Family: elsewhere in the West Midlands in West Midlands

Brethertons LLP

Brethertons LLP has a first-rate team that specialises in children law and collaborative law. It advises on a broad spectrum of matters from child abduction, domestic violence and honour based violence through to public law and advice on relationship breakdown where there are significant personal and business assets. Other strengths lie in international children work such as relocation, surrogacy and international adoption matters as well as complex care proceedings. Linda Jones has developed a strong reputation for her work on a myriad of financial disputes. Kim Lehal is particularly recommended for her work in international child abduction proceedings. It is 'one of the premier out-of-London firms'.

Practice head(s):

Linda Jones; Simon Craddock

Other key lawyers:

Kim Lehal; Joshua Russell; Dawn Millar


‘The team was always available, efficient in responding to me. I felt I was in safe-hands during a difficult court battle. Everything was done promptly. Kim Lehal made sure I was fully supported. I received clear, tactical advice on a complex international contact case which involved parental alienation. I felt she was knowledgeable and an expert in her field. She was also honest and upfront. I was kept fully informed and updated throughout’.

‘Brethertons has a very experienced family law team headed by Simon Craddock. The team offers the client a first-rate service. I have been impressed by the quality of the advice and case planning. I have worked closely with Simon Craddock who is outstanding and always goes the extra mile for his client’.

‘Totally dedicated family law team. Covers difficult international work despite not being London based. Simon Craddock has an exceptional breadth of knowledge and practice across family law from international relocation to complex financial remedies. He is 100% committed to his clients and offers sound advice which at times may be unpalatable, but is accepted because of his expertise and ability to reassure. Josh Russell is also adept at handling extremely difficult clients in emotional situations in a reassuring manner’.

‘This is an extraordinary and talented team led by Simon Craddock. I would use the family law and private client team at Brethertons any day over double-the-price London firms. The team has access to the very best chambers and silks and is loved by all. Simon and his team is available 24/7/365. Excellent on children, excellent on finances, excellent on public cases, and the top of the league on international’.

‘Simon Craddock – clever, quick, kind, humble, knows the law inside out, listens, acts, gets great results’.

‘Brethertons’ family law team is friendly, professional, approachable and tenacious. I would highly recommend it as a leading regional firm’.

‘Simon Craddock of Brethertons is an outstanding solicitor. He is a skilled draftsman, sound negotiator and astute litigator. Simon is respected by clients, colleagues and peers alike. In working against him on financial cases over many years, I have always found him courteous, constructive and efficient. Simon is the family lawyer’s lawyer and an effective problem-solver. I am only too happy to write him this reference’.

Dawn Millar goes out of her way to meet and exceed her client’s needs and expectations, combining excellent legal and technical prowess with a genuinely caring and reassuring manner. Josh Russell is a delight to work for. He forms an excellent rapport with clients, having a relaxed and approachable manner, and taking everything easily in his stride, whilst still excelling as a tough negotiator’.

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Reunite International Child Abduction Contact centre to represent it on a pro bono basis as an Intervenor on a case which raised significant issues concerning public policy. The case examined the interplay between asylum under the Refugee Convention 1951 and the child abduction under the Hague Convention 1980. The mother had removed the child, G, to the United Kingdom from South Africa.
  • Advising on proceedings that concerned a seven-year-old girl, born in Brazil, and both parents were Brazilian nationals. In 2016 the mother had asked permission to take the child to Belgium on holiday, but instead came to England and had stayed here since, albeit without leave to remain. The father issues proceedings pursuant to the Hague Convention 1980 for the summary return of the child to Brazil.
  • Represented the adoptive parent in proceedings concerning the recognition of a foreign adoption from Iran .

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP has a team that excels at dealing with high-net-worth and complex family matters where there are diverse assets, property portfolios, business assets and other issues such as trusts and overseas property. It also has several experienced solicitors who deal with Children Act cases. Team head Anne Thomson is a deputy district judge and specialises in high-level financial remedy cases. Philip Cowell is highly regarded for his experience in complex agricultural cases and is collaboratively trained. Newly promoted partner Sarah Millington concentrates on financial issues following separation/ divorce as well as in pre-nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Anne Thomson

Other key lawyers:

Philip Cowell; Sarah Millington


‘FBC Manby Bowdler has an exceptionally strong team led by Anne Thomson. Anne has brilliant judgement and her team is exceptionally diligent and well organised. It is a powerful combination‘.

‘Throughout my time of using FBC Manby Bowdler I have only experienced very good service, sympathetic understanding and the ability to consider all angles in what has become a protracted case.’

‘With Sarah Millington I have always received courtesy and understanding. Sarah has shown her true expertise in tackling a difficult divorce settlement, not helped by the delays experienced from the pandemic’.

‘The whole team provides a professional service, with the personal touch. Internal communication is evidently very good and its ability to communicate with clients and other external professionals is excellent. The lawyers have demonstrated very robust processes that maintain confidentiality and anonymity for clients and is particularly careful to adhere to the highest standards in terms of data security’.

‘There is a recognition by each team member of their scope of practice and the lawyers have the ability to recognise where collaboration with other professionals will achieve a better outcome for the client‘.

‘Anne Thomson has demonstrated the highest standards in terms of technical competence and professional experience in supporting clients, who are often in vulnerable circumstances, to achieve the best possible outcomes. Her experience, both as a practicing solicitor and as a judge has enabled Anne to enrich the standards of advice, support and service to her firm’s clients.’

Anne Thomson is the consummate professional in her area of legal practice‘.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has one of the largest family law teams in the country, with 40 lawyers in seven locations that advise high-net-worth individuals, members of the farming community and business owners. It is also adept at advising active and retired members of HM armed forces and their spouses on a myriad of complex issues such as pensions and child arrangements. Head of department Andrew Caldicott has a well-established reputation for his work on high-net-worth-financial disputes and complex children act matters. Nadia Davis is a recognised name for her work on difficult financial disputes while Anita Hennessey  is best known for her work on children act matters. Senior associate James Osborne is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Caldicott

Other key lawyers:

Nadia Davis; Anita Hennessey; James Osborne


‘We rate the Harrison Clark Rickerbys family law department highly. The lawyers give prompt and very personal attention to their clients, they are well regarded by the local judiciary and other professional workers in the field and have an experienced team which works well together and provides an excellent in depth service. They appear to be up-to-date with the latest technology’.

‘We have been looked after by Andy Caldicott. He impresses us as a lawyer with considerable maturity of experience and sound judgement. He is highly regarded in Worcester and Hereford and over the years has developed a reputation with the judiciary and other professionals within the field as someone who can be relied upon’.

‘A very efficient team of people who delivered the outcome I wanted at a reasonable cost. I don’t know of another law firm that matches Harrrison Clark Rickerbys’ ability. As a client it ticked all the boxes. 10/10’.

‘I was very impressed with the way I was guided and supported throughout my divorce process. My solicitor was Nadia Davis, who along with her associates working under her, kept me reassured at all times and dealt with everything in a straightforward manner. 10/10’.

‘HCR has always been held in the highest regard as a family team. It is a formidable team renowned for its absolute determination to achieve what the clients want. The team has a number of outstanding senior practitioners and a growing team of super talented juniors’.

‘Andrew Caldicott is a standout practitioner not just locally but nationwide. He has the unusual combination of strength and tact. He is a fantastic advocate when required and this brings an unusual feature to his work as a solicitor as he understands what the Court will be interested in. He is focused on the outcome but always sensitive to the children in the case and the impact that continued litigation has on them. He is the true essence of a children lawyer’.

‘I have dealt with members from the firm’s Birmingham and Worcester offices. It is undoubtedly the flagship firm in Worcester for family finance work and is one of the biggest players in Birmingham.’

‘I work most closely with James Osborne and Nadia Davis. James Osborne is energetic and confident. He is very approachable, with an easy going manner and an excellent set of legal skills. Nadia Davis is a delight to work for. She is quick to identify the key issues in a case, formulating clear and effective strategies for their successful resolution. No-nonsense, down to earth pragmatism, forms excellent working relationships with clients, and a formidable negotiator‘.

Higgs LLP

With Philip Barnsley at the helm at Higgs LLP, the established team advises an array of clients, including owner managed businesses, entrepreneurs and wealthy families. The team covers all aspects of family wealth protection as well as family relationship protection. Other strengths lie in advising on child protection issues such as Children Act proceedings. Barnsley focuses on complex and high-value financial cases and substantial nuptial agreements. Rhian Gray continues to grow a strong wealth protection practice for high-net-worth families and owner/managers of businesses. Associate Sioned Fitt is experienced in advising on complex child arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Philip Barnsley

Other key lawyers:

Rhian Gray; Sioned Fitt


‘What makes this practice unique for me is the professionalism that the lawyers bring to the table – they listen to you, they help you decide the best way possible, they listen to all of what you have to say and are not afraid to tell you which is the right way to go’.

‘The practice is unique as it feels very much a family based practice. Extremely professional in its approach but everyone I dealt with was sensitive and kind along with being professional. I always felt I was in safe and caring hands throughout the whole of my matter. I  was looked after by Rhian Gray and Sioned Fitt who were both excellent’.

‘Divorce and child matters are very emotional matters to go through and both Rhian Gray and Sioned Fitt were patient and kind throughout the matter. They were also clear on all instructions and advice which is key when in an emotional state. Their kindness, patience and professionalism is what stood out throughout the whole of my case‘.

‘Phil Barnsley is like your favourite uncle. The one you go to when you have a problem, when others around you might tell you what you want to hear as opposed to what you need to hear. These are personal qualities that we perceive have been instilled across the whole team‘.

Rhian Gray is an emerging leader in the family law market – she delivers advice with gravitas and people really respond well to her‘.

Thursfields Solicitors

Shane Miller leads a team at Thursfields Solicitors that advises on a wide range of matrimonial matters including complex financial cases, separation, children matters as well as post and pre-nuptial agreements. Lorna Tipple is highly regarded for her work on all aspects of family law such as divorce and financial matters, wealth protection and arrangements concerning children. Philip Rea specialises in relationship breakdown, divorce, financial remedy, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and private law children matters. Laura Williams and Hannah Nicholls are also well-regarded. The team is well-placed to advise on matters with a complex international dimension. It is 'in an elite group of top family teams in the country - it is Champions League quality!'.

Practice head(s):

Shane Miller

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Tipple; Philip Rea; Laura Williams; Hannah Nicholls; Eilidh Rose


One of the stand-out family firms in the Midlands. Its case preparation and client care is second to none. The lawyers have a well-deserved reputation for excellence. It has a team that is dominated by passionate family lawyers who go the extra mile for their clients‘.

‘The team is well versed in dealing with complex financial remedy and private law children disputes. Junior members of the team are light years ahead in terms of not only their legal skills but also their ability to support clients emotionally. They bring a level of sensitivity to complex cases which clients really appreciate. Eilidh Rose and Hannah Nicholls are both associates of note’. 

‘Shane Miller is our main contact – she has an excellent pragmatic and practical approach. She is also engaging and supportive – all of which puts clients at their ease in often very difficult circumstances. Her client service is excellent and she responds promptly to matters in hand’.

‘A sound team with a strength in depth. Hannah Nicholls is caring and approachable, with a great knowledge of this area of law’.

‘A very good firm with remarkable strength in depth and first-rate fee earners at every level.’

‘Philip Rea is a pleasure to deal with, bright, hardworking and humane. Lorna Tipple is a good lawyer and a great communicator. Hannah Nicholls and Eilidh Rose are rising stars with very bright professional futures ahead of them.’

‘Hannah Nicholls is imply superb! She is a match for any family lawyer. She is vastly experienced and destined for great things. She is widely regarded as one of the leading family solicitors in the midlands. Eilidh Rose – a rising star. She is tactically gifted, passionate about all her cases and extremely knowledgeable. She is definitely one to watch for the future.’

Lanyon Bowdler

Lanyon Bowdler advises on matters involving financial remedy, children and divorce. It is skilled at handling cases where there are business structures, trusts, multi-jurisdictional asset portfolios and farming partnerships and is experienced in children matters involving internal and external relocation cases and cases where there are significant welfare issues and public law factors. Practice head Sue Hodgson is known for her work on complicated matrimonial matters and sensitive child disputes. Hereford-based Philippa Pearson is also recommended. It is 'a very strong regional practice with a good grounding in its local area and a real familiarity with the community that it serves'.

Practice head(s):

Sue Hodgson

Other key lawyers:

Philippa Pearson; Gemma Hughes; Caroline Yorke; Staci Robinson


‘Whilst this a small team lead by Sue Hodgson it is an outstanding team particularly in the area. The team is tight knit and has worked really hard to develop its reputation which is so well deserved. ’

‘Sue Hodgson is a specialist in private law children work. Sue combines her strength of personality and lightness of touch to her cases. There is a real determination to achieve the outcome that the client wants but always with a reasonable and considered approach. She is widely well known, respected not just by other lawyers in this field but by Judges sitting in her local area. Sue has worked so hard over recent years to establish herself as a standout practitioner in this field. She is a joy to work with. Sue is a strong and supportive leader for her team of young associates and she takes great interest and pleasure from offering her years of experience to them.’

Philippa Pearson is compassionate, professional and credible.’

‘This is a very well-run practice and the people have real commitment to their clients.’

‘Sue Hodgson has always been ahead of her experience in her conduct, professionalism and knowledge. The family team at Lanyon Bowdler is in safe and effective hands with her at the helm. She also has a wonderful sense of humour, which makes her easy and fun to work with and diffuses difficult situations and balances the extremely challenging issues with which we must deal in family law’.

‘A brilliant firm that competes with the very best of family law teams in the UK. Its local knowledge/contacts makes it market leaders in their area. The lawyers have exceptional ability throughout the team and are extremely passionate about all their clients.’

‘Caroline Yorke is gifted, tactically brilliant and a passionate and committed advocate for her clients. She is able to see every possible argument and provide balanced and well-thought out advice. She is able to solve the most complex family dispute’.

Staci Robinson is a brilliant young family lawyer with exceptional talent and potential. One to watch for the future’.

Mercy Messenger

Mercy Messenger is a specialist firm that advises on all aspects of family law with a particular focus on dealing with family businesses and supporting on children matters under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Mercy Messenger heads the team that deals with many multi-million pound cases and has recently noticed increased instructions in maintenance and variation orders. Messenger is highly regarded for her work with non-married parents (with mothers in particular). Harpreet Saund specialises in cases involving children. Lauren Parton is particularly strong on the financial aspects of relationship breakdown.

Practice head(s):

Mercy Messenger

Other key lawyers:

Harpreet Saund; Lauren Parton; Patrice Coughlin


‘Delightful team – very responsive, kind, expert. Feel as if it is by your side throughout’.

‘Lauren Parton is brilliant. She is detailed in her knowledge, expert in her advice, always happy to seek further advice if she is is uncertain, calm, kind, brilliant at listening and understanding.’

‘All of the team at Mercy Messenger (including Mercy herself!) are delightful in their communication and professional in their manner’.

‘I think that the team’s main strength is that it is a small team who all work very well together. I have been treated very well by each member of the team that I have been in contact with. My main point of contact has been Lauren Parton. She has always been very kind to me and always listened to me and tried to help me the best she can. Lauren and Mercy Messenger have always had the time for me. They have respected the fact that my funds are low and have tried to help me wherever they can’.

‘Great communicators and totally behind their clients. Mercy Messenger and her team are streaks above their competitors. Always put your mind at rest’.

‘The premier out-of-Birmingham family finance firm. Specialists in their field with unparalleled experience of complex high net worth work. Respected and feared!’

‘Other than Mercy Messenger herself (a class act in every respect), I would like to commend Lauren Parton for her calm, clear and efficient attitude to her work. Nothing is ever too much for Lauren, she adapts effortlessly to challenges, and deals with clients in a genuinely caring and attentive manner’.

‘Mercy Messenger, Patrice Coughlin and Lauren Parton are all excellent lawyers and it is a real pleasure to work with them all’.

MFG Solicitors LLP

Claire Backler heads the department at MFG Solicitors LLP that offers specialist family advice across its six offices in Worcestershire and Shropshire as well as in the centre of Birmingham. It is well-known for its skill at handling divorce cases (in particular complex finance cases) in addition to a myriad of other issues including child arrangement orders, pre- and post-nuptial agreements as well as cohabitee disputes and living together arrangements. Worcester-based Gurdip Kaur Brring deals with high-net-worth clients. Bromsgrove-based Alison Webber has particular experience of dealing with cases involving complicated family trusts and limited companies.

Practice head(s):

Claire Backler

Other key lawyers:

Gurdip Kaur Brring; Alison Webber; Rupinder Nandra


‘A solid, fast-acting team of true professionals’.

‘Professional and approachable with clear billing and a fairness and openness to costs and level of support provided.

‘Every interaction I have had with the company has been excellent, professional and the best advice possible – everything has been around the best interests of the children. Claire Backler has been excellent. Rupinder Nandra was fantastic. I have valued how they explain everything clearly’.

MFG offers first-class legal advice for families facing family finance issues. It is one of the flagship firms operating outside of Birmingham’. 

‘Alison Webber is always calm, patient and thoughtful, offering real and sympathetic reassurance to clients going through a difficult separation, but tempered with realistic advice upon which clients can depend and devising appropriate strategies designed to maximise outcomes.

‘Claire Backler has an excellent and approachable manner with clients, possesses first-class legal knowledge and has a formidable negotiating style’.

‘This is a team which works well together offering a sensible and pragmatic approach in a collaborative manner. Gurdip Brring has a good memory for the facts in her cases and offers sound and supportive advice to all her clients’.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP is a known name for its work on a range of complex and high-value cases and predominantly acts for clients in the agricultural and commercial sectors. The able team also acts for individuals in private applications relating to children such as top-up maintenance and school fees’ orders. It continues to be increasingly busy advising on pre-and post-nuptial agreements involving both UK and international assets. Justin Creed leads the team and is a qualified collaborative lawyer. Peter Lowe advises on all areas of family and divorce law. Dal Heran has particular experience in complex financial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Justin Creed

Other key lawyers:

Peter Lowe; Dal Heran


‘Excellent, personal and personable approach. The lawyers know both the law and are honest and transparent. They don’t provoke the other side or play games and instead everything is pragmatic and sensible’. 

‘Justin Creed – excellent, knowledgeable, experienced and precise but at the same time approachable, reassuring and pragmatic. Highly recommended’. 

‘Excellent communication within the team. Whenever I contacted the team all of the information was to hand so that I felt that the matter was of equal importance to them. If the partner who was dealing with the matter was not available there was always someone to speak to and if necessary a return call was always forthcoming in a prompt and timely manner. As the matter was a challenging divorce which also involved a house sale, there was excellent communication between departments’.

‘Justin Creed was patient and happy to explain things several times to ensure that I was certain of the implications of any decisions that I made. He explained any options to me clearly and concisely and was happy to include my son in on line conference calls at my request. During lockdown he was available through email or telephone and on line meetings’.

‘Well known and well respected for high net worth money work. Fights client case without being too aggressive or losing sight of the advantages of a out of court settlement ’.

‘Justin Creed – thorough knowledge of law and procedure. Excellent client care skills and meticulous preparation’.

Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd

Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd has an excellent reputation throughout Warwickshire. Headed by Erica Kemp, who is a trained mediator and a collaborative lawyer, the group routinely attracts high-value and complex instructions on financial matters following divorce. Its care department is also thriving and is led by Catherine Stephens. Stephens is a qualified representative for children and advises on issues such as adoption applications and judicial review applications against local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Erica Kemp

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Stephens; Sarah Ingram


‘The team is a class act. The lawyers have talent, commitment and passion. Market leaders and specialists in family law. They have a well-established relationship for excellence and client care’.

‘Always helpful, polite and professional. Erica Kemp offers sound and realistic advice. Has the ability to put a very good argument forward’.

‘Alsters Kelley Solicitors is a friendly and professional organisation. Erica Kemp is extremely approachable, knowledgeable and professional at all times. She is always available to speak to. I am only at the beginning of my divorce proceedings but I have every confidence that Erica and her team will provide excellent advice and will ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible’.

‘My experience of this firm has been that its collaborative and communication skills are excellent with and in support of me. The lawyers appear to also work very well as a team. I have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness for the skill, patience and humanity that particularly, Erica Kemp, but also all of the team have shown me. Erica has, especially, given me the support, validity and confidence to work on and through my complex and somewhat challenging case. She has been very efficient and caring when working with other legal professionals in order for my case to move forward’.

‘Sarah Ingram is one of the best solicitors I have used. Right from the initial first free 30 mins I had with her she was upfront and told me what I needed to know’.

‘The work undertaken by this firm is professional, when expected and reliable. I appreciate the straight talking rather than the vague and fluffy content. During lockdown it has been easier to convey messages and letters via email which has been ideal’.

Band Hatton Button LLP

At Band Hatton Button LLP Tracy Cross and Peter Martin are experienced advocates who regularly represent clients at hearings in complex children’s and financial cases. In addition the lawyers are collaboratively trained and the team has an experienced and accredited mediator. Cross heads the department and is qualified to undertake direct child consultation work within the mediation process. The practice regularly handles cases involving companies and family businesses.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Cross

Other key lawyers:

Peter Martin

Pickerings Solicitors

The family team at Pickerings Solicitors is led jointly by Susan Davies and Richard Westley. Davies is equipped to handle all aspects of divorce and separation and is a collaboratively trained lawyer. She regularly deals with high-net-worth matrimonial cases (often where businesses and pensions are involved) in addition to pre-and post-nuptial agreements. Westley leads the children team and has particular expertise in public law proceedings. The group is often instructed by the children’s guardians to act in the most serious and complex cases.

Practice head(s):

Susan Davies; Richard Westley

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Craddock


‘I have found the team to be personally and professionally supportive. The team is keen to meet the children they represent. The team is personable, good fun and always professional. Great with children. Great knowledge of the court system and separate local authorities. Great connections‘.

Pickerings Solicitors is a brilliant choice for child care cases locally. It has a broad range of highly capable lawyers who provide an exceptional level of client care. They conduct some of the most complex and difficult child protection cases with confidence and their conscientious approach inspires confidence‘.

Richard Westley is an excellent choice for the most serious child protection cases. He is always very well prepared and goes above and beyond in serving the interests of his clients. I have found him to be unflappable in high stress situations’.

Richard Westley is very thorough, knowledgeable and friendly‘.

Pickerings provides a friendly, clear, child focused legal service and child engagement practice is excellent with a timely service and excellent representation in giving advice, taking instruction and in representation in family court proceedings. Jo Craddock has a very personable approach and goes the extra mile to give good service‘.

Work highlights

  • Successfully concluded a collaborative case involving the parties’ joint family business, pensions, UK and foreign property with non-business assets to the value of £1.5m.
  • Acted in a High Court case for children following the death of a younger sibling whilst sharing bed with family members.

Aaron & Partners LLP

Richard Barge and Neil Hobden lead a team at Aaron & Partners LLP that frequently handles high-value financial matters and complex children cases. It attracts instructions from clients with diverse backgrounds from ‘old money’ through to those in manufacturing, IT, media, leisure and agriculture. It also garners praise for its expertise in jurisdictional disputes. The majority of its clients live outside Shropshire and many come from London and the South East. It has also been receiving an increasing number of instructions from overseas.

Practice head(s):

Richard Barge; Neil Hobden


‘This team enables clients to access premium legal advice without the need to go to London or Birmingham. Neil Hobden has a wealth of experience in family matters. He is extremely knowledgeable and helpful and responds to emails promptly, usually the same day. He is organised, professional and personable. I cannot think of anyone better to represent me and feel reassured that I have Neil on my side’.

Efficient, excellent communication all the time. Their attention to detail is superb. They asked all the right questions to get the maximum for myself. I felt like Neil Hobden was in control at all times. They got the result I wanted’.

George Green LLP

Mark Vandaele leads the team at George Green LLP that covers all aspects of family law. The majority of its cases involve divorce, separation and the financial aspects of relationship breakdown but it also advises clients dealing with Children Act applications as well as receiving instructions from intervenors in family cases seeking to protect third party interests. Associate Rachel Baker is well-regarded.

Practice head(s):

Mark Vandaele

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Baker