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Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx in South East

B P Collins LLP

B P Collins LLP is known for its work on family disputes concerning complex financial matters relating to high-value assets, overseas trusts or tax structures. Practice group leader Sue Andrews advises both local and overseas clients on complex accounts and tax issues, trust arrangements, and emotionally charged issues relating to children. Claire Filer works on complex and unusual financial cases and cross-border cases involving children, while Fran Hipperson deals with difficult children disputes.

Practice head(s):

Sue Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Claire Filer; Fran Hipperson


B P Collins is a niche specialist firm offering top end specialist advice in all areas of family law. Their client care is second to none, available out of hours and prepared to do whatever necessary to meet the needs of the client.’

Frances Hipperson is a very experienced family practitioner. She has a very keen eye for detail and is able to identify issues and potential issues at an early stage. Her communication both with lay clients and opponents exudes rational and reasoned thought, allowing constructive dialogue and positive outcomes. Fran is a first-rate family lawyer of the highest calibre.’

The practice always maintains its ethics and professional integrity. This approach ensures that I, as a client, am always being given the best objective advice and service. The practice also has a strong collaborative approach and embraces any useful feedback from myself as a client.’

The team is in a unique position to deliver a London service in a much more personal and value-for-money way to clients.

B P Collins work together cohesively in order to achieve the end result. Their expertise is outstanding, using knowledge to help you understand the process and steps from start to finish. They have superb communication making working with B P Collins a good experience.’

Sue Andrews has been a rock. She will answer my concerns any time of day, putting my mind at ease or giving me her appropriate expertise and knowledge. She is one of the most committed people I have ever met working tirelessly, efficiently and effectively. Not only is her knowledge and professionalism outstanding but she is also approachable and above all, caring.’

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway advises high-net-worth individuals on complex financial disputes, controversial divorce proceedings involving children and international elements, and pre and postnuptial agreements. The family law team also frequently collaborates with other teams at the firm involved in private wealth services. Practice leader Helen Young represents clients in high-value cases, including international divorce proceedings and issues involving children. Natalie Lester is known for her work on contentious child arrangement disputes. Solicitor Parisa Faridi joined from Kleyman & Co in March 2019.

Practice head(s):

Helen Young

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Lester


Personable, supportive, clear and consistent. They made a difficult matter simple through plain-speaking and a willingness to take the time to work through issues and implications.

Helen Young’s ability to pre-empt situations and guide a path to calmer waters is unique. Her caring, thoughtful yet robust responses gives you that added confidence that every communication has had the scrutiny it deserves. Her depth of knowledge is astounding, her empathy towards a particular situation must not be shadowed by her natural ability to ensure you get the best possible advice at any given time. Helen is acutely aware of the strain separations can have and will always look for a resolution at the earliest opportunity, while still balancing the needs of the client’s wishes.’

Debenhams Ottaway offer unmatched customer service, professionalism and extensive experience. They recruit and retain the top solicitors, associates and staff across the county and from London, enabling them to service demanding and complex clients needs.’

Helen Young has been impeccable with her contact and advice, going above and beyond expectations. She has a wonderfully calming influence and oozes control of the matter at hand. I would recommend Helen without a second thought – she is magnificent.

Fantastic service and strong family team. Helen Young is a intelligent, professional and a lead player in St Albans.’

‘Natalie Lester is a rising star, very knowledgeable, kind, and gets the job done.

Good family solicitors. Constructive to work with to achieve outcome for respective clients. They don’t inflame family law matters by the language/tone of their letters.’

Incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. They genuinely care and are passionate.

I was very impressed at how this practice worked. When the person dealing with my case was off, there was always someone who was able to help me out and the transitions between those people was seamless. The communication between staff seemed excellent and I was also responded to quickly, efficiently and professionally.’

Natalie Lester was the lawyer assigned to my case. From beginning to end I felt listened to and cared about. She struck, what I would say, a perfect balance between kindness, support and guidance, and professionalism. I felt completely confident in her team. She was always quick to respond, comforting and supportive and not once did I doubt her ability or competence. I would recommend Natalie and would also use her again if needed.’

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

The large family and child care team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors provides advice to clients in the South East on all areas of family law, including matters involving domestic violence, cross-border disputes, divorce and separation issues, and emergency situations involving non-accidental injury and domestic abuse, amongst many others. The practice is led by five directors: Adeeba Naseem, Alia Lewis, and Ravi Kaur Mahey are based in Harrow; Sara Upton is in Barnet; Krina Parmar is located in Milton Keynes and Luton.


The team are very diligent, knowledgeable, friendly and professional. They are much better than other companies I have used.’

It is a very busy family department with expertise in a broad range of family matters.’

Adeeba Naseem is an expert when it comes to wardship proceedings, particularly with an international element. Adeeba is very approachable and adept and dealing with complex cross border issues. Whilst she exudes compassion for her clients, she manages their expectations in a humane and clear manner, which is essential in proceedings where the outcomes an often be life changing.’

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is a great firm. The solicitors from Duncan Lewis branch Luton have been very professional, ready to help from the start. They have helped with Legal Aid, advice, paperwork, and in court. I would recommend to anyone needing a solicitor.’

In my experience, the teams that I have come across in the family team work together and compliment each other. When one is person is not available another person will respond. I believe that the senior members of staff assist and help their assistance and juniors in a positive way to build up their skills and to become a team player and acquire new skills and the skills require in this field to help themselves as individuals as part of the team. other firms in my experience do not provide that support to their junior members of their team and for this reason they do not acquire or development their skills as expected.’

The individuals I have worked with always go that extra mile to help their client and to help the case. In family cases we all need to be working on what is best for the children and I have found that the individuals that I have worked with have always had this in mind and work on what is best for the children and the family.’

Duncan Lewis is renowned for its ability to draw in a vast amount of high quality Family Law work and client, and to consistently provide exceptional levels of quality service. The team are friendly but highly professional and fiercely fight their client’s cases. They have an unrivalled breadth and depth of expertise and strive to meet their client’s needs efficiently and effectively. As counsel, I have been impressed by the ready access that I have had to their lawyers and support staff at all levels, as well their ability to maintain close but professional relationships with everyone with whom they work.’

Adeeba Naseem is known for owning her clients’ problems and engendering a belief in her clients that she will do everything possible to the succeed. That belief is always fulfilled by the hard work and care she affords every one of her clients. I have been impressed her willingness to be contacted about cases I have been working on with her but also the in-depth knowledge she carries in relation to each case over which she has oversight.’

A lot of attention is given to the client. Absolutely amazing communication from the solicitors via email and phone. Always kept in the loop with the progress of the case in very good timing. Solicitors organised for good barristers to attend the court.’

The individuals I worked with were exceptional in dealing with my case. They were extremely knowledgeable in all areas and answered all of my questions at all times. I were able to contact them at all times and constantly felt very supported. During hard and stressful court proceedings it is extremely important to be able to trust the advice your solicitors give you.’

The solicitor who was allocated to me was not only very professional but was compassionate [and constantly demonstrated her expertise and knowledge in family law which I found to be continuously reassuring] in an extremely stressful and difficult case and in a court setting. She carefully explained, to me, what the process & procedures that would be in layman’s terms and would always confirm if I understood the process and the discussions taking place. She would explain the choices and decisions that were put to me in my case – and she would always meticulously take me through the choices/decisions that I had to make.’

Key clients


Work highlights

  • Instructed to represent a mother in an application for a female genital mutilation protection order issued by the Hertfordshire County Court.
  • Represented the interventor in a complex eight-party High Court case.

Hawkins Family Law

The practice at Hawkins Family Law specialises solely in family law, handling all types of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and hybrid mediation on financial matters involving assets across multiple jurisdictions. Practice leader Joanna Hawkins advises clients on complex financial and children matters. Loraine Davenport has expertise in complex relocation matters, while Annabel Hayward and Stacey St Clair are also recommended. Philip Hunter joined from Hunter & Uro in June 2019, and in March 2020 the firm opened its third office in Watford.

Practice head(s):

Jo Hawkins


An excellent firm with experienced solicitors who are willing to go the extra mile for their clients.’

Annabel Hayward is definitely one to watch and her knowledge of financial matters is exceptional.’

Joanne Hawkins has created and maintained a boutique law firm outside of London with a London skill set.’

Joanne Hawkins is strategic, clear thinking and compassionate towards her clients. She is a pleasure to work with and dedicated to getting the best outcome for her clients.’

A vibrant and forward-thinking family law firm that delivers a magic circle service.’

Loraine Davenport is a tremendous lawyer who gets to the heart of legal problems quickly. She is approachable and gives sound clear advice.’

‘Stacey St Clair is a passionate lawyer who has a substantial private law children practice, often involving cross-border disputes.’

This is a small firm where the fee-earners have a genuine interest in their clients. The level of personal attention is high.’

Jo Hawkins has a wealth of experience, she is the bedrock on which the firm is built. She has a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach but is prepared to fight a client’s corner where necessary.’

A friends and professional team in the heart of Beds and Bucks which understands matters from a local perspective whilst focusing on larger changes in the law.

For the case I used the firm for, I appreciated the support through the whole process. The firm gave me confidence and strength to get through the situation. They guided me clearly and had excellent knowledge of the field I was using them for.

This practice functions as a strong, cohesive entity. They acknowledge and use each professional’s strengths thoughtfully and constructively. There is a high level of mutual support and collaboration.

Professional and ethical. Stacey St Clair acknowledged the challenges of the situation I was facing, especially the emotional impact, so supportive and encouraging.’

Good, strong, empathetic sound advice with lots of experience. Calm, polite and caring in manner, particularly when going through an extended, acrimonious divorce. Not afraid to ask other colleagues for advice particularly when dealing with unusual problems. Very easy to talk to.’

Nothing is ever too much to ask. Hawkins Family law make me feel that they understand my concerns and are happy to explain areas if I ask questions.’

Loraine Davenport is outstanding, kind, considerate and understanding. Great listeners. She is very professional and helpful.’

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)

Working out of offices in Chesham and Uxbridge, IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) acts for London, South East, and international middle to high-net-worth individuals, with expertise in contentious probate, divorce and separation matters, and complex private law children matters concerning welfare issues. Practice co-leader Amanda Melton is known for her work in property disputes between cohabiting couples, while practice co-leader Elizabeth Fitzpatrick is an expert in representing older children. Vicky Preece was promoted to consultant in November 2019. Charlotte Southworth also comes recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Vicky Preece; Charlotte Southwork

Work highlights

  • Advised the husband in financial proceedings on divorce.
  • Represented a father in Children Act Proceedings.
  • Advised an applicant wife in financial proceedings on divorce.

Machins Solicitors LLP

Machins Solicitors LLP handles both public and private family law, often undertaking work in the public sphere in relation to complex cases involving non-accidental injuries, deprivation of liberty applications and abuse. Its private practice specialises in advising high-net-worth individuals on complex private Children Act proceedings. Practice leaders Kathryn Ainsworth and Liz Oldham come highly recommended, as do Sarah Ashby and Richard Phillips. Mandip Bhachu joined as partner from Giffen Couch & Archer in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Liz Oldham; Kathryn Ainsworth

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Ashby; Richard Phillips


Machins are a fantastic firm to work with. Kathryn Ainsworth leads a team that in my opinion are leading the way in the home counties. They work extremely hard for all clients and are committed to every case and often go above and beyond when it really matters.

Kathryn Ainsworth’s judgement is always spot on and the high and moral standards that she sets always ensures that clients get a first class service.’

Richard Phillips was very responsive and calmed me down and explained my position clearly. He supported me through my divorce and supported me emotionally, which gave me strength.’

The team at Machins are warm, friendly and good to work with. I am always pleased to have them on a case because I know it will be handled sensibly and proactively.’

I have found that the team’s compassion, dedication to their clients, professionalism, warmth and empathy are really what sets them apart from other firms I have worked with. combined with a no-nonsense attitude they really make their clients feel valued and get exceptional results.’

Liz Oldham is client focused, analytical, and creative.’

‘Sarah Ashby is compassionate, with excellent communication skills. She understands her client’s cases really well; she thinks outside the box and perseveres.’

I have worked alongside Kathryn Ainsworth for many years in the family law world, and she always provides excellent, clear advice to her family clients and supports them through their separation.’

Sarah Ashby is a fantastic solicitor. She is empathetic and will go above and beyond for her clients. She is very hard working and will pursue all avenues to ensure that a fair outcome is achieved. She also thinks outside the box and will consider applications that other parties did not consider. She is truly exceptional.

‘Liz Oldham is an extremely experienced advocate and solicitor. She works tirelessly for her clients, and seems to have a particular strength representing child clients directly.’

Rayden Solicitors

Located in St Albans, Rayden Solicitors is a family law boutique known for its mediation and arbitration services relating to issues such as finance and children matters. Practice leader Katherine Rayden specialises in prenuptial agreements, expatriate divorces, and children matters such as relocation of children and surrogacy, and frequently acts for same-sex parents. Other names to note are Priya Palanivel, who works on divorce and finance matters, and Emily Watson, who has in-depth expertise in children law including arbitration, as well as Rupinder Rai.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Rayden


Rayden uniquely offers a high end London service for the home counties. They are proactive and not afraid to deal ably with very complex cases. The calibre of the team extends not only to the partners but also to the more junior solicitors. The standout firm in this practice area.’

Katherine Rayden continues to lead the team with determination and skill. She deals with very complex cases with tenacity. She leaves no stone unturned and is not afraid to fight, no matter who the opponent is.’

Rayden has a wide range of people working hard for their clients. They support each other well and always want to do the best for their clients. They are good at coming to counsel when they require help.’

Katherine Rayden is very good at client management and managing expectations.’

As a client, what I found unique about their way of working was that the senior partners pair with an associate, so the big meetings are attended by both, which gave me a lot of confidence, but the day to day is run by the associate and the rest of the team and the associated costs are reflected as such, which I think is very fair.’

Katherine Rayden is an exceptional lawyer; she is clear, calm and at the top of her game. I always felt that she was available if I needed to speak with her specifically.

Smaller practice, attention to detail, with a dedicated expert partner. Consistency, clarity, transparency on costs/time/process.’

Priya Palanivel is always available, clear, incisive advice. Highly experienced and forward looking.’


Based in St Albans, SA Law LLP has a track record of work on family matters, regularly handling challenging cases involving children, as well as complex financial matters with an international element, including pre and postnuptial agreements, often utilising its mediation skills. 'Hard-working and sensitive' practice leader Marilyn Bell has broad experience, ranging from advising on matters regarding domestic violence to civil partnerships. 'Hugely dedicated' associate Kiran Beeharry is highly noted. Ruth Abrams departed for Keystone Law in December 2019, while senior solicitor Bindu Malkan joined from Stowe Family Law LLP  in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Marilyn Bell

Other key lawyers:

Kiran Beeharry


‘Good coverage in private law children and financial work, so they are able to offer a full service to clients.’

‘A central London service but from outside of London – so good value for money and able to offer a high quality service to their clientele.’

I found SA Law to be very organised and – importantly for me – they were very transparent about the costs, something I found very refreshing from a law firm.’

‘Kiran Beeharry is a hugely dedicated lawyer who is able to handle big-money and difficult children cases equally well. I have worked with him for many years and it has always been a pleasure. Brings real understanding to his client’s issues.’

‘Marilyn Bell is very experienced, hard-working and sensitive to client needs.’

‘Kiran Beeharry is a bold, bright family law solicitor.’

Blaser Mills Law

Blaser Mills Law has a track record of work advising high-net-worth clients on complex financial matters, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, child-related cases in which guardians and experts are involved, and cases involving immigration elements. Head of the child care team Denise Herman is known for her work on complex cases involving non-accidental injuries to children, neglect, and other highly sensitive issues. Senior associate Javita Malhotra advises on high-net-worth financial remedy work, while 'calm, reassuring and authoritative' senior associate Naim Qureshi specialises in high-net-worth matrimonial finance work.

Practice head(s):

Denise Herman

Other key lawyers:

Javita Malhotra; Naim Qureshi


‘Very approachable and very capable.’

‘A small but dedicated and effective family team within a strong broad-based local firm.’

‘Naim Qureshi is very calm and extremely dedicated.’

‘Javita Malhotra is a real credit to Blaser Mills. She approaches each case with skill & sympathy for the client and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Naim Qureshi is the consummate professional – he is incredibly knowledgeable, understanding and effective, with an eye for detail. Divorces can be very daunting and complicated to navigate for the average lay person- yet Naim would always approach conversations with patience and provided reassurance when the journey became challenging.’

‘Naim Qureshi is very able, with a thorough knowledge of the law, not just in its purely family aspects, but also the associated areas of property, company and trusts. He has a calm, reassuring and authoritative presence. He is considered and reasonable in his approach, but can be tough when pushed: he is someone who picks his ground carefully and then sticks to it. He has excellent judgement, both of people and the merits of a case. He is very efficient in his management of cases. He is lovely to work with and clients really value the care and commitment he brings to their cases.’

Crane & Staples LLP

Operating out of Hertfordshire, Crane & Staples LLP advises both private and public clients on a broad range of family law cases, from high-net-worth divorces and child arrangements to complex care cases involving non-accidental injury to children. Practice head Danielle Peters specialises in complex divorce and financial remedy matters. Sharon Montgomery handles cases such as child arrangements and inheritance act claims. Senior associate Attia Hussain deals with highly controversial child care cases. The practice has expanded with the hiring of two new care lawyers: Janet Martland joined from GN Law and Sian Churchill joined from ARKrights.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Peters

Other key lawyers:

Sharon Montgomery; Attia Hussain


‘Sharon Montgomery and her team worked beyond the call of duty on many occasions and for this I am truly thankful. The team always presented themselves in a kind and approachable manner. During my many meetings with them I struggled mentally because of trauma and stress. I felt they picked up on this and used language that I could understand and didn’t overload me. They were always friendly and sympathetic which was greatly appreciated.’

‘A redoubtable performer in the Hertfordshire area, Crane & Staples are well-established with a reputation for cost-effective and accurate legal advice.’

‘Janet Martland and Attia Hussain both go above and beyond for their clients. They each also look after junior members and assist them with their development.’

‘The family team at Crane and Staples are very good with vulnerable clients, in making sure they are able to participate in the court process and in representing them rigorously. They are a standout firm for children/family work, they have a strong dedicated team who cover a wide range of proceedings.’

‘Danielle Peters is an exceptional lawyer with great instincts and a wealth of experience in the most difficult cases. She is someone who I would call when I have a difficult issue I want to discuss. Strong grounding in public law, which she is able to utilise in her private law work.’

‘Sharon Montgomery was tenacious but sensitive in her representation of me in my divorce and in my pre-nup, to the extent that my second husband now uses the firm as his own lawyers.’

‘Sharon Montgomery is a terrific family solicitor.  Keenly supportive of her clients, she is perfectly prepared to deliver bad news when it is needed and has the respect of her clients and opponents for doing so.’

‘Danielle Peters is a formidable lawyer with a quiet determination.  She focuses on resolving complex matrimonial disputes with the least acrimony and always looks for solutions and avoiding unnecessary conflict.  A real star.’

‘Attia Hussain handles children’s cases with dedication and passion.  She is well known for her preparation and attention to detail and clients are always very well served.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the husband in divorce proceedings.
  • Acted for the mother in a successful court of appeal case.
  • Prepared a prenuptial agreement for a husband-to-be.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals both internationally and in and around Milton Keynes, where the firm moved into larger premises during 2020. The practice regularly handles complex matters involving children and family finances, as well as jurisdictional issues involving overseas assets. National head of family Caroline Watson frequently deals with pre and post-nuptial agreements and family matters involving international issues. Helen Taylor joined the team from Turner Nicholson in January 2019 and has a particular interest in complex financial cases involving inherited wealth.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Watson

Other key lawyers:

Helen Taylor


What makes this team impressive is the commitment to the firm and the team. They are incredibly cohesive and driven to a united goal.’

Caroline Watson leads the team. She is an impressive manager of people and generates huge amounts of good will amongst her team members. She is a very able practitioner but is ambitious for the firm and devotes considerable energy to fostering the team.’

The team is led by Caroline Watson who is an excellent financial solicitor. Caroline leads the team to focus on amicable settlements for clients, often using alternative dispute resolution, instead of court proceedings, and the whole team are easy to work with. The advantage Shoosmiths have is that they have a great team they can cross refer work to such a business team that can assist with company accounts, offer advice on tax. This puts Shoosmiths in quite a unique position.’

Caroline Watson stands out. She has an excellent eye for detail especially on complex financial work. She has an ability to cut through situations and problems to get to the heart of the issue straight away. Caroline is an easy partner to work with.’

Taylor Walton LLP

Taylor Walton LLP has a reputation for helping clients reach out-of-court settlements, with experience in alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration and mediation. Head of the family law department Ben Twitchen specialises in advising on financial matters arising from family disputes and child law. Olive McCarthy is experienced in advising high-net-worth families on all aspects of family law. Natalie Hughes was promoted to partner in July 2019; Emily Woodhouse joined from Greene & Greene in 2019; in 2020, Laura Woolard was recruited from Fullers.

Practice head(s):

Ben Twitchen

Other key lawyers:

Olive McCarthy


Very professional, proactive with solutions and polite, friendly, and knowledgeable staff.’

The personal interaction is excellent, you feel very comfortable that there is a family feel within Taylor Walton and I am very happy to refer my clients in the knowledge that they will be well looked after.

Collins & Hoy Solicitors

Located in Pinner, Collins & Hoy Solicitors - which was formed by the 2019 merger of E M Collins & Co and Garside & Hoy - advises on a broad range of family matters, including divorce and financial settlements, wills, children law, and issues relating to the care of the elderly. The 'conscientious and meticulous' Bernadette Hoy and the 'sharp, pragmatic and very experienced' Aisling Collins co-head the family team. Hoy is a member of the Law Society Family Law Panel and an accredited member of the Resolution Family Law Panel, and, like Collins, is a Collaborative Family Lawyer; both also offer mediation services. Associate solicitors Andaleeb Khandaker and Kate Moran are other key members of the team; Moran is praised for her capabilities in the field of matrimonial finance.

Practice head(s):

Bernadette Hoy; Aisling Collins

Other key lawyers:

Andaleeb Khandaker; Kate Moran


‘The team are extremely supportive, yet pragmatic, and walk with you so you know what to expect. They prepare you, manage expectations, and they go above and beyond in terms of service. They are professional, fair, compassionate, and I know my experiences would have been far more difficult without them.’

‘In a absolutely distressing situation for both myself and my children, I couldn’t have felt more protected and reassured – their total professionalism is fantastic.’

‘Bernadette Hoy is excellent. She has a fantastic ability to make the client feel completely at ease the moment they walk in the door, whilst also offering good and sensible advice.’

‘Kate Moran is an exceptional person. I don’t use those words lightly. Kate is the solicitor that will never leave you going into a weekend worried, or end a day concerned. I have had experience of many other legal professionals, and to me Kate sets a bar that is so high, I believe she will change the lives of many. Kate is the person I continue to recommend to others. Looking back to the day I first walked into their offices to now, the resilience Kate armed me with has helped me move mountains.’

‘Aisling Collins is sharp, pragmatic and very experienced: she is able to strip the case quickly to its core and key issues , focus in on those and deliver effective solutions and strategy. She is an excellent negotiator and is as adept in this area as she is in litigation. Above all clients know that she cares about their case and will achieve results.’

‘An excellent boutique specialist family firm with a brilliant team of lawyers of all experience. Their services and competence matches the expertise of magic circle firms but for a fraction of the cost. A ‘go-to’ family firm – lovely to work for, fight for their clients and with good results.’

‘Bernadette Hoy and Aisling Collins provide a boutique level of expertise, commitment and service in family law. They are able to take on and compete with the biggest and best of London and regional firms but with the personalised service of a small firm.’

‘Kate Moran is a total star. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone – she has my total confidence, takes everything in her stride and manages the most complex of cases with utter ease. One to watch.’

Collins Solicitors

Based out of Watford, Collins Solicitors advises family clients ion separation/divorce disputes, also handling financial remedy cases for middle-to-high-net-worth individuals. The team also advises on difficult cases for children. Practice leader Danielle Messenger is known for her work on complex financial disputes relating to divorce and separation, prenuptial agreements, and private children issues such as non-accidental injury cases.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Messenger


‘I would recommend Danielle Messenger to anybody who needs an excellent family lawyer’

‘Efficent, helpful and professional.’

‘Danielle Messenger dealt very sensitively with my tricky divorce, helping me to navigate through the many decisions that had to be made. Danielle always explained things very clearly and gave me the guidance I needed based on her evident expertise. With her help, we reached the best financial settlement possible.’

Nockolds Solicitors

The family team at Nockolds Solicitors has a strong reputation in the Hertforshire and Essex areas, especially with regards to alternative dispute resolution. It has notable expertise in providing legal advice on same-sex marriage, the Embryology Act and surrogacy, and has also recently expanded its reach with a move into a new office in London. Practice co-leader Lynn Cowley acts for both children and guardians and has particular experience on cross-border matters in Spain. Practice co-leader Peter Dodd is a trained mediator and matrimonial solicitor, and is experienced in high-net-worth divorces and complex children issues.

Practice head(s):

Lynn Cowley; Pete Dodd


The team are a cohesive, friendly and very capable group. Very nice to work with – and this ease transfers to their clients.’

Both Lynn Cowley and Pete Dodd are exceptional partners. Both have a kind, considered but no-nonsense approach.’

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP provides a niche practice in family law, covering a range of matters such as family wealth management, wills, and commercial property, with experience in mediation, private dispute resolution, and arbitration. Practice leader Jane Charlton deals with high-value and complex financial cases, including pre and post-martial agreements, inherited assets, and pensions and trusts. She also has experience in complex children matters, including abuse cases.

Practice head(s):

Jane Charlton


Jane Charlton is vastly experienced. Her particular strength is quite simply the nature of her approach: she offers straightforward, sensible advice. She has a knack of breaking down any given problem to its key components – which she then sets about resolving – promptly and with the minimum of fuss. Clients love her.’

Jane Charlton helped with a separation to a very high standard. I felt totally at ease with her process and the outcome.’

The company was always prompt with replying and dealing with queries. Its staff were always helpful particularly when my main contact was not available.’

Jane Charlton stayed on the case throughout the lengthy divorce process and was always available to give sensible and helpful advice.’

I like the way the practice feels like a family; I am happy to use them for all my legal needs (family law, conveyancing, wills etc). Everyone is approachable, professional, ethical and thorough. I have seen how the lawyers behave and respond on the other side and am so thankful they are not working for me.’

My family lawyer Jane Charlton is exceptional and I am still working with her post divorce to resolve some matters. She continues to be a delight to work with: empathetic, caring and insightful, yet incisive and decisive in her thinking. She writes extremely well, getting to the heart of the matter in a clear, concise and logical way. She inspires me with confidence and is a very safe pair of hands who makes her clients feel valued and supported. I have recommended her to others and will continue to do so.’

Jane Charlton is an experienced and well respected lawyer who is head and shoulders above other family lawyer in the area. She is extremely knowledgeable, does not create unnecessary tension in what are often difficult circumstances and she gives practical advice.’

Tees Law

Tees Law advises high-net-worth individuals, farming families, and internationally mobile families on family law matters ranging from private law children matters, nuptial agreements,to financial remedy claims. Practice leader Sally Powell exclusively practices family law, with a focus on legal disputes relating to relationships and matters concerning children. Senior partner David Ian Redfern works on complex financial issues, while Elizabeth Gale focuses on contentious trusts and succession matters for international families.

Practice head(s):

Sally Powell


‘Solid, sensible, high quality work, committed to each case.’

‘Elizabeth Gale always made time to chat with me and discuss all issues. I can honestly say that once we have had a discussion about my case, I always feel more secure and at ease.’

‘Abby Westell has greatly impressed me with her knowledge and commitment in a very difficult case. She is quite superb.’

‘The practice is large enough to have a good breadth of experience; although I am using the family department, they have been able to liaise with other members of staff in other specialist departments and therefore make the process simpler by keeping everything in-house.’