Firms To Watch: Family: Birmingham

Rayden Solicitors has recently opened an office in Birmingham that is led by Mary Kaye (formerly of Shakespeare Martineau LLP). Kaye has a ‘stellar reputation in the Birmingham legal community and beyond’.
Locally, the ‘extremely approachable’ Lucy Barr  heads the department at VWV. It now has a ‘growing team‘ that is ‘expanding with some excellent recruitment’. Senior associate, Amy Parker has a ‘fine legal brain and an admirable work ethic’.

Family: Birmingham in West Midlands

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is a ‘first-class family law department which has great strength and depth’. Its key areas of focus are providing matrimonial advice to professionals and business owners, as well as representing children and family members in complex care and private law proceedings. The group also has a growing mediation offering and is recommended for its work in other areas such as surrogacy, female genital mutilation and domestic violence. Elizabeth Wyatt  co-heads the matrimonial team along with Chris Lloyd-Smith. Jas Tamber heads the children’s team. Maria Ramon and Madhur Sharma were recently promoted to the partnership. At associate level, Kadie Bennett and Andrew Crumpton are among the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Lloyd-Smith; Elizabeth Wyatt; Jas Tamber

Other key lawyers:

Maria Ramon; Madhur Sharma; Kadie Bennett; Andrew Crumpton; Charlotte Raybould


‘They are extremely knowledgeable particularly in financial remedy matters and complex private law children matters. Chris Lloyd-Smith is at the pinnacle of the profession and is sought after across the region. Kadie Bennett is very thorough and approachable‘.

‘A well rounded team which is unusual in being able to offer quality private and public family law services. Chris Lloyd Smith has a great client manner and is a pleasure to deal with on the other side of a matter. Jas Tamber is the go to person in Birmingham for care work‘.

‘ In summary, I felt that the ‘customer service’ Anthony Collins offered was outstanding and this really must set them apart from their competition’.

‘Maria Ramon. From the very start she was attentive, informative and professional. She gave good advice, listened and was incredibly responsive’.

‘Anthony Collins is definitely the leading family law firm in Birmingham by reputation. It excels both in private law children work and in public law children work. The teams are made up of consistently excellent practitioners‘.

‘Jas Tamber – is well renowned for his expertise in public law children. He is highly regarded by his colleagues, guardians (who instruct him repeatedly) and judges who are quick to recommend him. Jas is an impressive advocate‘.

‘Charlotte Raybould – is extremely hard-working with a very busy practice. Charlotte has a lovely manner particularly when dealing with child clients. Andrew Crumpton – Favoured by Guardians and has an impressive caseload which reflects his experience‘.

‘Chris Lloyd-Smith is very good indeed. He has great attention to detail. Great client care skills and a good strategic mind. Jas Tamber is also first class and is the go to lawyer in Birmingham for care proceedings’.

Irwin Mitchell

The ‘simply amazingMark Hands  heads the team at Irwin Mitchell. Hands acts for very wealthy individuals and is often instructed by third  parties who need to intervene in Asian divorce situations. The Birmingham office is praised as ‘one of only a few firms outside of London which is capable of handling the very biggest cases’. Clare Wiseman  is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Zahra Pabani is recommended for her skill at handling ultra-high-net-worth cases, while Sarah Balfour supports many vulnerable and older clients.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hands

Other key lawyers:

Clare Wiseman; Zahra Pabani; Sarah Balfour; Sabrina Powell; Charlotte Clewes; Rachel Baker; Lucy Todd; Tara Smith


‘Very client focussed, depth of experience and extremely personable. Sabrina Powell is a stand out associate. She goes above and beyond for her clients, is proactive on their behalf and always provides high quality advice‘.

Excellent team. Clare Wiseman and Mark Hands are “the go to partners” nurturing and leading Sabrina Powell, Charlotte Clewes, Rachel Baker, Lucy Todd and Tara Smith as future stars’.

‘The Team have dealt with the divorce proceedings in a considered and pragmatic fashion with the emphasis on being non confrontational towards the other party. In particular Mark’s approach has been to minimise petty fringe issues and concentrate on the substantive settlement issues‘.

‘Cohesive team, able to draw upon expertise from other offices, as required. Mark Hands is an exceptional Partner who was always willing and able to listen, encouraged a ‘no-nonsense’ approach to correspondence and engaged in building a good-team to progress the case. Lucy Todd – a detail-oriented, empathic and exceptional lawyer who leaves no stone unturned‘.

‘Great team- responsive with good strength in depth. Clare Wiseman. Exceptionally effective lawyer. Technically strong and very creative. Is able to pull together a responsive team who work well together and make the client feel safe’.

‘Mark Hands – He is the best family law solicitor I have come across. He is incredibly clever and strategic. His knowledge of the law is second to none. He handles cases involving £100s millions and goes toe to toe with the best in London and wins‘.

‘Sarah Balfour is also a first-class partner. Lucy Todd is a quite brilliant child law solicitor’.

‘The family team at IM are such a pleasure to deal with, and I have every confidence in their ability to work as a team and involve other members of their team in other fields if additional advice is required’.

Lodders Solicitors LLP

At Lodders Solicitors LLP, Beverley Morrisleads the team in an outstanding manner. Her commitment to her clients is second to none’. Morris excels in financial remedy work and frequently also represents trustees where they are intervening or being joined to the proceedings .Vivienne Middleton is another figure who is equally adept at resolving complex financial and children cases. Justin Creed joined the ranks from Wright Hassall LLP. Creed is a collaborative lawyer who advises clients on a broad mix of matrimonial matters. Caroline Dresden is also recommended for her work with clients who have very substantial assets and she has a particular interest in pensions on divorce.


Practice head(s):

Beverley Morris

Other key lawyers:

Vivienne Middleton; Justin Creed; Caroline Dresden; Baldish Khatkar


‘I have found Lodders family team exceptional in their knowledge of complex elements of family law, their experience and empathy. The billing is clear and transparent. Their communication was swift and excellent‘.

Vivienne Middleton was outstanding. I cannot thank her enough‘.

A great team of bright legal minds who also have strategic vision and excellent client support skills. Beverley Morris – there is nothing she doesn’t know about family law. She goes to the nth degree for every client’.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP has a 'very supportive team' that covers the whole range of family law issues with a particular focus on complex financial and private law children matters.  Headed  by Rayner Grice, who is praised by clients as someone who 'always goes the extra mile right from the start', the group is recognised for its skill at handling cases involving significant wealth and assets and continues to develop its expertise in dealing with cases involving domestic abuse and/or controlling and coercive behaviour. Adam Maguire advises on diverse matters such as cohabitation, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Rayner Grice

Other key lawyers:

Adam Maguire; Caroline Young


‘I work with Adam Maguire. His advice is always timely and clear. He is patient with clients and their families and does not mind repeating advice if needed, he is also flexible with his advice when things change‘.

The team has lots of experience in high value and complex disputes. Solicitors work closely as a team to ensure the best results for clients’.

‘Brilliant team of experts. Without doubt one of the leading financial remedy firms in the region delivering a high quality service. One of the go to firms for bigger money cases or cases with challenging legal points to litigate’.

Adam Maguire and Rayner Grice are excellent. Both are partners that lead from the front, are inclusive in their decision making and always put the clients best interests first’.

‘Rayner Grice leads one of the best teams, if not the best, in family finance in Birmingham‘.

‘Rayner is probably the best family finance solicitor in Birmingham. She has a no nonsense, straightforward approach to her cases and opponents. Clients love her and opponents respect her. Caroline Young is a very able assistant’.

‘Rayner Grice leads a team a team of talented lawyers. The department has good strength in depth. The team is capable of dealing with the most difficult and complex cases‘.

‘Rayner Grice leads the team with great vigour and style. Technically brilliant and tactically astute – a winning combination. Adam Maguire is a calm, measured and thoughtful operator who leaves no stone unturned for his client’s cause’.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

The 'extremely efficient' team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors specialises in representing clients facing emergency situations such as matters involving sexual harm, safeguarding children or domestic abuse. It is also experienced in advising on divorce and separation issues and is known for its work with clients with significant vulnerabilities ( such as mental health problems). The practice works on an interesting mix of culturally complex cases and has considerable strength in international child abduction cases. Krina Parmar and Rupinder Jagdev  are among the names to note at a senior level along with Jasbir Raindi and Ravi Kaur Mahey .

Practice head(s):

Krina Parmar; Rupinder Jagdev; Jasbir Raindi; Ravi Mahey

Other key lawyers:

Adam Bloodworth


‘Duncan Lewis combines efficiency with a personal service. They genuinely work as a team and I think clients will feel well looked after by professionals who really do have their best interests at heart‘.

‘Rupinder Jagdev is a class act. She is one of very few solicitors I know that read every bit of material and formulates a view on it when instructing counsel. She is exceptionally efficient and seems to get the best from everyone who works with her’.

‘Duncan Lewis is a very good firm, with some excellent practitioners. Ravi Mahey (the doyenne of everything related to forced marriage and FGM) ‘.

‘The professionalism within the whole practice. The caring manner the firm gives. The highest care and standard given at all times throughout every stage. Everything fully explained in every step and how little the client has to do as it’s taken care of‘.

‘Duncan Lewis has had a growing presence in Birmingham over the last 5 years. Its family public law team is strong with a number of very experienced and impressive solicitors. Duncan Lewis attracts good quality work which reflects its reputation’.

‘Rupinder Jagdev – was extremely well-informed in respect of the evidence, she had clearly undertaken a lot of work herself. Her management of the child client was exceptional and she was able to seamlessly manage the dynamic of having both a professional Guardian client and a competent child client’. ‘

As a team, Duncan Lewis has a stellar reputation. Each member of the team I have encountered has been well-prepared, organised and always fought diligently for their client. Adam Bloodworth is a brilliant lawyer. He prepares his cases to the highest standard’.

‘I have predominantly worked with Rupinder Jagdev who is an excellent Solicitor. She represents her clients with empathy, compassion and understanding, whilst providing meticulous and considered legal advice. This is my experience of the whole team at Duncan Lewis’.

Work highlights

  • Represented the mother in private family law matters. The mother wished to end her marriage having been subject to domestic violence.
  • Represented in the mother in high net-worth divorce matters. This case concerned an application for financial relief and the team successfully assisted the mother in reaching a £3m settlement.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Victoria Fellows now heads the ‘young, vibrant and female team’ at Harrison Clark Rickerbys following the retirement of Kevin Harris-James (who remains a consultant at the firm). Fellows who has been described as ‘LA Law style tough, particularly good in getting bullies to back down’, has a particular focus on high-value financial remedy claims on divorce. Georgina Burrows specialises in complex and often long running private law children cases. Senior Associate, Shereen Chohan predominantly advises high-net-worth individuals on a broad spectrum of issues.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Fellows

Other key lawyers:

Georgina Burrows; Shereen Chohan;  Kevin Harris-James


‘I recommend this firm to family and friends as I know that they will be supported and well-advised through difficult times. The firm stands out as a class above other firms’.

‘Georgina Burrows is excellent. She is great with clients and is always thoroughly prepared’.

‘The firm has a strong presence in Birmingham and in Worcester as well as their other locations across the UK’.

‘Shereen Chohan, associate solicitor, deserves a great deal of praise. She is very hardworking and committed and has great procedural and legal knowledge. I rate her very highly’.

‘Victoria Fellows – clients have a lawyer new best friend who will put their case without fear or favour. Sheree Chohan is quiet and determined in style. No fuss or drama just excellent preparation. Takes time to understand clients story and builds their case plank by plank‘.

‘Georgina Burrows deals with tricky cases, parents denied or denying contact. Whatever the allegations, whatever the storm Georgina is their rock and their champion; she will offer 24/7 support and will extract the info to build the best possible case for the client’.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is renowned for its work with affluent clients where there are complex business and trust structures. Other strengths lie in advising on highly conflicted children proceedings , surrogacy and fertility law cases and advising professional and family trustees. Newly-promoted partner,Katherine Kennedy, routinely deals with more complex and high-net-worth financial matters and works closely with the private wealth team on matters such as nuptial agreements. Stephanie Hawthorn advises on various complex children and financial matters.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Kennedy; Marc Saunderson

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Hawthorn


‘Significant expertise but very commercial. Good negotiators taking a commercial and sensitive approach to cases’.

‘First rate, efficient and hard working lawyers with an eye for detail’.

‘Katherine Kennedy is top notch forensically excellent lawyer with tremendous person skills’.

‘The team within the firm dealing with Financial Remedies is excellent. Mills and Reeve continue to be considered one of the best firms within the Midlands. The team attempt to provide a unified approach to the problems raised during particular cases and deliver a high quality service’.

‘Katherine Kennedy is a stalwart of the firm. She has had to encounter and deal with the loss of well regarded members of the team (for a variety of reasons – illness, life changes etc) in recent times and has managed to create a consistency of approach within the team, corralling and including the new members, to provide an excellent service for the end user’.

‘Katherine provides clear, concise yet full briefs. The bundles are (if provided by Mills and Reeve) always top notch. Katherine Kennedy gives good advice and really cares for her clients’.

Mills and Reeve are an extremely professional firm. They provide quality advice and representation’.

‘Katherine Kennedy – she is very clever and pragmatic. One of the best solicitors in the area. She is also a brilliant mediator’.

Stowe Family Law LLP

With Rebecca Calden-Storr at the helm at Stowe Family Law LLP, the team is well-regarded for its work with wealthy individuals who have a variety of complex assets, businesses, trusts and properties that are held in the UK and internationally. Calden-Storr also has a particular focus on cases where there are elements of emotional/psychological abuse, parental alienation, narcissism and coercive control. The group garners praise for its work on complicated children matters too. Other core areas of expertise include advising on civil partnerships as well as same-sex and cohabiting couples.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Calden-Storr

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Stubbs; Claire Cleary; Sara Morton


‘Rebecca Calden-Storr and Hannah Stubbs are a truly excellent duo’.

Rebecca Calden-Storr- extremely good, very good with clients, unflappable. Hannah Stubbs- one to watch. Extremely knowledgeable in the area and highly organised. Excellent‘.

‘Rebecca Caulden-Storr has recruited wisely to strengthen her dynamic team further. She has a fantastic manner with High net worth clients, knows what they want and works hard to deliver, Hannah Stubbs – bright and diligent’.

‘Rebecca Calden Storr and Claire Cleary for me have made the practice unique. They are  responsive, informative, calm and understanding . They both represented me with precision and knowledge’.

‘Stowe Family Law is a well-regarded national firm with a strong regional presence in and around Birmingham, providing high quality advice and representation in complex and high value financial remedy cases’.

‘Rebecca Calden-Storr and Claire Cleary work closely, and very effectively, together to provide exceptional standards of service and client care in the trickiest of cases, and are highly recommended‘.

They have a singular reputation in high net worth and complex financial remedy cases. Clare Cleary is in her element dealing with complex and high net worth family finance cases. She always strives for the best for her clients whilst giving realistic advice, managing client expectations’.

‘Sara Morton has a relaxed and reassuring manner with clients, easily putting them at ease and forming excellent working relationships‘.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

The 'very efficient' team at Sydney Mitchell LLP is co-led by Karen Moores  and Mauro Vinti  - the 'friendly and approachable' group covers a broad spectrum of issues from divorce and civil partnership dissolution to child arrangements and protective injunctions. The firm also has a well-regarded collaborative law practice with two fully-qualified collaborative lawyers . Teresa Mannion is also an Advanced Family Law Panel member. Senior associate, Gemma Whitchurch, has considerable experience in cases where domestic violence is an issue.

Practice head(s):

Karen Moores; Mauro Vinti

Other key lawyers:

Teresa Mannion; Gemma Whitchurch; Judi Wood


‘Judi Wood –  as soon as I spoke to her and met Judi face to face the whole divorce experience became less traumatic, due to Judi’s calm, empathic, caring and truly knowledgeable and professional ability to guide and communicate with me from beginning to completion’.

‘Teresa Mannion -outstanding advice and service with the knowledge and experience and care for me as a client that supported me in a difficult time in my life’.

‘A gold standard firm, worthy of National renown. First rate lawyers who go ‘above and beyond’ for all of their clients’.

‘The two stand outs are Karen Moores and Mauro Vinti. I have nothing but undiluted praise for their excellent standard of work. They are both first rate lawyers, empathetic and insightful’.

Karen Moores. An exceptional partner. She is hands on, and goes over and above for each and every client. She knows the case inside out and takes a no-nonsense attitude which assists enormously in private children cases’.

‘Gemma Whitchurch – is exceptionally talented, and will go far in the future. Her paperwork is exceptionally prepared and her strategic thinking makes and breaks cases’.

‘Teresa Mannion is an exceptional lawyer. Focused on getting the best outcome for her clients. She is thorough, well-organised and always aims to ensure early resolution is achieved if possible’.

‘Karen Moores is a real straight talker, no matter who she is dealing with; her clients are assured both frank advice and forceful representation, both of which are, of course, invaluable. Mauro Vinti is also a very good operator and he too is highly recommended’.

Work highlights

  • Acting for wife who had been a homemaker during the course of a long marriage where the assets amounted to approximately £2.5m plus pension and where the case was signified by the husband’s litigation conduct and significant non-disclosure.
  • Acting for the father in respect of a proposed relocation of the child from Cornwall to Birmingham that also necessitated a transfer of care from mother to father.
  • Acting for the father in an application for a child arrangements order and parental responsibility in relation to a new born child with significant health issues.

The Wilkes Partnership

The Wilkes Partnership has a 'well-regarded' team that advises clients from all backgrounds including company directors, dentists, doctors and their spouses on an extensive range of complex financial and children cases. Aaron Keene, a collaborative law practitioner, heads the private family law team. Ruth Harrison-Byrne  leads the public law childcare team. She has developed a reputation for her work with competent teenage clients who instruct her directly on often very complex cases involving issues such as serious sexual abuse allegations. Senior associate, Sian Kenkre, is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Keene; Ruth Harrison-Byrne

Other key lawyers:

Chris Allen-Jones; Sian Kenkre; Gail Hope


‘Aaron Keene – was at all times pleasant, helpful, professional, knowledgeable and very kind‘.

‘Aaron Keene had a very positive and supportive attitude and I felt from our first meeting that my case was in good hands. He answered questions promptly and was able to explain a very complicated situation clearly and helpfully’.

‘Aaron Keene- Very quickly developed a good understanding of my situation, has given me good advice over what has turned out to be a complicated and drawn out divorce proceeding. Thank you Aaron’.

‘I find the team responsive, caring and professional. They care about their clients and their clients’ lives, particularly those who are going through a major life changing event such as divorce or surrogacy’.

‘Sian Kenkre – her knowledge is strong and her client care skills are exceptional. Her no-nonsense and pragmatic approach resonates with clients and her calm manner when dealing with opposing solicitors provides clients with reassurance when they need it most’.

‘The Wilkes Partnership has a very high quality, specialist family team with a very good reputation in Birmingham and the surrounding area’.

Aaron Keene is a leading light of the Birmingham family law community and always a pleasure to deal with. Chris Allen-Jones is an absolute gentleman, but he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in in the determined pursuit of the best possible outcome for his clients. Sian Kenkre is extremely capable‘.

‘Sian Kenkre – A caring, clever solicitor. First class client care skills. Aaron Keane – a seasoned pro. Chris Allen Jones – very experienced’.

Weightmans LLP

Manchester-based Emma Collins , heads the department at Weightmans LLP that is praised for ‘its attention to detail‘. In Birmingham, Tania Derrett-Smith’s areas of practice include divorce, pre and post nuptial agreements and advising on arrangements for children. She has considerable experience in cases involving family businesses, properties in the UK and overseas as well cases involving complex pensions issues. Associate, Rupa Parekh, specialises in financial matters arising from separation and divorce. Fiona O’Sullivan has now retired.

Practice head(s):

Emma Collins

Other key lawyers:

Tania Derrett-Smith; Rupa Parekh


‘Tania Derrett-Smith is client focused, providing her clients with sound practical advice. She also provides clients with excellent support through what is often a difficult litigation process‘.

‘Tania Derrett-Smith really does excel in her professionalism and commitment to the profession and her clients. Tania oozes professionalism and the quality of her service is exceptional‘.

‘A good all round team – the work being covered by a National team of lawyers, a system that works extremely well both for the lay client and the barrister’.

Tania Derrett-Smith. First rate lawyer, hard working, well organised and empathetic. A pleasure to work for’.

‘Weightmans are a national firm with a small but well-resourced family team operating out of their Birmingham office. Tania Derrett-Smith heads up the team and is now ably assisted by more recently arrived Rupa Parekh, who has experience beyond her years and is a good addition to the team’.

‘Rupa Parek is an excellent addition to the family law team. Rupa is approachable and a sensible advocate, who is happy to be proactive in the cases that she manages’.

‘The team at Weightmans offer a very collaborative approach with high quality lawyers. They are able to offer international advice, which stands out from other firms and they also have a distinct focus on LGBTQ plus family law, which also makes them rather unique’.

They give pragmatic legal advice and are down to earth. They do not fight for the sake of fighting. Rupa Parekh in the Birmingham team is a very conscientious family lawyer who cares for her clients’.

Benussi & Co Limited

Diane Benussi is a key figure at Benussi & Co Limited. Helen Benussi, Helen Jane Arnold and Denise McKenna are among the other highly regarded members of the team. It typically acts in cases involving net assets of between £3m-£30m and is skilled at handling cases where there are complex business structures and trusts. Lucy Johnston often advises on contact disputes and parental alienation matters.

Practice head(s):

Diane Benussi

Other key lawyers:

Helen Jane Arnold; Helen Benussi; Denise McKenna; Lucy Johnson

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Aasha Choudhary now heads the department at Shakespeare Martineau LLP as the former head of department, Mary Kaye, has moved to Rayden Solicitors. The team receives plaudits for its ‘excellent advice and client care‘. Choudhary works on a varied caseload of complex financial remedy matters where there are often substantial international elements and frequently advises on domestic and international relocation cases. Associate, Monica Ghai and Robert Norris are well-regarded. Prem Ahark is now at gunnercooke LLP .

Practice head(s):

Aasha Choudhary

Other key lawyers:

Monica Ghai; Robert Norris; Dipika Mistry


‘Aasha Choudhary immediately made me feel supported and reassured. The team at SM work closely together in order to provide consistent advice and support at all times’.

‘They are capable of advising on very complex cases as mine was and continues to be. The collaboration between team members is excellent. Accessibility and contact ability in emergencies and difficult times is very reassuring’.

‘ As soon as I met Aasha I felt safe and reassured. Aside from her obvious professional capabilities I must stress that Aasha has gone above and beyond what is professionally required of her in her support of me’.

‘Aasha Choudhary. In a nutshell she is top drawer – very astute, making the right calls in a highly confrontational and protracted dispute. Throughout, she was empathetic and ‘had my back’ which helped to alleviate much of the stress’.

Shakespeare Martineau stands out in the industry for a number of reasons; most notably due to their extensive family law expertise, excellent client service, empathy and transparency.’

‘Aasha Choudhary is the driving force behind the Birmingham team and does not shy away from difficult, complicated or messy cases. She applies a good commercial approach to her cases and is very positive/firm with her advice. Rob Norris has the technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’.

‘Aasha Choudhary is an excellent partner. She is very hardworking and seeks to ensure that her clients get the very best results. Her attention to detail is second to none. Rob Norris – He has wisdom beyond his years. He is clever and has first class client care skills’.