Family: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

In the financial relief sphere, Blake Morgan LLP's family team handles both complex high-value cases and limited asset matters. Contested Children Act proceedings are another key area of expertise.  Practice head Simon Burge is an expert in the financial consequences of a relationship breakdown, as well as matters concerning child arrangements, including those involving international relocations. Senior associate Jennifer Williamson joined the team in October 2018 from Stowe Family Law LLP.

Practice head(s):

Simon Burge

Other key lawyers:

Adam Cooper; Rachel Giles


Adam Cooper is incredibly sharp – a real asset to the Blake Morgan team. He lives in the real world I couldn’t rate him any higher’.

Rachel Giles was my first contact; she reassured me of my legal situation at a time when I was in great fear and guided me through my divorce‘.

The lawyers are always courteous, understanding, supportive and kind‘.

Simon Burge advised me on my very complicated divorce; he never pressed me into expensive litigation for the sake of it, and instead informed and supported me through complicated decisions‘.

Work highlights

  • Represented a mother in divorce, financial and children matters with cross-border issues in Ukraine, Dublin and England.
  • Representing a wife in complex divorce and financial matters, despite relatively low assets, culminating in potential Children Act proceedings.
  • Representing father in urgent Children Act proceedings required for the return of a child who had been taken by his mother, over whom there were serious welfare concerns.
  • Representing a wife in divorce and financial matters, complicated by husband’s financial affairs and disclosure of these.
  • Acting for a husband in a complex matrimonial finance matter where the main issue was conduct (dissipation of over £600k by gambling).

Moore Barlow

Matrimonial finance and children matters are cornerstones of Moore Blatch LLP's family practice, with the firm mainly acting for high net worth individuals. The firm has recently handled a significant number of cross-border mandates and maintains a notable reputation for wealth protection work. Team head Debra Emery specialises in the management of business and property portfolios upon divorce, particularly cases involving complex or unusual assets, such as farms and business structures. Associate Katy Barber is recommended for private law children issues.

Practice head(s):

Debra Emery

Other key lawyers:

Katy Barber; Sarah French


‘A strong family law team, with a wealth of experience at all levels’.

‘Debra Emery, Katy Barber and Sarah French have a thorough grasp of the law and give realistic advice. They are sensitive to their client’s needs and deal with cases with compassion’.

‘The team have strength in depth and they complement each other well’.

‘Debra Emery is highly competent and very experienced. Katy Barber is personable and relates well to clients. Sarah French is technically good and is a skilled mediator’.

‘Katy Barber dedicated to the core . Her professionalism and commitment to her clients is exceptional. She has been my skilled guide for three years taking me through all the twists and turns of my legal journey. Katy has certainly humanised the whole process for me . Thank goodness for her calm knowledgable approach ‘.

‘I have only ever worked directly with Sarah French, although I am very aware of the firm’s formidable reputation’.

‘ I have worked with Sarah French for a number of years, having been introduced to her when she was at Blake Morgan. Sarah’s attention-to-detail is second-to-none. She is meticulous, always striving to achieve the best for her clients. I am aware that Sarah’s practice is now predominantly ADR, accredited as a mediator and collaborative lawyer. Sarah’s direct, yet non-confrontational approach is perfectly suited to this work’.


Work highlights

  • Handled a high asset divorce case run and resolved under the bespoke HFLS Collaborative model – including financial and family consultants from the outset.
  • Handled a mediation case where one party had a brain injury with resulting mental health issues. The marital finances and arrangements for the children were resolved and uniquely the children were part of the mediation process.
  • Handled a difficult divorce case where the unrepresented spouse was particularly hostile however despite proceeding being issued for finances and children, both were resolved by consent.
  • A business divorce case which involved cross-practice collaboration across the firm’s private client, corporate, employment teams to arrive at a successful resolution.
  • Represented a client in a successful  post-separation High Court dispute with her ex-partner over their £1m home.

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP's family work includes high-value financial remedy cases and contested residence matters. In addition to being active in court litigation, the firm assists clients with alternative forms of dispute resolution. The team heads are Southampton-based Frank Prior and Huw Miles in Winchester. Prior has experience of acting for high and ultra-high net worth individuals, such as celebrities, business-people and public figures. Neil Davies has more than 30 years of family law experience, and acts for clients from London and across the south of England, as well as those based further afield internationally.

Practice head(s):

Frank Prior; Huw Miles

Other key lawyers:

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

Coffin Mew LLP

Coffin Mew LLP's team is a strong performer in complex financial remedy cases, and is also adept in contested children matters, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and issues between same-sex or unmarried couples. The team receives numerous referrals from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. Practice head Julie-Ann Harris has a strong reputation of acting for high net-worth businessmen. Bryan Scant, who was promoted to associate in April 2018, is the key contact for private children law matters.

Practice head(s):

Julie-Ann Harris

Other key lawyers:

Bryan Scant

Work highlights

  • Complex financial remedy matter with significant issues/disputes over beneficial ownership of a property including third party intervention. Cross border assets. Asset value circa  £3m.
  • Successfully obtained increased interim contact for a father involved in a difficult dispute over contact with a child. Case involves allegations of drink and drug abuse on both sides.
  • Advised a client on the legality and effectiveness of a cohabitation agreement and it’s enforcement post separation. Successfully negotiated a settlement, involving and protecting shareholding of £18m. Total asset value circa £27m.
  • Acting for the director a company in his divorce to negotiate a clean break and settlement from his wife involving disputes over the division of equity in the marital home and corporate interests. Successfully protected pension fund and ring fenced significant inheritance. Asset value circa £2.2 m.
  • Successfully represented client in financial remedy proceedings with complex financial issues and cross boarder assets. S.37 proceedings necessary to recover dissipated assets of £400k. Successfully defended appeal by other party. Total assets circa £3.5m.


Mark Tooley and Sandra Phillips jointly lead Larcomes' family and childcare team, whose ability to handle highly complex children law cases is a key feature of the practice. Tooley's practice encompasses both private and public law matters, such as those involving domestic violence, sexual abuse, neglect and vulnerable parents. The firm is also highly regarded in other matters; Phillips is knowledgeable about divorce, separation, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and matrimonial finance.

Practice head(s):

Mark Tooley; Sandra Phillips

Other key lawyers:

Julian Quartermain;

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP's Hampshire family offering is split between the Southampton and Winchester offices, with Grant Cameron serving as the practice head. The full-service team is particularly experienced in alternative dispute resolution, with all of its partners trained in mediation or collaboration. The group regularly works on high-value financial provision and children law matters. Emma Wilders-Pratt is experienced in cases involving complex assets and often represents high-ranking military personnel. Also noted is Juliet Mayhew.

Practice head(s):

Grant Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Emma Wilders-Pratt; Juliet Mayhew


The team headed is absolutely first rate. It is very well organised and has a wealth of specialist experience in all areas of family law. It has a wealth of experience in dealing with high-value and complicated money cases but is  equally at home in dealing with more modest cases‘.

The team’s commitment to the clients and achieving the best outcome for them is second to none‘.

They offers specialist advice on complicated cases at a fraction of the price of city firms‘.

Grant Cameron is at home with both litigation and mediation‘.

Juliet Mayhew and Emma Wilders Pratt have added a wealth of experience to the team‘.

‘Amy Trench is an associate solicitor and one to watch – she has a great rapport with clients and they warm to her and trust her from the start. She has great judgment belying her years‘.

Trethowans have an outstanding team of family lawyers‘.

Emma Wilders-Pratt  is incredibly hard working, solution driven and has highly-tuned client care skills‘.

Juliet Mayhew is a robust negotiator who achieves fantastic results for her clients by being commercial, responsive and empathetic‘.

Associate Emilie Holland is bright, thorough and works tirelessly for her clients‘.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's family team is supported by the expertise of practitioners in the firm's other private wealth divisions, including residential property and trusts, tax and estates. Post-nuptial wealth protection mandates make up the bulk of the firm's work, with the majority of clients seeking to ring-fence inherited assets. Practice head Katharine Shaw is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Shaw

Other key lawyers:

Jelena Korobkova


Irwin Mitchell comprises a wide range of different disciplines and therefore members of the firm are able to share their legal knowledge and experience when presented with problems outside their particular field.  It  has an enviable reputation‘.

Katherine Shaw is an unflappable character who always gets quickly to the nub of a case.  She provides well thought out solutions which more often than not are such that a settlement on very good terms is reached by her client‘.

Work highlights

  • Assisting a client who wishes to end or restrict his maintenance obligations to his ex-wife and child so that he can embark on a second marriage without long-term obligations to his first family.
  • Assisting a client ring-fence as much of the asset based he expects to receive by way of gift from his father in the context of a post-nuptial case.  
  • Assisting a business man active in the financial services sector with selling his business at the time of his divorce.
  • Assisting a wealthy and successful professional client keen to protect his inherited wealth and income.
  • Advising a client who owns a financial services business on how the divorce may influence the future direction of the business and the possibility of a sale.

Phillips Solicitors

Phillips Solicitors recently expanded its family team by hiring solicitor Maria Booth. Active in Children Act and matrimonial matters, the team attracts both regional and national instructions from high net worth clients. Alternative dispute resolution mandates are a key source of work. Practice heads Howard Gardener and Hayley  Eachus are both trained mediators.

Practice head(s):

Howard Gardener; Hayley Eachus


The team was easy to instruct; results were achieved through a common sense and efficient approach‘.

Howard Gardener is vastly experienced in family law; his advice is always sound’.

The team I was involved with communicated very well and I felt in safe hands with whomever I had to deal with. They always spoke with confidence and any questions I had were always dealt with swiftly‘.

With Mr Howard Gardener, things were clear from the start, including costs and trajectory of events, leaving me feeling in control‘.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP's 'excellent' family team is led by high net worth divorce expert and specialist mediator Sally Pike. The group assists high net worth individuals with nuptial agreements and asset protection matters, where it works closely with the firm's tax and succession team. It particularly distinguishes itself in the agriculture sector and has extensive knowledge of the issues arising from divorce, such as different family members’ interests in farm assets, planning and development issues, tax and property valuations. In addition, the team specialises in handling divorce cases for members of the armed forces, as well as police offers in the Thames Valley, Avon and Somerset, and Wiltshire police forces. Elsewhere, the practice has had an increase in mandates from private entrepreneurs and business owners. Solicitor Pascale Devlin joined from Coffin Mew LLP in September 2018.

Practice head(s):

Sally Pike

Other key lawyers:

Pascale Devlin


Thrings is particularly good at family finance. The firm offers a full service so expert advice is available when necessary from a number of practice areas‘.

Sally Pike has transformed the family finance department at Romsey; she is very experienced, great with clients, incredibly commercial and gives excellent and wholly proportionate advice‘.

Work highlights

  • Represented wife in divorce and financial proceedings involving over £1m, significant liquid capital and pension.
  • Representing wife in an ultra high net worth case with significant company assets amounting to approximately £50m and a property portfolio with a value of over £7m.
  • Advised husband in complex divorce and financial matter involving six companies and property portfolio of over twelve properties.
  • Acting for the wife in divorce case involving husband’s business and property assets in which both husband and wife are shareholders.
  • Represented wife in a case with significant pensions and capital, specifically investments.