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Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex in South East

Adler Family Law Solicitors LLP

Adler Family Law Solicitors LLP in Kingston-Upon-Thames specialises in high-value matrimonial, financial and children disputes such as handling contact issues, removing children from the jurisdiction and child abduction cases. The team is headed by the experienced and well-regarded Charlotte Adler who is trained as a mediator and a collaborative lawyer, and is praised as 'superb' and a 'fierce litigator', with 'an extremely relaxed style that oozes confidence and immediately puts clients at ease'. Conrad Adam joined the team in 2021 from Wedlake Bell LLP, bringing expertise in complex matrimonial financial matters with international elements. Nicola Beale, who works on a locum basis to the firm, formerly headed the private family law department at Venters Solicitors and frequently advises on high-net-worth ancillary relief matters.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Adler

Other key lawyers:

Conrad Adam; Nicola Beale

Testimonials

‘I cannot speak too highly of this firm. The team are friendly, engaging and an absolute pleasure to deal with. Having experience of working in larger firms has clearly helped both Charlotte Adler and more recently Conrad Adam to make the decision to go on their own, which has proved to be a really successful decision.’

‘A market leader in South London. A reasonably new firm that has strong leadership in the team of Charlotte Adler and Conrad Adam and a realistic, client-focused and commercial approach. Quite the breath of fresh air in family law firms: relaxed but business like with charming, emotionally intelligent partners who are at the top of their game.’

‘Charlotte Adler and her team are able to provide a Central London service at Greater London prices. The firm deal with a wide range of cases and they have developed a solid reputation in providing sensible advice and opportunities for their clients to achieve early resolution. Conrad Adam has recently joined the firm from Wedlake Bell and brings his many years of experience to the partnership.’

‘Charlotte Adler has an extremely relaxed style that oozes confidence and immediately puts clients at ease. She is tuned in to client’s needs, offering sage advice when it comes to settling a case, but a pretty fearless approach when litigation is the only solution.’

‘Charlotte Adler, who started up the firm, is the standout. I’ve known Charlotte a long while and knew early on she was one to watch. In a really competitive Family Law market she really does hold her own and is much in demand if the quality and volume of work she sends to chambers is any indicator. Recently Conrad Adam joined the firm and brought a wealth of experience and just boosts the reputation of the firm even more.’

‘Charlotte Adler is truly a leader in this field in Surrey and the surrounds. Charlotte provides pragmatic advice to her clients and has a knowledge and warmth which is truly unique. The firm’s excellent reputation has been founded upon Charlotte’s hard work and presence as a market leader.’

‘Charlotte Adler is a force to be reckoned with. Superb with clients and is a fierce negotiator. Conrad Adam will add real gravitas to the firm and has great experience of dealing with HNW clients on a regular basis.’

‘Conrad Adam is a solicitor who really gets to grips with his cases and has excellent client management. Tactically astute and a real pleasure to work with. Remains calm when cases get tricky, and has great open channels of communication with counsel. Has a great sense of humour as well which always helps.’

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The 'stellar' Guildford-based family law department at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is praised for 'smashing the ball out of the park' on difficult family cases, working with clients both nationally and internationally. The team has expertise in advising high-net-worth clients on complex financial cases involving assets held in trusts and pension assets, and handling work involving international child relocation and child protection issues. The team has strong capabilities in all forms of dispute resolution, and can also utilise the strengths of the firm's corporate, banking and tax teams for business-owner clients. Shona Alexander - who 'has seen and done it all before on the largest stage' and Karen Wilsher - 'the leading choice for matrimonial solicitors in Guildford' - co-head the department, and William Rollin has extensive experience in advising on financial remedies in divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships.

Practice head(s):

Shona Alender; Karen Wilsher

Other key lawyers:

William Rollin; Felicity Chapman; Claire Devine

Testimonials

‘This is a strong, cohesive team which provides a knowledgeable and very efficient service to its clients.’

‘Serious specialists of a type not found outside big City firms, but delivered from a local office with equivalent pricing.’

‘Karen Wilsher has a good grasp of her cases and provides excellent, clear instructions. She is good at working as part of her team, as is her colleague Claire Devine, who is more junior but coming into her own. William Rollin is also impressive for his strategic thinking and excellent manner with clients.’

‘Karen Wilsher is the leading choice for matrimonial solicitors in Guildford. Highly recommended.’

‘William Rollins has instructed me for years and has developed into an excellent choice of relatively new partner for the this firm. Karen Wilsher I rate extremely highly. They are always so well prepared, so clear and so interesting in money work and in children work of all sorts. Put simply, this is a stellar team of solicitors.’

‘Shona Alexander brings top London big money expertise to clients based outside London. She has seen and done it all before on the largest stage. ’

‘I have referred many clients to Shona Alexander and her team. The feedback I get is terrific. They are looked after in a professional and sensitive manner with the team looking to mediate rather than pour petrol on a an often difficult situation as many of their competitors do. Family law is tricky to get right but Shona and the team smash the ball out of the park.’

‘For me, Shona Alexander epitomises the phrase ‘a safe pair of hands.’ Her professionalism and deep experience is respected by her clients and peers. Working within the broader CRS infrastructure is a big benefit too. CRS have invested into building a substantial practice however they have never lost the feel of intimate service ’

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Alex Davies leads the family department at Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s office in Tunbridge Wells, which is praised for its 'incredible strength in depth'. The team has particular expertise in handling work for high profile and high-net-worth clients regarding complex financial remedy cases, pre-nuptial agreements and children work, and has a commitment to ADR, FDR and arbitration. The team also has a strong regional presence. The 'understanding and strong' Vanda James, a member of Resolution, frequently handles complex financial cases involving pensions and trusts assets, whilst Simon Donald has considerable experience advising clients on relationship breakdowns.

Practice head(s):

Alex Davies

Other key lawyers:

Vanda James; Simon Donald; Helen Fisher

Testimonials

‘What makes the firm unique and different to firms I had worked with previously was that at every level Cripps made you feel that you mattered. They wanted to respond to your queries and get back to you with answers as soon as possible. Firms I had previously worked with made you feel you were an inconvenience or expecting too much. Cripps welcomed any correspondence.’

‘Cannot speak too highly of this firm. The team are friendly, engaging and an absolute pleasure to deal with.’

‘Vanda James was exactly what I wanted from a solicitor. She was understanding and strong. I felt like she wouldn’t be willing to settle or convince me to be more realistic. Vanda got to know my story and know what I wanted and what was best for the children.’

‘Helen Fisher was personable and articulate. Her attention to detail was outstanding and her guidance through an acrimonious divorce, dealing with my personal emotional roller coaster was balanced, settling and firm. Helen listened and took advice/guidance when she thought it was appropriate but stayed firm and resolute when she felt she needed to. I always felt this was in balance. She was always explaining processes or law so that I always felt I understood what was happening. I thought she was outstanding in how she worked with, and on behalf of, me.’

‘Helen Fisher’s works was just excellent – I couldn’t recommend her enough. She supported and guided me so professionally through what was a stressful, acrimonious divorce. Hard working and pragmatic, Helen Fisher is a credit to Cripps, always giving balanced advice, anticipating and advising on every next step, and developing situations expertly. Helen cuts through the detail efficiently, and gives clear, succinct information and advice every step of the way. Super bright and always so responsive – thank you for helping me through this really rough time.’

‘Alex Davies is the standout. I’ve known Alex a long while and knew early on he was one to watch. In a really competitive Family Law market he really does hold his own and is much in demand if the quality and volume of work he sends to chambers is any indicator.’

‘Simon Donald brings intelligence and humanity to his role. He cares about the outcome of his cases and focuses on achieving the best results for his clients but does so through the lens of objectivity that makes his work cost efficient and minimises emotional difficulty for the clients, too. His intelligence means that he sees right to the heart of the issues and his lateral thinking helps to resolve seemingly intractable issues. He is outstanding.’

‘They have an incredible strength in depth. Alex Davies has done an amazing job in building the team from the ground up to one of the top firms in Kent. The level of client they attract, the fantastic advice and client service they offer really is second to none!’

Family Law Partners

Family Law Partners was founded in 2011 and now has a team of family experts spread across the South East, with a particular focus on resolving disputes outside the court process. The firm is skilled in handling financial remedies, children work, and increasingly, pre and post-nuptial matters. Managing director Robert Williams, who is based in Brighton, also sits as a deputy district judge, while Kate Elliott, the head of the Horsham office, has particular expertise in international families, inherited wealth and pension assets. Director Lisa Burton-Durham is a Resolution-trained collaborative lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Robert Williams; Lisa Burton-Durham; Kate Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Hope; Chris Maulkin

Testimonials

‘Responsive, efficient, knowledgeable and supportive. They appreciated and understood both the emotional side of going through a divorce as well as the legal side. They were very understanding when things were changed or unclear at my end and persevered in a very non-critical way. I felt that I could talk to my lawyer about all aspects of the situation in a way that she would understand and have compassion for.’

‘I think the team at Family Law Partners is outstanding. They are always firmly in your corner but crucially and critically always share what they think is the right course of action. They do not pander to the client but rather advise what they think is best to achieve the right outcome. This is a hard path to navigate, and Lisa Burton-Durham does this exceptionally well.’

‘I have been dealing with Family Law Partners since 2014. I chose FLP for their ability and willingness to find an out-of-court solution to my case. The fee structure is transparent and well communicated and the fees are appropriate for the result of the work done. I experienced that every effort was made to avoid unnecessary costs. Overall, I always felt in safe hands with Family Law Partners. I can fully recommend this firm with no reservations.

‘Family Law Partners are a truly unique set-up. They believe in ascertaining at an early stage what kind of dispute resolution is appropriate for the individual client and offer a very bespoke service. They also believe in flexible working for employees (even before Covid) which I think has increased retention and productivity. The clients are offered a very high level of service at competitive prices.’

‘Chris Maulkin has experience beyond his years. His work with innovative family law technology means that he is able to bring a forward-thinking approach for his clients and his preparation and knowledge of his cases is first rate.’

‘Lisa Burton-Durham is such an incredible solicitor. She gave me excellent advice and was extremely robust when dealing with the other side. She kept the pressure on, and we managed to get everything we asked for. Lisa is professional, knowledgeable, responsive, hard-working, robust and kind. She is the person you need on your side. I was very lucky to have her on my side and would recommend her to everyone.’

‘Robert Williams is a collaborative family lawyer; my divorce was less than amicable but despite this, Robert did not give up and we eventually reached a collaborative agreement. Many other lawyers in his position might have given up on the collaborative process but Robert made it work!’

‘Kate Elliott is simply excellent. Highly intelligent, she gets quickly to the heart of the issues a client is facing and sets about finding solutions. She perseveres until she finds one. I have recommended many people to her over the years and have always had positive feedback from them. She has been on the other side of me in a tricky matter and was pragmatic and solution oriented in her approach without remotely losing sight of her client.’

Jones Nickolds

The family law firm Jones Nickolds specialises in handling complex family matters concerning divorce, financial remedy and private children cases, and can resolve matters through ADR, FDR and mediation. With two offices based in Beckenahm and Chislehurst, the team's client base includes a mix from across the South East, nationally and internationally. Co-head Lisa Jones often handles cases with an international element, and Claire Nickolds  also leads the team as an experienced mediator. Rachel Woodd is also experienced in mediation. Gemma Irving specialises in arrangements for children, while Laura Smail has considerable experience handling complex high-net-worth financial proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Jones; Claire Nickolds

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Woodd; Gemma Irving; Laura Smail

Testimonials

‘A specialist firm that offers top level advice in both children and financial matters but at a much lower cost. The team is built on the considerable experience of the eponymous Lisa Jones and Claire Nickolds. The team generally hail from niche ‘Magic Circle’ family practices and all operate with a focus on settlement but an ability to litigate forcefully where it is required.’

‘Central London ‘Magic Circle’ advice and service at a fraction of the cost. This team are fantastic: they operate at the cutting edge where their sound knowledge and vast experience enables them to provide the perfect balance between fighting what needs to be fought whilst reaching agreement on good terms where this can be achieved. Their detailed and careful preparation, emotional intelligence and first-rate judgement ensures their client’s are very well supported during the entire process.’

‘The founding partners, Claire Nickolds and Lisa Jones both manage to combine gritty determination in supporting their clients with first rate client care and empathy towards their clients. Both have the confidence to represent their clients when facing Magic Circle firms whilst simultaneously finding sensible and pragmatic solutions. ’

‘Gemma Irving is an absolute superstar. She is on top of all of the key legal issues, commercial in her thinking and very strategic in her decision-making.’

‘Rachel Woodd is a stellar individual. Her mediation practice continues to grow exponentially and she is now very much a “go-to” mediator for solicitors in London looking to refer out to a mediator who will be able to help resolve even the most intractable of cases.’

‘Lisa Jones is a formidable litigator with unmatched industry. The go-to family solicitor for those in the know. She never loses sight of the client’s best interests, delivering a top class product at a reasonable price.’

‘Claire Nickolds deals with the most complex cases with alacrity. A thoughtful and decisive tactician who always sees the whole picture.’

‘Laura Smail  has always been hugely proactive and focused on finding solutions that work well. She is well-informed and insightful, quick to respond and offers sage and sensible advice that is sensitive to the circumstances (which were difficult) and acknowledged the raw emotional factors that are not part of the law but have the potential to create huge difficulties if not managed. When things got emotionally tough, Laura was an excellent sounding board and took the heat out of the situation, making it easier to move forward with a clear strategy and legal case.’

Moore Barlow

Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged in 2020 to form Moore Barlow ; the family team has subsequently grown in both size and depth, working with clients regionally, in London and abroad. The team conducts a substantial amount of financial remedy work, pre and postnuptial work with international elements and international child abduction cases, with a strong capacity for ADR solutions. Joanna Farrands leads the team with experience in parental alienation. Jan Galloway represents domestic and international clients in child abduction cases and pre-nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Farrands

Other key lawyers:

Jan Galloway; Victoria Walker; Mandy Spring; Beverley Cullis; Karen Barham; Judith Ball

Testimonials

‘Highly effective, polished, and impressive. Remarkably calm under any pressure, it would seem. More than capable of the biggest cases. A winning combination of judgement, intelligence, client care, and astute tactics.’

‘There are a number of key individuals who are impressive to deal with when dealing with complex financial matters. The team work well together and appear to deliver a strong service to clients. Many of the team are professional to deal with and have specialist expertise in dealing with high-net-worth individuals. ’

‘The practice has a good range of solicitors at varying levels. They are all very knowledgeable and approachable. You know when they are on the other side you can pick up the phone and have a sensible conversation about a case.’

‘Expert personal service from a partner who takes full responsibility for all aspects of the work and who integrates their service with other advisers. Excellent implementation of remote working systems.’

‘Jan Galloway is a standout partner. She is professional and collaborative to deal with in her approach which helps clients and ensures matters remain amicable and cost effective. She is highly experienced in dealing with pre/post-nuptial agreements and I would not hesitate to recommend her in this area.’

‘Jo Farrands is a delight to work with. She is sensible and pragmatic. She gives realistic advise to clients.

‘Karen Barham is my go go-to mediator – if Karen can’t mediate a case, it is incapable of being mediated.’

‘Victoria Walker is an excellent lawyer and even on a difficult case it is a pleasure to have her on the other side. She combines a sense of humour with a keen attention to detail. She is sensitive to her client’s emotional needs and takes a sensible approach.’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

The family law team spread across Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s South East offices advises high-net-worth individuals on their international property portfolios, offshore assets, and complex pension structures. The family team also has the benefit of utilising its property, tax and corporate teams to assist their clients with their family wealth structures and corporate issues. Veronica Gilmour leads the team; she has considerable expertise in handling pensions issues through mediation. Associate Bethan Carr joined the team from Stowe Family Law LLP in 2020; she has considerable experience in advising on surrogacy matters, whilst Rachel Donald specialises in nuptial and cohabitation agreements.

Practice head(s):

Veronica Gilmour

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Donald; Bethan Carr; Laura Naser; Laura Hughes; Sarah Duckworth

Testimonials

‘The Guildford branch of this firm has a strong, dynamic, creative and empathetic team who both individually and together are a match for any of the London ‘magic circle’ firms. It is a balance of experience and wisdom from their senior partners and energetic enthusiasm and initiatives from the junior end.’

‘I think that what stands out most about this firm is their collaboration. As a team it is evident that they work well togetherl. There is never an issue if the solicitor with conduct is away as they have a team approach to their cases.’

‘The team is excellent and stands out amongst its peers across the board.’

‘Penningtons are, in my view, the foremost family law firm in Surrey. They offer excellence in expertise combined with a pragmatic and sensible approach to fees and a friendly, down-to-earth manner. One of the firm’s greatest virtues is its strength in depth across all areas of experience. Clients just love them.’

‘Rachel Donald is exceptionally approachable and behind her relaxed approach is a sharp case analysis with a good ability to think outside of the box and come up with sensible solutions. 

‘Veronica Gilmour has seen it all and done it all, which gives her clients unrivalled experience at the top of the department. However, Veronica successfully combines her commanding leadership of the department with an ability to dedicate time and attention to her individual clients, to ensure that they receive an unparalleled level of service. She is excellent in every way.

‘Laura Naser is hard working, passionate and strong in support of clients. Goes that extra mile and is incredibly talented.’

‘Bethan Carr is not afraid of giving clients difficult advice, which is important as there are some solicitors in other firms who tend to leave this to counsel which can result in the client feeling as though their counsel is not understanding or supportive of their case.’

Stevens & Bolton LLP

The Guildford-based family law team at Stevens & Bolton LLP  is led by 'fearless negotiator' Nicola Harries, who routinely goes toe to toe with top London firms in her work on high-value divorces. The team offers the full range of family law services, including financial proceedings, nuptial agreements and contested child proceedings; these matters can often include an international element. Its clients include medical professionals, banks, senior executives, property developers and lawyers. Grace Parker-White has significant experience of complex court proceedings, and Sean Hilton has expertise in advising third parties on protecting their assets amid matrimonial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Harries

Other key lawyers:

Grace Parker-White; Sean Hilton; Kate Lewis

Testimonials

‘They are an extremely strong team who are easily on par if not better than many of the leading teams at the biggest firms in London. I am consistently impressed by the quality of the team as a whole. All of the solicitors (and trainee solicitors/paralegals) in the team are intelligent and thoughtful.

‘I work regularly with different members of the team. They are all of an extremely high standard. That level of consistency marks them out amongst their competitors because you know that whoever you deal with in the team will be impressive.’

‘Despite being outside of London, the firm boasts London quality throughout their team. Also, being part of a bigger firm, covering so many other different areas of law, enables them to give their HNW clients the full service. They really don’t have a weak link!’

‘Very friendly and approachable whilst at the same time being very professional. With family law there needs to be a good balance of being firm enough to get the best deal for your client yet flexible enough to be able to compromise; Stevens & Bolton achieve this delicate balance.’

‘I have been particularly impressed by Kate Lewis. She has a maturity far beyond her relatively junior years, works conscientiously with considerable care, and builds a strong rapport with her clients. She is a pleasure to work with.’

‘I have worked with Nicola Harries and have found her extremely capable in getting the best deal for her clients without being aggressive in her approach, which some family lawyers can be. Very happy with her work for me personally and my clients’

‘Nicola Harries leads the team superbly and is an incredibly well-respected member of the family law community. She is a fearless negotiator and clients know they are in the best possible hands. Sean Hilton continues to make a huge name for himself. He is without doubt one of the best associates around and is years ahead of the game. Sean is also one of the brains behind the Without Prejudice Podcast, which has a huge following, not only in the family law arena. Grace Parker-White and Kate Lewis complete the team and are both forces to be reckoned with.’

‘Grace Parker-White was excellent at leading me through the divorce process with well-considered advice – she handled expectations well.’

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore’s family team frequently deals with high-value financial cases and Children Act issues, often with international elements. The department is headed by Joanna Pratt who has particular expertise in pre and postnuptial agreements and child cases and is praised as 'a prominent collaborative lawyer'. Kirstie Law founded and chairs the West Kent and East Sussex Collaborative Law Group and Desmond O’Donnell  has experience in all types of financial and children proceedings, he has also passed the Californian Bar examinations and completed a Los Angeles mediation course.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Pratt

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘All the individuals in this firm work well together which ensures a smooth efficiency’

‘Harry Golding stands out as an individual who will go the extra mile for his client and always ensures the client comes first.’

‘Excellent client handling skills, sensible, realistic advice, write statements really very well.’

‘This family team is certainly one of the leading teams in Kent. ’

‘Joanna Pratt, is a prominent collaborative lawyer and is always pragmatic, but never weak.’

‘Kirsty Law is great.’

‘Sarah Keily is the height of good judgement and sense – clients don’t always realise how on point her advice is – and is an absolute pleasure to work with. Her drafting is excellent. Helen Waite is also a delight to work with; she really fights for her client but is not shy of giving robust advice where needed.’

‘Harry Goulding was my solicitor, I can not recommended him enough. He did everything he could to help me and kept in excellent contact throughout the whole divorce process. He was very professional but also made me feel at ease, explaining everything to me and answering any questions I had very fast. His knowledge was exceptional; I learnt so much!’

Blackfords LLP

Nicola Chamberlain leads the Woking-based family team at Blackfords LLP as a Resolution-qualified mediator; she is recognised as an ‘exceptional practitioner‘. The team handles a broad range of family law matters, including advice on divorce and separation, civil partnerships, financial matters, domestic violence and adoption. The team particularly specialises in public and private law children matters, which can involve serious medial issues, cross-border elements, care proceedings, and learning disabilities. Linda Lusingu, who joined in 2020, is often involved in child abduction cases and wardship proceedings in the High Court, and Helen Worden has expertise in complex care proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Chamberlain

Other key lawyers:

Linda Lusingu; Helen Worden; Elizabeth Cape-Cowens; Natalie Mitchell; Kim Wintle

Testimonials

‘Blackfords are one of the strongest family law teams in the south east. The team stand out in the main for their exceptional pre-hearing preparation and legal advice. The client care is exceptional.’

‘The team work well together, and they prep their cases with thought and a clear strategy.’

‘A very good and reliable family team, it is always good news when you see them on a case with you; they fight hard for their clients and work collaboratively for the best outcome.’

‘I work with the Blackfords Family Team and I am consistently impressed by all of the solicitors I work with. They have a deservedly good reputation. Cases are always meticulously prepared, thoroughly researched and clients appropriately advised prior to me receiving the brief. There are some really stellar solicitors here.’

‘I would particularly single out Nicola Chamberlain as an exceptional practitioner within the department. She has an extremely busy and successful practice, is a joy to work with. I cannot commend her highly enough in terms of her representation of parents in what are difficult and stressful proceedings. She is extremely personable, organised and efficient. The advice she gives clients is always spot on and consistently shows her excellent judgement.’

‘Nicola Chamberlain heads up the private client team and is excellent; experienced, calm in a crisis and hard working.’

‘Kim Wintle is very hardworking and thorough. She provides her clients with sound advice and is able to support them through the legal process.’

‘Helen Worden and Elizabeth Cape-Cowans are partners I would (and have) recommended to others. Both are extremely thorough in preparation and very careful in preparation of client statements. Both have strong public law profiles and particular expertise in children cases involving complex medical evidence. The cross over into private law proceedings is obvious and is a considerable strength when such issues are raised by private clients. Elizabeth has also impressed me in cases involving international elements such as relocation and child abduction cases.’

Brachers

Brachers has strong dispute resolution capabilites with one mediator and three collaborative lawyers in its team. The department has a particular specialism in handling TOLATA and cohabitee issues, high-value matrimonial and financial matters, child cases and pre and postnuptial agreements. Mark Leeson and Mei-Ling McNab co-head the Maidstone-based family team. Leeson sits on the Resolution Training and Learning Committee whilst McNab co-chairs the Kent Resolution Committee. Rebecca Jones is described as being 'excellent with tricky, vulnerable clients'.

Practice head(s):

Mark Leeson; Mei-Ling McNab

Other key lawyers:

Yvonne Nevill; Rhia Davis; Rebecca Jones

Testimonials

‘Brachers is a leading family law specialist firm that dominates the Kent area. The strength and depth of the team sets them apart from their competitors and they consistently provide legal service of the highest quality for their clients.’

‘The team at Brachers is exceptionally strong across the board. The team is made up of solicitors that are exceptional in their own right and come together to form a formidable team. The firm is highly professional and polished. ’

‘Personable, engaging, warm, professional and knowledgeable. Above all, communication skills which put a client at ease, whilst empowering them to make their own decisions.’

‘Brachers provide a Rolls-Royce service for their family clients and have a strong team and excellent reputation built on years of sound advice and hard work. They are very active in supporting the legal community by running seminars.’

‘Rebecca Jones is excellent with tricky, vulnerable clients and manages them superbly. She is also very adept at dealing with vexatious and non-compliant litigants in person on the other side so as to ensure her client’s position is protected.’

‘Rhia Davis stands out as a superb solicitor who provides an excellent service to her clients. I have worked with her on a number of long matters and she is able to maintain and nourish excellent client rapport throughout the ups and downs of litigation. She is personable and approachable but particularly level-headed and pragmatic when it comes to case strategy.’

‘Mei-Ling McNab stands out as an excellent solicitor. She provides firm, pragmatic advice to clients whilst maintaining a great working relationship. She balances professionalism with approachability extremely well. She is tenacious in fighting her cases. ’

‘Mei-Ling McNab is a highly respected and very experienced solicitor in the field of family law. She is fantastic with the clients and always gets the best from them. She looks for practical solutions and a commercial way forward with proportionality always uppermost in her mind.’

TWM Solicitors LLP

The family team at TWM Solicitors LLP is adept at handling financial matters involving family businesses, trusts, property portfolios and tax which can often involve international elements. The team is also increasingly advising on pre and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements, and is able to offer clients ADR solutions. The department is led by Sarah Cornes who specialises in TOLATA claims. Senior associate Sarah Archibald is skilled in handling TOLATA claims whilst Demelza Patricio has expertise in sperm donor agreements.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Cornes

Other key lawyers:

Demelza Patricio; Caroline Keeley; Sarah Archibald

Testimonials

‘This practice was recommended to me by a family member. From the first, my communications with them were friendly and they listened well. I always had a definite felling of being ‘well looked after’. Reassurance was key and this was provided – even at the toughest times. All options were always presented so that I was prepared for developments along the way.’

‘The family team deal with cases in a pragmatic way, giving clients realistic advice about the outcomes.’

‘The family team are well supported by a full-service law firm.’

‘TWM are synonymous with excellent service. The family team are dedicated and experienced practitioners who bring their wealth of knowledge to bear on every case. They are a match for any of the larger central London based firms dealing with family law but offer much better value and a more personable approach. The team are some of the best I know at dealing with more complex cases and I have personally recommended them on a number of occasions. If I ever needed a firm of solicitors to assist me, I would go to TWM.’

‘I have found the practice to take a fair and balanced view of my case. Seeking to achieve the best outcome for both myself and my ex-wife, with the overall needs of my children being paramount. My case has been dealt with efficiently and professionally, with updates provided as needed and without requiring chasing. This has been a significant improvement from the firm who were previously handling this matter.’

‘Sarah Cornes heads the family team with a calm and ever reassuring presence. She has a formidable knowledge and experience which shows in every case. She always goes above and beyond to assist her clients.’

‘Sarah Archibald was approachable, efficient and empathetic and made me feel far less worried about an impending divorce. Throughout the process, culminating in my divorce absolute, Sarah has been supportive, and I always felt she was going the extra mile for me.’

‘Caroline Keeley is an expert in her field. There is no case too complex that she won’t have an in-depth knowledge of in a very short space of time. She is someone you want in your corner on any case. She is extremely dedicated to each of her clients.’

Boys & Maughan

Boys & Maughan is skilled in representing parents and children in matters regarding divorce, separation and care proceedings. The Margate-based family department is led by Jonathan da Costa who regularly advises clients regarding their business interests, investments and pensions in the context of divorce settlements. Max Konarek has specialisms in handling non-accidental injuries, sexual and physical abuse, neglect and jurisdictional matters. Konarek has strong connections with local communities in Thanet.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan da Costa

Other key lawyers:

Max Konarek

Testimonials

‘Boys & Maughan is a quality firm. Solid and reliable advice and offers good value for money.’

‘Boys & Maughan is a long-established practice and enjoys a very high reputation in all respects in their fields of operation. I have had dealings with the firm for over 40 years in various contexts and have always found that they display the highest standards of professional competence and probity. I would regard them as one of the top two or three firms doing this type of work in Kent.’

‘This firm always provides exceptional service to their clients. The family team is a very strong team who always ensure that their clients can speak to someone who can assist as well as ensuring that they are expertly represented.’

‘All members of the team are experienced practitioners giving sensible pragmatic advice. The team has strength in depth.’

‘Jonathan da Costa is the head of the family team. He practises mainly in finance cases at which he is enormously experienced. He gives sensible, pragmatic advice with his aim being to resolve matters by agreement if possible using either the collaborative approach or the more conventional approach. If matters can’t resolve he prepares cases carefully for litigation in relation to which he is highly organised.

‘Jonathan da Costa is excellent. He has a sharp legal mind and offers sensible, strategic advice from the start of a case to the end. He inspires great confidence and clients trust him. He is always organised and on top of the key issues. He is an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘I work mostly with Max Konarek and have done so for a number of years. Max is an excellent solicitor with exceptional knowledge. He always ensures that his clients are represented well and carefully.’

‘Max Konarek is an extremely effective advocate. His demeanour is always firm and calm, and he is very adept at establishing rapport with judges, professional colleagues and lay parties. He is one of the most effective solicitor-advocates I have come across in my career.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a client regarding his financial remedy proceedings after a long marriage with assets of £6-£10m after the client became dissatisfied with his previous representation.
  • Acting for a client who has a husband with a complex character including aspects of controlling, paranoid and deluded behaviour. The assets are in the order of £2m.
  • Acted for a client regarding Children Act proceedings which were issued following a breakdown of formal child arrangements as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coole Bevis LLP

With a family practice led by Susan Knight - 'a trusted member of the Brighton legal community'- Coole Bevis LLP has offices in Brighton, Hove, Worthing and Horsham and often handles divorces, financial proceedings and children matters for clients regionally and based in London. Claire Parsons is a mediator and is also now trained as a collaborative lawyer, and Helen Evennett  deals with children law, removal from the jurisdiction, and Hague convention cases. Charles Tennant joined the team in 2020 from Warners Solicitors with specialisms in financial and Children Act disputes.

Practice head(s):

Susan Knight

Other key lawyers:

Helen Evennett; Charles Tennant; Claire Parsons; Charlotte Youdan

Testimonials

‘The solicitors I have worked with from this firm are all extremely professional and go above and beyond for their clients to ensure that they feel that everything has been done to litigate their case at the highest level.’

‘What has been very reassuring about Coole Bevis is that throughout my litigation, there has been a steady and stable presence of staff. Everyone from the receptionist, to the legal assistants, the accounting team and the partners, when needed have made themselves available and they have been very accommodative and helpful. This has given me enormous confidence and peace of mind while pursuing to have my legal case concluded.’

‘Coole Bevis offer a unique combination of expertise, attention to detail and professionalism. Team members communicate clearly and effectively with one another, meaning instructions are thorough and consistent between them.’

‘The team is known in Sussex as the go-to team for matrimonial finance. They have a dedication to detail and thoroughness which is second to none.’

‘I have been particularly impressed by Helen Evennett and Susan Knight, both of whom are highly analytical in their approach, which combined with a wealth of experience provides for an exceptional service for any lay client. Both are intuitive and accurate which makes them effective tacticians. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Never to be underestimated, Susan Knight has a calm wisdom which her clients love and a steely tenacity in her approach to the matter at hand. She is a trusted member of the Brighton legal community. She identifies tricky areas of a case at the earliest opportunity, at a huge advantage to her clients.’

‘Susan Knight is astute and pragmatic. I have engaged several different family lawyers over a long and acrimonious divorce and Sue is by far and away the best. I completely trust her judgement, advice and above all I am confident that she has given me the most cost-effective advice I could have asked for. No prevarication. No grey. I would 100% recommend her to anyone going through the family court.’

‘Charles Tennant is a very dedicated and experienced professional and I have worked with him on financial remedy cases for many years. He is extremely committed and conscientious and leaves no stone unturned in his cases. He is always a master of the detail without losing sight of the bigger picture. He provides his clients with careful and pragmatic advice and is both sympathetic and sensible. I have no hesitation in recommending him as an excellent all-round matrimonial solicitor.’

DMH Stallard LLP

DMH Stallard LLP’s family law team specialises in matters involving high-net-worth individuals, complex matrimonial and financial issues, and negotiating settlements for complex assets and Children Act cases. During 2021 the wider team was boosted by the firm's merger with specialist family firm Brookman Solicitors. Philip Morton heads the practice from London; the Horsham team is led by Mark Rennie; the office offers a free family law clinic led by Nigel Winter. Samantha Jago joined the Guildford team in 2019, expanding the firm’s Surrey offering. Senior associate Joanna Potbury  is a key contact in Brighton.

Practice head(s):

Mark Rennie; Joanna Potbury

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Winter; Samantha Jago

Testimonials

‘I cannot recommend DMH highly enough. They have worked nothing short of a miracle for my family, and I am so grateful to have had their unfaltering support and guidance during the very trickiest of times.’

‘Very efficient, great client care – always go the extra mile. They offer cost effective, creative solutions. a very personable team.’

‘Hugely diverse number of practice areas in this firm makes it easy for clients to have all of their legal advice needs met by one firm. Excellent quality of solicitors means there is consistent quality meaning there is no need to go to another firm.’

‘The team is a very cohesive unit with great communication and response times. Work is performed in a speedy manner and all employees are approachable for any questions I had.’

‘Nigel Winter has been exceptionally supportive throughout my divorce and has always made me feel that my welfare in addition to my case was of importance to him. He has been helpful and approachable throughout the entire process and now we are almost at the conclusion, I still feel that my interests are still paramount to him.’

‘Mark Rennie was excellent. He helped me through what was a tough process providing insight and expertise throughout. He was approachable and informative and offered great advice. I would highly recommend him and his team.’

‘I feel incredibly grateful to have had two of the most superb professionals work on my case. Philip Morton and Joanna Potbury are sincere, thorough and hugely knowledgeable, while being patient, understanding and at all times supportive. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them both, and I will forever be grateful to have been their client.’

‘Samatha Jago is very proactive in pursuing cases for her clients and gives sound reliable advice. She provides an excellent level of client care and always works extremely hard to ensure that the client feels in control and comfortable at all stages of the litigation.’

rhw Solicitors

Elizabeth Leah heads the Guildford-based team at rhw Solicitors, which advises high-net-worth clients in divorce, financial and children matters. Clare McNeill and Richard Middlehurst joined the department as solicitors during 2020, with McNeill's expertise focused on divorce matters and Children Act proceedings that  often have international elements, while Middlehurst handles matters such as matrimonial and civil partnership issues, TOLATA, Children Act issues and financial relief.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Leah

Other key lawyers:

Clare McNeill; Richard Middlehurst

Testimonials

‘Always a reliable firm with dedicated solicitors, a very family friendly firm who always look to take care of their clients.’

‘Very professional and knowledgeable practice who are used to dealing with high value or complex clients. ’

‘The family team is diverse and experienced. The firm is well organised and offers great service to clients and counsel.’

‘Elizabeth Leah and Richard Middlehurst are two excellent solicitors who work tirelessly on clients cases.’

‘Richard Middlehurst is a well known local solicitor. He brings with him a huge breadth of experience and professionalism. He offers excellent client care and has a large client base.’

‘Elizabeth Leah is a knowledgeable veteran, with vast experience.’

‘Elizabeth Leah is very calm and deescalates situations. ’

‘I have worked with Clare McNeill who is dedicated to her clients and will spend whatever time is necessary on her cases to achieve the best outcome possible.’

Stowe Family Law LLP

The Stowe Family Law LLP team across Esher, Guildford, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks is led by Emma Newman and Kate Rayner. The team advises on a broad range of family issues, including divorce, financial remedies, child cases and arrangements domestic abuse. With 35 offices nationally, the wider firm has a large geographical footprint and also handles work from  international clients. The firm can also offer in-house forensic accountancy services

Practice head(s):

Emma Newman; Kate Rayner

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Hodges; Niamh McCarthy; Rebecca Coates

Testimonials

‘Stowe are a well organised and professional firm who have assigned appropriate and experienced individuals to my case. They have guided me well, managed expectations and on the admin side have been open, transparent and upfront on what to expect around billing arrangements etc.’

‘I have been recommended Stowe Law by peers for Family Law and have been thoroughly impressed by the service I was provided throughout the divorce process. Everything was clearly explained at every step and I was guided through some tough decisions with a good understanding of options as well as implications. All was done with a great degree of responsiveness – Stowe were there whenever I needed them. I would thoroughly recommend them without hesitation.’

‘Dedication to their client’s cases and a professionalism that is not often found in other places. This business is all about people and Stowe can pride themselves on having some very excellent staff who go the extra mile and ensure the best outcomes for their clients.’

‘Lovely bunch of people, able to offer clients excellent service and real support. Lay clients really appreciate the personal touch. Very team orientated and keen to involve counsel early on, collaboratively. Take sensible approaches to cases and offer realistic advice.’

‘SFL’s ethos is what makes it unique, focusing on care and empathy as well as legal expertise. Their structure allows work to be delegated appropriately and lawyers to focus on what they do best.’

‘Huge fan of Emma Newman, who combines a sunny personality with a sharp legal mind. Much beloved by lay clients who really feel they can rely on her.’

‘Emma Newman remains an outstanding family lawyer, her empathy and ability to put clients at ease really make her stand out. She has also significantly developed as a successful leader, growing her own office rapidly over the past six months and taking on greater responsibility in the firm as a whole.’

‘Emma Newman is very personable and warm, backed up with strong competency in family law. Sound judgement based on many years of experience, gives good solid advice. Very reliable.’

ThomasHaywood Solicitors

ThomasHaywood Solicitors is a niche family law firm that specialises in advising high-net-worth individuals on complex financial remedy disputes. Its work includes matters involving family businesses and money, company pensions and tax issues. A significant portion of matters have an international dimension and the firm has had several successes in the High Court. The team is led by Sarah Haywood, who specialises in difficult financial settlements and mediation. Juliet Franklin handles high-profile private law children matters and financial disputes involving high-value assets.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Haywood

Other key lawyers:

Juliet Franklin

Testimonials

‘Small niche family practice. They represent extremely good value for the clients who get a magic circle service but not at magic circle cost. Very happy firm with good communication between the lawyers.’

‘For me the practice offers a haven of safety and comfort when dealing with traumatic events in a lifetime. They are kind, never judgemental and handle the smallest issues positively. All the staff are the same – they listen and they are positive and supportive.’

‘There seems to be a culture of empathy and understanding of the client’s situation. This isn’t just about revenue generation but doing the right thing for the client and providing support in the appropriate way.’

‘Sarah Haywood is an outstanding solicitor. She is experienced and realistic but what makes her special is her tenacity combined with a sensitivity to her client’s needs. She has an ability to identify creative but solid arguments to get the very best for her clients.’

‘Juliet Franklin is knowledgeable, experienced, resourceful and caring. She takes a holistic view when advising her clients and, whilst being highly professional in her dealings with clients, she also connects with the person underneath.’

‘I was and am very grateful for Juliet Franklin’s sage counsel, sense of reason and proportion and sense of humour throughout what turned out to be a drawn-out process. I always felt that she was doing more than just the good and professional job she is expected as a solicitor to do.’

Work highlights

  • Acted in a number of matters involving recent reported cases, including Re C (Child: Involved in Jehovah’s Witness Religion) [2017] EWFC B29, which considered the extent to which the child should be part of the father’s religious beliefs as a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Church.
  • Acted in reported matters including Buerhlen & Buerhlen [2017] EWHC 3643 Fam, which involved an important decision on the ‘necessity’ requirement for expert evidence.
  • Acted for a wife in contested proceedings involving assets of well over £10m that progressed to a hearing in the Financial Remedies Unit during 2019.

Dean Wilson LLP

Dean Wilson LLP represents high-net-worth clients on the full range of family law matters, including advice on divorce, financial resolution, children issues, pre-nuptial agreements and emergency protection. Julian Hunt heads the family law department as a specialist family lawyer mediator and collaborative lawyer and experienced in working with the local community. Sarah Phillips frequently handles financial remedy cases, cohabitation disputes and Children Act matters.

Practice head(s):

Julian Hunt

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Phillips

Testimonials

‘The solicitors I have worked with from this firm are all extremely professional and go above and beyond for their client’s to ensure that they feel that everything has been done to litigate their case at the highest level. ’

‘The team is very experienced and well respected in the area. They are very approachable and user friendly and take the stress out of what can be very difficult situations.’

‘Excellent and extremely efficient. It was made clear from the outset in relation to the structuring and probable fees. ’

‘Dean Wilson has a small, committed and caring family team, who provide top quality advice and representation to clients going through the most difficult of times. ’

‘Sarah Phillips is clever and incredibly hardworking and goes more than just the ‘extra mile’ for her clients. She is a pleasure to work with and I have recommended her on a number of occasions.’

‘Sarah Phillips is an outstanding solicitor. She is insightful and will go the extra mile for her clients.’

‘Julian Hunt is a superb lawyer with a very human touch. He is very bright and strategic in his approach to cases but with a light touch that makes the client feel comfortable and at ease’

‘Julian Hunt is a high quality family lawyer. Looking for the best options for his clients which will aim to settle their financial issues with the least amount of upset to their children and to minimise costs as much as possible. ’

Edward Cooke Family Law

Established in 2018, Edward Cooke Family Law  has since taken on four family law practitioners. The team specialises in financial remedy for high-net-worth clients and children work, with a focus on mediation, hybrid mediation, and out-of-court dispute resolution. Its clients are primarily regionally and London-based, with the team also handling some international work. Edward Cooke has particular expertise in handing high-net-worth assets. Lauren Guy heads the new Brighton office which opened in January 2021, and has experience in divorce and financial relief.

Practice head(s):

Edward Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Guy

Testimonials

‘Edward Cooke Family Law has become a name associated with excellence in a very short period of time since its founding. There is a dedication to the client and a professionalism with the service offered that is unmatched in the area.’

‘Strong team in this family boutique firm that goes from strength to strength under the calm and capable Edward Cooke.’

‘Client and solution focused – go about their business to achieve workable solutions.’

‘Edward Cooke is extremely knowledgeable but brings with that knowledge a calm and reassuring demeanour. He is always well prepared and provides excellent advice to clients. His dedication to the profession cannot be surpassed and he spends a lot of time with local professional bodies ensuring that justice is available to all. ’

‘Lauren Guy was awesome; she made a tough job seem pretty simple’

‘I instructed Edward Cooke to handle my divorce. I had started the process with a different set of solicitors who had made several mistakes in filing paperwork and were not available to handle situations as they arose. Edward Cooke offers a welcoming and empathetic environment which feels particularly supportive at a very emotional time. The team are able to present a friendly, nurturing demeanour whilst maintaining a professional line, a very unique combination. Edward was adept at explaining every step of the process, options available to me and the costs involved along the way so that I was always very clear of the situation.’

‘Edward is a very balanced individual and an advocate for lessening the impact of divorce on the children, no matter their age. His personality is very empathetic and he is able to validate and nurture through what is a devastating life experience yet maintain very clear professional boundaries.

‘Lauren Guy went above and beyond for me and will always appreciate all she did. The rest of her team behind the scenes chasing the court were also very good.’

Furley Page Solicitors

Rayma Collins leads the family law department at Furley Page Solicitors in Canterbury. The team provides advice on a broad spectrum of family issues, such as divorce, matrimonial matters and finances, cohabitee disputes and pension issues. The team often comes up against London firms and also advise on matters involving international assets. Naomi Hayward has a strong local reputation in Kent and sits on the Kent Resolution committee as Vice Chair.

Practice head(s):

Rayma Collins

Other key lawyers:

Naomi Hayward; Laura Sinclair; Rosie Eastwood

Testimonials

‘The family law department at Furley Page Solicitors has a strong ethos of good communication between associates at all levels. They have always been available to support with level-headed legal advice in difficult situations, ranging from managing the emotions of all other parties involved to negotiating the challenges of a pandemic.’

‘Rayma Collins heads the team and leads by example. Sensible with good attention to detail and gets results without unnecessary cost.’

‘Furley Page has a number of exceptional family law practitioners, including Naomi Hayward. The team at Furley Page works very effectively in providing realistic and sensible advice to clients.’

‘Naomi Hayward and Laura Sinclair stand out as being very capable family lawyers, who are able to provide very pragmatic advice and implement a clear strategy to achieving their clients’ objectives.’

‘I found Laura Sinclair to be very personable but professional. She seemed highly competent and knowledgeable but with a friendly and compassionate manner. She was excellent at responding quickly and thoroughly and I always felt that my case was valued and prioritised.’

‘I felt that my solicitor Rosie Eastwood was understanding, supportive and clear and direct in her advice. Rosie showed patience when dealing with my questions and was willing and able to deal with any legal issues I might have raised. I felt that there was someone there who wanted to help and support me in a time of my life when I felt distraught and unable to see my way clearly.’

‘All the individuals I have worked with have demonstrated compassion and an ability to understand complex issues. Naomi Haywood demonstrates a high level of professionalism, whilst also being very personable and enabling me to understand the complex process of the English divorce system. Her guidance is always considered with the best interests for myself and my family. Rayma Collins is thorough and expertly skilled on enabling focused thinking on issues that matter most, whilst also remaining sensitive and supportive. She is prompt in her responses and acknowledgements and as a result alleviates any anguish in having to wait for reassurance.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the husband in a contested divorce and financial matter where the parties have a large portfolio of rental properties as well as property overseas, complex CGT and other associated tax issues and child-related issues regarding sharing arrangements and school fees.
  • Acting for the husband in a long marriage case where the main complicating feature is both parties’ imminent retirement.
  • Acting for the husband in divorce and financial matters who was a victim of an RTA a few years ago for which he received damages in excess of £2m. The matrimonial home had been specifically purchased and adapted to meet his needs and the husband needed the damages for his future.

Girlings

Girlings has offices in Ashford, Canterbury and Herne Bay and each has a family law offering. The team handles a wide range of work, including divorces and matrimonial matters, children law, trusts, inherited assets and family enterprises. Sarah Finnis heads the family department at Herne Bay with specialisms in financial remedy and children law. Senior associate Gemma Purt has expertise in advising on matters involving the Mental Health Act 1983.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Finnis; Amanda Wilson; Gemma Purt

Testimonials

‘Solid firm with consistent high quality work. Reliable, sensible approach to cases. Sound advice and moderate billing means excellent value for clients.’

‘The family law team not only covers all possible aspects of this area of specialisation, it does so with a team of individuals who each bring a unique perspective that will find the perfect match for any client along with a friendliness and willingness to co-operate between each of them and with other professionals that most other firms can only aspire to.’

‘The Girlings team are friendly and focused. They are always hard working and well prepared. Their clients are well supported and always properly advised. ‘

‘Sarah Finnis, Amanda Wilson and Gemma Purt are a splendid family law team who individually and together encompass all that a client or a fellow professional could possibly want in expertise, professionalism and dedication.’

‘Sarah Finnis has a sensible approach to cases and her vast experience makes her a safe pair of hands for her clients. She will readily fight their corner when required but also has the ability to provide clear advice when needed.’

‘Gemma Purt is down to earth and approachable. Her clients are well supported throughout their cases which are often extremely stressful. She manages their expectations well and there is a sense that their wellbeing is always at the centre of her focus when dealing with their case.’

‘Gemma Purt is everything one could wish for and need in a family solicitor – conscientious, hard working, knowledgeable and effective combining genuine empathy with an ability to get the job done. Highly recommended .’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in preparing their pre-nuptial agreement in which property assets in the UK were in excess of £2m with additional assets in property abroad, business interests and pensions.
  • Acting in financial remedy proceedings where the entirety of the assets were inherited pre-marriage.
  • Acting for a client in obtaining leave to remove children permanently from the jurisdiction.

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP

The family law team at Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP is committed to resolving issues through ADR where possible and handles work involving divorces, Children Act issues and cohabitation cases. Charles Le May heads the team in Brighton whilst Zoe Summers is deputy head in Eastbourne. Le May has particular expertise in advising on cohabitee disputes and complex financial matters, and Summers, who is also on the committee for the Eastbourne Law Society, has extensive experience with complex financial remedies for low, medium and high-income households. Grant Parker frequently advises on matters involving domestic violence.

Practice head(s):

Charles Le May; Zoe Summers

Other key lawyers:

Emma van Bunnens, Grant Parker, Tia Harrison

Testimonials

‘I have always found the quality of the family team’s advice to be strong, as is their case preparation and client engagement.’

‘Superb legal knowledge, approachable and professional team.’

‘The team is extremely strong. The members have different and complementary strengths. Their legal knowledge is comprehensive and they are supportive of their clients. They offer excellent value for money and can be relied upon to ensure that their client’s best interests are served.’

‘Charles Le May is extremely compassionate and hard working. Always goes further for his clients. He can be relied upon for his thorough approach but seems to always be alive to his client’s changing needs. I confidently send friends and family to him knowing that they will be in safe hands.’

‘Zoe Summers is tough when she needs to be, knowledgeable and thorough.’

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Alan Foster leads the family team at Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP from Uckfield. With other offices in Brighton & Hove, Sevenoaks and Ashford, the firm has a wide reach over Sussex and Kent advising high-net-worth clients in a range of family matters, including divorce, children issues and cohabitation agreements. Foster is a full member of the Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Solicitors and Alistair Rustemeyer has expertise in advising on contested wills and trusts to his family clients.

Practice head(s):

Alan Foster

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Rustemeyer; Janet Raeburn

Testimonials

‘Rix & Kay have a very strong team, who combine experience and strength in depth. Alan Foster is a terrific lawyer, with amazing client skills. Alan’s team covers all aspects of family law, and can deal with the simplest contact or divorce case up to the most complicated international case, or cases with very complicated assets and third party issues. A very strong team. ’

‘Our experience with this firm was professional and efficient at all times. ’

‘Deeply knowledgeable. Responsive to fast moving situations. Robust advice and clear stances. Standing by their expertise and in doing so provide a level of expert clarity that exudes confidence and makes a stressful situation far easier to handle. ’

‘Janet Raeburn has been particularly excellent and is deeply knowledgeable.’

‘Alan Foster is a fantastic lawyer. He is kind and supportive of me and is firm and decisive with my estranged husband and others we have had to deal with. He has always been incredibly responsive, whenever I have needed him urgently. I would absolutely recommend him. ’

‘Alan Foster has been there, seen it and done it. Nothing fazes him and his advice is generally spot on. ’

‘Alan Foster is a great family finance lawyer. Relaxed with clients yet highly professional, clients know he is a safe pair of hands with their best interests at heart.’

Rosewood Solicitors

Established in 2015, Rosewood Solicitors is led by firm founder Emma Patel, who is skilled in Sharia law and advising on divorce and financial remedy. The team is skilled at handling matters including domestic abuse, divorce, financial remedy and children work, and also takes on legal aid cases. Dev Jummoodoo is adept at advising clients on private children and care cases.

Practice head(s):

Emma Patel

Other key lawyers:

Dev Jummoodoo

Testimonials

‘Rosewood solicitors stands out as a very efficient,well managed people oriented firm who give clean and accurate advice. They are a boutique family law firm,advising clients on a spectrum of matter’s. They are a family oriented firm who care for their clients. They have a strong team led by Emma and Dev. The firm is well resourced with the technology to allow them to work efficiently.’

‘The team were incredibly supportive throughout my divorce proceedings.  This helped me in understanding what the process was along with explaining various entitlements.  This made the process as efficient as one can expect in a divorce, and less stressful.  The team replied to e-mails and phone calls very quickly and were always on hand to ask the many questions I had along the way.’

‘Rosewood is a very hands-on firm, they are extremely helpful and available to their clients and understand the emotional aspect of their cases as well. I find Rosewood unique in their collaboration with counsel, where we have good input into the case but can trust Rosewood to do the client side well. ‘

‘From our initial meeting right the way through a global pandemic Rosewood solicitors were always available, keeping up with the technological advances to make our communication possible and having a constant point of contact whilst juggling their own availability to work with the impact of Covid and all the personal change that it entailed.’

‘Emma Patel is an exceptional technical and analytical lawyer. She has years of experience and is a robust negotiator. She fights hard for her clients whilst understanding the human side to her cases. Her advice is always practical and sensible and always in the client’s best interest .’

‘Dev Jummoodoo is particularly committed to his clients, and does a broad range of work meaning he is empathic, understanding and highly aware of the law. ‘

‘Emma is a stand out; where as some solicitors are guilty of rushing a call, Emma will always make time to ask how you are before going into details about a new case and which counsel would be best to match the case. This shows great people skill and I am sure their clients feel just as valued as we do as professional clients.’

‘Emma has been super understanding and genuine throughout the process, and I feel that she really has my best interests at heart. Sue has ensured that communication is always a priority, and has been excellent at answering questions.’

Russell-Cooke LLP

Hannah Field heads the Russell-Cooke LLP family law team in Kingston, which handles divorce and financial settlements, Children Act claims and other child matters for mid to high-net-worth clients. The team is increasingly acting in cases involving nullity and family property disputes. Samantha Little and Sarah Richardson both have expertise in children law, whilst Miranda Green has expertise in international and European family law.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Field

Other key lawyers:

Miranda Green; Samantha Little; Sarah Richardson

Thomas Mansfield LLP

Thomas Mansfield LLP was initially established as a niche employment law firm, but has recently expanded into family law too. Its first family law department was established in 2017 in London and has been growing ever since with offices now based in Guildford and Tunbridge Wells. The team advises on a broad range of family law issues and conducts dispute resolution, mediation and litigation. The department is headed by Susi Gillespie, with Kate Denham heading the Guildford office. Alice Scambler has particular expertise in dividing family assets.

Practice head(s):

Susi Gillespie; Kate Denham

Other key lawyers:

Alice Scambler; Abigail Eriksson-Lee

Testimonials

‘The firm has a very strong presence in the South East/Kent with offices in a very wide range of towns and across London. It has a clearly established reputation for providing excellent representation and client care whilst also keeping fee levels/structures transparent and at a reasonable and realistic level.’

‘Abigail Eriksson-Lee and Alice Scambler are both extremely able partners in the team. Abi has an easy-going temperament and is good at getting to the nub of the issues in a case. It tends to mean that clients find her easy to get on with and she earns their trust early on in the process.’

‘I work regularly with Abi Eriksson-Lee and Alice Scambler and it is a pleasure working with both of them. Abi in particular is someone I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to my friends and my colleagues. She is extremely personable and builds a fantastic rapport with her clients. She is not afraid to give realistic advice to a client when needed. She thinks commercially and strategically to achieve the best possible results for her clients.’

‘Susi Gillespie is a joy to work with. She has a very calm manner, taking the heat out of situations. She is the perfect collaborative colleague – bright, inventive, honest and resolution focused.’

‘Kate Denham covers the full breath of family work and the great thing about her is that nothing fazes her. Her great skill is establishing a rapport with her clients. They trust her and know she will fight their corner hard.’

‘Susi Gillespie is absolutely outstanding in her client care, her realistic advice, her strategic approach to cases and her dedicated pursuit of her client’s best interests. She is very calm and measured yet forceful when needed.’

Tisshaws Family Law Solicitors

Tisshaws Family Law Solicitors is a specialist family law firm led by Gilva Tisshaw that offers the full range of family law advice, often working on divorce, separation and children matters with international elements and vulnerable clients where there have been harm allegations. The team is also committed to its out of court solutions such as mediation, collaboration and arbitration. Camilla Fusco has practised family law in London and Hong Kong and Verity Eunson-Hickey often handles complex financial remedy work.

Practice head(s):

Gilva Tisshaw

Other key lawyers:

Camilla Fusco; Verity Eunson-Hickey; Hana Khodabocus; Craig Yeung-Williams

Testimonials

‘Lovely warm team providing niche family law advice in Sussex. Completely devoted to their clients and on top of the law. They have a collaborative approach and always try to find out of court solutions where possible but know when to fight hard when needs be.’

‘From the offset, my divorce process was really clear and transparent. This is aided by Tisshaws’ very helpful website which sets out the experience and specialisms across the team. What particularly stood out for me is the very competitive rates for the initial one-hour consultation. I walked away from it very reassured of my next steps and the overall process. This was very good value for money when compared to competitors.’

‘I would in particular commend Gilva Tisshaw, who always has a full command of her cases, supports her juniors and combines this with an approachable and friendly manner.’

‘Hana Khodabocus is unfailingly conscientious, meticulous and gives her all to the clients.’

‘Camilla Fusco – clients love Camilla for her supportive and professional manner which immediately gives them confidence that they have a great team behind them.’

‘I knew nothing about family law and divorce when I was put in the position of needing legal advice. Gilva Tisshaw was understanding, explained each step I needed to go through and offered appropriate advice. She was clear throughout on costs. She was very knowledgeable on my case and the correspondence and advice she gave was realistic and clear.’

‘Hana Khodabocus delivered advice to me in a very calming, empathetic and reassuring manner and through this, she builds huge trust and credibility quickly with her clients. Exactly the characteristics you need when going through an uncertain and emotional process like divorce. I would highly recommend Hana.’

‘Craig Yeung-Williams is bright and personable and extremely efficient.’

Work highlights

  • Advised wife on settlement of divorce and financial remedy claims worth £1.1m, involving international assets and cross-border jurisdiction.
  • Advised mother in private law children proceedings, involving complex allegations of harm and safeguarding issues.
  • Advised wife on divorce and settlement of financial remedy claims worth £1.5m, to ensure a fair outcome for her husband who struggled with mental health issues.