Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: Family

Burness Paull LLP has been bolstered with the arrival of senior solicitors and accredited mediators Richard Smith and Jennifer Wilkie who will lead the newly formed family practice after joining from Brodies. The group handles complex child-related issues covering residency matters, surrogacy and adoption. Nilah Ulhaq is also a key member of the team.

Family in Scotland

Brodies LLP

With a strong regional presence covering Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, the family practice at Brodies LLP has a proven track record handling high-value divorces and complex civil partnership dissolutions. Fielding a team of 12 family law specialists, the group is overseen by Shaun George which also features the ‘exceptionally talentedLisa Girdwood in Glasgow, who is the key contact for international child abduction cases and high-conflict residence issues, and senior associate Fiona Sharp, who focuses on cohabitation matters. Elsewhere, the team faced significant departures including Richard Smith, and accredited mediator Jennifer Wilkie joining the new family practice at Burness Paull LLP.

Practice head(s):

Shaun George

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Girdwood; Fiona Sharp; Jacqueline Stroud


‘Highly responsive, readily available and extremely well briefed and knowledgeable.’

‘Proactive in terms of suggesting solutions and surprisingly modest fee levels.’

‘Shaun George guided us through what we thought was an impossible and unpleasant family situation with outstanding knowledge of the applicable law.’

‘Shaun George proved to be a calming influence in very tense circumstances. He was extremely efficient and confidence inspiring. We felt we were in the hands of a consummate professional.’

‘Exceptionally client focussed combined with some of the best legal advice available.’

‘Lisa Girdwood is exceptionally professional in all respects. Her advice is always presented in a clear and concise manner whilst always looking strategically at the end goal.’

‘Everything is always completed in a very timely basis and phone calls/emails are responded to straight away.’

‘Overall Lisa Girdwood is an exceptional talent and a great person to have represent you in family law matters.’


Highlighted as ‘a class apart in Scotland in terms of quality of advice for sophisticated clients’, boutique family law firm SKO has a long-standing reputation for handling large international and intra-UK financial cases and is overseen by the highly rated Rachael Kelsey. The group has demonstrable strength across financial provision, child law and ADR matters, with a growing caseload of non-traditional family law work including image-based sexual abuse claims and allegations of extra-marital relationships. Robert Gilmour is the key name for surrogacy issues, whilst Alison Edmondson‘s practice focuses on financial issues arising from separation. Others of note include Susan Oswald, who specialises in child law, particularly international adoption. At the senior associate level, Claire Christie advises on financial provisions. Senior associate John West is now with the Scottish Government.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Kelsey

Other key lawyers:

Alison Edmondson; Robert Gilmour; Susan Oswald; Claire Christie


‘The SKO team, led by Racheal Kelsey are there for you throughout, always with an eye on the big picture but with an attention to detail and a pro-active approach.’

‘From immediately putting you at ease, their ongoing responsiveness, understanding of the law and ability to provide support, they were outstanding.’

‘Objective and pragmatic throughout.’

‘Rachael Kelsey is able to provide practical, no-nonsense advice which benefits from her extensive experience over many years. She is both insightful and able to extend way beyond providing just a pure legal perspective.’

‘I had complete confidence in all aspects of Rachael Kelsey’s advice and handling of matters and she was also able to empathise and provide outstanding support through a challenging period in my personal life.’

‘SKO come with an excellent reputation in family law, hence my reason for engaging them. By far, they are the best legal firm I have had contact with, both in terms of their high standard of knowledge, but also their efficiency and approachability.’

‘I had the benefit of being guided through a difficult time by Susan Oswald. From the first time I met Susan, she was professional but kind, putting me at ease and empathising with the pressure involved in my own personal situation.’

‘I was so impressed with my initial enquiry that went through a very thorough online assessment. The senior partner, Rachael Kelsey contacted me immediately despite being quite late in the day. She was thoroughly reassuring and also put me in touch with an overseas lawyer as there was some question over jurisdiction. I could not recommend them highly enough.’

Work highlights

  • Acted as Edinburgh agents for the successful party in reported HNW financial provision on divorce case in the Court of Session.
  • Reported Child Relocation, Residence and Specific Issue order (choice of school).
  • Advised thirteen different English and Welsh Local Authorities on the recognition and enforcement in Scotland of orders from the English courts.

Aberdein Considine

One of the leading family teams in Aberdeen, with excellent partner level support’, Aberdein Considine handles complex financial provisions cases and sensitive child-related matters. Ruth Aberdein leads the practice and excels in pre-and post-marriage contracts, often with international elements. Cohabitation agreements also feature in the caseload. Leonie Burke remains a key practitioner in the group and is known for her work around pre-and post-nuptial agreements; clients note her ‘impressive attention to detail’. Also in the core team is Isabelle Douglas, Karl Brown and Glasgow-based April Campbell.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Aberdein

Other key lawyers:

Leonie Burk; Isabelle Douglas; Karl Brown; April Campbell


‘Strong knowledge of legal issues. Adoption of a consensual and collaborative approach to divorce.’

‘Knowledgeable, helpful and available. Professional service and advice and taking into account the bigger picture of all parties involved.’

‘Karl Brown has been outstanding, providing a professional service and support in my case. He listens to my account and asks probing questions in order to gather all the relevant information concerning both parties. He has demonstrated that he has my daughters’ welfare as a priority and able to formulate good factual responses to defence letters.’

‘This team works well. They have sufficient staffing which means nothing that you ask for is too much hassle.’

‘They answer all correspondence in a timely manner and make you feel that you, at that time, are the only person they are representing.’

‘Isabelle Douglas is extremely knowledgeable and aware of up to date changes in Matrimonial law.’

‘Those I dealt with were firstly motivated to help me and my situation and I immediately felt supported and with a degree of reassurance that the outcome would be a positive one despite the apparent headwinds. In addition the was a knowledge that the team were professional and experienced.’

‘What made those I was dealing with stand out is the sense that the case would be dealt with professionally and without unnecessary emotion that might otherwise complicate matters.’

Balfour+Manson LLP

Balfour+Manson LLP remains one of the ‘strongest groups of talented family lawyers’ and is led by experienced arbitrator Shona Smith who is noted for her handling of complex financial separations. The group is regularly instructed on the dissolution of civil partnerships, pre-and post-nuptial agreements and child residency issues. Other core areas of focus are cohabitation actions and adoptions. Lynne Mulcahy has a track record appearing before the Sheriff Court and Court of Session, whilst Jamie Foulis's practice covers both contentious and non-contentious work. Kirsten Knight and associate Iain Thomson are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Shona Smith

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Mulcahy; Jamie Foulis; Kirsten Knight; Iain Thomson


‘Shona Smith has been outstanding in her advice and has taken me step by step through the process, dealing with each matter at a time.’

‘Shona Smith is an exceptionally calm person, which has helped alleviate a lot of the stress that I have felt.’

‘Shona Smith ensures a rare balance between excellent legal knowledge; knowledge of the case and understanding of the court system and alternate options available, as well as understanding of her client and their family circumstances.’

‘Shona Smith listens to clients in order to understand them and their circumstances; therefore giving the best advice from her excellent knowledge of court-based and mediation options to suit her client.’

Lynne Mulcahy is amazing and can’t speak highly enough of her. She is empathetic and really fights your corner.’

‘Lynne Mulcahy is definitely not a solicitor who I would want to be up against in court. At the same time, she is highly professional and doesn’t waste time with being petty or demeaning. she gently advises and guides and gives advice in a kind and personable way, and is highly knowledgeable of the law and the system.’

‘Lynne Mulcahy is eloquent, and is wise in seeing into the pertinent issues of the case and doesn’t leave out the small relevant details.’

‘The professionalism of the team is so clear and apparent, even from the very first consultation. You get the feeling at every stage that the clients views are paramount and with the obvious experience of the family law team, you feel that you are in the best possible hands which is massively reassuring.’

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP fields a ‘strong family law team in both Glasgow and Edinburgh’, and handles high-value financial provisions cases and offers a bespoke service on fertility law and donor disputes. Under the leadership of Lesley Gordon, the group also has a focus on complex child cases, covering international adoption, abduction and child location work. Senior associate Morven Douglas is singled out by clients for her ‘excellent legal brain’, and has expertise in cross-border matters involving family law while solicitor advocate Debbie Reekie advises on divorce. Kirsty McGuinness, who joined from Turcan Connell, is the name for complex family law arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Lesley Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Morven Douglas; Debbie Reekie; Kirsty McGuinness


‘Lesley Gordon has an impressive skill in the area of family law – I don’t think there is anything she doesn’t know. But what makes her really stand out is her humanity. From the first moment you feel, immediately, at ease – like you’ve found a safe pair of hands to help you through what can be an emotionally charged period.’

‘From start to finish Morven Douglas and her team listened carefully and did not jump to any conclusion based on false assumptions. All involved exercised due diligence and consulted other disciplines within this practice, before advising me as to the best course of action.’

‘At no time did I feel pressurised into making decisions or my opinions ignored. At every turn in the events I was given valid, reliable advice.’

Gilson Gray

Gilson Gray’s ‘brilliant’ family team is steered under the leadership of the ‘absolutely incrediblePhilippa Cunniff in Edinburgh and covers asset protection, cross-border nuptial agreements and cohabitation matters. Dual-qualified Sally Nash handles divorce and other child related issues, whilst Denise Laverty has a specialism in armed forces divorce. The team also has a track record of successful litigation in the Court of Session.

Practice head(s):

Philippa Cunniff

Other key lawyers:

Sally Nash; Denise Laverty


‘The family practice division at Gilson Gray is exceptional. They are deeply knowledgable in this area and were able to take on a complex international case.’

‘The team is dedicated to helping their clients through the process in and obtain the best legal outcomes possible.’

‘Sally Nash is a phenomenal lawyer and thoughtful and thorough in her approach.’

Work highlights

    Harper Macleod LLP

    Fielding several ‘exceptional individuals covering family law’, Harper Macleod LLP is known for acting in complex financial provisions and assisted fertility work, spearheaded by specialist Amanda Masson. Featuring six accredited specialists in the team, areas of focus remain in child law, particularly on child relocation, abduction and adoption issues. Jenny Smith’s practice covers civil partnership, divorce and cohabitation claims, while Alexis Harper is the name for complex business valuations and financial provisions. Experienced litigator Karen Gibbons has experience acting in the Court of Session.

    Practice head(s):

    Amanda Masson

    Other key lawyers:

    Jenny Smith; Alexis Harper; Karen Gibbons


    ‘Very efficient, highly knowledgable and all interlinked. Have required family, will and property advice and grateful it all comes from the same trusted source’

    ‘Alexis Harper is a sharp, skilled and massively knowledgable individual who delivers her huge suite of skills and experience in a warm yet firm manner.’

    ‘Alexis Harper has been a source of huge safely and security in the most difficult personal circumstances. Alexis and her team have made me feel like their number one priority, we have experienced frustrations working with another professional from a different firm, where there have been delays in the process from this.’

    ‘Clear and effective communications. Great team work and coordination between my solicitor and assistants.’

    ‘Despite the initial COVID restrictions, communications was maintained and work was continued with minimal delays due to the Courts limitations.’

    ‘Karen Gibbons is a highly professional solicitor. She is incredibly thorough and organised.’ 

    ‘Amanda Masson is a top-rate lawyer. She is pragmatic and smart and cares about the outcome for her clients.’

    ‘Amanda Masson is an excellent lawyer. I can see from the files she has sent me that she goes above and beyond for her clients, that she gives them clear advice and that they feel fully supported by her. I respect her view – which is always spot on and clever.’

    Work highlights

    • Advising a private individual in relation to a complex international adoption, featuring Cambodian children. Cambodia is on the restricted list of countries from which adoption in unlawful unless a statutory exception can be established.
    • Advising a father who seeks to enforce a contact order made by the English Courts in respect of his two daughters. Allegations of sexual abuse have been made. These have been found to be false and vexatious. Despite our having the order registered for enforcement in Scotland the mother sought to have the order varied in the sheriff Court. That application was dismissed. She has now returned to the English Court seeking variation there. The case involves consideration of complex aspects of court procedure and jurisdiction.
    • Representing the defender husband in a high-value Court of Session action of divorce and financial provision.


    Lindsays is skilled in the full gamut of family issues and leverages its strength in dispute resolution to handle large litigation cases for clients operating across Scotland and the Middle East. Practice head Alison McKee has a track record acting in pre- and post- nuptial agreements and cohabitation matters, as well as sensitive childcare issues. The ‘exceptionally goodNina Taylor maintains a busy international practice dealing with allegations of domestic and child sexual abuse cases. Also in the team is litigator and trained mediator Jennifer Gallagher and Duncan Mackinnon who specialises in safeguarding and issues surrounding vulnerable children.

    Practice head(s):

    Alison McKee

    Other key lawyers:

    Nina Taylor; Jennifer Gallagher; Duncan Mackinnon


    ‘The family law team at Lindsays is run by extremely efficient and able lawyers whose knowledge of the relevant law and care and attention to detail is excellent.’

    ‘I find the lawyers with whom I have worked to be incredibly client focused.’

    ‘I consider that those working in the family law team endeavour to offer a service to their clients that is not only exceptional but one where the client’s needs are the primary consideration.’

    ‘Nina Taylor’s thorough preparation and detailed knowledge of her cases meant that I was able to focus on advocacy with the result that the clients achieved their desired outcomes at the end of their respective litigations.’

    As a firm, they are quick to react and are very good at protecting the client’s best interest. I would not hesitate to recommend them as firm.’

    Alison McKee has a terrific ability to understand the detail while ensuring she focuses on the critical points. She was refreshingly practical in her approach to achieving a sensible solution for her client.’

    ‘Alison McKee really knows her stuff, is pragmatic in approach and very responsive to all communications. I felt in safe hands at all times.’

    Nina Taylor, in my opinion, is one of the top family law solicitors in Scotland; her knowledge is excellent, as is her court craft; her attention to detail is superb; she is determined, hard working, and fearless in representing her clients – while at the same time being possessed of a reassuring and thoughtful manner.

    Morton Fraser

    Morton Fraser is an ‘excellent collaborative team’, and has demonstrable strength across complex financial provision cases and international family law matters. The group advises on preventative advice surrounding pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements, as well as public child law issues. Group head Rhona Adams in Edinburgh has an extensive cross-border practice covering financial provision while Fiona Sasan represents clients with landed estates and corporate assets. Also, in the core team is dual-qualified in English and Scots law Lucia Clark and consultant Savita Sharma who handles English divorce cases.

    Practice head(s):

    Rhona Adams

    Other key lawyers:

    Lucia Clark; Fiona Sasan; Savita Sharma


    ‘Savita Sharma is a force to be reckoned with. She is always thinking ahead to ensure the best outcome for her client. She is commercially savvy and pragmatic which allows her to offer her clients a well-rounded approach to their immediate and longer term needs.’

    ‘Rhona Adams handled my divorce . This was my first and only divorce so I cannot compare with other firms. Prior to appointing Rhona, I met with 2 other firms and chose Morton Fraser. I have no regrets and have nothing but praise for her professional, fair attitude.’

    ‘Once appointed, Rhona Adams was very good at explaining my options and made me feel very included in making decisions. That said she told me if she thought I was wrong. She was not afraid to take advice from other departments within Morton Fraser eg Tax dept and made me aware she had done so.’

    Work highlights

    • Acted on behalf of amother petitioner who sought an order in the Court of Session for the return of her 18-month old son from Scotland to Canada.

    Anderson Strathern

    Anderson Strathern appears in the Sheriff Court and Court of Session on financial provision on divorce matters and ailment cases. The team is ‘pragmatic about disputes with decades of experience in litigation’, and acts for high-net-worth families, individuals and entrepreneurs, and is overseen by Janice Jones in Glasgow. UK-wide and international child relocation cases also feature in the caseload. Associate Danielle Edgar focuses on cross-border family issues and adoption, and is based in the firm’s Edinburgh office.

    Practice head(s):

    Janice Jones

    Other key lawyers:

    Danielle Edgar


    ‘Anderson Strathern have an excellent Family Legal department which gave me the confidence to engage them. Their billing is completely transparent and regular. I felt that I understood all costs and was able to anticipate future costs by applying previous rates to impending work that I knew had to be done.’

    ‘I engaged Janice Jones to assist with my divorce after spending almost one year working with another legal practice on a collaborative process. It became apparent that this process could not work and Janice was recommended to me. On engaging Janice, she immediately reduced all the complex issues I was facing into a series of executable steps and outlined the plan we would work to which was a great relief and made the process simpler.’

    ‘Janice Jones has been extremely knowledgeable, professional, efficient and kind and made an extremely difficult time in my life as easy as was possible while dealing with a messy separation.’

    Key clients

    Advocate General

    Blackadders LLP

    Blackadders LLP is ‘an excellent firm in Aberdeen and Dundee’, according to clients and is led by Craig Samson, who is singled out for his ‘robust and pragmatic approach’. The team is active across a range of family law issues, with strength in complex cross-border child-related matters and financial provision issues. Gareth Masson is regularly instructed on matters of adoption, permanency orders, and cohabitation.

    Practice head(s):

    Craig Samson

    Other key lawyers:

    Gareth Masson


    ‘Gareth Masson has provided an exceptional professional service. His tenacity in dealing with a very difficult long standing case is commendable.’

    ‘Gareth Masson has a relatable manner and is happy to take the time to explain matters in layman’s terms. In my experience in working with Gareth, I have found the quality that I have valued the most is his efficiency in responding to any queries and keeping excellent continuity of all communication.’

    ‘The team at Blackadders work well together to look after their clients. I dealt with reception staff, a partner and associate. Advice was made in my best interest through understanding.’

    ‘Communication was clear and kept me up to date with how things were proceeding.’

    ‘Billing was clearly itemised and payments made easy through the online payment system.’

    ‘A friendly and personal but always professional approach during a time that is particularly in difficult in life made proceedings easier.’

    ‘I have been working with Gareth Masson and I cannot speak highly enough of his understanding and demeanour. He is always approachable and, despite his workload, always makes time when required.’

    ‘Excellent firm, especially Dundee and Aberdeen. Leading firm in Dundee and one of the leading firms for family work in Aberdeen at partner level but with excellent associate level.’

    MacRoberts LLP

    MacRoberts LLP is singled out for its ‘high level of ability and complementary strength’, and handles an array of family matters, with a specialty in international divorce and cross-border contracts. The team enjoys a steady stream of referral work from other firms. Marika Franceschi advises on overseas assets and high-value divorce cases. Associate Sue Anna MacAulay, who joined from Gibson Kerr, is recommended for surrogacy and adoption matters.

    Other key lawyers:

    Marika Franceschi; Sue Anna MacAulay


    ‘This firm has shown me respect throughout my time with them. I was believed and informed of what actions could be taken and the possible outcomes to expect. This led to expectations being managed and allowing me to make informed choices.’

    ‘I have worked with other solicitors but found this one the most favourable due to the way situations are dealt with. I always felt the solicitor was on my side and working for me.’

    ‘Marika Franceschi is dedicated, highly committed to securing her clients’ best interests and very thorough. She has an excellent manner with clients and is highly regarded by her peers.’

    Work highlights

    • Continued to receive referrals from other Scottish and overseas lawyers to deal with complex cases involving competing jurisdictions or assets hidden overseas. Referrals this year have included international divorce involving three potentially competing jurisdictions.
    • Conducted in excess of 40 Mediation sessions in connection with diverse matters, including financial provision on divorce, valuation of business, valuation of vested and unvested share options, international child relocation, child residence and child contact issues.
    • Instructed in what is believed to be the first Order for relocation from Scotland to an EU country following Brexit given the Order was made in January 2021.

    Thorntons Law LLP

    Based out of Dundee, Thorntons Law LLP has ‘good strength and depth across all locations where the firm has offices’, and retains its specialism in surrogacy and adoption work. Sandra Sutherland leads the practice and is active in handling high-value divorce cases and child-related issues. Lucy Metcalf leads the team in Edinburgh and advises on pre-and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation disputes and child law. She also has a track record appearing in the Sheriff Court. Collaborative trainer practitioner Angela Wipat in Perth is recommended for ADR. Consultant Alasdair Docwra has now retired.

    Practice head(s):

    Sandra Sutherland

    Other key lawyers:

    Lucy Metcalf; Angela Wipat


    ‘Lucy Metcalf  took over my case and managed to navigate a very difficult process finally achieving a result where others had failed. In particular I felt that she had my interests in the forefront. Her billing was detailed and prompt which I really appreciated. Above all I valued her expertise and solid advice in advancing my case.’

    ‘Lucy Metclaf and her team were very supportive and I appreciated her sympathetic approach and her aim to keep things under control and helping avoid any unnecessary conflict and complications arise. She took a very practical approach which I appreciated.’

    ‘Lucy Metcalf has been great. She feels like a real source of support. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with things but after speaking to her I feel calmer and more focused on what has to happen next.’

    Clyde & Co

    Since merging with Clyde & Co, BLM’s practice has been bolstered with the added strength and expertise across family law, particularly litigating across family, child and matrimonial issues. Under the leadership of ‘forensic and diligentCaroline Gillespie, the team handles complex financial provision cases, international child relocation matters, and cohabitation issues. Alison Nicol is also of note.

    Practice head(s):

    Caroline Gillespie

    Other key lawyers:

    Alison Nicol


    ‘There is a lot of care for client and their needs beyond professional courtesy. All personnel involved are keen listeners and response time is really brisk.’

    ‘I worked with Caroline and Alison. Both are very focused on the matter at hand with really great advice. Caroline really looked after my interest very well. The team are very professional in their approach. They listen and understand their clients’ needs.’

    ‘This team is very hardworking, committed to their clients interests, knowledgeable and creative. Caroline Gillespie has every quality required of a highly effective and capable lawyer.’

    Work highlights

    • Acted in complex cases involving former cohabitants.

    Gibson Kerr

    ‘Exemplary in their professionalism and expertise’, the family practice at Gibson Kerr is headed by Fiona Rasmusen and is active across cohabitation issues, child residency work and financial issues, resulting from dissolution of relationships. Nadine Martin's practice covers the niche area of trauma informed law while Caroline MacBeath deals with residency disputes. The team also receives referrals from London law firms.

    Practice head(s):

    Fiona Rasmusen

    Other key lawyers:

    Nadine Martin; Caroline MacBeath


    ‘Well-organised team. The practice offers excellent personalised legal advice on both divorce in Scotland and international divorce.’

    ‘The team’s competence stands out. They are also very dedicated to their clients and responds promptly to any legal queries.’

    ‘It is really easy to connect with the team face-to-face remotely via technology.’

    ‘Fiona Rasmusen is extremely knowledgeable and capable in dealing with complex divorce cases where one party is outside the UK.’

    ‘Fiona Rasmusen’s expertise and guidance on challenging court proceedings give her clients peace of mind, one thing less to worry about at this very difficult time. She is very proactive and has her clients’ best interests at heart.’

    ‘Gibson Kerr has brilliant teamwork and I totally trust all members there. Someone always replies to me quickly when my solicitor is absent and they treat me not as an individual solicitor’s client but as their law farm’s client.’

    ‘Gibson Kerr have been exemplary in their professionalism, expertise and hard work in my case.’

    ‘I have felt extremely supported and felt that the team were acutely aware of the many twists and turns my case has taken, having the ability to be notably both adaptable and able to come up with creative suggestions and solutions along the way which has led to a positive outcome.’

    Work highlights

    • Acted in a domestic abuse and coercive control case, which also involves the use of tracking technology, where each party has raised a divorce action.
    • Acting for a client with assets in the Middle East in action to resist unequal division of assets arguments.

    Macnabs LLP

    Macnabs is made up of ‘formidable family lawyers with excellent experience’, covering Perthshire and the surrounding areas, and is singled out for its expertise across family law, particularly alternative dispute resolution. Overseen by arbitrator and managing partner Ruth Croman, the team handles complex child law matters and has seen a growth in instructions on surrogacy work. Rachel MacDonald, who joined from Harper Macleod LLP, was elevated to the partnership and is the key name for high-value divorce cases, often spanning cross-border. Also in the group is Stuart Hunter.

    Practice head(s):

    Ruth Croman

    Other key lawyers:

    Rachel MacDonald; Stuart Hunter


    ‘Ruth Croman has been outstanding. My case is very complex and yet Ruth has shown an incredible understanding of how to navigate through it. Ruth is a first-class family solicitor who obviously excels at her job.’

    ‘I have felt well supported, listened to and guided at all times.’

    ‘Ruth Croman is empathetic and has a great sense of humour. Instantly likeable person. Extremely sensible and straight talking An excellent negotiator and collaborator I feel very fortunate to have found such a great solicitor to help me with my divorce and custody battle.’

    Work highlights

    • Representing client in a complex child relocation case following an order for return under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.
    • Engaged in a complex cross-border high-value divorce proceedings with jurisdictional issues.
    • Successfully achieved outcome for client in complex high value farming divorce where urgent protective remedies were sought.

    MTM Family Law

    MTM Family Law is a boutique practice operating out of Glasgow handling the full gamut of matters, and is particularly well versed in divorce, cohabitation, and contact arrangements. The team is jointly overseen by accredited mediator Shona Templeton and specialist Carolyn MacBride. Spousal maintenance matters are dealt with by Fiona Anderson.

    Practice head(s):

    Shona Templeton; Carolyn MacBride

    Other key lawyers:

    Fiona Anderson

    Patience and Buchan

    Based out of Aberdeen, Patience and Buchan has ‘a high standard of technical knowledge’, and fields a team of family law and family mediation specialists who are skilled in alternative dispute resolution. Founding partner Lorna Buchan leads the practice and focuses on divorce and high-value finances cases. She is supported by Ashley Simpson who handles children issues including relocation and adoption.

    Practice head(s):

    Lorna Buchan; Ashley Simpson


    ‘This practice helped me through a challenging divorce when my partner wasn’t engaging with discussions. The service was exceptional – prompt- appropriate including when to act and when not to act.’

    ‘Ashley Simpson responded promptly to all issues and queries and led me through this challenging process.’

    ‘Whilst I have limited experience of other solicitors the experience I had with patience and Buchan would mean I would be happy to recommend them to anyone in my situation.’

    ‘Lorna Buchan was absolutely excellent! Her professionalism was second to none, Honest, caring, upfront and explained everything in a way that I understood at every stage.’

    ‘Lorna Buchan made me a stronger person, I would never of got through my situation without her I will always admire her and would recommend her to anyone in the future.’

    ‘Patience and Buchan are a small, niche practice but this doesn’t seem to hold them back. They excel at what they do and in my view, are one of the market leaders for family law in Aberdeen which is impressive given their size compared to heavy weight competitors such as Brodies.’

    ‘Lorna Buchan is exceptional. She helped me navigate through a very difficult divorce negotiation.’

    ‘Lorna Buchan was instrumental in closing out the negotiation and provided realistic, clever advice. Her knowledge of family matters goes far beyond the law and she is able to guide and support you through what can be an extremely emotional and difficult process.’

    Weightmans LLP

    Glasgow-based solicitor advocate Noel Ferry leads the family practice at Weightmans LLP which has experience advising on pre- and post-nuptial agreements, assets and child-relocation issues. Ferry has an extensive track record litigating complex cohabitation claims and advising on treatment of inherited wealth.

    Practice head(s):

    Noel Ferry


    ‘ Noel Ferry is knowledgeable and easy to negotiate with. He has a measured approach to cases and works to try to find ways of compromising disputes between clients.’

    ‘Noel Ferry’s significant experience means that he is able to provide excellent quality work within very short timescales in cases where urgent orders are needed, leading to excellent outcomes for clients.’

    ‘Strong partner involvement and oversight. An experienced team of professionals with an excellent technical knowledge mixed with a good practical approach.’

    ‘Noel Ferry – pragmatic and balanced approach that is effective in finding a negotiated settlement.’

    ‘Noel Ferry is an extremely experienced solicitor who has a real breadth of knowledge across the whole spectrum of family law. As a solicitor advocate he regularly appears in the Court of Session, and his understanding of how a case should be presented makes him an excellent preparer of cases for counsel. I have found him to be thorough and very diligent on his clients’ behalf.’

    Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP

    Described as ‘reliable and trustworthy’, the family practice at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP is noted for its work around contentious adoption applications across the courts in Scotland, and is led Tom Quail in Glasgow. Litigator Roger Mackenzie advises on several large divorces, often with an international element. Emma Letham is also a key member of the team and is rated by clients.

    Practice head(s):

    Tom Quail

    Other key lawyers:

    Roger Mackenzie; Emma Letham


    ‘My only dealing with this firm is with Roger MacKenzie. His professionalism and detailed knowledge of family law is extremely impressive. In addition to this he dealt with a sensitive and complex case with humanity and care and was generous of his time, making sure that we were given regular and detailed updates by phone.’

    ‘Roger MacKenzie is organised and diligent and I have no hesitation in recommending him for future cases in adoption law.’

    This practice is excellent at representing clients in adoption petitions. They are very experienced, kind, understanding and realistic.’

    Work highlights

      Scullion LAW

      Well-organised and focused’, the boutique practice at Scullion LAW is based in Glasgow and has experience advising on complex separation and divorce cases, as well as child maintenance matters. Judith Higson leads the team and is recommended for negotiating financial aspects of divorce and cohabitation disputes.

      Practice head(s):

      Judith Higson


      ‘Judith Higson is a terrific solicitor – knowledgeable, prepared and empathetic towards clients. The team is well organised and papers are very well prepared.’

      ‘Judith Higson is terrific – she understands what the client needs and she has a cool and pragmatic approach. Depth of experience, professional yet approachable. Always looking at practical ways of resolving situations.’

      ‘Judith Higson and her team are stand outs within the family law community. Innovative approach to problem resolution coupled with a calming influence help with client interactions.’