Firms To Watch: Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Led by Gavin Henshaw, Lennons Solicitors handles a variety of matrimonial finance issues and divorces involving overseas assets. Henshaw has vast experience in advising on cohabitation issues and the dissolution of civil partnerships.
Watson Morris Family Law LLP has extensive expertise in preparing post-nuptial agreements, financial remedy applications and financial settlements. Caroline Watson leads the team with her broad knowledge of cohabitation, children and divorce matters.

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

Debenhams Ottaway

The ‘gifted‘ team at Debenhams Ottaway handles the full scope of family law issues for parents, grandparents and other individuals. Praised by clients for her ‘excellent forensic eye‘, Helen Young heads up the St Albans-based practice, frequently advising on high-value divorces involving overseas assets, in addition to pre and post-nuptial agreements, and the capitalisation of maintenance. Senior associate Natalie Lester has substantial expertise in financial settlements and children arrangements, taking a ‘thoughtful and unflappable approach‘ when assisting clients with co-habitation agreements and child arrangement disputes, while senior associate Helen Clyne primarily handles children issues arising from the separation of both married and unmarried couples. Stacey St Clair joined the practice from Hawkins Family Law, contributing her knowledge of private children disputes, including welfare and residence matters.

Practice head(s):

Helen Young

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Lester; Helen Clyne; Annabel Andreou; Stacey St Clair


‘The team at Debenhams Ottaway is very strong indeed. They have an enigmatic leader in Helen Young who is always spot on with her approach. They have a great team ethic.’

‘Helen Young works like a Trojan, has an excellent forensic eye and thinks several strategic moves ahead at all stages. She has incredibly good client care; delivering no-nonsense but empathetic advice.’

‘Natalie Lester is excellent. She understands the psychology of cases very well and uses this to shape cases in ways that optimises client outcomes. It also helps her maintain excellent trusting relationships with difficult clients in difficult cases whilst at the same time ensuring that they are able to make fully-informed strategic decisions.’

‘Annabel Andreou is excellent. Her grasp of financial matters is deep and well-beyond her years. Annabel very swiftly laid my fears to rest. Not only was she highly professional, but very courteous, friendly, empathetic. Her legal work is impressive, she is very clear about our aims and next steps, and handled the other party with diplomacy and tact. I would never have gotten anywhere without her help.’

‘Natalie Lester is incredibly dedicated, she listens to my points of view and provides sound and fair advice She is always calm and kind even under pressure and in difficult circumstances. I have no hesitation in recommending her to others seeking a family law solicitor.’

‘Natalie Lester is exceptional at looking at the bigger picture, linking seemingly separate matters together to ensure we have a holistic strategy to move forward with. I cannot recommend her highly enough.’

‘Helen Young heads a gifted team of highly motivated, client-focused and pragmatic lawyers at Debenhams Ottaway.’

‘I am impressed with Natalie Lester’s thoughtful and unflappable approach, her willingness to seek advice on difficult matters and her pragmatism. Natalie is intelligent, resourceful, practical and very able. Natalie deals with mediation professionally, carefully, calmly and ably and brings about a sensible compromise.’

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

The ‘exceptional‘ practice at Duncan Lewis Solicitors dispenses advice on the full spectrum of family law matters, with a particular emphasis on international child abduction cases, special guardianship orders, and wardship issues. In Harrow, Adeeba Naseem has broad knowledge spanning surrogacy issues, adoption cases and financial proceedings, while Alia Lewis is particularly adept at acting for children in public law care cases. Dividing her time between Milton Keynes and Luton, Krina Parmar has extensive expertise in advising on forced marriage and female genital mutilation matters. Luton’s Emma Bilsborrow has a great deal of experience in handling high-net-worth divorces and cohabitation agreements, and in Milton Keynes, Shazia Rana often assists clients with obtaining non-molestation injunctions, and care and emergency protection orders.

Practice head(s):

Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Ravi Mahey; Krina Parmar; Emma Bilsborrow; Shazia Rana

Other key lawyers:

Priyal Patel; Michelle Lubelle


‘A local firm with national reach. The team has excellent understanding of their clients’ needs and strong relations with local courts. It has excellent client service and care.’

‘Shazia Rana is a child law expert. Within public law, she has significant experience of complex cases with allegations of non-accidental injury. She is an excellent listener and offers a sympathetic ear to clients going through very difficult times. She is a strong team player, working together with counsel to ensure that her clients receive the best possible outcome, even in very difficult cases.’

‘The team is exceptional. I have recommended dozens of clients to this firm because of the attention to detail they have.’

‘I hold Krina Parmar in extremely high regard. Her manner puts you at ease. She always finds time for clients and other legal professionals. She is my go-to recommendation in family law in the UK, she never lets me or the clients down.’

‘They go the extra mile and have good legal knowledge.’

‘Adeeba Naseem is experienced in child abduction cases, and is very good at building relationships with her clients.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a vulnerable mother in a complex international child abduction matter.
  • Represented the mother in wardship proceedings as part of a complex international child abduction matter.

Hawkins Family Law

In Stony Stratford, Hawkins Family Law houses a team of ‘stellar lawyers‘ with notable experience in high-value divorces and separations involving overseas assets and child law issues. Joanna Hawkins heads up the practice with her longstanding expertise in acting for shareholders and directors, and individuals with intergenerational family wealth in the resolution of financial matters. Loraine Davenport primarily handles matters concerning high-net-worth ancillary relief, involving trust elements, in addition to children cases; while Annabel Hayward has ample expertise in advising on cohabitation disputes, and matters in which one party attempts to hide assets. Stacey St Clair departed the practice in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Hawkins

Other key lawyers:

Loraine Davenport; Annabel Hayward; Rebecca Stewart


‘Hawkins Family Law is a real gem. I am yet to encounter anything but stellar lawyers. They work so hard for their clients and carry enormous respect in their local area. Hawkins Family Law’s skill and expertise in family law far surpasses every single other firm in their locality.’

‘It’s a boutique, specialist family law firm, which offers genuine expertise across all areas of family law and is particularly strong on finances. The team are client-focused and pragmatic, yet ready to stand firm to achieve the best outcome.’

‘All of the team at Hawkins Family Law have a brilliant understanding of the level of detail and complexity when dealing with pension arrangements. Hawkins Family Law engage in understanding the financial assets of their clients on a level I’ve not witnessed elsewhere.’

‘Joanna Hawkins has been patient and helpful. I feel that she has my best interests at heart. She has been informative and helpful throughout.’

‘Loraine Davenport has a calm and personal, but professional demeanour. She listens and helps me focus on what is important. Loraine gets it just right.’

‘The team are exceptional at identifying a client’s needs relating to their particular case and providing exceeding accurate, well thought out, and appropriate legal advice and guidance for an effective and swift resolution.’

‘Rebecca Stewart is fantastic from start to finish, including after care between cases, and ensures house sales and split of funds are dealt with properly.’

‘The team are wonderful, and are full of compassion and understanding at a very important and emotional time. Whenever I needed support I only had to ring and my solicitor always answered and calmed me down.’


IBB Law‘s ‘superb‘ team exhibits ‘extremely good‘ knowledge, spanning the full range of family law issues. The team regularly handles private children cases involving parental alienation and mental health issues, particularly in situations concerning the future religious upbringing of children. The ‘brilliantAmanda Melton co-heads the team alongside Jolene Hutchison from Chesham and Uxbridge respectively. Melton has deep knowledge of financial matters and property disputes arising between cohabiting couples, in addition to trusts. Hutchinson is ‘at the top of her game‘ when advising clients on pre and post-nuptial agreements involving inherited wealth, and cases involving applications for the removal of children from the jurisdiction. In Uxbridge, ‘absolutely first-class‘ practitioner Kate Ryan often handles matters concerning the division of marital assets, and the financial repercussions of relationship breakdowns. Senior associate Javita Malhotra joined the team from Blaser Mills Law, contributing her expertise in high-value divorces.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Melton; Jolene Hutchison

Other key lawyers:

Kate Ryan; Catherine O’Reilly; Javita Malhotra


‘Throughout the process Jolene Hutchison’s positivity and encouragement kept me going. She offered practical advice and guidance on a family matter. Jo was thorough, strong, and explicit and I would definitely recommend her.’

‘Kate Ryan is absolutely first class. She helps to navigate clients through some very muddy waters with her incredible professional experience, patience and kindness. I have personally recommended her several times to those in need of family law services. Kate is thorough and knowledgeable and fierce in her representation of her clients.’

‘Amanda Melton in particular is extremely level headed and sound in her advice time and again.’

‘IBB Law are a superb law firm, they have a family feel to them, they treat you like you would wish to be treated when feeling down with support and kindness. They are genuine, they listen to you and actually do care. They have a lovely team, their knowledge in matters is extremely good. Their attention to detail is second to none.’

‘I can’t speak highly enough of Amanda Melton and Catherine O’Reilly. Both in my opinion are quite brilliant. I highly recommend both of them. Their attention to detail and advice is first class.’

‘Jolene Hutchison heads the team in a dynamic and yet considered way. She leaves no stone unturned and yet is able to see decisively to the heart of a case. She is at the top of her game. She brings a wealth of experience to her case and routinely deals with some of the most high-profile and complex cases to come before the courts.’

‘Jolene Hutchison and her team offer the service and skills of a top London firm. The IBB family team have a rightly excellent reputation. IBB stands out as being fair and resolution oriented.’

Machins Solicitors LLP

The ‘fabulous‘ practice at Machins Solicitors LLP provides clients with ‘exceptional quality and diligence‘ when assisting with adoption orders, child assessment orders, and care orders. The ‘outstandingKathryn Ainsworth co-leads the team from Berkhamsted, and the ‘incredibleSarah Ashby co-leads the team from Luton. Ainsworth is a specialist in divorces and separations concerning children, financial arrangements, and businesses, while Ashby frequently acts for family members, interveners, and guardians with her ‘brilliant knowledge‘ of matters involving sexual abuse, death of a family member, and non-accidental injury. Berkhamsted’s Richard Phillips has ‘excellent judgement‘ when advising on the negotiation of separation agreements, and pre-nuptial agreements involving overseas assets. Sadie Glover joined the team in August 2023.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Ainsworth; Sarah Ashby

Other key lawyers:

Richard Phillips; Sadie Glover


‘They have a strong team of lawyers with a wealth of knowledge and experience in all areas of family law. Machins is a fantastic unit that stands apart from other firms by virtue of the exceptional quality and diligence they provide, alongside phenomenal client care. They work tirelessly to ensure the processes are flawless, facilitating the best outcomes for clients.’

‘Sarah Ashby is a real asset to the team. She is an incredible solicitor who works extremely hard and deals with all of her cases with great sensitivity and care. She gives pragmatic and robust advice to clients and deals with her opponents fairly and firmly. She is a force to be reckoned with in the court room, and has brilliant knowledge of the law and is a fantastic solicitor. It is always a pleasure to work with Sarah and she really does go the extra mile for her clients.’

‘Kathryn Ainsworth is absolutely no-nonsense and gives frank advice which is always correct. She is brilliant at telling clients what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear. I would always recommend her in any case where you need a lawyer to cut through the nonsense and just get to grips with the issues.’

‘Richard Phillips has always impressed me, he is sensible and focused on getting the best possible outcome for his clients. Richard has excellent judgement and is a pleasure to work with. He gives good, sensible, commercial advice and ensures that any cases that can settle do.’

‘Covering all areas of Family Law, Machins have unrivalled expertise at all levels of seniority. Calm and measured, whilst fighting their clients’ corner with a level of commitment that is hard to match. They are courteous and professional. The family team have a great depth of experience and knowledge.’

‘A fabulous family team. Very proficient, strong and with an excellent reputation. They are an excellent team of solicitors with a strong wealth of experience in all areas of family law. They are always a pleasure to work with and I would highly recommend them.’

‘I have been very pleased to work with Richard Phillips during my divorce. I feel confident he really understands my situation and has consistently given me sound and thorough advice. He has a kind, reassuring and pragmatic approach that is so helpful during what has been a very stressful process. I feel he has gone above and beyond to see my case to where it is today and his recommendations have proven to be spot on time and time again.’

‘Kathryn Ainsworth and Richard Phillips are both outstanding. They have a constructive and approachable manner which encourages successful negotiations. Both parties benefit from such an approach.’

Rayden Solicitors

Rayden Solicitors houses a ‘fantastic team of superb lawyers‘, which assists clients with a variety of issues, including shared care order applications, shared care arrangements, and the division of matrimonial assets. Rated by clients as ‘one of the best solicitors around‘, Katherine Rayden heads up the practice from St Albans and primarily acts for high-net-worth individuals on the settlement of financial disputes and relationship breakdowns, often drafting pre and post-nuptial agreements. Emily Watson works out of the Berkhamsted office, and is particularly adept handling cases concerning permanent removal and international trust structures. In Beaconsfield, the ‘fantasticJulian Bremner frequently dispenses advice on financial issues, particularly with a cross-border aspect; while in Bishop’s Stortford, Rosalind Fitzgerald was promoted to partner in October 2022 and has broad expertise spanning surrogacy and fertility cases. In Beaconsfield, Rupinder Rai regularly acts in child arrangement proceedings, including Schedule 1 issues.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Rayden

Other key lawyers:

Paula Butterworth; Emily Watson; Julian Bremner; Rosalind Fitzgerald; Abby Westell; Rupinder Rai


‘The team is consistently impressive in terms of their ability to build fantastic, trusting relationships with their clients and also in their in depth knowledge and understanding of the issues which arise. The firm is also incredibly approachable.’

‘What a great firm. Raydens have largely taken over the market, and for good reason; they are well organised, well motivated and dedicated to their clients.’

‘Katherine Rayden remains at the absolute top of the tree – there is no better divorce lawyer in this part of the country.’


SA Law LLP‘s ‘fantastic‘ team handles the full scope of both contentious and non-contentious family law issues involving sexual abuse, in addition to mental and physical abuse. Marilyn Bell leads the St Albans-based group, and often represents parents and grandparents in divorces and financial disputes. Rated by clients as ‘outstanding in every way‘, Kiran Beeharry is particularly adept at handling issues faced by cohabiting couples, including financial provision for the children of unmarried parents, in addition to advising on the dissolution of civil partnerships. Simran Gupta has extensive expertise in matters concerning international child abduction and wardship, while associate Julie Cohen often dispenses ‘excellent advice and support‘ to high-net-worth individuals on the division of matrimonial finances, and the resolution of situations involving domestic violence.

Practice head(s):

Marilyn Bell

Other key lawyers:

Kiran Beeharry; Simran Gupta; Julie Cohen; Elizabeth Tillyer


‘Marilyn Bell provides expertise in both financial and children related matters. Her knowledge and experience, attention to detail and dedication to clients is second to none. Rivalled only by her unrelenting work ethic, her determination to understand and get things right goes above and beyond. I would not hesitate for a second to recommend her to anyone. She genuinely cares about you and your family and it’s clear this is her vocation in life.’

‘Simran Gupta is straight talking but warm and friendly, happy to challenge me as the client rather than just accept my views and concerns, and her experience in complex cases is very evident.’

‘Marilyn Bell excels in her field. She has a wealth of experience and wisdom, and with abounding knowledge and professionalism.’

‘Julie Cohen always gives excellent advice and support, and has never hesitated to take the time to alleviate my concerns or sometime lack of understanding of the system. She has made the process a bearable one by taking on a lot of the stress and strain around this situation.’

‘Kiran Beeharry has been outstanding in every way. He is professional, insightful, strategic, shows great attention to detail and is incredibly supportive. I cannot recommend him enough.’

‘Liz Tillyer is a stand out. She has razor sharp litigation instincts. Clients feel that she is completely committed to their case. She is very personable, down to earth and great at cutting through the noise to what is important.’

‘Kiran Beeharry is absolutely brilliant. He is cool, calm, collected, and gets fantastic results in the most challenging of cases. His clients find him to be an emotional rock in turbulent waters. I cannot recommend him enough. Kiran is an extremely able practitioner. He has wisdom beyond his years and has developed a very good reputation in matrimonial matters in particular. Kiran is extremely bright, confident, and fearless.’

‘The SA Law family law team is fantastic. Marilyn and her team are reliable, attentive, and responsive. They work carefully and respectfully to help separating families achieve their best outcomes, and work collaboratively with other professionals to do so.’

B P Collins LLP

The ‘brilliant‘ team at B P Collins LLP, based in Gerrards Cross, is best known for dispensing advice on disputes concerning child arrangements and financial cases concerning family trust and remuneration structures. Practice head Sue Andrews is a ‘truly exceptional lawyer‘ who primarily handles high-net-worth financial remedy matters involving trust arrangements, private businesses and overseas assets, in addition to child issues concerning coercive control and domestic violence. The ‘fantasticLaura Mortimer joined the team from Hedges Law in January 2023, contributing her expertise in divorces between high-net-worth individuals with international finances. Claire Filer, Fran Hipperson and Sadie Glover departed the practice in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Sue Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Laura Mortimer; Ella Moxey


‘The niche family law department at BP Collins are extremely strong in their offering, with City-grade expertise at a local level and a cohesive team. In my view, no other local firm comes close.’

‘Sue Andrews is a truly exceptional lawyer who has the experience and expertise to handle cases at any level. She gives clients sensible advice and fights their corner very strongly.’

‘The team are very user friendly, approachable and easy to deal with.’

‘Laura Mortimer is fantastic. Straightforward, clear, realistic and fair in her advice and approach to any case. It’s hardly surprising that client’s love her. I think she’s first class. BP Collins are lucky to have her.’

‘Extremely clear and sympathetic advice, often in the face of frustration and upset. Family group personnel are all lovely.’

‘The family law team at BP Collins are brilliant. They have an incredible amount of experience in dealing with complex matters involving divorce. They handled my case with amazing professionalism and expertise.’

‘Sue Andrews is a brilliant family lawyer. She was completely professional and handled everything in my divorce brilliantly. Her ability to create solutions in complex and acrimonious situations is incredible. Ella Moxey also worked on preparing my case for court and did an amazing job. Ella left no stone unturned and the court process was therefore not too stressful.’

Blaser Mills Law

The ‘first-rate‘ team at Blaser Mills Law exhibits ‘impressive collective intellect and expertise‘ when acting in intervenor cases, cases arising under the Children Act, and domestic abuse applications. Working out of the Marlow office, practice head Lucinda Holliday is an ‘excellent lawyer’ with longstanding expertise in the issues arising from divorces and separations, particularly in relation to finances and children, and is ‘incredibly professional, capable and empathetic‘ when advising clients on pre and post-nuptial agreements. In Amersham, the ‘wonderfulNaim Qureshi focuses on private law cases involving children, and high-net-worth matrimonial finance issues. Marlow-based associate Olivia Dann is ‘wise beyond her years and an excellent strategist‘ when handling contentious matters involving injunctions and nuptial agreements. Sarah Scriven has moved to Stowe Family Law LLP.

Practice head(s):

Lucinda Holliday

Other key lawyers:

Naim Qureshi; Olivia Dann


‘This is a cohesive team that work well together and provide an excellent service. They are a strong team, with an impressive collective intellect and expertise.’

‘Lucinda Holliday is an incredibly professional, capable and empathetic lawyer who is always expanding her knowledge in order to support her clients in the best possible way. I have recommended her services to many people and will continue to do so.’

‘On first contacting Blaser Mills to discuss my circumstances and ask for advice, Lucinda Holliday has brought warmth, understanding, humour, and humanity to our professional relationship, making a very difficult time that bit more bearable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her and colleagues to others. She has a fine team and delegates efficiently to optimise value and productivity.’

‘Olivia Dann handled my divorce and made an emotional process manageable with her gentle nature, understanding, and support in reaching the best possible outcome for me. I cannot thank Olivia enough for her approach in my vulnerable position. She is wise beyond her years and an excellent strategist.’

‘Naim Qureshi is unflappable, clever, and very likeable. He has experience of successfully running complicated cases. Naim is wonderful and is an extremely safe pair of hands. He is very gentle and reassuring with clients but can be as robust as they come in representing them.’

‘Lucinda Holliday has a wealth of experience of difficult cases. She is strategic and smart in her approach. She is an excellent lawyer, full of common sense and practical advice. Lucinda leads the team with considerable experience. She is extremely lovely with clients and knows the law inside out.’

‘The team are boutique in a sense that they are able to offer clients a bespoke service, clients really appreciate a personal touch point, their solicitor becomes a true emotional connection rather than just a perfunctory service. They are a first-rate team.’

Crane & Staples LLP

In Welwyn Garden City, the team at Crane & Staples LLP ‘leaves no stone unturned‘ when advising on the non-disclosure of assets, deprivation of liberty issues, and nuptial agreements. Danielle Peters is ‘experienced, knowledgeable and very hardworking‘, and leads the team alongside ‘hardworking and committed‘ senior associate Sian Churchill. Peters is particularly knowledgeable in financial arrangements concerning businesses and pension arrangements post-divorce, while Churchill primarily acts in non-accidental injury and chronic neglect cases. Sharon Montgomery is a ‘credit to her profession‘, often advising high-net-worth individuals and same-sex couples on child arrangements and maintenance issues.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Peters; Sian Churchill

Other key lawyers:

Sharon Montgomery; Janet Martland; Natasha Khakhar


‘The team are friendly, professional and will go the extra mile for their clients. Simply put, nothing is too much trouble. The chemistry of the team pulling together is unique and is a joy to behold.’

‘Danielle Peters is experienced, knowledgeable and very hardworking. She takes a practical and proportionate approach to her cases and they are always prepared impeccably.’

‘Sharon Montgomery is a true professional with a wealth of knowledge and experience. A credit to her profession.’

‘Natasha Khakhar is a real credit to herself, and the firm are so lucky to have her. She is warm, engaging, an effective listener, and empathetic. She always goes above and beyond. Natasha is an excellent solicitor. She represents her clients with empathy, compassion and understanding, whilst providing meticulous and considered legal advice.’

‘Sian Churchill is a stand out member of the firm, she is exceptional at what she does and takes such amazing care and humility in her work. She pushes for the best possible results in every way.’

‘Under Sharon Montgomery’s leadership, the team at Crane & Staples leaves no stone unturned in the seeking to secure the best possible outcome for their clients.’

‘Sian Churchill goes out of her way to assist her clients. She is hard working, committed, and provides sound advice. Sian stands out. She is friendly, approachable, and a true asset to that team. She is always professional and respectful to all.’

‘Janet Martland is proactive, astute, and fantastic with clients and does her own advocacy and always serves her clients well. She is an absolute asset and does it all.’

Taylor Walton LLP

Predominantly based in Harpenden, Taylor Walton LLP‘s team has ‘a wealth of experience and expertise‘ in private children, TOLATA, and domestic violence issues. The ‘very experienced and pragmaticBen Twitchen heads up the practice, and has vast expertise in advising on the financial aspects of divorces, while associate Emily Woodhouse handles private law children matters. In St Albans, ‘powerhouseOlive McCarthy regularly advises business owners and shareholder directors, and has ‘vast knowledge‘ of farming divorce issues, while Will Mercer has ample experience in the dissolution of civil partnerships and cohabitation issues involving farming assets. Laura Woolard is recommended for her capabilities in sensitive cases concerning abusive or hostile environments. Tamara Glanvill joined the practice from Fullers Family Law in September 2022, contributing her expertise in the preparation of parenting plans.

Practice head(s):

Ben Twitchen

Other key lawyers:

Will Mercer; Olive McCarthy; Emily Woodhouse; Tamara Glanvill; Laura Woolard


‘They have a strong family team with leading family experts. They collaborate and work well together as a team and offer their clients a one-stop shop.’

‘Olive McCarthy is a powerhouse. She combines expertise and a real breadth of experience with empathy and energy. Clients warm to her no-nonsense approach and benefit from her toughness. She is imaginative and determined, and always keeps the client’s interests at the absolute forefront of her thinking.’

‘Ben Twitchen is very experienced and pragmatic. I’ve appreciated his coaching and the way he structures our approach.’

‘Will Mercer runs an efficient, ethical team. He provides realistic quality advice to his clients. He is easy to work with and is someone you can call and have a constructive discussion with to narrow the issues and help both parties.’

‘They work brilliantly as team and I have and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. Extremely professional and courteous at all times and of course very knowledgeable. This firm has a wealth of experience and expertise.’

‘I have a lot of faith in Olive McCarthy, who has been my solicitor over the last 15 years. Her unbiased approach is refreshing. She stands out and is confident, thorough and attentive in every aspect of her work. She is both friendly and accessible yet remains highly professional. I am grateful for her insightful advice and vast knowledge.’

Tees Law

The team at Tees Law offers a ‘first-class service‘ when advising clients on financial remedy cases. Sally Powell heads up the Bishop’s Stortford-based practice. Powell has deep knowledge surrounding financial proceedings involving farms, often acting for farming families. Associate Helen Midgley is ‘in a league of her own‘ when assisting clients with the division of assets following relationship breakdowns, while associate Katie Stewart is an ‘exceptional talent‘, and handles Children Act applications and cases involving social services. The ‘very hardworkingJames Scarborough joined the team group from Stowe Family Law LLP in October 2022, and has vast expertise in cohabitation disputes.

Practice head(s):

Sally Powell

Other key lawyers:

Helen Midgley; Katie Stewart; James Scarborough


‘Tees as a firm have been very supportive and sensitive to my case. Their legal qualities and their personal qualities have made my very stressful situation much calmer to deal with. They are professional in every sense of the word and I am extremely grateful for their services.’

‘Katie Stewart has been incredibly sensitive and supportive during my court proceedings. Nothing is ever too much and I honestly believe that without her, I would not be where I am today. She approaches my situation with integrity and care. Katie is the epitome of professionalism and is an absolute credit to the firm.’

‘Katie Stewart is a star. Clients feel well-supported and that they are being robustly represented but will also trust her judgment on tricky issues. She is a joy to work with.’

‘Tees Law offers a first-class service. The firm has breadth in knowledge and experience in family, and offers a very comprehensive service to their clients. The team is excellent at all levels. The team are excellent. They are efficient and work collaboratively. They provide excellent client care, a one-stop shop for all of their clients.’

‘Katie Stewart is a stand out lawyer at Tees Law. I do not have the superlatives to describe how wonderful and refreshing it has been to have Katie involved. Katie is professional, and courteous. Katie Stewart is an exceptional talent and a true asset to her clients and to Tees Law.’

‘James Scarborough is bright, extremely personable, and very hardworking. He instils a huge amount of confidence in his clients and is a great strategic thinker.’

‘Sally Powell is a very pragmatic and effective head of the family team, solving problems, dealing with difficult issues and gets the job done.’

‘Helen Midgley is a recently trained mediator, this added string to her bow fits her way of working very well. She is an excellent solicitor, with a keen eye for detail, her preparation is meticulous and she seeks an amicable solution wherever possible. Helen is in a league of her own.’

Collins & Hoy Solicitors

Jointly led by ‘brilliant family lawyersBernadette Hoy and Aisling Collins, the Pinner-based practice at Collins & Hoy Solicitors handles a broad range of issues, including non-molestation orders, and complex pension issues arising from relationship breakdowns. Hoy maintains a mediation-focused practice for both financial issues and children’s matters, while Collins advises clients on financial settlements following divorces, and pre and post-nuptial agreements. The ‘brilliant and outstandingKate Moran often assists clients with applications for injunctions concerning domestic violence. Andaleeb Khandaker is an ‘exceptional lawyer‘ who has broad experience spanning special guardianship orders and child arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Bernadette Hoy; Aisling Collins

Other key lawyers:

Kate Moran; Andaleeb Khandaker; Rina Patel


‘Collins & Hoy offer a brilliant service across both children and matrimonial finance cases. They offer very sensible and straight-forward advice. The team ensures clients get clear and frank advice from the very beginning. The firm really goes the extra mile to ensure their client’s case is put in the fullest way possible.’

‘Both Aisling Collins and Bernadette Hoy are extremely experienced, empathetic, and brilliant family lawyers.’

‘Aisling Collins is the kind of solicitor you hear about from friends when they tell you how lucky they are to have a good lawyer. Her knowledge and advice is thorough, and her outstanding correspondences to both clients and the opposing side never fail to impress.’

Collins Solicitors

Collins Solicitors’ ‘extremely knowledgeable‘ team assists both high and middle-net-worth individuals with pre-nuptial agreements and private child arrangements. ‘Complete starDanielle Messenger leads the practice and ‘leaves no stone unturned‘ when advising clients on contentious financial issues as a result of divorces and relationship breakdowns, in addition to cohabitation disputes. ‘First-class solicitorDonna Downes predominantly represents children in cases concerning non-accidental injury, honour-based violence, and parental death, while also advising clients on adoption orders.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Messenger

Other key lawyers:

Donna Downes


‘Danielle Messenger is a breath of fresh air. Her sensible and conciliatory approach to matters has benefitted our respective clients and I look forward to working with her on future matters.’

‘Danielle Messenger has attention to detail and is a complete star. Danielle genuinely cares about her clients and always goes the extra mile. She is extremely experienced and has a no-nonsense, efficient approach with flair.’

‘Donna Downes is the star of the public law children team. She has a wealth of experience which she shares with her colleagues. The team provide constructive, non-confrontational advice to clients in a stressful area of law.’

Longmores Solicitors LLP

Longmores Solicitors LLP’s ‘incredibly approachable and highly capable‘ team assists clients with separations involving complex asset structures. ‘Extremely fierce litigatorTracey Dargan leads the Hertford-based group with her broad expertise in contentious issues surrounding co-parenting arrangements and the division of finances after divorce. The ‘meticulousKerrie Hall focuses on high and medium-wealth cases concerning pre-nuptial agreements and separations, showing ‘outstanding empathy‘ when handling private children disputes.

Practice head(s):

Tracey Dargan

Other key lawyers:

Kerrie Hall; Jessica Few


‘It is fabulous to have such a high-quality family team in the provinces. They are extremely professional and very highly regarded, locally equipped with lawyers who work very hard for their clients.’

‘Kerrie Hall is a meticulous lawyer with excellent attention to detail. She is highly professional and simply wonderful to have on the other side of a case. She is robust and stands up for her clients with diplomacy and skill and very often in some of the most challenging and complex cases.’

‘Tracey Dargan is the head, the heart and soul of the family department. She is an extremely fierce litigator who anticipates problems. I cannot recommend her enough.’

‘Jessica Few is excellent. She deals with cases with a maturity, insight and forensic precision that is well beyond her years. Jessica Few is simply a star. Compassionate, focused and very bright. As a team, Tracey Dargan and Jessica are better than Batman and Robin.’

‘Kerrie Hall is without a doubt, a highly accomplished individual. She brings a breadth of expertise to her role, giving her a high level of credibility with those who she interacts with. Kerrie has outstanding empathy, which she grounds in pragmatism and professionalism.’

‘I find dealing with Longmores an extremely positive experience. The team are efficient and very knowledgeable. Someone is always on hand to deal with any queries, in a friendly and professional manner.’

‘Kerrie Hall has been amazing. She has made me feel supported and heard. I have found a courage related to my case I didn’t have before. I highly recommend them. Kerrie is super capable, very practical and hardworking.’

‘Incredibly approachable and highly capable family team with kind, patient solicitors able to handle all areas of financial remedies and children work.’


The ‘brilliant‘ practice at Neves handles the full scope of family issues, including injunctions, care arrangements and financial settlement matters. The ‘intelligent and insightfulBeth Woodward leads the team from Milton Keynes, regularly representing intervenors and beneficiaries of family trusts in matters concerning family businesses. In Harpenden, associate Heidi Fleming has broad experience in divorce and separation related issues, including those involving the relocation of children and parental alienation allegations.

Practice head(s):

Beth Woodward

Other key lawyers:

Heidi Fleming; Emily Pope; Tina Shah


‘The team are professional and couldn’t be anymore helpful; each person I’ve spoken to within the firm has always been calm, knowledgeable, helpful and welcoming.’

‘Beth Woodward is excellent and I would highly recommend her. She is kind, caring and extremely knowledgeable. She provides brilliant, practical advice which is just what you need when going through a stressful divorce.’

‘Neves leads the way locally in collaborative working. I trust Neves are not only capable but that they will support the client in a professional, ethical and approachable way.’

Nockolds Solicitors

The team at Nockolds Solicitors approaches a broad range of issues with ‘honesty and integrity‘, including legal parenthood and child relocation matters, in addition to relocation work. Lynn Cowley heads up the Bishop’s Stortford-based practice alongside Peter Dodd. Cowley often acts in ancillary relief, cohabtation and pension matters, while Dodd has broad knowledge surrounding high-value divorces and Schedule 1 Children Act claims. Associate Adam Dunkley is ‘excellent‘ and has extensive knowledge of pension sharing orders and financial arrangement issues. Zen Thompson departed the practice in October 2022 to join Curwens LLP.

Practice head(s):

Lynn Cowley; Peter Dodd

Other key lawyers:

Francesca Davey; Adam Dunkley; Karen Pritchard


‘I think the honesty and integrity of the individuals are the key issue here. When you are going through emotional and traumatic personal issues it is so important that the people handling cases do not just hide behind what you want to hear.’

‘The team is approachable, pragmatic, and focused on solutions.’

‘The firm is multi-disciplinary with a well-established, excellent reputation in the local area.’

‘Adam Dunkley is an excellent solicitor who takes a proactive approach to collaboration between parties seeking to reach amicable agreements. Karen Pritchard is a dedicated solicitor to her clients, providing sensible and realistic advice.’

‘Karen Pritchard is very approachable, knowledgeable and honest. I have no issues recommending her to my family, friends, clients or anyone else, who say she is truly amazing.’

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The ‘exceptional‘ practice at Shakespeare Martineau LLP often handles financial settlements and remedies arising from divorce proceedings. In Milton Keynes, the ‘endlessly impressiveJane Charlton has vast experience in drafting pre and post-nuptial agreements to protect family businesses, and handling child law cases concerning allegations of parental alienation and sexual abuse.

Practice head(s):

Jane Charlton


‘I have always been impressed by the whole team, the way they approached my case was with a perfect balance of empathy and realism.’

‘I have worked with Jane Charlton for the past 7 years, and I have always found her approach, advice, and ways of working impeccable, but more importantly Jane is empathetic. Jane helps me navigate the legal framework with as much ease as possible.’

‘Jane Charlton is a highly experienced expert who has an excellent ability to get to the nub of the issue and offer a pragmatic solution. She is available and has a very pleasant manner and empathy.’

‘The family department at Shakespeare Martineau provide an exceptional service.’

‘Jane Charlton is endlessly impressive, I have no doubt that clients have the same confidence in Jane and Shakespeare Martineau. She is brilliant with clients, giving them realistic, helpful advice, as well as emotional support when necessary.’

‘Jane Charlton is invested in achieving the best outcome for the client and their family and goes above and beyond to ensure that everything is done to make the process as easy as possible. She is a safe pair of hands.’