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Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 in South East

Barrett & Thomson

Slough's Barrett & Thomson is a firm committed to the local community, offering both a fee-paying and legal aid service for private children and finance work. Practice head Claire Fitzgerald represents children and other family members in public and private law Children Act Proceedings. The firm also specialises in advising high-net-worth divorce clients, with instruction ranging from injunctions in domestic violence cases to international freezing orders. Tracey Haynes is another key practitioner with extensive experience in all areas of family law. Associate Sabha Butt is also noted, undertaking work in public and private law matters, cohabitation disputes and matrimonial finance.

Practice head(s):

Claire Fitzgerald

Other key lawyers:

Tracey Haynes; Sue Scott; Sabha Butt; Tanya Melville

Testimonials

‘Claire Fitzgerald is an excellent head of family department. Sabha Butt is  attentive and client focused.’

‘Barrett & Thompson are a client-focused and dedicated team. Their approach to all family cases is one of sensitivity, attention to detail and dedication.’

‘Sue Scott is a practical lawyer, who works to get things sorted and to an amicable solution. Sue is able to draw on many years of experience and works with a great deal of empathy so that her clients feel total comfort and trust in her. Sue has naturally good judgement, she works to resolve things in a cost-efficient way, she is proactive. Sue is is kind, caring, and genuinely interested in the client.’

‘Barrett & Thompson have bent over backwards to maintain their service to vulnerable clients throughout the pandemic and using their own resources to enable clients to participate in litigation as fully as the process allows, often in difficult circumstances.’

‘I have worked with Barrett & Thompson for almost four years. They have very broad expertise in family law which lends itself well to being able to face whatever challenges are brought to them by their clients. Crucially, they still offers legal aid services for private children and finance work, which many firms do not. This makes them stand out from their competitors as all clients receive the same service.’

‘As a team, Barrett & Thomson provide an invaluable service to the local community. The legal aid practice that they maintain has helped so many men and women overcome extremely difficult situations, in circumstances where legal advice would otherwise have been impossible to obtain. Their private work as well is equally valuable, they regularly take on cases involving domestic abuse and robustly represent their clients’ interests.’

‘Tanya Melville really cares about the clients and will work extremely hard to ensure they get the result they deserve. She is willing to go the extra mile.’

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP's family practice is well-regarded for handling the full range of matrimonial, financial and children issues, including for high-net-worth and high-profile individuals. Practice head Claire Dyer is a 'stand-out' individual and has worked on complex cases involving trusts and business assets with international elements. 'Family law heavyweight' Brenda Long has considerable experience in relation to financial settlements arising out of divorce/dissolution of civil partnership. Associate Gemma Kemp is one to watch, advising on all aspects of surrogacy. Tasha Bevan-Stewart joined the firm from Morrisons Solicitors LLP in September 2020, bringing a particular specialism in assisting clients through collaborative law.

Practice head(s):

Claire Dyer

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Kemp; Tasha Bevan-Stewart

Testimonials

‘I have always found the team at Blandy’s to be filled with bright, capable lawyers who provide an excellent client care service with a focus on resolving matters- whether by pre-issue discussions or through litigation. They are cost-conscious and do not run up fees unnecessarily but are equally realistic in ensuring appropriate steps are taken in order to ensure their clients the best outcome.’

‘Claire Dyer and Brenda Long are the stand-out individuals. I have known them both for a long while and their professionalism, dedication, client service and quality of instructions really do set them apart. ’

‘Tasha Bevan-Stewart – the supreme queen of resolution and collaboration but never at her client’s expense. When she goes to court, she wins because the fights are necessary and her clients have been given the right advice. ’

‘They have a fantastic strength in depth that no other firm practising in family law can rival in their geographical area. From the senior partners down to the legal execs, this firm oozes quality in the way they service their clients.’

‘Brenda Long is a Family Law heavyweight who lives up to her billing as a leader in her field. Another person worth noting is Gemma Kemp, whom I think will be a star performer for many years to come.’

‘Personal service-friendly approach – knowledge of divorce law and ability to offer options and choices.’

‘I found the people at Blandy & Blandy hugely professional in the matters I had contracted them to manage for me. They were pragmatic and principled. In terms of the process, they kept me informed on expectations and the actual process throughout. This was very helpful for me to manage my own expectations. What stood out for me was their principles, through the process I always aimed to be reasonable for all parties, not play legal gamesmanship and be pragmatic. The team I worked with at Blandy & Blandy had been recommended and stood by requests and admitted to me they would not have wanted to represent me if I was anything other than aligned with their principles and values around the process.’

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors' family team is 'knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated' with 'excellent client care'.  The practice covers a broad spectrum of specialisms from complex high-value financial issues, to pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements, to complex children's cases involving disabilities and capacity issues. It also offers some legal aid for difficult cases involving domestic violence. Anne Deller and Kate Grant jointly head the practice, specialising in divorce law involving companies, trusts and international properties, and intricate financial issues. Rekha Joshi goes 'above and beyond', handling high-net-worth and complex financial work. Nicholas Rodriguez, who advises on disputed children arrangements, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Anne Deller; Kate Grant

Other key lawyers:

Rekha Joshi; Nicholas Rodriguez

Testimonials

‘Kate Grant and Anne Deller run an emotionally intuitive team that knows when to fight and when to settle.’

‘Very approachable solicitors. A robust blend of friendly but stalwart particularly in financial remedies when confidence is paramount. In children’s work, a very understanding and compassionate team supporting clients from all walks. ’

‘Kate Grant was everything I could have hoped for in a solicitor. Very professional, kind and supportive, she was always there when I felt this was all too much to deal with.’

‘Solid and highly capable family team with a supportive, no fuss, can-do, approach. Highly respected within their region, by lawyers and the judiciary. ’

‘A knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated team with excellent client care. They give realistic advice and comfortably handle all matters relating to family law.’

‘Rekha Joshi is down to earth but knows her subject matter. Professional and calm approach to client care- a joy to work with. Nick Rodriguez has difficult clients in care proceedings but will always go that extra mile for them.’

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's 'superior' family practice in Oxford advises on complex high-value financial cases, involving farming issues, businesses, trusts and pensions. Newly appointed Deputy District Judge, Rachael Oakes leads the team in Oxford and has particular expertise in dealing with high net worth situations involving international assets. Claire Colbert acts as a consultant, specialising in mediation to resolve financial matters for children arrangements following separation. Gemma Nicholls-Webber and Tom Burgess are also recommended; with the latter as part of the team developing a unique IVF/surrogacy specialism in the Oxford area. Joanne Thomas is 'excellent' and has an interest in property disputes arising under TOLATA between unmarried couples on separation.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Oakes

Other key lawyers:

Claire Colbert; Gemma Nicholls-Webber; Tom Burgess; Joanne Thomas; Heather Jarrold-Taylor

Testimonials

‘Joanne Thomas is an excellent lawyer. She stands out from her peers in other firms as she is very responsive and engaged. She had always thought everything through carefully before we spoke and when she sent me correspondence from the other side, she provided advice on suggested approaches. She listened to my concerns and always found a way forward I felt comfortable with. She is very thorough and her preparation is meticulous.’

‘I have used several legal firms in the last year and Freeths really stood out for their service, professionalism and how easy they made the process. All communication was prompt and clear, billing was very efficient, and I felt that I got really good value for money.’

‘Claire Colbert was brilliant in her capacity as a mediator. She was incredibly professional throughout, and very clear and consistent in what her role as mediator was. She was also very kind and compassionate, and made a horrible process much easier and less stressful.’

‘I used Freeths for mediation purposes. It was good value for money, highly professional and a simple experience. The extensive experience of the solicitor involved made for rapid progress. ’

‘Heather Jarrold-Taylor is an excellent solicitor. Throughout my case she was in constant communication and answered all my questions. She explained each step of the process, what to expect and the possible outcomes. I was consulted on all decisions before action was taken and was given options. Heather is very down-to-earth and was supportive during the court hearings, she made sure I understood what to expect. ’

‘A really efficient and hard-working team. Far superior to other regional firms. ’

‘Joanne Thomas is incredibly dedicated and is always willing to go above and beyond for her clients. Her cases are always meticulously prepared and clients know they are in safe hands.’

‘Rachael Oakes has a deserved reputation as a tough litigator and a fierce advocate for her clients. Claire Colbert is a stand-out individual, she has tremendous judgment, exceptional client skills and a fierce intellect. She is a pleasure to work for, with and against. ’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is home to 'a sparkling collection of successful and empathetic family lawyers.' Operating from regional offices in Oxford and Reading, the team handles the full spectrum of family law matters, with particular expertise in international work. Oxford practice head Jane Mitchell has a track record including success in the Supreme Court and regularly handles complex international issues relating to overseas assets and children arrangements, and is supported by Eleanor Moodey. Ruth James is another key practitioner, with particular expertise in acting for business owners. Kerry Fretwell leads the Reading team and has expertise in Schedule One applications for unmarried parents. Associate Bethan Thomas is also recommended, with experience in cohabitation disputes and pre and postnuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Jane Mitchell; Kerry Fretwell

Other key lawyers:

Ruth James; Bethan Thomas; Charlotte Purves

Testimonials

‘The Reading team of Penningtons Manches Cooper has an excellent and cohesive team structure. As a team, they provide an extremely efficient, professional and wholly reliable service. It is an incredibly well organised and friendly team.’

‘Jane Mitchell is one of the top family law solicitors in Oxford. I regard her as outstanding.’

‘Kerry Fretwell leads the team at the Reading office. She has an excellent knowledge of the law, is excellent with clients and is always able to give pragmatic and sensible advice.

‘Bethan Thomas is an excellent lawyer. She has a keen eye for detail, is focused on achieving the very best for her clients and is extremely hard-working.’

‘The firm is a sparkling collection of successful and empathetic family lawyers.’

‘Best team in the Thames Valley by a country mile. All are first-rate lawyers that know their stuff and whilst none of them are pushovers, they adopt a sensible approach that ensures great outcomes for their clients. ’

‘Ruth James manages to combine acute legal acumen and emotional empathy to create a winning combination that provides her clients with first-rate support and representation. ’

‘The team is exceptional. The firm is highly efficient with symbiotic strength between departments, between individuals, and geographical areas. The technology is exceptional. ’

BDB Pitmans

The Reading team at BDB Pitmans primarily focuses on divorce and financial matters, as well as advising on pre and postnuptial agreements and Trusts of Land disputes. Practice head Matthew Heyworth acts for high-net-worth individuals and has particular expertise in dealing with entrepreneur business owners and high-profile individuals from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics. The practice also has a growing niche for complex private law children work led by legal director Claire Burton. Former Gateley Plc partner Owen Reynolds joined the team as a consultant in summer 2021.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Heyworth

Other key lawyers:

Claire Burton; Zoe Rose; Kerry Haugh; Owen Reynolds

Testimonials

‘BDB Pitmans provide a central London service for out of London prices.’

‘Matt Heyworth is wise beyond his years. He has a fantastic rapport with clients and very sound judgment and technical legal knowledge’

‘The team is exceptionally well-organised and cohesive. ’

‘Claire Burton is an excellent solicitor; she has a great ‘feel’ for children’s work and goes above and beyond for those she represents. Claire really cares about her clients, which translates into the work she produces for them and the results she achieves. She is pragmatic and outcome-orientated, which means clients get realistic and focussed advice from an early stage. ’

‘I feel the service is very personalised. A divorce could be a traumatic process, but BDB Pitmans has made it smooth and pain-free.’

‘I have mainly been working with Kerry Haugh. She has been so kind, helpful and reassuring throughout the whole of my divorce proceedings.’

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP's family team is well known for its expertise in resolving financial fallout from divorce, cohabitation disputes and private law children matters. James Davies leads the Oxford team, acting primarily in complex and valuable financial remedies on divorce matters which often involves owner-managed businesses. Senior associate Catherine Morgan works closely with Davies on financial remedies cases and is also experienced in private law children work. Consultant Christine Plews is an accredited mediator adept at dealing with matters with an international element and business interests.

Practice head(s):

James Davies

Other key lawyers:

Christine Plews; Catherine Morgan

Testimonials

‘The team is strong. I have particular experience of Christine Plews, James Davies and Catherine Morgan. The firm is well organised, strong in inter-departmental support and technologically innovative. ’

‘The family division was excellent from the start. They assured me of my position and explained all the legal rights I had. Furthermore their team was clear about their services and costs and understood my financial position. They allocated the right level solicitor to handle my case from the early start and only when required did they escalate to more senior solicitors when required.’

‘I have worked with the firm for all my personal requirements for around 10 years and found them to be professional, efficient and have the capability to deal with any situation that has arisen.’

‘An excellent setup. I felt I was listened to and advised correctly. Blake Morgan can call on various other staff within their organisation for outside advice.’

‘Christine Plews has very long experience and always comes to a case looking for a sensible and practical solution that is fair to both parties. James Davies has an eye for detail and an ability to dig out the truth forensically. Both of them are excellent communicators and provide wonderful client service.’

‘Catherine Morgan – extremely personable and lovely with clients. Knowledgeable about the law but also has a sensitive appreciation of the difficulties faced by clients.’

‘James Davies is absolutely excellent. He is exceptionally hard-working and an excellent tactician.’

Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne

Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne's 'exceptional' team of lawyers in Abingdon offer a full family law service, assisting clients through both legal aid and private means. The group has specialisms in care proceedings and private children law, with a specialist childcare team that has expertise in adoption and child abduction. Emily Boardman, Irena Osborne and Ruth Hawkins jointly head the practice, all of whom make up 'a truly stellar team'. Matrimonial specialist Helen Bishop is also recommended. The practice continues to grow and has hired three new consultants, including Karen Newman, a qualified collaborative lawyer from Lawrence Hamblin Solicitors who can offer collaborative law expertise.

Practice head(s):

Emily Boardman; Ruth Hawkins; Irena Osborne

Other key lawyers:

Helen Bishop; Karen Newman

Testimonials

‘The dedication of the team at BHO to its clients is second to none. The three partners who set up the firm really care and put their all into achieving the best for their clients however difficult the case. Their advice to clients is straightforward and realistic, saving their clients unnecessary litigation and costs. They are also dedicated to public access to justice and are one of the few firms in the area that retain a legal aid franchise.’

‘My main point of contact at BHO is Irena Osborne. She is an exceptional solicitor. Hardworking and well prepared.’

‘Helen Bishop – a specialist financial remedies practitioner, who has excellent client-handling skills, a good understanding of the law and knows the details of her cases fully. It is a pleasure to be instructed by Helen, who I know will provide a well-prepared brief and have given the client sound advice. ’

‘The team at Boardman, Hawkins & Osborneare incredibly committed to their clients – they always go the extra mile to ensure they achieve the best outcome for their clients. I have been impressed by the care and thoughtfulness with which they approach their work. A truly stellar team. ’

‘I have worked particularly closely with Ruth Hawkins who is conscientious, extremely bright and utterly charming. ’

‘Highly knowledgeable and friendly team providing advice on all aspects of family law. Their strength is child protection law, where they draw on the experience of their well-respected staff. ’

‘Emily Boardman is a highly competent and dedicated care practitioner. She is professional and efficient at managing her cases. Her clients can expect a high standard of advice delivered with empathy and understanding.’

Brethertons LLP

Brethertons LLP's family team specialises in financial remedies on divorce, children law and collaborative law. The team is best known for international children matters, with an emphasis on international child abduction, an area in which Gemma Kelsey has significant expertise. Simon Craddock heads the practice, handling the full spectrum of family law matters, including international child abduction, surrogacy, and divorce and finance. The group also has expertise in care proceedings, with partner Matthew Montanaro being an expert in this area, including complex and serious non-accidental injury and Human Rights Claims on behalf of children.

Practice head(s):

Simon Craddock; Linda Jones

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Kelsey; Matthew Montanaro

Testimonials

‘Leading child abduction team, led by the incomparable Simon Craddock. They have a huge wealth of expertise in this field and compete for work with any London firm and internationally.’

‘Brethertons offers a flagship service across each of its offices, one of the premier out-of-London firms.’

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Reading's Field Seymour Parkes LLP specialises in medium to high value, complex matrimonial finance and private Children Act cases, as well as a growing practice in pre/postnuptial agreements, declarations of trust and cohabitation agreements. Practice head Sue Baker is a recognised expert in the field of sharing armed forces pensions within the context of divorce. Michelle Mann is another key practitioner, advising on highly contentious financial remedy cases as well as being an experienced notary. Associate Lindsay Davies is also recommended and has significant experience advising on and preparing dispute prevention mechanisms.

Practice head(s):

Sue Baker

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Mann; Lindsay Davies

Testimonials

‘FSP are frequently instructed in complex high-value cases. They quickly grasp key issues and develop strategies accordingly and early on in the management of the case. ’

‘They are a very reputable team in the Reading area. They are extremely experienced and deliver excellent client care to their clients. They are also lovely people to work with. ’

‘I have worked with Lindsay Davies on many occasions and consider her an excellent solicitor who I would have no hesitation recommending to clients. Her preparation is second to none and she is very sensible and gives good clear advice. She is also lovely with clients. ’

‘The team is brilliant. Michelle Mann and Sue Baker are true experts in their field and they work hand in hand with their excellent associates’

‘FSP has a formidable team of solicitors dealing with family law. They provide a highly professional, sympathetic and practical approach to all of their cases. Sue Baker is undeniably at the top of her game. Clients love her and opponents respect her.’

Gardner Leader LLP

Gardner Leader LLP 's team, which is spread across Newbury and Maidenhead, advises on complex financial matters and public law children proceedings, often with an international element as well as vulnerable clients. The team's workload has had a particular focus on Special Guardianship Orders, with practice head Seona Myerscough undertaking many of these instructions. Simon Fisher is 'pragmatic in his approach' with considerable expertise in mid to high net value financial matters involving complex assets. Newly promoted partner Suzy Hamshaw is a qualified collaborative lawyer whose work focuses on financial disputes in the breakdown of relationships and the preparation of pre and postnuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Seona Myerscough

Other key lawyers:

Simon Fisher; Suzy Hamshaw; Stephanie Buckeridge

Testimonials

‘Fantastic client care – they went above and beyond for me. They were really helpful, kind, caring and wanted the best possible outcome for me.’

‘Gardner Leader LLP clearly understands the significant emotional, as well as financial, strain ongoing family court proceedings put on parents and children. They are clear and efficient in their communications, and, at all times, reiterate and emphasise the best interests of the children. They have represented both myself and my husband in convoluted child arrangement matters for my two children, and my two step-children: while perhaps not innovative, their sensitivity to the connectedness of these two separate cases has been invaluable.’

‘Seona Myerscough and Stephanie Buckeridge always treated us with the utmost courtesy, listened to our concerns and anxiety.’

‘The team at Gardner Leader are a professional, well thought of team who have clear client care values.’

‘Good knowledgeable child-led practice on behalf of solicitor and great support from a team with more general issues. Seona Myerscough has represented the child alone on many of my cases and is great at engaging young people and thinking about how best to meet their needs. ’

‘Suzy Hamshaw is a thoughtful and able litigator and focused on effective settlement where possible. Seona Myerscough has immense personality and flair. I was recently involved in an unusual case with her in which she looked after a financial remedy client who had severe learning difficulties. She navigated the complexities of the case with great skill to obtain an excellent result for the client. ’

‘Simon Fisher is excellent in engaging with clients and building their confidence in his ability to solve problems. He is personable, hard-working and pragmatic in his approach. ’

Work highlights

  • Representing a child through her guardian appointed under Rule 16.4 Family Proceedings Rules on allegation of sexual abuse of the child brought by the mother against the father.
  • Representing a mother in a Specific Issue Order Application regarding a dispute concerning the order of secondary school preference on the Local Authority Secondary School Placement Application.

Royds Withy King

Royds Withy King deals with high-value cases often involving business and overseas assets. It also offers advice on reputation management in family matters, attracting a client base that includes a number of celebrities and high-net-worth individuals. Practice head Simon Bassett's expertise includes divorce and separation, pre and post-nuptial agreements, financial claims under the Children Act and DNA testing. Andrew Nellist specialises in financial matters arising from relationship breakdowns and associated children matters. Senior associate Monicka Rai left the firm in January 2021 to join BWK Solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Simon Bassett

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Nellist

Testimonials

‘A firm that is well-resourced with experienced lawyers in many fields, that work well together as a team to provide an overall good service to their clients.’

‘The team has a strong can-do approach and is keen to find solutions for its clients. ’

‘Simon Bassett is a dynamic and enterprising individual. He has good judgement and his clients feel very supported by him. ’

Andrew Nellist has extremely sound legal knowledge in his field but always has an eye for the overall well-being of the client. He is firm when he needs to be whilst always having a compassionate eye to the legal, financial and personal impact of his client.’ 

‘Simon Bassett leads a strong team, his practical, deep-thinking approach characterises the work of the whole team.’

Work highlights

  • Advising on a multimillion-pound divorce that involves serious conduct and disclosure issues by the other spouse.
  • Advising on a complex financial remedy case which involved significant issues between parties as to the value of a business, the value of properties and how to divide very substantial pension assets.
  • Advising on a complex divorce case involving a number of different asset groups including two companies, a SIPP pension, land and property.

Hedges Law

Hedges Law is a 'forward-thinking' firm that acts for high-net-worth private individuals on a range of family law matters. The 'indefatigable' Nicola Poole heads the Oxford and Wallingford offices, focusing on divorce and finance cases and prenuptial agreements. Laura Mortimer handles the full range of issues that arise on relationship breakdown, including complex private children law disputes. Carrie Rudge and Stuart Webber are also recommended, with the latter joining the firm in May 2020 from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Poole

Other key lawyers:

Laura Mortimer; Carrie Rudge; Stuart Webber

Testimonials

‘Hedges has a close-knit family team led by the indefatigable Nikki Poole. She has huge drive and energy and takes a keen interest in fostering success and well-being within the team. Stuart Webber is a recent, but very valuable addition to the staff. He is cool, calm and collected and soothes the nerves of even the most anxious client. Alongside that he is extremely capable. A combination which must make him a nightmare opponent.’

‘Hedges is a client-orientated firm with a determinedly modern outlook – they have established themselves as one of the very best family law firms in the Oxford area – they are a very professional, forward-thinking outfit.

‘The team is innovative and is involved in thought leadership in the Thames Valley.’

‘Carrie Rudge has good skills as a mediator and is respected for this. She is involved in the Thames Valley mediation community.’

Herrington Carmichael LLP

Herrington Carmichael LLP's Camberley family team has undergone a series of changes in recent months. The key contact is now Sarah Speed, who joined in May 2021 from local firm Foster Harrington, where she led the family practice.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Speed

K J Smith Solicitors

K J Smith Solicitors is an ‘impressive and polished‘ boutique family law firm advising on all aspects of family law. Kerry Smith is an accredited collaborative family lawyer who founded the firm in 2009, advising clients from Henley-on-Thames. Other key partners include Kulbir Rahi in Ascot and Anna Ferro in Beaconsfield.

Practice head(s):

Kerry Smith

Other key lawyers:

Kulbir Rahi

Testimonials

‘The family team is strong, with the necessary breadth of expertise to assist clients with a diverse range of needs.’

‘Anna Ferro makes clients feel fully supported, whilst offering clear and direct advice. Her attention to detail and grasp of the bigger picture are both impressive.’

‘Kulbir Rahi is a consummate professional, always calm, will seek counsel’s help when needed.’

‘One of their strengths is they are always thinking ahead and always keep your best interests in mind.

‘I used this firm through a recommendation as my previous solicitors I felt let me down. From the start they were professional, they listened to my case, which was very complicated. The advice and help they gave me straight away made me feel confident in them, they told me the cost of the case verbally and by writing, gave me the pros and cons of my case and were very honest.

‘They are highly approachable and knowledgeable, always willing to listen, but also firm in their own guidance and advice. They achieve excellent results through careful and consistent consideration and research and are resolute in their pursuit of a fair conclusion. ’

‘I think what makes this practice unique is their professionalism combined with their understanding of your requirements and when you combine both it puts you at ease through a difficult time.’

Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers Ltd (LGFL Ltd)

Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers Ltd (LGFL Ltd) is a well-regarded boutique family law firm based in Reading that ‘operates a sleek and professional service, with excellent client care’. The team’s work encompasses both complex Children Act proceedings and high-net-worth divorces, co-led by firm founders Rita Gupta and Anne Leiper, who ‘make a formidable team’. Gupta, who covers all areas of family law, is ‘a highly experienced and capable lawyer with a lovely way with clients‘ whilst the ‘tenacious’ Leiper spearheads the firm’s collaborative law and mediation activities.

Practice head(s):

Rita Gupta; Anne Leiper

Testimonials

‘Anne Leiper and Rita Gupta make a formidable team. They bring many years of experience to their cases. Both are superb at looking after their clients and guiding them through a difficult time in their lives. They consistently get excellent outcomes for their clients.’

‘Anne Leiper is a tenacious experienced matrimonial lawyer who is unfazed by taking on the big firms. She gives clear sensible advice and is a brilliant guide for clients in difficult circumstances.’

‘Rita Gupta is wonderful – she is a highly experienced and capable lawyer with a lovely way with clients. I would recommend her to others in a heartbeat.’

‘Rita Gupta’s professionalism and experience made an impression. She is also empathetic and did genuinely help me with a very difficult case. She managed to sort out everything sometimes even with short notice which I am very grateful for.’

‘A quality boutique firm. LGFL specialises only in family law and have a formidable reputation for this. They operate a sleek and professional service with exceptional client care.’

‘LGFL are a very human legal team, with doses of empathy but regimented professionalism. Through the many ups and downs, the team are honest, direct and forthright but understanding in what are sometimes very emotional, complicated and tricky times. They are open with what they can do or not and upfront with their billing and when it’s called for, state what is not chargeable or is to leave clarity in what can be baffling legal wrangling.’

‘Rita Gupta was empathetic, human but strong and open. When tough times hit, she was very clear about the position, decisive on what was the right thing to do and what advice to follow. Despite the legal journey, Rita saw me through and was a master at talking, scribing endless and copious notes and giving advice – a great skill. There was understanding and clarity of the case and caution advised but ultimately she knew that as the client, I decided and that felt like there was some control in a difficult and frustrating case.’

‘LGFL has always been very professional and helpful in highly sensitive situations. They helped me through a very emotionally hard time and dealt with it with the utmost respect and gave me faith to make me feel comfortable. I have total trust in the company to deal with very difficult and life-changing situations.’

Spratt Endicott

Spratt Endicott's family law practice has developed a number of niche service offerings, and is frequently instructed by business owners, farmers, police officers and NHS employees. Practice head Patrick Mulcare is dually qualified in England & Wales and in Ireland and specialises in complex and high-value financial matters.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Mulcare

Testimonials

Very professional, experienced and competent law firm. Spratt Endicott inspire complete trust and peace of mind for me in their respectful approach to providing what my situation needed/needs. I am also in admiration of their ability to word statements and requests perfectly to achieve the best legal communications, and ultimately the best possible outcomes.’

‘The Family team at Spratt Endicott put people first. Their experience and technical knowledge is second to none, but they never lose sight of the fact that clients and professional partners value a personal touch. They are approachable, responsive and a joy to work with.’

‘A team that is really going places with careful recruitment of talented lawyers.’

‘A small but excellent firm.’

‘Patrick Mulcare is a hugely well-respected practitioner in his field. Always approachable, down to earth and straight-talking, it is no wonder that his clients rate him so highly.’

It is always great working with Spratt Endicott – the team are always well prepared and always on hand for a collaborative view about cases.’

‘Realistic in approach with a focus on achieving a sensible outcome for the benefit of all parties.’

Stowe Family Law LLP

Stowe Family Law LLP recently recruited Amanda Phillips-Wylds to join its Reading team; she is described as 'a force to be reckoned with - a first-class lawyer'.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Phillips-Wylds

Testimonials

‘Amanda Phillips-Wylds is a force to be reckoned with: a first-class lawyer.’

‘Amanda Phillips-Wylds is very driven, with a particularly nice manner and ethos.’

‘Amanda Phillips-Wylds is exceptional. She fights hard for client and manages their expectations at all stages of the proceedings.’