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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
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Family Law in Partnership Ltd has the ‘best set of mediators in London’. The legal services that this large team of family mediators provides is ‘first-class, measured, fair and comprehensive’. The team ‘combines an understanding of the legal issues with an awareness of the personal and emotional issues facing clients’. Dominic Raeside is ‘really strong’ on children’s issues. Raeside can ‘work magic - almost like pull a rabbit out of a hat and get terrific results’. He along with Ruth Smallacombe are ‘two of the best known mediators in London. They receive a very high level of referrals from central London firms and they can usually crack even the hardest of cases’. Gillian Bishop is ‘not only a fabulous lawyer but an intuitive and empathetic mediator. She works well with both parties in the room’. James Pirrie is praised for his ‘work on supporting children’ and the ‘outstandingDavid Allison  is ‘just superb for mediation’. Director Elizabeth Fletcher  provides ‘exemplary support to her clients during the mediation process’. The team offers all types of family mediation from sole to co-mediation through to child inclusive mediation. It offers mediation in relation to both domestic and cross-border family disputes including international child abduction, access and custody cases.

Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP has the ‘excellentEmma Harte who is ‘constructive and tries to find a way to resolve matters out of court’. Harte is a Resolution accredited meditator and enjoys a steady stream of high profile and high value mediation cases. Tom Amlot is ‘amongst the best’ and is an accredited mediator. Amlot is regularly called upon to mediate where the parties are well-known and the protection of their privacy is of the utmost importance. Susan Philipps is another key member of the team and is a trained mediator as is William Healing. They are both well-regarded and active in this area.

Anthony Gold  has the ‘brilliantKim Beatson . Beatson is ‘really able to work with the couple to get a good outcome. She is also particularly good if the case or the personalities are difficult! She has a no-nonsense approach and is one of the most efficient people I have ever come across’. She is frequently referred complex and high-conflict financial and children work by other solicitors where court proceedings are already pending. She also offers MIAMs and is qualified to consult with children.David Emmerson  is Resolution and Family Mediation Council accredited and is praised for being ‘down to earth and able to take a broad view of matters’. Caroline Bowden  is also highly regarded. Bowden is particularly strong on dealing with financial remedies and also offers hybrid mediation.

Karen Barham  at Barlow Robbins LLP  is a ‘creative and intelligent mediator who relaxes the clients and can cloak tough subjects in artful imagery. If Karen cannot mediate a matter then it is incapable of being resolved amicably. She goes above and beyond and has an amazing success rate’. Her practice is exclusively as a mediator to assist couples and families when relationships break down. She is also qualified to consult directly with children.

Sarah Anticoni at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  is ‘one of the most seasoned mediators in the London family law circuit. Her mediation skills are undoubted and she has handled some of the trickiest mediations with impressive outcomes. She knows how to get the best results for her clients’. Anticoni is ‘very impressive in high conflict situations. If there were more like Sarah, there would be much less need for litigation’. Sarah Whitten is also ‘very experienced and sensible’.

Philippa Dolan at Collyer Bristow LLP  is ‘very solution-focused and drives the process with a gentle touch. She is sensitive of her clients’ needs and adopts a pragmatic approach. She thinks things through and ensures that things are reassuringly well done’. As a trained civil mediator she excels at complex matrimonial finance and children disputes.

Jeremy Abraham at Dawson Cornwell  is a ‘hugely experienced mediator who brings his intelligence and empathy to each case’. Abraham is accredited by the Family Mediation Council, by Resolution and by the Family Mediators. Senior associateJessica Reid  has recently become a Resolution trained mediator –she also has a ‘good reputation’.

Family Law Partners  has three mediators. Sarah Jelly  is ‘like the doyenne of mediation- she is vastly experienced and highly respected’. Jelly is a Law Society accredited mediator and is registered with the Family Mediation Council and Resolution. She also offers Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings. In addition Hazel Manktelow and Julian McEvoy  are well regarded. Linda Lamb is now at the Family Mediation Council.

At Hughes Fowler Carruthers Pauline Fowler is a ‘very safe pair of hands’. Fowler is praised for her ‘keen intelligence and she is particularly adept at co-mediation in difficult cases’. Frances Hughes is ‘highly experienced’.

Hunters Law LLP  is ‘very strong in and committed to the field of family mediation whether children finances or all issues by either sole or co-mediation’. It has a ‘very solid practice in mediation’ and Henry Hood  ‘in particular has an extremely effective style as a mediator and he is going from strength to strength with a high success rate. He has a natural air of authority which imbues clients with confidence’. Hazel Wright  is ‘bright, quick, empathetic and calm’ and Jo Carr-West is ‘always focused on getting a good resolution for her client’. Senior associate Vanessa Friend  is also well-regarded.

Charlotte Bradley  at Kingsley Napley LLP  is ‘doing incredibly well and is getting fantastic results for her clients. She deservedly has a strong reputation in this field. We are impressed by her ability to maintain her commitment to mediation whilst also running a large and busy department’. Bradley is ‘a ‘go to’ mediator for complex assets or complex people. She has an infectious commitment for mediation and this singles her out as one of the best practitioners in the City’. Senior associate Connie Atkinson  is a qualified mediator and is ‘growing in poise and experience. She has an eye for detail and a strong sense of direction for her cases’.

Levison Meltzer Pigott  is ‘renowned for both its litigation and mediation practice’. Simon Pigott  is a ‘highly skilled and experienced mediator. He is particularly effective at bringing couples who are often on the brink of proceedings through complex legal and financial issues to pragmatic and acceptable outcomes. Simon is very personable in his approach and focuses on the family and the children. He is a sharp, shrewd yet incredibly humane mediator and at all times leads his clients in the right direction’. Julian Ribet is ‘knowledgeable, firm and fair and a realist’.

Miles & Partners LLP  has the ‘very thorough and very approachableMichelle Uppal . Uppal is a ‘very experienced mediator with a very intuitive understanding of family dynamics’.

Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘committed to mediation and is very successful at it. The firm has embraced mediation (and ADR generally) very early on and has a great reputation for it’. Manchester-based Alison Bull is ‘absolutely fabulous and mediates some very tricky situations with high profile individuals. She brings her formidable legal brain and people skills to mediation and helps clients achieve good outcomes’. The ‘excellent’ Joanna Grandfield  is ‘extremely bright and able’.

Lisa Pepper  at Osbornes  ‘somehow manages to get parties to settle on matters where there isn’t much hope to start out with. Because of her ‘down-to-earthiness’ parties feel comfortable enough to feel relaxed and are therefore willing to compromise’. Pepper ‘can handle the large and complicated cases but takes equal care with the smaller cases. She is a highly skilled mediator who is a consummate professional’.

‘Few firms have such a strong offering and commitment across the board to ADR as Russell-Cooke LLP’. It has a large team of well thought of mediators. ‘Equally with its lawyers’ hats on, the team at RC is always supportive of mediation. It has an excellent reputation in this area’. Head of team Therese Nichols ‘has been at the forefront of the development of mediation in family law for many years. She is charming, reassuring and experienced’. James Carroll is a ‘very skilled mediator’ both in financial and children cases. ‘He tunes in sensitively to individual and family needs and can help couples to understand things to be able to cut through difficult issues in order to be able to cooperate in future’. The ‘very balancedFiona Read is ‘focussed on really assisting couples to find constructive outcomes and to avoid proceedings’. The ‘pragmatic and empatheticKate Hamilton is ‘effective and thorough’.

Denise Carter  at The International Family Law Group LLP  is ‘very well-known’ particularly for cases of child abduction mediation.David Hodson  ‘as a mediator is very capable of ensuring that clients will arrive at a very clear, detailed and workable settlement. He is known for his tenacity and his very strong knowledge of the law’.

Kirstie Law  and Desmond O’Donnell  at Thomson Snell & Passmore  are both ‘sound, effective and reliable mediators’. Law ‘thinks outside the box’ and O’Donnell is ‘very sensible and calm and great with clients’.

Withers LLP  is a ‘'go to’ firm for mediation where the resources and disputes are complex’. Suzanne Todd  ‘combines super empathy with a determination to ensure that any discussions are realistic and all options are explored’. Suzanne Kingston  has ‘an excellent reputation in this area which is well deserved. She understands how to manage the often challenging family dynamic and doesn’t baulk at or shy away from the thorny issues which are thrown up. Intransigent situations are her forte’.Diana Parker can ‘see the wood from the trees at the outset’. Claire Blakemore  is ‘down to earth and sensible. Clients stand a very good chance of sorting things out with Claire and are also able to feel that they had an opportunity to put their views across’. The mediators are ‘very able as one would expect as they are very experienced lawyers and they understand what their mediation clients need from them’.

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