Firms in the Spotlight Family
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 …View Profile...
Family in London
Under the leadership of Sarah Higgins, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a focus on high-value and multi-jurisdictional cases. The excellent team covers a wide range of specialist areas in family law from complex divorce and finance cases through to international children related cases under the Children Act and the Hague Convention. Other areas of expertise lie in advising on adoption, surrogacy, civil partnerships and drafting marital agreements. In addition the team has a detailed knowledge of onshore and offshore trust structures and complex family business structures. Another focus of the practice is advising people in the sports and media sectors – it acts for premier league footballers as well as other sports and media professionals. Sarah Anticoni has a particular focus on mediating complex financial claims and children related matters. It remains a solid team despite a number of departures.
Other key lawyers:
Miranda Fisher; Sarah Anticoni; James Freeman; William Longrigg; Sarah Jane Boon; Joshua Green
‘Charles Russell Speechlys has a large outstanding team which allows them to provide a first-rate service in the biggest cases’.
‘Sarah Whitten is one of the stars of her generation for her top drawer expertise in both financial and children cases‘.
‘William Longrigg is an extremely well-respected senior lawyer‘.
‘Sarah Higgins is exceptionally bright. Miranda Fisher is a tough negotiator who is very tactically astute‘.
‘Jamie Kennaugh is really sharp and a delight to work with‘.
‘It has lost five partners over the past 12 months. Despite this it remains one of the largest family teams in London and its biggest hitters remain – certainly it still has the capabilities to work on the biggest and most complex cases‘.
- Advising a wealthy international client on Part III proceedings involving the Court of Appeal.
- Acting for an intermediary in a family law case involving fraud allegations.
- Advising in an international children case involving high-profile individuals and Court of Appeal rulings.
Dawson Cornwell has the ‘greatest concentration of talent in the UK in international cases involving children’. This skilled team has substantial international expertise both at partner and associate level and it has an established Spanish desk and a newly formed Pakistan desk. Its lawyers cover 19 languages and its matrimonial and children teams are both well-placed to respond to complex and novel international cases. The group also has substantial expertise in other niche areas such as UHNW surrogacy. In addition the team has been involved in 17 reported cases in the past year. Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, QC (Hon) who receives so many plaudits has been described as a ‘living legend who has dominated the field of international children law for many years’ – she heads the children team. Kate Allen heads the matrimonial team. It has recently promoted three people to the partnership, namely Lisette Dupré; Jessica Reid and Colin Rogerson, and was also recently joined by the well-regarded Catherine Thomas, formerly of JMW Solicitors LLP and Vardags.
Anne-Marie Hutchinson; Kate Allen
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is absolutely outstanding on children matters, particularly those with an international element. The experience and expertise of the partners and associates is unrivalled, and the quality of the work is superb. The firm is energetic and engaged’.
‘Anne-Marie Hutchinson stands head and shoulders above her peers in this area. Her knowledge, insight, and creativity in the field is beyond comparison. She is the doyenne of international family law‘.
‘Kate Allen is committed to a better way of delivering family law services. She attracts wealthy clients who wish to conduct their cases well. Kate is incredibly bright and articulate‘.
‘Zoe Fleetwood is at the top of her game in children matters and is utterly dedicated to her clients‘.
‘Russell Bywater passionately fights his clients’ corner whilst giving reassuring and sensible advice behind the scenes‘.
‘Carolina Marin-Pedreno has a great client manner and a very good tactical mind‘.
‘Colin Rogerson is the surrogacy guru. He knows the law inside out. He is hugely respected, not just by judges and lawyers in this jurisdiction, but also internationally‘.
‘James Netto is quite simply brilliant. James produces statements that are a dream, and is able to manage even the most difficult of clients. He is absolutely dependable and has amazing insight into international children matters‘.
‘Lisette Dupre is immensely knowledgeable and superb. Caroline Korah is a highly dedicated lawyer who fearlessly represents her clients’ interest‘.
‘Anne-Marie Hutchinson, Colin Rogerson and Sulema Jahangir. They all stand out for their knowledge and experience in very sensitive matters‘.
- Represented the applicant father, where his child had been abducted from Spain in 2014 by his mother.
- Represented the respondent mother (of A, a ten-year-old girl) on the father’s appeal against the order of DJ Gibson refusing the father’s application to register the order of a district court in Moscow further to the 1996 Hague Convention.
- Advised on a complex multimillion-pound pre-nuptial agreement for a Spanish South African client – the team negotiated to protect its client in an unusual situation where he does not yet have any assets in his own right but will have significant assets at an unknown point in the future.
- Advised on a complex cross-jurisdictional non-disclosure financial remedy case after an overseas divorce.
- Advising on a high-net-worth case which focuses on the interplay of dividing matrimonial capital without directly impacting income.
Family Law in Partnership Ltd fields a highly experienced team of lawyers, family arbitrators (finance and children), mediators and family consultants who are skilled at advising on all aspects of family law. The team is well-regarded for its work on diverse issues including complex and high-value financial claims on divorce where there are complicated tax and trust implications through to private law children matters. It is also recommended for its work for cohabitants as well as on same-sex issues. Gillian Bishop and David Allison are some of the names to note in the team that is also adept at handling international issues as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements and relationship agreements. The team garners considerable praise for 'offering clients a genuine opportunity to reach a good deal at an early stage without becoming embroiled in hostile litigation'.
Farrer & Co is best known for its work in high-value and complex international matrimonial cases involving substantial assets often where there are sophisticated asset protection structures in place and substantive tax and trust issues to be considered. The team under the leadership of William Massey is adept at handling large matrimonial cases with multi-jurisdictional trust aspects as is evidenced by its recent advice to the trustees of the F Trust which holds £1bn in assets and who were joined to divorce proceedings. It is also skilled at handling heavyweight children matters and routinely advises clients on abduction, relocation and on obtaining safeguards on temporary leave to remove cases. Mark Fenton is no longer at the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Bruce; Eliza Hebditch; Richard Parry; Jeremy Posnansky; Sarah Hutchinson; Claire Gordon
‘There are a lot of stars in this team‘.
‘Claire Gordon is very numerate, intellectually really strong and instils confidence and calmness in her clients’.
‘Sarah Hutchinson is excellent‘.
- Acted for the husband in Thum v Thum  EWCA Civ 624.
- Acting for the trustees of the F Trust (they are the trustees of a £1bn trust) in relation to the divorce of one of the beneficiaries in the trust.
- In IX v IY  EWHC 3053 it acted for the wife in connection with her divorce and consequent financial remedies application in a high-value reported case.
- Advised an extremely wealthy European individual in relation to a pre-nuptial agreement worth around US$6bn.
- Acted for Mr B, the son of an immensely wealthy Swiss family, on his pre-nuptial agreement.
Hughes Fowler Carruthers remains a firm of choice for the huge money cases (those in excess of £1bn). The agile team is renowned for its work on pre and post nuptials where there are complex cross-jurisdictional issues. It is also very adept at handling major children cases including gender issues, autism, child mental health issues as well as other areas such as developmental delay, parental alienation in addition to abduction and relocations. Another distinguishing feature of the practice is that it continues to be involved in major reported cases. Frances Hughes leads the team that includes some other highly regarded individuals such as Mark Harper, Alex Carruthers and Pauline Fowler. Renato Labi is another key figure for his work on very high value and complex family litigation. Caroline Park is equally skilled at handling the most complex divorce and financial remedy cases as pre and post nuptial agreements and contested children matters.
‘Frances Hughes is excellent‘.
‘Mark Harper is a brilliant lawyer who does the biggest cases‘.
‘Mark Harper is sensible and constructive‘.
‘Alex Carruthers does a brilliant job with tricky clients and is very good at keeping on top of details on complex cases’.
‘Caroline Park is very bright, very efficient and a pleasure to deal with‘.
A v R
MB v TB  EWHC 2035 (Fam)
- Continued to represent Christina Estrada in proceedings following her landmark award against her Saudi billionaire husband.
- In A v R (Children)  EWHC 2771 (Fam) the firm acted in the reported appeal by the HNW mother in relation to a fact-finding hearing concerning coercive control.
- In Rogan v Rogan  EWHC 2512 (Fam) the firm represented the successful wife in the reported judgment summons decision.
- In MB v TB  EWHC 2035 (Fam) the firm is advising the respondent husband in the first reported case on service within the EU following the landmark decision of Thum.
- Acted for the wife in a reported judgment involving a jurisdiction dispute between England and Switzerland.
Mishcon de Reya LLP is frequently involved in complex high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth cases, often with an international element, that involve complicated tax and trust issues, substantial business assets and partnerships. It is best known for its litigation prowess and has successfully litigated on matrimonial finance cases at all levels of tribunal all the way up to the Supreme Court and the Privy Council. Sandra Davis is 'one of the legends of the family world' and heads the team. Davis is also a keen advocate of the voices of children and young people throughout the divorce and parental separation process. Barbara Reeves has significant experience in cases where there are wider issues affecting the family including trust disputes, separation and property disputes. Reeves is also skilled at handling any other issues surrounding cohabitation. Kate Clark and Claire Yorke are recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘A Rolls-Royce service from start to finish. With its finger on the pulse of financial and children matters it makes a great team. It has an excellent reputation for getting results but does not compromise in terms of the advice given‘.
‘A stellar and deserved reputation for 5-star service and litigation. An excellent team with no weak links‘.
‘Sandra Davis is a giant in the family law world. So grounded and yet able to handle a myriad of different and difficult clients. Calm and unflappable and committed to the clients‘.
‘Sandra Davis as an exceptional practitioner. She has an extremely busy and successful practice. She has a very analytical mind. The advice she gives clients is always spot on; she shows the most outstanding judgement. There is nothing that fazes Sandra. You want her on your side‘.
‘Sandra Davis is at the top of her game and is frequently involved in the biggest and most important cases. Dan Beattie has a great sense of where to guide the case and a keen appreciation of its strengths and weaknesses. He is emotionally intelligent and really gets his clients‘.
‘Barbara Reeves is very intelligent. She understands the law and how to make it work for her clients. She is a tough litigator but a courteous and constructive opponent’.
‘David Lister is easy and pleasant to deal with but a very able opponent. Melissa Lesson has great commercial nous and is financially literate. She gives robust and clear advice from the outset and is transparent with her clients’.
‘Kate Clark is brilliant. Not just in the way she handles cases but in the way she manages to guide clients through a difficult process. Impeccable judgement and a joy to work with‘.
‘Kate Clark is simply amazing. She is fabulous with clients and has a head for complex issues and complicated figures. Claire Yorke is years ahead of her peers: fearless, robust, knowledgeable and pragmatic‘.
‘James Rees is simply wonderful. He is a great tactician and robust with it but is also able to reassure the clients and works brilliantly as a team with counsel. Antonia Felix is unflappable, measured, sympathetic but steely when required’.
With effect from 1 June 2019 Philip McGuirk and Rebecca Cockcroft now head the family law team at Payne Hicks Beach. The team is well known for its ability to advise a wide range of clients whether they be wealthy individuals, ‘Magic Circle’ lawyers or hedge fund managers and their spouses. It continues to act in a variety of high-profile cases and regularly appears in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. It is adept at advising on a myriad of issues from Part 111 claims, through to pre and post nuptial agreements and complex issues when children are removed from their home jurisdiction. Other names to note include Ian Airey who sits as a deputy district judge in the Principal Registry of the Family Division and Baroness Fiona Shackleton who has been described as a ‘legendary figure who needs no introduction’.
Rebecca Cockcroft; Philip McGuirk
Other key lawyers:
‘The best legal team money can buy. Unbelievably thorough, first-class litigators, highly respected in the field. Supremely well connected internationally and ideally placed to help in cases involving multi-jurisdictional issues’.
‘I have always been very impressed with the team’s personal service, care and attention to detail in all areas‘.
‘Baroness Shackleton is probably the most celebrated family lawyer of her generation. Clients love her. opponents pray that she won’t be instructed on the other side. Has been acting for clients in the highest profile cases for more than 30 years and for good reason‘.
‘Ben Parry-Smith is brilliant with difficult clients who find themselves in stressful situations – a trait he shares with the other senior team members of the team‘.
‘Simon Beccle was exceptionally responsive and conscientious and was measured and helpful‘.
‘Simon Beccle is a solicitor of choice for so many top-notch clients. Ian Airey is vastly experienced and hugely respected, he is a real force in the family law market‘.
‘Matthew Booth provides a Rolls Royce service‘.
‘Philip McGuirk and Rebecca Cockcroft as heads of team will be a breath of fresh air to the practice. Both are well respected and well liked’.
‘Philip McGuirk is a giant of London family law, he is so very clever and authoritative and inspires huge confidence in all his clients‘.
‘Charlotte Skea-Strachan has been enormously helpful’.
Stephen Foster heads this large and excellent team at Stewarts Law LLP that has real strength in depth throughout its ranks. A large percentage of the cases the team is involved in have assets in excess of £500m. Several of its cases run into billions of pounds. Another key strength of the practice is that it continues to be involved in an impressive cluster of significant reported cases. Helen Ward is another significant member of the team who has acted for well-known international families, entrepreneurs and high-profile individuals from the worlds of sport and arts.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Ward; Debbie Chism; Emma Hatley; Richard Hogwood; Matthew Humphries; Sam Longworth; Toby Atkinson; Carly Kinch
‘The team is led exquisitely by Stephen Foster who has a blend of extremely strong and diverse lawyers. There is a badge of quality with Stewarts. Stephen Foster brings gravitas and practicality to everything that he does’.
‘It is a large team that is able to take on a large number of cases and makes its presence known in the divorce and family sphere. Stephen Foster is excellent and Helen Ward is one of the leading family lawyers of her generation‘.
‘Debbie Chism is very thorough and extremely professional’.
‘Emma Hatley is brilliant and is currently advising in the biggest cases for the biggest clients, and deservedly so‘.
‘Richard Hogwood is phenomenal, super intelligent‘.
‘Richard Hogwood is almost too clever. He is incredibly straightforward, a real pleasure to deal with as he sorts things out in a sensible way‘.
‘Toby Atkinson does superb work‘.
‘Sam Longworth is an excellent lawyer with a great client manner and commitment to the case. He is also very fair‘.
‘Carly Kinch is extremely organised and hardworking. Emma Hatley is effervescent and client friendly, Sam Longworth is very smart’.
C v C  EWHC 3186 (Fam)
XW (the judgment was anonymised) in the case of XW v XH 2017 EWFC 76 and XW v XH 2019 EWCA Civ 549
Mantegazza v Mantegazza  EWHC 3811 (Fam)
Court of Appeal case of Kelly v Pyres  EWCA Civ 1368
HRH Louis Prince of Luxembourg v HRH Tessy Princess of Luxembourg & Anor (Application for Financial Remedy)  EWFC 77
HRH Louis Prince of Luxembourg v HRH Tessy Princess of Luxembourg (Publication of Offer)  EWHC 3095 (Fam)
ND v SD & Ors  EWHC 1507 (Fam)
ABX v SBX  EWFC 81
- In C v C  EWHC 3186 (Fam) acting for a well-known banker husband in the case where Roberts J clarified the court’s approach to the right to share non-marital (in this case post-separation accrual) assets.
- Acting in XW (the judgment was anonymised) in the case of XW v XH  EWFC 76 and XW v XH  EWCA Civ 549 which is a high-value ancillary relief case.
- Acting in Mantegazza v Mantegazza  EWHC 3811 (Fam) which is a major case on the issue of the appropriate forum for divorce proceedings.
- Acted for the husband in Kelly v Pyres  EWCA Civ 1368 in the challenge to the diplomat’s wife’s assertion that the English court had jurisdiction to hear divorce and financial proceedings.
- Acted for Prince Louis in his English divorce and financial proceedings – HRH Louis Prince of Luxembourg v HRH Tessy Princess of Luxembourg & Anor (Application for Financial Remedy)  EWFC 77.
Withers LLP has a vast amount of experience in complex international cases with its 18 offices worldwide. It continues to act in major reported and significant family law cases. Suzanne Todd heads this excellent team and her practice spans complicated international financial remedy work as well as multi-jurisdictional pre-nups and private international children and family matters. The firm fields a large team of family and divorce lawyers that is well–equipped to handle the most complex international and high-value cases. Diana Parker 'remains in the very top rank of family lawyers'. Suzanne Kingston is now at Mills & Reeve LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Diana Parker; Michael Gouriet; Katharine Landells; Claire Blakemore; Julian Lipson; Laura Winterbottom; Adele Pledger
‘The family team is in the premier division when it comes to HNW London divorce work‘.
‘The team has strength in depth. It is full of bright engaging individuals‘.
‘Diana Parker has been right at the top of the industry for a very long time. Julian Lipson is bright, affable and entirely client focused – he works hard for his clients and trains his focus on their long term interests rather than their short term goals’.
‘Diana Parker and Laura Winterbottom were an unbeatable team for me that it was a joy to work with. They are not only extremely effective but also lovely people‘.
‘Suzanne Todd is an extremely impressive leader of the family team. She is calm, wise and has excellent judgement‘.
‘Suzanne Todd is tip top. She can explain points without being patronising, taking a little more time where required to ensure the client is fully conversant with what’s being discussed/considered‘.
‘Katharine Landells and Michael Gouriet are excellent. Katharine Landells is calm and thoughtful with a sense of humour and razor sharp intellect that makes for a killer combination‘.
‘Claire Blakemore will go to the wire for her clients, defending them to the hilt. She is quick witted and uber efficient‘.
‘Laura Winterbottom and Adele Pledger are both on their way to the top‘.
‘Adele Pledger is just superb‘.
- Acting for L’Administration Des Biens de Son Altesse Royale Le Grand Duc De Luxembourg in the reported decision Her Royal Highness Tessy, Princess of Luxembourg vs His Royal Highness Louis, Prince of Luxembourg – Neutral Citation Number:  EWFC 77.
- Acted for an heiress in a complex Anglo-German wealth protection prior to marriage.
- Represented the husband in successfully defending an appeal brought by the wife following a contested final hearing and subsequent order made in 2017. This resulted in the wife retaining her minority shareholding in the husband’s business on a Wells sharing basis.
- In the reported decision of Akhmedova v Akhmedov  EWFC 23, the firm acted for the claimant in the joinder of third parties for the purposes of enforcement of a £453m divorce award.
- Acting for an international businessman and entrepreneur in relation to financial issues following his separation and divorce and issues concerning the time his children should spend with him.
Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP is a boutique practice that focuses exclusively on family law. It is one of the ‘go to’ practices for complex and large asset cases. Significantly, six of its team are fellows of the well-renowned IAFL (International Academy of Family Lawyers). The partners are also collaboratively trained and several are practising mediators. Tom Amlot has a reputation for protecting his clients' privacy and representing clients in the public eye. The group has particular expertise in cases with an English-French dimension and William Healing is well-regarded for his work in this area.
Freemans Solicitors is particularly renowned for its work on both complex public and private law children matters. It represents a wide range of clientele including well-known actors, high-net-worth individuals and members of the aristocracy on various matters such as parental alienation, fabricated illness through to sexual abuse cases. It also frequently acts on the behalf of children either through their court-appointed guardian or by a direct instruction from the children themselves. It has vast experience of complicated cross-border matters and the team often features in reported cases regarding applications under the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention or other areas including the 1993 Hague Treaty on adoption. Its matrimonial practice is also strong and specialises in dealing with high-net-worth individuals. Nina Hansen is ‘exceptional’.
Other key lawyers:
Hilka Hollmann; Laura Coyle; Georgina Stavrou
‘Freemans has a strong family team with a vast range of expertise. It deals with all areas of family work from high-net-worth financial cases to complex care proceedings. It is a supportive team that works incredibly well together‘.
‘Freemans is the creme de la creme for public law family work; and for complex private law work. What sets the team apart is that it is in the High Court day in, day out, so has expert knowledge of practice and procedure there‘.
‘Freemans occupies a niche position in family law. It has excellent public law solicitors undertaking work at the highest level in the most difficult cases and unusually also services private law clients and international cases at a very high level. This cross-fertilisation of work gives the solicitors in the firm a very valuable breadth of experience‘.
‘The team has great energy. The relatively young profile of the partners makes them forward looking and innovative in their approach. The lawyers are notable for their work with modern families and with young people in parental disputes‘.
‘Nina Hansen is so adept at international children work she could probably do it in her sleep‘.
‘Nina Hansen is an excellent tactician and fights very hard for all of her clients. She is particularly skilled with vulnerable clients‘.
‘Laura Coyle’s robust yet pragmatic approach to children cases makes her one of London’s “go to” solicitors to represent children‘.
‘Laura Coyle fights tooth and nail for her clients. You want her on your side. She is forensic in her approach to all of her cases. She works diligently to get the right result‘.
‘Laura Coyle gets up to her elbows in cases. She conducts much of her own advocacy where she is robust and effective‘.
‘Hilka Hollmann is an outstanding lawyer with an exceptional grasp of international adoption issues from a family law perspective. Georgina Stavrou has quite an astonishing grasp of her work for someone of her level‘.
Goodman Ray has considerable strength across a broad range of issues including finance, private children, public law and international matters. It is also skilled at advising on adoption, fertility, modern family structures as well as other issues surrounding domestic abuse. Its specialist lawyers deal with a wide range of cases including complex medical cases where the effects of an undiagnosed medical condition could be confused with signs of abuse or allegations of physical injury such as shaken baby syndrome. Seven members of the team are on the Law Society Children Panel. Its adoption team is also well regarded, while the firm also has a specialist team that deals with cases of child abduction and forced marriage. Peggy Ray, Trudi Featherstone and Jemma Dally are highly respected practitioners along with Kevin Skinner. Thomas Brownrigg was promoted to the partnership.
Peggy Ray; Trudi Featherstone; Jemma Dally
Other key lawyers:
‘It is an excellent children’s law practice, with a particular speciality as a leader in the representation of children, and a recognised high-level expertise in international cases’.
‘Goodman Ray has always been at the forefront of family law, particularly the law as it relates to children. The firm has never rested on its laurels and the team is highly positive and effective with outstanding lawyers‘.
‘Peggy Ray has a powerful and acute intellect, and grapples with difficult and challenging cases imaginatively, with maturity of judgement, and (where appropriate) forcefully‘.
‘Janet Broadley is a well-established specialist in international cases, and in particular in Hague Convention child abduction, with experience of high-level work including in the UKSC and the CJEU. She has an excellent, friendly approach to clients, and a pragmatic and practical approach to litigation‘.
‘Emma Sherrington and Ann Thompson are practitioners who operate effectively at the highest level in children’s cases, including those with an international aspect‘.
‘Thomas Brownrigg is very switched-on‘.
‘Catriona Allan is knowledgeable on all aspects of childcare law.’
‘Kevin Skinner is a marvel. Instantly reassuring and personable with clients from any background, he is a versatile individual who will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the best possible outcome. His written work is exceptional and he is an excellent communicator, which is a skill that bring an edge to any case he touches.’
Family Rights Group
- Acted for the wife in a case involving a well-known sportsman with significant assets across multiple jurisdictions, with complex enforcement issues.
- Representing W in a financial relief case involving domestic abuse.
- Negotiating complex financial settlements involving assets across different jurisdictions.
- Representing the mother in wardship and care proceedings.
- Representing the father in care proceedings and Art 15 BRII proceedings.
Hunters Law LLP has particular strength in complex and high-value financial work. As well as its work in the heavyweight financial cases the team is also known for its private children work. It routinely undertakes complex work such as advising on child abduction (Hague and non-Hague), wardship and high-conflict cross-border work. Henry Hood heads the team and has been accredited for many years as a Resolution specialist in advanced financial provision and private children law. Hood has also more recently become accredited as a mediator by the Law Society and is, in addition, a collaborative lawyer. Richard Kershaw’s cases often draw on his expertise in trusts, overseas assets and property ownership while Hetty Gleave specialises in complex financial and children work. The team was pleased to add Jay Patel to its ranks from Shoosmiths LLP.
‘Henry Hood commands a lot of respect‘.
‘Henry Hood uses his vast knowledge of previous cases wisely and always gives careful consideration about how to act‘.
‘Hunters is a top-end family law firm with a formidable reputation. The client care and attention to detail here is exceptional‘.
‘There is no other firm that manages clients’ expectations as its lawyers does, or who will better hold the clients’ hand in what is often such a traumatic and difficult time for them‘.
‘Jo Carr-West is an exceptional solicitor. She has fantastic client care skills and a precision that gives her work a real edge. Jo is immensely smart and brings her intellect and experience to bear in all her cases‘.
‘Hetty Gleave is extremely good, has great judgement, takes her responsibilities to her clients very seriously ‘.
‘Hetty Gleave is friendly, business like and efficient. She has a no-nonsense pragmatic approach‘.
‘Richard Kershaw is a very good technician and keeps everything moving towards a resolution at a sensible pace‘.
‘Richard Kershaw is brilliant: insightful, pragmatic and knowledgeable. He has great client care skills and inspires confidence. He identifies strategies from the outset and gives clear and fair advice so clients feel part of a supportive team throughout’.
‘Amy Scollan’s attention to detail and research capabilities are outstanding. Amy is a first-class lawyer and leaves no stone unturned‘.
Timothy Lewis Saxton
- Acting in an unusual case in which the firm was instructed to act for a former husband concerning an application to set aside a consent order by the former wife that was obtained before the firm’s involvement in the case – Saxton v Bruzas  EWHC 3879 (Fam).
- Acting for wife in high-conflict, high-value divorce.
- Acting for the wife in a high-value landed estate case.
- Acting for the wife after a long marriage to HNW husband.
- Acting for a wife in a big money case where the husband does not understand the concept of sharing after a long marriage.
Both the partners and junior lawyers at Kingsley Napley LLP can equally advise on cases involving finance and children proceedings. The team is well known for its work in highly contested and complex finance proceedings for very wealthy clients and has extensive experience in acting for farming and landed estate clients. It can also advise on contested cases around child arrangements frequently involving issues about relocation and other cross-border children matters. A high proportion of its work is international. In addition the group has a strong reputation for its work in high-conflict cases advising clients where there are personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorders or addictions through to cases involving parental alienation or coercive and controlling behaviour. Head of team Charlotte Bradley is highly regarded for her work on Schedule 1 cases. Michael Rowlands also regularly advises clients in respect of high-value multi-jurisdictional post/pre-nuptial/pre-civil partnership agreements as well as international child relocation cases. Jane Keir and Lauren Evans are recommended.
‘Kingsley Napley is filled with reasonable, sensible lawyers who know their stuff and get things sorted out with a minimum of fuss. It also has a particularly strong team of associates coming through and we would single out for recognition senior associate Lauren Evans‘.
‘Charlotte Bradley is superb who along with Jane Keir works wonders with clients. Lauren Evans is absolutely brilliant and superb at calming down clients‘.
‘Charlotte Bradley is a brilliant and intuitive lawyer‘.
‘Charlotte Bradley remains fantastic‘.
- Advising on an Anglo-French divorce of a high-profile individual.
- Advised on the enforcement of a prenup and its settlement at FDR.
- Advised on a multi-jurisdictional contested children and finance case with complex international trust issues.
- Advised on a high-net-worth and multi-jurisdictional financial remedy case.
- Advising on a complicated multi-jurisdictional divorce involving complex financial matters.
Levison Meltzer Pigott is a niche practice that specialises in all aspects of family law including divorce and separation, cohabitation as well as prenuptial agreements and paternity disputes. 'Quiet colossus' Simon Pigott heads the department that has a strong emphasis on work which has a complex financial element with an international dimension. The group is skilled at handling cases where there are hidden assets and at defending and attacking trust structures. The firm has trained mediators and those who are qualified in collaborative law. One partner, Julian Ribet is also a qualified arbitrator. Jeremy Levison is immensely experienced at dealing with high-net-worth and complex financial settlements. Laura Geraghty has been promoted to the partnership.
‘The approach to each case is practical and settlement minded. The lawyers will not simply tell a client what the client wants to hear’.
‘Provides a high quality service for its clients. Competes with the “Magic Circle” firms but with a more tailored, individual service‘.
‘The team is just brilliant. It’s an incredibly safe pair of hands. It has a very impressive lineage but its approach feels modern. Julian Ribet is a real standout. He has an uncanny eye for strategy‘.
‘A real go-to firm for the tricky, high profile, big money work. Small but mighty!’
‘Julian Ribet is very organised and exudes confidence – he is great for work with an offshore dimension for high-net-worth individuals‘.
‘Alistair Myles has superb judgement and excellent client care skills. Definitely someone who will fight your corner‘.
‘Alistair Myles is completely fantastic. Cool headed, kind with clients and only jumps to litigate when necessary. When he has to fight he does so with gusto’.
‘Jeremy Levison – his strategic insight and long experience of family law makes him one of the best lawyers in the industry’.
‘Laura Geraghty is a pleasure to work with. She’s constantly on top of things. Her manner with the client is excellent. A consummate professional‘.
‘Kate Stovold works tirelessly and meticulously on every case. Never loses sight of the bigger picture. She is disarmingly approachable and enviably efficient.’
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is particularly well-known for its work on complex high-net-worth financial cases. It has specialist expertise in acting for trust companies, family offices and other third parties that are either joined or obliged to intervene in financial remedy applications. Through Jane Craig the team also boasts considerable skill in advising on the issues facing cohabitants and can advise on cohabitation agreements, property ownership and children issues. The team is also recommended for its work on cross-border disputes involving children and has recently noticed an increased amount of work on cases involving the international relocation of children. James Stewart is also well regarded and Elizabeth Carson was promoted to the partnership.
Jane Craig; James Stewart
Other key lawyers:
Edward Floyd; Anna Worwood; Rebecca Carlyon; Tammy Knox; Linzi Bull; Elizabeth Carson; Kate Molan; Matilda Kingham; Ellie Hampson-Jones
‘The family team has a multi-disciplinary approach and works closely with its property, litigation and private client/tax teams to provide a 360 degree Rolls-Royce service for clients‘.
‘A well-known and well-respected family law firm, which is consistently involved in some of the biggest family law cases around. Linzi Bull is hugely intelligent, tremendously committed and so very insightful, her clients love her, and with good reason’.
‘James Stewart has an incredible strategic mind, is an excellent leader, and only recruits and trains the brightest and the best young lawyers to work in his team ensuring that the clients, at every level, have the best possible people working on their case‘.
‘Edward Floyd has a forensic attention to detail which is second to none, he is highly numerate, and his calmness under pressure is legendary‘.
‘Jane Craig is a fantastic team leader with excellent attention to detail, she looks at each case from the bottom up as well as the top down. Matilda Kingham is also excellent‘.
‘Jane Craig is very experienced, knows instinctively how to deal with difficult cases and difficult clients but she is also very commercial. James Stewart puts together very good teams and works tirelessly‘.
‘Rebecca Carlyon has built a fantastic reputation with her calm advice tempered with a strong backbone. Iron fist in a velvet glove‘.
‘Clients are consistently impressed with Anna Worwood, her international children practice is second to none‘.
‘Tammy Knox is enthusiastic, personable and polished, but capable where necessary of being frank and down to earth about weaknesses in a case, and what needs to be done about them‘.
‘Ellie Hampton-Jones – one to watch for the future. Intelligent and can sell ice to Eskimos. Kate Molan – will give her all to a case. Calm, measured and effective’.
- Representing the trustees in relation to complex international divorce proceedings.
- Representing W in financial remedy application ancillary to divorce, having previously acted for the client in 2009 in judicial separation proceedings.
- Advising on a complex case involving very substantial inherited wealth and trusts.
- Instructed by one of Russia’s leading family offices. Acting for H, a member of one of Russia’s ‘Top 20’ wealthiest families.
Russell-Cooke LLP acts on complex and interesting cases. Clients range from those with substantial wealth through to those with modest means or those who are entitled to legal aid. It is at the forefront of new and emerging areas of law such as declaration of parentage, international and domestic surrogacy as well as female genital mutilation and forced marriages. As part of its full service offering it also advises on complex private children law cases involving serious domestic abuse or on issues of adoption. The group is often appointed by the court to represent the children when the children are joined in proceedings. Six of its partners are trained as mediators, five are collaboratively trained and one acts as an arbitrator. James Carroll, Kate Hamilton, Fiona Read and Sarah Richardson are all well-respected practitioners. Hannah Field was promoted to the partnership.
Hannah Field;Samantha Little; Sarah Richardson; Fiona Read; Kate Hamilton; James Carroll; Camillla Thornton
Other key lawyers:
Hannah Minty; Anna Keat; Jemma Pollock
‘Russell-Cooke has gone from strength to strength over recent years. It has strength across all levels, with some superb junior solicitors coming up. The lawyers are all without fail hugely user-friendly, and are not weighed down by the arrogance of some of its competitors‘.
‘It has an unrivalled presence in the market as a firm able to deliver high-quality legal advice and fantastic results. James Carroll has amazing judgement and is a whizz with numbers and complex trust and company issues. Kate Hamilton has fantastic judgement – she is wonderful with clients and is a brilliant lawyer‘.
‘James Carroll is an extremely experienced and good litigator. Sees the wood for the trees, and focuses the client and the case extremely well. Will settle when possible, but excellent litigation skills in a contest, and always on top of the case‘.
‘It has the depth and experience to deal with the highest value and most complex cases, as well as the breadth needed to deal with more modest (but often equally difficult) cases‘.
‘Samantha Little deals with extremely complex cases. She is consistently instructed in the most ground breaking of cases . She has a superb reputation for hard work and sensitivity which is well deserved‘.
‘Sarah Richardson is exceptional’.
‘Kate Hamilton – bright, focused and commercial. Kate is no push-over but really constructive and committed to getting the deal done‘.
‘Hannah Field’s work is always outstanding, clients like her and her advice is always absolutely spot on. Invariably, her initial advice to a client as to outcome is accurate’.
‘Camilla Thornton has absolute attention to detail. Experienced and sensible, with good legal knowledge and instincts’.
‘Hannah Minty was absolutely superb. She was calm and insightful. Anna Keat has an extraordinary ability to deal with the most difficult of clients and to find the best in their cases. She is immensely patient and thorough‘.
- Acted in complex High Court Nullity, Schedule 1 and Children Act proceedings for a senior member of a royal family including appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
- Instructed in proceedings involving an invalid marriage.
- Advising and representing applicants for a parental order in an international surrogacy case.
- Advising a client on his pre-nuptial agreement to protect his family estate.
- Representing a child in a declaration of parentage case arising from fertility clinic errors (Family Court, High Court).
The International Family Law Group LLP is a specialist firm that looks after international and national families with particular expertise in divorce and finance cases as well as advising on forum issues and on children’s matters. The firm is particularly skilled at advising on which jurisdiction is the most beneficial forum for a divorce and also is adept at advising on the enforcement of orders made abroad or the recognition of foreign marriages and divorces. In addition the team advises clients on cases where there is no international dimension and clients include high-net-worth individuals, professionals, media, entertainment and sports personalities. Ann Thomas is the firm’s managing partner and David Hodson OBE also garners considerable praise. Stuart Clark, Emma Nash and Michael Allum were all promoted to the partnership.
Other key lawyers:
‘David Hodson has an exceptional knowledge of international family law and procedure. He is a one man encyclopedia on Brexit and its potential impact on international clients. He is a trusted and respected speaker and writer’.
‘David Hodson has immense international experience not just academic but enormous practical experience. Michael Allum is brilliant, an old head on young shoulders with impressive client handling skills’.
‘I find this team highly professional. have worked primarily with Lucy Greenwood, Helen Blackburn and Ann Thomas. All are stellar lawyers. Smart and compassionate’.
‘Helen Blackburn is a leading figure in international family law. Her dedication and attention to detail make her a real pleasure to be instructed by. She always goes above and beyond to get the best outcome for her clients’.
‘Lucy Greenwood is a very open, knowledgeable and friendly lawyer. Lucy’s ability to relate to individuals from all walks of life is a key attribute to her success’.
‘Michael Allum is a hardworking and intelligent lawyer’.
‘It brings a wealth of experience to international and domestic cases alike. Its up-to-the minute knowledge of recent developments in both international and domestic law is truly impressive. Stand out individuals are David Hodson, Lucy Loizou and Stuart Clark’.
Wedlake Bell LLP has particular strength in complex and high-value cases with an international dimension. Charmaine Hast heads the department and is a dual-qualified South African attorney and an English solicitor. Hast is one of the few Family Solicitor Finance Arbitrators (CIArb) which means that she can hand down binding judgments in family law money matters. The team is skilled at advising on cross-border money matters and has an interest in cases involving trusts and pension issues. It routinely advises on divorce, separation and pre-and post-nuptial agreements as well as children issues and co-habitation agreements. Trisha Siddique often acts for clients in complex TOLATA claims in a domestic context as well as where there are concurrent Schedule 1 proceedings .
Other key lawyers:
Conrad Adam; Trisha Siddique; Sarah Campbell; Natasha Kurth
‘Provides an attentive, personal service that is tailored to requirements’.
‘Excellent family team with strong support from its commercial and private client colleagues‘.
‘The team pools its knowledge so that it works well together to provide a more efficient and quicker service to clients, at a reduced cost to the client ultimately‘.
‘Very commercial and good on corporate based cases. Increasing its market share and has an excellent client base. Charmaine Hast, Conrad Adam, Sarah Campbell, Natasha Kurth, Trisha Siddique‘.
‘Has a formidable team of family lawyers. It has fantastic resources and is able to do the very biggest cases very effectively and offers good value for money. Charmaine Hast – is one of the best family law solicitors’.
‘Charmaine Hast is a straight talking individual who is always on her clients’ side and fights hard for her clients‘.
‘Trisha Siddique and Conrad Adam worked together as a cohesive unit’.
‘Natasha Kurth is a fantastic layer, has huge potential and is already a real star and so good with clients’.
Anthony Gold does a significant number of international relocation cases each year. Head of team Kim Beatson regularly deals with complex and acrimonious children matters often involving serious allegations of abuse. David Emmerson is an Advocate with Higher Rights and specialises in finance and children cases as well as cohabitation law and pre-nuptial agreements. The group regularly deals with high-net-worth individuals including former premiership players, coaches and band members. Through its office location it is also well-placed to deal with same-sex couples and has a reputation for dealing with separating cohabitees by utilising a combination of family and TOLATA proceedings.
Other key lawyers:
‘Everyone from partner level to associates to admin staff are not only highly dedicated but approachable and a joy to work with. The advice is geared towards getting the very best result with a firm focus on a collaborative approach that promotes the ongoing relationships following family breakdown‘.
‘Anthony Gold is a very well-respected professional practice that is at the top of its game in family, mediation and housing. Kim Beatson – intelligent, firm and practical‘.
‘Anthony Gold is a firm that is confident in dealing with big money clients whilst still having the empathy and ability to help those who are less well off‘.
‘I find that the lawyers are of a consistently high standard but it is very competitively priced. A costs proportionate and commercially pragmatic approach is taken to cases. I often recommend the team to people looking for a good service‘.
‘David Emmerson is a superb dispute resolver. He brings his broad expertise as a judge and mediator to the table in complex children and matrimonial disputes‘.
‘David Emmerson – insightful, knowledgeable, experienced and approachable‘.
‘David Emmerson is an exceptional lawyer with a reassuring presence. He is capable of resolving the most difficult of cases with firmness and a positive approach‘.
‘David Emmerson is a pillar of the family law community. His influence in supporting publicly funded work outside of his own private practice cannot be underestimated. He has the ears of policy makers and is a true giant in family law‘.
- Acting for Una Kelly in complex and high-value proceedings in the UK for divorce and financial remedy.
Bindmans LLP specialises in financial remedies and cross-border children disputes in both private law and public law children matters. It is particularly well-regarded for its work on cross-border children disputes and its matrimonial team is witnessing an increased volume of interesting divorce, financial remedies and TOLATA work. Its developing fertility law practice is flourishing and has been advising on various issues such as sperm and egg donations as well as national and international surrogacy and co-parenting. The team has also been busy advising on known donor agreements. Amy Rowe heads the team and Olivia Piercy was made partner.
Other key lawyers:
Olivia Piercy; Melissa Arnold; Rachel Benett
‘Headed by the intellectual powerhouse that is Amy Rowe, the children department is one of the top “go-to” firms in this area, particularly for international children matters. The team has particular expertise in cross-border care cases and international child abduction‘.
‘It is frequently involved in the highest profile public, private and international law cases. Its partners and solicitors are creative and knowledgeable across the board, and it has become a “go-to” firm for complex, international family law‘.
‘Amy Rowe has a razor sharp mind and a huge amount of experience which gives her a real edge in this fast-moving area of law. She has impressive organisational skills, and has taken to her head of department role quickly and easily’.
‘Amy Rowe – an excellent leader who has built a fantastic reputation in the market‘.
‘Olivia Piercy is a passionate defender of the rights of her clients‘.
‘Olivia Piercy is smart and creative in her approach to cases, and really knows her stuff. She is already very highly regarded and will be one of tomorrow’s leading family lawyers‘.
‘Olivia Piercy is equally skilled at dealing with matrimonial cases as she is with child abduction cases. Olivia always seems to be able to get the best out of a case‘.
‘An extremely strong family law firm, with real professionalism. A very impressive and dynamic team. Melissa Arnold is excellent. She is approachable and professional with excellent attention to detail‘.
‘Melissa Arnold is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to realistic and pragmatic advice to be given to clients and to fighting cases diligently for her clients‘.
‘Rachel Bennett has a fantastic ability to relate to clients who are often dealing with stressful and life changing events. She is able to distil complex legal issues for the benefit of her clients’.
Child and Family Agency of Ireland & Health Service Executive of Ireland
- Advising the Child & Family Agency of Ireland and Health Service Executive of Ireland on complex international proceedings.
- Represented a father in an abduction/jurisdictional dispute.
- Represented a husband in committal proceedings.
- Represented a mother in child abduction proceedings
- Representing a wife in financial remedies proceedings.
Boodle Hatfield LLP has had a busy year and continues to act on financially complex cases for high-net-worth individuals in the UK and overseas where there are considerable reputational and tax-based issues to be considered. It has been advising high-profile clients with significant family businesses. The team is also well-equipped to advise on pre- and post-nuptial agreements as well as on cross-border children disputes where there are sensitive mental health and child abduction issues. Its client base has been expanding. As well as acting for individuals and families with ‘old money’ it continues to build its reputation among senior professionals, entrepreneurs and established businessmen and women. James Ferguson heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Emily Brand; Harriet Errington; Katie O’Callaghan; Katie Male
‘A growing market share – the team is reliable and discreet with a very thoughtful and intelligent approach to matters‘.
‘Excellent all round family team. Very strong assistants supporting the two main partners in the family team‘.
‘Cares passionately about getting the best outcome for clients. James Ferguson is backed up by a glittering crew of very clever assistants. The lawyers are prepared to litigate in a punchy way and not afraid of anything. James Ferguson – years of experience. Cool as a cucumber under pressure‘.
‘Its attention to detail and client care is first rate. Emily Brand can get on with everyone and her clients love her. She is a very talented lawyer and brings to all her cases a clear and incisive intellect‘.
‘James Ferguson is wizard-like in identifying his rivals’ weak points and skilfully uses his magic to exploit those weaknesses‘.
‘Harriet Errington is an impressive associate with a highly personable and empathetic manner’.
‘Katie O’Callaghan is utterly charming with clients and a top-drawer lawyer’.
‘Alexandra Hirst has a brilliant mind and attention to detail’.
‘Katie Male is highly intelligent and developing into an excellent matrimonial solicitor’.
Bross Bennett handles the full array of family matters ranging from complex financial disputes through to disputes over children. Ruth Bross and Sharon Bennett head the team that also receives instructions from the Official Solicitor. Anna Wagstaff is another name to note and routinely advises on financial cases with an international dimension. Wagstaff also has extensive experience of dealing with complicated children disputes including cases involving leave to remove applications.
Ruth Bross; Sharon Bennett
Other key lawyers:
Anna Wagstaff; Caroline Falkus
‘This practice is renowned for its client service. Clients are made to feel looked after and feel as if they are given a Rolls Royce service. I also like that the advice the lawyers give clients is always sensible and realistic‘.
‘Excellent boutique service for family law. Pragmatic. Able to cope with cases against the magic circle firms at far cheaper rates‘.
‘A small firm which is more than a match for its Central London adversaries. Stand out individuals are Sharon Bennett, Ruth Bross and Caroline Falkus. The team is tenacious and passionate about its cases‘.
‘Bross Bennett is a niche firm with knowledge and expertise that rivals the very best. The team is a secret weapon: it doesn’t show off, but it is respected by judges and practitioners alike and there is no one better to have on your side. Sharon Bennett is phenomenal‘.
‘Ruth Bross and Sharon Bennett, both of whom have excellent reputations. The firm is well respected in the family law field as producing a well-rounded, sensible and cost-effective service‘.
‘Sharon Bennett is a force of life. Clients love her. Really delves into the detail but is able to take a broad and pragmatic view to facilitate settlement‘.
‘Anna Wagstaff is calm and collected. An excellent adviser with great judgement’.
‘Anna Wagstaff is an excellent all round family lawyer. She is clever and compassionate, and really understands how to manage a case for the maximum benefit of the client, while never losing sight of the ultimate need of the family lawyer not to compound a family’s difficulties‘.
‘Anna Wagstaff, Caroline Falkus and Sharon Bennett all have a realistic, practical and cooperative approach to dealing with their cases and are sensible and trustworthy to work with‘.
‘Sharon Bennett: Brilliantly clever, very wise, and highly effective, she handles complex, high value cases, but can cut through the complexity to focus on what’s really at stake. Caroline Falkus: Pragmatic, robust, and sensible and always focuses on finding a constructive outcome for her clients‘.
Camilla Baldwin is a boutique, Mayfair-based firm that covers all aspects of family law from complex financial matters through to sensitive children issues. Clients typically include high-net-worth individuals commonly with international assets that are held in complex trusts and company structures. Recent clients have included Russian oligarchs (or their wives), well-known business people, senior City professionals, actors and a Premier League footballer. Camilla Baldwin is a highly respected head of department. Luned Rees Williams was recently promoted to the partnership.
Other key lawyers:
Luned Rees Williams; Emma Percy; Ailsa Anderson
‘Camilla has a small and very personable team – I always know that clients will be looked after well by the team. The lawyers are incredibly proactive and responsive.‘
‘Partners are proactive and dynamic and, importantly, are very available. Camilla Baldwin is exceptional in her field with very “hands-on” and pragmatic advice. Excellent manner with foreign clients with divorce proceedings in the UK.‘
‘A small niche practice that punches well above its weight and has a remarkable client base. Camilla Baldwin is a tour de force in the family law field. She inspires great loyalty from her clients as she is devoted to their cause and will devote all her endless energy to achieving their objectives.‘
‘Camilla’s team is really first-rate. It is committed to its clients and builds an excellent personal rapport. The lawyers are thorough and responsive. In particular, you have the real sense that Camilla cares about her clients and is right behind you all the way.’
‘Luned Rees Williams: tireless supporter of her clients. Camilla Baldwin: realistic but combative; able to run a hard case with vigour.‘
‘Luned Rees Williams is particularly personable and has a good listening and very patient manner.‘
‘Emma Percy and Luned Rees Williams are both impressive.‘
‘Any client who finds themselves involved in difficult family proceedings will be hugely reassured by Ailsa Anderson’s calm and unflappable approach to any issue which may arise.‘
- Representing an UHNW Latvian citizen in matrimonial finance proceedings with total worldwide assets valued at £100m initially, reducing to £40m-50m during the course of the proceedings.
- Representing the wife of an UHNW Russian national in cross-border matrimonial proceedings for a financial order following an overseas divorce.
- Advising the husband on the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement with assets in excess of £2.2m, potential inheritance of £35.5m and combined income of £923,000 per annum.
- Represented the wife of a Russian oligarch in matrimonial proceedings with jurisdictional issues.
- Represented four clients in respect of child arrangements and special guardianship proceedings.
Clintons advises on both the financial aspects of relationship breakdown as well as the issues relating to children. It also frequently advises on prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. There is regularly an international dimension to the work that it does. Head of team Liz Vernon is particularly known for her work on high-value financial remedies and is very experienced at dealing with companies, trusts and other complicated financial issues. Sarah Bostock assists wealthy clients who have complicated financial structures and also advises on other issues such as domestic violence as both a solicitor and a mediator.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Bostock; Daniel Chalmers
‘The team is a wonderful combination of knowledge and pragmatism. The lawyers know what they are doing and how to do it. The head of department Liz Vernon is a true star‘.
‘It is a strong, committed and able team that gives clear advice, handles clients well, looks for the compromise if it’s there, but resolute if it is not‘.
‘Led by the charismatic Liz Vernon who is clever, emotionally intelligent, a first-rate strategist who leads from the front. She is a formidable litigator too’.
‘Led very capably by Liz Vernon, the team deals with a number of celebrities particularly in the music industry. Liz Vernon is a tough advocate – always prepared and at the top of her game. She has a number of brilliant associates‘.
‘Daniel Chalmers has very good client handling skills‘.
‘Sarah Bostock has a calm and reassuring manner with her clients. She is able to build strong, trusting relationships with them, with a clear focus on their welfare while ensuring a pragmatic outcome is reached’.
Collyer Bristow LLP acts primarily for high-net-worth clients and works closely with the firm’s tax and estate planning teams as well as its commercial department to advise on diverse areas such as tax and reputation management. The team is best known for its divorce and matrimonial finance work such as pre- and post-nuptial agreements and private law children disputes. The majority of the team’s work is now international and the children team frequently deals with international relocation cases and other issues such as surrogacy, assisted reproduction as well as parentage disputes. Toby Yerburgh heads the team and Mark Harrop left the firm and has joined Family Law Partners.
Other key lawyers:
Tanya Roberts; Michael Drake; Philippa Dolan; Laura Burrows
‘The team is a very safe pair of hands, commercial, works tirelessly for its clients to achieve the best outcome. Although there is a very capable team here, the stand out partner in the firm for family in heavy financial disputes is Toby Yerburgh‘.
‘Toby Yerburgh is great with clients and fights their corner while being pragmatic and practical’.
‘Toby Yerburgh is great on international issues and appears to see through even tricky cases to the answer. He has a way with clients so they feel both protected‘.
‘At court, Toby is fantastic at managing clients – ensuring that they know exactly what to expect, answering their questions, talking them through each step of the process and assuaging any fears or anxieties they may have. He never appears rushed or impatient but always, always has time for his clients‘.
‘Tanya Roberts is excellent for children work and has first-class judgement especially in complicated children matters and private child abduction‘.
‘Michael Drake is an excellent lawyer and a real gentleman’.
‘Micheal Drake is outstanding. Peers respect him; clients adore him, judges listen to him. He has impressive business acumen and commercial knowledge‘.
‘Toby Yerburgh, Philippa Dolan and Michael Drake and associate Laura Burrows, all of whom I have found to be solution based, pragmatic, firm (but not unnecessarily aggressive – a rare quality in top family firms!) and extremely diligent in the management of their clients’ cases’.
Joanne Edwards heads the team at Forsters LLP. Edwards’ practice has a strong focus on relationship breakdown for high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and on the financial consequences of divorce and separation. She is increasingly advising on large nuptial agreements and is also skilled at resolving arrangements for children. Rosie Schumm is another key member of the team and is experienced at drafting and negotiating bespoke nuptial agreements for wealthy clients. The team also boasts considerable expertise in other niche areas such as surrogacy, adoption, cohabitation and international child abduction cases. It was pleased to add Simon Blain to its ranks from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. This team is one to watch.
‘Technically excellent team and with a well-deserved reputation for commercial pragmatism‘.
‘Joanne Edwards has built a strong team since her arrival. Her team continues to expand with prominent hires‘.
‘It is a very strong team with extremely strong leadership from Joanne Edwards – extremely intelligent with very sound judgement, practical and sensible‘.
‘Joanne Edwards lives and breathes family law‘.
‘It is a tight-knit team that works well together focused on providing bespoke solutions for clients in the best and quickest way possible. Joanne Edwards – exceptional in her client care and breadth of knowledge as well as her practical approach to even the most complex of cases‘.
‘It has expanded successfully, it is a hugely nice team. Simon Blain was a recent good recruit‘.
‘Friendly, down-to-earth but analytically sharp team – especially Joanne Edwards and Rosie Schumm. Anna Ferster is a superb associate always willing to go the extra mile and really caring about her clients‘.
‘Simon Blain has a calm, dignified presence. Like Joanne and Rosie, he is extremely bright. He is very authoritative and well able to stand his ground in a fight, but never aggressive‘.
‘Dickon Ceadel – a rising star, wonderful with clients and takes an extremely sensible approach to pre-nuptial agreements‘.
‘Amanda Sandys is great: resourceful, engaging and efficient. She is commercially astute, knowledgeable and inspires confidence’.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP represents high-net-worth clients primarily with public profiles to protect on the full spectrum of family law matters. Areas of expertise include advising on child abduction, advising same-sex couples in relation to children and financial issues as well as on alternative family cases such as artificial insemination and surrogacy cases. The practice is also experienced at advising on financial claims for non-married couples. Head of team Catherine Bedford is skilled at advising on cases involving relocations as well as Schedule 1 financial provision claims.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Farley-Hills; Mark Irving
‘Any family team needs first of all a real leader at the top. This team has it in Catherine Bedford, who has a genuinely exceptional ability to attract and retain really high quality clients‘.
‘Catherine Bedford never stops thinking about how to improve a case, and will look again and again for a new angle. As a result she has the confidence of her clients, from industrialists to celebrities, and everyone in between‘.
‘The service offered by this firm is 5 star and the client care cannot be faulted. Catherine Bedford specialises in the divorces of the rich and famous. She gives 110% to each client and works extremely hard. She has excellent judgement and is a great strategist‘.
‘Catherine Bedford’s client winning skills are such that she could “win a new client in solitary confinement”‘.
‘Tom Farley Hills’ judgement is impeccable. He grasps the issues in a case from the off and never loses sight of what is important to get the correct answer for his client‘.
‘All the team is first-class but Mark Irving is particularly worthy of praise. He is extremely intelligent and masters all the details of his cases. He never misses a point and always makes the right decisions‘.
‘Mark Irving was a great listener and was excellent at reflecting and then providing the most appropriate solution‘.
‘It has a high-end practice with a dusting of celebrity clients. The team has a high profile in this field, and is regarded as efficient and tough’.
‘Available 24/7. Willing to go the extra distance’.
‘Catherine Bedford stands out because she is young to be operating at the level at which she works. She inspires great trust in clients because she is always available to them, she listens to their problems without judgement‘.
- Represented the main charity in the long-running, highly acrimonious and widely publicised proceedings known as the “Chinese Tigers Case”.
- Acted for the billionaire husband in a fiercely contested jurisdiction fight in High Court divorce proceedings where concurrent Monaco divorce proceedings were ongoing.
- Acted for the mother in highly contested Schedule 1 proceedings and concurrent internal relocation proceedings against the billionaire father.
- Acting for the wife/mother in financial and Children Act proceedings. The husband/father is the founder chairman of one of the UK’s largest, most successful, privately-owned businesses.
- Representing the wife in her high-profile divorce from a well-known television personality.
Ketley Miller Joels Ltd is a niche high-net-worth family law practice in Central London that advises on complex financial cases. These cases involve multiple jurisdictions, complicated structures and valuations as well as issues surrounding acquired/inherited wealth. The team also boasts considerable experience in Children Act and TOLATA applications as well as declarations of marital status. Clayton Miller is adept at handling multi-jurisdictional matters and has a particular focus on cases involving trusts. Alongside his high-value matrimonial finance work, Philip Cooper continues to successfully represent clients in Schedule 1 Children Act cases and has obtained substantial orders for the financial provision of the children.
Clayton Miller; Philip Cooper
Other key lawyers:
Sohinni Sanghvi; Darren Hark; Che Meakins; Elizabeth Simos
‘It has an ever growing presence in family law. Efficient and well prepared with an excellent approach to litigation‘.
‘A small but perfectly formed team of expert family law solicitors based in the West End dealing with high-net-wealth clients’.
‘Clayton Miller gives his all to the case. An enthusiastic and diligent lawyer with a grasp on reality and a great bedside manner‘.
‘Philip Cooper is robust but always engaged with the client. He is a safe pair of hands with a wonderful capacity to advise the client through difficult times and maintain their trust‘.
‘Clayton Miller and Philip Cooper lead the team by example. They are amazing with their clients and deal with their cases with a level of empathy and professionalism that few others can match‘.
‘KMJ is a small team but provides a high-quality service at a very reasonable price. Clayton Miller is a calm and wise litigator who always keeps his eye on the important points and the ultimate goal for the client’.
‘The partners are supported by Darren Hark, Che Meakins, Sohinni Sanghvi and Elizabeth Simos, all of whom are years ahead of what their PQE would suggest and follow the example set by the 2 partners with aplomb. A truly wonderful team!!’.
‘It is a talented, niche family law team in the West End that delivers great outcomes for clients in a cost-efficient and pragmatic manner‘.
‘Philip Cooper is a talented, energetic and committed lawyer. He has a great command of the intricacies of his cases, is commercially savvy and is first to spot the most pragmatic solutions‘.
‘Sohinni Sanghvi is a driven and focused young lawyer whose work ethic and attention to detail is outstanding. Darren Hark is a solicitor who punches well above his weight. Dynamic, unflappable and resourceful he is already a force to be reckoned with’.
- Acting for a client who has been joined in proceedings between H and W and their three children with multiple properties in multiple jurisdictions.
- Acted for F in fully contested leave to remove proceedings to Ireland.
- Successfully acted for M in leave to remove to Portugal proceedings and financial remedy proceedings arguing that a pre-nuptial agreement should be upheld in its entirety.
- Acted for a high-profile marketing executive in contested financial remedy proceedings.
- Acting for H in contested Children Act proceedings.
At Miles & Partners LLP nearly all of the team are members of the Law Society’s Children Panel, the Law Society’s Family Panel or Resolution-accredited specialists. This team is recommended for its work on a wide array of matters from pre-nuptial agreements to the dissolution of a civil partnership. It is also able to handle adoption and wardship applications and all other issues that arise for evolving family structures. It has an excellent child abduction and care team that is headed by Amanda Dench which is regularly instructed on complex international cases. The highly regarded matrimonial team is led by Michelle Uppal and Kate Hammond leads the children panel team.
Amanda Dench; Michelle Uppal; Kate Hammond
Other key lawyers:
Lorraine Green; Ritu Sood; Julie Nix; Gemma Hodder
‘Its strength in depth and collegiate working practices enable it to deliver an excellent service to all its clients‘.
‘Known initially for its public law excellence, it has grown to be able to provide a first-rate matrimonial department headed by the very capable Michelle Uppal, as well as private law children and specialist offerings in child abduction‘.
‘Kate Hammond is outstanding‘.
‘Amanda Dench is meticulous and has a wealth of experience which informs her practical, no-nonsense advice in difficult circumstances. She is empathetic and kind where appropriate, which makes her popular with clients‘.
‘Michelle Uppal is very able and balances being warm and engaging with a detailed knowledge of the law to ensure robust and reasonable outcomes’.
‘Michelle Uppal has a sharp eye, particularly in finance work. She is robust with her advice and very thorough with her legal preparation. She is a safe pair of hands for complex money cases‘.
‘A pre-eminent firm in the public law children field. The team has incredibly strong solicitors all doing weighty children proceedings. They are persuasive advocates while running busy caseloads‘.
‘Excellent legal assistants and trainee solicitors who support the partners and make case management a seamless operation‘.
‘Gemma Hodder is a highly regarded solicitor who combines extensive experience in complex cases with a tenacity and a pleasing courtroom manner‘.
‘Lorraine Green, Ritu Sood, Julie Nix are very experienced and confident solicitors who are tenacious and take pride in making sure everything is on target‘.
- Representing a child in care proceedings who sustained unique and rare non-accidental injuries.
- Represented children in care proceedings in which findings of longstanding sexual abuse were made.
- Representing children in three sets of linked care proceedings relating to issues of radicalisation.
- Represented client in complex financial proceedings to achieve a clean break and in the enforcement of a child arrangements order.
- Represented client in the settlement of a claim by his daughter who intervened in his financial proceedings in the sum of £240,000 when she sought £750,000 against a matrimonial pot of approx £5m.
Mills & Reeve LLP has a national full service offering. Its family department in London is strong and was pleased to recently add Suzanne Kingston to its ranks from Withers LLP. Joanna Grandfield heads the team and is a qualified barrister, mediator and collaborative lawyer who specialises in complex financial cases typically involving international elements including overseas pensions, trusts and asset bases in excess of £20m. Principal associate Tim Whitney has a particular focus on high-value business and finance cases and wealth protection in addition to complex mediations. Whitney sits as part of the firm’s national sports team and also provides family law support to athletes and other sporting individuals.
‘Mills & Reeve has a truly national practice. The team is known for its innovative and constructive approach. The London team has become an impressive team within a relatively short period. Joanna Grandfield is brilliant and has a steely determination to do the best for her clients’.
‘Mills and Reeve has a fantastic reputation and its talent across all UK regions is exceptional‘.
‘Mills and Reeve is a growing force to be reckoned with and stands out in the crowded London market. Joanna Grandfield is a star and leads an impressive team with Tim Whitney a whizz with numbers‘.
‘Joanna Grandfield is clever and charming. Her clients love her. She has a real warmth and sense of humour that disguises her determination to win. She commands a dedicated team and leads by example – fearless hard work. She is not intimidated in taking on the doyens of the divorce world’.
‘The team’s preparation for cases is second to none. As individuals they provide a full 360 degree service from the first enquiry to the final order. The lawyers are excellent with clients and fully prepared for proceedings‘.
‘Tim Whitney and Joanna Grandfield offer sound judgement and practical advice but are not afraid to delve into the detail and take on a large task where required‘.
‘Suzanne Kingston stands out for her expertise in alternative dispute resolution options’.
‘Sara Hanna and Tim Whitney give very good and very clear advice. Both of them are very easy to contact and to receive prompt responses from‘.
‘Alison Bull is outstanding. Very intelligent and bright with vast experience‘.
‘Amy Starnes has wonderful client management‘.
Osbornes is known for its expertise in high-value litigation with a cross-border component and for its work on complex cohabitation issues and the niche area of confiscation. It is also recommended for its work on private children’s matters and international child protection issues including child abduction. Other areas of expertise include international adoption, surrogacy and fertility law. Bridget Thompson and Mark Freedman head the department and through Lisa Pepper the team also has an impressive mediation practice, while Joanne Wescott specialises in divorce and financial matters. In addition the team has considerable collaborative expertise. David Leadercramer recently joined the team from DMH Stallard LLP.
Bridget Thompson; Mark Freedman
‘Osbornes is pre-eminent for family law in North London. Mark Freedman is a real rainmaker. He is an excellent lawyer and has a top-notch practice‘.
‘Mark Freedman is intelligent and personable and has a good selection of high-net work cases‘.
‘Exceptional value for money. Highly competent and reasonably priced. Mark Freedman: one of the best in the field‘.
‘Client-focused. Ready to fight the clients’ corner, but also ready where possible to steer client from unnecessary dispute. Mark Freedman – very experienced, with good instinct for the eventual result. Clients love him and he thinks ahead and directs the client to the best result for the client‘.
‘Mark Freedman is a serious player. A fearless family law litigator, who protects his clients’ interests passionately‘.
‘Lisa Pepper – good litigator, very friendly and approachable but tough, “straight bat” with the opposition. Can steer a client deftly to settle when he should’.
‘Naomi Angell has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience’.
‘Breadth of knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile is what makes it stand out. Mark Freedman – devoted to his clients‘.
- Advised Maria Mills on joint lives spousal maintenance.
Sears Tooth is best known for representing clients in divorce proceedings where there are substantial assets. It is also recognised for its experience in international family matters and difficult children cases involving international relocation and the provision for children with complex medical needs. The team has particular expertise in Part 111 applications (this relates to financial provision following a divorce overseas) and cases involving the EU Maintenance Regulations. Raymond Tooth heads the team that has recently been in two cases in the Court of Appeal and has one appeal pending to the Supreme Court. Susan Apthorp recently departed for Keystone Law.
Raymond Tooth; Susan Apthorp
Other key lawyers:
‘Susan Apthorp can be a ferocious litigator when she needs to be but can also work in a collaborative way to assist her clients‘.
‘The team ethos is to fight for its clients and not to settle for anything less than the best possible outcome‘.
‘Raymond Tooth and Susan Apthorp are very “hands on”. They delegate without relinquishing control or involvement. Their attitudes and approaches percolate through to the lawyers and others who work with them. Both are strong commercially’.
‘Raymond Tooth is unique in the family law world. As sharp as a tack, insightful, commercial and fearless, his correspondence is the best in the field: pithy, forthright and invariably correct. He will fight his client’s corner to his dying breath‘.
‘Natasha Slabas is a breath of fresh air: composed, astute, measured and determined. She immediately puts clients at ease and is a resourceful and efficient solicitor‘.
‘Very experienced partners who have a strong commercial approach to financial remedy proceedings and fight hard to achieve good outcomes for clients. The lawyers are not afraid to take a tough line with opponents who behave badly‘.
‘Well-known tough matrimonial firm‘.
‘Ray Tooth – still in harness, legendary status. Susan Apthorp – very competent. Natasha Slabas – very competent‘.
- Represented Anita Brack successfully in the Court of Appeal which found that despite the fact that she had signed three post-nuptial agreements in three jurisdictions, she was entitled to a sharing claim on divorce which survived the pre-nuptial agreements.
- Represented the father in a ground-breaking case in which the High Court waived the usual publicity restrictions in order to put pressure on the mother to return the children from the Ukraine where she had unlawfully retained them to the rightful jurisdiction of England and Wales.
- Represented the high-profile father whose contact with his three daughters had broken down.
- Represented the wife in an interesting case concerning the quantification and treatment of the husband’s alleged non-matrimonial property which was in excess of £6m.
Sinclair Gibson LLP, a new firm formed as a result of the split of Harcus Sinclair, has an established reputation for its work for wealthy clients on complex financial remedy claims as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements. The group is also well-regarded for its work in private children matters and the firm’s clients typically include wealthy individuals and professionals – a significant proportion of whom are neither UK resident or UK domiciled. The firm is well placed to provide family law advice as well trusts and tax law advice to these individuals. Head of team Kathryn Peat is a qualified arbitrator in both children and finance matters as well as a Resolution trained mediator. Beth Mason has a broad range of experience and advises unmarried cohabitees in the event of relationship breakdown.
Other key lawyers:
Roger Cobden-Ramsay; Beth Mason
‘The family team is one of the best one can hire. Good value for money, excellent client care and huge ability‘.
‘It is a client-focused team‘.
‘Kathryn Peat is a legal wizard, highly effective and very experienced‘.
‘Roger Cobden-Ramsay employs his years of experience, tactical know how and first-class judgement to all his cases‘.
‘Beth Mason is a very able, personable, patient and astute solicitor. She manages the most needy and demanding of clients with tact and skill and she is not afraid of standing up to aggressive litigation conducted by opposing solicitors‘.
- Representing the wife in divorce and financial remedy proceedings.
- Representing the father in Schedule 1 proceedings.
- Representing the husband regarding a post-nuptial agreement.
- Representing the former wife on her former husband’s variation application.
- Representing the husband in financial remedy negotiations.
TV Edwards LLP
TV Edwards LLP has an excellent reputation for its expertise in children law and has a large child care team. Complementing this work it also has expertise in domestic violence, forced marriages and female genital mutilation cases. It handles the full array of family matters and has considerable skill in other areas such as modern families work, financial remedies for unmarried families as well as pre-nuptial, pre-partnership and cohabitation agreements. Alison Leivesley heads the children and domestic abuse teams and Emma Baillie the family finance team. Maud Davis is also a very well-respected member of the team.
Alison Leivesley ; Emma Baillie
Other key lawyers:
Maud Davis; Hannah Perry; Forum Shah; Kiren Dhillon
‘It is a very child-centred team. The lawyers combine committed and, when necessary, fierce representation of their clients with a very practical approach: they keep the child’s needs front and centre, which means that their position is invariably both sensible and successful‘.
‘There is a strong ethos on training, attention to detail, organisation and client care. Have and expect very high standards’.
‘TV Edwards is a strong firm with competence across the board in children law. It is equally adept at managing complex private law disputes as weighty public law proceedings. I have seen the lawyers be sensitive with clients, whilst giving robust and pragmatic advice’.
‘The team’s real strength is its depth of expertise with a number of exceptional senior individuals who give support and guidance to their junior members. They pool all their resources together to provide red carpet treatment to their clients‘.
‘Alison Leivesley is exceptional, always available in and out of working hours, cases excellently prepared, strong, tenacious and determined‘.
‘Alison Leivesley is known for her calm and reassuring manner and has an excellent rapport with clients. She has a natural ability with clients from all backgrounds. She is a subject matter expert on FGM and is very knowledgeable on domestic abuse and honour based violence issues‘.
‘Maud Davis is highly efficient, extremely professional and extremely knowledgeable. She is very easy to work with and always provides an objective view‘.
‘Maud Davis is truly superb. She is highly intelligent and has a wealth of experience which she brings to the fore when representing clients. She is fearless in her advocacy; extremely hardworking and has a comprehensive knowledge of the law‘.
‘Hannah Perry is incredibly efficient. She is equally competent at representing guardians and parents. She is not afraid to challenge local authorities robustly. She is a good advocate and has excellent knowledge of public law. She has a good rapport with clients‘.
‘Forum Shah is an exceptional associate who has carved out a niche for herself in child abduction law. Kiren Dhillon is a future star, she will push the envelope for her clients and is utterly tireless in her attention to detail‘.
- Represented H in matrimonial proceedings with assets of up to £128m.
- Acting for H in matrimonial proceedings with assets of £25-30m.
- Acting for H in matrimonial proceedings covering finances, contact and domestic violence, high income but assets under £1m.
- Acting for M in matrimonial finance and relocation application.
- Acting for M in TOLATA and Children Act 1989 Schedule 1 proceedings with assets of £500,000.
Vaitilingam Kay is a specialist boutique family law practice that deals with high-value cases of up to £500m and has been dealing recently with a number of complex jurisdictional matters in the High Court. It also has a robust children practice with considerable strength in international leave to remove cases. Through Anne Kay the team is also building a strong surrogacy practice. Joe Vaitilingam is a trained arbitrator and both Kay and Vaitilingam are committed mediators and proponents of ADR. Helen Wilby and Tom Duggins are the other key senior members of the team. It is a team to watch.
Joe Vaitilingam; Anne Kay
‘A relatively new boutique firm that is already punching well above its weight and deservedly expanding. High-quality legal services offered at very competitive pricing. A small but excellent young team’.
‘This excellent team has rapidly gained a reputation for delivering a Magic Circle service at competitive prices. The lawyers are especially strong in financial cases’.
‘The standard of advice and representation is at least equal to, if not better than, the big city firms but clients of VK receive the added advantage of a very personalised service from this niche firm. The client’s case is always very strongly fought, but advice is also pragmatic; there is no “running up” unnecessary fees‘.
‘Anne Kay and Joe Vaitilingam are simply outstanding. Bright, committed, hardworking and entirely devoted to providing the very best service to their clients. They are second-to-none‘.
‘Joe Vaitilingam is simply the best there is. Cool, calm and totally understated but with the ideal combination of a steely interior and friendly exterior. He understands clients, the law and tactics and so is an all-rounder‘.
‘Anne Kay is brilliant and deals with some very difficult cases and issues. Very bright and on it. A great performer in the family law world‘.
‘Helen Wilby – simply one of the most extraordinary lawyers I have ever worked with, and been against’.
‘Helen Wilby is canny, calm, balanced, knowledgeable and realistic‘.
‘Tom Duggins is extremely bright and gets straight to the point, cutting out the irrelevancies and focusing on the main issues‘.
‘Kate Bartlett is making a name for herself. Diligent and compassionate, clients really warm to her‘.
Vardags specialises in high-profile, high-net-worth and complex international litigation. Ayesha Vardag is a well-known name and she is recommended for her work on high-net-worth divorces often with a cross-border component or a celebrity element. Georgina Hamblin has particular expertise in high-value multi-jurisdictional divorce cases and jurisdictional disputes. Hamblin advises on complex pre-nuptial, separation and cohabitation agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Ayesha Vardag; Katherine Res Pritchard
‘Vardags is well known for its divorce and money work, it has a newly revamped children department that is a force to be reckoned with and is one to watch for its children’s work‘.
‘Katherine Res Pritchard – I think is destined in time to become the leading private law children’s lawyer in London‘.
- Represented the wife (W) in a complex cross-jurisdictional dispute between a former Miss Malaysia and her Laura Ashley tycoon husband (H). As well as representing W in the English courts, Vardags had strategic oversight of proceedings in the Malaysian courts and ancillary Canadian and Australian aspects of the case.
- Represented Li Quan in long-running and highly complex financial remedy claims against her husband.
- Successfully represented the applicant in her application for a declaration that it was in her fatally injured husband’s best interests for his sperm to be used posthumously in future IVF treatment.
- Successfully represented a respondent in her defence of an application under the inherent jurisdiction for the return of her children to England from China.
- Represented the claimant in respect of her claim under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
The team at Burges Salmon LLP is led by Sarah Hoskinson who is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Hoskinson routinely deals with complex and often international divorces/financial remedy cases where there are substantial assets, income or corporate and trust issues to be considered. The team has a particular focus on asset protection and regularly advises on pre- and post-nuptial agreements as well as complex international marital agreements. Alison Hawes is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Burges Salmon’s family team is unique as an outside London practice which has made huge headway into the London market. It has work of an outstanding quality, and is responsive, intelligent and a pleasure to deal with’.
‘Sarah Hoskinson has spearheaded the team’s emergence into the London market in an exemplary way. Sarah is quite different from her competitors in that she has a fiercely sharp mind, matched with a very user-friendly manner’.
‘Burges Salmon has built a formidable matrimonial team headed by the brilliant Sarah Hoskinson. It has a breadth of expertise for a relatively small team and has the benefit of significant private client expertise inhouse‘.
‘Sarah Hoskinson is absolutely first-rate. Empathetic and available to her clients, tough and no-nonsense with her opponents. A brilliant strategist‘.
‘The team is headed by Sarah Hoskinson a true powerhouse. I have worked with Sarah for many years. She is a first-rate lawyer, with a corresponding intellect. A formidable litigator‘.
‘Sarah Hoskinson is at the vanguard of her generation and is the equal of any solicitor, anywhere‘.
‘A big hitter in both London and the West of England where it dominates the top tier matrimonial finance market place. Alison Hawes has huge experience and savvy judgement’.
- Advising on a series of complex applications under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to withdraw previous divorce proceedings.
- Providing advice in relation to cohabitation and asset protection for a client with assets in excess of £55m.
- Advising on a maintenance variation case with jurisdictional issues between England and Scotland.
- Advising on the variation of maintenance.
- Advising on a pre-nuptial agreement in order to protect its client’s inherited assets of £13m.
Through its offices in Clapham Common and Hammersmith Burgess Mee Family Law exclusively advises on family law matters. Key strengths include advising on divorce and civil partnership dissolutions as well as financial remedy and private children disputes. The team is skilled at advising on pre- and post-nuptial agreements as well as on disputes between cohabiting partners. Antonia Mee and Peter Burgess head the team that is increasingly advising on complex cases with an international dimension. The team is expanding and was pleased to recently add Henrietta Thomas to its ranks from Camilla Baldwin.
Antonia Mee; Peter Burgess
Other key lawyers:
Henrietta Thomas; Kirsty Morris; David Lillywhite
‘Accessible and committed, the partners provide first-rate advice and strategy, supported by excellent assistants and associates‘.
‘Peter Burgess is one of the best there is. Accessible and down to earth, but with a huge brain and appetite to commit to his clients and their case’.
‘Peter Burgess, an outstanding lawyer in his own right, has built up an extraordinarily strong team‘.
‘Peter Burgess knows his stuff and is establishing himself as a skilled mediator‘.
‘Kirsty Morris is very impressive. She has excellent client care skills and fantastic judgement enabling her to offer sensible and pragmatic advice to clients‘.
‘Kirsty Morris – intelligent and robust. Gives clear and realistic advice‘.
‘David Lillywhite worked meticulously to ensure everything was prepared for the trial‘.
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Associates
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Associates has particular strength in representing parties in care proceedings where the adults (and increasingly children) are struggling to manage mental health problems. It accepts instructions from the Children’s Guardian and it is on the approved list of solicitors that are able to assist in care proceedings. The team under the direction of David Marcus also advises on other areas of family law from domestic violence through to paternity disputes, financial relief matters and cohabitation agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Sabrina McKay; Abbie Huxley
‘David Marcus – his attention to detail in the most complex and substantive of cases is extraordinary. He entirely masters his brief and gets the best results imaginable. He’s a fantastic solicitor‘.
‘Always goes the extra mile for clients. Sabrina McKay sensitively and clearly explain to clients their prospects of success, whilst always doing their best to achieve the best outcome for the client‘.
‘The team is motivated by a sense of genuine responsibility to clients and the welfare of children and families. As a result it offers a quality service that finds a good balance between professional conduct and personal touch‘.
‘It has a range of complex, unusual and difficult public law cases. The practitioners are very hardworking, committed and focused on the client needs, putting themselves out and going way beyond what is expected for the clients‘.
‘Abbie Huxley is a caring and talented lawyer‘.
‘Abbie Huxley has a flawless memory and remembers absolutely everything‘.
‘Sabrina McKay has exceptional drive and focus. She worked tirelessly and went the extra mile to ensure the clients understood what was happening, ensuring they remained fully engaged in the process and alive to the issues‘.
‘Sabrina McKay – brilliant client support and manner. Works really well on complex cases as part of a larger team including large sexual abuse cases and a range of radicalisation work‘.
- Represented the client in care proceedings.
- Represented the client in an application to discharge a care order.
- Advised on a private law children matter where the client’s application to relocate with the parties’ children to a country within the EU was granted.
- Acting in an ongoing public law children matter representing a potential carer for the subject children. One of the parents is deceased and the surviving parent is being held on remand for their murder.
- Acting for the respondent mother in care proceedings.
Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui heads the team at DWFM Beckman that has a specific focus on high-net-worth ancillary relief matters relating to UK and worldwide assets and private law children disputes. Other work includes advising on pre-nuptial agreements, locating hidden assets, protecting and attacking trust structures as well as advising on same-sex/unmarried partners issues. Demetris Dionissiou is also recommended for contentious matters
Other key lawyers:
Demetris Dionissiou; Diana Bastow
‘A good hardworking family team with diverse ethnic backgrounds working for HNWs‘.
‘Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui acts with precision and never falters in her execution. She runs her team like a military operation and every move is co-ordinated and part of the bigger plan‘.
‘Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui works tirelessly for clients‘.
‘Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui and Diana Bastow in particular are both excellent. In-depth knowledge of international financial issues‘.
‘Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui is a first-rate solicitor with a relentless tenacity and stamina of which I am in awe‘.
‘Sofia Dionissiou-Moussaoui seems to be always one step ahead on the procedures. She is determined to pursue the truth no matter what and she doesn’t leave one stone unturned until she does so‘.
- Advising husband seeking a final dismissal of wife’s capital claims after wife sought £300m but received nothing by way of a capital award.
- Advising on a multimillion-pound settlement and the transfer of non-reversionary property to the mother under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.
- Acting for the wife – the husband is claiming an abuse of process and tactics over a delay in serving the divorce petition.
Under the leadership of John Burrell, the Gordon Dadds team has a particular focus on dealing with divorce and the separation of co-habitees. It also deals with the resulting issues of finance and child arrangements when the relationship breaks down. The team is experienced at advising on pre- and post-nuptial settlements as well as co-habitation agreements that frequently involve international trusts and international wealth. In addition the department is skilled at dealing with private law children matters often with an international element such as cases involving the relocation of children.
Other key lawyers:
Yael Selig; David Ruck; Lara Myers; Emma Morris
‘A small but experienced family law team. John Burrell is a wise and determined lawyer‘.
‘John Burrell is empathetic, clever, resolution and result focused. Always makes himself available and goes the extra mile‘.
‘Yael Selig is an accomplished lawyer, very intelligent, also down to earth and practical‘.
‘David Ruck works well for his clients‘.
‘Lara Myers is a hardworking and clever associate‘.
‘Emma Morris is tenacious and determined. A tough negotiator, focused on settlement when possible, but will fight for the client if necessary to get them the best deal‘.
‘A very deep and knowledgeable understanding of the legal terrain, distilled into clear and practical advice. Excellent is the only word to describe the service delivered’.
Hanne & Co fields a large and dedicated team. The group advises on the full array of matters from complex financial matters, care proceedings through to cross-jurisdictional disputes for many international clients some of whom are in the public eye. Susan Harlow heads the private family team. This team regularly advises on matrimonial finance, unmarried party disputes as well as children matters. Lorna Cservenka heads the public law team that advises on a whole host of issues from placement proceedings, adoption matters through to non-accidental injuries, fabricated or induced illnesses and special guardianship orders. Elizabeth Francis is also recommended.
Susan Harlow; Lorna Cservenka
Other key lawyers:
Elizabeth Francis; Grainne Fahy; Anna Gowen; James Dunn; Jackie Pearce; Rokeya Dangor; Elinor Feeny; Yasmin Khan-Gunns; Caroline Little
‘Hanne & Co has a tight team of family practitioners with a good spread of choices of fee earner from senior specialists to talented trainees. Clients value being able to go to Hanne & Co for their children as well as financial disputes and injunctive relief’.
‘Hanne & Co has first-class lawyers who work brilliantly as a team to get results. The lawyers meet complex issues and tricky cases head on, getting to grips with everything quickly and efficiently. Susan Harlow is a tough lawyer with first-class legal knowledge who still manages to deal with clients going through the worst moment of their life with genuine care and compassion‘.
‘Susan Harlow’s experience in family law, and her availability to share her understanding, fully empowered me to participate in important decisions‘.
‘Caroline Little is one of the most experienced, and highly effective solicitors I have ever worked with‘.
‘Grainne Fahy is experienced, considerate, empathetic, gives me time and information to make my own decisions. Yasmin Khan-Gunns responds very quickly to all communication in a very professional way and very cordially‘.
‘Anna Gowen is well versed in representing wealthy and exacting clients, often with a public profile, in their private law disputes. I have never seen anyone get anything past her‘.
‘Anna Gowen fights hard for her clients, is a driven lawyer who can turn her hand to all aspects of family law‘.
‘James Dunn is incredibly diligent and responsive. Coupled with genuine empathy with his clients and a sharp intellect, it is difficult to fault him‘.
‘Elinor Feeny dealt tactically with a case involving a very difficult opponent and made life easy for instructed counsel‘.
‘Jackie Pearce is excellent on her feet in court and is very thorough. Rokeya Dangor is also very thorough and will go the extra mile for clients‘.
- Represented the father in forced marriage proceedings where the father was accused of having arranged for his daughter to marry in Pakistan. Successfully obtained discharge of all orders.
- Acting for a high-profile husband in divorce and financial proceedings.
- Represented a mother in the successful return of a child who had been abducted to Egypt.
- Advising a former cohabitee in relation to her rights and interest in the family home purchased in her ex-partner’s sole name and in relation to the net proceeds of sale from five other properties purchased during the relationship.
- Representing a mother in care proceedings.
Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors has a strong and growing practice which includes a focus on pre-marital agreements and complex financial cases for which head of team Jacqueline Major is regularly instructed. The team is also experienced in advising on divorce and separation as well as finance and property disputes. Other core areas include advising on cohabitation agreements, adoption, domestic abuse and private contact disputes with children. The team also has qualified mediators.
‘The team was incredibly kind, thoughtful and very knowledgeable, in a world I knew nothing about at a very hard time. There was empathy and help. Jacqueline Major – She was firm, informed, empathetic, bright, and steered me through a very rocky and hurtful passage’.
- Represented its client in a divorce and high-net-worth financial provision matter with complex jurisdictional issues.
- Representing its client in a range of proceedings following the breakdown of his relationship, and arising out of a criminal prosecution for extreme pornography.
- Representing a client who is heir to a £250m legacy on a premarital agreement and on wealth planning.
- Represented its client in divorce and financial provisions issues where there was a complicated trust fund.
- Represented its client in relation to a complex Schedule 1 financial provision (unmarried parties) matter.
Howard Kennedy LLP works with a variety of high-net-worth clients including entrepreneurs, City workers and sports and media personalities. Under the leadership of Lois Langton the team is adept at providing the full range of family services with particular strength in nuptial agreements. The team has advised on a number of high-level pre- and post-nuptial agreements where there have been assets of up to £100m and complex multi-jurisdictional issues. In addition Langton has considerable expertise in surrogacy matters and alternative family structures. Alan Kaufman is a collaborative lawyer and mediator who specialises in heavyweight family law disputes.
Other key lawyers:
- Advising a high-profile sports personality on his divorce including how to handle the husband’s future income earnings which will continue to be significant.
- Advising a Premier-League and international footballer on his post-nuptial agreement following a pre-nuptial agreement the firm drafted before the marriage.
- Advising a wife on her divorce from a high-profile musician. The case includes complex financial issues including the value of the husband’s music royalties and tour income.
- Advising a wife in her divorce and financial remedy proceedings in complex international proceedings where the assets potentially are very substantial.
- Prepared a pre-nuptial agreement for the founder of a well-known brand that took into account significant assets.
Ros Bever heads the team at Irwin Mitchell that handles multimillion-pound contentious financial remedy cases as well as difficult children cases. Many of the cases have an international element and its client base comprises UK and foreign businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, City professionals and their spouses/partners. The team frequently advises individuals from the entertainment industry and is skilled at keeping these details out of the press. The group has increasingly been advising on pre- and post-nuptial agreements and it was pleased to add Toby Hales to its ranks from Seddons.
Other key lawyers:
Toby Hales; Nathaniel Groarke; Kathryn Evans
‘Irwin Mitchell is a firm with a national reach. It has the ability to see clients all over the country and to video link from one office to another. Its London family team is polished and pragmatic‘.
‘Nationally Ros Bever leads a committed and enthusiastic team who actively engage in each client’s case with dedication and determination to bring about the best possible outcome’.
‘Toby Hales’ hire is a great coup for Irwin Mitchell. He is a highly skilled lawyer both in finance and children work and is extremely knowledgeable‘.
‘Toby Hales is a big hitter who should take the department to lofty heights‘.
‘Nathaniel Groarke, partner in Manchester, is a lawyer of judgement, practicality and warmth. For clients it’s like having your best friend guide you through your divorce’.
‘Kathryn Evans has a very reassuring, calm manner with clients but behind it she is every inch a proper lawyer. She knows her stuff but – more importantly – she has excellent judgement‘.
‘The lawyers really do work as a team! So even when one individual is away or in a meeting there is always some who has knowledge of all the issues in the case‘.
‘Family team works incredibly well together. Each of the individual fee earners I have met is bright, hard working and enthusiastic. But collectively they seem determined to offer clients the very best service possible‘.
Pinsent Masons LLP has a small but full service family law team that predominantly advises clients who are high-profile and high-net-worth international individuals. These clients are mainly businessmen, celebrities and royalty who have substantial assets often located in a number of countries and held under complex corporate or trust structures. The vast majority of its clients are resident but non-domiciled or non-resident and domiciled in the UK. The practice under the leadership of Michael Pulford has a particular niche in Russian and Middle Eastern family work. Pulford is known for his work on complicated financial remedy litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Ingram; Kate Francis
‘Small but uniquely talented team of matrimonial lawyers who seem only to be involved in ferociously complex litigation usually with a strong foreign element‘.
‘Michael Pulford – a tour de force as a litigator. Holds his own at the very top level. Having significant commercial litigation experience gives him the additional edge‘.
‘Michael Pulford fights really hard for his clients and analyses cases very well‘.
‘Michael Pulford combines, to great success, a commercial litigator’s nose and a family lawyer’s instinct‘.
‘Kate Francis – a powerhouse intellect and formidable litigator‘.
‘Sarah Ingram is up and coming‘.
- Continues to represent a Swiss-resident, UK-domiciled, ultra-high-net-worth businessman in proceedings with his former wife.
RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP is well-placed to advise on issues for high-net-worth individuals in addition to middle-income professionals and routinely advises self-employed creatives and entrepreneurs. The group works closely with its tax and private client team to advise on tax, trusts and probate matters for clients going through relationship breakdown. It frequently advises on jurisdictional issues and issues surrounding offshore trusts and on different tax regimes as well as on complex pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Caroline Penfold heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘It is a strong team that is increasingly making a name for itself‘.
‘It has a very broad spread of knowledge within the practice and all issues are handled with great sensitivity. Caroline Penfold lent support above and beyond what I would have expected‘.
‘Caroline Penfold is an extremely experienced solicitor who is handling complex cases’.
‘Caroline Penfold is extremely efficient and thorough. Her attention to detail, and excellent client management win her the loyalty of her clients‘.
‘Christopher Butler has a wealth of experience‘.
‘Christopher Butler is an ever calm, measured and able solicitor with excellent judgement. When required he will be punchy and effective, but his main quality is that he sees through to the core of a problem and solves it‘.
‘Many years of experience as a solicitor, backed up by extensive judicial experience, make Christopher Butler a very safe pair of hands. He is pragmatic and calm, but determined to get the best possible result for his clients‘.
Seddons has Deborah Jeff at the helm. The team advises on a myriad of complex financial disputes on divorce and between cohabiting couples often with cross-jurisdictional issues. Other areas of expertise include advising on financial injunctions and the financial provision of children who are born outside of marriage. In addition the team advises on pre- and post-nuptial agreements as well as children issues such as child arrangements, abduction and paternity tests.
Other key lawyers:
Neil Russell; Victoria Sterritt
‘Seddons provides an excellent all round service so that clients can do a one stop shop for all their legal requirements‘.
‘Deborah Jeff is engaging with clients and unflappable. She really cares about ensuring the clients get the result they are after’.
‘Deborah Jeff leads from the front. She is empathetic to clients but a tough opponent to have on the other side’.
‘Neil Russell has built up an excellent reputation and has become one of the “go to” men in the London matrimonial world‘.
Simons Muirhead & Burton acts for foreign nationals in cases with an international element or where there are assets overseas. The team has niche expertise in cases with an element of Sharia or European law as well as Iranian law and Egyptian law. It also has specialist knowledge of Jewish divorces. The team is skilled at advising on pre-nuptial agreements involving multiple jurisdictions as well as on complex children matters and financial proceedings. Head of team is Jane McDonagh whose client base includes individuals from the media/creative worlds and celebrities. Teena Dhanota-Jones joined the team as a consultant from Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors. Lara Wulwik and Hazel McNaught are also recommended.
‘Jane McDonagh is a fantastic head of department‘.
‘Teena Dhanota-Jones is very bright‘.
Stowe Family Law LLP is a large specialist firm of family solicitors with 18 offices nationwide. In London the team has an arbitrator, mediators and collaborative lawyers. The team has strength in resolving complex financial disputes as well as international matters. It also has lawyers who specialise in dealing with disputes regarding the arrangements for children and the firm has developed a specialist practice in relation to surrogacy. Gavin Scott and Phoebe Turner head the team. Graham Coy is another known name for his work on various issues such as pre- and post-nuptial agreements as well as cohabitee disputes and financial claims under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.
Gavin Scott; Phoebe Turner
Other key lawyers:
Graham Coy; Joanna Kay
‘Stowe Family Law LLP has some very good family solicitors. Being niche, the lawyers have a high level of expertise in their area‘.
‘Gavin Scott and his team collaborate to get maximum results’.
‘Graham Coy is a seasoned, experienced and very talented solicitor who will get you a fantastic result in every case‘.
‘Graham Coy is diligent and has good attention to detail‘.
‘Joanna Kay is a very astute litigator. She’s a tough negotiator but she can see the wood for the trees meaning she doesn’t run bad points. In turn, that means clients are getting real value for money and a highly focused service‘.
‘Joanna Kay is very bright and very able‘.
- Representing a wife in proceedings with assets of up to £5m.
- Advising on disputed proceedings between the parents with regard to their children and Hague Convention matters.
- Representing the husband who lacked capacity to deal with proceedings and where the wife refused to comply with court orders.
- Advising on enforcement orders made after a Russian divorce involving ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
- Representing a husband, a member of the clergy, whose wife had various health difficulties and where the husband had a substantial inheritance.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP regularly advises on complex ultra-high-net-worth cases frequently with an international dimension involving trust structures. It is acting for an increasing amount of high-profile and celebrity clients and has a particular strength in advising on complicated financial remedies and Children Act proceedings. Head of team Amanda Andrews has a wealth of experience in all areas of family law and also regularly handles difficult pre- and post-nuptial arrangements. Katie Spooner is another name to note. This team is one to watch.
Other key lawyers:
Katie Spooner; Alexander Woolley; Anna-Laura Lock
‘Really good team unit. Works well together, very responsive and good client management. Very on top of the case and able to identify the issues in the case early on leading to a good resolution for the client’.
‘Amanda Andrews is able to see the big picture, she knows where her case is going and how to arrive at the most beneficial outcome for the client. Because of the respect she is able to command from her clients, they have no hesitation in following her advice and have every confidence that she will achieve the best result’.
‘Amanda Andrews leads a dynamic and energetic team that impresses with its determination to get the right result for its clients. Amanda Andrews is a first-class lawyer who nails it every time’.
‘Amanda Andrews is charm personified with amazing client handling skills and excellent strategic oversight’.
‘Practical, sensible and firm when needed. Amanda Andrews has seen it all and combines warmth and empathy with solid advice and straight talking when needed’.
‘Amanda Andrews and Katie Spooner are both smart and well-regarded’.
‘Amanda Andrews – friendly, easy to talk to and very calming!’
‘Alexander Woolley is a future star of the solicitor world. His attention to detail is second to none and he is a very technical lawyer with a keen interest and ability to digest complex legal problems’.
‘Anna-Laura Lock’s written work is impeccable’.
‘I like Katie Spooner a lot, she is bright and efficient.’
A City Law Firm Ltd
The 'high performing team' at A City Law Firm Ltd provides advice on a wide range of family matters, including cohabitation disputes, divorce, financial matters and pre-nuptial and civil partnership agreements. Firm founder Karen Holden is well-regarded for her 'accessible style' and 'emotional intelligence'; consultant solicitor Natalie Sutherland heads the family and child practice.
‘They regularly pursue claims in the High Court and tackle complex issues with care and skill. Their client care is renowned, with close working relationships between solicitor, client and counsel.’
‘The firm was extremely honest and transparent and filled us with confidence.’
‘Hugely supportive, honest and clear – the firm worked with us closely and pragmatically.’
‘The team is highly specialist in relation to modern families and fertility law, and has a breadth of resources and specialist knowledge in this field which is outstanding.’
A City Law Firm are exceptional; all the solicitors are outstanding, all the solicitors are knowledgeable. They are knowledgeable, providing outstanding results. I am so glad I chose this team.’
‘Their knowledge is outstanding. The practice is exceptional, and their kindness is immense.’
‘This firm stands out as a leading practice in modern families, offering a depth and breadth of expertise.’
‘Communication is faultless – it is timely, accurate and underpinned with outstanding customer service. I have used A City Law Firm several times and am incredibly grateful for both the expert legal advice I have consistently received, not to mention positive outcomes in the context of each particular case. I have found the team to be extremely professional, strategic – and at times demonstrating a ‘beyond the call of duty’ level of customer care. Clearly this is a very high performing team with strong work ethics.
‘I can’t recommend A City Law Firm enough – having had extensive dealings with Karen Holden and Matthew Chandler. They have provided me with valuable advice, which wasn’t always what I wanted to hear – but nevertheless was undoubtedly the best advice on reflection.’
‘This practice is unique for me because its main goal is just to do the right thing for me and my family at the right time in just the best way possible with no question and no complaint.’
‘Nothing is too difficult to help with, they are never short of time or patience and as I write this it just makes me smile how much comfort they have given us through what has been a minefield of legislation and process.’
‘Karen Holden has a very accessible style, excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence. I have found her perseverance and determination very reassuring during particularly challenging times. I have every faith and confidence in her ability to secure the very best outcomes for me possible. This has also included her honesty in relation to anticipated financial costs and measures to seek to keep my costs as affordable as possible, whilst not compromising on quality or expertise. This is in stark contrast to other law firms I have used – who unfortunately undermined my confidence in the profession on occasions.’
‘Matthew Chandler has demonstrated strong strategic thinking, effective management of my expectations, and a drive and determination to achieve the very best outcomes for me. He listens very well, has an excellent recall of detail and has provided me with excellent quality legal advice. Common to A City Law Firm, he has outstanding interpersonal skills, is thoughtful and considered, whilst showing that he can ‘hit hard’ when appropriate. I’m incredibly grateful for his expertise.’
Keshet Diversity UK
- Providing Keshet Diversity UK with pro bono support in engaging the Jewish community in the publication of LGBT and particular transgender rights.
- Advising a transgender individual who was female at birth, giving birth to a child and wishes to be registered as a father or parent on the birth certificate; legal challenge to various statutes and the General Registrar decision not to register the child.
- Advising on a challenge of legal parenthood through the Hague Convention.
- Advising on one of the first single parental order surrogacy cases in the United Kingdom.
- Advising on a challenge to the current statutory interpretation of the HFEA 2008 to the definition of an enduring family relationship.
Siân Jones heads the team at BDB Pitmans and advises many high-profile international couples on pre-nuptial, cohabitation and pre-civil partnership agreements. The busy team was pleased to add David Thompson to its ranks from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. It is highly regarded for its work on complex international disputes and works closely with its private wealth team and its agriculture and rural property teams. Lisa Bolgar Smith, David Thompson, John Darnton and Isobel Mundy are all mediators and Mundy is qualified to have direct consultation with children. The team is one to watch.
‘Highly effective and efficient family law team with a huge amount of professionalism Lisa Bolgar Smith: hugely experienced; an excellent lawyer and superb with clients, also a top-class negotiator‘.
‘Highly knowledgeable and willing to fight for its clients. Sian Jones is very experienced and a strong litigator who is very committed to securing the best possible outcome for clients‘.
‘Sian Jones is calm and sensible. She wins the loyalty of her clients by thorough preparation and her wealth of experience of difficult cases. A safe pair of hands‘.
‘Client focused and problem solving an experienced team. Isobel Mundy has fantastic experience and judgement‘.
‘BDB Pitmans will be bolstered by the arrival of David Thompson‘.
- Acting for the potential wife in an enormous pre-nuptial agreement worth approximately £1bn.
- Acting for a Russian wife in a complex divorce from her Russian husband in a £100m plus cross-border matter.
- Acting for the wife, an HNW individual with an internationally high profile and multimillion-pound assets, in respect of her cross-border divorce and financial remedies proceedings.
- Acting for the husband, a prominent international doctor based in Abu Dhabi and the US, in respect of his multimillion-pound divorce and financial remedies proceedings.
- Acting on behalf of the son of a wealthy deceased Greek industrialist with respect to negotiating a prenuptial agreement designed to both protect his generational wealth but also be upheld in the event of any future divorce.
Under the leadership of Louise Barretto at Bishop & Sewell LLP the team provides a full range of private family law work. It advises on a broad spread of matters from pre- and post-nuptial agreements through to cohabitation agreements and financial claims on behalf of children. Other areas include advising on private law children disputes including residence and contact as well as relocation disputes and issues over education. The team is also well-equipped to handle ‘forming families’ work such as surrogacy, fertility and adoption.
- Represented a mother in Children Act proceedings.
- Represented a wife in financial remedy proceedings.
- Represented a husband in a leave to remove and a financial remedy application.
- Represented a wife in financial remedy proceedings.
- Advising a former cohabitee in a claim brought against a former partner under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
Brookman Solicitors advises on the full range of family matters often to high-net-worth individuals. It frequently advises on work that spans multiple jurisdictions and it is also adept at handling complex children proceedings and property settlements. Henry Brookman and Talitha Brookman head the team. Julius Brookman is now at Taylor Rose TTKW.
Henry Brookman; Talitha Brookman
‘Brookmans offers a boutique-style service across private law family but with a particular emphasis on international and financial remedy‘.
‘Henry Brookman is still driven to achieve the best possible results for his clients. He is a tough and shrewd tactician and a commercially minded negotiator. He is always available for his clients. He is often a good port of call for clients who want a top London solicitor without paying top London rates‘.
‘Talitha Brookman’s advice to clients is clear as a bell. She understands a client’s emotions surrounding a dispute, for example between parents following separation, but does not shy from providing the advice that they need (albeit may not want) to hear‘.
- Advised on a privately funded international Hague Convention matter.
- Advised on a wardship/child abduction matter to a non-Hague country.
- Advising on a multifaceted international divorce and financial proceedings case.
- Advising client on a financial matter involving French property and French taxation issues.
- Advised on a complex international child relocation and financial issues matter.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a broad range of expertise. It has an established Islamic and Shariah law department that specialises in Islamic divorce and financial settlement. The practice also has considerable expertise in other areas such as representing domestic abuse victims under legal aid to advising on complex financial matrimonial matters. It routinely advises on complex children law matters and deals with emergency applications to freeze parties’ assets in both the High Court and the county courts. The team is also well versed in obtaining female genital mutilation protection orders.
Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Ravi Kaur Mahey; Sheena Donlon; Sara Upton; Emine Mehmet; Forida Hakim; Kathy Walker; Laila Bhunnoo; Sophie Fretten; Vanket Appalakondiah
‘Duncan Lewis has a broad breadth of experience and knowledge. It is able to represent any client who comes through its door whether that is someone who is a victim of domestic abuse and financial control or through to the super wealthy‘.
‘It represents those in most need and does this with integrity. The solicitors always appear well supported by other staff‘.
‘Alia Lewis is very efficient and competent. She has vast knowledge and is an excellent advocate in court. She is also sensitive and supportive to children and adults who have special needs‘.
‘Alia Lewis works hard, is extremely diligent and extremely knowledgeable. She is also very personable and warm‘.
‘Adeeba Naseem provides realistic and practical advice whilst remaining empathetic. Clients adore her because she fights fiercely for them, whilst managing their expectations appropriately‘.
‘Ravi Mahey is outstanding‘.
‘Have worked with Emine Mehmet and Ravi Mahey who are very efficient, tenacious and have excellent insight into the needs of the client‘.
‘Ravi Mahey was very professional and Alia Lewis was excellent at keeping me on track’.
‘Laila Bhunnoo is very efficient, knowledgeable, and hardworking‘.
‘Laila Bhunnoo is very helpful and knowledgeable. Laila very much has the best interests of the child at the forefront of her work and is excellent at advocating on their behalf’.
- Instructed to represent a woman in divorce and financial matters.
- Representing 13 year old and 10 year old brothers (through r16.4 guardian) on father’s application for enforcement of a CAO (spend time with) that was granted in January 2017.
- Represented seven year old girl represented through her r16.4 children’s guardian on the father’s application for enforcement of a CAO (spend time with).
- Represented 13 year old girl represented through her r16.4 children’s guardian on the father’s application for enforcement of a CAO (spend time with).
- Represented a mother in an application for a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order (FGMPO).
Teresa Cullen heads the team at Fladgate LLP and is experienced at dealing with both children and family matters. Cullen is skilled at advising on international and cross-border divorces and high-value financial claims. She also advises on various issues that affect children such as leave to remove applications. She is a collaborative practitioner and a mediator. Associate Anna Wakeling is another key member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fladgate has a small but strong family team covering a wide range of issues. Its client care is very impressive‘.
‘Teresa Cullen is an excellent litigator who shows great attention to detail‘.
‘Teresa Cullen is a highly experienced solicitor . She is very knowledgeable, excellent at dealing with clients and always adopts a very practical approach to cases‘.
‘The team is well organised and communicates well. Teresa Cullen is an extremely experienced solicitor who has a wide ranging knowledge of family law. She is helpful and approachable‘.
‘Teresa Cullen is very empathetic, often going the extra mile for clients without charging for it‘.
‘Teresa Cullen is an excellent lawyer, great with clients and has a very commercial and practical approach to dealing with cases. Likewise Anna Wakeling is also of very high calibre‘.
‘Teresa Cullen and Anna Wakeling work incredibly well together as a team. They are dedicated to giving their clients pragmatic advice and to maintaining a high level of attention to detail to ensure the best possible case is put forward on behalf of their clients‘.
‘Teresa Cullen is very responsive, excellent in handling high-net-worth family cases and sensitive to the client’s particularities’.
Grayfords is experienced at advising on divorce and separation as well as at negotiating relationship agreements such as pre-and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and parenting agreements. It has a particular strength in advising on the financial arrangements involving couples and children and has a proven track record of assisting high-earning financial sector individuals as well as small, medium and large business owners. Sheata Karim heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Neil Graham; Megan Bennie
‘Neil Graham is very experienced with a brilliant bed side manner. He is attentive to detail and the wider picture of the case and approaches each matter pragmatically with clear goals‘.
‘Neil Graham is intelligent, genial and easy to work with‘.
‘Neil Graham is thorough and leaves no stone unturned. He brings empathy and understanding to his work helping his clients through a very difficult time’.
‘Neil Graham is quite simply brilliant. His charm, calm manner and huge intellectual capacity represent everything that might conceivably be required of a matrimonial lawyer‘.
‘Excellent advice and support throughout the matter – legally thorough, tactically well judged and with excellent attention to the details of the matter in hand’.
‘Grayfords is very responsive and goes the extra mile to provide an excellent service to its clients, many of whom are international’.
‘The client care focus, tireless hard work and particular ability to identify potential strategies and their pitfalls is a distinguishing feature. The quality of the work before hearings is consistently high‘.
‘Megan Bennie is outstanding as a client-focused solicitor who has particular abilities with complex cases and clients needing a high level of support and explanation‘.
- Represented the client in the original proceedings involving child arrangements and international child abduction allegations and successfully represented her on appeal.
- Advising the client in a divorce with £10m of marital assets.
- Representing the client in complex children proceedings involving quasi public law aspects as well as finances.
- Representing the client in divorce, children and financial matters following urgent applications surrounding domestic violence and protection.
- Representing a father in a dispute over child contact arrangements and concerning potential international child relocation.
ITN Solicitors is frequently instructed to represent parents during care proceedings as well as advising clients on other issues such as domestic abuse and forced marriages. The department has also been instructed on some significant radicalisation cases and is adept at handling other matters such as financial remedies, divorce and prenuptial agreements. Other regular instructions include representing individuals in disputes about where the children should live or who they should spend time with. Head of team is Mitali Zakaria.
Other key lawyers:
‘Mitali Zakaria leads a team that continues to go from strength to strength as the firm’s reputation continues to grow‘.
‘Mitali Zakaria is an excellent advocate. She is able to give calm and sensible advice to even the most difficult client. She is patient with the most demanding client and opponent‘.
‘Mitali Zakaria has a close rapport with clients and judges alike. She achieves positive results when others might not. Nothing is too much trouble‘.
‘The cross-over between its exceptionally well-regarded public international team and specialism in terrorism related proceedings has placed the family team at the cutting edge of the development of radicalisation cases‘.
‘It has gone from strength to strength in recent years and has particular expertise in dealing with complex care proceedings, particularly where there are parallel criminal proceedings when it can draw on the expertise of its criminal team‘.
‘The firm has also taken strides forward in its private client family practice where it gets excellent results for its clients‘.
‘ITN has a dedicated team of lawyers who are committed to their clients – they always go the extra mile when representing even the most difficult clients‘.
‘Somia Siddiq is extremely hardworking‘.
- Represented three children (through their guardian) in a significant case where a mother lost her right to care for her children as a result of coaching the children against their father.
- Representing a father in public law care proceedings where there are concerns of alleged radicalisation.
- Representing client in care proceedings in respect of her two children.
- Representing client in respect of matrimonial finance proceedings following an overseas divorce.
- Represented client on a child abduction matter.
Josiah-Lake Gardiner Solicitors is a niche family law practice that has experienced practitioners who advise on the full range of family law issues. Clients include business owners, high-net-worth individuals and those in the media and the arts sectors. The people who instruct the firm are mostly based in London and the Home Counties but it also receives instructions from further afield and from some international clients. Rebecca Gardiner and David Josiah-Lake head the 'small but determined' team. Margaret Kelly is also well-regarded.
Rebecca Gardiner; David Josiah-Lake
Other key lawyers:
Margaret Kelly; Lewis Powers; Stacey De Souza
‘This firm is small but has a really excellent group of solicitors. It has a good reputation for financial matters but does children work too. The quality of the advice is excellent and the client care too‘.
‘A small firm with some phenomenal lawyers. The lawyers are intellectual and brave. They are results focused and always do the best job possible for their clients‘.
‘A very experienced team with highly regarded individuals. David Josiah-Lake is adept at dealing with complicated financial remedy cases‘.
‘A small firm that provided us with an efficient and dedicated bespoke service. David Josiah Lake was conscientious, proactive, patient, a good communicator with clear empathy but pragmatic and realistic‘.
‘Rebecca Gardiner is commercially astute. She understands accounts and how to handle highly sensitive information and can bring together a team to unwrap issues involving family businesses. She makes the biggest problems seem manageable and exudes a calm confidence‘.
‘Rebecca Gardiner has excellent technical ability, provides advice efficiently in a concise and balanced manner, clients quickly develop trust in Rebecca’s abilities‘.
‘Margaret Kelly really knows her stuff‘.
‘What makes Margaret Kelly stand out is the following: her knowledge of the law; her deep commitment to the psychological well-being of her clients; her capacity to remain in touch with her innate empathetic and compassionate stance towards her clients whilst delivering realistic and objective advice‘.
‘Lewis Powers is bright and is on the up. He is efficient, hardworking and will go far’.
‘Stacey De Souza has wonderful client handling skills‘.
- Represented a client in a high-value (c.£30m) financial matter where the assets involved a complex financial structure and post-separation accrual.
- Represented the client in a very high-value separation deed with an international dimension.
- Represented the client in Hague Convention proceedings involving diplomatic immunity.
Newton Kearns LLP is an excellent boutique firm with experience in all aspects of family dispute resolution. It is best known for its work on complex and high-value financial remedy claims but it is also regularly instructed on other issues such as private children law matters as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements which are frequently multi-jurisdictional and for people in the public eye. Paul Newton and Patrick Kearns head the team. Maggie Rae is another name to note who is skilled at advising on mediation, is a qualified arbitrator and is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Frances Petterson joined the firm from Clintons.
Paul Newton; Patrick Kearns
‘Paul Newton and Patrick Kearns are excellent lawyers and both have sound professional judgement. They are hardworking but absolutely delightful to work with. They are both dynamic and pragmatic‘.
‘Paul Newton and Patrick Kearns are both extremely experienced. They understand when to fight and when to settle. They are extremely accomplished‘.
‘The team is doing well‘.
‘Paul Newton is very commercial, cuts to the chase and sees the bigger pictures. He treats clients and lawyers as humans‘.
‘All three senior members of the team are excellent lawyers, and a pleasure to deal with. They handle large cases cost effectively and in a child centred way‘.
- Representing the client in a capitalisation case where there are very different quantifications of the capitalisation figure between the parties.
- Acting in a case involving a high-profile husband, potential sale of company and issues regarding the upbringing of the children.
- Advising a husband in a multimillion-pound divorce.
- Advising a former wife on the implementation of a post-nuptial agreement pursuant to a divorce, in which the husband was running the millionaire’s defence.
Russells Solicitors acts for a considerable number of celebrities especially in the music business but also for those in sports, film, TV and the media. The team has also built up a reputation for providing a discreet service through skilful reputation management of its cases. Alongside its celebrity client base it acts for other wealthy individuals such as those working in the financial services industry. In addition it advises on pre- and post-nuptial agreements and has carved out a niche in advising on the breakdown of long-term same-sex relationships. Head of team Carol Ellinas is recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘It provides a very personal service‘.
‘It is a thorough and dedicated team‘.
‘The team is exceptional and hardworking. It provides the highest level of service and its preparation of cases is second to none. The lawyers are approachable’.
‘Carol Ellinas is an excellent lawyer. She manages complex cases in a calm and constructive manner. She is astute and strategically minded. She is quick thinking and robust’.
‘Carol Ellinas is an experienced litigator and you would always want her on your side if going to court. She has a clear view of what is worth fighting about – but when she does she is very effective‘.
‘Carol Ellinas has excellent judgement and is very good at stepping back and looking at the big picture. She gives sound advice which is very practical and she tries to cut through some of the inevitable nonsense that can arise in family law matters. Dario Maggiulli is very hardworking and gives his all to his cases’.
‘Carol Ellinas, Dario Maggiulli – unusually covering children and financial proceedings providing client with complete service in all areas at top level. A top-class team. Understanding the human side of the work as well as being fully on top of legal proceedings‘.
‘Dario Maggiulli is hardworking and will go the extra mile for clients’.
- Acting for a prominent musician, separating from his long-term partner, on settlement discussions involving valuable property in the UK and US.
- Acting for the wife in one of the most significant and valuable celebrity divorces of the year.
- Providing ongoing family work for an internationally renowned footballer, including a successful challenge to his ex-wife’s use of child maintenance and an application to vary maintenance.
- Representing the MD of a technology company in divorce negotiations with his wife, including complex issues connected with the valuation of the company in the context of Brexit.
- Advising a well-known director and author in connection with the collapse of her civil partnership. The matter involved complex TOLATA applications to determine the parties’ interests in valuable properties in New York and London.
Andrea Plum heads the team at Sheridans that continues to represent celebrities, elite athletes, actors and authors. Other clients include musicians, company directors and shareholders as well as various professionals and wealthy individuals. Plum is well-known for her work on complex financial and property matters and for her advice on the financial arrangements for children. Neil McNab is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Efficient family law team with expertise and experience. Very efficient‘.
‘Andrea Plum is excellent. She knows her subject inside out, she is dedicated and provides an excellent service for clients‘.
‘Small but excellent team. Very personal service. Neil McNab – careful, considerate, thorough, realistic and tough‘.
- Represented the husband in divorce and financial proceedings with very substantial assets.
- Instructed by the wife, in place of another law firm, to see the terms of a settlement agreement embodied in a consent order of the court.
- Representing the wife in divorce and financial proceedings.
- Acting for the wife in contested divorce and financial remedy proceedings involving a jurisdiction dispute.
- Representing the husband in divorce and financial negotiations.
June Venters QC at Venters Solicitors is on the children panel, is a Resolution accredited specialist and regularly deals with the most serious and complex children family cases. Andrea Dawkins is a matrimonial and child care lawyer who advises on divorce and finance as well as other areas such as domestic violence, Schedule 1 claims and cohabitation agreements. Dawkins also does public law child care work and represents children through their guardians as well as adults in care proceedings.
June Venters QC; Andrea Dawkins
- Representing father in care proceedings.
- Representing father in care proceedings in respect of his son and step-son who has significant behavioural issues.
- Representing a 15-year-old girl through her guardian in respect of care proceedings.
- Representing a 15-year-old boy who lived with his mum who could not cope with his behaviour.
- Representing a six-year-old boy through the guardian
Wilson Solicitors LLP has a broad practice that advises on diverse issues such as divorce and financial orders through to children law and domestic violence. Other strengths lie in pre- and post-nuptial agreements, high-net-worth financial orders as well as child abduction and forced marriages. Under the leadership of Aysen Soyer it is also becoming increasingly well-known for its work on surrogacy and adoption. Patricia Beckett does some public law children work for parents and advises on other areas such as family law injunctions and cohabitation law.
Other key lawyers:
Patricia Beckett; Amna Khaliq
‘Wilsons is an excellent value for money firm situated in North London offering services to culturally diverse London. Whilst known for its commitment to legally aided clients all of Wilsons’ solicitors offer excellent private services in both financial remedy and private law children’.
‘Patricia Beckett is absolutely outstanding. She is always prepared to go the extra mile. She is highly adept at representing parents in non-accidental injury cases. She combines a razor-sharp brain with pragmatism and compassion‘.
‘Aysen Soyer has a good understanding of company law and running a business. Many of her financial remedy clients are very well off and own multiple properties and businesses. Her clients clearly trust her advice and listen to her‘.
‘Patricia Beckett is unrivalled in her diplomatic approach to opponents, her patience with clients and professionals alike and her practical approach to resolving matters in the best interests of her clients‘.
‘Amna Khaliq has a sharp and forensic mind which allows her to dissect to the heart of any issues in the case and works with her clients to resolve matters as swiftly and cost effectively as possible‘.
‘Patricia Beckett has been particularly supportive, reassuring and highly diligent in her handling of my case providing excellent legal and practical advice, always in a highly professional, yet friendly and respectful manner‘.
- Represented the grandfather of Ellie Butler at the inquest touching upon her death by her father, after being placed in his care following family court proceedings.
- Represented client in a financial remedy case.
- Represented a respondent in a complex financial orders matter involving a short marriage and properties subject to trust deeds.
- Represented the respondent mother on an application for a child arrangements order, including significant allegations of domestic violence, and an appeal against the court’s refusal to have a fact-finding hearing.
- Represented client through ICACU seeking a return order to Australia – return order made.
Allard Bailey Family Law
Louise Allard and Sabrina Bailey are well regarded practitioners at Allard Bailey Family Law . Allard has a broad practice and represents clients in the full range of financial remedy proceedings as well as children act matters. Bailey advises on a myriad of family issues and has a special interest in matters involving children such as international relocation, adoption and surrogacy. Joanne Hall joined the team as a senior consultant from Burgess Mee Family Law and specialises in complex financial matters – Hall is an accredited Resolution specialist in family finance.
Louise Allard; Sabrina Bailey
‘The team comes across as very professional but very personable‘.
‘The lawyers are highly experienced and knowledgeable, quite possibly better than the most famous city firms. At the same time the lawyers take a very pragmatic approach, and keep costs down, which is all that a client could ask for‘.
‘Most of the team has experience of working at well-known large City firms. The team gives really specialist, high quality advice and representation on a much more accessible / good value basis compared to ‘magic circle’-type firms‘.
‘Louise Allard’s knowledge, experience and professionalism were invaluable in finding a very positive resolution to my situation, which was quite complex as it involved a number of jurisdictions‘.
‘As counsel, my experience of this firm is that it compares very favourably with larger/magic circle firms. In that the method and manner of dealing with lay clients is equally as good, if not better in some respects‘.
‘Louise Allard and Sabrina Bailey – I rate both of them extremely highly due to the fact that both have the ability to approach the client’s case in a strategic and constructive manner to achieve the best outcome for the client‘.
‘Its strength lies in its ability to recognise and meet individual needs however complex‘.
‘It is a small boutique firm and is cost effective for clients. Louise Allard is an exceptional family practitioner, with great availability and legal knowledge. She provides realistic, practical advice in delicate situations‘.
‘Louise Poulton is very switched-on and gives accurate advice. A big support to clients‘.
‘Louise Poulton gives really sound, pragmatic advice, and the clients clearly have total trust in her‘.
- Obtained 82% of the equity in the family home for wife.
- Negotiated a highly favourable out of court settlement for a high-net-worth professional living in Singapore.
- Successfully reinstated contact for a father who was falsely accused of sexually abusing his two-year-old daughter.
- Successfully represented a same-sex couple in contested adoption proceedings, including a Court of Appeal application by birth father.
- Successfully concluded financial matters for a husband who had been in dispute with his wife for eight years prior to becoming a client of the firm’s.
Blake Morgan LLP advises on a wide range of matters for families but is particularly experienced in advising on complex financial matters with an international dimension. Head of team Flora Grossman also has substantive experience of dealing with children matters. The department advises on all Children Act matters from child arrangements through to removal cases. Farhana Shahzady is now at Irwin Mitchell .
Other key lawyers:
‘Flora Grossman has excellent analytical skills and she works in a such a creative way to ensure that she achieves the most appropriate outcome for her clients‘.
‘Flora Grossman is building a very successful financial remedies practice and has garnered some high profile clients (including a household name) and many high earning / high net worth individuals. She has a fantastic bedside manner – calm, conservative and yet genuinely concerned for her clients‘.
‘Flora Grossman is a highly skilled, calm, driven and measured solicitor. She has excellent client care skills, is an effective communicator with a reputation for thorough and careful preparation‘.
‘Flora Grossman is great with clients and really knows her stuff when it comes to complex cases’.
‘Flora Grossman and Amy Fullerton handled the issues immaculately and provided superb and realistic advice‘.
‘Amy Fullerton is thorough and effective. Her manner with clients is superb‘.
Curzon Green Solicitors
Curzon Green Solicitors has a solid reputation for dealing with the financial implications of relationship breakdown for mid to high-net-worth clients. The firm also has strength in child arrangement matters and is developing a practice in the area of family privacy including cases of revenge porn. Robert Green is a key contact along with Jeff Thomas.
Other key lawyers:
Robert Green; Kelly-Ann Welsh
‘The firm is detail-oriented, practical, well-organised, and sensible. Jeff Thomas is always on top of the details, and gives very sensible advice, drawing on his wealth of experience‘.
‘Kelly-Ann Welsh is able to guide clients through both the children and money aspects of relationship breakdown, with compassion but also firm, realistic and fair advice. Kelly-Ann Welsh is an excellent, dedicated, and thorough lawyer’.
‘Kelly-Ann Welsh has been so helpful, extremely knowledgeable, very interested in my matters, super speedy with her replies‘.
- Acted for a wife in financial remedy proceedings.
- Acted for the husband in divorce and financial remedy proceedings where, prior to the commencement of divorce proceedings, the parties had sold the family home and both had then purchased properties for themselves but in joint names.
- Acting for the husband in divorce and financial remedy proceedings where the wife is acting in person.
- Acted for a wealthy businessman where another party was threatening to publish sensitive photos of a revenge porn nature.
- Prepared a pre-nuptial agreement.
DMH Stallard LLP specialises in the resolution of complex financial issues that arise during divorce and separation and also has wide experience in private law children matters and cross-border disputes. In addition the team advises on pre- and post-nuptial agreements and has experience of advising on emergency applications to the High Court. Other areas of expertise lie in advising on the breakdown of cohabiting relationships especially in relation to TOLATA and Children Act 1989 Schedule 1 cases. Philip Morton heads the team. It remains to be seen what impact the recent departure of David Leadercramer to Osbornes will have on the practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘Efficient, capable and approachable. Philip Morton: all the qualities of a determined litigator made human in a family solicitor‘.
‘Siobhan Lomasney: wide experience informs her approach to family law. Excellent client engagement‘.
‘Philip Morton is very down to earth and user friendly. He gets straight to the point and doesn’t waste time or money pursuing unnecessary actions‘.
‘Philip Morton shows empathy and a firm resolve in reaching a good outcome for his clients‘.
- Represented a wife in preparing a pre-nuptial agreement to protect her £22m of internationally located assets.
- Successfully acted for a wife in a contentious matter involving a husband with trusts based in Jersey.
- Successfully acted for a wife who was advised by her former solicitors to enter a bad deal with her husband.
Greenwoods GRM advises on a broad range of matters from private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989 to complex domestic violence and welfare matters. Under the leadership of Simon Donald the team is also adept at advising unmarried parents on issues surrounding the financial provision for their children as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Lesley Pendlebury Cox
‘The family team is a small, specialist one and deals with complicated matrimonial finance work. Quite a chunk of its work has an international element to it. Simon Donald is a tremendous lawyer – he knows the answer to the tricky questions and is great tactically’.
‘Simon Donald has a no nonsense approach and is someone who gets to the root of the case quickly and is always in a position to provide advice on an early resolution‘.
‘Lesley Pendlebury Cox is an outstanding solicitor and has always been on hand at any time of day and day of week to support me‘.
‘Lesley Pendlebury Cox is one of the most conscientious and diligent solicitors I have come across. She cares passionately about her cases and is strikingly empathetic to her clients‘.
‘Lesley Pendlebury Cox is absolutely dedicated to getting the right result for the client. Not just legally but also holistically‘.
- Advised on private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989.
- Advised on allegations of child abduction that were raised by the applicant father/allegations of domestic violence raised by the respondent mother (Private Law Children Act 1989 proceedings).
- Advised on a variation of a consent order made in financial remedies proceedings under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
- Advising on divorce proceedings where there are trust structures and business assets.
- Advising on divorce and financial proceedings where there are allegations of financial misconduct.
GT Stewart Limited handles many urgent cases to help families where the local authority has issued proceedings against parents. It also represents parents and children who have suffered abuse and deals with relationship breakdown such as divorce, contact with children and financial issues. Geoffrey Castello heads the department and specialises in care proceedings, private children law and domestic abuse cases.
Zoë Bloom is a key member of the team at Keystone Law. The group was pleased to add Richard Collins from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and Caroline Kelly from Mishcon de Reya LLP to its ranks. It has dedicated children law specialists in addition to financial, property and more general separation lawyers. The team predominantly advises weatlhy individuals often with complex situations both domestically and international.
Philcox Gray & Co
Philcox Gray & Co has been involved in some complex care cases including radicalisation and non-accidental injuries and significant cross border disputes involving abduction and relocation. Lucy Verity is a Resolution accredited specialist in child abduction and private law children matters while Sephona Isaacs Polson has a wide range of experience in acting for parents and children in international adoptions. Beverley King has extensive experience of representing children and other parties in private and public law Children Act proceedings.
Beverley King; Lucy Verity; Sephona Isaacs Polson
Other key lawyers:
Giuseppe Di Seca; Joanna Walker; Denise Hoilette
‘Well-known firm that has a genuine personal approach to its work load. Lucy Verity provides realistic and robust advice which clients respect and value. She has a calm and reassuring manner and is respected by her peers and by judges alike‘.
‘Philcox Gray has a unique commitment to publicly funded work and to providing outstanding legal advice to those most in need. The firm has a wealth of experience in dealing with the most complex children matters and is able to draw on this to provide expert advice in private family law matters as well’.
‘Philcox Gray’s family team is a first-class outfit. It has a wealth of collective experience and goes that extra mile for clients. The team always prepares its cases with a significant amount of diligence‘.
‘Parents and children have cause to be very grateful to PG for its work in the field of public law children cases‘.
‘It is expanding to cater for its increased workload due in no small part to its growing reputation as an excellent firm dealing with both public and private law family cases. Yet despite the growth, there is a really personal feel to the firm’.
‘Beverley King remains an outstanding solicitor whose instincts in complex care proceedings are spot on‘.
‘Beverley King, Lucy Verity and Denise Hoilette are able to reassure their clients and provide robust advice in terms that their clients can understand ‘.
‘Lucy Verity is an excellent childcare lawyer. She is bright, pragmatic and tenacious’.
‘Joanna Walker is able to provide realistic advice whilst ensuring that her clients do not lose confidence in her legal abilities‘.
‘Giuseppe Di Seca is an excellent and committed lawyer who fights for his clients and provides superb client care‘.
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP specialises in complex divorce proceedings especially those with cross-jurisdictional issues and has particular strength in financial relief matters. Clients include high-net-worth individuals, property entrepreneurs, company directors and City executives. It is also expanding its offering to include advice on surrogacy and adoption. John O’Callaghan heads the team that has seen a significant increase in clients from the Middle East, Turkey and Russia.
Other key lawyers:
‘A personal and professional experience with a firm that really makes a client’s issues a key priority. Daniel Martinez from day one made me feel at ease, talking about a really difficult topic and using his skill to understand and offer sound advice from both a legal and personal perspective‘.
‘Daniel Martinez is responsive, reliable, and exceptional at caring for his clients whilst assisting them in navigating the legal aspects of divorce and separation. Responsiveness is key and Daniel makes a point of being available and accessible to his clients at all times‘.
‘The divorce cases I refer to Daniel Martinez usually have an international element due to my location, but have ties to the UK. Daniel has always handled these cases proactively and with an appropriate degree of care and sensitivity’ .
‘Daniel Martinez was detailed and patient and diligently answered all queries that I had‘.
- Advising the wife in drafting a deed of separation.
- Advising on the divorce/high value financial relief for a central London businessman with international assets.
- Advising on a private law children matter that originated overseas.
- Advising on an application under schedule 1 of the Children Act (1989) following a final order in the parties’ financial remedy.
- Advising on cross-border financial remedy litigation concerning assets based in England and Iran.
The family team at Royds Withy King has one City-based partner plus one other partner who works from both the London and Bath offices. The group has a particular focus on high-value cases often involving business assets, overseas assets, trusts and multi-jurisdictional issues. It has developed specialist expertise in complex cases involving cryptocurrency and other crypto assets. The majority of its cases have an international element and the team also has a strong practice in private children law proceedings. Patrick Hart heads the team that is one to watch.
Other key lawyers:
Will MacFarlane; Emma McMorrow
‘It has a strong presence in the South West of England but also a central London office so it is excellent for families with connections to either or both parts of the country‘.
‘It has been expanding and building on its strong reputation in private client work. Noticeable friendly approach but also some leading individuals and building reputations in areas such as crypto currency‘.
‘Patrick Hart as head of team is exceptional. Deeply knowledgeable with a modesty and good humour. Great fun to work with. Will McFarlane is strong too‘.
‘Patrick Hart is a solid and capable team leader‘.
‘Patrick Hart is a fantastic lead partner – combination of strong technical skills, humour and great client skills’.
‘Will MacFarlane brings excellent tactical instincts to his work. He also has brilliant client care skills. He is widely respected by the very best in family law in London and the South West. He is definitely one to watch in the family law world‘.
‘Will McFarlane is a very talented solicitor who is excellent with clients‘.
‘Emma McMorrow is a very able, diligent solicitor. She is bright and engaged and cares deeply about her clients’.
- Acting for a wife in divorce and financial proceedings involving significant assets, many of which were held overseas.
- Representing a Russian wife on potential financial claims in England after a Russian divorce under Part III MFPA 1984.
- Acted for a wife in a financial settlement involving combined assets in excess of £220m where the divorce proceedings had been issued in Russia by the husband.
- Acting for a husband in divorce and financial proceedings where he has significant interests in trusts in the USA which the wife is seeking to argue have a nuptial element.
- Acting for the husband in relation to divorce proceedings and financial matters. Husband will likely make a claim for a stellar contribution.
Caroline Watson is the national head of the team at Shoosmiths LLP. The group frequently advises on jurisdictional issues and cases involving overseas assets and relocation. It is also skilled at advising on asset protection as it works closely with its wealth protection, Court of Protection and clinical negligence teams. The practice regularly assists with cohabitation agreements as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements to protect awards of compensation in addition to business and property interests. However, Juliette Peters has left the firm and Jay Patel is now at Hunters Law LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Sharon Sloam; Adam Maguire
‘I have been really impressed with Sharon Sloam’s commitment to and empathy with the clients. She works exceptionally hard and really earns clients’ trust which seems to have a calming and reassuring effect on clients‘.
‘Sharon Sloam has a very approachable manner and is devoted to her clients. She combines tactical nous with a keen appreciation of what is important for the client. She is responsive and conscientious‘.
‘Sharon Sloam is very personable, good with clients and willing to take advice and work collaboratively‘.
‘Adam Maguire handles complex financial instruments and expert evidence with great skill. He also develops strong relationships with his clients‘.
- Represented the father in relation to contact with his daughter and financial claims made against him.
- Represented the husband in a divorce with complicated financial elements and an international dimension.
- Represented a wife in a complex pension sharing case.
- Represented client in complex High Court proceedings which concerned the validity of ceremonies of marriage alleged to have taken place in rural Pakistan in the early 1990s.
- Represented the wife in a divorce where the husband unsuccessfully alleged that he owned 50% of his business on trust for someone else and went to extraordinary lengths to convince the court of this.
Slater and Gordon advises both high-net-worth individuals as well as those with limited means through its various offices nationally. The team under the leadership of Hannah Cornish has a wide range of expertise in diverse areas such as international child abduction, surrogacy and adoption. It also advises on complex financial matters and the team has particular expertise in other related areas such as police and military pensions.
Stevens & Bolton LLP advises various professionals, entrepreneurs and other lawyers on a range of high-value financial proceedings and nuptial agreements. Clients include those with modest wealth through to high-net-worth individuals and families. Clients have included ones who have featured in The Sunday Times Rich List. The group is also experienced at advising on contested children proceedings under the leadership of Nicola Harries.
Other key lawyers:
Sean Hilton; Grace Parker-White
‘Stevens & Bolton provides a very personal service’.
‘Nicola Harries was compassionate, effective, efficient, easy to contact and very responsive‘.
‘Nicola Harries is very understanding when clients face difficult situations and has a professional yet compassionate approach‘.
‘Nicola Harries and Grace Parker-White have a reputation for being thorough and robust when needed but will work constructively to look at a non-court based solution (i.e. all forms of DR)‘.
‘Grace Parker-White is very capable‘.
‘Sean Hilton is superb with clients and creates a great team with the barristers he instructs, giving the lay client the best service possible‘.
‘Resolution focused but work hard for its clients and the lawyers are prepared to be steely when they need to be‘.
Taylor Vinters services a diverse client base from its offices in London, Cambridge and Singapore. Jackie Wells acts predominantly for high-net-worth clients in London. Catherine Bell acts for medium to high-net-worth clients on large scale financial remedies as well as having significant experience in disputes relating to children. In addition she advises on pre-marital, post-marital and cohabitation agreements and is a skilled collaborative lawyer. She also advises on all aspects of modern family law including surrogacy.
Other key lawyers:
Catherine Bell; Rachel Bevan
‘It gets the best work in East Anglia, and lots of great London work too. Strong links to the business community in Cambridge; innovative, ambitious and forward looking’.
‘Jackie Wells is the doyenne of the financial family law world in Cambridge. With the backing of the London office she gets the best work in Cambridgeshire and always delivers a top notch service. She is excellent at detail, great at numbers and always on top of the case’.
‘Jackie Wells has exceptional client skills and shows extraordinary attention to detail‘.
‘Jackie Wells – fantastic – experienced and excellent client care skills‘.
‘The team is very strong, particularly in relation to matrimonial finance cases. Catherine Bell is fantastic to have on a case (on either side) as she is experienced and has a lovely manner’.
‘Catherine Bell – excellent finance lawyer. She has a common sense approach, is hardworking and a challenging opponent. She is also very compassionate with her clients‘.
‘Catherine Bell is a bright and approachable solicitor with great client skills‘.
‘Rachel Bevan – one to watch‘.
‘Rachel Bevan is a very competent, up and coming solicitor who works extensively with Jackie and produces work way beyond her years. Very impressive, personable and efficient‘.
- Represented a client, a husband and father in his divorce and financial remedy proceedings and also proceedings concerning his children.
- Represented the husband in very acrimonious Part IV Family Law Act proceedings against his wife who he had been married to in their native Albania for a very short time.
- Representing the client in concluding her divorce and financial remedy proceedings after the Official Solicitor had advised the court that it no longer needed to be involved.
- Advising the client in relation to her CMS claim and then appeals and potential application pursuant to Schedule 1 which will involve a costs application against the father of the client ‘s son for costs incurred.
- Representing its client in relation to Children Act proceedings and an application by the father of her daughter.
The family team at Thomson Snell & Passmore has four qualified collaborative lawyers, two Resolution-trained mediators (one mediator is qualified to meet children) and everyone in the team is a member of Resolution. The group regularly deals with high-net-worth financial cases and has also been dealing with some complicated Children Act matters. In addition head of team Joanna Pratt also deals with pre-and post-nuptial agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Kirstie Law; Sarah Judd; Sarah Keily
‘Thomson Snell and Passmore is the pre-eminent family law firm in Tunbridge Wells and one of the best in the South East. It may be the oldest firm in the country, but it is distinctively modern in its approach to family law issues, embracing the many forms of dispute resolution to the best advantage of its clients and separating couples and their children generally‘.
‘This is a good provincial firm based in Tunbridge Wells which attracts high quality work’.
‘Joanna Pratt works with you to achieve bespoke solutions to often complex issues. She is a great, practical problem solver‘.
‘Joanna Pratt is firm but fair and always effective‘.
‘Kirstie Law is bright, efficient and great to deal with‘.
‘Kirstie Law is a real class act, combining a sharp intelligence with outstanding emotional intelligence‘.
‘Kirstie Law is a highly experienced family lawyer. She is straightforward and pragmatic in her approach and even acrimonious cases can be dealt with in a sensible and amiable manner due to this skill’.
‘Sarah Judd is calm and diligent‘.
‘Sarah Judd is the grande dame par excellence of Tunbridge Wells family law. She has a cool, measured approach and is calm in a crisis‘.
‘Sarah Keily works hard and is always available to give clients more than 100%‘.
- Negotiated a clean break settlement for a husband by successfully arguing that the wife should utilise her surplus capital to produce an income.
- Advising on a complicated but successful special guardianship application on behalf of grandparents.
- Advising on a collaborative matter with many investment schemes and considerable pensions.
- Representing a mother in Children Act proceedings with an international element and in financial proceedings with an offshore trust.
- Advising on a complicated financial remedy case (also with acrimonious Children Act and Family Law Act proceedings running in conjunction with these proceedings), involving a Part 25 application requesting expert psychiatric evidence be admitted, arguments over matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets and arguments about a division of assets based on ‘sharing’ or ‘needs’.