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Family: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP utilises its close ties with the firm’s corporate, commercial and property departments as it advises on a range of complex, cross-border family finance instructions. South coast head Simon Burge helms a team that regularly handles high-net-worth divorces, relationship breakdowns, and Children Act proceedings, - often under acrimonious circumstances. Nuptial agreements also form a growing work stream. Burge, who serves as chairman of Hampshire Resolution, specialises in the financial aspects of high-net-worth separations, while Jennifer Williamson is recommended for her significant experience in wealth management cases and nuptial agreements. Rachel Giles is also noted. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Simon Burge

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Williamson; Rachel Giles

Testimonials

‘Jennifer Williamson is a stand out professional. Her attention to detail was unparalleled and yet her empathy and confident style helped reassure at the darkest of hours. She made it apparent from day 1 that she was fully committed and by my side.’

‘Simon Burge gives confident, no-nonsense advice. Highly respected in the region and for good reason.’

‘Blake Morgan have a real depth to their family team, with exepertise at all levels. Their reputation is second to none and having worked with this firm for many years, I can see why. ’

‘Simon Burge is calm, measured, and a true expert in the field.’

‘Jennifer Williamson is superb. She is a firm but fair negotiator. She cares deeply about her clients and is always willing to go the extra mile.

‘The Blake Morgan Family Team are exceptional. They would be my first choice if I was engaged in family proceedings myself or had to recommend to a friend or a relative.’

‘Simon Burge and Jennifer Williamson are a formidable team operating at a high level in the high net worth financial remedies arena. They are both very experienced and excellent with the clients. The cases are always meticulously prepared and they never fill the clients with false expectations.’

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow’s family law group is well-regarded by local, national, and international clients for its experience in divorce proceedings, private law children matters, pre-nuptial agreements, and mediation for medium to high net worth individuals. The Southampton-based team is particularly renowned for its financial remedy practice, where it handles complex income structure matters involving trusts, company and property interests, and public sector pensions. Experienced practitioner Debra Emery handles divorce, finances, and prenuptial agreements for high-net-worth clients, while  Katy Barber is noted for her comprehensive family law capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Farrands

Other key lawyers:

Debra Emery; Katy Barber

Testimonials

‘I have no hesitation in returning to this firm. ’

‘I really appreciated Debra Emery’s approach – she supported me in a kind way, she was also clear and realistic.’

‘Solicitors that combine quite old fashioned levels of civility and calm with a modern, business like approach. A firm that provides great reassurance for clients. ’

‘Debra Emery is wonderfully understated but with a incisive, quietly forceful personality. Very protective of clients for whom she will go that extra mile.’

‘Moore Barlow must be one of the longest established and experienced family finance teams in Hampshire. They provide an excellent service to their clients and a thoroughly able team capable of dealing with both modest and high net worth cases.’

‘Debra Emery is highly experienced in matrimonial finance. She is very hard-working and practical. She always gets the best from her clients and the best for them. Katy Barber is a calm and confident presence at the heart of her cases and spends clients monies wisely with an eye to proportionality at all times.’

‘An impressive team with a wealth of experience. ’

Paris Smith LLP

The family law practice at Paris Smith LLP takes on a host of high profile mandates for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The team is especially well regarded for its capabilities in complex financial remedy matters, where multiple business, property, and financial interests are concerned - often with a multi-jurisdictional aspect. The team is jointly led by Frank Prior and Huw Miles, who are based in the firm’s Southampton and Winchester offices respectively. Prior draws on decades of experience handling matrimonial finance proceedings with an international aspect. In addition to running the Winchester office, Miles has expertise in nuptial agreements and cohabitee disputes. New partner Lisa Bray concentrates on cases with a corporate element, while Sarah Passemard and Rachel Osgood are further key contacts for high-net-worth cases. Heather Souter is noted for her agricultural sector knowledge. Neil Davies is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Frank Prior; Huw Miles

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Bray; Sarah Passemard; Rachel Osgood; Heather Souter; Neil Davies

Testimonials

‘The family finance team at Paris Smith is the clear leader in the field in Hampshire and the south. It has great strength in depth and is capable of handling cases both of very high-net worth and lesser values with the same degree of care and expertise.’

‘Neil Davies has been a front-runner in this field for many years and is highly respected for his great skill and commercial nous. Frank Prior is a great performer who provides excellent client care and always works very hard for his clients. Huw Miles has a great eye for detail and is a top performer, always getting the best deals for his clients.

‘Sarah Passemard is hugely experienced and wonderfully realistic. Her clients have always been very well prepared and not given any false expectations.’

‘Rachel Osgood is a class act and a tough negotiator. With lots of experience, she is always working very hard to get the best deal and prepares immaculately.’

‘Solid, reliable team and experienced in dealing with a wide range of Family Law issues including financial remedy, Children Act and Schedule 1.’

‘I appreciate Frank Prior for his sense of humour and pragmatic approach, Neil Davies for his experience as a mediator, and Huw Miles for his grasp of the law and ability to analyse the fine detail of a case’

‘Large, very well-established and well thought of regional firm who are a match for any City firm. They have a superb family law department and a number of excellent fee earners both at partner level and associate level’

‘Frank Prior is a tough litigator and negotiator and is well used to dealing with complicated financial remedy claims.’

Irwin Mitchell

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the arrival of new department head, senior associate Kathryn Evans, and the combination of the firm’s Southampton and Chichester offices into a single South coast team Irwin Mitchell’s regional family law offering has remained active. In the past 12 months, the department has been engaged on a number of matrimonial finance and children law matters, often with a complex international element. Evans arrives from the firm’s London office, and  is experienced in both high-net-worth financial work and modern family matters regarding surrogacy and donor conception. She is also the key contact for the firm’s rural client base. Jelena Korobkova is also highly recommended.  Partner Katharine Shaw retired in summer 2020, while Vicki Rawlins left for Stowe Family Law in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Evans

Other key lawyers:

Vicki Rawlins; Jelena Korobkova

Testimonials

‘They were understanding of my needs and provided information that was easy to understand.’

‘Jelena Korobkova was professional throughout and is a great ambassador for  the company.’

‘Treated like a person not a case. Friendly and approachable, easy to reach and returned emails quickly’

‘Kathryn Evans is just great; intelligent; pragmatic; and wiser than her years. I regularly recommend her to friends looking for a family solicitor.’

‘The team work together to make their service seamless, the professionalism is second to none and the way they conduct themselves with outside professionals sets them apart from other companies.’

‘Kathryn Evans is amazing! She really cares about her clients and thinks about how she can best help them and who that might mean involving from other professions’

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP is well-regarded for its expertise across agriculture and landed estate family law cases, handling relationship breakdowns and intrafamilial disputes with complex business and asset considerations. The team is jointly led by Swindon-based Matthew Kellow and Fiona Kellow, alongside Sally Pike, a key figure in the firm’s Romsey office. Pike is an experienced mediator and collaborative lawyer who regularly assists high-net-worth clients in alternative dispute resolutions, complex divorce proceedings, and prenuptial agreements. Fiona Kellow handles negotiated settlements and children matters involving parental alienation, often with an international element. Matthew Kellow is noted for his expertise in Children Act work governed by the Hague Convention.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Kellow; Fiona Kellow; Sally Pike

Testimonials

‘Sally Pike is fantastic – the complete package. A clear top performer in family finance’

Sally Pike is very wise. She always prepares immaculately, forges excellent relationships with her clients and gets the best out of them. She is highly respected and a clear leader in this field.’

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP continues to strengthen its regional standing with a concerted expansion effort, hiring a number of new fee earners to its family practice over the past 12 months. The team is experienced in a range of family law matters, acting for claimants and respondents in complex financial remedy matters and Children Act proceedings with an international aspect. Salisbury-based practice head Andrew Mercer has decades of experience acting for high-net-worth individuals, while seasoned mediator Grant Cameron runs the firm’s Southampton practice. In Winchester, Emma Wilders-Pratt is well-regarded for her financial remedies practice, and has handled landmark cases regarding complex pension assets. Kimberley Davies, who splits her time between Poole and Bournemouth, is recommended for her experience in mediation and private law adoptions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Mercer

Other key lawyers:

Grant Cameron; Emma Wilders-Pratt; Kimberley Davies

Testimonials

‘I absolutely loved working with Kimberley Davies. She was so efficient, fast, professional, reliable and stood my ground. I couldn’t ask for a better representation. ’

‘Emma Wilders-Pratt has excellent client skills, knowledge and attention to detail.’

‘Emma Wilders-Pratt possesses a rare combination of strategic and emotional intelligence. With a steely resolve to fight for her clients, Emma achieves fantastic results and has a high satisfaction rate because she really cares about what she does.’

‘It is difficult to put my finger on one thing as Trethowans are masters at a number of important aspects – all the partners are approachable, friendly, efficient and proactive.’

‘Emma Wilders-Pratt is professional and empathetic with clients. Both her and Andrew Mercer have integrity and excellent listening skills combined with vast experience in their field.’

‘I work collaboratively with Grant Cameron who is very fair, sensible and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Andrew Mercer is an absolute star who leads a fantastic team. He is incredibly experienced in all aspect of financial remedy work and is well used to dealing with high end, high net worth cases and conducts them with a calm yet determined way.’

‘Trethowans are a very long established and highly respected firm. They have a strong presence in matrimonial finance and are capable of providing an excellent service to clients whatever the value.’

Larcomes

The family law team at Larcomes has expertise in complex childcare law. The Portsmouth-based practice regularly handles sensitive cases, acting on behalf of guardians, children, parents, and local authorities in private child law and public law proceedings - including adoptions, parental alienations, and serious abuse claims.  The team is jointly headed by Mark Tooley – a veteran practitioner with extensive experience in residence and removal proceedings – and Sandra Phillips, who specialises in injunctive remedies where the client has been a victim of domestic abuse. Jennie Swaby focuses on public children law, undertaking advocacy in County and High Court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Mark Tooley; Sandra Phillips

Other key lawyers:

Jennie Swaby

Phillips Solicitors

Phillips Solicitors handles high-value matrimonial proceedings and complex children matters for a range of clients, predominantly in North Hampshire. The team is led by Hayley  Eachus, an accredited family mediator who draws on her experience in property law to advise on matrimonial conveyancing. Elizabeth Ford’s family mediation practice concentrates on finance and children cases. All named lawyers are based in Basingstoke.

Practice head(s):

Hayley Eachus

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Ford; Sheila Parkes

Testimonials

‘They balanced empathy with the delivery of reliable advice.’

‘The practice is well informed knowledgeable. They are up-to-date with the current processes as well as the current climate in society.’

‘Elizabeth Ford was really professional, as well as understanding, during the difficult period of my separation. She would know when to get down to business, or just listen and let me grieve. She is very knowledgeable.’

‘I found Sheila Parkes efficient, willing to be robust in her advice, but ultimately to listen to my wishes and make sure they were carried out. That is exactly the style of solicitor I need – someone who is willing to challenge my thinking but who is on my team. Sheila was exactly the right person at the right time for me.’

Stowe Family Law LLP

With offices across the South coast, Stowe Family Law LLP is a strong choice for Hampshire-based high-net-worth individuals seeking representation in matrimonial proceedings, complex children cases, and asset structurings - often with an international aspect. The firm's financial offering  is bolstered by the presence of a dedicated in-house forensic accountancy team.  Aaron Bailey handles cases involving financial structures and assets both at home and abroad, while Cath Porter – who works between the firm's Bournemouth and Winchester offices  – is a well-respected figure in the local market for child law matters.  The firm hired Vicki Rawlins from Irwin Mitchell  as a partner and local practice head in summer 2021.

Practice head(s):

Vicki Rawlins

Other key lawyers:

Aaron Bailey; Cath Porter

Testimonials

‘Stowe has a strong reputation in the field of family law. They provide an all round good service, sound and realistic advice, good management of client expectations, well prepared in case management documents, work effectively as a team with counsel.’

‘A very friendly and flexible practice, helpful at all times, easy to contact. This is my first time using solicitors, but they made me feel at ease at each stage.’

‘Cath Porter is brilliant; down to earth, helpful and she explained in easy terms the legal side of things to enable me to make decisions regarding the direction of the divorce process.’

‘ Aaron Bailey  is up and coming. A definite partner in the making.’

‘The team  are very supportive and knowledgeable. Above all I value the collaborative approach taken at all times, along with their ongoing flexibility and approachability to meet my requirements.’

‘Vicki Rawlins offers strong and pragmatic advice to her clients. Her years practising locally gives her a real insight as to how the courts deal with matters on the Western circuit. ’