Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex in South East

Adler Family Law Solicitors LLP

The ‘highly supportive and empathetic’ team at Adler Family Law Solicitors LLP, based in Kingston upon Thames, has a track record in acting in high-profile and novel cases, and recently acted in a case in which a Hadkinson Order was extended to cover proceedings that are not identical. Team head Charlotte Adler, who is praised as ‘immensely experienced’, advises on high-value divorce and financial claims and the preparation of pre-marital, cohabitation and civil partnership agreements. Conrad Adam joined the team in January 2021, bringing a wealth of experience in complex matrimonial finance matters including cross-jurisdictional disputes.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Adler

Other key lawyers:

Conrad Adam; Sophia Raja; Michaela Ramage

Testimonials

‘The team are truly capable and hold a high standard which they work to. They have your best interests at heart and offer more than one solution to your issues. They are highly supportive and empathetic.’

‘Adler Family Law is a very strong Outer London firm. They specialise in financial disputes on divorce and relating to children. I would describe it as a very specialised firm with a high standard of work. It would be a great choice for someone seeking a Central London level of specialism and quality at less cost.’

‘Charlotte Adler is immensely experienced and must have seen pretty much every kind of case given her background. She is totally on top of the file and has well tuned judgment and excellent client handling skills. Always pragmatic about settlement but ready for a contest if need be.’

‘Charlotte Adler was able to focus on details relevant to my case whist trying to keep costs down. She got back to me in a timely manner which relieved some of the pressure caused by waiting for response. I appreciated that her costs were lower and that she was able to distinguish which information was relevant for the case. She also showed empathy whilst dealing with me at my most vulnerable time.’

‘Charlotte Adler works tirelessly for her clients, showing a huge level of dedication and commitment. She is extremely able and a pleasure to deal with. The team has also been boosted by the arrival of Conrad Adam, who is an extremely skilful and shrewd litigator, as well as being extremely good with his clients. The firm punches well above its weight.’

‘Charlotte Adler is a very experienced practitioner. She is a workhorse and always strives for the best for her clients. Sophia Raja is also highly experienced, intelligent and diligent and provides an exceptional service to clients.’

‘Conrad Adam has been exceptional. A real true expert in the field. He is empathetic and shows genuine care. I knew I was in safe hands from the start to finish.’

‘Conrad Adam – analyses not just the strengths but also the weaknesses of his cases and always gives sensible and pragmatic advice.’

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP ’ ‘cohesive’ family law team in Guildford, which is co-headed by Shona Alexander and Karen Wilsher, advises on all matters of family law. Working closely with the firm’s highly regarded trust litigation and private client team, the family law practice has notable strength in cases involving trust structures and significant pensions in the context of family disputes. Alexander specialises in (ultra) high-net-worth complex financial cases, often with an international element, while Wisher specialises in high-value financial matters and complex child law cases. William Rollin is an expert in complex and high-value financial cases and also advises on pre-marital and post-marital agreements.

Practice head(s):

Shona Alexander; Karen Wilsher

Other key lawyers:

William Rollin; Felicity Chapman; Claire Devine; Shivi Rajput

Testimonials

‘They are the best family layers south of London: Magic circle ability but at lower prices. All round excellent.’

‘The three partners (Karen Wilsher, Shona Alexander and William Rollin) are all first rate lawyers with a good knowledge of the law. Karen Wilsher, with whom I work most of the time, is an excellent strategist, who quickly assesses the key issues and gives her clients realistic advice. Claire Devine is an excellent associate, hardworking and a team player.’

‘The Charles Russell Guildford family team has always provided a very sophisticated and thorough service to clients – very much up with the standards of the best London firms. However what differentiates them versus London firms is that the partners involved in the case are truly involved without extensive delegation to much more junior staff. They make clients feel that their interests are properly looked after and demonstrate a high level of technical ability in some very complex financial cases.’

‘Shona Alexander is the best: caring, thoughtful hardworking and tough.’

‘Shona Alexander is a collaborative-minded, pragmatic lawyer with a great reputation.’

‘Karen Wilsher is the stand out member of the team with a very able assistant in Claire Devine.’

‘Claire Devine – Exceptionally good, great eye for detail and really cares about her clients.’

‘Claire Devine is a brilliant solicitor who can take the most complicated matrimonial finance case in her stride. She has a strategic approach and is a brilliant communicator with both the lay client and counsel.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the applicant in the reported case of ND (by her litigation friend KW) v GD [2021] EWFC 53.

Cripps

Cripps' ‘professional and caring’ family team often advises high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals both in the UK and abroad, including members of the British aristocracy, celebrities, politicians and businessmen. In particular, the team have a wealth of experience in dealing with the complex issues that arise during the separation of unmarried couples. Team head Alex Davies has received an increasing number of instructions to advise on nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements, while Vanda James deals with complex financial cases which typically include large pensions or significant business and trust assets. Managing associate Helen Fisher is also singled out as ‘outstanding in her understanding and assistance‘.

Practice head(s):

Alex Davies

Other key lawyers:

Vanda James; Helen Fisher

Testimonials

‘The family law team at Cripps have been extremely knowledgeable, helpful and accommodating during the trying time of my divorce.’

‘A first class service and specialists in the field of both private children and finances arising from divorce. A very approachable firm with associates and partners who really care about their clients and will go the extra mile for them.’

‘Cripps is a firm that can be trusted implicitly to deliver the highest service for individuals. Genuinely Magic Circle firm attention to detail and knowledge at regional prices. Excellent cohesive team.’

‘Cripps are the most professional and caring law firm I have come across. I highly recommend them. They assisted me during difficult times with their work which I am grateful for.’

‘Helen Fisher has been outstanding in her understanding and assistance, when having had to deal with a very awkward and difficult case. I have felt most comforted by her, and her team’s, support.’

‘Vanda James ensured she was available to deal with difficult and complex issues at all times. I will never be able to thank her enough for help, care and professional advice.’

‘Alex Davies and Vanda James are outstanding. Incredibly knowledgeable, hard working and advise on how to get the best for the client without increasing temperature of litigation or legal costs. I appreciate their sound advice and excellent organisation.’

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a Middle Eastern businessman to defend an application for avoidance of disposition order in case with assets of approximately £20m.
  • Acting on behalf of a 32 year old to prepare a pre-nuptial agreement to protect his substantial inheritance held in various trust structures and valued in excess of £20m.
  • Acted on behalf of a local business man in respect of injunction proceedings with the family and criminal court, financial provision application, child maintenance tribunal and possession proceedings.

Family Law Partners

Family Law Partners have offices in Brighton and Horsham, and since November 2021, the team has become one of the few firms with a full-time in-house family therapist and coach. Kate Elliott, who is head of the Horsham team, has extensive experience managing complex financial remedies, while Brighton team head Lisa Burton-Durham is singled out as ‘approachable and friendly but tenacious and hardworking’. Gemma Hope specialises in dealing with financial and children issues, and Robert Williams sits as a deputy district judge in the county court and family court. Senior associate Christopher Maulkin excels in financial matters.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Burton-Durham; Robert Williams; Kate Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Hope; Rachel Nicholl; Christopher Maulkin; Hannah Viet; Zoë Summers; Sarah-Jane Riddell

Testimonials

‘An extremely capable team of family lawyers, really committed to developing the boundaries of good practice. Hugely impressive outfit.’

‘Robert Williams and Kate Elliott, both exceptionally talented family lawyers, with a real skill for identifying the nuances of a case and steering their clients safely through the litigation minefield. Unhesitatingly recommend for the full gambit of family law cases: children, money, big, small, international…this is a firm (and a team) that are on a steep upwards trajectory. And a pleasure to deal with too!’

‘Kate Elliott is a gift to her clients. She is enormously sensible and very attuned to likely outcomes if the parties reach court, so can provide early and accurate advice as to what is and isn’t worth fighting about. She is extremely personable and develops excellent working relationships with clients, who come to rely on her heavily during protracted court proceedings. Kate gives each case 100%; she knows her cases inside out and prepares early and thoroughly.’

‘Gemma Hope’s attention to detail is second to none- no stone is left unturned. Lisa Burton-Durham is approachable and friendly but tenacious and hard-working- a lethal combination!’

‘Lisa Burton-Durham is an experienced lawyer. She is friendly and professional, with an extensive skill set. Lisa drives and motivates a team around her and shows 110% commitment to her cases and clients. She delivers energy and passion. Lisa’s client care is exceptional, as is her legal knowledge, her approach to cases and meeting her client’s objectives.’

‘Zoë Summers is a very intelligent and able lawyer. She has a great attention to detail and forensic skills making her a very strong lawyer and particularly suited to matrimonial finance cases. She is capable of dealing with complex, difficult and high-value matrimonial finance cases. She also has excellent personal skills and is very good with clients.’

‘Chris Maulkin dealt with my matter calmly and achieved a very good outcome for me. He was also instrumental in curbing my more impatient tendencies in order to achieve this.’

‘Christopher Maulkin is one of the kindest and most intelligent gentlemen that I have had the privilege to deal with in the legal profession. He exudes patience and nothing appears to phase him or cause frustration to be displayed. An exemplary professional as well as a human being.’

Jones Nickolds

Under the leadership of Lisa Jones (based in Beckenham) and Claire Nickolds (based in Chislehurst), Jones Nickoldsis now a very well established and highly regarded boutique practice’, with ‘a well-deserved reputation for excellent and cost-effective advice’. Jones has extensive experience in all aspects of divorce, matrimonial finance, cohabitation and private law children work, while Nickolds advises on complex financial disputes involving family businesses or trust assets, as well as private law children work. Rachel Woodd is increasingly involved in mediation proceedings, and Gemma Irving has particular expertise in advising on financial provisions in divorces and arrangements for children, including cases with a cross-border element.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Jones; Claire Nickolds

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Woodd; Gemma Irving; Laura Smail; Alexandra Gray; Mai-Ling Ho

Testimonials

‘Jones Nickolds are top notch. As good a service and advice as you will receive anywhere (including expensive Central London firms).’

‘This firm is a powerhouse which continues to grow in profile and in terms of the size of the practice. By recruiting stellar individuals, often from London magic circle firms they have continued to build the team to one where there is excellence at all levels of solicitor. The service they provide is outstanding – Magic Circle service at non Magic Circle fees.’

‘Lisa Jones (founding partner) gets incredibly good quality work, is class personified and gives really measured and settlement-focused advice. Gemma Irving (partner) is brilliant, she really gets to the nub of every case and gives realistic advice behind the scenes, while being ready and willing to fight for the client in the litigation.’

‘Lisa Jones is absolutely outstanding. She’s an exceptionally skilled lawyer, experienced, and laser-focused on achieving the best possible result for her client. I have benefited from her level-headed, straight talking and insightful approach; over the past decade achieving outstanding outcomes in every matter in which I have instructed her without fail. Cannot recommend Lisa highly enough.’

‘Claire Nickolds – is an outstanding family lawyer. She has a razor-sharp intellect and is able to see the wood for the trees in complex and highly emotive cases. She has great skill in creating solutions in difficult and acrimonious cases and gives clients realistic expectations from the start.’

‘Rachel Woodd is the most knowledgeable, kind hearted and caring person I have met. Rachel helped me find the confidence to move on in all the legal matters that I have found so hard to face, been able to give me clear legal advice in a very caring way so we can work to some form of resolution.’

‘Rachel Woodd is the standout performer at Jones Nickolds, and is a complete pleasure to deal with. She truly cares for her clients, and has carved out a very well deserved reputation as a go-to mediator.’

‘Throughout the process I was extremely well-supported by Gemma Irving. The legal advice I received was outstanding but the emotional support I received from everyone was invaluable. Thank you.’

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow’s Guildford-based family law team is ‘well organised and prepared’, according to clients. Team head Joanna Farrands is ‘a sensible, thoughtful lawyer who works hard for her clients’ and has advised on several ultra-high-net-worth pre-nuptial agreements. Jan Galloway, whose ‘attention to detail is fantastic’, has extensive experience representing international clients in the UK and abroad both before marriage and after. Judith Ball has over 35 years’ experience working on high-value and complex cases, particularly those involving business assets and complex pensions.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Farrands

Other key lawyers:

Jan Galloway; Judith Ball; Mandy Spring; Victoria Walker

Testimonials

‘The team is always keen to ensure they look after their clients. They are well organised and prepared. They are a safe pair of hands.’

‘Strength in depth. A major player in the South East. Good client relations. Hard working and thoughtful. Very thorough.’

‘They have a highly collaborative ethos between the lawyers and the availability of a wider range of knowledge is a real benefit to clients.’

‘Joanna Farrands is highly responsive, creatively minded and not afraid to deliver pragmatic advice to clients in high value financial remedies cases while going “toe to toe” with City firm opponents who are used to deploying aggression as a tactic.’

‘Mandy Spring – wonderful. Pragmatic, empathetic and knowledgeable.’

‘Victoria Walker moved heaven and earth to enable us to help us and was then available at very short notice during the hearing itself. Her commitment was unwavering.’

‘Jo Farrands is a great collaborative lawyer and really works hard for her clients. Mandy Spring has just been made a partner. She is great lawyer and is easy to speak to if you are in the other side to try and resolve things amicably.’

‘Jan Galloway’s attention to detail is fantastic. She has a client centric approach and brings in all necessary expertise to ensure the best outcome for the client.’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s family team in Guildford has ‘great strength in depth in family law and a large number of very able and experienced solicitors’. Team head Veronica Gilmour is ‘highly emotionally intelligent’ and ‘particularly knowledgeable about pensions in divorce’; she is also a highly experienced mediator. Rachel Donald has extensive experience in nuptial and cohabitation agreements, having recently advised a cryptocurrency millionaire in relation to a divorce involving assets of £50m. Sarah Duckworth is particularly adept at dealing with cases involving family trusts and inherited wealth. Emma Willing recently joined the team from Mishcon de Reya LLP, while senior associate Gemma Kemp joined from Blandy & Blandy LLP  to bolster’s the department’s strength with her broad practice.

Practice head(s):

Veronica Gilmour

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Donald; Sarah Duckworth; Gemma Kemp; Beth Bell; Laura Hughes; Emma Willing; Laura Naser; Bethan Carr

Testimonials

‘Penningtons’ reputation for excellence is well-earned. In my experience, their solicitors are diligent, hard-working, and knowledgeable. They are also compassionate and care deeply for their clients.’

‘The Surrey team comprises several individuals who are experienced, empathetic and simply superb family solicitors. Compared to many other firms, their combined experience makes them a tour de force and the place to go to for your divorce finances.’

‘Gemma Kemp brings intelligent sense to every case she handles. Rachel Donald is also well respected as an intelligent operator who goes the extra mile for her clients.’

‘Beth Bell – conscientious, hugely bright, very able. Fantastic forensic mind and incredible attention to detail. Superb strategic instincts. Gentle and compassionate with clients but by now means a pushover – very firm and clear in her advice. A real star of the future. Laura Hughes – frighteningly forensic, incredibly capable, very on-the-ball.’

‘Sarah Duckworth is an experienced solicitor who inspires confidence in her clients and adopts a collaborative approach to problem-solving. Sarah is the person who I would recommend my divorcing friends employ.’

‘Emma Willing is an extraordinarily committed solicitor with an incredible appetite for work and a solution-focused approach’.

‘Bethan Carr, Rachel Donald, Beth Bell and Laura Naser are all exceptional at what they do. They also provide a lot in terms of guidance on legal developments through online media platforms such as Instagram in a way that is easily digestible and accessible to all.’

‘Bethan Carr is the surrogacy god. She is knows the ins and outs of surrogacy more than most lawyers in the field. She has excellent client care skills and clients immediately feel at ease with her approach.’

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s family team at Guildford is highly regarded for complex financial work and pre-nuptial agreements, working closely with the tax and trust teams to support a diverse client base. In 2021, the team dealt with cases involving individuals, assets and trust structures in many jurisdictions ranging from The Bahamas to Singapore. The team is fields a variety of specialists: team head Nicola Harries excels in pre-nuptial agreements, Grace Parker-White is active in mediation, managing associate Sean Hilton advises third parties wishing to protect assets subject to matrimonial disputes, Kate Lewis deals with cases with issues of litigation capacity, and Victoria Batstone has expertise in international children matters.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Harries

Other key lawyers:

Grace Parker-White; Sean Hilton; Kate Lewis; Victoria Batstone

Testimonials

‘I found this practice to be professional, thorough and proactive. I always felt confident that my solicitor had thoroughly understood my query or issue and was experienced enough to give me well balanced and thoughtful advice.’

‘Very constructive and able team of family lawyers who compete in the London as well as their local market. Because of the breadth of the firm’s wider practice and their corporate and private clients the family team benefit from additional expertise and look after the family law issues of the firm’s high-net-worth clients.’

‘I find the whole practice a perfect balance of friendliness and professionalism. Everyone I’ve encountered at S&B, the offices, the whole experience has made me feel in very safe hands.’

‘Nicola Harries – a pragmatic, warm and empathetic lawyer. Grace Parker-White – a thoughtful, well organised and caring solicitor and mediator.’

‘Grace Parker-White was my solicitor and I could not have got through my divorce without her. She was kind, understanding, unflappable and responsive. She gave me excellent advice, dealt with my ex-husband very well and kept the process moving when it easily could have stagnated.’

‘The warmth and empathy of the my solicitors (Grace Parker-White and Victoria Batstone) combined with their unfailing professionalism and efficiency makes them the best solicitors I’ve ever instructed.’

‘Nicola Harries was efficient, calm, knowledgeable and kind on the family matter we dealt with. She was always courteous and available to discuss the case to progress.’

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells-based family and matrimonial team ‘supports clients at every step of the way to enable them to feel secure in the decisions’. Team head Joanna Pratt, who is praised for her ‘quiet attention to detail’, specialises in high-value financial cases. Kirstie Law is praised as ‘a clever, and insightful lawyer’ who is ‘very able at coming up with solutions that both sides can live with and therefore avoiding the costs of litigation’. The ‘amazingly conscientious and supportive’ Desmond O’Donnell has expertise in all types of financial and children proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Pratt

Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Law; Desmond O’Donnell; Sarah Keily; Helen Waite

Testimonials

‘I have used Thomson Snell & Passmore for many years and they are characterised by promptness, professionalism and pragmatism. In many ways I think we get the best of first class advice and service associated with top London firms combined with personal client attention associated with a more approachable family practice.’

‘The family department are fantastic – extremely engaged, great value for money, incredibly detailed work, personable, approachable.’

‘Ethos of the firm is to provide support to the clients at every step of the way to enable them to feel secure in the decisions to make.’

‘Kirstie Law – always made me feel like her only client. She made herself available to me even out of office hours. I felt safe.’

‘I have worked the Joanna Pratt for many years and followed her deserved rise to her current position. Her quiet attention to detail and ability to remain utterly human in the sometimes clinical environment of the legal world has always been appreciated.’

‘Helen Waite – provides an all encompassing service, working incredibly hard to ensure every step of the process is understood by the client. Astonishing ability to remain calm under pressure and give advice in the most challenging of circumstances. Kirstie Law – clear headed, pragmatic in her thinking at all times.’

‘Desmond O’Donnell is an amazingly conscientious and supportive solicitor with excellent client care skills. He goes above and beyond for his clients to deliver a level service where they feel fully protected and prepared.’

‘Joanna Pratt, Sarah Keily and Helen Waite are all top class solicitors / partners – they prepare their cases immaculately.’

Blackfords LLP

Blackfords LLP’s Woking-based family and children law team is ‘amazingly hardworking, committed and provides great client care’. The team has particular expertise in children matters, across private and public law children cases. Team head Nicola Chamberlain, who is ‘an excellent solicitor with superb judgment and tactical acumen’, advises on all matters of family law, including private law children matters, care proceedings, and divorce and financial applications.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Chamberlain

Other key lawyers:

Helen Worden; Kim Wintle; Terri-Anne Taylor

Testimonials

‘Blackfords undertake a great deal of complex family cases, often in the High Court with difficult legal and factual issues. They are a strong bespoke team who are responsive and efficient offering high level legal advice.’

‘The family law team contains some outstanding lawyers. They are all dedicated to achieving the best outcome for their clients and are widely respected for fighting their clients cases with diligence and dedication. They provide their clients with realistic advice that is tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of the individual case. This is not a team or a firm that sees their clients as numbers but as distinct individuals. They each work very hard on all their cases, often going more than the extra mile.’

‘I am impressed with how they work together as a team often reviewing complex cases to debrief how they have been managed. Excellent with complex work. The quality and value of the leadership of the family team is what makes the whole of the team stand out right down to associate level.’

‘Nicola Chamberlain is an excellent solicitor with superb judgment and tactical acumen. She is hardworking, empathetic and a joy to work with. I highly recommend her.’

‘Nicola Chamberlain is a real team leader, ensuring that there is a focus on core values which underpin every aspect of the service they offer. A real delight to work with, always bringing insight and experience to each case. Whatever the pressures of case preparation or the complexity of the issues, Nicola thinks strategically, immaculate preparation.’

‘I have worked with Terri-Anne Taylor on a number of matters. I consider her to be a very efficient and pragmatic, client-focused solicitor.’

‘Helen Worden – Helen is a very warm and dedicated family law expert. She represents her clients with the utmost integrity and care and local authorities and judges rightly respect her and her standard of work.’

‘Kim Wintle – She is a master of detail and quickly commands the client’s respect.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a husband in divorce proceedings involving assets of over £7m and complicated by the client having had vulnerable mental health.
  • Representing a father in relation to a Care Order in respect of three children, the application arising from unexplained injuries to the youngest child.
  • Advising a mother in relation to private law Children Act 1989 proceedings concerning her daughter, who has been the subject of five separate applications during her nine years.

Brachers

Co-headed by Mei-Ling McNab and Mark Leeson, Brachers’ Maidstone-based family law team is known for being ‘tenacious and fearless in the representation of clients’, with extensive experience in high-value pre- and post-nuptial agreements and international relocation cases. McNab is praised as ‘a fantastic solicitor with long experience in dealing with cases of all different value’ who ‘applies herself brilliantly and always achieves the best results for her clients’. Leeson has worked in family law in Kent for more than 30 years.

Practice head(s):

Mei-Ling McNab; Mark Leeson

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Jones; Rhia Davis

Testimonials

‘Brachers has a very strong Family team. They have a large amount of work often involving complex aspects of Family Law such as trusts, nuptial agreements, non-disclosure and assets held within company structures. They deliver excellent value for money.’

‘Brachers are an outstanding firm within the family sector. They are tenacious and fearless in their representation of clients. Their conduct in litigation and ability to give realistic, clear advice to clients whilst guiding them through the process is outstanding.’

‘Brachers have a very strong family finance team, full of wisdom and experience and have the benefit of being part of a full service firm of solicitors with excellent facilities and support. In my view they are clearly the best team in the region and provide an excellent service with exceptional client care.’

‘Mei-Ling McNab is an exceptional lawyer and highly experienced in all aspects of Family Law. I have worked with her for about 15 years and can say that she demonstrates excellence at all times.’

‘Mei-Ling McNab and Rhia Davis are outstanding individuals. Both are able to provide clients with an excellent service, combining practical legal analysis with a human, personal touch.’

‘I have worked with Mei-Ling McNab for a number of years and her empathetic, sensitive and yet outcome-focused approach sets her (and Brachers) apart.’

‘Mei-Ling McNab is a fantastic solicitor with long experience of dealing with cases of all different value. Whatever the task she applies herself brilliantly and always achieves the best results for her clients. She is extremely approachable and manages to make complicated cases simple.’

DMH Stallard LLP

DMH Stallard LLP’s family team is ‘incredibly responsive and compassionate’ and offers ‘excellent cost-effective advice’. The Horsham team is headed up by Mark Rennie, whose ‘caring, empathetic and hardworking nature’ is praised by clients. The Brighton team is led by the ‘kind and compassionateJoanna Potbury and the ‘excellent’ and ‘confidentPhilip Morton. The Guildford team continues to develop under the leadership of Samantha Jago, who is ‘capable, efficient, on top of her cases and hugely valued by her clients’.

Practice head(s):

Mark Rennie; Philip Morton; Joanna Potbury; Samantha Jago

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Winter

Testimonials

‘Their handling of my divorce case was outstanding. Their understanding of divorce law, empathy and excellent cost effective advice allowed me to negotiate a very fair and amicable settlement with my ex-wife. The team is incredibly responsive, compassionate and provide excellent value for money in the advice they provide. ‘

‘I can not speak highly enough of Mark Rennie and his team. They supported me during a horrible time and were always on hand to offer support – during the days, evenings and even at weekends. They were very organised, professional and always wanting to help.’

‘Mark’s caring, empathetic and hard working nature was key for helping and supporting me.’

‘I have been working with Joanna Potbury at DMH Stallard LLP for over two years now and she has guided me and my family through the very trickiest of times. I have found Jo’s support and concern to be incredibly professional at all times yet she is kind and compassionate and there is no one else I would choose to share my legal journey with.’

‘I was represented by Samantha Jago and her team. They were all completely reliable and transparent. Faultless service.’

‘Nigel Winter has a great understanding of family law and is confident in his skills as a family solicitor.’

‘Philip Morton is particularly impressive with clients.’

TWM Solicitors LLP

TWM Solicitors LLP’s family team in Guildford has expertise in complex financial matters involving family businesses and cross-jurisdictional considerations. The team also has extensive experience in complex Children Act matters, including child arrangement disputes and adoptions. Caroline Keeley regularly advises unmarried families with respect to Schedule 1 proceedings and cohabitation agreements. Demelza Patricio has niche experience in sperm donor agreements, and Sarah Cornes undertakes mediations relating to children and finances.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Keeley

Other key lawyers:

Demelza Patricio; Sarah Cornes; Sarah Archibald

Testimonials

‘The team at TWM have been fantastic, advising and supporting me, during the my most traumatic times, for the past two years.’

‘They are as good as any central London firm but more affordable. They have a number of highly experienced partners and ambitious juniors who want to get the best result for their clients. Their attention to detail on every case is remarkable. They also know when to settle a case.’

‘The overall service and professionalism of the firm providing sound and pragmatic advice in very distressing and emotionally charged times. From the billing, to the explanation of potential costs, to the drafting of letters, the tone the language, the advice and the feeling that they care and you’re not just a number or another paying client.’

‘I am deaf, I needed someone I could trust with ease of communication. Sarah has been first class with emails and explaining options and giving best advice. I would highly recommend TWM Solicitors and more so Sarah Archibald. Sarah went out of her way to ensure we could proceed and dealing with BSL interpreters etc to ensure it went ahead.’

‘My case was complex, with heightened emotions at play. They took the time to understand the situation, providing advice that I acted upon some weeks later when wanting the firm to formerly represent me. What was more impressive and appreciated is that the senior person, and colleagues, took the time to truly understand my situation, personally and financially.’

‘The team at TWM are very professional and take care in the work they carry out. The have a great understanding of their industry and that allowed them to supply a lot of very good advice during a very difficult and stressful process. Demelza Patricio took care of my challenging case and I always felt reassured that the right actions were being taken at the right time.’

‘Caroline Keeley, Head of Family Law at this practice, has been a superb individual. She has acted for me regarding both matrimonial and financial matters as my legal adviser and is also a very kind and caring person, whose support has been vital to me in these crazy two years.’

‘Demelza Patricio – for her professionalism. quick-thinking and action, and ability to relay the complex items simply, succinctly, and calmly.’

Boys & Maughan

Boys & Maughan’ Margate-based family team has ‘a very high reputation for the quality of their work and their high professional standards’. Team head Jonathan da Costa  is ‘highly intelligent and skilled but with the human touch’ and has a particular specialism in financial issues and regularly advises high-net-worth clients on their business interests, tax issues, investments, property matters and pensions in the context of divorce and separation. Max Konarek, whose ‘client care is superb’ and has ‘a work ethic like no other’, focuses his practice on the most complex cases involving non-accidental injuries, sexual abuse, jurisdictional issues, physical abuse and neglect.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan da Costa

Other key lawyers:

Max Konarek; Zoey Arscott

Testimonials

‘The family team members I have dealt with have been very committed and knowledgeable with excellent judgment.’

‘The team have a good depth of knowledge. All members of the team that I have dealt with have been approachable and easy to work with. The team all work in a collaborative manner to try and achieve the best outcomes for families.’

‘Max Konarek is a really able Solicitor. I have been very impressed with his drive and judgment in public law children cases. He is always on top of the facts and the evidence and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Max Konerack is the legal aid solicitor for parents facing child abuse allegations we would all want to instruct if we were in trouble. His client care is superb and his work ethic like no other I have seen. He chooses the best people to work with and under his guidance an A* service is given to all.’

‘Jonathan da Costa has exceptionally good knowledge of financial remedies. He has a sensible pragmatic approach and gives sound advice.’

‘Jonathan da Costa (Partner) – in my experience I have found Jonathan to be highly intelligent and skilled but with the human touch, he inspires confidence in his client’s for his strategic approach and unstinting support.’

‘Jonathan da Costa is a collaborative family solicitor who will focus on his individual clients’ needs, pursuing their case passionately and fairly.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on financial remedy proceedings after a long marriage, with assets in the region of £6-10m.
  • Advised on a high-net-worth collaborative case involving a complex corporate structure with multiple companies.
  • Acted for a wife and husband who live and work in China.

Coole Bevis LLP

Coole Bevis LLP’s family team in Brighton is ‘a well-established and trusted team with proven strength in all areas of family law’. Team head Susan Knight ‘has impeccable judgment and approaches each case with meticulous care’. In addition to litigation knowledge, she has extensive experience in collaborative law and mediation proceedings, with expertise in cases involving property portfolios and complex tax issues.

Practice head(s):

Susan Knight

Testimonials

‘A well-established and trusted team with proven strength in all areas of family law. A particular strength is the firm’s breadth of practice, which is an advantage to clients who find themselves in more complex disputes.’

‘Exceptional lawyers with a real depth of knowledge of their areas and honest advice which together command the trust and confidence of their clients. A formidable team.’

‘Susan Knight heads a strong and capable family law team. They are well respected locally and further afield. They have a wealth of experience in dealing with complex matters and have the experience to provide high levels of legal advice which goes above and beyond. Clients will be supported throughout their process and feel confident that they are in safe hands and know that they will achieve the best outcome possible in the emotionally charged area of family law. Clients needs are prioritised in every way.’

‘Susan Knight has impeccable judgment and approaches each case with meticulous care. She offers very clear advice in the most difficult circumstances and is a truly astute practitioner. Her 30 years’ experience is obvious in the way she approaches her work and from the respect she commands from opponents and judges alike.’

‘Susan Knight brings years of experience and sound judgment. She is quite remarkable in her dedication to her clients and willingness to fight their corner in a manner that avoids ramping up the temperature.’

‘Susan Knight who heads up the family team continues to be well respected. She is pragmatic and undoubtedly fights her client’s corner. Susan is extremely well respected and always in demand.’

Edward Cooke Family Law

Founded by Edward Cooke in 2018, Edward Cooke Family Law is a specialist family law firm with offices in Chichester and Brighton. In addition to being an accredited mediator, Cooke is also an experienced child inclusive mediator. Lauren Guy has particular expertise in private children work, including cases involving drug and alcohol abuse, non-accidental injuries, domestic abuse and parental alienation. Michelle Lewis handles both matrimonial finance and private law children matters, dealing with all ranges of finances and complexities.

Practice head(s):

Edward Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Guy; Michelle Lewis

Testimonials

‘A very personal service. I felt I was getting excellent professional advice, careful guidance and was also treated with respect but was also emotionally supported during my divorce.’

‘The thing I particularly like about Edward Cooke is that he really listened and understood what I wanted. He gave me really good advice, explained everything clearly and patiently to me. He gave me excellent advice and whilst he guided me in what approach to take, he also respected my views and what I did or did not want to do. We worked together to decide what approach to take in my divorce negotiations.’

‘Very professional firm that give good advice and strive to resolve a case in the most amicable way.’

‘Always available when needed and at key moments, prompt response, excellent professional advice as well as excellent emotional support. Always resourceful to find the best way forward.’

‘Michelle Lewis – very capable and competent. Diligent. Edward Cooke – calm, approachable and sound judgment.’

‘In a short space of time, Edward Cooke has set up a leading boutique family law practice on the south coast which, with the onset of the pandemic in particular, has led to instructions around the country. I find him to be empathetic, insightful, thorough and just incredibly good at what he does, which cascades down into the team he has built up.’

‘What particularly sets Edward Cooke apart is that he has managed to establish an excellent reputation for himself way outside the boundaries of Sussex and it is testament to his hard work, and expertise, that he is now a go-to lawyer for very many London practitioners. Despite being busy, he always has time for clients and all of the feedback is universally positive. He really does stand out in the market.’

‘Going from strength to strength. Led by capable and personable Edward Cooke, he has added to his team with a focus on out of court solutions but a willingness to litigate when necessary.’

‘Edward Cooke as a senior partner, market leader and a practitioner. Solution focused with a reassuring manner he is a delight to work with and endeavours to resolve matters using one or more of the full range of DR options. He is also a mediator with a growing following.’

Furley Page Solicitors

Furley Page Solicitors’ Canterbury-based family law team has ‘excellent communication skills and a calming influence during times of heightened emotions’. Team head Rayma Collins is ‘approachable, knowledgeable and resolute when fighting for her clients’, and Naomi Hayward has extensive experience advising high-net-worth clients on complex issues regarding finances and children arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Rayma Collins

Other key lawyers:

Naomi Hayward; Joanne McDonald; Laura Sinclair; Rosie Eastwood

Testimonials

‘Furley Page has a large number of resources covering a wide range of areas of law at various levels of seniority. This enables each case to receive optimal legal representation. Where my divorce case demanded specific expertise that was outside the focus of my legal adviser, the firm provided expertise from a appropriately qualified expert. Despite its size, I found the firm to be very friendly and was made to feel that my case really mattered.’

‘Joanne McDonald tailored her service based on my needs for my court case. She was efficient, tenacious and forward thinking in her decision. Her service is invaluable for Furley Page. Joanne is polite and friendly and goes over and beyond. She has restored my faith in the legal profession and I have used the company again for another legal matter. Would highly recommend the company.’

‘In addition to her extensive knowledge of family law, Laura Sinclair went to great lengths to understand my specific situation and help to guide me on the position I wished to take on various matters. I believe that I have received very sound advice throughout my case. Laura is extremely well-organised and managed my case very efficiently.’

‘Excellent team, with clear expertise in family law. Good attention to detail throughout and managed to find the right balance between giving legal advice and respecting the wishes and preferences of the client.’

‘Responsive, excellent communication and a calming influence during times of heightened emotions.’

‘Rosie Eastwood is excellent. Super bright, knows her stuff and does what she says she will do promptly. I can’t recommend her highly enough.’

‘Each individual is extremely knowledgeable in their own field. They listen and advise, giving us clear options and their expectations of outcomes.’

‘Rayma Collins – approachable, knowledgeable and resolute when fighting for her clients.’

rhw Solicitors

Guildford-based rhw Solicitors is a ‘very competent firm within the family law sector, always looking out for the clients’ best interests’. Team head Elizabeth Leah has over 30 years’ experience in family law and is appreciated for her ‘clear advice, genuine interest, professionalism, experience, decisiveness and kind support’.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Leah

Other key lawyers:

Richard Middlehurst

Testimonials

‘rhw are sensitive to the vulnerabilities of clients going through the legal process and offer bespoke advice and guidance through a system which can seem daunting.’

‘They are very good at dealing with complex family cases and high value ones. Very organised practice and always hit deadlines.’

‘Richard Middlehurst is dedicated to his clients, and provides support throughout pre-proceedings and the court process. He gives clear explanations and sets sensible expectations, resulting in clients having a clear understanding of what to expect.’

‘Richard Middlehurst was very easy to talk to, made the whole process more pleasurable.’

‘Elizabeth Leah is the stand-out partner of choice. The qualities I value in her are her clear advice, genuine interest, professionalism, experience, decisiveness and kind support.’

‘The solicitor I dealt with was Elizabeth Leah. Her attention was outstanding. Almost instant response to all emails. I was dealing with rhw from overseas on a divorce case, and it was dealt with extremely efficiently.’

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP’s Kingston-based family team acts for mid to high-net-worth clients in relation to divorce and financial settlements, pre and post-nuptial agreements, Schedule 1 Children Act applications, cohabitee issues, child abduction work, and private children matters. Co-heads Hannah Field and Miranda Green are both collaboratively trained, and Green is also a Resolution Accredited Specialist in international and European family law.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Field; Miranda Green

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Hall

Stowe Family Law LLP

Stowe Family Law LLP has offices in six spanning Esher, Tunbridge Wells, Guildford, Brighton, Reigate and Sevenoaks. Working closely with the firm’s in-house forensic accountancy team, the family team is particularly adept at unravelling complex financial settlements. The ‘very experienced, organised and realisticEmma Newman has deep expertise in complex financial disputes, while Niamh McCarthy is ‘a stand out practitioner’ who ‘delivers an excellent service to all levels of clients’.

Practice head(s):

Emma Newman

Other key lawyers:

Niamh McCarthy

Testimonials

‘Stowe has a terrific market presence across the country – well resourced, clever lawyers, with a firm-wide brand for excellence and innovation.’

‘This specialist niche and diverse family firm is able to offer expertise and skills at any level throughout its numerous offices. Their openness and friendly demeanour allows them to offer a personal yet professional service.’

‘With a top firm like Stowe I expected a high level of expertise and professionalism as a given and the experience completely matched my expectations. Communication was good throughout across the whole Stowe team.’

‘Emma Newman is terrific. Very experienced, organised and realistic, you can just tell how much her clients love her.’

‘Niamh McCarthy is a stand out practitioner. She delivers an excellent service to all levels of clients.’

‘Niamh McCarthy was extremely professional and gave me a high level of confidence yet was very approachable. She was clear and pragmatic in laying out positions and options as well as being sensitive to dealing with my situation. I always had confidence she was on top of things and up to speed with my case.’

ThomasHaywood Solicitors

Based in Tunbridge Wells, ThomasHaywood Solicitors’ family law team is ‘understanding and compassionate whilst at the same time being direct and assertive when required’. Team head Sarah Haywoodmaintains professionalism throughout and gets the right outcome’ and specialises in all aspects of family law, with a particular focus on complex financial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Haywood

Other key lawyers:

Juliet Franklin

Testimonials

‘I have found the team at ThomasHaywood to be outstanding. ThomasHaywood remained professional at all times through challenging times and reassured me regularly. They were always at the end of the phone if I had any issues. Communication was another key area for me and as ThomasHaywood is a small firm, I definitely received the personal touch.’

‘Sarah Haywood and the team at ThomasHaywood represented me as a family law firm during a recent divorce. The entire team were understanding and compassionate whilst at the same time were direct and assertive when required. Above all else, I found the ethos of the firm to be objective, acting in my best interests at all times. Throughout our dealing the team were all informed and available to help.’

‘Sarah Haywood was always available to assist me during very difficult times, and made herself available where I believe other firms wouldn’t. Sarah was always fair, and on a number of occasions helped me to see a different perspective or change my approach. This skill sets Sarah apart from other legal professionals I have dealt with.’

‘Sarah Haywood is very diligent in her work and knows how to read a situation, i.e. to be extremely professional or to try and lighten the mood when necessary. Sarah lived up to my first impressions of her. Maintaining professionalism throughout and getting the right outcome for me with persistence and her resilience to challenging times.’

‘I believe the team have acted very personably with my case. I have felt very well looked after and made to feel my case is both important and the outcome is as personal to the team as it is to me. I have received a high level of advice and guidance through potential scenarios and the course of action required.’

‘Sarah Haywood has taken the emotion out of the legal letters that are sent and cuts to the chase. She has a killer way with words in letters but is very friendly and approachable.’

‘Juliet Franklin has been extremely helpful pulling hundreds/probably thousands of pages of evidence together. Divorce is horrible but Sarah Haywood and Juliet have been ever so supportive and lovely and more importantly done a difficult job really well so far. I really thank them for their approach but more importantly their skill and effort.’

‘Juliet Franklin – extremely hard working and engaged with her clients. A delight to work with.’

Warners Solicitors

Warners Solicitors’ family team in Sevenoaks has seen a growth in matters in relation to pre-nuptial agreements and Children Act cases involving same sex couples. Team head Matthew Aves has significant experience in Schedule 1 Children Act applications, and Keith Unger has broad experience in all areas of family law with particular interest in children and financial arrangements. Recently promoted partner Rebecca Massam has developed a strong practice in resolving complex Children Act cases.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Aves

Other key lawyers:

Keith Unger; Rebecca Massam

Dean Wilson LLP

Dean Wilson LLP’s Brighton family law team is made up of ‘highly experienced solicitors, committed to providing the best representation.’ Team head Julian Hunt has substantial experience in advising high net worth clients. He is decribed as ‘an excellent, well respected lawyer, equally at home in litigation and collaborative law settings.

Practice head(s):

Julian Hunt

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Phillips; Jennie Apsey

Testimonials

‘Immediate response to questions with accurate and precise document retrieval. All individuals willing and able to take responsibility for enquiries re specific cases and follow the enquiry up until contact with relevant practise member achieved.’

‘Julian Hunt guided me intelligently through a difficult divorce.’

‘Highly experienced solicitors, committed to providing the best representation. A modern firm, consistently endeavouring to provide the highest quality service.’

‘Sarah Phillips is an exceptional solicitor. She is devoted to preparing the best case for her clients and leaves no stone unturned. She works extremely hard and has an exceptional knowledge of private law children matters and those professions associated with it (experts, social workers, CAFCASS). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.’

‘Dean Wilson has a small specialist team of family lawyers who really know how to deliver high quality legal services to people in difficult circumstances. The partners have fantastic professional support and their bundling systems in this electronic age are second to none!’

‘I have worked with Sarah Phillips on a number of complex cases and found her to be knowledgeable, efficient, charming and yet appropriately tough with opponents, and clients when necessary. She is incredibly supportive of her clients and moves heaven and earth to achieve the best outcome for them. I have recommended her to others on a number of occasions.’

‘Julian Hunt is a very experienced solicitor who conducts the advocacy in most of his cases, although in the cases he has instructed me on I have found him to be supportive and insightful and someone who works collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.’

‘Jennie Apsey is a star in the making. She has qualified later in life and has all the practical experience and insight to assist clients in navigating the most emotionally challenging time of their lives.’

Girlings

Under the joint leadership of Herne Bay-based Sarah Finnis, Ashford-based Amanda Wilson, and Canterbury-based Gemma Purt, Girlings’ family law team adopts ‘a really constructive and collaborative approach when working with other legal professionals,’ which means the practice can more effectively focus on finding resolutions which are 'right for the whole family rather than just solely for one party.’

Practice head(s):

Sarah Finnis; Amanda Wilson; Gemma Purt

Other key lawyers:

Curtis Wray

Testimonials

‘All members of the team offer a personable and sympathetic approach, whilst embracing modern technology for meetings, conferences and hearings and having the knowledge and experience to stridently represent their clients.’

‘I have always found Girlings highly professional, responsive and 100% reliable.’

‘I have always found Girlings very good to deal with, I have found them to be totally proposal as well as approachable.’

‘Sarah Finnis, Amanda Wilson, Gemma Purt and Curtis Wray all encapsulate the firm’s qualities – their willingness to go the extra mile for their clients is the stand out feature.’

‘Sarah Finnis, Gemma Purt and Amanda Wilson are all highly recommended and very well thought of in the local legal community.’

‘Sarah Finnis and Gemma Purt are both approachable, compassionate and collaborative in their approach. I always enjoy having them on the other side as I know that our goals are aligned – finding fair solutions for the whole family.’

‘Gemma Purt is exceptional. A great communicator down to earth yet compassionate and with huge reserves of patience and efficiency. The best person to have by your side when going through difficult family proceedings.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a wife in a contested financial matter following divorce where the parties have a large portfolio of rental properties both in the UK and abroad, complex CGT issues and child arrangements including school fees.
  • Acting for a husband in contested financial remedy proceedings with assets over £3.85m and complex pension issues that required specialist pension actuarial advice.
  • Representing a parent on a successful appeal in Children Act proceedings and securing a costs order.

Judge & Priestley LLP

Judge & Priestley LLP‘s team provides a full range of family law services covering divorce, financial remedy, pre and post nuptial agreements, cohabitation matters and children matters. Team head Kelly Sharman has an in-depth knowledge of financial remedy cases, with a track record of complex work for high net worth individuals. Maria Conesa Gonzalez, dual qualified in England and Spain, is a specialist in private law children and cross-border disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kelly Sharman

Other key lawyers:

Sally Hartwell; Maria Conesa Gonzalez; Angela Amponsah

Testimonials

‘A forward thinking and supportive firm, which focuses on high client care and support.’

‘Sally Hartwell is efficient, thorough and accurate; calm and courteous but when necessary determined and tenacious. Sally appears to have a crystal ball when it comes to predicting how the proceedings will go, she has excellent judgment for her clients to rely on. I have no hesitation in recommending her to my friends when they need family law advice.’

‘Very experienced, up to date in recent divorce case law, supportive and very professional. As a client, you feel that you matter, and that they have your back. ‘

‘Sally Hartwell offered clear and practical advice throughout the process. I always felt I was an individual as opposed to another case on their books.’

‘Sally Hartwell and her team provides focused, sensitive and realistic advice to her clients. She approaches financial remedy issues with an understanding of commercial realities.’

‘Maria Conesa Gonzalez thinks of every angle to a case; she has huge experience of international work. She gives realistic advice whilst going the extra mile to support the client in taking realistic decisions.’

‘Maria Conesa Gonzalez is extremely knowledgeable in children matters. Whenever I have a difficult case or query I will always first consult with her. She has the right approach to the cases. She is a fast thinker and can always provide a solution to a difficult situation. She is extremely well connected in terms of experts and other professionals. It is clear that Maria his able to represent clients in the most efficient way.’

‘I have dealt with Kelly Sharman and her colleagues over many years and have to say that the experience has been none other than pleasant and professional.’

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP’s Crawley family law team handles complex family disputes for wealthy individuals, encompassing both financial matters and Children Act proceedings. Team head Grant Parker has particular expertise in cases involving allegations of domestic violence. The firm recently joined legal and professional services group Ampa, meaning its clients now have access to a significantly wider range of resources.

Practice head(s):

Grant Parker

Other key lawyers:

Charles Le May; Emma Van Bunnens; Tia Harrison; Karen Jeary; Estella Hlisnikowski

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP’s Uckfield family team has a high level of expertise in matters concerning high net worth individuals and complex assets, in particular company assets and inheritances. Team head Janet Raeburn is well-regarded for ‘her compassion and for achieving fair outcomes.’

Practice head(s):

Janet Raeburn

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Rustemeyer

Testimonials

‘The team is vast, well connected and I feel in safe hands. There never seems to be any reason to look outside of the firm and therefore answers are always near to hand.’

‘The practice has been very helpful and capable, in advice to me and putting my mind at ease with any queries I might have. The staff at the Uckfield office have been extremely thorough with all communication and billing. You feel confident once you have spoken with any member of staff, that you are important and your query will be dealt with asap.’

‘Janet Raeburn’s knowledge and assertiveness is very reassuring but what sets her apart from others I’ve dealt with is her compassion for the situation and for achieving a fair outcome for the long term. Its easy to get carried away with “winning” but Janet has never exhibited this and I feel is a great strength with family cases.’

Rosewood Solicitors

The family law team at Rosewood Solicitors, based in Woking, is jointly led by Dev Jummoodoo and Emma Patel. Jummoodoo’s work is increasingly focused on children abduction, surrogacy, and parental order applications. Patel has extensive experience in dealing with all aspects of family law, especially complex financial issues, pre-nuptial agreements, children arrangements and issues relating to unmarried families.

Practice head(s):

Dev Jummoodoo; Emma Patel

Thackray Williams LLP

Thackray Williams LLP‘s Sevenoaks family law team has extensive experience dealing with the affairs of high net worth individuals including those who have business interests and cases with an international element in a cost-effective way. Team head Stuart Ruff is a ‘capable, thoughtful and conscientious solicitor with a good understanding of his cases, their strengths and weaknesses.’

Practice head(s):

Stuart Ruff

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Burstein; Galbraith Gorman

Testimonials

‘Thackray Williams are a well regarded local firm with a small but dedicated family department. Their strength is the personal service that they give their clients.’

‘A strong team who provide clear and cogent advice and support throughout the proceedings.’

‘Stuart Ruff has lots of experience. He is a capable, thoughtful and conscientious solicitor with a good understanding of his cases, their strengths and weaknesses. He is very good with clients, being friendly and sympathetic, without being afraid to give advice which the client might not like.’

‘Caroline Burstein is friendly, efficient and supportive of her clients. She is astute in guiding them to achieve the best possible outcome. Caroline is a pleasure to work with and I have no hesitation in recommending her.’

‘Caroline Burstein always goes the extra mile on behalf of her clients, giving them robust and frank advice whilst supporting them throughout the the proceedings. Caroline has an instinctive feel for her cases, she is well thought of by colleagues and the judiciary for her sound judgment and legal acumen. She is a stand-out solicitor.’

‘Caroline Bernstein is excellent, she is bright, pragmatic and good to have on a case. Stuart Ruff is very gentle and kind to clients.’

‘Two things really stood out for us with Galbraith Gorman. Firstly, Galbraith demonstrated empathy. Secondly, Galbraith was absolutely unflappable. No matter how many questions we had, how complicated it was, the unusual turns it seemed to take, it always felt like Galbraith was there with options for us. He was our lighthouse in the storm and we were so grateful to him.’

Thomas Mansfield LLP

Co-headed by Susi Gillespie and Kate Denham, Thomas Mansfield LLPhas expertise and great strength in all areas of family law’, with ‘solicitors of outstanding ability at a range of fee levels to meet the client’s circumstances.’ Gillespie is a Resolution accredited specialist in complex financial remedies and cohabitation disputes, while Denham is praised for her ‘warm and sympathetic manner with clients’. Kate Rayner specialises in financial divorce settlements and disputes between parents over children arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Susi Gillespie; Kate Denham

Other key lawyers:

Alice Scambler; Abigail Eriksson-Lee; Kate Rayner

Testimonials

‘Efficient team, easy to work with – they have gone above and beyond to help in my case.’

‘The family team at Thomas Mansfield are a group of excellent lawyers who provide the best possible mix of knowledge, invaluable experience, sound and reliable advice, efficiency, commitment and support.’

‘The family team has expertise and great strength in all areas of family law. Their strength is being able to offer solicitors of outstanding ability at a range of fee levels to meet the client’s circumstances. The firm is particularly storing in dispute resolution and guide clients to settlements. They are very pleasant to deal with and accessible to clients.’

‘Susi Gillespie and her team are kind, considerate, empathetic and resourceful. Exactly what you need when going through a very difficult time.’

‘I found Susi Gillespie’s desire to achieve a mutually beneficial, more accurately acceptable, outcome to be of utmost importance. Her first thought was always to conciliation rather than confrontation which was exactly the right approach.’

‘Kate Denham has been very helpful working with me, providing advice and guidance.’

‘Kate Denham is a very experienced family solicitor with expertise in children and financial work. Her experience gives her great judgment in cases and a gravitas which clients appreciate. Her straight talking advice and creative approach to cases keeps many of them out of court and towards a consensual outcome. An outstanding lawyer who meets the demands of even the most demanding of clients.’

‘Abigail Eriksson-Lee is an excellent lawyer. She provides no-nonsense practical advice for my clients to avoid lengthy proceedings and to reach a settlement wherever possible. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.’

Tisshaws Family Law Solicitors

Tisshaws Family Law Solicitors, a Haywards Heath-based boutique firm specialising solely in family law, is praised for its ‘exceptionally skilled children law team’. Team head Gilva Tisshaw, a member of Resolution and a trained collaborative lawyer, is committed to non-court resolution to resolve issues resulting from family breakdown.

Practice head(s):

Gilva Tisshaw

Other key lawyers:

Richard Adams; Verity Eunson-Hickey; Hana Khodabocus

Testimonials

‘They have an exceptionally skilled children law team who are all dedicated and knowledgeable.’

‘Throughout the process I was kept up to date with everything. When the person dealing with my case was on leave someone was put in place for me to contact in emergencies and who would also keep me informed of anything that happened. This was the first time I had need for a solicitors firm and I was not disappointed.’

‘Tisshaws is a boutique firm specialising solely in family law. Because of this, they have an unrivalled reputation in the area. This sets them apart from other firms locally.’

‘Gilva Tisshaw – an excellent partner who is highly knowledgeable and yet approachable. Hana Khodobocus – diligent, utterly professional and works to a consistently excellent standard.’

‘Hana Khodabocus’ knowledge of family law is exceptional.’

‘Lidia Farrell has great intuition and the ability to identify the key issues from the outset.’

‘I have been very impressed with Lidia Farrell’s diligence, attention to detail, and fast responses, often working late hours to fit around a deadline to get a reply out without delay. She is very easy to talk to and I feel she has always got my best interests in mind. I feel that she gives me 110% effort for my fees. This is the first time I could have said this about a solicitor, and it has certainly raised my opinion of the profession.’

‘Richard Adams made himself available at all times. His communication was exemplary and it was very clear that he was supporting a client in a very difficult and fraught situation extremely well.’

Work highlights

  • Advised father on divorce and financial remedy proceedings, involving a relationship mired in debt and further complicated by mother alleging lack of paternal care in relation to their children.
  • Advised daughter invited to intervene in financial remedy proceedings between her mother and stepfather, to determine the beneficial ownership of the property she lives in.
  • Advised wife whose husband refused to vacate the family home, despite agreeing to her purchasing his interest in the house – difficult case as husband was struggling with mental health issues.