Family: elsewhere in the West Midlands in West Midlands

Brethertons LLP

Brethertons LLP garners praise for its work on all issues relating to relationship separation where there are complex and high-value national and international personal and business assets. The team also receives plaudits for its work on children’s matters and for its niche expertise in areas as diverse as child abduction, care proceedings, international adoption and surrogacy. In addition, the practice frequently advises on domestic violence. Linda Jones handles a variety of complicated financial disputes. Simon Craddock is recommended for his international children work. Dominic Wisdom and Joshua Russell are also well-regarded. Kim Lehal left to join RWK Goodman's London office in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Linda Jones; Dominic Wisdom; Simon Craddock

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Russell


‘An excellent team of fantastic lawyers. Bright, dynamic and incredibly client focused’.

‘Personable and unflappable, with incredible attention to detail’.

‘Huge breadth of knowledge across all areas of family law including international child abduction’.

Key clients

G (a child) [2021] UKSC 9

WJV v SR [2021] EWHC 2303 (fam)

Re C (Surrogacy: Consent) [2023] EWCA Civ 16

Boughajdim v Hayoukane (Validity of Foreign Marriage) [2022] EWHC 2673

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Reunite International Child Abduction Contact centre to represent them on a pro bono basis as an Intervenor on a case which raised significant issues concerning public policy.
  • Acted in the first reported decision to consider the matter of consent pursuant to S54(6) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

Under Philip Cowell ’s leadership, FBC Manby Bowdler LLP has an excellent reputation for its work on high-value and complex family cases where there are diverse assets such as overseas property, farming partnerships or inherited wealth. It is also experienced in dealing with Children Act cases where there are serious allegations as well as safeguarding issues. Deputy District Judge, Anne Thomson , acts on a range of high level financial remedy cases and all types of matrimonial cases involving intricate business and farming structures. Sarah Millington  has particular strength in farming cases while Claire Darley is an experienced mediator. Elizabeth Harris-Clark has recently been promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Philip Cowell

Other key lawyers:

Anne Thomson; Kate Rowley; Elizabeth Harris-Clark; Claire Darley; Sarah Millington


‘They are very cost competitive while giving a very full service to their clients. They are very business friendly – as in they understand complex business structures and farming – and have very good relationships with expert accountants and pension experts and counsel’.

‘Reliably excellent individuals. They really think about their cases and about how to achieve the best for their clients. The two stand out partners are: Anne Thomson, Philip Cowell’.

‘Anne Thomson: a huge reputation in the field and in the area. Superb client rapport coupled with fantastic grasp of detail of cases. A shrewd negotiator. Kate Rowley – effortlessly competent. Thoroughly at home with complex financial issues’.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is’ without doubt the market leader in family law in Worcester and the surrounding area, and has a prominent presence across the West Midlands and beyond‘.Nick Rodriguez leads the department which has ‘exceptional lawyers at all levels of seniority‘. The group receives a steady flow of instructions from wealthy individuals and has strong links with farming communities. Rodriguez joined the department from Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors.  In addition, the group frequently advises active and retired members of HM armed forces and their spouses on a range of complex financial disputes and children cases. Anita Hennessey, as a Higher Rights Advocate, is well-regarded for her experience in contentious children matters. Andrew Caldicott is now a part-time consultant.

Practice head(s):

Nick Rodriguez

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Caldicott; James Osborne; Cathryn Harper-Tedstone; Anita Hennessey; Christopher Finch


‘Nick Rodriquez-always quick to respond and consistently give the same high level of care and attention. Highly professional with a courteous and friendly manner. Nick’s experience in dealing with complicated financial settlements has been invaluable to me‘.

‘Nick Rodriguez’s extensive knowledge and experience and solid advice has been invaluable in helping me navigate the process. Always seeking the best possible outcome for me, but also listening and responding to my concerns. I have always felt to be in very safe hands’.

‘James Osborne is highly intelligent, extremely perceptive and very hard-working; and Anita Hennessey is also very capable and provides a high standard of care for her clients’.

‘HCR should be considered as the go-to firm for family law issues in Hereford and Worcester. HCR’s reputation for quality is well known and well justified‘.

‘James Osborne is a dedicated and tenacious solicitor who gives his all for each of his clients. Without exception, he builds a good rapport and close working relationship with lay clients which means they feel valued, involved and supported every step of the way in their cases. It is no coincidence that recommendations to use James in the local area have spread like wildfire in recent years’.

‘James Osborne; vigorous and energetic, James throws himself into his cases. He always provides realistic client-centric advice and builds an excellent rapport with his clients. Cathryn Harper-Tedstone (associate) . She maintains a high profile in her field. A pleasant, approachable and straight-talking practitioner‘.

‘Chris Finch of Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a fantastic solicitor, he supported me throughout my case with compassion and confidence. I would wholeheartedly recommend him‘.

Higgs LLP

The 'great' team at Higgs LLP, predominantly works with owner managed businesses, entrepreneurs and wealthy families on issues such as wealth protection, family relationship protection and family child protection. The 'highly rated' Philip Barnsley, who heads the department is a trained collaborative lawyer - he is 'committed and very hardworking'.  Barnsley has particular expertise in dealing with pre and post nuptial agreements for high-net-worth individuals and advising on complex variations of existing orders. Rhian Gray has a keen interest in private matrimonial and family law issues for married couples, civil partners and cohabitees. The 'approachable' Sioned Fitt is skilled at advising on all aspects of child arrangements.


Practice head(s):

Philip Barnsley

Other key lawyers:

Rhian Gray; Sioned Fitt; Ellie Norton


‘Their friendly and professional manner was exactly what I needed at that stressful time. The Legal Team explained each step of the process in simple to understand terms, which was a huge relief. Billing was on a monthly basis and was all very well documented and easy to understand’.

‘My Divorce was initially handled by Rhian Gray, who then also introduced Ellie Norton into the case. Both individuals were very friendly and I instantly felt at ease with them. Their personable and professional nature was very much appreciated in what was a stressful time for me. They gave me clear guidance throughout the whole process’.

‘The team has an in depth knowledge and experience in dealing with difficult family matters. Sioned was very hands on whilst utilising the strength of the Higgs WM practice’.

Thursfields Solicitors

Thursfields Solicitors has ‘an outstanding team of leading family practitioners and future stars’ that is led by Shane Miller. Philip Rea, a ‘titan of the Midlands‘, receives plaudits for his work on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce and financial remedy as well as covering nuptial agreements and private law children matters. Miller and Rea are praised for their ‘coolness under pressure and for their clear and pragmatic advice‘. The group covers a wide range of matrimonial matters including complex financial cases, separation and children matters in addition to post and pre-nuptial agreements. Lorna Tipple is also recommended. Hannah Nicholls and Harbinder Gosal are both well-regarded. Nadia Davis joined from Harrison Clark Rickerbys in September 2023 as head of family law.


Practice head(s):

Shane Miller

Other key lawyers:

Philip Rea; Hannah Nicholls; Harbinder Gosal; Lorna Tipple; Eilidh Rose; Nadia Davis


‘Thursfields are a fantastic firm of solicitors. They exceeded all my expectations in matters of family law. The team was extremely professional, knowledgeable. They truly care about their clients’ well-being and go above and beyond to ensure that they get the best possible outcome’.

‘Harbinder took time to listen to my needs and concerns and offered practical and effective solutions tailored to my individual case. Harbinder’s communication skills are second to none and she ensured I was fully informed and advised every step of the legal process. Her attention to detail filled me with total confidence’.

‘Hannah Nicholls is a stand out solicitor. She gives her clients excellent support. Eilidh Rose is very capable. She stands firm but is also pragmatic’.

Lanyon Bowdler

Lanyon Bowdler has a strong reputation for its work on the full gamut of complex issues involving financial remedy, children and divorce. It is skilled at handling cases where there are business structures and trusts. On the children side, the group frequently advises on internal and external relocation cases, domestic violence and cases involving significant welfare issues. Telford-based Sue Hodgson  heads the department. Philippa Pearson, who is based at the Hereford office, is recommended for her work on complex financial matters.

Practice head(s):

Sue Hodgson

Other key lawyers:

Philippa Pearson; Caroline Yorke


‘The team are all very knowledgeable and work together cohesively. Their expertise is second to none and they all inspire confidence in the advice that they give’.

‘I have worked with Sue Hodgson for many years. She is an approachable person with a brilliant knowledge of the law along with the ability to give advice that is child centred. She would be my go to person in the area of family law and the first person in this field that I would recommend to others’.

The Family Team strives to consistently give a first class service to its clients, and provides consistent support and realistic advice’.

Sue is extremely tenacious and strives for her team to excel in the legal service they provide. Nothing is too much for them to undertake, and accommodate. The clients are always put first’.

‘A team of strong solicitors who work tremendously closely and well together. An emerging team to be reckoned with’.

‘Sue Hodgson- a stand out children solicitor who has skill, legal knowledge and an ability to grasp each case and move it forward seemingly effortlessly. Clients love and trust her and know that if she can she will achieve the outcome they want. hugely respected by other solicitors, barristers and Judges’.

Caroline Yorke is fantastic and has a great instinct‘.

MFG Solicitors LLP

The well-respected team at MFG Solicitors LLP is adept at handling all issues that arise from divorce, separation and child-related issues. It frequently advises wealthy clients with complex financial arrangements including family businesses, family trusts and complicated pension arrangements under Claire Backler 's leadership. Katherine Tippetts  is another key partner who specialises in high-net-worth matrimonial finances. Recently promoted partner, Rupinder Nandra, is a known name for her work on contested children matters while Gurdip Kaur Brring  has considerable experience in pre-marital agreements.

Practice head(s):

Claire Backler

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Tippetts; Elizabeth Tutchener-Ellis; Rupinder Nandra; Gurdip Kaur


‘Rupinder Nandra is always professional but also understanding and sensitive to my personal situation and feelings, as well as just my legal requirements‘.

‘Gurdip Kaur Brring was very professional but furthermore she appreciated that I wanted to do much of the negotiation myself, but with her reviewing my various submissions. With Gurdip’s overarching review and legal guidance this was an efficient way of coming to a final resolution‘.

‘The practice has been extremely helpful throughout my ongoing divorce. The whole team has been very professional and they have given me the reassurance I need through this difficult time’. 

Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd

At Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd, new addition to the team,  Shelley De’Worringham leads on private family matters- she joined the firm from Child & Child. Lisa Blizzard spearheads the public family law team. Erica Kemp is another key figure who is a trained mediator and a collaborative lawyer. The ‘approachable and knowledgeable‘ team is praised for ‘always being on top of the facts‘. Jonathan Miller is also recommended. However,  Sarah Ingram is now at Franklins Solicitors LLP and Catherine Stephens has secured an inhouse position.

Practice head(s):

Shelley De’Worringham; Lisa Blizzard

Other key lawyers:

Erica Kemp; Jonathan Miller


‘Shelley De Worringham is a leading light. She’s really easy to work with, on top of the issues and always goes that extra miles for her clients’.

‘Shelley De’ Worringham is an outstanding solicitor. She inspires confidence in clients. She is very straight talking and clients appreciate that. Her advice is focused and realistic’.

Jonathan Miller –  always replies promptly, he is friendly and approachable and always maintains the highest level of professionalism. His client care is exceptional and his work is efficient and measured’.

Band Hatton Button LLP

Band Hatton Button LLP has Tracy Cross at the helm who is an accredited mediator - she is able to undertake child inclusive mediation and hybrid mediation. Both Cross and Peter Martin are experienced advocates. The team regularly handles cases where companies and family businesses are involved  and is also skilled at advising on pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Cross

Other key lawyers:

Peter Martin


‘Their speciality in dealing with high net worth clients. Tracy Cross – Partner’.


George Green LLP

George Green LLP covers the full gamut of family law matters. Mark Vandaele who heads the practice, has particular expertise in advising on the financial implications of relationship breakdown. Richard Port is experienced in all aspects of complex child arrangements and matrimonial matters where there are high value and business assets.

Practice head(s):

Mark Vandaele

Other key lawyers:

Richard Port; Alex Mansfield; Aimee Stokes; Gemma Fenton


‘A very strong team led by Mark Vandaele. Very well respected by all’.

‘Mark Vandaele is a charming but robust solicitor. His personality and energy for his work shines through and he is able to develop strong and trusting relationships with his clients’.

‘Alex Mansfield is an understated talent. She quietly does a fabulous job for each client and shows a real skill in her advice and strategies for her cases. A real star‘.

Mercy Messenger

Mercy Messenger is a boutique firm that deals with all aspects of family law. It focuses on family businesses, children matters and supporting children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. The 'incredibly hardworking' Mercy Messenger heads the practice that includes Harpreet Saund who specialises in children matters.

Practice head(s):

Mercy Messenger

Other key lawyers:

Harpreet Saund


Comfortable, friendly atmosphere with people who you know have you and children’s interests at heart‘.

‘They went the extra mile, we weren’t just a number, I was seen and heard. In a really stressful situation they made it as easy as possible and are extremely supportive‘.

‘An extraordinary firm that punches way above its weight and which stands out as far better than many of its local peers’.

‘Mercy is a legend with a well deserved reputation for being able to advise on even the most complex cases’.

‘They are a small firm so you really feel the personal touch. I have dealt with each member of the team and have been dealt with very kindly and efficiently‘.

Clear billing structure. All work done via email to ensure timely correspondence. Clear and explained stages of the process to ensure expectations are managed‘.


Pickerings Solicitors

The 'professional and strong' team at Pickerings Solicitors is jointly led by Susan Davies who concentrates on divorce and finance work and Richard Westley who excels in children matters. It regularly deals with high-net-worth matrimonial cases where there are businesses, properties and pensions involved. Three of the solicitors who specialise in children work are members of the Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme and are frequently instructed by the children’s guardians.

Practice head(s):

Susan Davies; Richard Westley

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Craddock; Victoria Harvey; Hannah Naughton


I think attention to detail is very important and Susan Davies listened intensely but was also able to give guidance and good advice without being intimidating‘.

‘I work with Richard Westley, Victoria Harvey and Jo Craddock. Each is unique in their own way but have a shared ethos in how they represent children and execute directions from guardians. I have full confidence that having worked with them for a number of years any decision they make or suggest can be trusted’.

Pickerings solicitors offer a range of expertise in private and public family law work.  Richard Westley or Jo Craddock and Vicky Harvey – All 3 offer a considered child focussed service to Guardians, are happy to meet with children who they represent and offer good legal advice promptly and excellent representation in court hearings‘.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP represents many clients who either own businesses or hold a senior position in business and regularly acts for parties in the agricultural and rural business sectors too. The team is also experienced at acting for individuals on private applications relating to children. Dal Heran is the department head and advises on all aspects of family law for both married and unmarried families. Justin Creed is now at Lodders Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

Dal Heran

Other key lawyers:

Laura Stocks


‘Laura Stocks is diligent, quick to respond and incredibly professional. I have found her approach very tactful and handled in a manner that instils comfort and trust that she will do all within her power to achieve the desired outcome’.

‘Laura Stocks was knowledgeable and professional. I built up a really good rapport with Laura, I feel she always did her best for me and if I were to require legal services for family matters in the future, there is no one else I would want on my side’.


Aaron & Partners LLP

At the Shrewsbury office of Aaron & Partners LLP, Neil Hobden  is a key contact. Hobden is particularly well-regarded for his work on cases with complex business assets, inherited wealth and ‘hidden money’. Richard Barge , who is a trained collaborative lawyer, is also recommended for his expertise in pre- and post-nuptial agreements- he is primarily based at the Chester office.

Practice head(s):

Richard Barge; Simon Magner Mawdsley

Other key lawyers:

Neil Hobden

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Spearheaded by Helen Bowns, the 'close knit and responsive' team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises members of the farming and livery communities and other high-net-worth individuals on a range of complex children matters and high-value financial remedy proceedings. Bowns and the other key senior member of the department, Dipika Mistry , are both collaborative lawyers.

Practice head(s):

Helen Bowns

Other key lawyers:

Dipika Mistry; Deanna Goldsby


‘Deanna Goldsby runs her cases well and has a good nose for a case. Helen Bowns –  is an experienced partner and it shows. She goes above and beyond for her clients (no matter how difficult!). She is great to have in your corner’.

‘Helen Bowns is the stand-out lawyer in the West Midlands for matrimonial finance work. She has years of experience in handling high net worth and complicated cases and excellent judgment’.

SM is unique because of the calibre of its staff. They are professional, dedicated, well organised and Helen Bowns has been so supportive during what has been a horrible time in my life’.

‘Helen Bowns and Deanna Goldsby work exceptionally well as a team. They are highly efficient, very competent and knowledgeable and I know when I ask them to do something it will be done’ .

‘The team is an excellent family law team with a wealth of expertise in each area of practice. Deanna Goldsby and Helen Bowns demonstrate a high level of client service and competence. They strive for the best outcomes for their clients.

‘Shakespeare Martineau is a first rate firm. The office in Stratford-upon-Avon is modern and well designed. Solicitors and staff are friendly and very competent‘.

‘SHMA is a well balanced, if smaller team, which is well organised and led by Helen Bowns‘.

Helen Bowns is measured, is knowledgeable, firm when needed, commercially astute and calm. She is the complete package and thrives on HNW cases. Helen is adept and skilled in negotiating (a dying art in the modern litigious age) and impresses on nuptial agreement negotiations‘.