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Family: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP's has developed a strong reputation for family law, including financial matters - advising on a range of high value cases. The team has seen an increase in work with an international slant, advising on a number of cross-jurisdictional matters, including post-nuptial agreements and division of assets. Practice head Simon Burge specialises in the financial consequences of relationship breakdowns and has particular expertise in handling high net worth cases. Elsewhere in the team, Jennifer Williamson has significant experiencedealing with high value wealth management cases.

Practice head(s):

Simon Burge

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Williamson


A wealth of experience in all areas of family law.  Top London firm calibre without the hefty price tag.

Simon Burge is highly experienced and gives excellent practical advice.  He forges great relationships with his clients to whom he gives a complete and commercial service.  He is also an excellent team leader. Jennifer Williamson has made a fantastic start to her career.  She’s very hard-working and conscientious and instils great confidence in her clients and them in her.

Very knowledgeable and experienced team who are helpful and personable to work alongside.  Excellent collaborative approach to matters, refreshing in comparison to others in the area.

Blake Morgan has an exceptionally strong presence in Hampshire. It is one of only a handful of premier family teams on the South Coast.  They attract a large following from the local business community and professionals.  The team has expertise in high net worth financial matters and international family cases.  They work at all levels of the family justice system.  The team is held in high regard by their peers and judges alike.  They are a modern, efficient and customer focused team who never lose sight of the common humanity required in this area of law.  They are the creme de la creme of family teams in Southern England.

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow acts on the full range of family law matters, but is particularly reputed for advising on complex financial remedy issues around trusts, company interests, complicated income structures, property interests and farms. Buoyed by its recent merger, the significantly larger practice, is led by Debra Emery, who represents medium to high net worth clients, primarily on divorce, finance and prenuptial agreements. As well as becoming a Resolution Accredited Specialist in children and financial work Katy Barber has considerable experience acting for cohabitees.

Practice head(s):

Debra Emery

Other key lawyers:

Katy Barber


I found the practice to be very professional in all matters; everyone from Debra Emery at the top down to the legal secretaries. Divorce is pretty expensive at the best of times and quite emotional, the no rush or pressure from this practice was really appreciated. I kept Debra on retainer ready for when needed, without undue pressure to act or force through activity.’

Debra Emery was outstanding by way of help and support throughout my divorce process. Kept on retainer, I tried to do as much as possible myself, checking in periodically for occasional advice from Debra. Every time, she was on point and incredibly responsive. I persevered myself for around ten months to try and save a little cost here and there, but found we’d hit a brick wall. I handed full control over to Debra and within three weeks all financial matters had been agreed and documentation was lodged with Court.

Moore Barlow have a very strong team of lawyers across their various offices. They have been a top provider in the field of financial remedies for many years and remain key players. They also have the advantage of a London office and a Richmond office to supplement their traditional bases in Hampshire.

Debra Emery is a very experienced solicitor with a long record of excellence.  She is quite capable of handling the most complex of cases. Jan Galloway (in Richmond) is a top performer.  She has long experience of the world of family finance and is highly regarded.  She is a joy to work for as she is level-headed and decisive. Katy Barber is beloved by her clients for her calm and sensible approach and easy and great to work for.  Very much a team player.

Approachable lawyers who provide clear and thorough advice and who genuinely believe in and practice all forms of dispute resolution.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a serial entrepreneur with assets in the UK and abroad as well as multiple companies.
  • Advised on a highly contested cohabitation dispute where the applicant sought to deprive the client of her 50% interest in a jointly owned family home.
  • Mediated in a case involving a transgender husband transitioning to become a woman.

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP specialises in high and ultra-high net worth cases, with a particular emphasis on financial remedy and children work. The team is jointly led by Frank Prior who heads up the Southampton office and Huw Miles who manages the Winchester branch. Due to its proximity to the capital, the practice receives a large number of instructions and referrals from London clients. They nevertheless retain competitive charge out rates, offering a "pay as you go" scheme, allowing clients to tap into the team's expertise only when necessary.

Practice head(s):

Frank Prior; Huw Miles

Other key lawyers:

Neil Davies


Paris Smith is by far the largest and strongest team in Hampshire, and possibly the south. It is set up like a London magic circle firm and is packed with stars. As a result, the team is able to provide a premier service to all levels,  including very high net worth individuals.  Top-rated in every respect.

Frank Prior is very experienced and a joy to work with. He has an entirely commercial approach, always acting proportionately and is tactically very astute. He has excellent client handling skills and achieves some brilliant results for his clients.

Neil Davies has been a leading figure in this area of law for over two decades. His immense experience means he is able to give very sound advice when necessary, but if the matter needs to be litigated he will deal with it.

Huw Miles is a canny and clever solicitor who is easy to work with. Very much a team player, he is thorough in his research and meticulous in his preparation. Understandably his clients become very reliant upon his skills.

Large, well established and well run team of specialists who are used to dealing with a broad range of (often high value) financial remedy and children work. They offer a superb service backed up by an excellent support team. Probably one of the top tier teams in the South of their size.

Huw Miles is a well respected and very experienced practitioner who not only has a great knowledge of the law and practice but engages well with clients from all backgrounds. He is excellent on detail and provides sensible advice and nothing phases him.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's family team advises on a range of matters including divorce, children, court of protection work and surrogacy cases. The practice is an integral part of the firm's private wealth group and leverages those resources to provide advice on residential property and trusts, tax and estates. Katharine Shaw leads the practice and has a particular reputation for her work involving farms, trusts and estates, while Vicki Rawlins works principally on pre/post nuptial and cohabitation agreements.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Shaw

Other key lawyers:

Vicki Rawlins


This firm attracts work of the highest quality and is a big player in high net worth divorces. The breadth of knowledge which the firm offers enables quick advice to be obtained whatever problem arises in any case.

Katharine Shaw is a star performer and absolutely unflappable under pressure. Fights hard for clients but always gives pragmatic advice so that clients have a full grasp of the merits of their case.

They give the full “Rolls Royce” service.

Katharine knows her stuff. She is very good and is prepared to go the extra mile.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP's family team has significant experience advising agricultural and landowner clients on divorce, specifically on complexities arising from different family interests in farm assets, tax and property valuations and, planning and development issues. Sally Pike, who leads the practice, is particularly experienced in family finance, as well as pre-nuptial agreements and is an accredited mediator and collaborative family lawyer. Fiona Kellow has significant expertise in high net-worth matrimonial finance.

Practice head(s):

Sally Pike

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Kellow


Sally Pike has put Thrings “on the map” for their regional family law offering.’

Thrings are a lovely firm providing an excellent service from its various offices. It has long been regarded as a leader in Wiltshire and Hampshire in the realm of financial remedy work.

Sally Pike is an excellent solicitor and a joy to work with. She forges fantastic relationships with her clients and works extremely hard for them. She is very experienced and provides the best possible advice, full of sound practicality and realism.

Sally Pike is truly passionate about her work.  She has immense experience both on Circuit and in London.  She regularly deals with the most complex cases and she leaves no stone unturned in her desire to achieve a result for her clients.

Trethowans LLP

Alternative dispute resolution is a large part of Trethowans LLP Hampshire practice, which is split across offices in Southampton and Winchester. Practice head Andrew Mercer deals predominantly with wealthy individuals with family owned businesses and farms and is committed to a 'no-court approach' in the resolution of family related disputes. Grant Cameron is a resolution trained all-issues mediator, while Winchester based Emma Wilders-Pratt specialises in complex assets.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Mercer


As a team Trethowans have experience handling all levels of financial remedy claims.  The team is well balanced and highly efficient. The four partners are all highly regarded.  I consider them among the top band of firms in this area of law in Wiltshire and Hampshire.

Andrew Mercer is a top lawyer with very long experience and a wise head.  He will always strive to achieve sensible practical and commercial solutions. Grant Cameron and Kimberley Davies are also highly experienced practitioners with great track records and are excellent to work with.

They offer a first class service to clients in terms of litigation, alternative dispute resolution and support through what are often difficult and emotional times for the clients. The atmosphere at the firm is also very good. Whilst based outside of London, they are a go-to firm in the area for family law and are a match for any specialist London based firm.

Andrew Mercer is an absolute star and born leader. He is very relaxed and calm, which conceals a razor sharp knowledge of the law and an uncanny ability to predict at a very early stage the likely outcome. Staff respect him and clients immediately warm to him and rightly so. He is equally at home resolving cases in an alternative dispute resolution framework as he is in tough court-led litigation.’

Grant Cameron heads up the Southampton office and is a very effective practitioner who undertakes a considerable amount of mediation and collaborative resolution of cases.


Larcomes ' family team acts on a range of matters including separation and divorce, matrimonial finances, ancillary relief procedure, civil partnership, cohabitation, domestic violence and children act proceedings. The practice is jointly led by Mark Tooley  and Sandra Phillips .  

Practice head(s):

Mark Tooley; Sandra Phillips

Phillips Solicitors

The recent merger of Phillips Solicitors  with legacy Basingstoke firm Brain Chase Coles has increased the capabilities of the family department to include both children and care work. An important aspect of the practice is its work in alternative dispute resolution; practice heads Howard Gardener and Hayley  Eachus  are both trained mediators. The firm's principal client base is drawn from Basingstoke and north Hampshire and ranges from private individuals to owner-managed businesses.

Practice head(s):

Howard Gardener; Hayley Eachus


I was particularly impressed by the calm way Howard Gardener handled my case at every stage. He enabled me to remain focused on each step of the process in a logical order and I always felt great confidence in him.  I was also represented by Hayley Eachus. I was so pleased with her involvement in my divorce case,  I subsequently instructed her for the conveyancing of my house purchase.

A quality law firm that gave me confidence that they would get the job done. I was impressed with the range of expertise and the way in which individuals were treated with respect and dignity. Very friendly and knowledgeable individuals.

Howard Gardener’s ability to cut through irrelevancies and get to the heart of the matter impressed me.  Together with his judicial experience it made me feel from the start that a relevant conclusion could be reached quickly. The succinct quality of the letters written to the opposing side were relevant, factual, and decisive in escalating successful outcomes.

Through what has been an unpleasant divorce process, Howard Gardener has been very reassuring and made me feel comfortable that he had my back at all times, was extremely knowledgeable in this field and also had considerable experience. He was equitable and fair whilst maintaining the highest standards of integrity.


Work highlights

  • Defended a client against a potentially punishing wasted cost order.
  • Resolved a matter relating to a client’s former husband circulating accusations and giving fictitious interviews which resulted in having to instruct Counsel in relation to defamation and injunction proceedings.