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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: mediation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Family: mediation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

Family Law in Partnership Ltd has real strength in depth in the team with 14 family mediators who can assist on the full spectrum of family law matters. It offers all types of family mediation including sole and co-mediation as well as child-inclusive mediation. It has four mediators who are trained to act in the civil/commercial modes of mediation and also does mediation in cases involving child abduction. Its clients are drawn from varied backgrounds and include celebrities, City professionals and middle-income to high-net-worth individuals. Its mediation team has been described as ‘pioneering and market-leading’. Head of the practice Dominic Raeside is an ‘outstanding mediator’.

Practice head(s):Dominic Raeside

Other key lawyers:Gillian Bishop; David Allison; James Pirrie; Ruth Smallacombe

Testimonials

'The mediation team is uniquely placed having a mix of lawyers and counsellors. The team offers an exceptional service on both children and financial matters arising out of a separation/divorce'.

'It is a team that genuinely seems committed to helping clients in mediation and enjoying what it does and getting on with each other. The team's enthusiasm and energy for DR is positive and infectious'.

'It has a deserved reputation for achieving great results. Dominic Raeside and Ruth Smallacombe are the stand out mediators in the firm. Each has vast experience and both receive a high level of referral work from the "Magic Circle" firms'.

'Dominic Raeside is one of the "go-to" mediators in London, if not in England and Wales, for high-conflict mediation clients. He has a huge armoury of mediation skills which can deal with the most complex relationship breakdowns and children issues'.

'Dominic Raeside was a great help in helping us resolve our issues'.

'Dominic Raeside is someone I always recommend when it comes to mediation regarding children'.

'David Allison is superb – he grasps the issues quickly, is no nonsense, genuinely cares about the clients and is excellent value for money'.

'James Pirrie goes above and beyond to think through the answer for clients. He works incredibly hard and should be very proud of his output. He is a real thinker. Very balanced and fair'.

'Gillian Bishop is truly and refreshingly committed to resolving family disputes as constructively as possible'.

Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP remains one of the top firms in London for high-value and complex financial mediations. Emma Harte is a Resolution accredited mediator and enjoys a regular flow of high-profile mediations. Tom Amlot is also recommended and is an accredited mediator. Susan Philipps is another key member of the team and is a trained mediator as is William Healing.

Other key lawyers:Emma Harte; Tom Amlot; Susan Philipps; William Healing

Testimonials

'Tom Amlot is completely unflappable and very good-natured'.

Anthony Gold offers child-inclusive mediation, cross-jurisdiction mediation as well as being skilled at managing complex finance and children matters. Caroline Bowden and Kim Beatson are both highly regarded. Clients stem from a broad range of nationalities, faiths, cultures and backgrounds and significantly it also offers help through legal aid. David Emmerson is well-respected for his work on complex finance and children matters.

Practice head(s):Kim Beatson

Other key lawyers:Caroline Bowden; David Emmerson

Testimonials

'Caroline Bowden and Kim Beatson are both well respected'.

'I thought Caroline Bowden was amazing and kept talks to the point and managed to take the emotion and anger out of them'.

'David Emmerson is extremely well-regarded and goes the extra mile for his mediation clients. He is equally adept at dealing with children or financial matters'.

'David Emmerson was totally professional. He had excellent communication skills; being able to explain the process in a clear and jargon-free way'.

'I highly recommend David Emmerson as his presence and skills in leading the conversation and negotiation were of extreme benefit in our case'.

'Experience & all the requisite skills to handle even the most challenging mediations – Kim Beatson, David Emmerson, Caroline Bowden – superb in their own right and an awesome team'.

'Caroline Bowden is very skilled, resourceful, client aware, lawyer aware, interested in the clients and always works incredibly hard to find a solution. One of the best in London'.

Karen Barham at Barlow Robbins LLP continues to be one of the ‘go-to’ mediators involving both children and finance cases where there is an international element. In 2018 Barham qualified in the Hybrid Model and has qualified as a parenting co-ordinator.

Practice head(s):Judith Ball

Other key lawyers:Karen Barham

Testimonials

'Karen Barham is a very competent and capable mediator. She is a fantastic communicator and is able to manage stressful and emotional situations by bringing calm and focus'.

'Karen Barham is a very experienced and fair mediator'.

'Karen Barham is an exceptionally versatile mediator who can bring an unflappable and considered approach to even the most challenging cases'.

'Karen Barham is very approachable and has a  pragmatic approach, which gets results'.

'Karen Barham is one of the most experienced mediators in the country . Highly responsive and with excellent communication skills'.

'Karen Barham is a very proactive and successful mediator.  She is invariably successful in getting positive results in the meditations she undertakes, even in the most challenging cases'.

'Karen Barham has always had a strong reputation and is an experienced mediator'.

'Karen Barham has a fantastic, no nonsense, humorous manner, a great knowledge of the law from her years of practice as a family lawyer before specialising in mediation and an ability to think laterally and out of the box to achieve resolution'.

Work highlights

  • Successfully mediated a settlement involving a number of properties and assets with complex issues of taxation and foreign interests.
  • Worked with colleagues in company commercial and employment / HR departments to implement a settlement agreement between husband and wife on their divorce.
  • Mediated a co-parenting plan to achieve an exact equality of parenting time.
  • Mediating in an international relocation of children matter.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has nine partners who are trained mediators and many of the team are collaboratively trained. Sarah Anticoni is a skilled family mediator in both finance and children. Sarah Whitten is also well-regarded for her work as a successful mediator. Its mediation practice covers a wide range of specialist areas in family law including high-value divorce and finance cases through to international children related cases and civil partnerships.

Practice head(s):Sarah Higgins

Other key lawyers:Sarah Anticoni; Sarah Whitten

Philippa Dolan at Collyer Bristow LLP is a trained civil mediator and excels at complicated matrimonial finance and children disputes.

Other key lawyers:Philippa Dolan

Testimonials

'Philippa Dolan is able to find a path through the trickiest of factual forests and is adored by her clients'.

Jeremy Abraham at Dawson Cornwell is accredited by the Family Mediation Council, by Resolution and by the Family Mediators. Abraham is a respected mediator both in sole and co-mediations and is approved for direct consultation with children.

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Abraham

Testimonials

'Jeremy Abraham is an excellent and hugely experienced mediator.'

Family Law Partners has five mediators, eight collaborative lawyers and an arbitrator. Sarah Jelly  mediates on all issues and has particular expertise in high-net-worth financial cases. Hazel Manktelow is also well-regarded and new addition to the team Mark Harrop, previously of Collyer Bristow LLP ,  is also a mediator and an accredited collaborative practitioner.

Goodman Ray's team is led by Trudi Featherstone and Thomas Brownrigg, who was recently promoted to the partnership and is an accredited mediator. Featherstone is a trained collaborative lawyer and an accredited mediator as well as a member of the Family Mediation Council.

Practice head(s):Thomas Brownrigg; Trudi Featherstone

Testimonials

'Trudi Featherstone is an exceptionally pro-active, dedicated and talented family lawyer/mediator. Her quick mind, knowledge, empathy and ability to think outside the box has led to her increasingly being recognised as one of London's finest mediators'.

'Thomas Brownrigg, who also offers child inclusive mediation, is also a safe pair of hands'.

'Thomas Brownrigg is an excellent mediator, capable of dealing with extremely complex financial situations including significant overseas assets'.

'Thomas Brownrigg has a really good attitude and the team is quickly building a very strong mediation practice'.

'Thomas Brownrigg is a practical, scrupulously fair mediator who you would trust on the most complex matters'.

Work highlights

  • Acted in a mediation between an unmarried couple concerning financial support for the child and an issue regarding the child’s schooling.
  • Advised on a complex financial case involving assets across 4 jurisdictions after a long marriage.
  • Acted in a mediation regarding children and financial matters.
  • Acted in a mediation on child arrangements.
  • Acted in a mediation on financial matters.

Pauline Fowler and Frances Hughes are senior mediators at Hughes Fowler Carruthers who are both well–regarded.

Other key lawyers:Pauline Fowler; Frances Hughes

Henry Hood heads the team at Hunters Law LLP that includes Hazel Wright and Jo Carr-West - each has been working as a mediator for many years. Wright is experienced in sole mediation, co-mediation and increasingly in supported mediation. Carr-West is a Resolution-accredited specialist in high-net-worth financial provision on divorce and in private children law.  A new addition to the team from Shoosmiths LLP is Jay Patel who is a trained mediator with Resolution and who mediates in English and in Gujarati.

Practice head(s):Henry Hood

Other key lawyers:Hazel Wright; Jo Carr-West; Jay Patel

Testimonials

'Hunters is able to field a large team of family mediators, all experienced partners in the firm. That enables them to offer an adept, swift response.'

'Hunters offers a good and rounded mediation service. They are all skilled lawyers, adept at seeing the bigger picture, and they bring these skills and intelligence to the practice.'

'Henry Hood is an extremely competent practitioner, his calm and authoritative manner provides great reassurance in troubled times.'

'Henry Hood is known for his effective time and tension management, enabling him to help couples to settlement.'

'Henry Hood brings a combination of considerable personal skills and his business acumen as a former commercial litigator to his mediation work, and is excellent.'

'Hazel Wright is particularly well-regarded for her calm and thorough approach, enabling her to achieve successful outcomes in conflicted cases.'

'Hazel Wright is a hugely experienced mediator. She is thoughtful, empathetic and clear minded.'

'It is a well resourced and high-calibre team. Jo Carr-West is an excellent mediator. Balanced, fair but firm.'

'Jo Carr-West is intelligent and focused and quickly gets to the heart of a problem. She brings these skills to her mediation practice.'

'Jay Patel has been extremely helpful with mediation. He has a very thorough approach, talking through all possibilities and comes up with practical solutions by thinking outside of the box.'

Work highlights

  • Advised in a mediation that involved an English husband and a Swedish wife who was concerned over post-Brexit jurisdiction.
  • Acted in a mediation that was made complex by situational violence, Social Services' supervision of children, court orders controlling harassment and occupation of the home.
  • Advised in a high-conflict mediation following the hostile breakdown of an international marriage that involved a young child.
  • Advised on a complex division of assets for an unmarried couple, including jointly-owned property and chattels and inherited assets.

Kingsley Napley LLP is regularly involved in mediations with an international dimension both in relation to children and finance matters. Charlotte Bradley is an accredited mediator who is allowed to have direct consultation with children. Connie Atkinson works mainly with City professionals on both financial and children cases. They also co-mediate together on complex and high-net-worth cases and both practice shuttle mediations.

Practice head(s):Charlotte Bradley

Other key lawyers:Connie Atkinson

Testimonials

'Very qualified, very capable in family law mediation. A safe pair of hands. A happy and energetic team.'

'Charlotte Bradley - she really cares about what she does and it shows. Clients and fellow solicitors trust her.'

'Charlotte Bradley really rolls up her sleeves and undertakes a thorough examination of disclosure. She doesn't sit on the fence, she tells clients when they need to move on their positions. She is confident and hardworking. Clients love her.'

'The team is led by the excellent Charlotte Bradley who is extremely knowledgeable and compassionate. Connie Atkinson is also excellent.'

'A close knit supportive team - extremely well regarded in their field. It can offer a mediator for all situations.'

'Connie Atkinson - calm, focused and extremely capable and hardworking. Dedicated to helping couples find solutions that will work for the family.'

Work highlights

  • Co-parenting agreement for individuals with assets of £100m+.
  • Mediation for a high-profile couple to reach a financial settlement.
  • Mediating with couple with a severely disabled son in relation to care and financial arrangements.
  • Mediation to vary substantial maintenance.
  • Co-mediation for US/British city professionals.

Head of team at Levison Meltzer Pigott is Simon Pigott who is an experienced and accredited family mediator with an ‘all issues’ practice. Pigott acts almost exclusively as a sole mediator and acts primarily for high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):Simon Pigott

Testimonials

'Simon Pigott is a stand-out lawyer who has great technical skills and people skills. He is one of the most experienced mediators in London and I regularly refer clients to him with confidence.'

'Simon Pigott is outstanding as a lawyer and as a mediator on complex financial cases. Simon is unflappable, highly professional and essentially human in his approach.'

 

Michelle Uppal at Miles & Partners LLP  is a skilled mediator and a collaborative lawyer. Highlights for 2018 included conducting a transatlantic mediation, co-mediating two shuttle mediations in addition to a mediation that necessitated having a translator. Uppal offers mediation to best fit with the client's needs and if a client is unable to attend the office for an individual MIAMS meeting, she will conduct the session by SKYPE or telephone MIAMS.

Other key lawyers:Michelle Uppal

Testimonials

'Michelle Uppal continues to be strong.'

'Michelle Uppal is a well-regarded mediator.'

'A small but efficient firm in mediation that is punching above its weight and size. Michelle Uppal is popular and a very active promoter of mediation.'

'Michelle Uppal is skilled at child mediation where her empathy is most effective.'

Key Clients

Resolution

Resolution Collaborative Lawyers

Law Society Children’s Panel

Lexcel

The Law Society Family Mediation Scheme

Work highlights

  • Mediated with a couple and an interpreter to reach a financial settlement for the transfer of a business.
  • Michelle Uppal assisted the parties to reach a financial settlement and divide their assets to reach a fair settlement.

Joanna Grandfield at Mills & Reeve LLP  is typically involved in mediations for City professionals with significant incomes or those with owner managed businesses and their spouses. Grandfield also has experience of mediating on children issues where there are complex jurisdictional discussions about where the child should live. Tim Whitney is also well-regarded for his work in high-value and complex mediations while Manchester-based Alison Bull is another known name. Suzanne Kingston who 'stands out for her expertise in alternative dispute resolution options' joined the team from Withers LLP .

Practice head(s):Alison Bull; Joanna Grandfield

Other key lawyers:Suzanne Kingston; Tim Whitney

Testimonials

'Joanna Grandfield and Tim Whitney are both excellent mediators - passionate and driven and motivated to bring about a settlement in difficult cases'.

'Tim Whitney exudes calm confidence no matter how difficult the subject or how unpredictable the case. This calm exterior sits beside excellent judgement, intelligent mind and commercial acumen'.

'Tim Whitney is a great mediator. His calm, knowledgeable and sensitive approach bodes very well in helping couples reach financial settlements and agreements about child arrangements'.

'Tim Whitney is great with clients. His calm and knowledgeable approach helps put clients at ease and helps create a forum where negotiation and settlements can occur'.

'Alison Bull is very impressive. Intelligent, pragmatic and resolution focussed. Suzanne Kingston has also just joined and is a superstar of the high-net-worth family world, unrivalled in my view across the city'.

'It is a very intuitive team. Alison Bull is very personable. Suzanne Kingston is an excellent mediator'.

'Alison Bull is a highly accomplished, thoughtful and careful mediator'.

Osbornes has a number of mediators in the department who can offer co-mediation (a male and female mediator) if the case requires it. Head of team is Lisa Pepper who is accredited by the Law Society for Mediation and is registered with the Family Mediation Council. Pepper has a busy practice and mediates on private law children and matrimonial finance cases. David Leadercramer has recently joined the team from DMH Stallard LLP.

Practice head(s):Lisa Pepper

Other key lawyers:David Leadercramer

Testimonials

'Osbornes is known for combining strong legal expertise with a commitment to resolving family matters amicably. This instils a huge amount of trust in any lawyer referring their clients to this mediation team. The team is particularly good at dealing with financial matters.'

'Lisa Pepper is extremely approachable and this shines through in the outcomes she achieves from mediation. She makes clients feel at ease, which enables them to feel empowered to resolve matters amicably and find a creative outcome which many mediators may have overlooked.'

'Lisa Pepper is building a very strong mediation practice at very competitive rates and is able to build a rapport quickly with almost anyone.'

'Lisa Pepper loves her work and has a very sensible head on her. That means her practice is thriving and rightly so.'

'The very recent addition of David Leadercramer to the team should be great – he is known as someone who gets results.'

'Lisa Pepper is very thorough in her preparation and has super personal skills to put parties in mediation at ease'.

Mediation is a central part of the practice at Russell-Cooke LLP and it offers sole mediation as well as co-mediation and shuttle mediation. Fiona Read, who is a deputy district judge as well as an arbitrator, heads the team and has mediated for many years along with James Carroll who also has an excellent reputation for mediation. Therese Nichols has now retired and Louise Connolly is also recommended. The team mediates on a variety of family and children law-related issues, including cohabitations and property ownership.

Practice head(s):Fiona Read

Other key lawyers:James Carroll; Kate Hamilton; Louise Connolly

Testimonials

'It has an excellent mediation practice. James Carroll really is a 'go to' mediator. Cases I have sent him that seemed intractable have been resolved though his guidance'.

'Fiona Read is a powerhouse, whose broad knowledge and skills make her a joy to work with'.

'James Carroll really knows his stuff, is very strong and works hard'.

'This solid team delivers good work both in and out of London. James Carroll is a 'solicitor's solicitor' and a joy to work with. Pragmatic and sensible he always seeks to find a sensible resolution in even the nastiest cases'.

'It has a solid core of mediators who are all family lawyers. Kate Hamilton - pragmatic, effective and yet very kind and personable'.

'Louise Connolly, Fiona Read and until recently Therese Nichols ( who has retired) are an impressive and comprehensive team of mediators'.

'Louise Connolly has an enormous amount of emotional intelligence. She is very bright and very easy to work with'.

'Louise Connolly - approachable and no nonsense combined with good legal skills'.

Work highlights

  • Acted as mediator on all issues (children and finances).
  • Mediation for a couple where wife has a terminal illness.
  • Mediation for a couple where a man was transitioning to a woman following previous failed mediation.
  • Mediating after a long marriage.
  • Mediating in a highly charged relationship breakdown.

The mediation team at The International Family Law Group LLP comprises David Hodson OBE and Denise Carter OBE. Hodson is an experienced family and civil mediator. Carter is also a highly respected mediator in international children disputes, and particularly in the area of parental child abduction and child relocation, covering both Hague and non-Hague states.

Practice head(s):Denise Carter; David Hodson

Testimonials

'There is no better team for mediation involving international families. The mediators are hugely experienced not only in law and mediation but the cultural issues that can impact on the resolution of a dispute. David Hodson OBE for financial mediation - Denise Carter OBE for children mediation'.

'David Hodson has the intellectual rigour to get to grips with the most complex cases involving foreign jurisdictions, tax, business interests etc and has the advantage of sitting as a part-time DJ'.

'David Hodson - one of the most talented & experienced family mediators in the land and beyond'.

'iFLG continues to go from strength to strength - recruiting top calibre assistants and continue to be one of the go to firms for cases with an international element'.

Thomson Snell & Passmore has Kirstie Law and Desmond O’Donnell who are both well regarded. The team regularly receives referrals from both local and London firms for mediation information assessment meetings and mediations. The team is skilled at handling complicated financial cases and difficult children issues. Law is qualified to meet children as part of the mediation process. O’Donnell is an 'all issues' Resolution-trained mediator (including children and finances). He is working towards Law Society accreditation and is a collaborative lawyer.

Practice head(s):Joanna Pratt

Other key lawyers:Kirstie Law; Desmond O'Donnell

Testimonials

'Kirstie Law is a very knowledgeable and capable mediator. She also conducts child mediation, which is helpful for mediations involving older children'.

'Kirstie Law and Desmond O'Donnell  are very professional and respectful of the situations that prompt clients to engage in mediation'.

'Kirstie Law is an excellent mediator'.

Work highlights

  • Mediating in a complicated case where there are investments in shares that may have significant value in future.
  • Mediating with regard to arrangements that had worked well when the children were pre-school but needed to be varied now that they are at school.
  • Mediation in a case where the capital is straightforward but the pensions are very complicated.
  • Mediating in a case where the assets are insufficient to meet both parties’ housing needs.
  • Mediated in a case where the clients only wanted one mediation session as a result of both having previously had legal advice and disclosure having already taken place. It was possible to reach an agreement during that session.

The key partners for mediation at Withers LLP are Suzanne Todd and Claire Blakemore . Todd has recently conducted a mediation in Italian.  Both Todd and Blakemore are highly recommended and mediate in both financial and children issues. Diana Parker is also recommended. Suzanne Kingston is now at Mills & Reeve LLP .

Practice head(s):Suzanne Todd

Other key lawyers:Claire Blakemore; Diana Parker

Testimonials

'It is a first-class team that knows what it is doing and confidently carries out the work. Good breadth to the team as in younger members are involved in supporting partners and benefit from the experience'.

'The practitioners are skilled and hardworking. Service to the client is the priority. The lawyers are reasonable and fair to deal with and surprisingly reasonable in respect of costs. The silver service of the family law world'.

'Withers has established a team of mediators who are well known for a pragmatic and forward looking approach which achieves results in even intractable cases'.

'Suzanne Todd has such a wide array of skills - calm, clear and kind. Safe pair of hands and no fuss - clients love her'.

'Suzanne Todd is at the top of her game. Sound legal knowledge, does not look to score points in dealing with her opponents. A great ambassador for how family lawyers should run their practices'.

'Suzanne Todd is straightforward, meticulous and enormously experienced. She is a joy to deal with '.

'Suzanne Todd is a class act as a mediator. She is highly experienced and is often referred complex cases. She is hugely energetic yet firm and will be able to avoid clients becoming overwhelmed in intractable issues'.

'Claire Blakemore is a brilliant mediator who shows real skill in helping clients find any common ground between them. Her patience is legendary but she also commands respect and combined with her sense of humour this means she will help clients settle if there is a chance of doing so'.

 

 

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