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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Private client > Family: elsewhere in the West Midlands > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Family: elsewhere in the West Midlands
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Rachel Adams - Brethertons LLP
    • Hannah Nicholls¬† - Thursfields Solicitors

Who Represents Who

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Brethertons LLP  is 'a leading regional firm' with 'a growing and deserved national reputation as specialist family lawyers'. Linda Jones  co-heads the team and is notably strong in advising on divorce-related financial issues. Fellow practice head Simon Craddock  is a an expert in complex children cases and recently advised on a damages claim from a child who had been left in the care of an allegedly unfit parent by the local authority. He also acted on a case on behalf of a child who was wrongfully removed from one of her parents and moved to the USA.  Associate solicitor Rachel Adams  specialises in matrimonial finances and is 'determined', 'intelligent', 'efficient' and 'compassionate'. Associate solicitor Kim Lehal  is an expert on cases involving international child abduction, forced marriages and honour-based violence.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP 's family law cases typically fall into the categories of being highly complex or of high value. Anne Thompson  leads the team and is an expert in handling ancillary relief cases.  She recently acted on a complex divorce where both parties were in business together. Philip Cowell  focuses on high-value financial cases and is 'extremely efficient' and 'quick to respond'. He recently advised on a matter involving the validity of a prenuptial agreement. Senior associate Harbinder Gosal  is notably strong in handling privately funded divorce and matrimonial finance cases. She represented interveners on a case where the wife alleged that the husband transferred property to the client in an attempt to dispose his assets. Senior associate Sarah Millington 's work mostly concerns the financial aspects of relationship breakdowns, and is  'professional', 'effective'  and 'good at communicating'. Cohabitations expert Sara Morton  is also a key figure, whose recent work involved the court freezing the husband’s assets in order to prevent him from depriving the wife of her claims.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys '  'excellent' family practice is 'extremely experienced in the subject area'  and 'completely familiar with current thinking and new developments'. Andy Caldicott  leads the team and is known for his 'efficient yet caring attitude' and 'eminently sensible approach', with expertise in family disputes involving finances and children. Nadia Davis  heads the Worcester office and focuses on high value divorce proceedings as well as pre and post nuptial agreements. The 'wise', 'experienced', 'warm' and 'attentive' Brenda Spain  has expertise in all aspects of family, with particular strengths in domestic abuse cases. Also recommended are Clare Whittaker , who is particularly strong on special guardianship orders, and Robert Beaumont  who has extensive experience in advising on cohabitation settlements.

Higgs & Sons 'goes above and beyond for its clients' and regularly advises on financial and child-related proceedings. Matrimonial matters specialist Philip Barnsley leads the team and has a 'focused','understanding' and 'strategic' approach. Claire Darley is an experienced mediator with a similar focus on finance cases. Other notable names include associate Rhian Gray, who specialises in matrimonial disputes, and associate Kelly Perks, who is experienced in child arrangements.

Mercy Messenger 's repertoire in family law includes financial proceedings, children cases, property issues, domestic harassment and violence cases, as well as pre and post nuptial agreements.  Name partner Mercy Messenger  leads the team and is supported by David Messenger and associate Gemma Fenton.

For some, the family department of MFG Solicitors LLP  is 'one of the strongest family departments in the West Midlands'. The Kidderminster-based practice head Claire Backler  has expertise in children and financial proceedings and brings  'a maturity' and 'a calm sureness of touch to her caseload'. Katherine Tippetts works for high net worth individuals on has 'a calm and measured approach' and 'really knows her stuff'. Worcester-based Gurdip Kaur Brring similary focuses on the financial aspects of matrimonial disputes. Bromsgrove-based Alison Webber has 'an empathetic, client-focused approach', and is 'excellent at building working relationships in particularly difficult and sensitive cases'. Associate  Rupinder Nandra is 'energetic', 'dedicated' and 'her clients can trust to pursue her goals with well-calculated care and vigour.'

Thursfields Solicitors  provide 'a first class service' in family law with strong capabilities in financial proceedings and children cases.  Director Shane Miller leads the team and is a specialist in matrimonial disputes who is 'very competent', 'switched on' and 'has a knack of finding the right solutions to cases'. Director Nigel Davies focuses on financial proceedings, and is 'extremely experienced' and 'a very safe pair of hands'. Also recommended is associate Laura Williams, who is experienced in relationship breakdown cases, and associate Kelly Pougher, who works on financial proceedings and is 'a tough litigator' and 'gives realistic advice to her clients'. Pougher also has 'the ability to fully understand and articulate clearly issues concerning children with special educational needs'. Hannah Nicholls  is also a key figure and specialises in child arrangements.

Wright Hassall LLP has 'an outstanding team of top drawer family solicitors'. Peter Lowe heads the private client group and is skilled in both financial and children-related proceedings. Justin Creed leads the matrimonial team and is 'a first class lawyer', whose 'unfailingly affable demeanour belies real toughness'. Also recommended is Mercedes King-Jones  is 'a brilliant operator' with 'a refreshing "no nonsense" approach'.

Band Hatton Button LLP works across all aspects of family disputes, with particular strengths in mediation. Tracy Cross  leads the team and is an experienced mediator on both divorce and separation cases. Helen Bowns recently joined Shakespeare Martineau LLP.

Beswicks Legal's broad practice works on both financial proceeding and complex childcare cases. The practice is headed by Sarah Johnson  and Sarah Jones . Johnson is an expert in all aspects of relationship breakdown cases  and highlighted for her 'listening skills' and 'ability to keep clients positive'. Jones is similarly skilled in these areas and has worked on a number of high value and complex matrimonial disputes. Also recommended is consultant Fiona Craig  who handles financial proceedings cases which often involves safeguarding assets and earmarking pensions.

Duncan Watts LLP specialises in family law and has 'extremely experienced and knowledgeable legal professionals who are equipped with not only legal expertise but also offer a friendly and approachable service'. Martin John-Croom co-heads the practice and is an expert in children-related matters who 'continuously demonstrates his professionalism and expertise with family law matters'. Fellow practice head Joanne Elizabeth-Connor focuses on financial matters and regularly acts as a mediator.

Lanyon Bowdler is 'excellent for family finances and private children disputes' with 'a great team around them at all levels of experience and expertise'. The Ludlow-based partner Colin Spanner leads the team and 'is well regarded' and has 'a keen eye for detail'.  He works on a range of family matters, but is particularly strong on complex children cases. Telford-based Sue Hodgson is an expert in matrimonial matters and child disputes, and is 'a superb negotiator' with 'a no-nonsense approach'. The Shrewsbury based associate solicitor Lisa Grimmett is also recommended and works for high net worth individuals on financial claims.

Aaron & Partners LLP  works almost exclusively on relationship breakdowns for high net worth individuals. Richard Barge leads the team and advises on separations, divorces as well as pre and post-nuptial agreements. He is also regularly involved in cases with a cross-border element. Senior associate Sandy Edwards has a similar focus on high net worth relationship breakdowns, with additional expertise in complex children cases. Also recommended is Richard Barge who similarly specialises in the financial aspects of relationship breakdowns.

Alsters Kelley LLP  is led by Erica Kemp, who is  'very clever', 'pragmatic 'and 'has great client care skills'. She is an expert in complex ancillary financial matters and regularly acts as a mediator. Michelle Guest also focuses on  financial matters and also has additional expertise handling private law children cases. Other key figures from the Worcester office include: solicitor Helen Morton, who handles the financial aspects of separations; and  associate solicitor Catherine Stephens , who is an expert in child protection issues. The Nuneaton office includes Emma Piff, who is an expert in financial and children matters, and public law specialist Adrian Bannister.  Leamington Spa-based Lisa Blizzard  is experienced in public law cases.

George Green LLP is headed by Mark Vandaele  who is an 'excellent technical lawyer' and focuses primarily on divorce proceedings for high net worth individuals, with additional  expertise in advising on pre and post nuptial agreements.

Knights plc  has a broad family law practice with particular strengths in handling divorces, wealth protection and co-habitation agreements. The team is led by Martin Ridings  who regularly represents high -net worth individuals on relationship breakdowns. Also recommended is senior associate Andrew Hall  whose work focuses complex children cases.

Pickerings Solicitors  perform 'consistently high quality work' in public family law, with a care department that 'provides a high level of conscientious service'.  The practice is jointly lead by Susan Davies, who focuses on high value divorce cases as well as pre and post nuptial agreements.  Fellow practice head Richard Westley specialises in children cases, particularly on care proceedings. Also recommended are consultant solicitor Graham Pegg and solicitor Rachel Burchill, who both regularly advise on surrogacy issues.

Woolley & Co, Solicitors has a strong reputation for family and matrimonial law expertise in the West Midlands, with notable strengths in advising on divorces involving British expatriates, annulments and implacable hostility. Solihull-based Richard England focuses on complex financial remedy matters and is 'very clever' and has 'a brilliant business’ mind'. Warwick-based Alison Ratchford has carved a niche in advising British expats experiencing relationship breakdowns.

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