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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



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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Sarah Higgins heads a large group of β€˜very talented practitioners’ at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, which is β€˜a top London City family firm. It has a very strong team with real strength and depth across the board’. William Longrigg is β€˜brilliant with clients and has great judgement’. Sarah Anticoni is β€˜loved by clients’ and β€˜adept at guiding them through the tricky waters of litigation, as well as (with her mediation hat on) helping them come to a resolution that works for all parties’. β€˜Good tactician’ Miranda Fisher β€˜works very well for her international clients’, and James Freeman has β€˜a relaxed style which belies his strength and determination on behalf of his clients, who all regard him extremely highly’. The β€˜more or less unflappable’ Sarah Whitten is β€˜superb with clients’, and Richard Collins β€˜fights hard for his clients, 24 hours a day’. Victoria Francis is experienced in complex cases involving offshore assets and trusts, and β€˜combines excellent judgement with superb client care skills’. Tanya Roberts’s β€˜advice is robust, firm but fair’. Erica Shelton is β€˜very effective and efficient’. Also recommended are Grant Howell; and, at senior associate level, Charlotte Posnansky, who has β€˜a very bright future ahead of her: she is hardworking and clients like her very much’, and Sarah Jane Boon, who is β€˜excellent’. β€˜This is a great team that covers all aspects of family law. They work in a collaborative way and can also litigate well on their clients’ behalf.’

Dawson Cornwell has β€˜a strong team of talented lawyers who are tactical, experienced and pragmatic and always seeks the best for their clients. It can handle the heavyweight, complex and cross-jurisdictional cases well, with particular renowned specialist expertise in all kinds of international children cases’. Kate Allen in the matrimonial department is β€˜fearless, enormously experienced and extremely conscientious. She has impeccable judgement’. Rhiannon Lewis is β€˜extremely knowledgeable’, and the β€˜extremely conscientious’ Charlotte Conner is β€˜very supportive of her clients’. Jeremy Abraham is β€˜very calm and thoughtful’. Head of the children department Anne-Marie Hutchinson has β€˜near legendary status and an encyclopaedic knowledge of children law. Her unique combination of accurate judgement and analytical skills enable her to succeed even in the highest courts’. Other key members of the children department include the β€˜very empathetic’ Zoe Fleetwood, who is β€˜particularly outstanding when representing vulnerable children’, and Carolina Marin Pedreno, who has β€˜strong experience at the highest level of international cases’. At associate level, Jessica Reid is β€˜head and shoulders above many of her peers. Technically and strategically she is extremely astute and has an excellent bedside manner’. Lisette DuprΓ© has β€˜a real passion and enthusiasm for her work’, and Colin Rogerson β€˜has developed a fantastic reputation’ in the area of surrogacy. Katherine Res Pritchard is β€˜amongst the most able of solicitors: clients feel totally in safe hands’. Solicitor James Netto is β€˜a rising star of child law, with wisdom beyond his years’.



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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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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Farrer & Co is β€˜a high-quality "Magic Circle" firm specialising in very wealthy persons’ family cases, with considerable expertise in high-value ancillary relief following divorce’. The β€˜very dedicated and knowledgeable’ William Massey is β€˜user-friendly for clients in complex cases’, and Mark Fenton β€˜gets impressive results by cutting through to the core of each case’. The β€˜ferociously intelligent’ Simon Bruce is β€˜one of the very best lawyers in London for cases with an international dimension’, and Jeremy Posnansky QC β€˜has been practising at the sharp end of family law for decades. He has unparalleled experience and is a formidable tactical thinker’. Other members of the β€˜world-class’ team are the β€˜smart, thoughtful and measured’ Claire Gordon; Eliza Hebditch, who is noted for her β€˜lovely manner with clients who plainly feel well supported by her. She has a very analytical mind and good judgement’; the β€˜very focused and pragmatic’ Sarah Hutchinson, who is β€˜prepared to go that extra mile’; Nicholas Bennett, who is someone β€˜we’ll see a lot more of in the future’; and Richard Parry. Overall, the firm has β€˜an unparalleled reputation in private family law disputes, with strong solicitors at all levels’.

At Hughes Fowler Carruthers, there is β€˜not one weak link in the team. It is a great boutique firm with really superb back-up from bright associates. It provides an excellent and very client-focused service’. Frances Hughes is β€˜a star in this area’, and she and β€˜canny negotiator’ Pauline Fowler are both noted as β€˜astute and tough’. The β€˜brilliant, calm and quietly confident’ Alex Carruthers and the β€˜knowledgeable yet sensitive’ Renato Labi (β€˜an exceptionally safe pair of hands’) are β€˜outstanding’. Mark Harper has β€˜excellent knowledge of trust law. His ability to deal with complex divorce cases is far superior to others at other law firms’. Caroline Park is β€˜steely’ and noted for her β€˜accurate knowledge and spot-on case management’; she is β€˜a thinker who considers all possibilities and is tactically brilliant’. Recent work for the team includes representing Christina Estrada, whose husband was a Saudi billionaire who had acquired diplomatic immunity to frustrate the client’s financial claims in London following a Saudi divorce; in June 2016 the client won the largest needs-based award then ever ordered by the English court, providing the client with a total of Β£75m including her assets. The team delivers β€˜a truly first-class service’.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s β€˜level of service across the full range of family law is exceptional. It is at the top of its game. The whole department is incredibly strong on the most complex and highly contentious cases, with client care that is second to none’. Team head Sandra Davis is β€˜an exceptional practitioner, who goes above and beyond the call of duty for her clients. She is held in the highest esteem, and rightly has a reputation of fearlessly representing her clients’ interests. The advice she gives clients is always spot on and consistently shows her excellent judgement’. Barbara Reeves is β€˜clever and tough, and tenacious in and out of the courtroom. She will fight fearlessly to get the right result. Despite her reputation as a fearsome opponent, she has the commercial nous to look at the broader picture and reach a compromise where needed’. David Lister is β€˜a thoughtful and considered lawyer’. β€˜Dedicated and hardworking’ legal director Claire Yorke β€˜is able to handle clients’ expectations and demands extremely well, such that clients never lose confidence in her abilities’. Miles Geffin, also a legal director, is β€˜clever’, and associate Antonia Felix is β€˜charming and a great lawyer’. It is β€˜an extremely strong firm that attracts top-quality work from domestic and international high-net-worth individuals to whom it provides a top-notch bespoke service’.

Payne Hicks Beach provides β€˜an unrivalled service that is discreet and client-focused, and it has an extremely clever team with some of the biggest names in London family law: it is an extraordinarily impressive firm’. β€˜Hugely respected’ head of department Ian Airey β€˜has seen it all. He is an excellent strategist and is wonderful with clients’. Fiona Shackleton has β€˜vast experience and is extremely busy. She is a savvy and commercial family lawyer who is passionate about protecting her clients’ interests. She attracts a large number of individuals with a high media profile, and is frequently involved in the leading cases’. The β€˜phenomenally knowledgeable’ Philip McGuirk is β€˜highly effective and achieves good results for his clients without drama or blood on the carpet’, and Matthew Booth is β€˜a thoughtful, clever and very charming individual’. Simon Beccle is β€˜a magnet for A-list clients’, and Fiona Brown β€˜combines her vast intelligence with great personal charm and commitment to her clients’. Among the associates, the β€˜fearless, charming and pragmatic’ Ben Parry-Smith β€˜punches well above his weight and already does top-quality work – he is one to watch’; Emily Foy is β€˜clever and thorough’; and Andrew Tose β€˜is a highly experienced family litigator who has well-honed skills in the field, knowing just when to push hard and when to reach agreement’.

Stewarts Law LLP is β€˜top notch for high-end and complicated matrimonial work and continues to go from strength to strength’ under the leadership of the β€˜calm and wise’ Stephen Foster, who is β€˜a first-class strategist and negotiator whilst also maintaining a personal and human touch’. β€˜Star performer and first-class litigator’ Debbie Chism is β€˜very, very experienced’ and the β€˜efficient’ Richard Hogwood is β€˜exceptionally strong on pre-nuptial agreements, especially those with an international element’. The β€˜very intelligent’ Sam Longworth is β€˜very good on the more complicated multi-jurisdictional cases’, and the β€˜shrewd and strategic’ Helen Ward is β€˜someone with whom it is possible to reach settlements out of court even though she fights every client’s corner vigorously’. The β€˜goal-orientated’ Emma Hatley β€˜achieves good outcomes elegantly, ensuring that couples emerge with as few bruises as possible’, and Toby Atkinson is β€˜extraordinarily able and extremely bright, and works tirelessly and efficiently for his clients, always looking to resolve issues if possible while preparing to fight if there is no negotiated settlement to be found’. Matthew Humphries is β€˜a star who is extremely good with numbers and complex corporate and financial structures, and just brilliant with the messy cases’. At senior associate level, Lucy Gould has β€˜encyclopaedic knowledge’ of complex matrimonial finances involving trust assets, and the β€˜brilliant’ Carly Kinch is β€˜a rising star’. The team overall is β€˜simply among the best. It is good on children matters and has an undoubted strength in complex and heavyweight financial remedy cases’.

Withers LLP β€˜always provides a "Rolls-Royce" service with impeccable client care and attention to detail’; β€˜the billionaire and the most high-profile cases regularly end up with the firm’. The β€˜charming and urbane’ Julian Lipson β€˜fights the client’s corner in a very civilised manner’, and Suzanne Todd (who leads the family team in London) is β€˜extremely able and pragmatic’. The β€˜top-rate’ Diana Parker is β€˜an excellent tactician and has a huge breadth of experience – she is always able to achieve the best settlement for her clients’. Suzanne Kingston is β€˜a very effective meditator, and tough as needs be’, and Michael Gouriet has β€˜a phenomenal intellect combined with a charming persona and a remarkable work rate. He is one of the best divorce lawyers in the country with few comparable’. The β€˜fiendishly bright’ Katharine Landells β€˜fights her client’s corner hard but with elegance and style, always looking for a sensible way through things’, and the β€˜extremely conscientious’ Claire Blakemore is β€˜supportive of her clients and has impeccable judgement’. Special counsel Laura Winterbottom β€˜can work on the most complicated cases with justifiable confidence’. The firm has β€˜real strength in depth – every partner without exception is a highly impressive lawyer, and it also has some brilliant juniors coming up through the ranks’.

Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP has β€˜a very effective team for the big-ticket litigation. It is a highly impressive firm that provides a first-rate service on both the financial and children sides of family law. It is modern in its outlook and the team is intelligent in its approach to solving issues’. Tom Amlot is β€˜very impressive’, and Emma Harte is β€˜highly intelligent’. Susan Philipps β€˜is now one of the big names of London family law – tremendously personable, immensely able and with exceptional judgement’, and Sara Hannell is β€˜clear-sighted and very committed’. The team was pleased to add William Healing to its ranks from Kingsley Napley LLP; he β€˜comes highly recommended particularly for cases with an international element’. Magnus Mill is noted for his work on financial cases involving substantial assets and complex offshore holding structures, and Douglas Alexiou is a senior member of the team. Clients include senior figures in industry and banking, individuals in the public eye, and more vulnerable clients requiring assistance to prevent harm or protect assets.

Clintons is β€˜an outstandingly high-quality boutique firm with strength and depth’. β€˜Highly respected’ practice head Liz Vernon is β€˜at the top of her game. She is quick-thinking, sharp and clever yet is an utterly reasonable solicitor. She will pick her disputes wisely, holding back when it will not ultimately benefit her client’. The β€˜fiercely bright and very able’ Patrick Kearns is β€˜incredibly swift at working though issues, yet he is always ready to pick up the phone to an opponent and have a pragmatic discussion’. Maggie Rae is β€˜internationally renowned for her bright and pragmatic approach to dispute resolution, and is a real expert in her field’. Paul Newton β€˜can see the solution to the most opaque family law problems, particularly those with an international flavour, which he approaches with smart and commercial aplomb’. Associate Frances Petterson is β€˜a bright young lawyer who really is a rising star’.

With β€˜a formidable team that thinks outside the box’, Family Law in Partnership Ltd is β€˜an excellent boutique family firm that is at the forefront of ADR in family law but is also able to litigate. The team has all-round great expertise’. Gillian Bishop is β€˜a leading light for collaborative law. She is cool and knowledgeable with a real understanding of her clients’ issues’. The β€˜tough, tenacious and very smart’ Daniel Coombes is β€˜loved by clients’, and Bradley Williams is β€˜an acknowledged star performer with a real flair for managing complex financial and private law children cases’. Pamela Collis has β€˜the rare combination of being fiercely intelligent and having amazing client skills’, and Ann Northover is β€˜fantastically competent and knowledgeable with a practical and unfussy approach. She is completely focused on her clients’ best interests’. Nicole Hackett β€˜does her work with great intelligence which she delivers with verve and style’, and director Helen Greenfield has β€˜great client-handling skills and a great bedside manner. She is particularly good on children issues’. β€˜Hardworking and diligent’ director Elizabeth Fletcher is β€˜very effective in financial matters’, and senior associate Mariko Wilson β€˜is extremely numerate and a joy to work with’.

Goodman Ray is β€˜well known across all areas of family law, and one of the tops for international children law’, and has β€˜a superior legal aid practice’. Peggy Ray has β€˜a powerful and acute intellect, and grapples well and imaginatively and where appropriate forcefully with difficult cases’.Gwen Williams is β€˜excellent with vulnerable clients and is a natural family lawyer’, and Jemma Dally is β€˜the solicitor to go to for fertilisation and embryology work. She knows more about it than anybody else and brings admirable personal skills to the handling of these sensitive cases’. Janet Broadley is β€˜a well-established specialist in international cases’, and Ann Thompson is β€˜very dedicated’. Kevin Skinner’s β€˜reputation continues to go from strength to strength, with particular expertise in the law relating to alternative family structures’. Senior associate Emma Sherrington is β€˜an excellent advocate and tactician’

Hunters Incorporating May, May & Merrimans’s β€˜matrimonial department is filled with real talent. It is a heavyweight family law team’. Henry Hood’s β€˜client list really does include the great and the good. He is a first-rate mediator and is always in command of the details of the case. He is one of the most emotionally intelligent matrimonial solicitors in London, and manages clients’ expectations with great tact’. The β€˜very thorough’ Richard Kershaw β€˜manages to balance a pragmatic approach to his cases while simultaneously being willing to really fight his clients’ corner when required’. Hetty Gleave β€˜brings tremendous experience and knowledge to the table. She is immensely hardworking and clients feel assured that they are in safe hands from the very start’. Hazel Wright is β€˜an extremely experienced mediator with great insight and sharp intelligence’, and Jo Carr-West β€˜is quickly becoming a real force to be reckoned with’. Recommended associates include Amy Scollan, who has β€˜exceptional technical ability and an authoritative understanding of international family law’, and Vanessa Friend, who is β€˜very good’. The firm is β€˜a major player in the area of prenuptial agreements and private family national and international law. It is a real match for anyone, with a real focus on giving sound advice from start to finish’.

Kingsley Napley LLP has β€˜one of the best family departments in London. The firm as a whole provides a "Rolls-Royce" service, with particular expertise in cases with an international/multi-jurisdictional element’. The head of the team is the β€˜proactive’ Charlotte Bradley, who is β€˜brilliant technically and very human: clients just love her’. The β€˜tough, thorough and calm’ Jane Keir β€˜has seen it all’, and Michael Rowlands is β€˜a champion for the client – he will relentlessly pursue the best possible result for his client’. Claire Wood is β€˜extremely efficient, and excellent with financial documents’. β€˜Superstar’ Rachel Freeman recently joined the firm from Miles Preston & Co, while William Healing has joined Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP. At associate level, the β€˜very intelligent, balanced and determined’ Cady Pearce gives β€˜real practical advice’; Stacey Nevin has β€˜very good client care, a detailed knowledge of the law and good judgement when it comes to tactics’; Lauren Evans is β€˜really good with numbers and has a very relaxed manner with clients’; and Abby Buckland is β€˜one of the firm’s rising stars – she has warmth, efficiency and exceptional judgement, and clients love her’.

Levison Meltzer Pigott has β€˜professionalism and compassion in equal measure. It is a long-established and highly regarded firm that is small enough to be personal but with some top-tier hitters amongst its members’. Jeremy Levison is β€˜fiercely bright but also utterly charming. If a case needs a fight, he is the solicitor you would want in your corner’. Simon Pigott is β€˜highly intelligent and utterly reasonable. His avuncular style and caring concern make the difference to clients time after time. He knows when to fight a point and when to gracefully move matters to a conclusion’. Julian Ribet is β€˜a leading financial remedies lawyer and one of the big hitters. He deals with cases with lots of zeros on the asset schedule’. The β€˜steely’ Nicola Fletcher β€˜has commercial savvy and knows how to present her clients at their best’, and Alistair Myles β€˜has quickly become one of the best in his field. He is very assured with clients, gives realistic advice and fights very hard when necessary’. Alison Hayes β€˜really goes that extra mile for her clients, and is completely client-focused’. Amanda Andrews is now at Winckworth Sherwood LLP.

Penningtons Manches LLP is β€˜an excellent firm, with strength in depth’. The β€˜superb’ Jane Craig heads the practice, and is β€˜very good for high-net-worth work. She has client skills that are second to none, and this she blends with good judgement’. Gillian Rivers is β€˜a first-class divorce and family lawyer who is sympathetic and a gritty and determined negotiator’. Other members of the β€˜standout’ team include Anna Worwood in London, Veronica Gilmour in Guildford, and Jane Mitchell in Oxford. Craig has a wealth of experience in both the financial aspects of high-value divorce and separation and in the resolution of complex disputes about arrangements for children, including relocation cases. The team is currently acting in some of the highest-value cases in England, and has well-established expertise in complex international cases. James Stewart heads the private wealth offering, and Rebecca Carlyon advises on all issues arising from divorce and relationship breakdown.

Russell-Cooke LLP β€˜undertakes the full range of family law work, both within the private law field and public law proceedings. It is highly regarded for international children matters and also provides high-class advice to very-high-net-worth clients while never losing its human touch’. Therese Nichols β€˜has decades of experience that she deploys to great effect to ensure that her clients’ cases are managed supremely well’. Fiona Read has β€˜a first-class brain’, and the β€˜thoughtful and clever’ James Carroll β€˜fights his cases in a low-key way and secures excellent results for his clients’. Samantha Little β€˜gets to grips with complex cases very quickly, and has been involved in the groundbreaking set of cases involving errors at fertility clinics. She deservedly has a superb reputation for hard work and sensitivity’. Camilla Thornton is β€˜loved by clients, and will fight all the way but without the histrionics’. Sarah Richardson is β€˜outstanding at representing both parents and children in public law proceedings, with a combination of compassion and strategic acumen that puts her head and shoulders above the crowd’. Kate Hamilton has β€˜a tremendous knack of getting it right’. β€˜One of the things that sets the firm apart is that the senior partners train and bring through more junior practitioners so that the expertise percolates throughout the whole team’.

The International Family Law Group LLP is β€˜one of the top firms in international family law in England’, with the β€˜great’ Ann Thomas at the helm. David Hodson is β€˜extremely knowledgeable, sharp and reliable’; Helen Blackburn is β€˜one of the most effective English lawyers on international child abduction’; Hannah Budd is β€˜excellent’; Lucy Greenwood is β€˜outstanding’; and Lucy Loizou is β€˜always concise, thorough and accurate’. At associate level, Michael Allum is β€˜incredibly diligent and hardworking’.

Vardags β€˜has established itself in a relatively short period of time as one of the top handful of family law firms. This is a remarkable achievement’. Ayesha Vardag is β€˜superb. She has enormous energy and drive and has taken the firm to the top echelons. She has first-class skills and remarkably good judgement’. Catherine Thomas attracts praise for her β€˜formidable intellect and knowledge of the law. Her approach and advice is always right’. Senior director Simon McKirgan is β€˜immensely skilled and works formidably hard’. Director Georgina Hamblin is β€˜so passionate and committed to "what’s right". It’s almost as if she is the one going through the divorce. She will be with you every step of the way in head and in heart’. Charlie Bell is β€˜a rising star’, and fellow director Kelly Edwards, who joined from Sears Tooth, is β€˜a strong addition to the team as she is a very experienced family litigator’. The firm β€˜will fight your case all the way. The advice and level of service it offers is unparalleled’.

Anthony Gold β€˜stands eye to eye with the London "Magic Circle" family firms. Its excellent team is skilled in all disciplines (mediation, collaboration and negotiation, etc.) and practises in such a way that is designed to assist families and the children’. Practice head Kim Beatson is β€˜calm, experienced and quick-thinking’; the β€˜reassuring’ David Emmerson β€˜immediately puts clients at ease’; and Caroline Bowden β€˜knows how to progress the most entrenched cases’. The β€˜very responsive and supportive’ Camilla Fusco β€˜instils confidence’, and Sarah Hughes has β€˜a great eye for detail’. The firm has β€˜expertise across all areas of family law, with particular skill and interest in alternative dispute resolution’.

Bindmans LLP is β€˜an excellent family law firm, with some real star individuals. It covers a broad range of cases, with particular expertise in cross-border children cases. It provides a service of exceptionally high quality to publicly and privately funded clients alike’. Katherine Gieve has β€˜huge experience in all areas of family law and is particularly tactically astute in cases involving complicated questions of international family law’. Associate Amy Rowe is β€˜one of the stars of the team. She is exceptionally able, showing a rare combination of creative legal thinking and detailed legal knowledge’. Associate Liz Dronfield is β€˜simply outstanding’. β€˜Thorough and committed’ solicitor Rosie Roddy acts in private law proceedings involving children and care proceedings where the local authority is involved. Solicitor Jamie Phillips has β€˜abilities far beyond his years’.

With β€˜a distinguished past and a very bright future’, Boodle Hatfield LLP is β€˜an excellent firm for matrimonial finance work, dealing with the big-money and high-calibre cases’. James Ferguson is β€˜a cool-headed tactician who fights hard for his clients’; Barbara Simpson is β€˜a tough, no-nonsense negotiator’; Christopher Butler is β€˜a highly effective lawyer with very sound judgement’; and Emily Brand, who joined from Winckworth Sherwood LLP, is β€˜very bright and pragmatic’. Among the senior associates, Katie O’Callaghan is β€˜immensely thorough with a keen eye for the important details’, and Harriet Errington has β€˜a well-deserved reputation for sound judgement and clarity’.

Specialising in high-worth cases, Camilla Baldwin provides an β€˜exemplary’ service; the firm is β€˜highly experienced and adopts a professional, caring and welcoming approach’. Camilla Baldwin β€˜gives everything to her clients – she is totally committed and her availability to clients is exceptional. She is compassionate and caring and utterly professional’. Senior associate Emma Percy also garners praise, and is noted for her β€˜availability and supportive advice’. The firm has a diverse national and international client base of wealthy individuals, and covers all areas of privately funded family work from divorce and financial proceedings to children matters.

Toby Yerburgh heads the team at Collyer Bristow LLP, which advises the very wealthy and acts in complex financial relief proceedings with an overseas component. Philippa Dolan is very experienced in mediation, and Michael Drake is also highly respected. The children team is led by Susan Breen, who also advises on surrogacy matters.

Forsters LLP β€˜is establishing a significant presence’ under the leadership of Joanne Edwards, who is praised for her β€˜attention to detail. She goes the extra mile for clients and leaves no stone unturned’, and is β€˜surprisingly tough behind a calm exterior’. The team has been strengthened by the arrival of Rosie Schumm from Wedlake Bell LLP, who has β€˜impressive legal knowledge and grasp of the details of each case. She is adored by clients’. Senior associate Amanda Sandys is β€˜calm and skilled. Her unflappable demeanour puts clients at their ease’. The team is strong in cases with β€˜trusts structures and international elements, and is also known for its progressive approach towards dispute resolution, collaborative law and mediation’; it is β€˜definitely one to watch over the coming years’.

Head of department Nina Hansen at Freemans Solicitors has β€˜an enormous amount of experience, particularly in international work’, and Laura Coyle is β€˜extremely conscientious and works tirelessly for her clients’. Consultant Rebekah Gershuny is β€˜very experienced in financial remedy work. She takes the most difficult cases in her stride. She has a wonderful combination of mastering all the issues whilst cutting to the heart of the matter’. Associate Hilka Hollmann β€˜undertakes complex international adoption cases with ease’. The firm is β€˜rightly undaunted whoever the opponent. In the niche area of international child practitioners, it really shines’.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP is β€˜a sensible firm that knows exactly what it is doing. It puts the client at the forefront of its practice. It is a modern and innovative firm with an enviable client list which properly reflects the high quality of the service it consistently provides’. The β€˜sympathetic and very knowledgeable’ Tom Farley-Hills has β€˜the right instinct on cases’, and Linzi Bull can β€˜navigate through the difficult facts and then move seamlessly into settlement discussions’. Associate Lidia Cantele is β€˜a smart and engaging lawyer’. The team has grown significantly with the recent arrival of Catherine Bedford, Nicholas Westley and Mark Irving from Lee & Thompson LLP.

Harcus Sinclair LLP is β€˜first rate. It has the breadth of knowledge but can also provide a bespoke service’. Kathryn Peat is β€˜great with clients’, and Roger Cobden-Ramsay is β€˜excellent’. Solicitor Georgia Day β€˜works tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for clients’. The practice is experienced in advising high-net-worth individuals with a range of business and trust assets across multiple jurisdictions, and is also noted for its work in private children matters.

Irwin Mitchell β€˜is becoming a real player in this area’. Team head Elizabeth Hicks β€˜goes the extra mile and provides great support to clients, gets to the point quickly and does not make a meal of the issues’. The β€˜incredibly hardworking’ Sital Fontenelle β€˜gets great results for her clients’, and Ursula Danagher is β€˜tenacious’. At associate level, Kathryn Evans shows β€˜great attention to detail’, and Carmel Brown is β€˜brilliant at helping clients through the challenges faced in financial remedy litigation’. The team was strengthened by the arrival of Ian Cook, previously of 1 King's Bench Walk.

At Miles & Partners LLP, β€˜across the board the solicitors cannot be beaten for their professionalism and their dedication. They approach their clients with compassion coupled with a firm grasp of the issues and law, and all without exception are formidable advocates’. Amanda Dench provides β€˜a "Rolls-Royce" service’, and Kate Hammond is β€˜a straightforward solicitor with a warm and friendly approach’. The β€˜committed and empathetic’ Michelle Uppal β€˜resolutely seeks out where the right solution will lie for her clients’.

Miles Preston & Co’s service is β€˜so personal, so professional. The team is always willing to meet clients and explain things a hundred times if needs be’. The β€˜pragmatic’ Julia Stanczyk β€˜does not get hampered by the legal procedures, and addresses issues head on. This ensures that time and money are not wasted’; and the β€˜assiduous’ Harriett Wait β€˜leaves no stone unturned’. The β€˜fantastic’ team advises on arrangements for children in addition to other issues such as pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Rachel Freeman is now with Kingsley Napley LLP.

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜a dynamic firm that has really excelled in the last few years. It is a rising presence, regularly comes up against the big names, and matches, if not exceeds them’. The London team, which acts for privately funded clients, is led by the β€˜astute’ Joanna Grandfield, who β€˜ably manages complex financial issues for her "City"-based clients’. The Cambridge team is led by β€˜absolute star’ Caitlin Jenkins, β€˜who can do nothing wrong’, and includes senior associate Tim Whitney, who is β€˜one to watch; he always makes time for his clients’.

At Osbornes, Bridget Thompson has β€˜an excellent reputation for children work’, and Mark Freedman for finance; Freedman is β€˜very ready to fight his clients’ corner and this he does well’. β€˜Clients really have faith’ in Lisa Pepper, and Naomi Angell β€˜continues to be one of the most experienced adoption and surrogacy lawyers around’. Associate Joanne Wescott is seen to be β€˜going places’.

Sears Tooth is particularly strong in high-value, complex matrimonial financial disputes, and β€˜remains one of the leading firms in London. It has a reputation for being firm but fair’. Raymond Tooth is β€˜one of the most respected family lawyers in London – everyone wants to instruct him and no-one wants their spouse to go to him’. Susan Apthorp is β€˜a brilliant lawyer with an incisive mind’.

Alison Leivesley leads the team at TV Edwards LLP, and her β€˜attention to detail is second to none’. The β€˜always available’ Maud Davis and the β€˜meticulously prepared’ Hannah Perry are β€˜always on top of the detail’, and solicitor Forum Shah is β€˜way ahead of her peers with her level of knowledge and expertise’. The team is particularly strong in international children matters.

Vaitilingam Kay is β€˜a boutique firm that has enjoyed stellar success in the few years since it started with a standout level of service and advice in both children and financial matters. It deals with the most high-value and complex of cases with ease’. Anne Kay is β€˜an exceptional lawyer’, and Joe Vaitilingam β€˜gives realistic advice, and his judgement is spot on’.

Wedlake Bell LLP has a β€˜very busy’ practice headed by the β€˜indomitable’ Charmaine Hast, who β€˜works incredibly hard for her clients and gets excellent results for them – clients such as footballers, captains of industry, and the rich and famous’. Conrad Adam is particularly good on β€˜tricky technical points’, and senior associate Trisha Siddique is β€˜a strong money practitioner who listens well to her clients’.

Bishop & Sewell LLP has β€˜very experienced partners with proven expertise in both finance and children cases’. Michael Gillman heads the team and is β€˜extremely conscientious and has impeccable judgement’. Philip Rutter β€˜remains calm when dealing with very difficult clients’. The β€˜committed’ Eileen Pembridge is also recommended, as is David Hodgson, who is β€˜thorough in his preparation and assesses risk carefully; his ability to control costs is a thing to behold’. Louise Barretto is particularly adept in complex financial matters with an international dimension.

Bross Bennett has β€˜an extremely experienced and capable team of family lawyers who offer pragmatic advice but are not afraid to take on the big boys’. Sharon Bennett β€˜negotiates with a steely determination without ever losing a grip on the commercial realities’, and Ruth Bross β€˜is able to empathise with her clients while never losing sight of their best interests’. Anna Wagstaff is β€˜vastly experienced on the financial and international side’, and Lea Harris β€˜offers a wonderful combination of elegance, intelligence and forthright commercial savvy’.

Burgess Mee Family Law provides β€˜a bespoke service to clients who do not want to pay London "City" prices but want the same level of service as the "Magic Circle" firms’, and has β€˜excellent lawyers at all levels’. Antonia Mee β€˜fights her clients’ corner extremely well and leaves no stone unturned’, and the β€˜outstanding’ Peter Burgess works β€˜equally well on the children and money cases’.

DWFM Beckman has β€˜a fearsome reputation and is making big waves right now’ with its work in high-value relief matters and private children applications. Head of department Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui is β€˜a masterful solicitor driven by her passion for excellence. She remains calm and in control in the most demanding situations’.

John Burrell heads the team at Gordon Dadds LLP, which has β€˜a long history of offering top-quality advice. Its greatest strength is obtaining good outcomes in a dignified and efficient way’. David Ruck is β€˜calm, extraordinarily reassuring and extremely experienced at resolving the most difficult disputes’. Consultant Yael Selig is also recommended.

Jacqueline Major heads the team at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, which is β€˜determined to offer a full and high level of service to every client’, and is well versed in private and public law family matters. Deborah Johnson has β€˜a really big heart. She has a lot of experience under her belt’. The β€˜supportive’ Bharti Shah is also recommended. Teena Dhanota-Jones joined from Curzon Green Solicitors. Sara Upton has joined Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

Howard Kennedy LLP β€˜is able to compete with the toughest on the most complex and potentially high profile of cases’. Team head Lois Langton is β€˜particularly good at dealing with difficult and demanding clients from the sports and entertainment industries. She has an unrivalled ability to absorb and retain every detail of a case’. Consultant Alan Kaufman is β€˜a seasoned professional. Clients gain comfort from his experience and bedside manner’.

Ketley Miller Joels Ltd is β€˜a rising star in private children and financial work. Its team is conscientious and costs-conscious but still provides a high standard of service’. Clayton Miller is β€˜a master tactician who pulls no punches when needed’, and Philip Cooper β€˜works tirelessly for his clients’.

The β€˜very commercial’ Michael Pulford leads the team at Pinsent Masons LLP, and acts in relation to high-profile and high-value pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce and financial remedy proceedings, and private law children and child abduction cases.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur is β€˜an extremely polished central London firm dealing with high-net-worth clients’. Caroline Penfold is β€˜highly efficient and can defuse potentially highly confrontational situations’. Associate Carina Smith is β€˜very motivated and has a great rapport with clients’.

Davina Katz and David Greer at Schillings are β€˜exceptionally practical and work hard to find workable solutions for clients’. Clients range from senior executives in the banking, private equity and hedge fund sectors to European royalty and international entrepreneurs with a public profile.

Under the leadership of Deborah Jeff, Seddons has β€˜a formidable team of family law experts’ who β€˜will fight their clients’ corner whilst giving sensible advice throughout’. Toby Hales provides β€˜clear’ advice, and Neil Russell has β€˜oodles of common sense’. Associate Victoria Sterritt has β€˜impeccable judgement’.

Simons Muirhead & Burton has an β€˜outstanding and very thorough’ team. Jane McDonagh is praised for her β€˜detailed knowledge of the law and practice coupled with her pragmatic approach’, and Lara Wulwik is β€˜technically excellent and great with clients’. Senior associate Hazel McNaught shows β€˜great attention to detail and has a bright future ahead of her’. The full-service team has particular expertise in cases with an international component with elements of shar’iah, European or Iranian law, as well as in Jewish divorces.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP provides β€˜a first-class service’. Newly promoted partner Katie Spooner is β€˜very client-focused’, and senior associate Camini Kumar is β€˜a truly gifted lawyer with an impressive grasp of the big issues’. Former head of the team Emily Brand is now with Boodle Hatfield LLP.

Andrew Spearman at A City Law Firm Ltd delivers β€˜a 5-star service’ and is noted for his ability to β€˜immediately put his clients at ease when discussing very sensitive and personal issues’. He leads a specialist surrogacy and fertility team and LGBT practice.

Bircham Dyson Bell has β€˜a highly competent department that coves the full array of litigation, mediation and negotiation, and is particularly good on multi-jurisdictional cases’. SiΘƒn Jones heads the team and is praised for her experience in β€˜landed estates and farming cases and her skilful negotiation of pre- and post-nuptial/civil partnership agreements’. John Darnton is β€˜calm’.

Brookman Solicitors advises β€˜high-net-worth individuals and is an emerging firm for international work’. Henry Brookman β€˜is shrewd and has a real commercial eye’. Solicitor Maria Conesa is β€˜very experienced in cross-border cases’.

Sarah Hoskinson at Burges Salmon LLP is β€˜truly brilliant. She cuts to the chase and is caring and supportive’. The team is recommended for its work on complex financial settlements on relationship breakdown and divorce, and acts exclusively in high-value cases both nationally and internationally.

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates’ clients β€˜feel very supported’. It has a host of excellent practitioners: Sabrina McKay β€˜works very well with vulnerable clients’; Antony Wilkinson is β€˜very skilled in public law cases’; Abbie Huxley is β€˜exceptional’; David Marcus is β€˜a hugely experienced child care practitioner’; Sidra Butt is β€˜a gifted mental health tribunal advocate’; and Stephanie Marshall is β€˜very efficient’.

Lynn Vernon heads the team at Covent Garden Family Law, which has a particular emphasis on children matters and on all issues concerning same-sex parenting.

Fladgate LLP fields β€˜a knowledgeable team that adopts a personal approach to meet each client’s needs’, and is experienced in international divorces and high-value financial claims. Teresa Cullen is β€˜the driving force in the team’; she has β€˜a superb bedside manner with clients but can equally be robust when putting their cases forward’.

Grayfords LLP’s β€˜highly competent’ team includes Sheata Karim, whose β€˜knowledge and experience of family law is clearly evident’, and Neil Graham, who provides β€˜clear and quick answers’. It has developed particular expertise in international ancillary relief proceedings, complex contact disputes and leave to remove applications. Megan Bennie is also recommended; her expertise encompasses divorce, pre and post-nuptial agreements, Children Act matters and financial applications, among other matters.

NGA Law is β€˜immaculately prepared for each case and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of surrogacy law. It has established itself as a leading firm also in fertility issues and same-sex family law’. Natalie Gamble has β€˜an international reputation and unrivalled expertise in this area’. Haema Sundram, who joined from Covent Garden Family Law, β€˜will deepen the firm’s expertise in family financial matters, mediation and same-sex families’.

Philcox Gray & Co has β€˜a great team that is superb in public law cases and is doing complex work. It is a very child-focused firm’. The β€˜astute’ Sheila Donn is β€˜a great tactician’, and Beverley King is β€˜thoughtful and measured’.

Russells Solicitors is β€˜a strong media firm with a bright and discreet family practice’. Team head Carol Ellinas is β€˜a smart and savvy lawyer who understands the needs of her camera-shy celebrity clientele. She is straight-talking and tough’.

Sheridans provides β€˜brilliant and balanced advice. It handles its cases with an effortless efficiency and there is an air of reassuring quality when dealing with the firm’. Andrea Plum has β€˜a marvellous bedside manner’ and is recommended for complex, high-value matrimonial finance matters. Associate Neil McNab has β€˜all the hallmarks of a rising star. He has a ready charm and a sharp mind’.

Slater and Gordon has a β€˜very large and experienced’ team nationally. Rupi Rai’s case preparation is β€˜watertight. She is charming, approachable and highly astute, and takes good care of her clients’.

Stowe Family Law LLP β€˜practises at the highest echelons of family law in high-profile and complex financial remedy cases’. Graham Coy is β€˜a very experienced family lawyer who always shows warmth and tact’, and Lucy Phipps is β€˜first rate’. Senior solicitor Emily Pain is β€˜extremely conscientious and supportive of her clients’. Senior solicitor Holly Lamb and senior associate Phoebe Turner are β€˜great at putting the legal jargon into lay person’s language’.

June Venters QC at Venters Solicitors regularly appears in the High Court and Family Courts conducting complex trials involving issues of child protection and sexual abuse. Solicitor Sherma Polidore is β€˜very committed to achieving the best outcome for her clients and is especially well known for public (care) proceedings’.

At Curzon Green Solicitors, β€˜very experienced’ senior associate Jeff Thomas β€˜often secures a good outcome in the most difficult of cases’, covering finance and children matters. Emily Hook β€˜always has a firm handle on her cases’. Teena Dhanota-Jones joined Hodge Jones & Allen LLP.

DMH Stallard LLP has β€˜a switched-on team that fights clients’ corners well while also being sympathetic’. Siobhan Lomasney and Philip Morton are β€˜excellent at client care’ and β€˜first-class negotiator’ David Leadercramer has β€˜an enviable client list’.

β€˜Hardworking and compassionate’ solicitor Eileen Macqueen at Devonshires Solicitors LLP β€˜provides balanced advice and is a star in the making’. The team provides advice to City professionals and other high-net-worth individuals, and is adept at helping clients with particular needs such as mental health issues.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a large team that β€˜covers a broad range of family cases and excels in children’s cases’. Emine Mehmet β€˜represents a wide range of clients, including those who are exceptionally vulnerable, with dedication, commitment and skill. She takes on a high proportion of publicly funded work’. Laila Bhunnoo is β€˜a calm lawyer who stays on top of her workload’.

The team at Fletcher Day is β€˜utterly exceptional’. Dee Douglas is β€˜sympathetic and efficient’, and β€˜pragmatic’ associate Vandna Sharma is β€˜fantastic at bringing down the temperature of a case’.

Geoffrey Castello heads the team at GT Stewart Limited, which is active in public law care proceedings in addition to privately funded private law Children Act cases, divorce proceedings, financial claims, and matrimonial cohabitation issues.

The β€˜first-class and commercially aware’ Mary-Ann Wright joined Gunnercooke LLP from DWF, and will be β€˜a real asset to the firm’. β€˜Able’ senior associate Raj Bhattoa also joined from DWF.

Mitali Zakaria at ITN Solicitors is β€˜very hands on and committed to ensuring that she gets the best for her clients’. The team has developed a niche in radicalisation cases.

Josiah-Lake Gardiner Solicitors is β€˜committed to its clients’. David Josiah-Lake is β€˜an intelligent lawyer with a good grasp of children’s issues’, and Margaret Kelly is β€˜knowledgeable and fights well for her clients’.

At Michelmores LLP, the β€˜very knowledgeable and kind’ Louisa Ghevaert leads a specialist practice in fertility law and has β€˜immense experience’ in surrogacy work. She is recommended for her experience in fertility treatment, international private children cases and international surrogacy involving the US and Eastern and Western Europe.

Jay Patel at Shoosmiths LLP β€˜supports clients every step of the way’, and Juliette Peters is also recommended. The London office is best known for its work relating to financial applications on divorce and wealth protection prior to and after marriage.

Steel & Shamash is β€˜a top human rights firm with a strong reputation for representing vulnerable people’. Janice Kaufman has β€˜unrivalled breadth of knowledge of children’s rights born out of years of representing children’. Senior solicitor Geeta Manglani is β€˜very good at representing parents and children alike’.

The team at Guildford’s Stevens & Bolton LLP is β€˜very well-organised and knowledgeable, and also has associates who are on the ball’; β€˜the vast majority of its work is based in London, and as a firm they are as good as any leading London firm’. β€˜Incredibly thorough and an excellent tactician’, Nicola Harries heads a team of β€˜excellent partners’.

Thomson Snell & Passmore is β€˜absolutely one of the best firms in Kent, but it can hold its own with the top London firms’. Joanna Pratt β€˜radiates a quiet confidence and clients feel looked after and safe with her’. β€˜Shrewd and pragmatic’ senior associate Desmond O’Donnell and the β€˜incredibly responsive and dedicated’ Kirstie Law are recommended.

Wainwright & Cummins has β€˜a highly capable and experienced team who stand out in their dedication to their clients’. Areas of expertise include public children law, human rights and international issues in family proceedings. Charlotte Image-Flower is β€˜particularly impressive’.

Aysen Soyer heads the team at Wilson Solicitors LLP, which advises on the full spectrum of family matters. It is a significant provider of legal aid services in addition to acting for clients on a privately funded basis. Patricia Beckett is β€˜kind and wise, and totally professional’.

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