Family in North

David Gray Solicitors LLP

David Gray Solicitors LLP's family team has particular expertise in both dispute resolution - offering specialists in mediation and collaborative practice - and assisting clients with financial remedy matters. Practice head Lucy Mead's key areas of focus include cases involving domestic abuse, advanced financial provision and cohabitation. Mead is supported by children law specialist Elspeth Thomson, who often represents adopters in multi-jurisdictional cases, and FMC accredited mediator Mary Shaw, who frequently advises clients on collaborative working. Other notable team members include Claire Hunter, Lesley Monkhouse and solicitor Sukhi Patter.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Mead


‘I have never failed to be impressed by the firm’s dedication to ensuring their client’s interests and positions are properly and fully represented. They are a great team, very supportive of each other and they work extremely well together.’

‘Lucy Mead has good public speaking skills – she is astute and highly intelligent.’

‘Elspeth Thomson is decisive and analytical.’

‘Lesley Monkhouse is a very good listener – she is very good with vulnerable clients and gives very realistic and appropriate advice.’

‘Claire Hunter is firm but objective.’

Major Family Law

The growing team at boutique firm Major Family Law has specialists in all areas of family law, covering divorce, financial relief, domestic abuse, and children law matters. At the head of the team is founder and managing director Joanne Major, an expert in the fields of divorce and financial settlement. Other notable practice members are Anna Hunter, who specialises in complex children work, including international relocation and intractable disputes; Lucinda Connell, who frequently undertakes cross-border work relating to both financial and children matters; complex financial matters expert Jonathan Dunkley; and associate Sam Carter.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Major


A brilliant regional family law firm that easily rivals magic circle London firms.

A warm, friendly and professional touch to the way they deliver their services.

Anna Hunter is an outstanding litigator with an innate ability to deal with difficult cases.

Its energetic and vibrant team brings to bear a high level of professionalism and rigour in its handling of cases, and is very justifiably regarded as an outstanding firm.

Joanne Major is the firm’s leading light. She has brought all her skill, vigour and experience to bear in establishing and then developing this niche practice into something of a powerhouse regionally.

Excellent combination of professional care and advice along with a personal appreciation of difficult family situations.

Sam Carter carries out quality private law children work with clients offshore or overseas.

Silk Family Law

A range of high-net-worth clients, including business owners, landowners, sporting icons and MPs instruct the team at boutique law firm Silk Family Law. The practice is best known for dealing with high value, complex finance matters arising from divorce and separation, particularly those involving landed estates, businesses and trusts. Notable specialists within the team include Kim Fellowes, whose advice spans trusts, pensions and pre-acquired marital wealth; highly regarded barrister Ian KennerleyMargaret Simpson, who specialises in work involving significant assets; and Wayne Lynn, who frequently handles matters with an international aspect.


The team are market leaders in the North of England, with national recognition.

Margaret Simpson has impeccable client care skills and maintains a handle on the detail of the case throughout.

Kim Fellowes is an incredibly intelligent individual with a tenacious work ethic.

They have a wealth of knowledge and are real experts in their field.

Wayne Lynn is excellent.

The lawyers at Silk are personable people, with a fantastic enthusiasm for doing the best they can for their clients.

Swinburne Maddison

Swinburne Maddison's family law team works closely with the wider firm's wills and trusts and property departments, giving clients a rounded service covering ancillary matters which often arise in family law cases. The team, led by 'supportive and reassuring' chartered legal executive Kath Hill, frequently acts in cases with an international dimension. The practice includes mediation specialists and collaborative working lawyers, among them 'exceptional' associate solicitor Natalia Lalas. Also notable is solicitor Catherine Lowther, who advises on the relocation of children, and advises same-sex couples on the use of donors.

Practice head(s):

Kath Hill

Other key lawyers:

Natalia Lalas; Catherine Lowther


Always open, honest and frank.

I always found the team courteous and efficient.

I found Kath Hill always to be completely objective and able to provide timely and constructive advice and guidance. She was very supportive and reassuring throughout the two court hearings I was required to attend and negotiated very effectively.

Natalia Lalas combines sound advice with empathy and a determination to ensure the best outcome for her clients.

They have a comprehensive team with expertise in all areas who work well together giving a great service across a range of requirements.

Kath Hill is knowledgeable, personable and professional.

Natalia Lalas is exceptional in every regard.

Work highlights

  • Successfully assisted with divorce proceedings involving significant high-value matrimonial capital assets.
  • Acting in connection with care proceedings concerning an infant child, which are being heard in the High Court.
  • Advising on the law and procedure of surrogacy and the role of a surrogate mother within that process.


At Burnetts, the family team focuses on divorce and its financial implications, and frequently handles cases which involve one or both parties running their own businesses in the farming, industrial or services sectors. The team also has considerable experience of complex children matters, including cases where a finding of fact has been necessary or the appointment of a guardian to represent the child has been required. Collaboratively trained practice head Simon Mortimer, who specialises in farming cases and matters involving substantial assets, is supported by associate Emma Armstrong, who has a track record of work on cases with a multi-jurisdictional element.

Practice head(s):

Simon Mortimer

Other key lawyers:

Emma Armstrong

Hay & Kilner

Hay & Kilner's family team is particularly known for acting in high-value financial provision case, as well as private and public law children cases. Experienced mediator and collaborative lawyer Nicola Matthews heads up the practice, which also includes Rob Hart, who acts for children, guardians and parents in family proceedings, and in complex child care cases involving local authorities. Hart is also a specialist in cases involving non-accidental injuries to children. Other notable team members include associates Leanne Sutherland and Kerry Kelso, both of whom are experienced in domestic abuse issues.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Rob Hart; Leanne Sutherland; Kerry Kelso


Nicola Matthews is very experienced and gives expert advice.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Sarah Crilly advises on the full range of issues relating to relationship breakdowns at Ward Hadaway, with fellow practice head Jonathan Flower leading on work relating to children and safeguarding. The team frequently acts on high-net-worth divorces with international elements, touching on jurisdictions including the US, Germany, Greece, Spain, and Turkey. The practice includes disputes experts who specialise in matters relating to domestic and international relocations, injuries to children and adoption issues. Also recommended is associate Louise Cannell-Mirza, an advocate and practitioner specialising in children law.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Flower; Sarah Crilly

Other key lawyers:

Louise Cannell-Mirza


Trustworthy and reliable.

All questions are answered very quickly and effectively and communication, both oral and written, is first class.

Louise Dodd is patient, pleasant and very easy to work with.

Holli Morgan, Sarah Crilly and Vicki Alexander are the three standout performers delivering excellent customer service.


The family law team at BHP Law's strong reputation in care proceedings cases ensures a regular stream of work from guardians, grandparents and other family members across the region. The practice regularly handles matters relating to allegations of emotional and physical harm. Resolution accredited solicitor Andrea Hewitson leads the team, which also includes newly promoted partner Amanda Adeola.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Hewitson

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Adeola


Organised, thorough and well prepared.

Amanda Adeola is an exceptional solicitor with an eye for detail. She goes the extra mile to help clients.

EMG Solicitors

Durham-based firm EMG Solicitors recently opened its second office Newcastle, while the 'knowledgeable, honest and hardworking' team has also been boosted by the arrivals of associate Gemma Holmes and solicitor Jo Grey from BHP Law and David Gray Solicitors LLP respectively. Julia Middleton, a Resolution accredited resolution specialist in both children and financial cases, leads the team and was recently promoted to director. The practice is well-regarded for its Court of Protection work.

Practice head(s):

Julia Middleton

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Holmes; Jo Grey


‘Everyone we spoke with at the practice was approachable and informative. We were always kept up to date and reassured with developments in our case. We never felt like we couldn’t ask a question or get in touch if we thought of anything we wanted to ask. We would use this firm again if we needed a lawyer – knowledgeable, honest and hardworking.’

‘The reassurance and support offered is exceptionally high, relieving stresses. From reception staff, to PA and solicitors, the firm is very welcoming, creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere.’

‘We are so grateful for all that Julia Middleton did for us. Julia was very approachable and when our court date was postponed at the last minute, she phoned us and talked us through every step of the process. We were made to feel at ease with Julia early on. She was knowledgeable and extremely organised. Julia worked hard and achieved the best outcome for us and for that we are forever grateful to her.’

‘Gemma Holmes is an incredible negotiator with a calm and pragmatic approach to every case that she deals with.’

‘Gemma Holmes is diligent and thorough and leaves no stone unturned in advising clients about the best approach for them.’

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

The recent arrival of solicitor Rachel Smith has strengthened the family law team at Mincoffs Solicitors LLP , boosting its expertise in private law children matters. Other key areas of focus for the firm include complex pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and assisting non-married couples. The team is jointly led by Lyn Rutherford, who specialises in high-net-worth financial cases, and associate Emily Cannell.

Practice head(s):

Lyn Rutherford; Emily Cannell

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Smith

Sintons LLP

Steven Freeman heads the personal and family team at Sintons LLP , which frequently handles matters covering multiple jurisdictions, especially focusing on complex financial remedy and children cases. Other work undertaken includes assisting with protective planning by way of pre-nuptial and co-habitation agreements, and acting in cases in which a serious injury has taken place. Other key figures include consultant Elizabeth Gallagher.

Practice head(s):

Steven Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Gallagher


The team offers different specialisms and approaches to their work.

Elizabeth Gallagher is a highly competent litigator – she also undertakes a lot of dispute resolution work as a collaborative practitioner and as a solicitor supporting clients in mediation.

This is a very well established firm that has attracted top practitioners.

Elizabeth Gallagher is very experienced, with really good judgement and superb instincts.

Archers Law LLP

The family law team at Archers Law LLP handles a wide range of work, including private law children issues, divorce matters, and finance and injunction issues. 'Supportive and understanding' practice head Zoe Tansley, who is supported at the firm by 'outstanding' associate Lucy Adams, focuses particularly on financial issues arising from divorce and separation.

Practice head(s):

Zoe Tansley

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Adams


A personal, tailored approach to you and your legal requirements.

Very competent at every level.

As well as providing sound advice and professional expertise, Zoe Tansley has also been very supportive and understanding of the sensitive issues that have had to be dealt with during the proceedings.

This is a quality firm.

All-round professionalism and technical knowledge in all departments.

Lucy Adams is a truly outstanding practitioner.

I found Zoe Tansley to be kind, helpful and completely professional throughout my dealings with her.

Beecham Peacock

The team at Beecham Peacock handles a wide range of family law cases, including those relating to domestic violence and child custody concerns. Key contacts at the practice include Charlotte Talbot and Sophia Yau-Rosher.

Short Richardson & Forth

Divorce and financial remedy work is the key focus for the team at Short Richardson & Forth. Practice head Christine McVay, who 'delivers a very personal service', has extensive experience advising high-net-worth clients on a range of matters, including pre-nuptial agreements and spousal maintenance issues. The firm also handles multi-jurisdictional work on behalf of clients with international assets.

Practice head(s):

Christine McVay


All aspects of the firm’s work are outstanding.

The tenacious attitude of the partners ensures your case is handled in a way which leads to a fair outcome.

Christine McVay’s experience has been invaluable but her greatest strength is her caring nature to her clients’ needs – I am so grateful to her for guiding/advising me so well.

They have a variety of expertise so can draw on the expertise of other partners to gain greater insight on matters which may need a different legal perspective.

Christine McVay is an experienced practitioner who deals with high net worth clients. Her client care skills are excellent and she delivers a very personal service.

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a wife in an application by a husband to vary spousal maintenance.
  • Represented a husband in contentious financial remedy and children proceedings.
  • Successfully settled a financial remedy case within four months.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine

Chartered legal executive Wendy Beacom, who leads the family law team at Tilly Bailey & Irvine, assists with matters spanning divorce, finance and private law child arrangements, specialising particularly in the settlement of financial issues involving business assets. Associate Shamin Ali focuses on resolving child arrangement issues, in and outside the court arena.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Beacom

Other key lawyers:

Shamin Ali