Family: mediation in London
Family Law in Partnership Ltd fields a 'human, approachable and solution-focused' team with a large number of mediators who can assist on the full spectrum of family law matters. The department offers all types of family mediation, including sole and co-mediation as well as child inclusive mediations. A number of its mediators are trained to act in civil and commercial mediation and it has also handled mediations in cases involving child abductions. Clients come from a range of different backgrounds, and include celebrities, City professionals and middle-income to high-net-worth individuals. The team is made up of a host of star individuals, including the well-renowned Dominic Raeside, Ruth Smallacombe, who is a senior accredited mediator and counsellor, David Allison, Gillian Bishop and James Pirrie.
‘It is heads above anyone else on ADR‘
‘We rate Family Law in Partnership extremely highly, with its chosen focus of out-of-court (alternative) dispute resolution and holistic support for individuals and couples going through relationship breakdown‘
‘The unique nature of the practice is its clear and peer-leading commitment to the resolution of cases away from the court process where possible, but with the support of the highest quality legal advice‘
‘FLIP is human, approachable, solution focused and always puts settlement at the forefront of its aims. I have never had to litigate a case with the team as, even where there have been difficult issues, it is possible to have sensible and practical discussions to work through to a solution. This is in the whole family’s best interest‘
‘ A boutique firm with a reputation for ADR and collaborative practice. The quality of the individual lawyers makes it stand out from other firms – there are no weak links in the chain. James Pirrie and Gillian Bishop are lifetime achievers who lead by example. They are extremely capable and authoritative‘
‘James Pirrie is an exceptionally talented, forward-thinking and creative family lawyer‘
‘James Pirrie is intellectually extremely bright, very creative, a blue sky kind of thinker and finds solutions‘
‘David Allison is very experienced in mediation. He is extremely calm and very skilful at diffusing potentially inflamed situations‘
Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP has a number of excellent mediators in its team. Kim Beatson handles a mixture of complex children cases (especially relating to relocation) and financial work and receives a steady flow of referrals from other lawyers and former clients. Beatson was one of the first in the country to qualify in both family and civil mediation as well as child-inclusive mediations. David Emmerson specialises in difficult finance and children cases as well as cohabitation and pre-nuptial cases. He is an accredited mediator and collaborative lawyer. Caroline Bowden is also a highly active mediator.
‘Kim Beatson has a natural authority about her which often helps to resolve issues‘
‘Kim Beatson has an amazing knack of getting to the nuts and bolts of the case very quickly with minimal fuss‘
‘We are impressed by Anthony Gold’s commitment to dispute resolution. Kim Beatson is extremely experienced‘
‘David Emmerson is a good all-rounder. He is charming and has insight, and guides clients through trauma well‘
‘David Emmerson is incredibly impressive‘
At Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Sarah Anticoni is recognised as a 'leading' family mediator in both finance and children cases, and receives mediation referrals from many notable family practitioners. The mediation practice covers a very wide range of specialist areas in family law, including high-value divorce and finance cases and international children-related cases under the Children Act 1989 and the Hague Conventions, as well as civil partnerships. Sarah Whitten left the team and is now at Turner Nicholson.
‘Sarah Anticoni has a reputation for being one of the leading mediators in London and deservedly so. She commands huge respect and her commitment to mediation and her clients is second to none’
‘Sarah is focused on settlement and adapts her approach to encourage this, regularly bringing in lawyers to the mediation process if she feels it would assist‘
‘All members of the team I have met are very clearly leaders in their field, and at the same time very personable. They appear to have strength and depth, from senior team members down to more junior solicitors‘
‘Sarah very quickly got to grip with the relevant issues and was very skilled at steering the discussion in the right way to explore the issues and maximise the prospects of agreement being reached‘
‘Sarah Anticoni is a terrific mediator who listens to clients and always has a handle on the practicalities of the situation. She is a very good lawyer with bags of common sense and experience‘
‘Sarah Anticoni is immensely experienced and knowledgeable‘
Family Law Partners' team includes five well-regarded mediators, among them Sarah Jelly, who mediates on all issues, including high-value financial matters, and Hazel Manktelow, who has developed her practice further by also qualifying as a child-inclusive mediator. Mark Harrop is among 'the best young legal minds'; he is a qualified mediator and is also an accredited collaborative practitioner.
‘Family Law Partners is a unique firm, whose focus is on exploring out-of-court settlements as well as litigation if necessary‘
‘The team works closely with clients to explore whether mediation, arbitration, counselling or other therapies may be the best way forward, which is a helpful approach for clients and courts alike’
‘It is unique in its approach to family law and cutting edge in many respects with its approaches to difficult family and children cases. The lawyers are highly collaborative and interested in therapeutic and forward-thinking approaches to prioritising children‘
‘Its focus is on non-court dispute resolution which is a real positive‘
‘A great firm: it provides a top-notch level of service for clients whilst remaining focused on proportionality. It is excellent at exploring alternatives to court via mediation/ADR ‘
‘The team has a good ethos and client focus. It is strong in ADR and mediation, sensible and does not take unreasonable positions‘
‘It has some of the best young legal minds available, such as Mark Harrop‘
‘Kate Elliott is wonderful – wise and insightful with great client care skills. She is very adept at resolving cases with a view to minimising conflict‘
Goodman Ray has two Family Mediators Association-accredited mediators and can handle child-inclusive mediations. As a result, it receives a steady flow of instructions for high-net-worth and children mediations. Thomas Brownrigg conducts mediations for a variety of individuals and is also able to conduct mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs). Trudi Featherstone is a Resolution-trained family mediator who can mediate on both children and financial matters and is a collaboratively trained lawyer.
‘It is a go-to firm for complex children work with a number of recognised specialists. Trudi Featherstone and Thomas Brownrigg are both passionate family mediators driven by the client’s best interests‘
‘Goodman Ray is an excellent team with very strong capability across children and finances. Tom Brownrigg is a terrific lawyer and excellent mediator. He has a real passion for what he does but is also down-to-earth and accessible’
‘A family team of strength and depth. Impressive in litigation and out-of-court dispute resolution. Always looking at innovative ways to resolve disputes and support clients‘
‘Thomas Brownrigg continues to grow his reputation as a mediator‘
‘Tom Brownrigg is dedicated, bright and approachable. He manages high-stress situations with admirable calm and is able to reassure the most anxious of clients with his straightforward and empathetic manner‘
‘Thomas Brownrigg is meticulous in his preparation and has a very good tactical knowledge‘
‘Trudi Featherstone is a fantastic and highly experienced family lawyer. She is not fazed by anything and has the ability to settle cases with great ease‘
Experienced and 'extremely effective' mediator Henry Hood heads the team at Hunters Law LLP, which also includes the 'first-rate' Jo Carr-West, who is skilled in co-mediating with therapeutic providers and is noted for her expertise in high-value financial remedy work. Jay Patel offers mediation in English and Gujarati and Hetty Gleave’s mediation experience spans both family and commercial cases. Hazel Wright has retired.
‘Henry Hood is an extremely effective mediator: his experience and charm give him the magic touch for unlocking intractable problems’
‘Henry Hood is an excellent mediator. He has a warm and conversational approach that puts clients at ease. He draws on his experience to move past issues and guide clients to be solution focused‘
‘Jo Carr-West is a first-rate mediator. Balanced and calm, she inspires confidence in her clients and can steer her way through the trickiest of mediations‘
‘Jo Carr-West is a standout mediator, who is able to work with clients from all walks of life. She has a proven track record and has delivered great results for clients‘
‘Jo-Carr West has a knowledgeable, pragmatic and sensible approach which means clients are in excellent hands and will make progress in mediation with her. She is fairly directive as a mediator, which results in a focused and effective mediation process, while being eminently compassionate and user-friendly from a client perspective‘
‘The family team seems cohesive and well coordinated. Jo Carr-West is a great mediator and an extremely sensible and capable lawyer’
‘This is a strong team with in-depth experience in mediation. The lawyers work in conjunction with other family law professionals such as therapists. They provide a reliable service’
‘Jay Patel works collaboratively with other solicitors on cases whilst striving to get the best outcome for his clients. He is sensible in his advice and works productively with others to reach a resolution. He is an experienced and diligent lawyer’
The 'masterful' Charlotte Bradley at Kingsley Napley LLP has a balanced mediation and litigation practice with a strong reputation for her work in international cases (both finance and children cases, including relocation matters). Bradley is regularly instructed to deal with high-conflict cases and is an accredited mediator as well as a collaborative lawyer. 'Fantastic mediators' Connie Atkinson and Lauren Evans are the other names to note.
‘Charlotte Bradley is just masterful the way that she can handle so many tricky issues on both the family and the children side‘
‘I really like the KN team because it has a particular mix of legal knowledge and empathy and emotional intelligence, which is hard to find. Charlotte Bradley, Connie Atkinson and Lauren Evans all stand out as fantastic mediators, mixing legal prowess with emotional intelligence’
‘It has a strong offering across the board in finances, children and international work. Charlotte Bradley is able to manage the most complicated mediation without breaking a sweat. She has a calm head sitting on wise and experienced shoulders‘
‘A strong team with a great reputation and great depth. When asked to recommend lawyers for a spouse, this team will be a first port of call. Connie Atkinson always has a constructive and pragmatic approach – she is building a good mediation practice’
‘Charlotte Bradley is very practical, really knows the law and has a lovely manner with clients‘
‘Charlotte Bradley shows the right amount of empathy with the client but is straight talking too. She gives time to the client to consider things but keeps everything moving at a nice pace‘
‘Connie Atkinson is an excellent mediator and senior associate. Very efficient, hardworking and intelligent‘
‘Kingsley Napley has a growing team of mediators built around the experience of Charlotte Bradley and Connie Atkinson‘
Simon Pigott heads the 'fantastic mediation offering' at Levison Meltzer Pigott. He is a 'first-rate mediator' and is highly experienced in dealing with all aspects of divorce, whether the issues are financial or children related. He remains an accredited family mediator with an all issues practice, acting almost exclusively as a sole mediator.
‘Simon Pigott is a first-rate mediator – calm and assured‘
‘Simon Pigott has been doing mediation for such a long period of time and as a result is immensely experienced and knowledgeable‘
‘Simon Pigott is a highly experienced mediator and family lawyer of standing, respected by clients and peers alike‘
‘Simon works with complex financial issues and often high-conflict situations, wherever possible helping clients to find creative and workable solutions through mediation rather than recourse or return to the cost and uncertainty of court proceedings‘
‘A longstanding legal reputation and renowned for its personal concern and approach to client. The firm is known for giving a first-class service to each and every one of its clients and cases‘
‘LMP has a fantastic mediation offering (and general family law offering). On financial matters, it is one of the top practices to refer high-value or knotty issues. Simon Piggott achieves great results‘
‘The team is keen to ensure that there is a good fit between the client, the professional and the best process, whether that be through court, mediation or other means of resolution. It is highly respected within the field’
Miles & Partners LLP
Miles & Partners LLP 's 'swift , capable and responsive' team includes experienced mediator Michelle Uppal; her mediation practice complements her dispute resolution practice and she is adept at assisting couples with reaching amicable agreements relating to any family issue arising from separation, divorce, living together agreements or pre-nuptial agreements. She continues to successfully build her mediation practice and is frequently involved in transatlantic mediations as well as co-mediation cases in high-conflict situations.
Other key lawyers:
‘A current, compassionate and diverse team. Partner and accredited mediator Michelle Uppal combines depth of legal thinking with care and compassion, skills suited to providing an holistic mediation service‘
‘Michelle Uppal has been very efficient‘
‘Michelle Uppal is very committed to mediation and really tries to make a success of the process‘
‘Affordable, approachable and tenacious. Michelle Uppal is a class act. She is empathetic with the clients whilst being rigorous with the issues‘
‘Michele Uppal has a very professional and pragmatic approach. She does not create work for the sake of it and to the detriment of clients‘
‘Deep expertise around complex children cases. Great work as regards financial cases. Michelle Uppal is strong and settlement focused’
‘I would highly recommend this team. In its conduct of MIAMs, it is swift, capable and responsive. In some international (as well as national) matters, that makes all the difference’
Mills & Reeve LLP has recognised mediators in all its offices, with particular strength in London for both complex financial cases involving corporate structures and offshore trusts, where there are assets of between £20m and £2bn, and private law children cases, often involving international elements. Names to note are Joanna Grandfield, Alison Bull and Tim Whitney, while Suzanne Kingston, who is a trained collaborative lawyer, an accredited mediator and a hybrid mediator, as well as an accredited arbitrator, is also highly regarded.
‘Suzanne Kingston stands out for her expertise in alternative dispute resolution options‘
‘Suzanne Kingston has a very good arbitration and mediation practice‘
- Acted on a complex lawyer-assisted mediation involving a husband who had suffered a catastrophic brain injury as a consequence of a cycling accident and was represented via his parents in Australia on Skype.
- Acted in a difficult children mediation that was concluded through co-mediation and seeing the four children of the family directly.
- Found a creative solution of mediating on the telephone to allow parents to agree arrangements for their children where there was a history of domestic violence.
Karen Barham at Moore Barlow practises as a full-time mediator; she is accredited and qualified in child-inclusive mediation and the hybrid model (which includes the attendance of the parties’ lawyers in meetings). As a senior mediator, she is also a professional practice consultant supervising an increasing number of other mediators. She added another string to her bow recently by qualifying as one of the country’s first parenting co-ordinators.
‘Karen Barham is a very experienced and able mediator and has the added experience of working with children in mediation and being trained as a parenting co-ordinator. She uses her keen sense of humour to diffuse difficult issues’
‘What singles Karen out is her approach to the mediation process and how committed she is to the Resolution code of conduct. Karen thinks outside of the box and engages well with client and her peers. She is a formidable mediator who engages with the clients to make them feel at ease and listened to, without any judgement or recrimination‘
‘Karen has a wealth of experience which enables her to grasp issues quickly and provide considered and practical solutions. Karen is brilliant at minimising disputes and taking a Resolution approach to maintain relations between separated couples. Karen keeps solicitors updated and makes the process thereafter easy‘
‘Karen Barham leads the way in terms of a strong mediation practice. She remains client focused and is clearly committed to assisting every couple she works with. Mediation summaries are always comprehensive and sent in a timely manner‘.
‘Karen Barham is an exceptional mediator. She provides a brilliant service to clients, helping them to reach a satisfactory outcome‘
- Assisted a senior high-net-worth couple in their financial re-ordering on separation, whilst preserving their goodwill for the benefit of themselves, their children and grandchildren.
- Assisted husband and wife co-directors and shareholders with significant capital gains tax issues who required a mediated outcome in a short timeframe before the end of the tax year.
Osbornes' team includes Resolution-trained lawyer mediators Lisa Pepper, Bridget Thompson, Andrew Watson, David Leadercramer and Mark Freedman. Both Thompson and the 'skilled' and 'fantastic' Pepper are accredited mediators, while Pepper is also a collaborative lawyer; she mediates on private law children cases, divorce matters and matrimonial finance cases. Leadercramer, who is highlighted for his 'wisdom and stature', mediates on all issues.
‘Lisa Pepper is a fantastic mediator. She is fair, robust when she needs to be, and finds a way of facilitating agreements in the hardest of cases. Her guidance is spot on. She has an approachable and constructive mediation style‘
‘Lisa Pepper is a brilliant mediator who produces results. She is effective at resolving matters without the need for the parties to engage in expensive and protracted litigation‘
‘Lisa Pepper has built up a very impressive mediation practice. She is very engaging and easy to relate to. She embodies mediation in the sense that she approaches her case in a very non-judgmental fashion and can quickly gain the confidence of those with whom she is mediating‘
‘Lisa Pepper is an outstanding mediator. She is very skilled and has an empathetic and professional approach which is comforting for clients. She never imposes her own view but is even handed and provides helpful guidance to clients so that they can make empowered decisions‘
‘David Leadercramer has accumulated so much wisdom and stature throughout the years‘
Russell-Cooke LLP's 'exceptionally strong mediation team' has four Family Mediators Association-accredited mediators who mediate in a variety of family and children-related cases involving marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation and property ownership, as well as children-related matters. Mediation is a core part of the practice, which 'has a reputation for being sensible, conciliatory and experienced'. Fiona Read, who is a part-time district judge and also a family arbitrator, is at the helm. James Carroll, who is 'capable of mediating the thorniest of cases', Louise Connolly and Anna Keat are also recommended.
‘Russell-Cooke has an exceptionally strong mediation team and is highly regarded in this sector. It is probably one of the strongest mediation teams in London and offers clients a holistic approach in the resolution of both financial and children disputes‘
‘Russell-Cooke is increasingly known as a go-to firm for mediation in the family law world. It has a reputation for being sensible, conciliatory, experienced and value for money. Kate Hamilton is an excellent mediator, and has a rightly growing reputation in the field. She is bright, to the point, and has a no-nonsense approach to her mediation work which delivers excellent and efficient results for the clients. James Carroll is capable of mediating the thorniest of cases with confidence and achieves sensible outcomes‘
‘James Carroll’s love for mediation and his belief in the process is infectious. Clients talk of being energised by his hard work to help them solve their issue‘
‘Fiona Read is fantastic. She is incredibly skilled and clients love her. A good pair of hands for any mediation, however complex‘
‘For clients in West London, Fiona Read and Anna Keat are always top of my list of recommended mediators‘
‘Kate Hamilton is an excellent mediator. She has done wonders with some difficult cases where I had thought there was little chance of any progress being made. She was able to find the common ground and build on that‘
‘I am very happy to refer my clients to Louise Connolly for mediation. She has a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach and can guide clients to reach appropriate outcomes which are workable solutions for the separating couple‘
‘Anna Keat does not blow her own trumpet but just gets on with it and will resolve cases you thought were impossible‘
Thomson Snell & Passmore
Kirstie Law and Desmond O’Donnell are members of the team of 'experienced and sensible mediators' at Thomson Snell & Passmore. The team regularly receives referrals from London and local firms. An 'excellent mediator', Law is one of the few solicitors in the area who is currently able to offer MIAMs and she is also qualified to meet children as part of the mediation process. O’Donnell is an all issues Resolution-trained mediator (including in children and finances matters).
‘A rock-solid team made up of experienced and sensible mediators. Kirstie Law can deal with the trickiest of mediations and gets results even when no one would expect it’
‘Kirstie Law is very clear and approachable. She is able to get to grips with the issues quickly and manages to move even the more difficult cases forward’
‘Kirstie Law is an excellent mediator due to her pragmatic approach and ability to empathize with the participants’ positions. She carries out MIAMs appointments remotely, even before lockdown, and doesn’t just complete the process as a formality – she will truly explore whether mediation can be a helpful tool for the parties‘
‘Kirstie Law is an excellent mediator who cuts through cases with efficiency and sensitivity‘
‘Kirstie Law is very approachable and knowledgeable. She is extremely bright and has a can-do, sensible and pragmatic approach that clients appreciate‘
‘Kirstie Law is an exceptional and hugely experienced mediator. She has a practical approach whilst also being sympathetic to clients’ respective positions, which fosters clients’ willingness to engage in mediation‘
Withers LLP has 'strong' mediators who are renowned in the market, namely Suzanne Todd, Diana Parker and Claire Blakemore. Todd has considerable niche expertise in mediations with an Italian theme and is also a trained and practising collaborative lawyer. Blakemore mediates in both financial and children matters. Parker has recently honed her skills further by being one of the first to qualify as an arbitrator for financial disputes on divorce.
‘Withers has some strong mediators. Claire Blakemore and Suzanne Todd are at the forefront of the mediation practice and the firm has a commitment to non-court solutions in the appropriate cases. The fact that Withers’ mediators are all highly respected family lawyers means that they can bring to the mediation table a wealth of experience of complex cases and how to navigate them, which is of enormous benefit to clients’
‘A highly rated and established team‘
‘The team takes a sensible and considered approach to its cases. Egos are generally put to one side as metaphorical sleeves are rolled up to get the job done without unnecessary fuss or grandstanding‘
‘Suzanne Todd is someone I would happily work with on any matter whether it be in a ADR forum or through litigation‘
‘Claire Blakemore gets to the nub of the issues with warmth and care. She is compassionate but also incisive when needed‘
‘Claire Blakemore is an excellent mediator who works tirelessly to see if a deal can be done. She is pragmatic about what can be achieved but highly creative in exploring all possible options for clients and their families. Claire is extremely articulate and mediation clients have found her very clear and empathetic but also firm when required‘
‘Claire Blakemore and Suzanne Todd are fantastic mediators. They both have the ability to relate to all kinds of clients, are completely focused on achieving a good outcome, and are particularly good at dealing with mediations with complex finances, including trusts and the like. But Claire’s expertise in dealing with high-conflict children cases is skilfully used in her mediation practice for the benefit of her clients’
‘Diana Parker is cool and considered. She is extremely intelligent with bags of experience‘
The 'first-rate' Rachel Woodd at Jones Nickolds is a collaborative lawyer and an accredited mediator approved by the Law Society. Woodd frequently receives referrals from central London law firms as well as firms in Kent, and she mediates on all family matters, both financial and children related. She is adept at dealing with particularly acrimonious couples and those with complex relationships and issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘Rachel Woodd proudly and admirably leads the mediation practice at this firm. Jones Nickolds has become well known for offering effective mediation for all issues family work‘
‘Rachel brings a fantastic ethos to her mediation. There is a can-do attitude backed up by sound legal knowledge and expertise, enabling mediations to progress and conclude well and quickly‘
‘The team is approachable and has a good balance between having empathy with clients’ positions yet being robust enough with them to progress matters effectively. The team has different characters and expertise, meaning that a whole range of family matters can be referred to the team for mediation, not only divorce, finances and children but also TOLATA and cohabitation disputes‘
‘The private client mediation team is well regarded as being sensible and pragmatic when handling affairs but displays empathy which sets it apart from so many other mediation practices’
‘Rachel Woodd is a standout individual. Her calm persona and legal expertise (particularly in TOLATA and cohabitation matters where it is very difficult to find good mediators) means that I can refer clients to her knowing that they are in excellent hands‘
‘Rachel Woodd is a first-rate committed mediator. She not only embodies what a mediator should be, namely someone who is prepared to stand back from a case, but also has the ability to give confidence to the parties in mediation that she appreciates their respective concerns and fears‘
‘Rachel Woodd has built up a very impressive practice and that is testimony to her qualities as a mediator’
‘The mediation team at Jones Nickolds has a formidable force in Rachel Woodd. She brings great gravitas and wisdom to her cases‘