘impressive team’ include Michelle Uppal  who ‘provides an effective, solution-focused and ethical service to clients’. Amanda Dench specialises in international children matters and 'is good at finding solutions’. The ‘extremely experienced and knowledgeable’ Kate Hammond  and David Jockelson  are ‘heroes in the public law children sphere’. Solicitor Stephen Talbot  who focuses on finance cases and children matters is ‘very bright and technically able’.

Miles Preston & Co  has a ‘good reputation for achieving sensible and effective outcomes’. Julia Stanczyk  is a ‘strong opponent who can keep the other side in check and has a great client manner’. Both Stancyk and Harriett Wait ‘get great results’ and Wait ‘never misses a trick’. The team is skilled at advising on the full array of family law matters from arrangements for children (including leave to remove/international relocation) to divorce, relationship breakdown and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

Mills & Reeve LLP  is ‘an excellent firm and its standard of client care is extremely high’. Joanna Grandfield is ‘is pragmatic, hardworking and constructive in her approach to resolving difficult cases’. Senior associate Tim Whitney ‘very clever and very committed’ and associate Eleanor Lowes has a ‘very bright future’. The team is particularly well-equipped to handle complex financial cases that involve corporate and offshore structures.

Osbornes  ‘feels like a local firm but with a ‘Big City’ reach’. Mark Freedman ‘is a real heavyweight litigator who has dealt with some very significant cases. He boxes clever, keeps his powder dry and when it comes to the end game he negotiates a really good deal’. Freedman has a specific focus on high-net-worth divorces and finance cases where there are overseas assets and trusts. The ‘very personable and client-focused’ Lisa Pepper  and the ‘quick-thinking’ Bridget Thomspon  (who is intelligent and pragmatic’) are also recommended, as are Naomi Angell, who is a ‘leading name’ in international adoption and newly promoted partner Joanne Wescott, who is a ‘very approachable and sensible opponent’.

Sears Tooth has a well-regarded team that specialises in high-net-worth and complex financial disputes. It also has considerable expertise in children matters and is adept at advising on international relocation applications, the provision for children with medical needs as well as other issues such as financial arrangements for an unmarried partner. Raymond Tooth  andSusan Apthorp  are recommended.

Alison Leivesley  leads a team at TV Edwards LLP  that includes Maud Davis, who is ‘totally committed, dedicated and exceptional at representing children’, and Forum Shah, who is 'streets ahead of others particularly in relation to child abduction’. Hannah Perry  is also recommended. Under the management of Emma Bailie  the ‘family finance team is going from strength to strength’.

Vaitilingam Kay  is a boutique practice with a 'standout level of service' in both children and financial matters. 'It deals with the most high value and complex cases with ease’. Joe Vaitilingam  ‘combines great charm and tenacity. He knows when to fight a case and when to settle’. Anne Kay  is ‘incredibly able and enormously empathetic’.

Bishop & Sewell LLP  has ‘very experienced partners with proven expertise’ in both finance and children cases. The ‘vastly experienced’ Michael Gillman  heads the practice, which includes Philip Rutter, who has ‘impeccable judgement’ and consultant Eileen Pembridge, who is ‘hugely experienced’.

At Burges Salmon LLP the ‘extremely bright’ Sarah Hoskinson  is ‘committed to resolving her cases as constructively as possible but is not afraid of the fight’. Consultant Alison Hawes  has ‘huge experience and sound judgement’.

At Burgess Mee Family Law the ‘outstanding’ Peter Burgess  ‘combines common sense with sound legal knowledge. He is strategic and knows which battles to fight and when to look for a pragmatic concession’. Antonia Mee  ‘really fights her clients’ corner’. Together they make a ‘great team’ for all aspects of divorce and separation.

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates has a ‘wide breadth of lawyers at different levels of seniority who are all client-focused and experienced’. Sabrina Mackay  is ‘unrivalled in terms of her knowledge of child protection’. Abbie Huxley  has a ‘flawless memory’ and Catriona Allan  is ‘fearless – she will not leave any issues until they have been dealt with’. Antony Wilkinson  ‘manages clients with mental health difficulties very well’.

Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui at DWFM Beckman  is ‘highly knowledgeable and is driven by a painstaking passion for excellence’. Her team is ‘small but agile and packs a real punch’. The group has particular expertise in complex and substantial cases with an international dimension.

Key figures at Gordon Dadds LLP include John Burrell; the ‘highly effective, calm and extraordinarily reassuring’ David Ruck, who has particular expertise in private children work; consultant Yael Selig, who is ‘commercial and charismatic’; and associate  Emma Morris, who is 'extremely experienced and an exemplary tactician’.

Jacqueline Major  leads a team at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP  that is ‘particularly known for its very high levels of client service’. Deborah Johnson  ‘just really wants to help people’ and Jeetesh Patel is ‘very committed to his clients’. Bharti Shah  is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and thoroughly hardworking’. The team focuses on both private and public work.

Howard Kennedy LLP  fields a ‘high-quality team that cares about its clients’. Lois Langton  (who is ‘likeable, smart and a strong litigator’) advises on all aspects of family law and child related work including adoption and surrogacy. Alan Kaufman  is a ‘master in his field, excellent with clients and a fine negotiator’.

Irwin Mitchell  is a ‘very professional and efficient organisation from senior partner to its assistants’. National head of the team is Ros Bever and senior associate Carmel Brown  is ‘absolutely excellent’. The team is equally adept at acting in both complex children and financial remedy cases often with a cross-jurisdictional dimension. Elizabeth Hicks joined Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

Michael Pulford  at Pinsent Masons LLP  is ‘blessed with a litigator’s head and instincts and knows where the strengths and weaknesses of his clients’ cases lie’. Kate Francis ‘leaves no stone unturned’ and Sarah Ingram  ‘handles litigation with great aplomb’ –both are senior associates. The team has a particular niche in Russian and Middle Eastern work.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur  fields a team that is ‘very hot on procedure, legal principles and running cases effectively in a cost effective way’. Caroline Penfold  heads up a ‘strong team’. Penfold is ‘completely on top of the detail of the case’. Newly-promoted partnerCarina Smith  ‘is not only superbly knowledgeable but she also possesses a great balance between complete professionalism and a caring attitude’. Consultant Christopher Butler  is also recommended. It is ‘building a reputation based on sound advice and hard work’ and is attracting good quality family finance and children work.

Schillings attracts praise for its ‘incredibly warm and human approach’. Davina Katz  is ‘sure-footed and clever- she is not one who will have the wool pulled over her eyes’. Katz has developed considerable expertise in negotiating pre- and post-nuptial agreements both domestically and internationally. David Greer is ‘excellent technically and has excellent client-handling skills’.

Seddons' practice is headed by Deborah Jeff who is ‘utterly committed to her clients and has a steely and calm approach’. Jeff handles complex financial disputes well often with offshore elements and intricate taxation issues. The ‘intelligent’ Toby Hales  ‘fights hard for his clients’ and Neil Russell  ‘forcefully defends his clients’ position whilst acknowledging the benefits of settling litigation if it can be achieved’. Victoria Sterritt is now a partner.

Simons Muirhead & Burton has a ‘rising family department that is easily able to take on the well-established ‘Magic Circle’ firms’. Jane McDonagh  leads a ‘very strong young team and guides it well- it is a star firm of the future’. The department ‘attracts high calibre clients’ mostly drawn from the music and arts industries who are generally wealthy. New recruit from Farrer & Co senior associate Tessa Bray  ‘achieves excellent results with the minimum of fuss’.

Stowe Family Law LLP ‘pulls out all of the stops to get a good result for its clients'. It is' very experienced’ in both finance and children cases. ‘The firm benefits from having an inhouse forensic accountancy support for the really complex finance cases’.Graham Coy is ‘great on both the detail and the bigger picture’ and Gavin Scott  and Paul Read are both ‘excellent’. Joanna Kay ‘knows the law inside out’ and senior solicitor Emily Pain  is ‘extremely conscientious’.

The ‘empathetic’ Amanda Andrews heads the practice at Winckworth Sherwood LLP  and ‘really gets under the skin of a case. From day one she will have the case on an entirely realistic course’. Andrews has particular skill in complex children issues as well as finances where there are offshore trusts and complicated property issues. Katie Spooner  is a ‘real star of the future who is already widely known, she is conciliatory but not afraid to fight’. The team is a ‘growing force building on the back of the firm’s strong private client work’.

A City Law Firm Ltd  is at the ‘cutting edge of family law. It regularly undertakes cases that really push the boundaries of how the law recognises what constitutes a family’. It has immense experience in LGBT and surrogacy cases. Andrew Spearman  is ‘an outstanding litigator who has no difficulty managing a case where there are complex jurisdictional and parentage issues’.

Siȃn Jones heads the team at Bircham Dyson Bell and has particular expertise in advising on the financial aspects of international/high-net-worth cases with more than one jurisdiction and for helping clients with complex financial structures. John Darnton excels in financial cases particularly those involving companies and trust structures both onshore and offshore.

At Brookman Solicitors Henry Brookman  is ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ and Aziz Malik  is ‘thorough’. Other members of the ‘fantastic team’ include Talitha Brookman and the ‘unflappable’ Julius Brookman . The team advises on the full range of family matters including property settlements and children’s matters.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors  is an ‘excellent firm with talented and experienced staff’. Alia Lewis  garners considerable praise for being ‘incredibly thorough and always on top of the case’. Laila Bhunnoo  is ‘very knowledgeable and organised’ and Ravi Kaur Mahey  is ‘hardworking and committed’. Adeeba Naseem  is also recommended. The team advises on the full array of matters from children public law and cross-border disputes to having niche expertise in Islamic law.

Teresa Cullen  at Fladgate LLP  is an ‘extremely safe pair of hands at the helm. She is empathetic and always tries to resolve cases amicably’. Cullen deals with high net worth cases with ease. Associate Anna Wakeling  has an ‘excellent manner with clients’. The family practice' is going from strength to strength’.

Under the leadership of Sheata Karim  at Grayfords the team has developed considerable expertise in international ancillary relief proceedings, complex contact disputes and leave to remove applications. Neil Scott Graham is also recommended.

gunnercooke LLP  is a ‘highly successful niche City based firm that attracts HNWIs not only from the Square Mile but internationally’. Mary-Ann Wright has the ‘well-honed skills of an experienced family litigator who gives clear strategic advice with a very strong client focus’. Raj Bhattoa  is praised for his ‘knowledge, sensitivity and professionalism’.

Hanne & Co's team ‘ gives good advice clearly and without any legal obfuscation’. The ‘simply superb’ Elizabeth Francis ‘puts clients at ease’ and concentrates on advising on the financial issues that stem from relationship breakdown. Susan Harlow is 'highly skilled' in both private law children and financial remedy work. Grainne Fahy ‘quickly grasps the issues, thoroughly analyses the information and looks for practical and cost-effective solutions for her clients’.

Josiah-Lake Gardiner Solicitors  is an ‘innovative and exciting practice with a personal touch’. The ‘attentive’ David Josiah-Lake  is praised for his ‘sensible negotiating skills’ and Rebecca Gardiner for her ‘tenacious ability to argue her clients’ corner’. Consultant Margaret Kelly  is ‘thoughtful and knowledgeable always listening to find a way through the difficulties and mindful of the children’s best interests’. This firm is a ‘hidden gem’ that advises on the full range of family law matters.

Newton Kearns LLP  is the ‘new kid on the block and has already made its mark. It is very much one to watch’. The newly-established boutique firm has Patrick Kearns  whose ‘fierce intelligence is matched by a compassion for his clients’; Paul Newton  who has ‘remarkable skills and competence but without the arrogance’ and ‘one of the grande dames of matrimonial law who has stellar experience’ Maggie Rae . All joined the firm from Clintons . The specialist team advises high-net-worth individuals on all aspects of relationship breakdown.

The lawyers at NGA Law  are ‘leaders when it comes to international surrogacy law. They are at the cutting edge of fertility and surrogacy law. It is also growing a broad profile in the LGBT community’. Natalie Gamble  has an ‘international reputation' in the field of fertility and surrogacy. 'She combines unrivalled expertise with dynamism and charisma’. The ‘exceptional, organised, creative and caring’ Susan Breen recently joined the team from Collyer Bristow LLP .

Russells Solicitors  provides a ‘personalised service to its many clients from the music and entertainment industries’. Head of teamCarol Ellinas  is ‘all over her cases and goes the extra mile to provide her clients with a top-notch service’.  Ellinas' cases frequently have an international element.

The ‘very personable’ Andrea Plum at Sheridans is praised for her ‘great attention to detail and dedication to her clients’. The group’s particular expertise lies in advising wealthy individuals on issues such as matrimonial finance and private law children matters frequently with an international dimension.

Shoosmiths LLP  provides a ‘much more personalised service than its City-based competitors’. Juliette Peters has a ‘very loyal following of clients’ and Jay Patel  is an experienced financial remedy lawyer who is used to dealing with the most complex high-net-worth client cases. 'He never turns a hair whatever stroke the opposition pulls’.

Hannah Cornish  heads the team at Slater and Gordon that has a ‘strong market hold for financial remedy applications concerning individuals who are public sector workers in high income roles’. Cornish is well regarded for her experience in disputes concerning children. Joanne Green  is ‘very efficient and knowledgeable’.

June Venters regularly appears in the High Court and family courts at Venters Solicitors . Andrea Dawkins is a specialist matrimonial and child care lawyer.

Curzon Green Solicitors has a strong reputation for dealing with the financial implications of relationship breakdown for mid to high-net-worth clients and also has strength in child arrangement issues. Senior associate Jeff Thomas can ‘diffuse a situation before it gets out of control’.

The team at DMH Stallard LLP  is skilled at resolving complex financial issues on divorce and separation as well as advising on a wide range of private law children cases and cross border disputes. David Leadercramer  is ‘excellent’. Siobhan Lomasney  and Philip Morton  are also recommended.

Fletcher Day has a ‘busy team that does a wide range of work' including high net-worth financial remedy cases and private child cases. Karim Assaad  ‘works tirelessly for his clients’ and senior associate Vandna Sharma  is ‘very sharp and has excellent client skills’.

Head of team at Greenwoods GRM  is the ‘knowledgeable’ Simon Donald  who has a ‘reputation as a fierce litigator’. Consultant Lesley Pendlebury Cox is praised for her ‘exceptional attention to detail’. The group undertakes a wide range of work from complex cases involving domestic violence to pre and post-nuptial contracts.

Geoffrey Castello  heads the team at GT Stewart Limited  that does a lot of public law care proceedings as well as public and privately funded private law Children Act cases, divorce, financial claims in addition to advising on other matrimonial cohabitation issues.

ITN Solicitors has a ‘substantial presence in the London public law market with an increasing focus in other areas of family law. It has an especially high profile in representing clients in cases of alleged radicalisation’. Head of department Mitali Zakaria is an ‘experienced and tenacious lawyer who has been the driving force behind the development of a family law department of high quality’.

Michelmores LLP  is ‘one of the leading firms for private client work in the South West’. Simon Thomas  has ‘wide experience and gives realistic advice. His main strength is in the large money cases’.Louisa Ghevaert heads the fertility and parenting team.

Head of a ‘strong team’ at Royds Withy King  is Patrick Hart who has ‘vast experience of representing HNW spouses often with international connections’. Vandana Chitroda  is a ‘reassuring and supportive figure to her clients’.

Janice Kaufman heads the team at Steel & Shamash . Kaufman is ‘experienced in complex cases. She is always extremely well prepared and is really good at spotting and solving complex issues’.  She has particular expertise in child care law.

Stevens & Bolton LLP  undertakes the full range of private law client work whether in children act proceedings through to divorce/financial remedy cases. 'It is well known as being committed to clients and striving for the best possible result’. Head of team Nicola Harries  is ‘unflappable’. Caroline Gordon-Smith  is a ‘stalwart of family law’.

Thomson Snell & Passmore  produces work of ‘exceptionally high quality’. Head of department Joanna Pratt  is ‘the most accomplished and able solicitor I have ever experienced outside of London’ andDesmond O’Donnell  is praised for his ‘unmatched attention to detail’.

Danny Lyness  heads the department at Wainwright & Cummins  that advises both privately and publicly funded clients. Charlotte Image-Flower is also recommended. Areas of expertise lie in public children law, human rights and international issues in family proceedings. The team frequently advises on matters such as a local authority’s involvement in chid protection. It is also skilled at advising on other diverse areas such as divorce and financial remedies as well as domestic violence cases.

Wilson Solicitors LLP  advises on the full array of family matters under the leadership ofAysen Soyer. It is a large provider of legal aid services as well as advising clients on a privately funded basis.

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