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United Kingdom > Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Family and children law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Leading Silks
  2. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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Leading Juniors

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    • Laura Baines - No.18 Barristers ChambersVery knowledgeable and quick on her feet.
    • Melissa Barlow - 3PBAble to engage well with lay and professional clients alike.
    • Catherine Breslin - Pump Court ChambersIn court she provides a masterclass in advocacy.
    • Rupert Chapman - Magdalen ChambersAlways meticulous in his preparation and clear in his advice.
    • Nigel Chorlerton - No.18 Barristers ChambersHis easy and confident manner helps put clients at ease.
    • Caroline Eldford - St John's ChambersRecommended for complex care cases.
    • Caroline Hartley - Pump Court ChambersCombines excellent advocacy with good client care.
    • Steven Howard - 3PBSpecialises in care proceedings.
    • David Josty - Pump Court ChambersFocuses on public law children cases.
    • Geoffrey Kelly - Pump Court ChambersHis knowledge of financial settlements, trusts and companies is second to none.
    • Tara Lyons - Pump Court ChambersKnowledgeable, and gives clear, confident advice.
    • Carol Mashembo - Magdalen ChambersShe leaves no stone unturned in both financial and private children matters.
    • Nick Miller - St John's ChambersSolid as a rock and extremely persuasive in court.
    • Richard Norman - St John's ChambersHe has an excellent strategic mind well beyond his years.
    • Sarah O'Hara - 3PBA strong advocate, who cuts through to the heart of any matter.
    • Gina Small - KBG ChambersTenacious, experienced and really fights for the client.
    • Daniel Swan - KBG ChambersA very safe pair of hands who is unfailingly prepared.
    • Oliver Thorne - 3PBHis cross-examination and conduct of advocacy is second to none.
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    • Richard Carron - Queen Square ChambersParticularly active in non-accidental injury cases.
    • Gemma Chapman - 3PBUtterly dedicated to getting the best for her client.
    • John Chapman - Pump Court ChambersReally fights his client’s corner.
    • Sally Daulton - Devon ChambersFantastic on children matters.
    • Chris Godfrey - Colleton ChambersAn excellent barrister, who immediately puts the client at ease.
    • Ian Halliday - Queen Square ChambersActive in a wide range of family law work.
    • Jack Harris - St John's ChambersGood on his feet and great with clients.
    • Katherine Henry - No.18 Barristers ChambersParticularly skilled with difficult Children Act cases.
    • Sarah Jennings - 3PBVery good with vulnerable clients.
    • Amy Lush - 3PBAttentive, efficient, and thorough.
    • Imogen Robins - Pump Court ChambersHer practice includes public and private children law, along with financial matters.
    • Mark Whitheall - Colleton ChambersRecommended for children law cases involving complex medical evidence.
    • Elizabeth Willsteed - Magdalen ChambersCombines good and realistic decision-making with meticulous forensic analysis.
    • Lee Young - No.18 Barristers ChambersActive in all areas of family law.

3PB has 'exceptional depth in family law', and is praised by clients as 'an exceptional set' which 'overshadows its peers'. The set is home to members who specialise in all areas of family law, including complex care proceedings and high-value financial disputes. Hamish Dunlop, as junior to Nigel Dyer QC, represented the husband in Supreme Court Case Owens v Owens, which considered the legal requirements for divorce without spousal consent.

Children law specialist Anthony Hand is a key practitioner at College Chambers, which is also home to members specialising in matrimonial finance matters.

Colleton Chambers is praised by clients for the 'great depth' of its family law team, who are instructed on the full spectrum of disputes. Recent cases have included issues of sexual abuse and non-accidental injury in children law, as well as add-back issues in family finance matters.

Devon Chambers 'are rapidly developing a skilled team, particularly in private and public law children proceedings,' according to one instructing law firm. Team head Victoria Hoyle is particularly experienced in children law matters involving vulnerable parents, while Sally Daulton is the name to note for finance-related work.

One of the key sets for family law in Cornwall, KBG Chambers provides 'a diverse broad spectrum' of counsel, covering a wide range of cases across both the public and private children spaces, as well as financial remedy matters. Recent cases for the set included serious child abuse allegations, undisclosed assets in financial remedy proceedings, and jurisdictional issues in private Children Act cases.  

Devon-based Magdalen Chambers reports a substantial increase in matrimonial finance and private Children Act instructions, in addition to its substantial public children law practice. The set is praised by clients for its handling of diary conflicts and 'considerable strength in depth'. Susan Campbell QC recently rejoined the set from Pump Court Chambers.

No.18 Barristers Chambers is active in financial remedy and private children law proceedings, as well as reporting an influx of public law instructions in the past year. Nigel Cholerton is particularly noted for public law proceedings involving complex findings of fact.

The 'solutions-focused, practical, and unstuffy' family team at Pump Court Chambers remains the ‘crème de la crème’ for those requiring counsel in the eastern areas of the western circuit. The set houses a large number of specialist counsel, with clients praising the set's 'excellent expert service across all areas of family law'. Penny Howe QC is highly recommended for serious public Children Act matters, particularly when acting for clients subject to parallel criminal proceedings. Among the junior ranks, Margaret Pine-Coffin is highly experienced in non-accidental injury and sexual abuse cases, while Edward Boydell is a key name to note for family finance matters. Susan Campbell QC departed the set for Magdalen Chambers in 2019, but retains a door tenancy at the set.

Care specialist Richard Carron is the key name in family law at Queen Square Chambers, with a practice including vulnerable parents and non-accidental injuries. Ian Halliday has also appeared in several complex care cases recently, in addition to private law and financial remedy instructions.

St John's Chambers is home to a large contingent of specialist family barristers, who provide 'great depth' across public and private children law cases, as well as all aspects of divorce and financial remedy work. Areas of specialism include international assets in finance cases, non-accidental injury matters involving complex causation evidence, and child maintenance, where Jody Atkinson is the key name to note.

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