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Helen Wilby- Clarence Family Law

Firms To Watch: Family

Branch Austin McCormick LLP is praised by a client as ‘a highly specialised small firm that has the reputation and address to appeal to high-net-worth clients’. Saika Alam heads the department, which also includes Julius Brookman and Caroline Ford who joined the firm from Fletcher Day in February 2023.
Family Law in the City Ltdis a vibrant new family law boutique with a great team and a no-nonsense attitude towards clients’. Founder of the practice, Katie Spooner, is a key name of note.
Irpreet Kohli heads the family department at Freeths LLP, which is praised for handling ‘the most high value and complex of cases with ease. They have also dealt with some highly complex child arrangements and cross-border issues involving difficult surrogacy disputes’.
The ‘exceptional’ Georgina Hamblin, who was previously at Vardags, established her own boutique firm, Hamblin Family Law LLP, in January 2023. She is praised as ‘a litigation powerhouse’ with ‘great legal knowledge and tactical instinct’.
Lowry Legal recently recruited Michelle Uppal from Miles & Partners LLP; she is known as 'a caring and knowledgeable lawyer who conducts finances cases with confidence and natural ability', and is also described as 'a highly skilled and compassionate lawyer who understands the stresses that clients find themselves in when a relationship breaks down.'  
At Manders Law, Mary-Ann Wright ‘has created a dynamic and effective team built around her ethos of hard work and customer service. The depth of legal knowledge combined with the effective client care makes Manders exceptional'.
Julie Taylor at Spencer West LLP heads the family department. Taylor is praised for ‘going absolutely above and beyond in trying every angle she can in the pursuit of her client’s case’.

Firms in the Spotlight Family

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

Hughes Fowler Carruthers logo

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 …

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Family in London

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLPhas a great family practice with real strength in depth and, in particular, some great younger partners coming through, which bodes well for a strong future’. Head of the department James Freeman combines a ‘formidable brain with huge pragmatism’. This powerhouse excels at handling highly complex cases involving significantly valued assets. With its international reach, it is also well placed to assist clients in cases involving private and family business structures, and has particular expertise in cases concerning onshore and offshore trusts. Miranda Fisher acts for many international clients and is skilled at handling cases with jurisdictional disputes. William Longrigg specialises in international divorces, financial relief, and private law children cases. Sarah Higgins has a particular focus on complex financial applications regarding family businesses, and Sarah Jane Boon continues to manage a very busy case load. Jamie Kennaugh is also recommended, and senior associate Joshua Green has a broad family law practice. Emily Borrowdale, also a senior associate, advises on all areas of family law and has a growing practice in complex financial remedy cases and cases concerning jurisdictional issues.

Practice head(s):

James Freeman


Other key lawyers:

William Longrigg; Miranda Fisher; Sarah Higgins; Sarah Jane Boon; Jamie Kennaugh; Emily Borrowdale; Joshua Green; James Riby; Charlotte Posnansky; Erica Shelton; David Carver


Testimonials

‘James Freeman heads the team with a seeming lightness of touch that belies his rock solid core. As a family lawyer, if I were getting divorced, he would be my go-to.’

‘William Longrigg is a classy fellow and always a pleasure to deal with. He wears his experience lightly, is always respectful to those he may come across at every level of experience and reassuring to clients.’

‘Charlotte Posnansky has bundles of common sense, is a delight to work with, and is extremely bright. Jamie Kennaugh is tough when she needs to go into battle for her clients and doesn’t shrink from a fight, but will also be pragmatic and collaborative wherever she can. Keen to roll up her sleeves.’

‘One of the best family teams in London. An all-round excellent service.’

‘As a firm, they are at the top of their game and are as good as you will find. Miranda Fisher, William Longrigg, Jamie Kennaugh and David Carver are particularly impressive.’

‘They have one of the best crops of young partners who look set to lead the profession in years to come. Jamie Kennaugh’s care for clients and utter dedication to obtaining the right answer for them is hard to surpass with a warm humanity that verges on the inspiring. James Riby is a hugely knowledgeable technical and commercially minded lawyer.’

‘Sarah Jane Boon is an extremely able new partner and always goes the extra mile. Joshua Green is a charming, thoughtful lawyer with excellent client handling skills.’

‘Sizeable and impressive team with great calibre throughout. James Freeman is a perfect team leader and excellent lawyer; pragmatic rather than political, determined in his progression of cases, and ever commercial.’

Dawson Cornwell LLP

Jointly headed by Russell Bywater and Carolina Marín Pedreño, the team at Dawson Cornwell LLP is ‘undoubtedly an exceptional, all-service family law firm. They have an unwavering reputation for providing high-quality advice on the most complex divorce and financial matters, including those cases with an international element. The firm has an abundance of talent at all levels, including the ‘financial remedy heavyweightSimon Bruce. Amy Rowe is regarded as a specialist in complex cross-border children matters, while Sarah Jane Lenihan concentrates on financial remedies and private law children cases. Jessica Reid is a key figure who regularly handles complex cases involving financial claims and jurisdictional disputes. Charlotte Conner and Charlotte Image-Flower are other key members of this ‘outstanding’ team. In team news, Lisette Dupré joined Stewarts Law LLP and Amy Barrow joined Payne Hicks Beach LLP in October 2022 and April 2023 respectively. At the start of 2023, Hilka Hollmann joined the team from Freemans Solicitors, while the ‘exceptionalAnna Shadbolt was promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Russell Bywater; Carolina Marin Pedreño


Other key lawyers:

Simon Bruce; Amy Rowe; Jessica Reid; Sarah Jane Lenihan; Hilka Hollmann; Anna Shadbolt; Charlotte Image-Flower; Sulema Jahangir; Floriane Laruelle; Charlotte Conner; Kate Brett; Aysel Akhundova; Forum Shah


Testimonials

‘A leading firm for international matters involving children. The team also comprises strong financial remedies specialists (Simon Bruce, Charlotte Conner, and Jessica Reid). Simon Bruce joined the firm a couple of years ago, significantly raising its profile as a real contender in the financial remedy market.’

‘Simon Bruce’s understanding of divorce law is second-to-none and his view of the likely outcome of the court case was resolute throughout the process and spot on. His legal tactics were also excellent.’

‘Carolina Marin Pedreño is a practitioner of great experience, and of the highest international, as well as domestic, standing, with recognition at governmental level, and in her membership and leadership of prominent international bodies.’

‘Amy Rowe and Carolina Marin Pedreño are standout partners in an international children law department with significant depth. Forum Shah is extremely dedicated to her work on Hague Convention cases and has a very sharp mind that does not miss a point.’

‘Forum Shah is an outstanding child abduction litigator. She deploys a strategic approach to cases and is always one step ahead of the other side. She is an absolute delight to work with. Charlotte Image-Flower is a fantastic practitioner. She applies her intelligence to find appropriate solutions in the most difficult of cases.’

‘Dawson Cornwell are one of the leading firms in family law with a highly talented and committed team of lawyers. They are growing from strength to strength with recruits such as Hilka Hollman. All of the lawyers dedicate their utmost to their clients to obtain the best result they can.’

‘Charlotte Conner is a pleasure to deal with. Simon Bruce is a force of nature and an absolute fountain of family law knowledge. Sarah Jane Lenihan is a financial remedies expert. Amy Rowe and Forum Shah are absolute experts in their field.’

‘Top of the tree. Absolutely excellent in all forms of children law, especially international, plus in everything to do with finance and cohabitation. Russell Bywater is a king of family law. Carolina Marin Pedreño is renowned for her skill in family law around the globe. Charlotte Conner is a true star; diligent, no nonsense and bright.’

Work highlights


  • Represented the 2nd respondent, who supported the appeal by the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, in a Court of Appeal case which is a landmark decision for domestic cases in relation to police involvement in family law cases.
  • Represented the husband in one of the most important cases on prenups since the landmark Supreme Court case of Radmacher in 2010, with the High Court’s ruling reinforcing the position that courts should take account pre-nuptial agreements provided that they are not completely unreasonable or signed under duress.
  • Represented a mother in wardship proceedings after she had been stranded in Pakistan by the father, who had taken away her travel documents and returned to England with the child.

Family Law in Partnership Ltd

Family Law in Partnership Ltd has a ‘great team with a stellar reputation’ and is praised by one client for its ‘great mediation offering and support for ADR’ which ‘marks them out against their competitors’. Many of its clients are high profile figures, including royalty, those in the public eye, and ultra-high-net-worth businesspeople. The ‘fantastic family law firm’, while ‘focused on settling cases’ also has ‘outstanding litigators’. The focus of David Allison’s practice continues to be on complex and high-value financial claims regarding divorce proceedings, particularly those with an international dimension. Daniel Coombes regularly advises clients on children cases, including those involving children born into same-sex families and international relocation cases. Elizabeth Fletcher predominately handles cases involving both financial remedy and children proceedings. Helen Greenfield has a particular specialism in assisting clients who have been affected by domestic abuse or coercive and controlling behaviour. James Pirrie specialises in complicated financial remedy cases and private children law matters. Other ‘intelligent, empathic and highly-skilled lawyers’ include Pamela Collis , Bradley Williams, Charlotte Symes, and Elizabeth Hicks.

Other key lawyers:

David Allison; James Pirrie; Pamela Collis; Daniel Coombes; Bradley Williams; Elizabeth Fletcher; Hannah Greene; Helen Greenfield; Charlotte Symes; Mariko Wilson; Selena Arbe Barnes; Nicole Phillips; Kara Swift; Elizabeth Hicks; Grace Lawrence; Vanessa Sampaio; Rebecca Alexander


Testimonials

‘James Pirrie is the Duracell bunny of the legal world. He effectively brings energy to managing his case load, has an open approach, and he gets a lot of referrals based on word of mouth. He wears his encyclopaedic legal knowledge lightly. Hugely impressive.’

‘Elizabeth Fletcher is a standout lawyer here. She is extremely sharp and knows the law inside out. Hugely responsive and extremely tenacious on behalf of her clients. She has great empathy and always does a first-class job.’

‘Bradley Williams is a superb solicitor. A comprehensively talented team of family lawyers who are at the top of their game. Pamela Collis is a great leader and a very accommodating person who balances her professional service with a unique personal touch.’

‘Helen Greenfield displays a calm attitude that belies her fiercely analytical mind and her wealth of experience. Helen is brilliant with lay clients and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of family law and her cases. This combination of skills makes her an exceptional family law solicitor and an opponent to be reckoned with.’

‘Elizabeth Hicks: she is at the top of her game. Fiercely loyal to, and protective of, her clients, they feel supported and extremely well represented as a result. She is not afraid to stand her ground and delivers results time after time.’

‘Daniel Coombes is the most deep-thinking and strategic family law solicitor I know. He is exceptional and incredibly hard working. Nicole Phillips is client focused and has an empathetic demeanour, but she is also incisive and analytical when it counts.’

‘I would describe FLIP as a Magic Circle firm with a difference. They are settlement and ADR focussed with an eye on the emotional welfare of the client. They litigate well when necessary, but only when necessary.’

‘Mariko Wilson is outstanding, clever, gentle, thoughtful, and conscientious. Excellent client manner, great on detail, but sees the overall picture. Grace Lawrence is fiercely intelligent, forthright, conscientious. Selena Arbe-Barnes is clever, committed, interested, and supportive. She absorbs every detail of the client’s case.’

Farrer & Co

At Farrer & Co, William Massey heads an ‘extremely talented team and very much leads by example’. The practice receives many plaudits for its ‘almost incomparable experience’ and for its ability to ‘handle the most complex family law disputes with elegance and excellence’. The practice has a superb reputation for its high-value, complex work involving substantial assets, foreign jurisdictions, complicated asset protection structures, and trust and tax issues. Claire Gordon regularly represents entrepreneurs, professionals, individuals with private equity investments, the international elite, and those with very substantial generational wealth. Caroline Holley has a strong reputation for her international practice, while Sarah Hutchinson maintains a busy and varied caseload. Another member of the ‘Rolls Royce of family law practices’ is Edward Floyd, who specialises in international high-net-worth work, specifically financial claims involving trusts and claims on overseas divorces. Amy Radnor’s practice encompasses both finances as well as difficult and contentious children cases, especially those with an international or safeguarding element. Flora HarraginAlexander Woolley, and Frederick Tatham are also key members of the department, and John Davies was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

William Massey


Other key lawyers:

Claire Gordon; Caroline Holley; Sarah Hutchinson; Edward Floyd; Amy Radnor; Flora Harragin; John Davies; Alexander Woolley; Frederick Tatham; Rebecca Heyworth


Testimonials

‘Outstanding service all round, could not wish for better or more – truly exceptional. I feel in very safe hands. Sarah Hutchinson is one of the most outstanding professionals I have ever worked with in my life. Incredible technical skills and experience, great judgement and a human touch and empathy that I find unique, and I value very highly. I trust her 100%.’

‘Amy Radnor was exceptionally supportive before and throughout the case, providing sound, constructive and realistic advice, particularly when the case was getting more and more difficult and complicated. She acted with extreme empathy, compassion and integrity, supporting me throughout until reaching a sound solution.’

‘Claire Gordon and Edward Floyd are two of the finest solicitors in London. They have good judgement, dignity, analysis and gravitas.’

‘Caroline Holley is one of the greats of family law. She is an incredible solicitor totally dedicated to her work and clients. She has an enormous intellect and a wonderful client manner. She brings a light touch to her cases which clients love. All her opponents respect her for her judgement and sensibility.’

‘John Davies has recently been appointed partner. He deserves it. He is a totally dedicated lawyer. I have been involved with him on a long-running international case and he has coordinated the litigation in multiple jurisdictions. His attention to detail is quite unbelievable.’

‘William Massey is one of the best lawyers out there on the senior end. Flora Harrigan is a go-to on cross-border cases, whether with respect to money or children.’

‘Farrer’s reputation speaks for itself. Their family team represents the very best in the business. What is perhaps more uncommon is for a firm of this pedigree to have such a young partnership team.’

‘Alexander Woolley never stops thinking – he is obsessed with every aspect of the case he is working on and, seemingly, loves the law more than most academics. He has an innate sense of fairness and is not afraid to disagree with others, irrespective of their seniority. He is a star in the making.’

Work highlights


  • Represented a client in connection with an application made by his former wife under Part III of the Family and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1984.
  • Acted for a client in relation to a contested divorce (including a forum conveniens dispute) and financial remedy proceedings involving multiple jurisdictions.

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

Family law boutique Hughes Fowler Carruthers is well-versed in the full gamut of high-value matters, with expertise representing high-net-worth individuals in complex divorce, cohabitation, and child wellbeing related cases. Frances Hughes - 'the go-to solicitor for complex financial disputes' - leads the team, specialising in divorce and complex children’s cases, often with an international element, whilst simultaneously sitting as a senior mediator. Along with Hughes, the other two founding partners of the firm Pauline Fowler and 'tenacious negotiator' Alex Carruthers are key to the practice, with expertise in international adoption and surrogacy, and trusts-related work respectively. The 'exceptional' Renato Labi‘s practice extends to intricate financial disputes within divorce proceedings and post-cohabitation disputes, along with highly complex private law children cases. Caroline Park and Kate Brett are both integral to the practice, with experience in drafting and negotiating pre- and post- nuptial agreements, and complex cases including cross-jurisdictional children matters. Also of note is Mark Harper, who is widely lauded for his divorce and trust litigation expertise.

Practice head(s):

Frances Hughes


Other key lawyers:

Alex Carruthers; Pauline Fowler; Mark Harper; Renato Labi; Caroline Park; Kate Brett


Testimonials

‘Hughes Fowler Carruthers have an exceptionally strong team.’

‘Frances Hughes is the go-to solicitor for complex financial disputes. She knows how to win.’

‘Renato Labi is an exceptional lawyer – always two steps ahead of his opponent.’

‘Bryan Jones is a masterful tactician.’

‘Alex Carruthers is a tenacious negotiator who has unrivalled experience of dealing with difficult offshore cases.’

‘Hughes Fowler Carruthers is an excellent firm and indeed has many more excellent solicitors then almost anyone practising in this area. I can particularly recommend Frances Hughes, Pauline Fowler, Alex Carruthers, Mark Harper, Caroline Park, Renato Labi, Liam Bennett, Kate Brett, Bryan Jones and Rachael Burton.’

‘Frances Hughes is probably the pre-eminent practitioner in this area.’

‘If I had to recommend a solicitor to act for a trust who had been brought into family proceedings I would name Mark Harper of Hughes Fowler Carruthers as a go-to solicitor.’

Work highlights


  • Acting in Potanin v Potanina, an international divorce with extremely high financial stakes (USD 20 billion), which has garnered significant media attention due to the oligarch status of the husband.
  • Acting in a reported case for leave to remove concerning the UK-based children a mother from a leading Brazilian entrepreneurial family and a French father, with many highly sensitive and complex issues.
  • Enforcing an award made in the High Court against a husband who has left the jurisdiction to Morocco and France – a very complex, multijurisdictional and high value matter (USD 20 million), with extensive cross-border elements.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Barbara Reeves heads the ‘polished’ family law team at Mishcon de Reya LLP, which benefits from ‘having access to the full resources of the firm.’ It is routinely instructed by high-profile, high-net-worth clients and has successfully litigated matrimonial finance cases across all levels of tribunals, including precedent-setting cases in the Supreme Court and Privy Council. The ‘amazingly intelligentSandra Davis is a keen advocate for the voices of children and young people throughout the divorce and separation process. Claire Yorke and Kate Clark have both been described as ‘fast-thinking, hardworking, formidable opponents’. Clark leads the firm’s group specialising in children cases involving parental alienation, while Yorke advises international and domestic ultra-high-net-worth clients on the financial implications of relationship breakdown. The team ‘as a whole displays a fearsome level of talent and tenacity’ with other key members including Clare Radcliffe and Antonia Felix. Melissa Lesson heads up the Firm’s French Group, and newly-promoted partner James Rees has been praised as a ‘gifted new partner to be watched’.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Reeves


Other key lawyers:

Sandra Davis; Kate Clark; Claire Yorke; Clare Radcliffe; Antonia Felix; Robert Hines; James Rees; Alice Mantle; Melissa Lesson


Testimonials

‘Extremely well resourced, high profile and involved in some of the industry’s biggest cases. The team is the number one family law team in London. They are simply the very best. They are able to put together the very best team most suited to each individual client – it is a massive plus.’

‘Sandra Davis remains one of, if not the, best family law solicitor in London. She is intelligent and no one has a bad word to say about her. She is kind, sensitive and compassionate. You could not ask for more in a solicitor. Every word of advice is spot on and she gives her clients immediate reassurances.’

‘Barbara Reeves is brilliant. She is a fabulous lawyer. She is quick witted and destroys her opponents with charm. She gets the best possible results for her clients and knows how to fight when needed.’

‘Claire Yorke is clever and strategic in equal measure. It is a joy to work with her and it is a joy to see her engage with her clients and her opponents. She writes killer letters which often win cases before they have started. She never misses a trick and has a supreme eye for detail.’

‘Kate Clark is quite stupendous. Her clients love her reassuring manner and immense knowledge of the law. There isn’t a thing she doesn’t know about family law and running big money cases. She is brilliant at juggling the vagaries of litigation and she never drops the ball. She is a winner through and through.’

‘Antonia Felix is a brilliant lawyer and tough negotiator. You want her on your side at all times. She has a wonderfully calm manner which makes her clients love her. I have worked with her for many years, and she never fails to demonstrate her dedication to her clients and her intellect.’

‘Clare Radcliffe is a superb lawyer. She is amazingly clever and never misses an opportunity to advance her client’s case. She has a lovely easy manner which puts her clients at ease, but she can be a fearsome lawyer when needed.’

‘One of the best matrimonial firms in the country. Innovative and commercial, the team benefits from exceptionally strong private client, tax and media teams. Very strong on international cases, high-net-worth clients and those with complex corporate and trust structures.’

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

The strength and prestige of the Payne Hicks Beach LLP team is peerless’. It is led by Rebecca Cockcroft, whose ‘forensic approach to cases is extremely effective, and she always goes the extra mile for clients’. The lawyers are at the ‘top of their game’ with ‘strength and depth across the board and are involved in some of the biggest cases’. Baroness Fiona Shackleton is praised for her ‘extraordinary judgment and tactical acumen’ and has been described as ‘the doyenne of ultra-high-net-worth financial remedies work’. The practice is highly regarded for its considerable expertise in handling both high-net-worth financial remedies and children law matters, and the group is frequently instructed in high-profile cases that appear in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Philip McGuirk has a busy practice in post and pre-nuptial agreements, which often involve a cross-jurisdictional element. Ben Parry-Smith covers all aspects of financial remedy work, while Sarah Williams is the head of the modern family law practice and Simon Beccle has extensive experience of dealing with complex financial cases. Other highly regarded members of the department include Matthew Booth, Nick Manners, Katie Parkes, and Catherine Costley. Joshua Moger was recently promoted to the partnership, and senior associate Amy Barrow joined the practice from Dawson Cornwell LLP in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Cockcroft


Other key lawyers:

Baroness Fiona Shackleton; Simon Beccle; Philip McGuirk; Matthew Booth; Nick Manners; Ben Parry-Smith; Sarah Williams; Joshua Moger; Katie Parkes; Amy Barrow; Luke Scarratt; Camellia Buckmaster; Victoria Hingston; Catherine Costley; Orlaith Devereaux; Laura Hallahan; Isabella Savill; Alex Curran


Testimonials

‘The team at PHB is simply fantastic. They are a varied group of talented lawyers who work to their strengths, delegate well and provide a very high-quality service to their clients. They are a well-resourced, intelligent, compassionate and thoughtful group of lawyers.’

‘Fiona Shackleton is an exceptional practitioner. There is nothing Fiona does not know about family work. She has extraordinary judgment and tactical acumen. She is extremely personable, astute and totally dedicated to her cases; she knows the case inside out.’

‘Joshua Moger is fantastic. He is tactically astute, intelligent and gives robust advice. He is not overly reliant on counsel, which makes working for him a joy.’

‘Ben Parry-Smith is first rate. His pro-active strategic leadership of his team and of the client’s cases is particularly effective. His client management skills (particularly for high-net-worth clients) are especially impressive, and borne out in the demonstrably strong and trusting working relationships that he achieves with them, counsel and opponents.’

Rebecca Cockcroft is a person that you want leading your team. Rebecca’s forensic approach to cases is extremely effective, and she always goes the extra mile for clients. Working collaboratively with counsel at an early stage often gives her clients a clear tactical and strategic advantage.’

‘Matthew Booth, Rebecca Cockroft, Catherine Costley, Orlaith Devereaux, Ben Parry-Smith, Joshua Moger and Philip McGuirk all stand out as brilliant lawyers and tacticians who work exceptionally hard for their client.’

‘Philip McGuirk is a wonderful lawyer; possessed with enormous wisdom, he has a fantastic instinct and knows exactly what is needed in order to get the best possible outcome for the client. Nick Manners is strategically astute and very clever. Isabella Savill is a brilliant lawyer. Highly intelligent and hugely charming.’

‘Sarah Williams is an expert in international surrogacy, advises on co-parenting agreements with same-sex parents, and on declarations of parentage and the exercise of parental responsibility for gamete donors, same-sex parents and intended parents following surrogacy. Her knowledge and expertise on modern families is second-to-none.’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Jointly chaired by Anna Worwood and James Stewart, the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has been praised as the ‘best family law team in London and beyond’. It is well-regarded for its international family law capabilities and the group routinely advises on mandates involving choice of jurisdiction, child relocation, child abduction, and cross-border enforcements. Elizabeth Carson drives the team’s US offering, focusing on the needs of high-net-worth individuals with a US connection. Rebecca Carlyon is highly experienced in drafting post and pre-nuptial agreements, both domestic and international, and in resolving issues between unmarried couples. Amanda Andrews is sought after for her work on high-value matrimonial finance and complex children cases. Tammy Knox has an excellent reputation for her work with high-net-worth individuals in private law children proceedings, and other notable members of the ‘incredible team‘ include Jane Craig, Linzi Bull, who acts for many high-net-worth members of the LGBTIQA+ community, and Amy Fox, who was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Anna Worwood; James Stewart


Other key lawyers:

Jane Craig; Amanda Andrews; Rebecca Carlyon; Elizabeth Carson; Tammy Knox; Amy Fox; Hannah Hayward; Linzi Bull;Lee Henderson


Testimonials

‘PMC have a first-class family department headed by the unique James Stewart. He is their rain maker. They are also notable for the high level of associates they attract who are unbeatable.’

‘I have been very impressed by Anna Worwood and by James Stewart. There are a number of brilliant junior partners as well as real strength and depth across the team of associates. I’m seriously impressed.’

‘This is the best family law team in London. The firm also has a strong private client offering allowing it to draw on other legal disciplines where necessary to serve their divorcing and family team clients.’

‘James Stewart attracts work of the highest calibre. He runs his cases impeccably and has instinctive first-class judgment. He should never be underestimated.’

‘I hugely rate Elizabeth Carson who is calm under fire, extremely intelligent, and has a wonderful manner with her clients.’

‘Amy Fox is also an excellent new young partner having been recently promoted. She has excellent judgment.’

‘James Stewart is a firm favourite. He has a knack for being able to get along with anyone from any walk of life, from any cultural background, any age or gender, whatever the case may be. He is exceptionally good at financial remedies work, particularly cases with an international dimension and always makes sure the best juniors are working with him on his cases.’

‘One of the leading family teams in the country. They are at the vanguard of family law cases, dealing with some of the most cutting-edge cases in the last decade.’

Stewarts Law LLP

Stewarts Law LLP ‘floats above the stratosphere of the family law world with the largest collection of the highest altitude talent in the sphere’. The group led by Stephen Foster, who is praised for his ‘stellar client management skills’ and for his ability ‘to think incisively’. The bulk of its cases concern large volumes of money, with a large percentage of them involving assets in excess of £500m. Its reported cases frequently have a widespread impact on family law. Debbie Chism has an excellent matrimonial finance practice, while Emma Hatley specialises in complex family cases for high-net-worth individuals, usually with an international dimension. Richard Hogwood is highly recommended for his work on cases involving intricate trust and tax issues, as well as post and pre-nuptial agreements. Helen Ward is highly recommended, and Toby Atkinson has advised on some of the firm’s most significant international cases, often relating to jurisdictional disputes. It has ‘outstanding talent at all levels’, and other recommended individuals include Matthew Humphries, Carly Kinch, and Lewis Powers. Recent team developments include Lisette Dupré joining the practice from Dawson Cornwell LLP and Voirrey Ward’s recent promotion to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Foster


Other key lawyers:

Helen Ward; Debbie Chism; Richard Hogwood; Emma Hatley; Carly Kinch; Lewis Powers; Toby Atkinson; Lucy Stewart-Gould; Matthew Humphries; Voirrey Ward; Charlotte Sanders; Lisette Dupré; Sam Longworth; Lucy Stewart-Gould


Testimonials

‘Best in London by a mile for me. They have strength in depth, are composed and highly efficient. Clients and judges adore them and they are a dream to work with.’

‘Probably the best family law team in London and the UK with no weak links. From its partners to the paralegals, the quality of their members is first rate.’

‘Sam Longworth is a very good leader; he is responsive and supportive and gives very sound advice that is realistically orientated. Lucy Stewart-Gould is outstanding, diligent and extremely hard working. Always responsive and works quickly.’

‘Outstanding talent across all levels.’

‘Emma Hatley is an exceptional family lawyer who commands enormous respect within her team and amongst her peers at the bar, as well as competitors.’

‘The top-focussed individuals are Emma Hatley and Carly Kinch and they have qualities of support and realism for clients of any background or wealth and motivation. This is a skill much in demand with high-net-worth clients.’

Emma Hatley and Debbie Chism both stand out; both are stellar in their field and will run the gauntlet for any client. Debbie is able to blend her litigation spirit and deploy it successfully in the field of collaborative law, giving the clients a real holistic experience of separation for the benefit of the whole family. Lucy Stewart-Gould is on her way to the top undoubtedly.’

‘Debbie Chism is a formidable lawyer who is as accomplished at litigation strategy as she is in negotiating settlements. She is one of the few in London who still successfully practice collaborative law. Matthew Humphries is an excellent family lawyer; clever, immensely hard working, and sensible.’

Withers LLP

At the helm of the family law team at Withers LLP is the ‘exceptionalSuzanne Todd, and the lawyers in the group are ‘all intellectually very strong, thoughtful and highly committed’. Another key figure is Diana Parker, who is praised by one client as ‘probably the most cerebral and finest technical and commercial lawyer of her generation doing family work’. Its superb international offering means that it is skilled at handling complicated multi-jurisdictional cases. At this ‘truly global firm’, Claire Blakemore expertly covers complex financial claims and highly complex children-related disputes. Michael Gouriet has a wide ranging divorce finance, pre-nupital, and child law caseload. Katharine Landells has a proven track record in dealing with the most financially and emotionally complex of cases. Julian Lipson is skilled at handling cases with an international dimension, often involving tax and trust implications, and substantial assets or incomes. The talented Brett Frankle receives a steady flow of instructions concerning contentious divorce proceedings for high-net-worth clients, often with multi-jurisdictional issues. Other names of note include Laura WinterbottomJennifer DicksonAlexander BreedonSarfraz Ali, and Adele Pledger.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Todd


Other key lawyers:

Julian Lipson; Diana Parker; Claire Blakemore; Brett Frankle; Michael Gouriet; Katharine Landells; Laura Winterbottom; Jennifer Dickson; Alexander Breedon; Sarfraz Ali; Paulina Sandler; Adele Pledger


Testimonials

‘Suzanne Todd is the head of department; a commanding yet friendly presence who delivers excellent results and is guaranteed to give parties the greatest possible level of reassurance. She is a strategic thinker, measured, affable and persuasive.’

‘One of the best family teams in the country.’

‘Claire Blakemore is outstanding. She is highly strategic, thoughtful and her professional advice rivals that of the best family KCs.’

‘Michael Gouriet is a marvellous solicitor; engaged, detailed, responsive, committed and wise. Diana Parker remains the best family lawyer in London. She has incredible judgment and strategic vision.’

‘One of the strongest all-round teams of partners, associates and assistants, there is little they have not seen and done before. A client base from the cream of society, commerce, finances and international ultra-high-net-worth families, means they all are alive to the needs of such clients, and meet them, then surpass them.’

‘Katharine Landells is the standout partner at this firm.’

Sarfraz Ali is an incredibly impressive solicitor. His forensic attention to detail is fantastic and he has an exceptional bedside manner with clients. He has the work ethic and the skills to be a leading partner soon.’

Jennifer Dickson is a newly made up partner; ambitious, eager and ferociously hard-working, she will be a leading light of the family law world. Excellent, confident judgment with decisive advice offered in a thoughtful and measured manner.’

AFP Bloom

AFP Bloom is a boutique firm that ‘secures big cases, interesting clients and they are unmatched in their specialised field of financial remedy work’. Sara Hannell heads the group that tackles complex children work, high-value divorce cases, and prenuptial agreements, and she frequently handles pre and post-nuptial agreements. The practice is also notable for housing four partners who are Fellows of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. It is also recognised for its expertise in protecting the reputation of its clients who are in the public eye. Tom Amlot is highly regarded for his work on high-value and complex asset cases, while William Healing is well-known for his large European and international practice, with a particular focuses on cases with a French element. Katie Longmate handles a wide range of international and domestic cases and has expertise in child relocation work. Magnus Mill is another seasoned practitioner in the team.

Practice head(s):

Sara Hannell


Other key lawyers:

Tom Amlot; William Healing; Katie Longmate; Emma Harte; Magnus Mills; Lucy Brown


Testimonials

‘The team is one of the leading family law firms in London with a huge level of talent in the department and a dedication to client care that goes above and beyond. Lawyers combine realistic advice with the ability to fight their client’s corner hard.’

‘Tom Amlot is an excellent lawyer who offers his clients a combination of first-class legal and practical knowledge, realism and tenacity. Clients love him.’

‘Hugely experienced, professional and capable. Lots of top-drawer individuals. William Healing thinks deeply and critically about cases like nobody else. He is completely on top of what his clients want and what they need and is creative and tactical when approaching how to achieve that.’

‘Emma Harte gets the best out of people, and her kindness and empathy are appreciated by clients and colleagues. Tom Amlot is a first-rate legal mind with a justified reputation for getting the judgement right, and then standing his ground.’

‘Magnus Mills is top notch; intelligent and approachable, highly recommended, always calm, and able to help overly emotional clients focus on the important issues.’

‘Sara Hannell is one of the brightest solicitors in the field of family law. She deploys her outstanding knowledge of the law to devastating effect, consistently securing excellent results for her clients.’

‘Tom Amlott is an exceptional family lawyer. He is especially good at dealing with international cases.’

‘Aside from the leading partners, all of whom have a fantastic reputation, Lucy Brown is a standout senior associate. She is the full package; superb client care, a strategist wise beyond her years and always constructive in communications with the other side.’

Key clients

Walid Abu-Zalaf


Work highlights


  • Acted for Mr Walid Abu-Zalaf in the High Court in the successful defence of his wife’s claims that, despite a first divorce decree, he had an enduring marriage.

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Emily Brand leads an excellent team at Boodle Hatfield LLP, which ‘combines blue-sky thinking with sound commercial knowledge‘. It is frequently instructed to advise on a sizeable number of ultra-high-value instructions, many of which have significant multi-jurisdictional components. James Ferguson is highly experienced at handling complex divorces and high-value matrimonial financial disputes. Katie O’Callaghan also specialises in assisting wealthy clients with financially complicated divorces. Harriet Errington has led on a number of substantial family matters for a mixture of UK and international clients, while Alexandra Hirst represents clients on cases with complex asset structures and offshore elements. Senior associate Katie Male is also impressive.

Practice head(s):

Emily Brand


Other key lawyers:

James Ferguson; Harriet Errington; Katie O’Callaghan; Alexandra Hirst; Katie Male


Testimonials

‘Whilst having a traditional, old-school reputation, Boodle Hatfield have really moved with the times and now have a vibrant, innovative team that has really made a huge impression in the field of matrimonial law.’

‘Great team led by Emily Brand, who recently took over from James Ferguson. Both lead by example. Harriet Errington and Katie O’Callaghan have swiftly moved up the ranks and the future of the family department is very much in safe hands. Alexandra Hirst and Katie Male are both recommended.’ 

‘The Boodle Hatfield team delivers high-quality work whilst running a tight ship. It is a small team which means that clients feel like they receive a very personal and bespoke service. Alexandra Hirst is on top of the papers and gives practical, good advice.’

‘Harriet Errington is an incredibly empathetic partner who remains all over the detail.’

‘Katie O’Callaghan is an excellent junior partner and one to watch. She is a good judge of a case and gives realistic advice. Katie Male is an excellent associate and one to watch.’

‘James Ferguson is a veteran with masses of experience. He handles difficult cases with confidence and class. He is completely unflappable.’

‘Emily Brand provides an exceptional service, combining sensitivity, brains and legal knowledge. Unlike many, she listens to her clients and fights for what they prioritise. It is about them and their needs. She is supported by an outstanding team who clearly love working together and love their jobs.’

‘Harriet Errington and Katie O’Callaghan are the future of the team at Boodle Hatfield and leaders in the field of family law. Harriet Errington is a super bright, composed, organised and tactical, and she is a force to be reckoned with. Katie O’Callaghan is a brilliant lawyer; she doesn’t miss a beat and clients adore her.’ 

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP ‘has a stellar reputation as a top-flight firm catering for high-net-worth clients’. It is ably led by Joanne Edwards, who is praised as ‘one of the standout family lawyers of her generation’. The practice excels in high-value and international nuptial agreements, complex cross-border child arrangements, and financial cases. Another core area of expertise lies in court-based litigation for high-profile and high-net-worth clients. Rosie Schumm boasts a busy caseload of complex litigation for families with significant wealth, and Simon Blain has a particular strength in financial cases, which often involve trusts, family businesses, and assets in more than one jurisdiction. Counsel Amanda Sandys is also well regarded, and Dickon Ceadel was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Edwards


Other key lawyers:

Rosie Schumm; Simon Blain; Dickon Ceadel; Amanda Sandys; Tim Evans; Guy Mawson; Anna Ferster


Testimonials

‘Joanne Edwards is one of the standout family lawyers of her generation. Her emotional intelligence and compassion for her clients is amazing.’

‘The team at Forsters is a heavyweight within financial remedies work. It has the brain power and resources to navigate the biggest cases with efficiency and success.’

‘Rosie Schumm is excellent. She has excellent knowledge of the law and offers stalwart support to her clients from an emotional perspective as well as a legal one. She is able to give hard advice in a way that allows the client to absorb it and understand it. She is a joy to work with.’

‘Simon Blain and Dickon Ceadel deserve special mention. Simon is my go-to recommended solicitor for friends and family. He is extremely clever, always fully on top of the law and sees tactical issues arising well before anyone else. Dickon has top client care skills as well as brilliant legal knowledge.’

‘Dickon Ceadel has just deservedly been made a partner. He is very smooth and has built a brilliant practice. Clients love him and he will go very, very far. He is calm whilst also being assertive and confident which instils a fantastic sense of security for the client.’

‘Guy Mawson is excellent. He is extremely efficient and gets lots done whilst appearing cool and calm. He gives good and clear advice to his clients. Tim Evans is a star.’

‘Rosie Schumm is the ultimate family lawyer. She is creative and a force to be reckoned with. She is fearless in representing her clients but remains pragmatic and sensible. Anna Ferster is dynamic and client focused. She really cares and works hard to get the best result.’

‘The stand out individuals in the family team at Forsters are Joanne Edwards, Dickon Ceadel and Amanda Sandys. All are extremely well regarded in the profession for their ability and for being personable.’

Freemans Solicitors

At Freemans Solicitors, practice head Nina Hansen and Laura Coyle are praised as ‘the Rolls-Royce of family law’ as ‘there is no competition for complex international cases or difficult care cases’. The group is best known for its specialism children law matters, with a strong reputation in international cases. The group has a wide variety of clients, from vulnerable or dispossessed individuals, to high-net-worth families. It often represents parents and children in Hague Convention matters, wardship mandates, and child arrangements, including relocations. Mark Kosmin is also recommended, and Andriana Syrimis was recently promoted to the partnership. Hilka Hollmann joined Dawson Cornwell LLP in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Nina Hansen


Other key lawyers:

Laura Coyle; Andriana Syrimis; Gulizar Candemir; Sophie Lambert; Georgina Stavrou; Mark Kosmin; Claire Leslie


Testimonials

‘There are so many reasons why Freemans is a top choice for family law. The team has an incredible wealth of talent, and they are able to deal with all possible types of family case. They are one of the best family teams around. They are highly respected by their peers and by judges.’

‘Nina Hansen is extremely experienced in both public and private law work; this has advantages in relation to some cases with cross over of work within children’s proceedings in particular. She is tenacious.’

‘Laura Coyle has an amazing ability to efficiently juggle and remain fully on top of a very large and demanding case load. She never drops the ball or misses a detail and is always one step ahead of the other parties. Her knowledge of the law is stunning and she will often use it to provide shrewd and imaginative solutions in cases.’

Goodman Ray

Goodman Ray boasts an ‘outstanding’ family law team with lawyers that ‘are well respected and incredibly knowledgeable’. It has a solid reputation for its work in financial matters, private children mandates, and international issues that span adoption and fertility. It also garners praise for its extensive experience in modern family structures, public law matters, and domestic abuse cases. Peggy Ray specialises in complex cases concerning children, while Trudi Featherstone leads the divorce and matrimonial finance team. Jemma Dally is a partner in the adoption, surrogacy, and international child care department, and Tom Brownrigg is another key contact in the department. Kevin Skinner has substantial expertise in international custody disputes, child abduction cases, matrimonial proceedings, and care proceedings. Other names to note include Catriona AllanEmma Sherrington, and Janet Broadley.

Practice head(s):

Peggy Ray; Trudi Featherstone; Jemma Dally; Kevin Skinner; Tom Brownrigg


Other key lawyers:

Catriona Allan; Emma Sherrington; Janet Broadley; Ann Thompson


Testimonials

‘Emma Sherrington is extremely experienced and able. She can, and does, turn her hand to the whole range of children work, achieving outstanding outcomes for a variety of clients. Very highly recommended.’

‘What stands out is the strong leadership of Peggy Ray and the coherence of the family team. It always feels that behind the instruction of each solicitor, you are getting the Rolls-Royce service of the whole team. Their breadth of practice is second-to-none.’

‘Peggy Ray really is a pioneer when it comes to justice in family law. I am always utterly impressed by the kind of actions she is taking, not just on a case-by-case basis, but on matters of policy and trying to change the way the family legal system works at a government level.’

‘Janet Broadley is quite exceptional as a solicitor. Her dedication to her clients is second-to-none. She often represents children in international cases and consistently achieves fabulous outcomes for them.’

‘Jemma Dally is a no-nonsense force to be reckoned with. Jemma was unflappable and sensitive, but firm throughout. She is always completely on top of the case, and totally dedicated. She makes each client feel like they are her only one.’

‘They are a match for any of the magic circle firms. They have expertise in both children and finance cases and have a significant number of outstanding lawyers.’

‘Thomas Brownrigg is one of the most impressive lawyers I have worked with. He is equally talented at both children and finance work and this means clients facing both issues have continuity with their representation. He has fantastic knowledge of the law and is a master strategist.’

‘Kevin Skinner is genuinely interested in his cases and has a reputation for being involved in the very biggest cases. Kevin also has a particular expertise in cross-border work.’

Key clients

Reunite


Southall Black Sisters


Family Rights Group


Work highlights


  • Represented a respondent mother in child abduction proceedings.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Harbottle & Lewis LLP receives many plaudits for its ‘superb team’, which is led by Catherine Bedford‘the Boadicea of the family law world’ who ‘runs chariots through opponents’ defences’. The agile team covers both financial and children work, most often representing ultra-high-net-worth clients. It has substantial expertise in complex children cases involving issues of domestic abuse and coercive control, as well as parental alienation. Nicholas Westley has particular expertise in nuptial and cohabitation agreements, while Mark Irving garners praise for his ‘combination of brains and humanity’. In team news, Lidia Cantele and Alex Ward were promoted to the partnership in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Bedford


Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Westley; Mark Irving; Lidia Cantele; Naomi Myatt; Alex Ward; Eleanor Haidon; Xander Drury; Daisy Minns Shearer; Emma Williams; Polly Broad


Testimonials

‘I trust Mark Irving completely and felt that he was on my side, and Naomi was very thorough and sensible and didn’t beat around the bush. She gave good advice and listened to my concerns. Both Naomi and Mark worked above and beyond to get me a result.’

‘Catherine Bedford inspires real loyalty, attracts the best talent, and retains it. She is a great rainmaker and creates strong personal relationships with the wealthiest and (sometimes) most demanding of client. Her trademark is ‘tell it like it is, and they will appreciate it.’ Mark Irving is so clever and so dedicated.’

‘A stellar team who are very highly regarded and deal with the most complex cases. They can walk a client through stormy waters with ease and are a very united group who all offer something unique, whether it be client skills, preparation of documents or unravelling a legal problem. They are all over everything.’

‘Catherine Bedford and Mark Irving are both exceptional family lawyers with prodigious work rates, offering exceptional client care and first-rate legal advice.’

‘Lidia Cantele is pragmatic, efficient and a real pleasure to deal with. Daisy Minns Shearer is conscientious, hard working and highly motivated. Both Lidia and Daisy have a very human approach and are very well-regarded.’

‘The team I work with are first rate, incredibly efficient, responsive, and always very accommodating. Particular mention goes out to Catherine Bedford, Mark Irving, Eleanor Haidon, Lidia Cantele, Polly Broad and Xander Drury.’

Super committed bunch who go well above and beyond the normal expectations of what lawyers will do for their clients.’

‘Nicholas Westley runs a superb team.’

Hunters Law LLP

Hunters Law LLP has ‘outstanding partners and associates who all bring a down-to-earth approach underpinned by excellent legal knowledge and careful strategic thinking’ to a range of family law cases. It frequently acts for high-net-worth individuals on the full range of private family law matters. Practice head Henry Hood is skilled at handling high-value financial remedy divorce cases, which often involve cross-border elements and complex trust structures. Richard Kershaw specialises in family law and contentious work arising from relationship generated trusts and Inheritance Act disputes. Joining from Bindmans LLP in September 2022, Olivia Piercy has a broad practice encompassing the finances of divorce and separation agreements and arrangements for children, as well as surrogacy and fertility law issues. Amy Scollan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Henry Hood


Other key lawyers:

Richard Kershaw; Olivia Piercy; Amy Scollan; Eri Horrocks; Jo Carr-West; Mark Stiebel


Testimonials

‘Hunters Law LLP family department provide the best value for money regarding high-net-worth legal advice in London. Their client care is unsurpassed and the attention to detail and achieving their client’s goals is second-to-none. In short, they are extremely impressive.’

‘Richard Kershaw is immensely able in every respect. He is one of the best family lawyers currently practising. Henry Hood is a huge rainmaker for the firm and rightly so. His reputation and the awards he has won are testament to his ability and gravitas. Eri Horrocks is also immensely able.’

‘Olivia Piercy is ferociously intelligent but blends this with a calm and reassuring bedside manner.’

‘Henry Hood is unflappable, approachable and highly experienced. He is extremely well-respected in the profession and combines appropriate toughness with huge charm and pragmatism.’

‘Jo Carr-West is a very talented and highly capable lawyer who provides all her clients with a superb service. She excels in giving measured and constructive advice, both in financial and children matters. Jo is deservedly highly regarded in the profession.’

‘Amy Scollan is extremely able. She is also very thorough and hardworking and leaves no stone unturned on behalf of all her clients.’

‘Olivia Piercy brings with her a career’s worth of experience in private children cases, with a particular focus on domestic abuse issues and international children cases. She is a breath of fresh air, bringing a new perspective and broadening Hunters typical client base significantly.’

‘Mark Stiebel’s approach is very professional, but with a calming effect. This is very important in times of stress and confusion when you need someone to take you by the hand and walk you through this process step by step. Mark is very approachable.’

Kingsley Napley LLP

The ‘phenomenal’ Charlotte Bradley heads the family law department at Kingsley Napley LLP, which hosts ‘a constellation of brilliant lawyers who are at the top of their game and well-respected in the profession’. Praised for representing its clients with ‘passion and panache’, it offers the full package, with expertise in children and finance work. The practice frequently represents many high-net-worth and high-profile clients. Jane Keir is a divorce specialist with an international finance practice, and Sital Fontenelle is well-regarded for her significant experience in complex divorce proceedings, including cases with jurisdictional issues, off-shore trusts, business assets, and inherited wealth. There are many other talented members of the department, such as Connie Atkinson; Lauren Evans; Rachel Freeman, and Abby Buckland. Another highlight is Stacey Nevin’s promotion to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Bradley


Other key lawyers:

Jane Keir; Sital Fontenelle; Connie Atkinson; Lauren Evans; Rachel Freeman; Stacey Nevin; Will MacFarlane; Abby Buckland; Olivia Stiles; Rachel Cooper


Testimonials

‘The Kingsley Napley family department has the strongest offering of talent of any family department in London, from top to bottom. Its best feature is its strength in depth, as the senior partners down to the most junior paralegals are all equally brilliant.’

‘Charlotte Bradley she is widely respected for her sound judgement and ability to predict the outcome of a case, while Connie Atkinson is exceptionally able with a brilliant ability to read the unsaid issues in a case. She knows when to fight and when to settle, and how best to do both.’

‘Olivia Stiles has superb client care and is really bright. Sital Fontenelle has excellent judgment and super strategic instincts. Will MacFarlane has terrific client care and is a great team player. He can bring the best out in others.’

‘Superb team with all-round expertise in finance, children and international cases. Connie Atkinson and Rachel Cooper are the standout performers.’

‘Charlotte Bradley is wonderful; the queen of her department and a brilliant lawyer. Jane Keir is the epitome of what a family lawyer should be; graceful and elegant in her approach, but has a steely centre that can always mould and influence the results she obtains. A class act.’

‘Connie Atkinsion is one of the best there is. A real star and climbing her way to the very top, where she belongs. Brilliant all-round skills and a joy to work with. Lauren Evans is just the calmest lawyer out there. She is way beyond her years in terms of lawyer skills and is definitely one to watch for the future.’

‘Will MacFarlane is a finance specialist with good children knowledge and experience. A pleasure to work with, he has significant litigation experience which really shines through in his work and cases.’

‘Abby Buckland is a real leader. The way that she treats her colleagues and clients gets the best out of everybody involved in her practice. Stacey Nevin has excellent judgment and technical skills. She is a champion for her clients.’

Work highlights


  • Acting for a respondent mother in an application brought by her ex-civil partner regarding parentage and jurisdiction issues.

Levison Meltzer Pigott

Levison Meltzer Pigott is a boutique law firm with an experienced team that ‘brings the experience from the top names in the industry coupled with the dynamism of the younger partners’. Simon Pigott heads the offering that advises on all areas of family law, including divorce and separation, financial remedies, Schedule 1 cases, co-habitation matters, and paternity disputes. The agile department also handles private law children work. The ‘perfect boutique practice specialises in high-net-worth cases and brings to these cases the professionalism of a magic circle firm’, and it regularly acts in cases where there are hidden assets and complex trust structures. The ‘legendaryJeremy Levison and Alison Hayes are both recommended, and Kate Stovold and Benjamin Stowe also garner considerable praise.

Practice head(s):

Simon Pigott


Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Levison; Alison Hayes; Kate Stovold; Benjamin Stowe; Natasha Methven; Lucy Hoare


Testimonials

‘LMP have established themselves as the foremost boutique matrimonial practice in London. They are notable for the high level of service they provide and they offer exceptional value for money. Simon Pigott is a man of the highest integrity and is a formidable litigator. He is highly regarded.’

‘Kate Stovold is an excellent lawyer. She is sympathetic, sensitive and committed to her clients, but realistic and strategic in her advice. Her organisation and preparation are excellent, her advice is always on point, and her dedication to reaching a good outcome for her clients is unparalleled.’

‘Jeremy Levison is a legend in the industry and remains one of the best, toughest, and most experienced solicitors in the country.’

Benjamin Stowe is a star of his generation. He is super organised, very commercial, and a hard worker. His client care skills are second-to-none. He has a bright future ahead.’

Natasha Methven is a great associate and is one of the best I have worked with. She is wise beyond her years, calm under fire, and has an impeccable work ethic.’

Simon Pigott is one of the great family law solicitors and a gentleman to boot. He inspires confidence. Ben Stowe is young, dynamic and a real force.’

‘Kate Stovold is dedicated, intelligent, and hardworking; absolutely who you want in your corner. She has a fantastic manner with clients and is excellent at what she does, but wears it extremely likely. Can be tough when needed, and won’t be cowed into backing down. A real force of nature.’

‘Lucy Hoare is an exceptional solicitor, with a real knack for finding practical solutions to even the toughest of cases.’

Miles & Partners LLP

Kate Hammond  and Amanda Dench lead an ‘excellent, well-prepared, pragmatic, and accessible’ team at Miles & Partners LLP. The lawyers are ‘particularly adept at supporting vulnerable clients, including children, young parents, and parents with mental health and cognitive difficulties’. The versatile practice handles a broad spectrum of issues, from complex children proceedings, including care proceedings, to issues of child abduction, forced marriage, and genital mutilation. Other areas of expertise include advising on pre-nuptial agreements and complicated TOLATA applications. Gemma Hodder and Harriet Brame are also key members of this ‘excellent, modern, forward-thinking team that works collaboratively’.

Practice head(s):

Kate Hammond; Amanda Dench


Other key lawyers:

Gemma Hodder; Harriet Brame; Linda Pope; Lorraine Green; Mary Richardson; Dee Aktar


Testimonials

‘Amanda Dench and Linda Pope are very helpful, very prompt on meeting deadlines for papers arriving, and their communication is also clear and transparent.’

‘I have found working with Lorraine Green and Gemma Hodder in particular a real pleasure. Their commitment and diligence is second-to-none and their representation of vulnerable children and young people is exemplary.’

Kate Hammond is the solicitor you would want to have with you in the most difficult of circumstances. She has great attention to detail, but also attention to the human experience, which makes her an all-round first choice.’

Kate Hammond, Gemma Hodder, Lorraine Green and Mary Richardson are of excellent quality in terms of their work and their representation. They are a standout team who are very well respected. They are committed to delivering the highest level of service to all their clients, both lay and professional.’

‘Mary Richardson was absolutely brilliant. She cuts through all the numerous detail to find the succinct pertinent points and she communicated these brilliantly. I felt she cared and went above and beyond.’

‘Gemma Hodder is great. She works tirelessly for her clients and is well respected. Harriet Braeme is very good. She is well prepared and committed.’

Work highlights


  • Defended a mother successfully in proceedings regarding an accusation of fabricating or inducing illness in her six-year-old child who was diagnosed with type-I diabetes.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP‘s family law department is home to ‘some excellent names that really stand out’ and it is praised for its ‘truly national reputation for excellence in all areas of family law’. The group has a wealth of experience in the full spectrum of family law issues for its predominantly wealthy client base. The ‘dynamic’ Joanna Grandfield is frequently instructed to advise individuals, family offices, and trustees on wealth protection through pre and post-nuptial agreements, while Zoe Fleetwood, who has a ‘great deal of integrity’, sit at the helm of the firm’s national children team. Consultant Suzanne Kingston is another key figure, and Colin Rogerson joined the group from Clyde & Co in September 2022, bolstering the practice’s surrogacy and assisted reproduction offering. Tim Whitney was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Grandfield; Zoe Fleetwood


Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Kingston; Colin Rogerson; Tim Whitney; David Hickmott; Amy Starnes; Caitlin Jenkins


Testimonials

‘One of the best teams in the country. Tim Whitney is a standout member of the team. He is thorough, thoughtful and builds a wonderful relationship with clients, calmly guiding them though difficult proceedings. Tim is unflappable and a great strategist and tactician.’

‘Zoe Fleetwood is just excellent. She is careful and patient with clients and able to deliver difficult advice to move a case forward. Her preparation is outstanding and her ability to lead a team means that large and complex cases are safe in her hands’.

‘Colin Rogerson is head of fertility law. Any client looking to have a good legal experience in a case involving disputes of legal parenthood or international surrogacy should work with Colin.’

‘The family team are excellent with recent acquisitions in the last few years, including Zoe Fleetwood and Colin Rogerson. Zoe is a stellar lawyer. She has an innate ability to cut through difficult issues in cases whilst finding practical solutions. She is a fearless lawyer and you want her on your side.’

‘Colin Rogerson is the surrogacy and fertility law guru. His knowledge of this niche area of law is second-to-none and is well known internationally. Judges often turn to him for the answer when it comes to matters related to complex international surrogacy cases.’

‘Colin Rogerson is, without doubt, London’s leading alternative families and surrogacy lawyer. He is the go-to name in this field without question. Zoe Fleetwood is a strong name in the children sphere and has a justified reputation as being a calm and effective advocate for her clients.

‘Tim Whitney is strong on both complicated finance and children work. He can turn his hand to anything and provides an excellent client service. A firm favourite in London.’

‘Joanna Grandfield is my go-to person at Mills & Reeve. Exceptionally bright, responsive, and a total pleasure to deal with. Caitlin Jenkins is also thoughtful and effective.’

Newton Kearns LLP

At Newton Kearns LLP, the team is ‘really vibrant and has great depth’ with a ‘formidable mixture of experience and ability’. The group has a particular focus on the resolution of complex and high-value financial disputes arising from separation or divorce proceedings, as well as advising on substantial pre and post-nuptial agreements. The practice also specialises in assisting clients with the provision of financial support for children following the breakdown of cohabiting relationships. In addition, it undertakes standalone private children law work. Other excellent practitioners include Frances Petterson, Ali Granville, and qualified mediator Victoria Francis.

Practice head(s):

Paul Newton; Patrick Kearns


Other key lawyers:

Frances Petterson; Ali Granville; Victoria Francis


Testimonials

‘Patrick Kearns is a brilliant lawyer. He reads a case very well and can see with a Nostradamus-like foresight where the case is going. He mixes that foresight with a razor-sharp practical edge delivered with a light touch. If family law has artists, he is one of the most prominent.’

‘Ali Granville is well on the way to being a huge star in the family law world. She is unbelievably user friendly for both counsel and clients which makes her extremely popular. She is also very good on the detail. The combination makes her an incredibly valuable member of any litigation team.’

‘The whole team is superb. Patrick Kearns has superb judgement and clients love him. Victoria Francis is extremely effective.’

‘Newton Kearns is a brilliant specialist family team, going from strength to strength. Its senior partners are widely respected by other lawyers and judges and particularly well known for their good sense and judgment. Never overawed by the most legally and factually complex cases, but also able to bring careful costs sensitivities and proportionality.’

‘Patrick Kearns is a brilliant litigator with excellent judgement and utterly committed to client care. He is a great advocate for his clients, and I would particularly recommend him to someone who has certain vulnerabilities and needs someone to fight their corner.’

‘Paul Newton is incredibly well-respected by other lawyers. Everyone in the profession knows him and values his expertise which is invaluable to his clients, as when judges see he is acting they know he is likely to be right, and when other lawyers negotiate with him, they know he will be on top of his game.’

‘Frances Petterson is a brilliant lawyer who always anticipates the next moves in litigation and is therefore invariably prepared and two stages ahead of everyone else. Victoria Francis has superb client care and great technical ability.’

‘Paul Newton combines in depth legal knowledge, focused analysis and client care to ensure the best possible outcome. Patrick Kearns is smooth and charming, but is terribly effective, a real velvet glove.’

Osbornes

Osbornes has incredible strength in depth across every area of family law, from public law children and child abduction proceedings, through to adoption and surrogacy, and private client work’. Areas of expertise for the group span from unravelling complicated trusts and handling pre-acquired wealth, to Children Act proceedings and advising on the financial provision for children. Mark FreedmanLisa Pepper, newly promoted partner Maria Kitsiou, and Lauren Hall, who joined the firm from Russell-Cooke LLP in April 2023, all jointly head the department. The practice has considerable strength in adoption and fertility matters through the highly regarded Naomi Angell. Joanne Wescott frequently handles complex and high-profile cases, while associate Diana Bastow has a broad range of experience in financial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mark Freedman; Lisa Pepper; Maria Kitsiou; Lauren Hall


Other key lawyers:

Joanne Westcott; Diana Bastow; Jonathan Jonas; Naomi Angell; Andrew Watson; Simone McGrath; Bridget Thompson; Lauren Hall; Tom Trim; Claire Andrews


Testimonials

‘Maria Kitsiou is an excellent solicitor; she is extremely bright, but also kind and diligent to clients with vulnerabilities.’

‘Osbornes has one of the strongest family law teams in the business with a very wide range of experience and seniority, from some of the biggest names in family law like Naomi Angell, to the some very talented newly qualified members of the team. They are uniquely placed to cater for every avenue of family legal difficulty, whether financial or children.’

‘Mark Freedman is something of a visionary when it comes to his experiences with high-net-worth divorces; a strategist who considers case theory from the beginning and maps the path to settlement. He is the perfect cocktail of wit, experience and intelligence’.’

‘In financial work, Andrew Watson is astonishing. He does not give up and has an uncanny ability to be correct in his advice. Clients love the fact that he advises at the outset. I would want Andy to be fighting my corner in any contested case.’

 ‘Simone McGrath is incredible in complex cross-border cases and has been involved in many of the leading cases. Lauren Hall has a wonderfully empathetic manner with her clients and never posts a foot wrong. Finally, Naomi Angell is the fount of all knowledge on adoption and surrogacy cases. She is a lawyer to whom judges defer.’

‘Lisa Pepper is a great go-to solicitor for anyone wanting quick and appropriate advice. As a qualified mediator, Lisa will consider all types of ADR and will adopt these unless court proceedings is the only realistic option. Lisa is well-known amongst family lawyers and so she is able to access a large network of ADR resources.’

‘Bridget Thompson and Mark Freedman are big hitters with a huge amount of experience, realism, and exceptional client management skills. Tom Trim is brilliant; he reads absolutely everything, is wonderfully down to earth with clients and always available.’

‘Joanne Wescott is a class act who is loved by clients, and respected by opponents and colleagues alike. Just who you want on your side if you need a family lawyer. I have recommended her personally to friends and loved ones. A formidable intellect, fantastic judgement, and a genuine care for her clients.’

Work highlights


  • Acted for a client in a case regarding covid-19 vaccinations in private law proceedings.
  • Acting for a client in a long running child abduction case involving the return of a child to Ukraine.

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP ‘is extremely well led' and provides a ‘golden circle service’. It has a broad range of specialisms and advises on a diverse range of matters, such as nuptial agreements, cohabitation issues, international mandates, and complex children issues. Other fields of expertise include assisting clients with fertility law, surrogacy, and adoption, as well as LGBTQ+ family law advice. James Carroll, Kate Hamilton , Fiona Read, and Sarah Richardson are ‘hugely experienced’ and have an 'uncanny ability to see around corners’. Hannah Minty, Hannah Field, Samantha Little, and Miranda Green produce work that is ‘consistently of an excellent standard’. Jemma Pollock has been promoted to the partnership, and Jade Quirke ‘knows everything there is to know on any complicated area of fertility law’.

Practice head(s):

James Carroll; Kate Hamilton; Jemma Pollock; Fiona Read; Hannah Minty; Hannah Field; Miranda Green; Samantha Little; Sarah Richardson


Other key lawyers:

Jade Quirke; Imogen Nolan; Jasmin Talai; James Sandiford; Richard Shaw


Testimonials

‘Samantha Little is a standout solicitor within the firm, and within family law as a whole. She deals with extremely complex cases and is always able to get to grips with very complex medical evidence quickly. She is also regularly sought after.’

‘Jade Quirke is a leader in the field of surrogacy. She gives an enormous amount of thought to her cases and is highly experienced. She has a very supportive approach to her clients alongside superb technical skills.’

‘Imogen Nolan, Fiona Read and Hannah Field all excellent.’

‘Sarah Richardson has a mixture of fantastic legal knowledge, down to earth common sense, and real sensitivity to be able to work with and represent vulnerable teenagers. This is often missing in other solicitors who do the same kind of work.’

‘Hannah Field is a practical lawyer who gives clear advice to clients. She is excellent at exploiting good points in cases, but always advises clients where the pitfalls are in their case.’

‘James Carroll is focused on resolving matters in the most advantageous and cost-effective way. He isn’t afraid to be firm when he needs to be but in a very charming and compelling way. Jasmin Talai is effective, efficient and responsive. Jemma Pollock is pragmatic and sensible.’

‘Hannah Minty is particularly strong in pre-nuptial agreements. She is easy to work with, sensible, measured, clever and a tough negotiator but one who does not argue unnecessarily. She is always willing to make sensible compromises and concessions.’

‘Kate Hamilton is a superb solicitor. She exudes authority and is pragmatic and results driven.’

Work highlights


  • Advised the British parents of an adult child born via gestational surrogacy in California in the 1990s on obtaining a parental order.
  • Advised multiple members of an international ultra-high-net-worth family on family law matters, relationship planning, and wealth protection.
  • Advised a wife on divorce and financial remedy claims against an ultra-high-net-worth international businessman who had set up a complex structure of companies and trusts in order to protect his wealth.

The International Family Law Group LLP

The International Family Law Group LLP has a ‘stellar team’ with ‘stellar knowledge of international family matters and stellar client care’. It looks after international families, as well as families living in England and Wales, on all aspects of relationship breakdown and children matters. Managing partner Lucy Loizou handles complex financial cases and has particular expertise in dealing with trust and corporate assets. Many of Lucy Greenwood’s cases have an international element, while Michael Allum specialises in all financial issues that arise from relationship breakdowns. Helen Blackburn is a renowned cross-border child law specialist. David Hodson OBE KC(Hons) MCIArb is held in high esteem and James Netto is skilled at handling all areas of child law. Sarah Cornes joined the team from TWM Solicitors LLP at the start of 2023, and Rosa Schofield joined from Family Law Partners in October 2023.

Other key lawyers:

David Hodson OBE; Helen Blackburn; James Netto; Lucy Loizou; Ann Thomas; Michael Allum; Lucy Greenwood; Sarah Cornes; Rosa Schofield


Testimonials

‘Ann Thomas and David Hodson are experienced, hugely respected and brave for their clients. Lucy Loizou has been a trailblazer and risen through the ranks. Michael Allum, Lucy Greenwood, Helen Blackburn, and Sarah Cornes have decades of experience between them. They are hardworking but personable and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Lucy Loizou is incredibly impressive. I always felt that I had the best possible advocate in my corner and trusted her implicitly. She listened to me and took my input into account, and together I believe we achieved the right outcome.’

‘Ann Thomas is an exceptional individual. She has personally overseen my case from the start and it is not an exaggeration to say that we achieved an outcome that has given me my life back.’

‘Helen Blackburn is totally calm and unflappable. Conscientious and reliable to a tee, really thinks things through, and has an eye on the long-term goal. Tactical and very wise.’

‘Michael Allum is my go-to for financial remedies work. He is first rate. He has forensic attention to detail, a wonderful manner with clients, and is hugely knowledgeable.’

‘Helen Blackburn combines razor sharp technical knowledge with an empathetic and client-focussed manner. She is somebody you would want on your side in any litigation involving international children.’

‘James Netto’s casual and friendly manner belies a sharp mind and a steely determination. James will be one of the leading lawyers in the field of child abduction as the years go by.’

‘Michael Allum is a pleasure to deal with and is a commensurate professional. David Hodson is a leading light on family law matters. Passionate in his pursuit of fairness and at the forefront of driving through change for the better.’

Vardags

Led by Ayesha Vardag, Vardags ‘houses a lot of great lawyers’ and the family law team is praised as ‘very commercially astute with a strong financial remedies practice’. It specialises in complex international litigation cases for its predominantly ultra-high-net-worth client base. Simon McKirgan remains a leading international divorce lawyer who regularly acts in some of the most significant cases, while Caroline Korah is the new head of the children department. Key changes to the team include the addition of David Lister from Rayden Solicitors in July 2023, and Antonia Barker‘s elevation to the partnership in January 2023. Former practice head Georgina Hamblin has set up her own practice, and Katherine Res Pritchard joined Howard Kennedy LLP at the start of 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ayesha Vardag


Other key lawyers:

Simon McKirgan; Antonia Barker; Caroline Korah; Aisling O’Reilly; Charlotte Purves; David Lister


Testimonials

‘Ayesha Vardag’s tactical skills are well-known within the field. She is supported by an excellent team, which includes Caroline Korah. Both very responsive and dedicated to their clients.’

‘Ayesha Vardag takes each case very seriously and considerable care is taken. Simon McKirgan is brilliant, particularly for cases with a corporate dimension.’

‘From the outset of the initial call, Caroline Korah gave me a supreme sense of calm and confidence regarding my case. Caroline guided my case with deep care and attention and, most importantly, detail, so that the courts had a clear picture of what actually transpired and were equipped to make a fair judgement.’

What makes this team different is that the clients feel heard, supported, protected and valued.’

‘The team’s attention to detail, superb client care and support, excellent preparatory work and drafting and determination to achieve the best outcome for their clients sets the firm very clearly apart and head and shoulders above their rivals. The lawyers at Vardags are a group of very impressive, exceptional, highly skilled, dynamic and specialist family solicitors.’

‘They are simply the best family law firm for high-net-worth clients. Nothing is left to chance, nothing goes unconsidered, and nothing is too much trouble.’

‘Charlotte Purves has recently impressed me with her pragmatism, competence and drafting skills.’

Antonia Barker is highly intelligent and robust whilst also thoughtful and considered. A real powerhouse.’

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP has an ‘enormously talented group of individuals of all seniorities’. The family law department is ably co-led by Kim Beatson and Sarah Hughes, and the group frequently handles complex, high-value financial matters. Additionally, the practice has an excellent reputation for its work on complex Children Act cases. Other areas of focus for the team include advising on Schedule 1 and TOLATA cases and on pre and post-nuptial agreements. David Emmerson is also a well-regarded team member. Nazia Rashid has left the practice to join Rayden Solicitors in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Kim Beatson; Sarah Hughes


Other key lawyers:

David Emmerson; Ruth Omoregie; Fiona Lyon


Testimonials

‘David Emmerson offers excellent advice coupled with a perfect bedside manner for those who want to separate without fuss or drama. In more contentious cases he will withstand the most heated of disputes for his clients, and can be trusted to navigate any storm.’

‘David Emmerson and Kim Beatson’s breadth of knowledge is extraordinary. They are supported in particular by Fiona Lyon, Ruth Omoregie.’

‘Absolutely at the top of their game year in year out. Partners Kim Beatson and David Emmerson lead the way in their solution focussed approach offering the full range of services, including legal advice, representation in court, mediation, collaborative practice, and early neutral evaluation.’

‘What singles them out, particularly in central London, is their willingness to work towards solutions. There is no grandstanding and no nonsense.’

‘Kim Beatson and David Emmerson are experienced, unflappable, and both are an entirely safe pair of hands.’

‘David Emmerson is outstanding. The team is diverse and looks after a wide client base, including many LGBTQIA+ individuals.’

‘Every solicitor in the team that I have dealt with has been brilliant. They are my number one go-to firm for recommending anyone in need of a solicitor. Ruth Omoregie is simply fantastic. Her cases are prepared meticulously and her drafting of witness statements is outstanding.’

‘Fiona Lyon lives and breathes family law; she is at the cutting edge of new developments. A staunch advocate for her clients who gives her everything to a case.’

Bindmans LLP

Alison Leivesley heads the team at Bindmans LLP and she ‘brings a wealth of experience and care to her work, maintaining the Bindmans tradition of excellence’. It is recognised for its work on cross-border family law disputes, as well as for handling public law children cases. The practice attracts an interesting mix of divorce work, high-value and middle income financial remedies cases, TOLATA matters, and Schedule 1 cases. Maud Davis is well-regarded for her work as a children’s solicitor, and Melissa Arnold is another key figure. Olivia Piercy is now at Hunters Law LLP in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Alison Leivesley


Other key lawyers:

Maud Davis; Maeve Lucey; Melissa Arnold; Hannah Marshall; Annie Leach; Megan Rothman


Testimonials

‘Alison Leivesley has amazing dedication to clients and cases and she is unflappable. Clients get the Bindmans Rolls-Royce service.’

‘Melissa Arnold is brilliant; she has excellent client management skills and sound strategic instincts. Her preparation work is excellent, so her cases are always a pleasure to deal with. Maeve Lucey is also brilliant and has been an excellent addition to the team.’

‘Nothing is ever too much trouble and the quality of their work is consistently very high. I particularly wish to pay tribute to Alison Lievesley and Megan Rothman. Alison is very experienced and has great insight, and nothing is ever too much trouble for Megan, and her clients recognise that very quickly.’

‘Hannah Marshall is an excellent associate with a deservedly growing reputation. Diligent and detail-oriented, she is someone you definitely want in your corner.’

‘Alison Leivesley has a thoughtful, hands-on approach, and has extensive public law knowledge and a pragmatic approach. Michaela Michelides is a highly experienced international children specialist with a real depth of knowledge in this area. Annie Leach is way ahead of her peers at her junior level.’

‘Alison Leivesley is an outstanding family partner. She goes above and beyond for every client, no matter their circumstances, and is an absolute pleasure to work with’.

‘Bindmans has an excellent team covering a mixture of international, care and private children work. Alison Leivesley has a long-standing background in complex care, which she utilises when dealing with difficult, high-profile, international and private client cases. She heads a team of excellent associates.’

‘Maud Davis is well known for her work within public law proceedings. She is dedicated, decisive, committed to her practice, calm, focused and robust when required with parties in a helpful constructive partnership.’

Bross Bennett

There’s an enormous pool of knowledge and experience that clients can draw on’ at Bross Bennett. Under the joint leadership of Sharon Bennett and Ruth Bross, it covers the full range of family law issues, from complex financial disputes and nuptial agreements, to complex problems regarding children and co-habitation agreements. It is also praised for operating on a ‘collegiate basis’. Anna Wagstaff is highly experienced in dealing with complex financial disputes that often have an international dimension, as well as challenging children cases.

Practice head(s):

Sharon Bennett; Ruth Bross


Other key lawyers:

Anna Wagstaff; Vicky Briam; Eleanor Hoare; Simon Lim; Jamie Gaw; Adam Witkover


Testimonials

‘Vicky Briam is excellent, sensible, pragmatic, available and realistic as to outcomes. She outclasses the other side at every single meeting, hearing and in all correspondences. She would keep me in check and address all of my concerns whilst protecting me from making emotional decisions. I have recommended Vicky to a number of friends and would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone needing help with such matters.’

‘Sharon Bennett is an exceptional practitioner.’

‘Eleanor Hoare made me feel supported, heard and understood as she accompanied me through a very complex case. Her gentle, empathetic, and efficient style has been perfectly pitched. I felt safe in her confident knowledge of the legal system and her thoroughness.’

‘Bross Bennett were recommended to me by a friend, and I have always felt welcome and supported by the whole team.’

‘Bross Bennett are a very friendly, warm, and approachable team. They are also straightforward. They give wise judgements and very clear guidance to clients. I often recommend them to friends looking for a family lawyer.’

‘Sharon Bennett knows what she is doing. She is extremely experienced, sits as a judge, and gives clients excellent advice. Vicky Briam is a really top lawyer. She is empathetic and straight talking.’

‘Bross Bennett are fantastic. The firm operates on a collegiate basis and the way they run their cases reflects that. There’s an enormous pool of knowledge and experience that clients can draw on. Cases are managed sensibly and proportionately without compromising or sacrificing quality of service.’

‘Boutique family law firm in North London which competes with the best firms in the city.’

Burges Salmon LLP

At Burges Salmon LLPclients are impressed by 'the cohesion of the team under the impeccable leadership of Sarah Hoskinson’. The family law group is best known for its work on complex financial settlements following relationship breakdowns and divorce proceedings. The nimble team frequently handles very high-value cases nationally and internationally, and its work is focused on complex financial settlements and asset restructuring for wealthy individuals. Richard Handel is a key member of the London offering and he advises clients on arrangements for children, as well as on complicated financial arrangements which often have international elements.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Hoskinson


Other key lawyers:

Richard Handel; Hannah Petherick; Mary Gaskins; Alison Hawes; Hebe Thorne


Testimonials

‘Sarah Hoskinson is more than a match for any other top tier solicitor in London, as well as the dynamic leader of the firm’s peerless operation in the South West.’

‘Burges Salmon is a national firm with particularly strong roots in London and Bristol, and the quality of the individuals is high.’

‘Richard Handel is an excellent black-letter lawyer with exceptional technical skills and judgment.’

‘Burges Salmon’s family law presence in London is increasing and they are respected by their peers. Richard Handel is extremely well liked and an impressive operator.’

‘Super team who are the go-to people for complicated, cross-jurisdictional pension cases. Sarah Hoskinson is amazing. Incredible depth of knowledge, especially in complicated pension matters. She is the person you want on your side to guide and inform you to achieve the desired outcome.’

‘Sarah Hoskinson is fiercely bright and highly technical. There is nothing Sarah does not know about pensions! She is a tough opponent but always constructive and sensible. She is instructed on many complex big money cases and handles them superbly.’

‘Sarah Hoskinson and Richard Handel are very straight talking and, whilst fighting for their clients, not aggressive and always looking for a way to settle if at all possible. Hannah Petherick is sensible, strategic and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Mary Gaskins is a standout lawyer. She has a superb legal mind with great attention to detail. She understands the key issues in a case which enables her to see the answer to a case early on. She is an asset on any case.’

Burgess Mee

Burgess Mee is a ‘boutique family law firm’ that ‘continues to grow from strength to strength’. Under the excellent leadership of Antonia Mee and Peter Burgess, the ‘tremendous’ team receives a steady flow of instructions on high-value and complex financial cases, as well as having an excellent children’s law practice. Natalie Sutherland has a niche offering in surrogacy and fertility law, and the group’s modern family practice advises intended parents on parental orders following domestic and international surrogacy. David Lillywhite has a busy practice as a mediator.

Practice head(s):

Antonia Mee; Peter Burgess


Other key lawyers:

David Lillywhite; Natalie Sutherland; Kirsty Morris; Henrietta Thomas; Olive Gathoni; Sarah Bunn


Testimonials

‘Peter Burgess is an exceptional partner who always goes well beyond the call of duty in helping his clients. He has the patience of a saint and is particularly calming and reassuring when dealing with fraught situations. His billing is particularly sensible and he is always accessible when needed.’

‘I worked with Henrietta Thomas who was always able to efficiently answer my questions so I felt I wasn’t ever wasting money and I always got a solution quickly.’

‘Peter Burgess is excellent, calm, thoughtful and empathic. He was always a calm voice of reason given how challenging my divorce process was.’

‘Natalie Sutherland’s knowledge of surrogacy is truly unrivalled. This is true not just regarding the legal side of surrogacy in the UK, but as well as the practical and emotional aspects of it. Natalie made us feel that she listened, understood where we wanted to be, and knew how we could get there.’

‘Peter Burgess is calm under fire, empathetic, and very commercial. He can litigate but he can also drive cases towards a fair settlement. Antonia Mee is a powerful and strong presence in the team who really gets stuck into her cases and is adept at both children and money work.’

Natalie Sutherland has been doing great work with her Fertility in the City campaign. Olive Gathoni is a standout associate; she is highly intelligent and has a professional maturity and sound judgement well beyond her years of experience.’

‘David Lillywhite is a calm and supportive presence in any case and to any client. His incisive and thoughtful advice will lead the most difficult cases to resolution.’

‘Antonia Mee has a razor-sharp brain and brilliant judgement. Peter Burgess is a hugely committed lawyer who is a great communicator. Kirsty Morris has terrific client care skills and she brings a real wisdom to her cases and is a clever empathetic lawyer.’

Key clients

Angela Jilina


 


Work highlights


  • Acted for the clients in a case regarding catastrophic injury and the collection and storage of sperm.
  • Acting for husband located in Abu Dhabi in contested divorce proceedings.
  • Advised a client on an application made to the High Court to rescind Decree Nisi pronounced in December 2013 on the basis that the parties had reconciled in late 2014.

Clintons

Led by Liz Vernon, Clintons regularly acts for high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The team frequently represents some of the most well-known individuals in the sport, entertainment, and business industries. Vernon is recognised for her work on many complex and high-value financial remedy cases, as well as disputes relating to children. Daniel Chalmers has a solid reputation for his work in matrimonial finance matters and Schedule 1 Children Act cases. Dom Christophers left the firm in July 2024, and is now at Ribet Myles.

Practice head(s):

Liz Vernon


Other key lawyers:

Daniel Chalmers; Dom Christophers


Hanne & Co

The individuals at Hanne & Coare talented and dedicated professionals who consistently go above and beyond to deliver exceptional results for their clients’. Spearheaded by Susan Harlow, Michele Brown, and Elizabeth Francis, it is particularly well versed in complex and challenging care cases and private financial proceedings. Other strengths of the practice lie in private children mandates and cross-jurisdictional disputes. Recent highlights for the team include its involvement in three reported cases and its advice on several high-profile and high-value cases. Associates Maisie Lockyer and Hazel Kent continue to develop strong surrogacy practices.

Practice head(s):

Susan Harlow; Michele Brown; Elizabeth Francis


Other key lawyers:

Elinor Feeny; Hazel Kent; Maisie Lockyer; Samantha Cook; Claire Gardner; Caroline Little; Anna Gowen; James Dunn


Testimonials

‘Elizabeth Francis has been unfailing in her support, advice, and clarity of decision-making throughout the whole process. She was calm and empathetic but very clear in what would be an appropriate approach.’

‘The standout partner is Susan Harlow, who delivers exceptional results for me with strong communication skills, and she a trusted advisor.’

‘Elinor Feeny is incredibly organised, diligent and focuses on the necessary detail. She is an impressive advocate who is quick to grasp the complexities of a case. Elinor is thorough, meticulous in her preparation and gives outstanding emotional support during very traumatic times in litigation.’

‘An absolutely sensational, professional and outstanding team, Hanne & Co has been an established firm for over 100 years and boasts specialists in all areas of family law. The team work together closely, ensuring that the client always has someone to work with who is fully informed on their case.’

‘Hazel Kent is a kind, forward thinking and friendly associate in the team who really goes the extra mile for every client. Maisie Lockyer always deserves special praise for her excellent preparation and outstanding client handling skills.’

‘You will have to go a long way to find someone more dedicated to your case than Anna Gowen. She knows every single detail of her cases inside out and is extremely impressive. I think her advice is good and her correspondence is good too.’

‘Samantha Cook is another excellent lawyer, and Claire Gardner and Caroline Little are also excellent practitioners.’

‘James Dunn is very experienced and knowledgeable, he personally handled my whole matter and was always available. Very calm and collected, even when matters get heated.’

Work highlights


  • Acting for an applicant father in a non-convention case regarding an application for the summary return of two children to the UAE under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.
  • Acting for wife in a case concerning a missing sum of £8m and the husband’s forgery of bank statements.
  • Acting for an applicant father in a complex reported non-convention case regarding an appeal brought by the mother against the order for the summary return of two children to Dubai.

Howard Kennedy LLP

Howard Kennedy LLP has ‘an A-list client-base that is going from strength to strength.’ Practice head Lois Langton is ‘one of the most dynamic and effective family lawyers in London today, with a celebrity client list’. Langton has particular expertise in complex financial remedy work, and the ‘bright and engagingKatherine Res Pritchard joined the practice from Vardags at the beginning of 2023; she is a ‘top addition’ to the team and advises on all aspects of domestic and international children law cases.

Practice head(s):

Lois Langton


Other key lawyers:

Katherine Res Pritchard; Jessica Rush; Olalla Garcia-Arreciado; Emma Green; Nina Lake; Jessie Smith


Testimonials

‘Lois Langton is an exceptional lawyer. She is a great leader of an excellent team. She gives her clients the best possible advice. I would always recommend her to all our people.’

‘Lois Langton leads from the front. She is a lawyer of the highest calibre with judgment to match. She has a five star practice which is a tribute to her formidable litigation skills.’

‘This firm are uniquely well-placed to advise clients in the media, sports, and entertainment industries, where their experience is second-to-none. A huge array of personality within the department explains why the clients are typically quite creative. Headed by Lois Langton, they are all stellar.’

‘Jessie Smith has a soft approach, and is just as focused and detailed. Clients adore her; they feel safe in her hands, whilst also feeling like she understands and appreciates the personal elements of the case. She’s like gold dust.’

‘A wonderful, high-end law firm that has expanded its family law expertise in recent years and now sits with the very best in this area. The firm has shown leadership in the field with a new annual lecture series led by Katherine Res Pritchard.’

‘Katherine Res Pritchard is a stand-out star of the children law world. Katherine has excellent legal expertise, and has real strengths in case strategy and drafting statements that can turn a case around 180 degrees. Katherine has particular expertise in international children law, including relocation applications and child abduction.’

‘Nina Lake is amongst the best of the best in family law in London. She is unflappable, even in a crisis, and is a match for any opponent. Lois Langton is one of the finest family solicitors in the City and has a reputation that goes before her. Jessie Smith is  part of an exceptionally strong team working tirelessly for their clients.’

Simons Muirhead Burton

At Simons Muirhead Burton, Jane McDonagh leads the family law department, which regularly acts for high-net-worth individuals who are often successful entrepreneurs or individuals in the media and entertainment industries. In addition, McDonagh has strong links with Middle Eastern countries, as well as Pakistan, Ukraine, and Switzerland. Tom Farley-Hills is experienced in high-value, complex financial issues arising from divorce and separation, which often involve overseas and offshore elements. Tessa Bray has a wealth of experience in drafting pre and post-nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Jane McDonagh


Other key lawyers:

Tom Farley-Hills; Tessa Bray


Testimonials

‘Tom Farley-Hills has excellent judgment and runs a fantastic team.’

‘Jane McDonagh is bright, great on the law, highly personable and diligent. She is extremely dedicated to her clients’.

‘Tessa Bray is brilliant. Her approach is always refreshing. She is straightforward, collaborative and extremely hard working. She is also very human and always open to seeing things from a different perspective.’

‘SMB is a truly excellent firm. They are an excellent team with top-notch work.’

‘Tessa Bray is tough yet bright and fair. A truly stellar lawyer.’

‘Jane McDonagh leads the team with aplomb, and is an engaging and delightful person to deal with.’

Tom Farley-Hills is excellent; bright and calm in equal measure.’

‘The team is importantly human, personable, available and responsive. Great ability to listen, empathise, and come up with possible ideas.’

TV Edwards Solicitors LLP

TV Edwards Solicitors LLP is praised as ‘a great firm which cares about the vulnerable in society and fights for justice.’ Plus, the firm’s family law department ‘is very strong in public law cases and the team regularly acts in complex cases for parents and children’. Under the joint leadership of Emma Baillie and Hannah Perry, the team is also skilled at representing high-net-worth and international individuals. Other areas of work include modern family advice, forced marriages, and FGM. The department has twelve Law Society children law accredited lawyers and two lawyers who are Resolution accredited specialists.

Practice head(s):

Emma Baillie; Hannah Perry


Other key lawyers:

Paul Read; Anest Mathias; Deborah Piccos; Lindsay Blake; Claire Longland


Testimonials

‘TV Edwards LLP have a very strong team under the excellent stewardship of Hannah Perry. The solicitors are very dedicated to serving clients.’

‘Hannah Perry is a superstar. She knows her cases inside out and is an expert in representing children and guardians in particular. I also recommend Lindsay Blake very highly. She is diligent and hardworking and a pleasure to work with. Like Hannah, she is very client-driven and responsive.’

‘Emma Baillie is a fantastic lawyer but also very personable.’

Vaitilingam Kay

Vaitilingam Kay ‘punches above its size in terms of the sophistication of its advice and strategy, and delivers the service with kindness and class’. The family law group is ably co-led by Joe Vaitilingam and Anne Kay, and recent highlights include advising on some of the most complex and unusual private children work and surrogacy cases, as well as undertaking the full range of financial work. The group handles both high and middle-value cases. Sara Wychrij, Thomas Pavey and Kate Barnett were recently promoted to partnership.

Practice head(s):

Joe Vaitilingam; Anne Kay


Other key lawyers:

Sara Wychrij; Kathryn Cassells; Darren Hark; Tom Duggins; Thomas Pavey; Kate Barnett


Testimonials

‘Kathryn Cassells is very experienced and committed in alternative-family work, with an unusual deal of expertise in international surrogacy arrangements.’

‘Anne Kay gives sensitive but direct advice, then backs her clients’ interests hard. She provides practical and sensible advice’.

‘Joe Vaitilingam is a sound advisor and manages realistic expectations. Kathryn Cassells is excellent, thorough and pragmatic.’

‘I liked their focus and calmness under pressure. No false promises but an unerring commitment to deliver the best possible result for me, given quite a complex set of circumstances.’

‘Joe Vaitilingam is a very assured and accomplished lawyer in his field. He combines pragmatism and common sense in conjunction with his evident technical skills.’

‘Sara Wychrij is terrific and I always felt that I was in safe hands. If you require a firm with a real grasp of the intricacies of the law, a sensible fee scale and an understanding of the human factor, look no further. I would wholeheartedly endorse VK.’

‘I always recommend this family firm. They provide a city firm service with a lower price point. They are all incredibly easy to deal with and very responsive.’

‘Darren Hark and Anne Kay are exceptional. They deal with complex and sometimes very emotional matters in a simple and easy to understand manner and they are very client friendly.’

Wedlake Bell LLP

Mathew Brunsdon-Tully ‘leads the family team with aplomb’ at Wedlake Bell LLP, where Charmaine Hast is now a consultant. The team is well-regarded for its work on complex international prenuptial agreements involving significant assets, and for its advice on multifaceted local and foreign trusts. Many of Brunsdon-Tully’s matters are for ultra and high-net-worth clients. In addition, he is qualified as a mediator with CEDR.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Brunsdon-Tully


Other key lawyers:

Charmaine Hast; Natasha Kurth; Jennifer Ball; Sarah Infante


Testimonials

‘Very professional yet personal in their dealings. Speak their minds in a nice way. Charmaine Hast has lots of experience, and Natasha Kurth is extremely able and efficient.’

‘Great legal knowledge and dedication to client’s needs and outcomes. Charmaine Hast is a leader in her field and a great tactician, and Natasha Kurt is also excellent and clients love her.’

‘The team is adept at both complex financial remedies work and children’s disputes, including cutting-edge cross-border work. It can also draw on the expertise of colleagues from other areas of the firm such as private client snd property, making it well-placed to provide a full service to its clients.’

‘Matthew Brunsdon-Tully is clever, creative, empathetic and has a big brain for both numbers and black letter law. I have no hesitation in recommending him and as a young partner and head of department; he is very much paving the way for the next generation of lawyers.’

‘Really good family law specialist firm that are definitely on a real upward trajectory.’

‘Charmaine Hast remains highly regarded, even after passing the reigns over to Matthew Brunsdon-Tully. The team have been further strengthened by the hires of Jennifer Ball and Sarah Infante.’

‘Matthew Brunsdon-Tully is an outstandingly bright, hard working and energetic solicitor. He has excellent forensic judgement combined with a sensitivity towards the human emotions engaged in family cases.’

‘Matthew Brunsdon-Tully is an excellent lawyer, interested in new ideas and with great intellectual vigour. He has a good understanding of human nature and maintains positive relationships with clients and with his opponents.’

Weightmans

Headed by Manchester-based Emma Collins, Weightmans LLP has ‘a very impressive family law team, now much stronger by reason of the merger of Weightmans and RadcliffeLeBrasseur.’ In London, Caroline Penfold advises on all aspects of private family law, from pre and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements, to complicated financial and property cases involving substantial assets in an international context. Other primary areas of expertise include advising on disputes over children, domestic violence and emergency injunctions. Carina Smith has a diverse practice and a particular interest in cases with an international dimension.

Practice head(s):

Emma Collins


Other key lawyers:

Caroline Penfold; Carina Smith; Robert Emmett; Lucy Raho-Jeavons


Testimonials

‘Caroline Penfold has always done high-quality work, with cases involving substantial assets and, often, something particularly difficult involved.’

‘Caroline Penfold is extremely experienced, and has seen most things. She is unflappable, has extremely good strategic thinking, and is always focussing on the end of the case in deciding how to conduct each stage.’

‘Carina Smith is the most conscientious solicitor that any lay client could wish for. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of her cases and thinks about them from every angle. Her advice is balanced and her client care is second-to-none; she gives a Rolls-Royce service.’

‘Caroline Penfold, Robert Emmett and Lucy Raho-Jeavons are all excellent. The family team is extremely dedicated and able. They have strength at all levels. They excel in providing an excellent service.’

‘Caroline Penfold is a very experienced partner who provides an excellent personal service to her clients. She is pragmatic and solution-focussed. She provides huge levels of personal support to her clients and is very able at managing their expectations. She has a very good bedside manner and manages to remain calm and unflappable at the tensest of times.’

‘Robert Emmett is incredibly smart, very insightful, and a really impressive family lawyer who delivers terrific results. Caroline Penfold is a natural family lawyer with great experience.’

‘The merger with RLB has offered the brand far more in London. Carina Smith is a fantastic partner with a great client base.’

‘I worked with Carina Smith and was thoroughly impressed with her throughout the process. Carina combined her evident legal knowledge and intelligence with a healthy dose of pragmatism to find the best solutions. I always felt Carina was focused on my best interests.’

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates

David Marcus heads the ‘reliable' team at Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates, which has a particular focus on representing vulnerable clients. The group has considerable skill in acting for parties in care proceedings where the parents and other significant adults, (and increasingly the children), are struggling to manage mental health problems. Its Law Society Children Law Accredited solicitors also accept instructions from Children’s Guardians.

Practice head(s):

David Marcus


Other key lawyers:

Abbie Huxley; Eram Rashid-Khan; Lina Chauhan


Testimonials

‘Burke Niazi is a very well-established law firm which offers the full range of family services to clients. They have particular strength in complex children matters, especially public law children work.’

‘The practice is extremely collaborative and supportive – there is a big emphasis on client care and they are very empathetic and supportive. Many of the practitioners in public children law also practice in mental health.’

‘Abbie Huxley is a delight to work for as she is always extremely well prepared. Client care is second-to-none.’

Collyer Bristow LLP

Collyer Bristow LLP fields a ‘fabulous team of dynamic, bright and engaged individuals', and the 'strengths in the team run from partner level all the way down to associate level’. Under the leadership of Toby Yerburgh, it acts primarily for high-net-worth clients, frequently advising on substantial matrimonial finance matters. Many of its cases have an international dimension. Michael Drake and Philippa Dolan are among the other key figures in the practice, and consultant Mark Harrop rejoined the team from Family Law Partners in early 2023. Through Tanya Roberts in particular, it also regularly handles international relocation and complicated children disputes.

Practice head(s):

Toby Yerburgh


Other key lawyers:

Tanya Roberts; Michael Drake; Mark Harrop; Philippa Dolan; Laura Burrows; Bethany Wood


Testimonials

‘Tanya Roberts is an amazing family lawyer. She has a wonderful, calm manner, is tough when needed but not overly aggressive or provocative. Her aim is always to secure a fair settlement for her client whilst protecting the children needs also.’

‘Toby Yerburgh is superb and clients adore him. He writes the best letters. Laura Burrows is also brilliant and super sensible.’

‘Toby Yerburgh has energy which is not often seen from a Head of Department. He is very well respected and this shows in his ability to achieve the absolute best for clients, whether by negotiating with the other side or in litigation.’

‘Michael Drake is a senior statesman of the family law world. Hugely well respected, clients love his kind but intelligent approach and ability to think outside the box no matter how complex the situation. He has phenomenal commercial acumen.’

‘Mark Harrop is an incredibly welcome addition to this already thriving team. Mark is incredibly intelligent, sensible and pragmatic. He is calm and unflappable even in situations where many would crumble. His experience as a judge only widens the breadth of advice he provides to clients.’

‘Philippa Dolan has empathy, understanding and wisdom in equal and ample measure. She is liked and respected within the profession, and uses her market position to deliver good outcomes for her clients without the need for an expensive and risky fight in court. She is first rate.’

‘Mark Harrop is especially strong. His huge experience and pragmatic, sensitive and commercially aware advice is extremely reassuring to clients. A first-rate and happy team delivering top-quality legal advice in a cost-effective and outcome-focussed manner.’

’‘Toby Yerburgh and Philippa Dolan are standout partners based on the work they do and as opponents. Superb team in a boutique firm. All brilliant individually and collectively. Start strategic planning from the outset and give superb, competent and practical advice.’

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

The agile team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles all aspects of domestic family law, including both public care cases and private children law proceedings, as well as international family litigation and child abduction cases. These cases frequently involve multiple parties. It has a particular specialism in representing clients in care proceedings and those who are in emergency situations. Another core area of expertise include acting for victims of domestic violence. Genet Amare and Emily Wright have been promoted to directors.

Practice head(s):

Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Emine Mehmet; Forida Hakim; Kathy Walker; Laila Bhunnoo; Ravi Kaur Mahey; Sophie Fretten; Emily Wright; Genet Amare


Other key lawyers:

Helen Newman


Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis always seems efficient and organised.’

‘Sophie Fretten fights very hard for vulnerable parents and instructs in a very organised way. I would also like to mention Emine Mehmet; she is appropriately exacting and staunch. I have great respect for her.’

‘The practice has a variety of solicitors based in different locations with good levels of legal knowledge. The practitioners provide regular updates to their clients and provide balanced advice in all situations.’

‘I have confidence in the individuals that I have worked with who understand the children they have been instructed to advocate for which leads to ensuring that the best care plans are made for children and their families.’

‘A general well-balanced family team with increasing involvement in more complex work.’

‘Kathy Walker is amazing, she ensures she gets what needs to be done done or makes sure all valid information is corrected, even if that means she dedicates all her time doing so.’

‘Personal attention, combined with expertise, particularly in the field of Hague Convention child abduction.’

‘Helen Newman is an acknowledged experienced expert in the field of Hague Convention child abduction, and is a formidable person to have on your side, and very thorough. Adeeba Naseem is also experienced in child abduction and is very good at building relationships with the client, approachable and hard working.’

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell has a strong national profile and a number of excellent practitioners in London. Toby Hales attracts complex work in the finance and private law children arena. Fran Hipperson advises on divorce and complicated finances, pre and post-nuptial agreements, and children-related matters. Clare Filler’s focus is is on high-value cases that regularly have an international dimension.

Practice head(s):

Toby Hales; Fran Hipperson; Claire Filer


Other key lawyers:

Carmel Brown


Testimonials

‘The Irwin Mitchell team are approachable, understanding and extremely efficient. I felt the team genuinely cared about the outcome of my case and had my best interests at heart.’

‘A well-known family team set within the large enterprise that is Irwin Mitchell. A full-service law firm, whose size gives it valuable strength and depth.’

‘Claire Filer was excellent in understanding the detail and setting it out in a clear way. She is a hard-working and intelligent lawyer.’

‘Irwin Mitchell offers clients a full and expert service as one of the leading nationwide firms. With Fran Hipperson and Claire Filer, this team is really going places.’

‘Toby Hales is a wily and experienced lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of the family law industry. He has been there and done it all and knows exactly how to pitch a case. Clients really appreciate his dedication and focus to finding the right solution for them.’

‘A team with wide ranging experience covering all areas of family law for private clients. Toby Hales has years of experience, an excellent reputation and great client care.’

‘Within the Irwin Mitchell family team they have an enormous breadth of specialist knowledge. They work tirelessly for their clients and are deeply committed to achieving the best outcomes and addressing injustice. They are equally adept at appellate matters before the Court of Appeal and the more run-of-the-mill cases.’

‘Claire Filer and Fran Hipperson are excellent individuals and really easy to work with. Sensible and pragmatic.’

JMW Solicitors LLP

Headed by Michael Rowlands, JMW Solicitors LLP's family law group has ‘a brilliant team of professional lawyers who have outstanding expertise’. Through Rowlands, the practice has strong links to the Gulf States. Philip Cooper has a wealth of experience in nuptial agreements and often acts for wealthy married and unmarried couples; his work regularly involves family companies, offshore funds, and trusts. In addition, Cooper has extensive experience in advising on the international relocation of children. Both David Thompson and Patrick Hart are also eminent practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Michael Rowlands


Other key lawyers:

Philip Cooper; Patrick Hart; Lisa Greggains; Jonathan Day; David Thompson; Mark Gilmartin


Testimonials

‘Patrick Hart came highly recommended through a friend. I put my full trust in him and felt that he took my case personally and understood the distress that goes with getting divorced.’

‘There is a very large team with individual high-quality members.’

‘Jonathan Day is excellent. He has a wonderfully calm manner with clients. He also has a comprehensive legal knowledge and good judgment.’

‘JMW is a really strong, partner-led practice with an extensive national presence.’

‘Michael Rowlands is an excellent litigator who will leave no stone unturned in fighting his client’s corner. He is a champion for his clients.’

‘The team at JMW are professional, congruent, experienced, kind and are working with best practice at all touch points of the relationship.’

Mark Gilmartin is not only an exceptional legal professional who upholds the highest standards of integrity for his clients and himself but Mark is also a world-class innovator and strategist.’

‘David Thompson is dynamic, energetic and empathic. He is a fearsome and tactical opponent. Patrick Hart is also an impressive lawyer who is precise and intellectual.’

Ketley Miller Joels Ltd

Clayton Miller heads the boutique firm at Ketley Miller Joels Ltd and it is praised as being an ‘Excellent team with huge skill across children and finance work.' Miller frequently advises on cases involving offshore trusts and company structures, as well as on cohabitation law mandates. In addition, the practice regularly handles cases of child relocation and abduction. In team news, consultant Elizabeth Simos re-joined the firm at the start of 2023, and Laura Brown joined Keystone Law in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Clayton Miller


Other key lawyers:

Margaret Kelly; Sarah Basso; Rachel Roberts; Elizabeth Simos


Testimonials

‘Sarah Basso has impressed me as being a clever and thoughtful practitioner. She managed to progress the litigation to a satisfactory conclusion for the client with a mixture of skill, sympathy and determination. She is a thoroughly safe pair of hands.’

‘Excellent team with huge skill across children and finance work. Clayton Miller is a respected statesman of family law.’

‘Small firm who work closely with their clients. Clayton Miller is a good strategist and Rachel Roberts is extremely good at ensuring all necessary work is completed. They are both very pleasant to work with.’

‘Clayton Miller has built a team who frequently go above and beyond for their clients and offer support beyond the usual divorce proceedings. Clayton’s an excellent tactician and clients should always listen to him if they want to achieve the best outcome.’

‘Margaret Kelly is not only very experienced, but user friendly as well.’

‘Clayton Miller is a phenomenal planner; he can foresee issues much further along the process and plans for them at early stages. Clayton is also balanced in his approach, calming a situation when it became personal and heated, keeping a focus on the end result and not being caught up in the noise.’

‘Specialist boutique family only firm with a high client service. You get the same lawyer all the way through your case, and Clayton Miller is a shining star who provides wonderful client attention and is very knowledgeable.’

‘Clayton Miller runs everything from start to finish.’

Keystone Law

The family department at Keystone Law ‘is hugely experienced and it has drawn well-known practitioners from magic circle firms and built an impressive team of brilliant and expert family specialists’. Among its leading lights are Susan Apthorp, Claire O’Flinn, and Carolyn Bottomley. The group often advises high-profile and celebrity clients, and through Richard Collins, it also offers niche expertise in cases involving addiction, bipolar depression, and behavioural difficulties. Notable new arrivals include Laura Brown, who joined the practice from Ketley Miller Joels Ltd in April 2023, and Grainne Fahy - 'a superb family lawyer' - who joined the group from Clyde & Co in June 2023.

Other key lawyers:

Susan Apthorp; Richard Collins; Carolyn Bottomley; Rachel Lemon; Claire O’Flinn; Carys Mason; Isobel Mundy; Richard Abrahams; Hannah Cornish; Terrence Trainor; Laura Brown; Grainne Fahy; Yasmin Khan-Gunns


Testimonials

‘Rachel Lemon is so attentive to clients and very experienced. She goes the extra mile, has full oversight of the client file and builds very strong relationships.’

‘Richard Collins has enormous experience and expertise over money and children work having worked at a magic circle firm for many years and now working at Keystone. He is immensely popular with clients who appreciate his practice and problem solving approach and his attempts to keep the costs down.’

‘Claire O’Flinn brings a personal empathetic touch, with a steely edge, ensuring the best outcomes for her clients. She is vey approachable, thorough and provides accurate and timely instructions. She is very able.’

‘Claire O’Flinn is a standout individual. She has a wealth of experience having originated from a magic circle firm in London and continues to present in that sort of polished and meticulous manner. Claire is fabulous with clients from all sorts of backgrounds and she will not take any nonsense from her opponents.’

‘Claire O’Flinn remains one of the top family law solicitors out there. Her experience, wisdom and knowledge mean clients know from the outset that they are in the very best of the best’s capable hands. Carys Mason is up and coming and very much learning from fantastic colleagues. She is a great lawyer and diligent with great tactical skills.’

‘Great family team that is highly recommend. Rachel Lemon is a standout partner who is excellent with clients. Empathetic, thorough and always goes the extra mile for them. Always thinks out the box and is totally on top of her cases and the detail.’

‘Isobel Mundy in particular is an asset to the Keystone team. She is experienced, knowledgeable and is willing to work with other solicitors to reach a common goal rather than against them. I have no hesitation in referring work to Isobel.’

‘A great breadth of experience and knowledge within the team. Laura Brown is top class. She combines excellent technical skill with sensitive client handling and proactive advice.’

Russells Solicitors

Carol Ellinas leads the practice at Russells Solicitors, which has ‘the feel of a boutique firm with the heft of a major player’. It is known for its work with a substantial number of celebrity clients, particularly those in the media industry and the arts. In addition, it works with numerous wealthy individuals who are working in the financial services industry. Through Louise Barretto, it is also enhancing its reputation in handling mandates involving narcissistic behaviour and coercive control.

Practice head(s):

Carol Ellinas


Other key lawyers:

Louise Barretto


Testimonials

‘Louise Barretto and Carol Ellinas head up a power house family department which punches well above its weight. Louise delivers penetrating analysis, empathetic advice and the rapier dissection of the opposing case.’

‘The team have a particular specialism for, and are experts at, representing high-net-worth clients, particularly those involved in the creative arts.’

‘The personalised service is a key distinction in an industry that is gradually trending towards the generic. The manner in which clients are looked after is above and beyond, in moving towards a desired outcome.’

‘Carol Ellinas is a leading light in the highly personalised delivery of Family Law, driven by her deep empathy of client situations in conjunction with her proactive legal practice.’

‘I have found this firm very professional in dealing with my matters and all staff respond quickly and effectively.’

‘Louise Barretto stands out as an excellent solicitor who has helped me to navigate a challenging set of circumstances with expert clarity and advice, along with an empathetic approach which I very much value.’

‘Louise Barretto is a truly amazing, empowering, caring, and knowledgeable person. Nothing is too much trouble, and nothing is seen as a waste of time or silly. There are not enough words to describe what a difference she makes or how much recognition she deserves.’

Work highlights


  • Acting for the long-term partner of an ultra-high-net-worth individual in a complex Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 matter involving significant international aspects.

RWK Goodman

RWK Goodman fields some ‘highly skilled lawyers’ who are ‘amazing at what they do’. Led by Ursula Danagher, it is recommended for its work with wealthy clients in divorce and separation proceedings, in cases that often involve complex business structures, trusts, overseas assets, and cross-jurisdictional issues. Joanna Toloczko has considerable experience in both financial and children matters, and she is regularly instructed in financial cases involving trusts and complicated business structures. Natalie Lemonides is also well-regarded and was promoted to the partnership in May 2023. Kim Lehal joined from Brethertons LLP in September 2023 as head of international children law.

Practice head(s):

Ursula Danagher


Other key lawyers:

Joanna Toloczko; Natalie Lemonides; Derek Parsons; Kim Lehal


Testimonials

The RWK Goodman Family Department are structured to provide a partner-led service, but delegate appropriate elements to more junior fee earners. This provides immediate insight and direction, whilst keeping costs in line with expertise. I was impressed by the speed of advice and service delivery in all aspects.’

‘Ursula Danagher is an extremely good family lawyer with a wealth of experience that attracts new instructions with an impressive regularity and her standing in the family law market is very high.’

‘Ursula Danagher is one of the nicest and most approachable lawyers I have ever met. She seemed to listen and observe my body language and emotions so carefully, and in doing so she would steer her advice until she saw I was happy with the choices we had. She remained objective and calm at all times.’

Seddons

Neil Russell sits at helm at Seddons and he is ‘a highly competent solicitor with an excellent following and client base’. The family law team handles a wide range of issues, and it receives a steady flow of instructions on complex financial disputes often involving cross-jurisdictional issues, as well as advising on the financial provision for children. In addition, it frequently assists clients with financial injunctions. Victoria Sterritt joined Davidson McDonnell Solicitors in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Neil Russell


Other key lawyers:

Ffion Greenfield; Victoria Spencer


Testimonials

‘Neil Russell stands out from the rest with his reassuring manner, relentless pursuit of his clients’ best interests, and his ability to navigate any traps to reach the best outcome for his clients.’

‘Neil Russell has become one of the go-to people in the matrimonial world for clients who have complicated cases and celebrities who wish to retain anonymity.’

‘Neil Russell heads the family team. He is hugely experienced and able. Neil is wonderful with clients, a shrewd litigator and great fun to work with; he provides an excellent service.’

‘The team are switched on and very thorough. Victoria Spencer has stood out to me as having excellent client care skills combined with tremendous tactical acumen.’

‘Ffion Greenfield has been extremely focused on achieving the most favourable outcome for our client since the outset and she is extremely organised. I have found her extremely impressive and her communication skills are great.’

‘Brilliant team of super individuals. Ffion Greenfield is a stellar solicitor; super bright and efficient and way ahead of her years.’

Key clients

Boris Johnson


Work highlights


  • Representing Boris Johnson in his divorce proceedings, including financial remedies and negotiating a settlement.

Sinclair Gibson LLP

Kathryn Peat and James Copson co-head the department at Sinclair Gibson LLP, which advises on all aspects of family law. It is particularly well-known for its specialism in advising high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients on complex financial remedy claims and pre and post-nuptial agreements. A significant proportion of its clients are internationally based, which brings a multi-jurisdictional element to a large proportion of the cases it works on. The group is increasingly advising on private children matters.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Peat; James Copson


Other key lawyers:

Xanthy Papageorgiou


Testimonials

‘In a league of their own. Brilliant legal minds offering a premium service. If it’s complicated, they will sort it. Encyclopaedic knowledge of international and domestic law. Will fight relentlessly for their clients.’

‘James Copson is one of the brilliant minds in the business. Renowned for dealing with ultra complicated, almost impossible cases. Respected and revered by his peers.’

‘Kathyrn Peat is an exceptional lawyer. Compassionate, brilliant, and a leading expert in her field. Respected and admired by her peers.’

‘A breathe of fresh air when James Copson joined the team.’

‘James Copson is one of the best technical lawyers of his generation with an encyclopaedic knowledge of pensions in family law.’

‘First rate client care and wonderful letter writing.’

‘The family team at Sinclair Gibson are outstanding. The excellence of the partners, in particular Kathryn Peat, is now matched by Xanthy Papageorgiou and the rest of the team.’

‘Always client focused an Kathryn Peat’s judgement is first class. She listens carefully to her client’s needs, invariably offers the right advice and moves quickly to put a team in place to support them and achieve the desired outcomes.’

Wilson Solicitors LLP

Wilson Solicitors LLP has ‘a superb team of lawyers with an impeccable client-focus in all they do’. Key contacts include Aysen Soyer and Patricia Beckett. The group handles the core areas of divorce and financial settlements, private children law, and domestic abuse, but also many others, including international adoption, child abduction, forced marriage, and surrogacy work. In addition, the group is recommended for its public law children work. Amna Khaliq and Baljit Bains are key members of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Aysen Soyer; Patricia Beckett; Amna Khaliq; Baljit Bains


Other key lawyers:

Darren Greene; Felicity Jones; Ian Whitbread


Testimonials

‘Patricia Beckett and Aysen Soyer are proactive, tenacious and diligent partners.’

‘They were completely professional yet understanding and helpful. Their attention to every aspect gave me complete confidence in the way my case was being handled. Aysen Soyer’s pragmatic approach was reassuring in a very difficult time in my life.’

‘Patricia Beckett is a seasoned practitioner. She is extremely knowledgeable and communicates with me in human terms, has a sensitive approach, she is clear and concise, and has taken real care and a lot of time into understanding my background and what is best for my daughter and myself.’

‘I worked with Amna Khaliq, who was very helpful and took our case without hassle. All that was expected of her was done.’

‘A superb team of lawyers with an impeccable client focus in all they do. Briefs are comprehensive with incredible attention to detail, and papers come in on time or usually very early. Cases are very well prepped with an eye on creative legal argument. A brilliant team.’

‘Amna Khaliq is top drawer. She knows her stuff, is polished and professional and works extraordinarily hard to argue and succeed on her client’s behalf.’

‘Patricia Beckett goes the extra mile for all of her clients. She is extremely able and knowledgeable about family law. She is proactive and has a keen eye for detail, meaning that she represents her clients extremely effectively. She is very approachable and friendly.’

‘Baljit Bains is great. She makes being a solicitor look effortless, though you know that she is putting the work in and to a very high level.’

Allard Bailey Family Law

Co-led by Louise Allard and Sabrina Bailey, Allard Bailey Family Law has a solid reputation for its work in high-value financial cases that frequently have an international element and multiple tax considerations, trusts issues, business assets, and partnerships. The ‘smart and modern team' is also adept at handling difficult children law cases. In February 2023, Shameela Ahmed joined from Fletcher Day and senior consultant Fiona Davenport joined from Newton Kearns LLP.

Practice head(s):

Louise Allard; Sabrina Bailey


Other key lawyers:

Shameela Ahmed; Fiona Davenport; Louise Poulton; Jennifer Granby


Testimonials

‘Fiona Davenport is outstanding. Her ability to strategically guide her clients through complex children act proceedings with a significant international dimension is excellent.’

‘Provides magic circle service but at a more manageable price. Incredibly conscientious. Louise Poulton is exceptionally good.’

‘Fiona Davenport is a hidden gem. She is a wonderfully practical and dedicated lawyer who has a huge level of family law knowledge and experience.’

Work highlights


  • Represented a wife in achieving a favourable out of court settlement in a complex high-value case involving coercive behaviour and financial control, where there were extensive business assets, overseas property assets, and offshore accounts.
  • Advising a husband in a multifaceted international divorce following a long marriage, which was complicated by a long separation, the wife’s mental health problems, and the scale of assets held in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Represented a father in achieving “lives with” contact in a complex children case involving a young child where contact had stopped due to serious, unfounded allegations made against the father where there were concerns about the mother’s mental capacity.

DMH Stallard LLP

Philip Morton heads the group at DMH Stallard LLP, which is experienced in a broad range of family and matrimonial matters, such as the creation of pre-nuptial agreements and handling issues relating to children in the context of divorce and separation. The team’s offering also extends to advising on other issues such as jurisdictional law disputes, child abduction cases, and harassment mandates.

Practice head(s):

Phil Morton


Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Kelleher; Aziz Malik; Talitha Brookman; Gavin Yeung; Natasha Slabas


Testimonials

‘The team has good litigation know-how. Philip Morton is one of the best and Kirsty Kelleher is entirely reliable.’

‘They give robust, pragmatic advice. They take an holistic approach to each case, remaining focused on what the client wishes to achieve. The team offer a wealth of experience and work together well, sharing knowledge and opinions as a team. This gives the client a fabulous all-round service.’

‘Aziz Malik approaches his cases with warm intelligence. He is unafraid to deliver unwelcome advice when necessary and yet manages to do so in a way and with a warmth that means his clients will take it and act upon it. Aziz is alive to all the details of a case.’

‘They have a diverse group of lawyers who, between them, have a significant amount of experience in family law. The lawyers that I’ve worked with there are clever, capable, responsive, and sensible.’

‘DMH Stallard have a wide array of knowledge and experience. The associates are excellent and the partners are always available. They provide a holistic service to their private clients at value for money.’

‘Aziz Malik has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, is a shrewd strategist, and fights to achieve the best possible results for his clients. He also gives realistic advice at an early stage and encourages pragmatism to resolve disputes.’

‘Gavin Yeung is excellent at client management, prepares effective evidence and applications to the court and is one to watch in this field.’

‘Talitha Brookman has an incredible retention for facts and numbers and Gavin Yeung was an incredible strength for me as well. He was always up to date with information and very accurate and detailed with his explanations. Not having any previous experience in a courtroom, this was very reassuring for me.’

Work highlights


  • Represented a client in issuing proceedings in the High Court for an injunction against an unrelated third-party defendant who had been harassing the client for a prolonged period of time.

Family Law Partners

Family Law Partners ‘is a truly modern and progressive firm that is entirely focused on securing realistic and effective results for its clients’. Farhana Shahzady has particular expertise in complex cases with both financial and children elements. Trisha Siddique specialises in Islamic and Middle East law and complex cases concerning religious marriage ceremonies. Other names to note include Emilie Helm and Robert Williams. Mark Harrop took up a consultancy role at Collyer Bristow LLP at the beginning of 2023, and Rosa Schofield moved to The International Family Law Group LLP in October 2023.

Practice head(s):

Farhana Shahzady; Emilie Helm; Trisha Siddique; Robert Williams


Other key lawyers:

Kate Elliott


Testimonials

‘Farhana Shazady is sharp and insightful. Farhana is passionate about her clients and leaves no stone unturned.’

‘Emilie Helm has been a huge asset to the firm. Her impact on the firm was instantly noticeable and very positive. She balances a forensic and detail-orientated approach to litigation, within the realistic bespoke advice that she provides to her clients.’

‘Dynamic and forward-thinking team with a focus on ADR and out of court settlement. There is a wonderful energy to the team who go above and beyond to help their clients.’

‘Kate Elliott is a fantastic team leader who inspires confidence in her colleagues and clients alike. She is wonderful to work with; motivating and supportive, as well as possessing excellent judgment.’

‘Farhana Shahzady stands out owing to their fantastic manner with clients. They always build such strong relationships which enable them to give frank advice which the client trusts implicitly. They are the most down-to-earth, practical solicitors and such joy to work with.’

‘Trisha Siddique has loads of experience and is frequently sought out by clients who need experience on big money cases and those cases with an international aspect. She is extremely adept at getting quickly up to speed with cases.’

‘A well-established middle money practice offering quality and value. An excellent reputation for children work. A well-known and prominent family law specialist firm with good quality at all levels. A family team of strength and depth.’

Fladgate LLP

Fladgate LLP ‘provides the kind of very bespoke, dedicated service that is valued by high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients.' It is co-led by Teresa Cullen and Hetty Gleave and advises on all aspects of relationship breakdowns, from high-value financial claims to children matters. It is noted for its ability to handle cases where there are offshore trusts, as well as luxury and artwork assets. At associate level, Rebecca Christie is well-regarded.

Practice head(s):

Teresa Cullen; Hetty Gleave


Other key lawyers:

Ronnie Mortimer; Rebecca Christie


Testimonials

‘Hetty Gleave is absolutely fantastic. We felt that she was personally invested in the success of our case which gave us a lot of confidence. She was also always available and gave us great advice and was super well prepared.’

‘Hetty Gleave’s approach is calm and fair, and she sifted and sorted a complicated financial quagmire into plain English, which was no mean feat. I felt that Hetty and Ronnie Mortimer cared about my well-being and not only the end result throughout the process.’

‘Hetty Gleave brings great insight to complex cases. Rebecca Christie is super smart and always on the ball.’

‘They are very approachable and constructive and costs conscious. Teresa Cullen and Ronnie Mortimer are standout individuals as they are very proactive and want to do all they can to reach a resolution. They are good to work with.’

‘Fladgate are emerging as an increasingly important player in the Family law world in Central London. Strong on quality, it comes as no surprise to me that they are being instructed in important cases.’

‘Hetty Gleave is a highly experienced and effective lawyer who can be trusted to do her best for clients. Ronnie Mortimer is a very hard working associate who deserves the success he achieves. Rebecca Christie is an exceptionally hard working associate, and is destined to be one of the top family lawyers of the future.’

‘Teresa Cullen shows exceptional skill in dealing with family issues showing empathy and gently guiding the client to a sensible solution. She is ably backed up by Ronnie Mortimer. She also has wide experience in family trust and will matters.’

‘Small but strong family team with a growing reputation. Hetty Gleave is clever, charming and a pleasure to work with. Rebecca Christie is a bright, able and very charismatic associate.’

Hodge Jones & Allen

Led by the ‘exceptional’ Jacqueline Major, the nimble team at Hodge Jones & Allen covers a broad range of issues and it has particular strength in complex family law cases involving financial matters, children matters, and international work. In addition, it often works on adoption and surrogacy matters. In team news, Kevin Bristow joined the firm from Slater and Gordon in November 2022. Vanessa Friend joined Stowe Family Law LLP in October 2022, Sarah Harding joined Simons Muirhead Burton in June 2023, and Bharti Shah is now an operational police lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Major


Other key lawyers:

Kevin Bristow


Testimonials

‘The family team at HJA is unique in London. The team has strength in depth across all areas of family law. Jacqueline Major has hand picked a team of lawyers who work cohesively. Together the team at HJA is a force to be reckoned with.’

‘Unlike many firms, HJA still deals with publicly funded cases and covers the whole range of family work.’

‘Jacqueline Major is in the top tier of family law solicitors. If I was getting divorced, I would want her on my team! She knows all the tricks and has the knack of knowing when to stand firm and when to negotiate. Clients love and respect her judgment and she is a fearsome opponent.’

‘Jacqueline Major is exceptional. Clients love her.’

‘The team was professional and got my trust straight after the first meeting.’

‘Jacqueline is brilliant and she really knows her job. Her work cannot be done without a deep involvement and understanding from the client’s side. I always felt that she had my best interest at heart and that I could trust her.’

‘ I feel there is good leadership in the person of Jacqueline Major and I feel well supported. Above all I feel that the team is attentive to me as a person rather than just another client.’

‘Jacqueline Major has been both an incredible professional and an excellent lawyer, but also very human and attentive when necessary.’

Ribet Myles

Ribet Myles has 'gone from strength to strength and there is no one in the firm that does not provide a high-class service.’ It is ‘taking the market by storm’ and continues to attract instructions from individuals of high-net-worth, and increasingly those of ultra-high-net-worth. Julian Ribet is a Resolution-accredited specialist for complicated financial cases and emergency remedies. Alistair Myles’ main specialism is in dealing with difficult financial cases, including complications arising from international elements and sophisticated asset structures. The team was recently strengthened by the arrivals of partner Lois Rogers and solicitor Dom Christophers, from Vardags and Clintons respectively.

Practice head(s):

Julian Ribet; Alistair Myles


Other key lawyers:

Laura Geraghty; Lois Rogers; Dom Christophers


Testimonials

‘Alistair Myles fights hard for his clients but gives them the dose of realism that they need. Julian Ribet is a creative and clever lawyer, always looking for the optimum solution.’

‘Julian Ribet is a force of nature. He is hugely committed to his clients, is unafraid of fighting the good fight where necessary, but is also commercial and pragmatic and willing to find an accommodation or settlement.’

‘Alistair Myles is excellent. He has a subtle and strategic approach to cases. He is calm, super organised, and is in fact totally unflappable.’

Sheridans

Andrea Plum heads the practice at Sheridans. Plum has a wide range of expertise spanning across all areas of family law, with a particular strength in handling complex financial cases and complicated pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. The team has expanded recently with the additions of Priya Palanivel and associate Marianna Lambrou from Rayden Solicitors in September and November 2022 respectively. Palanivel brings with her a wealth of family law experience and she is also a mediator.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Plum


Other key lawyers:

Priya Palanivel; Marianna Lambrou


Testimonials

‘A boutique firm whose recruitment of Priya Palanivel is a great move: she’s a fabulous lawyer. She’s hugely charming and very clever. She does not shy away from the big cases and, whilst her focus is on settling matters wherever possible, she is also a tenacious litigator when necessary.’

‘The children/private law practice is first class – they show a real commitment to their clients and are able, with considerable expertise and an excellent knowledge base, to offer the type of service clients need. They offer realistic advice and then drive and persevere to pursue their case.’

‘Priya Palanivel knows her stuff, is level headed, cool and calm dealing with clients, offers excellent advice, and then fights their corner. Marianna Lambrou as part of that team works long and hard to offer a first-class service.’

Winckworth Sherwood LLP

Sarah Ingram now heads the family law department at Winckworth Sherwood LLP. She frequently acts for wealthy individuals and has considerable niche experience in advising offshore and onshore trust companies and trustees involved in divorce cases. In November 2022, Katie Spooner founded her own firm, Family Law in the City, and Hannah Gumbrill-Ward joined Family Law Partners at the end of 2022.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Ingram


Testimonials

‘Sarah Ingram is very good and clever.’

‘Sarah Ingram has done an impressive job in revitalising the WS family law team. It is efficient, realistic and engaged.’

‘Sarah Ingram has oodles of experience and is able to deal with cases of the highest complexity.’

‘Sarah Ingram is highly sought after and an excellent lawyer. She will thrive in her new role and will build the team into a highly functioning and cohesive unit.’

‘Sarah Ingram is an excellent lawyer and has a great gift with people. I have no doubt that she will bring her previous success to her new venture.’

Bishop & Sewell LLP

Philip Rutter leads the department at Bishop & Sewell LLP, which advises clients on both financial and children matters, as well as on pre and post-nuptial agreements. Some of these cases involve substantial wealth with complex business arrangements, trust elements, and international assets. David Hodgson joined Russells Solicitors in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Philip Rutter


Testimonials

‘This firm brings in the right expertise when required. They communicate very clearly to each other. They are tough and fair negotiators, make their values very clear and ensure they do what is best for the client, whilst protecting the clients well-being.’

‘Philip Rutter is tough and fair. He listens carefully and brings in the right experts when needed. Ensures others hit deadlines and communicates between all of the legal team so they are kept abreast of the current and moving situations. He looks after clients well .’

‘The family team are excellent. They are brilliant solicitors and good value for money.’

‘Philip Rutter is an outstanding lawyer. He is pragmatic in his approach and his knowledge of the law is unmatched. He is easy to have on the other side as he is straight forward and to the point. He doesn’t play games and at the same time provides a superb service to his clients.’

Blake Morgan LLP

At Blake Morgan LLP, practice head Flora Grossman handles a wide range of matrimonial and cohabitation disputes and has extensive experience in matters concerning companies. In addition, she is experienced in representing clients in disputes regarding arrangements for children, along with more complex children matters involving abuse and domestic violence.

Practice head(s):

Flora Grossman


Testimonials

‘A dedicated family law team which delivers a personal, high-quality service to their clients.’

‘Flora Grossman is highly regarded by those whom she instructs and by those whom she is against. She brings clear-headed good sense to the trickiest of cases, has a very strong practice, and has very good client-care skills.’

‘Diverse team with different professional background under one roof.’

‘Empathetic, knowledgeable and vast experience dealing with family and financial settlement matters.’

‘Flora Grossman manages to combine efficiency, skill and tactical nous with genuine warmth and a constructive attitude.’

‘The Blake Morgan family team has some excellent individuals and in particular Flora Grossman. She is strong with both financial and children matters and very well considered in the family law community.’

‘I particularly recommend Flora Grossman since she is incredibly experienced and skilled and is able to put clients at ease whilst at the same time putting a lot of pressure on her opponent to ensure that the outcome is favourable for her client.’

‘Flora Grossman’s approach is both pragmatic and sensible, quickly bringing a sense of calmness to very difficult cases. Her ability to navigate complex issues in relation to finance, children and property really makes her stand out as truly exceptional solicitor. She brings well-considered strategic and planning advice, which is why she really is top of her game.’

BloomBudd LLP

BloomBudd LLP is a ‘new boutique family law firm which is already making huge strides in the market.’ Zoe Bloom has extensive experience in complex and often high-value family and matrimonial cases. Hannah Budd continues to advise on all aspects of relationship breakdowns, and maintains a steady flow of work on cases involving the relocation of children.

Practice head(s):

Zoë Bloom; Hannah Budd


Testimonials

‘I know when I recommend Bloom Budd the client will get real engagement, the partner will be very hands on, and they will have a very commercial attitude.’

‘Bloom Budd are the most exciting family law firm in the market. Their approach is so refreshing. They are incredibly available to their clients, open and user friendly. Their modern approach is novel in the field.’

‘The firm is extremely good at winning cases and getting great outcomes for its clients. They are very talented, strategic lawyers and fight unusually hard.’

Bortoft Bell

Under the joint leadership of Arron Bortoft and Charlie Bell, Bortoft Bell is a relatively ‘new but very fast expanding boutique family law firm’. It predominantly acts in high-value financial remedy cases and also undertakes a significant volume of cases involving high-value pre-nuptial agreements. Catherine Thomas is another leading figure in the department who deals with all aspects of private family law, with particular expertise in international litigation.

Practice head(s):

Arron Bortoft; Charlie Bell


Other key lawyers:

Catherine Thomas


Testimonials

‘Bortoft Bell have a strong team who work together to achieve the best for their clients. I have been impressed not only by their dedication and attention to detail, but also by their prompt and professional attitudes. They go above and beyond, working at all times of the day, and check all information thoroughly.’

‘Charlie Bell has been a phenomenal person to work with. He is so on the ball, genuinely cares, and pre-empts all possible outcomes well in advance. He is calculated and sharp, with an in depth knowledge of the law, which is reassuring and admirable.’

‘A very niche Family Law firm of Solicitors that oozes quality! Whether it’s for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, which is the majority of their client base, or a mid-level asset case, the solicitors in the firm are equally as adept.’

‘Arron Bortoft’s judgment and client management are second-to-none. He has an ability to get to the main issues of the case much quicker than most of the profession.’

‘Charlie Bell is a very technical and clever solicitor. He wins cases by being much smarter than the opposition and he is incredibly tactically astute.’

‘Catherine Thomas is a supremely good layer and extremely bright.’

‘Arron Bortoft is super committed to his clients and very experienced. He will fight tooth and nail. Charlie Bell is clever, thoughtful and well-respected by his peers.’

‘The perfect example of a boutique firm. First class with a genuine focus on each client. Specialist family lawyers giving a bespoke service. Charlie Bell has a razor sharp intellect combined with a comprehensive knowledge of every facet of family law. A formidable operator.’

Carlsons Solicitors

Carlsons Solicitors is a firm which is ‘committed to resolving disputes in a proactive way’. Led by Richard Higham, it advises on all areas of family and matrimonial law, from financial matters and divorce proceedings through to child contact, residence issues, and domestic abuse cases. There is frequently a cross-border dimension to its work.

Practice head(s):

Richard Higham


Testimonials

Carlsons come across as a progressive law firm who share high-quality content on social media. Richard Higham is a knowledgeable and respected solicitor with years of experience.’

‘Richard Higham is respectful as an opponent but will put forward his client’s case robustly.’

‘What I really loved was that I felt genuine ownership of the relationship by them and the team. I also felt it’s not just an institutional relationship, but really a personal care. I felt strong dialogue in between matters.’

Work highlights


  • Acting for the wife in a multifaceted case exploring a potentially precedent setting area of law, in which the client wants to pursue a company and/or the directors of the company for causing the breakdown of her marriage.
  • Advising a client who has been accused of domestic abuse and rape by their ex-partner.
  • Achieving a favourable result for an elderly wife who had suffered from severe domestic abuse financially, sexually, and physically over a 42-year period.

Curzon Green Solicitors

Jeff Thomas and Rob Green co-head the family offering at Curzon Green Solicitors. The ‘team’s tenacity, attention to detail and complete professionalism’ are praised. It has a solid reputation for advising on the financial implications of divorce for mid to high-net-worth clients, and for handling child arrangements applications. Senior associate Kelly-Ann Welsh and associate Umar Mirza are both well-regarded.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Thomas; Rob Green


Other key lawyers:

Kelly-Ann Welsh; Umar Mirza


Testimonials

‘Jeff Thomas is the backbone of Curzon Green in his field. He’s completely honest, reliable and respectful at all times whilst keeping realistic of the situation.’

‘Kelly-Ann Welsh fully understands my case , has strong problem-solving abilities and always provides excellent advice.’

‘Kelly-Ann Welsh would always respond in a timely manner and even late in to the evening, as she understood that a quick reply or response was needed. She always demonstrated a caring understanding of the situation whilst being professional.’

‘Umar Mirza is a compassionate man. He listens and advises honestly, which made him extremely effective for my situation. He offered alternatives which allowed me to make decisions based on my personal circumstances.’

‘A superb professional group of solicitors. Rob Green and Jeff Thomas are superb at their job.’

‘Umar Mirza has been nothing short of exceptional throughout. He has been keen to talk things through, both with me and his colleagues, to ensure the best decisions have been made and there was always clear understanding and process around those decisions.’

‘Umar Mirza is a very kind professional with a wide-ranging skill set. Umar drives and motivates everyone around him and always has the best interest for his clients.’

‘Kelly-Ann Welsh has the full package: the personal touch with clients with the forensic eye of an excellent lawyer. Umar Mirza is dedicated to his clients with a keen eye on outcomes.’

Work highlights


  • Acting for a wife in long-running financial proceedings where there are numerous disclosure issues.
  • Acting for the respondent father in proceedings brought by his wife for a Non-Molestation Order and Occupation Order under the Family Law Act 1996 and a Child Arrangements Order within corresponding Children Act 1989 proceedings.
  • Acting for a wife in an acrimonious and bitterly contested case involving child arrangements, injunctions, and financial applications.

Edwards Family Law

Edwards Family Law is ‘part of the new breed of boutique family law practices, with a fresh and modern approach to family law’. The ‘dynamic team’ is led by Kelly Edwards and has a strong reputation for dealing with a myriad of family law issues. It is regularly instructed on complex financial and children matters.

Practice head(s):

Kelly Edwards; Joanna Blakelock


Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Lanning; Isobel Rarok; Chloë Ashman; Katrina Pooler


Testimonials

‘This firm is the new kid on the block achieving some seriously good results in complex and high-profile cases. A very cohesive team bursting at the seams with incredibly smart, incredibly talented lawyers.’

‘Kelly Edwards is a very hands-on partner. A wealth of experience, great tactical knowledge and refreshing straightforward with clients. Charlotte Lanning is unfussy, knowledgeable, and responsive.’

‘The team at Edwards is ruthlessly efficient. They are very transparent with clients and it really pays off; clients know where they stand and are not given unrealistic expectations. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to personal friends.’

‘Kelly Edwards has brilliant strategic oversight. She’s someone you want in your corner. Charlotte Lanning is incredibly clever and clients love her.’

‘Kelly Edwards is just brilliant. No nonsense and incisive, she is a very steady hand on the ship. Charlotte Lanning is tough and brilliant. Isobel Rarok is super efficient, can see straight through a case, she is wise beyond her years, and she will go far.’

‘Kelly Edwards inspires the rest of the team and very much leads by example. More recently, her lateral hires have been really impressive.’

‘Kelly Edwards has a brilliant instinct for her cases and will fight tooth and nail to achieve the right outcome for her clients. Chloë Ashman and Katrina Pooler are brilliant.’

Grayfords

Under the leadership of Sheata Karim, the team at Grayfords handles a wide range of private family law matters. It has a solid reputation for its experience in international ancillary relief proceedings, complex contact disputes, international child abduction cases, and leave to remove applications. Neil Scott Graham is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sheata Karim


Other key lawyers:

Neil Scott Graham; Alexander Hunt


Testimonials

‘A small, niche firm providing high-level advice in international family law cases. Neil Graham and Alex Hunt are very reassuring to clients. Both Neil and Alex have wide experience in international family law cases.’

‘They give good client care and work hard to achieve the outcome their clients desire. They will take the initiative to progress matters when facing difficulties.’

‘Neil Graham and Sheata Karim are both excellent solicitors. Neil has an aura of authority, which is reassuring, but that is underpinned with excellent client care skills and a capacity to guide his clients to the right result.’

Work highlights


  • Acting for a father in an international relocation case to another continent.
  • Acting for a client in multi-million pound financial proceedings with significant offshore assets.
  • Representing a father in a very rare application under Article 10(1)c of the Hague Convention on international recovery of child support.

Hall Brown Family Law

At Hall Brown Family Law, Izzy Walsh leads the London family law team and is recommended for her work with high-net-worth individuals in relation to matrimonial, Schedule 1 matters, and pre and post-nuptial agreements. Catherine Bell advises on all aspects of family law, including divorce and financial remedy proceedings involving high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Izzy Walsh


Other key lawyers:

Catherine Bell


Testimonials

‘There is a wealth of experience within a very approachable team.’

‘A great firm that is highly professional and able to tackle complex litigation, particularly with an international element. There is an impressive depth of legal knowledge within the firm and they deliver an excellent client-focussed service.’

‘Catherine Bell is enormously charming and very clever. She brings real insight to her cases and always keeps the client’s best interests at the forefront of her practice. Her client care skills are second-to-none.’

‘Izzy Walsh is astute, tough, clever, and very sensible.’

‘They are a niche family law practice in London but also with a strong offering elsewhere in England. They offer specialist advice in all aspects of family law including cross-border cases with Scotland.’

‘Izzy Walsh was extremely efficient and gave clear, effective strategic advice.’

‘Excellent service across the full range of children and finance work.’

Work highlights


  • Represented a Russian father in Schedule 1 proceedings brought by the UK-resident mother of his three children regarding substantial assets in England, Russia, and held through off-shore jurisdictions.
  • Represented a client in respect of Part III proceedings brought following a Russian divorce, and succeeded in achieving the substantive award which he had sought from the outset.
  • Advising a Russian husband on concluding a post-nuptial agreement and the parties’ decision for the wife and the children to move to England and establish ties in this jurisdiction with assets in the region of £600m.

Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors

At Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors, Sarah Beskine advises on all aspects of financial disputes and disagreements regarding the future care of children following the breakdown of a relationship. Martin Wolfenden has particular expertise in advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown with significant experience in matters where there are complex financial issues.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Beskine


Other key lawyers:

Martin Wolfenden; Barbara Hopkin


Testimonials

‘An experienced and exceptionally committed team of lawyers looking to achieve the best results for their clients. Martin Wolfenden is bright, able, experienced and has an enthusiasm in his work.’

‘They are always responsive to a client and ensure that the client has their expectations managed. The quality of court documents is consistently very good indeed. All the lawyers with whom I have worked at the firm are committed to achieving a good outcome.’

‘Barbara Hopkin and Sarah Beskine are excellent. They are both astute, experienced, and considered solicitors with first-rate judgrment when it comes to litigation.’

ITN Solicitors

Mitali Zakaria heads the family law offering at ITN Solicitors, which ‘provides an excellent service for clients in some very difficult and sensitive areas of law’. It also frequently handles a variety of private law children matters and financial remedy cases. Other core areas of expertise span across domestic abuse cases, forced marriages, and sensitive mandates regarding radicalisation, neglect, and substance misuse.

Practice head(s):

Mitali Zakaria


Other key lawyers:

Sajidah Khan; Somia Siddiq; Androulla Nicolaou


Testimonials

‘They are an excellent firm who are efficient in responding to any queries I have and provide an excellent service to their lay clients. They really go the extra mile for their clients.’

‘Mitali Zakaria is calm and efficient and has a good understanding of the law. She is particularly good at representing teenagers who want to separate from the Children’s Guardian and has given lectures on the relevant tests. An excellent solicitor.’

‘Sajidah Khan and Somia Siddiq are both very good solicitors, particularly in representing vulnerable mothers, whether it is due to their age or other vulnerabilities.’

‘ITN solicitors offer clients unparalleled experience in the children law field and public law children proceedings in particular. The firm’s criminal and immigration departments mean that the family solicitors can consult them when immigration and criminal issues come up in family cases.’

‘Somia Siddiq is a standout solicitor and I would recommend her most highly. She is currently co-chair of the Association of Lawyers for Children and is vastly experienced in children law work. She is incredibly hard-working and a very talented lawyer.’

‘They provide excellent service for clients in some very difficult and sensitive areas of law e.g. public law- children. They combine professionalism with understanding for vulnerable clients.’

‘I have a high regard for Mitali Zakaria’s knowledge of family law and her ability to look at the wider welfare issues.’

‘Mitali Zakaria is shrewd and a fantastic legal strategist. Somia Siddiq is always legally on point and very much aware of developments and research. Androulla Nicolaou is similarly a pleasure to work with, and is excellent at collaborative working to achieve the best results for her clients.’

Work highlights


  • Represented a father in care proceedings which involved allegations of fabricated illnesses against the mother and a Deprivation of Liberty Order in respect of the eldest child.
  • Representing the applicant mother in complex private children proceedings in the High Court involving allegations of serious domestic abuse against the respondent father.

Laurus

The family team at Laurus has been handling increasing volumes of work of late, with a strong track record on high-value divorces involving complex financial issues. It is well-regarded for providing 'a very personal service' and 'advising clients properly on appropriate forms of alternative dispute resolution', including mediation, a particular strength of William Hogg, who leads the dispute resolution department and has 'an excellent reputation for resolving thorny issues - particularly those with an international element'. Family law director Steven Gasser, who co-founded the firm in 2016, is 'amazing with clients and has the knack of making the most complicated case look easy.'

Practice head(s):

Steven Gasser


Other key lawyers:

William Hogg; Ingrid Starcic; Victoria Teymourian-Yates


Testimonials

‘These people really care. Not only do they do big money and children cases, but they also spend hours and hours working pro bono. They are unsung heroes. They are selfless experts in the law and deserve massive credit.’

‘Steven Gasser is a real client favourite – they simply love him. He has put together an enviable team and leads them by example with rare skill.’

‘William Hogg – a master of the law, with great kindness and humanity.’

Peters May LLP

At Peters May LLP, Juliette Peters and Jessica May co-head the family law practice, which is praised for its ‘personal touch’ and its ‘excellent and hands on’ partners. It specialises in high-value divorce cases and prenuptial agreements which frequently involve complicated financial arrangements, disputed property, and matters relating to offshore assets and trusts. In addition, the group also handles private cases involving child arrangements and Schedule 1 applications.

Practice head(s):

Juliette Peters; Jessica May


Testimonials

‘Jessica May has a dedication to her clients whilst also being able to see the bigger picture of the case and therefore being able to give them helpful, sensible advice.’

‘Excellent availability and deep knowledge of their practice area. Very competent and very practical.’

‘Juliette Peters and Jessica May are incredibly personable and can readily adapt to dealing with all types of clients.’

‘Juliette Peters and Jessica May have a great practice, they work so well together as a team. Juliette and Jessica are genuinely invested in getting the best outcome for their clients.’

‘Jessica May is both constructive and robust. A great litigator but also adept at finding bespoke solutions to the most complicated of cases. Juliette Peters is a fantastic rainmaker who has dealt successfully with the full spectrum of family law cases throughout her career. A real heavyweight.’

‘Juliette Peters and Jessica May are well-known names in the family law world. They head a very strong team that gives very competent, solid advice to their clients. All cases are partner led.’

‘Jessica May is very astute and bright and can very capably deal with complex financial matters. She is very sympathetic towards her clients and the difficult position they find themselves in.’

Juliette Peters is highly personable and has a very good professional relationship with not only her clients but also with her opponents and counsel. Juliette focuses on settling matters when it is in the interests of the clients to do so in as cost effective manner as possible.’

Philcox Gray & Co

Philcox Gray & Co receives plaudits for being ‘consistently reliable and responsive, with notable dedication to their cases and clients’. Under the leadership of Beverley King, the practice has five Children Panel members. As a result, it has a particular specialism in care proceedings and frequently handles complex cross-border disputes involving abduction and relocation, as well as other issues such as the deprivation of liberty of minors. Sephona Issacs Polson and Lucy Verity are also core members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Beverley King; Sephona Isaacs-Polson; Lucy Verity


Other key lawyers:

Salvatore Quattrocchi; Giuseppe de Sica; Ipeleng Mohajane


Testimonials

‘A strong public law team complemented with skilled private law representation, particularly in relation to international matters relating to abduction and wardship. They have a case load of High Court work that belies their modest address.’

‘Of particular note are Lucy Verity for her work in wardship and international matters, and Giuseppe Di Sica for his hard work and astuteness in handing complex and difficult cases and clients.’

‘Beverley King has an intuitive, instinctive feel for her cases and is able to represent children very effectively and sensitively. She is able to get alongside them and support them through some of the worst times in their lives. She does so with empathy and compassion, but also helps them to see things rationally.’

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has Michael Pulford at the helm of the family practice, and he specialises in complex, high-profile financial remedy litigation. His clients often include international entrepreneurs, celebrities, and royalty who have substantial assets, often located across a number of jurisdictions and which are held in complex corporate or trust structures.

Practice head(s):

Michael Pulford


Other key lawyers:

Grace MacDonald


Testimonials

‘The Pinsents team draws huge strength from its full-service operation and brings refreshing commercial expertise to its family law work.’

‘Michael Pulford is an exceptional litigator.’

‘Grace MacDonald is efficient and determined.’

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

John O’Callaghan and Adam Bowes co-head the team at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP, which is adept at advising high-net-worth individuals and property entrepreneurs, as well as professionals from the IT and media industries. The group also supports company directors and City executives. In addition, its offering now includes advice on surrogacy and adoption and has also expanded into LGBTQI+ related matters.

Practice head(s):

John O’Callaghan; Adam Bowes


Other key lawyers:

Beth Alexander


Testimonials

‘Adam Bowes is sound in his decisions on behalf of clients and is firm in standing his ground with opponents.’

‘RFB is a delight to work with as they take a practical stance and are very approachable. They are confident, diligent and have superb client care and knowledge of family law.’

‘Adam Bowes is very approachable; he listens carefully to his clients and makes them feel at ease. He is very good at managing people’s expectations, even if it is not what they want to hear, with such information delivered in a very palatable manner.’

‘Adam Bowes is an exceptional family solicitor. He is wise beyond his years and deals with lots of complex family law issues, especially children cases, with serious allegations of domestic abuse.’

‘Ronald Fletcher Baker has a tight knit and collaborative team that aims to do the best by each and every client. Adam Bowes is well prepared, sensitive and balanced in his advice and case management. A bright-eyed hero who does the best for all his clients.’

‘Adam Bowes is an exceptional solicitor in terms of his knowledge of the law and his manner with clients. He works extraordinarily hard to develop a rigorous and effective strategy for every case.’

‘Efficient and has real strength in depth of experience. Adam Bowes is first class. He is approachable and easy to work with and incredibly knowledgeable.’

‘Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s reputation for excellence is well deserved. Their solicitors are diligent, hard-working, and knowledgeable. They are also compassionate and care deeply for their clients.’ 

Work highlights


  • Acting for the father in the appeal of F v M [2023] EWFC 5, the first time the High Court has considered serious allegations of coercive and controlling behaviour and the difference between married and unmarried couples in terms of orders for contact and the revocation of parental responsibility.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

The skilled team at Stevens & Bolton LLP is predominantly known for its work in complex financial matters and pre-nuptial agreements, and its offering also encompasses private children law proceedings, including domestic and international leave to remove cases. Nicola Harries heads up the department and she is a trained Resolution collaborative lawyer. Grace Parker-White is another key contact who is a trained hybrid mediator.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Harries


Other key lawyers:

Grace Parker-White; Sean Hilton; Victoria Batstone


Testimonials

‘S&B’s family team are, to my mind, the best firm outside of London. Their USP should be that they can ably compete with the capital’s best family law solicitors.’

‘The team is spearheaded by Nicola Harries. She is highly astute and a very strategic lawyer. She predominantly works with high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients, all of whom feel very comfortable in her hands. In short, she is untrickable and has excellent judgement.’

Grace Parker-Smith and Sean Hilton are both great and could run firms in their own right but, sensibly, see the benefit in working with, and learning from, Nicola Harries.’

‘Grace Parker-White was amazing during a very difficult divorce. She listened to my suggestions, talked me down when I was worried, and gave sane and very sound advice throughout.’

‘Sean Hilton and Victoria Batstone advise clients correctly from the very start of the matter. Their communications with the other side are always well drafted, concise and contain the appropriate level of detail and argument.’

‘Sean Hilton is very popular with clients, and clear and concise with this advice, which is always accurate and correct.’

‘The family team, and in fact, the entire firm, is extremely professional, very knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with. They are always helpful and available to address any questions and go about their business in the most professional and pleasant way. I have recommended the firm many times for various areas, including the family team who I have known for a very long time now.’

‘Sean Hilton is an amazing lawyer with extensive knowledge and great insights in terms of how to handle cases and the people involved. I have known him for years, and we have an excellent working relationship. He takes time to know his clients, their drivers, their goals and take those all into consideration when acting on their behalf.’

Work highlights


  • Acted for a client as a mediator on a complex international asset matter worth approximately £7m.
  • Representing a fund manager seeking to remain at his country estate while also protecting his valuable future carry payments from being fully shared.
  • Acting for the founding director of a multi-million pound company seeking to protect his business interests by excluding the value of the company from divorce negotiations.

Stowe Family Law LLP

The ‘consummate professionalPhoebe Turner heads the family law practice at Stowe Family Law LLP. It is adept at supporting high-net-worth individuals and is known for its varied caseload involving emotional and psychological abuse cases, as well as complex Children Act matters. Sadie Glover, who joined the team from B P Collins LLP in November 2022, is another key contact. The group also regularly advises on nuptial and separation agreements, as well as advising same-sex couples on a diverse range of matters. Estella Newbold Brown left the firm in October 2022, and is now at Amphlett Lissimore.

Practice head(s):

Phoebe Turner


Other key lawyers:

Sadie Glover; Ciara Pugh; Alice Brett; Phoebe Hill


Testimonials

‘Stowe Family Law are knowledgeable and provide excellent client service, which ensures the best experience of the Family Court for those going through extremely challenging times.’

‘Phoebe Hill is excellent.’

‘The team at Stowe Family Law are fantastic to work with. Briefs are detailed and clients’ expectations are realistic.’

‘Sadie Glover is hard-working, conscientious and completely focussed on delivering for her clients. She is a formidable force with excellent judgement and instincts.’

‘Good team work amongst the London team. Good availability. Willing to engage well in creative thinking to help a client in new or novel ways, depending on their specific situations.’

‘Ciara Pugh is fantastic. She’s a complete pleasure to work with and I am always willing to take on work from her because it will be well prepared. She is a team player, whip smart, and has a level of insight well beyond her experience.’

‘Stowe Family Law are a great addition to any high street when it comes to local family law. Ciara Pugh is an excellent family law solicitor and communicator. Her correspondence is good and she is respected by her fellow professionals.’

‘I would recommend Stowe Family Law for financial remedies and Schedule 1 disputes. The team has a number of well-prepared, thorough and experienced family solicitors. They are a safe pair of hands, have great client skills and get brilliant results.’

Teelan & Silwal Family Law Ltd

The team at Teelan & Silwal Family Law Ltdregularly goes above and beyond’. It is ably led by Rosalyn O’Donnell-Teelan and Catherine Silwal. The group covers a wide range of high-value financial cases and complex cross-jurisdictional disputes. It is also skilled at handling a variety of children-related matters, with a particular specialism in parental alienation and abuse work.

Practice head(s):

Rosalyn O’Donnell-Teelan; Catherine Silwal


Other key lawyers:

Fiona O’Connell; Marina Pedro


Testimonials

‘Catherine Silwal and Rosalyn O’Donnell-Teelan left magic circle firms to set up a boutique family practice that combines their high-level experience with a more cost effective and client-focused service. It is thriving as a firm and they provide excellent client care and transparency of fees.’

‘Catherine Silwal is a brilliant technical lawyer and very academic in her aptitude for legal issues, but what really sets her apart is her commitment to client care. She is passionate about achieving the best possible outcomes for her clients.’

‘A boutique family firm providing a first-rate service at affordable rates. Catherine Silwal is highly intelligent and able, and she brings her intelligence to bear on all her case work. She is very ably assisted by Fiona O’Connell. The practice has an agile business model that enables it to deal with a range of work.’

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Joanna Pratt spearheads the family department at Thomson Snell & Passmore, which regularly handles financial and children-related cases with an international dimension. It has four qualified collaborative lawyers and two Resolution trained mediators; one is qualified to meet children as part of the mediation process. At a senior level, Kirstie Law and Desmond O’Donnell are both well-regarded.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Pratt


Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Law; Desmond O’Donnell; Sarah Keily; Harry Golding; Anna Woodhoo


Testimonials

‘TSP have one of the strongest family teams I work with – the team offer an unbeatable combination of really strong experience and quality with good value for money. They always offer their clients realistic advice and sound judgement and cases are meticulously prepared.’

‘Joanna Pratt and Sarah Keily are all fantastic. I have worked with them for over decade and every single case has been brilliantly prepared and the client extremely well looked after. I often refer work to them.’

‘Great team. Sarah Keily and Des O’Donnell are great.’

Venters Solicitors

June Venters KC and Andrea Dawkins co-lead the ‘strong’ team at Venters Solicitors. Dawkins is a matrimonial and child care lawyer who handles a wide range of issues, from divorce and finance through to public law child care and Schedule 1 claims. The practice is also well-placed to advise on cohabitation disputes and domestic violence cases. Sherma Polidore has extensive experience in assisting clients with mental health issues.

Practice head(s):

June Venters KC; Andrea Dawkins


Other key lawyers:

Tracey Brett; Sherma Polidore


Testimonials

‘This firm has some really dedicated, hardworking and bright family law solicitors who go above and beyond for their clients.’

‘A very diverse team ensuring that they are well equipped to represent a diverse and broad range of clients. Specialist and experienced child care lawyers who are great to be instructed by.’

‘Sherma Pollidore is hardworking, super efficient and very organised; a joy to be instructed by and works really hard for her clients, ensuring that they receive high-quality and astute advice.’

‘Tracey Brett is a very experienced and knowledgeable child care lawyer.’

‘Andrea Dawkins is a very experienced child care lawyer and is lovely with her clients.’