The family team at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP has a ‘tremendous depth of experience’ and the team is headed up by ‘stand-out individual’ and qualified family arbitrator Richard Hoare. Its workload predominantly consists of complex, high-value financial dispute cases, often involving trusts, business assets, agricultural assets and cross-jurisdictional elements. In addition, the team acts on private children’s law matters, including abductions and child maintenance disputes, often with an international element. It also has a well-established, in-house family mediation service. Associate Debbie Gibbons and ‘dynamic lawyer’ Oliver Hall are key members of the team.
Family: elsewhere in Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber
Other key lawyers:
Debbie Gibbons; Lucy Walther; Oliver Hall
‘My overall impression of Andrew Jackson is that this is a very professional and caring firm who have the best interests of their clients at heart and strive to get the best possible outcome for their clients.’
‘Andrew Jackson’s is a child and client focused family team, who offer clear advice, which is centred around getting the best result for the client. They seem caring and to genuinely want the best outcome for their clients.’
‘There is a tremendous depth of experience in the practice. Difficult issues are explained clearly and concisely. Options are explained, and potential outcomes are explained. It gives the client a sense of security.’
‘The senior partner Richard Hoare immediately puts one at ease. He has a very personable approach to the client relationship. His depth of knowledge and understanding of matrimonial law (and, in fact, all law) is exceptional. His team are always there to help too. In particular, Lucy Walther has the ability to put together a clear, concise, understandable statement. This is a very important quality when one is under substantial emotional pressure.’
‘Debbie Gibbons helped me to get through a very long and traumatic two year court case regarding custody. She offered a level of empathy and emotional support throughout that I have never seen in a legal professional, whilst never losing sight of what was best for either myself or my son.’
‘Human interaction with empathy and skill – not simply saying yes and taking the money. Exhausting all avenues to seek the best solution – not just the one I wanted. Significant skill and knowledge, an approach that heightens confidence, appropriate challenge and “on your side” from the onset. This is the number one focus for clients.’
‘Oliver Hall is a credit to his business, his profession, and the legal system.’
‘Oliver Hall and Richard Hoare are stand-out individuals. They both exemplify the qualities that set Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP apart from many of their peers. They are dynamic lawyers with an exceptional eye for detail. I would have no hesitation recommending either to anyone seeking advice.’
The team at Irwin Mitchell is led by Helen Revill and covers the breadth of family law work, particularly high-net-worth financial matters involving the division of assets – including disputes regarding lack of capacity and exploitation – and complex children matters. Many of its matters are international in nature, and the national reach and collaborative potential within the firm allows the team to gain expertise across the board to provide its clients with a well-rounded service. ‘Robust and dedicated’ solicitor Edward Allan and ‘diligent’ senior associate Melanie Hadwin are both noteworthy team members.
Other key lawyers:
Melanie Hadwin; Maisie Huynh; James Henshall; Edward Allan; Emma Hubbard
‘This company seems to have talent and experience in depth. In my many years of dealings, if my main contact has been away the wider team have picked up on the threads of the case with alacrity and careful attention. Their work is accurate and detailed and targeted to me as an individual.’
‘Melanie Hadwin is a diligent, caring and experienced solicitor. She is totally dedicated to me as a client and worked beyond the confines of what would be a normal working day. Her work was always accurate, thorough and detailed and she provided all the information requested by my barrister. Her personable approach made a stressful experience much easier to tolerate. It takes a lot to garner my respect and Melanie has earned it in spades.’
‘The team that dealt with my case were always readily available. All members that I had dealings with knew about the case inside and out and so I didn’t feel like I had to repeat myself at any point. They were always very courteous and pragmatic with their advice.’
‘The national firm works as an integrated team. I have been impressed with the value for money Irwin Mitchell offers. Clients get the benefit of the wide pool of knowledge that comes with a larger firm together with the more personal approach which comes from smaller offices, which is very important for private clients. They are great value in that they provide lawyers who are easily a match for their London colleagues without charging the same fees.’
‘In Sheffield I’d recommend Edward Allan in particular. Although still a junior member of the team, I found his work to be the easy equal of many partners in other firms I work with. He’s personable and dedicated to his work, whilst robust with advice and realistic about outcomes. I would highly recommend Edward.’
‘Irwin Mitchell are the go-to firm in South Yorkshire. The level of polish and precision in their management of cases is unrivalled. They have a team of talented, hard-working professionals who keep the standards as consistently high as they have always been. They also have the benefit of access to departments dealing in other areas of law.’
‘Melanie Hadwin is one of the best senior associate solicitors anywhere. James Henshall is a rising star, who has a strong grasp of the academic side of the job.’
‘Edward Allan is an up and coming associate in family team.’
The family offering at Switalskis Solicitors is headed up by various partners across its Yorkshire offices, including Clare Peckett in Wakefield; Allan Layfield in Huddersfield; Lorrette Law in York and associate Jennifer Heckingbottom in Sheffield, who also leads a team of care and children specialists. The team’s workload consists predominantly of complex, high-value financial dispute cases involving trusts and pensions, divorce matters and child custody cases. Mediator Toby Netting, Alison Kitchman and Joe Bartlett are also key members of the family team.
Clare Peckett; Allan Layfield; Lorrette Law; Jennifer Heckingbottom
Other key lawyers:
Alison Kitchman; Joe Bartlett; Toby Netting
‘Friendly & supportive team from receptionist to partner. Helpful & supportive. Highly recommended.’
‘I worked with Toby Netting over a number of years on a protracted divorce settlement. Toby was very supportive and objective in his assessment of the settlement opportunities and risks. He put up with my occasional rants with good humour, always steering me back to a rational response.’
‘Alison Kitchman is a hard working, empathetic, and knowledgeable practitioner. Clients love her. Alison tries to litigate responsibly and in a cost-effective manner.’
‘The broad spectrum of services offered by the firm in this region is excellent and the strength of its family team is really growing.’
‘Alison Kitchman is superb. I regularly refer clients to Alison because I know she will offer sensible, constructive advice as well as tough representation if court proceedings are necessary. Alison is one of few lawyers in the region that I know will offer a first-rate service to her clients.’
‘Toby Netting provides straightforward and pragmatic advice to his clients. He is always non-confrontational in his approach when dealing with solicitors for the other party.’
‘Switalskis are able to represent a wide range of clients including those eligible for legal aid and high-net-worth individuals.’
‘I enjoy working with Joe Bartlett collaboratively. He genuinely buys into the process and is committed to working as a team to help families move forward. He is particularly skilled in helping clients focus on the future rather than the past. He is a pleasure to work with in collaborative cases.’
Taylor Emmet’s family offering is formed of practice head Michaela Evans, and her ‘extremely experienced and innovative’ team. The team regularly handles publicly-funded family mediations and acts for high-net-worth clients. The department also fields Children Panel members and Resolution accredited specialists, such as the ‘excellent‘ Dawn Lowry. In addition, the team offers its services to clients requiring legal aid; Lucy Rodgers manages this area with ‘understanding, professionalism and care’.
Other key lawyers:
Lucy Rodgers; Dawn Lowry; Julie Munday; Rachel Barlow
‘Michaela Evans is beyond doubt and by a country mile the best matrimonial finance solicitor in Sheffield. She brings to bear a highly compelling combination of a wealth of experience, an impressive level of intellectual rigour, attention to detail, outstanding negotiation skills and (where appropriate) pragmatism in the handling of her cases. As a consequence, Michaela invariably inspires enormous confidence in her clients and she is highly respected and regarded throughout the matrimonial finance community, by colleagues and opponents alike.’
‘Michaela Evans and her team are efficient, kind and responsive. They calmly helped me navigate the divorce process and took time to understand and answer my many questions and concerns.’
‘I worked with Michaela Evans for the duration of my divorce. Having her counsel and support was invaluable.’
‘At Taylor & Emmet, I was immediately assured that I had come to the right place and was met with care, understanding and immediate practical options.’
‘Lucy Rodgers gave me the strength and confidence to continue with my divorce proceedings to a satisfactory outcome. She gave clear explanations of every step and allowed me to make the decision with her full backing. I will be forever grateful for her understanding, professionalism and care she showed me at that time in my life.’
‘Rachel Barlow was exceptional. She showed great empathy for my situation whilst ensuring we progressed through the case without excessive emotion and in an amicable way. She explained the process well and took the time to listen to what really mattered to me.’
‘The mediation service they provide is excellent and the mediator, Dawn Lowry, is one of the best in the business.’
‘An extremely experienced and innovative set of lawyers who are driven by client satisfaction and who, in my experience, pride themselves on exhausting amicable solutions first.’
- Worked on a collaborative case that needed an early resolution so equity could be released from the family home to move the husband out.
- Represented a client in financial remedy proceedings in which the only asset was the former matrimonial home, which their partner had sold within 3 weeks of their separation.
The ‘exceptional’ team at Hall Brown Family Law is headed up by the ‘meticulous and thorough’ Alison Fernandes, who, along with Martin Loxley, specialises in complex financial and private children cases. The family team’s workload mainly consists of advising high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients on complex financial cases, involving trusts, pre-nuptial agreements and the division of business assets including farming and equestrian assets. The team covers marriage and civil partnership dissolution matters, which are often cross-jurisdictional in nature. It also advises on emotionally complex private child cases; Louise Butcher specialises in private children matters.
Other key lawyers:
Martin Loxley; Louise Butcher; Laura Guillon; Alice Rogers
‘Alison Fernandes has impressed me as a meticulous and thorough practitioner who adopts a methodical approach to her cases. She is very good at handling clients’ expectations whilst always making them feel totally supported. She is sensible and always prepared to reach a fair out-of-court settlement when possible. If not, then she is more than capable of representing clients’ interests robustly in court.’
‘Martin Loxley has an abundance of experience in matrimonial finance litigation. He is one of the leading practitioners in the north of England.’
‘The team at Hall Brown make their clients feel like family; the personal approach.’
‘I really appreciated Alison’s straightforward explanations of the legal process and her pragmatic advice and guidance. She advised me to contact a family mediator, which kept the divorce process as amicable as possible whilst also keeping costs down. The whole team were always quick to respond to any concerns or queries I had, which I really appreciated during a stressful time.’
‘Hall Brown, Sheffield, are an exceptional team. Each team member is equally effective in communication and they clearly support each other in their roles, which made a very unpleasant divorce a lot easier to cope with.’
‘Laura Guillon is a new partner and she is exceptional – she has the ability to see what needs to be done and then gets it done. A class act. Alice Rogers is also superb and has a fabulous manner with clients.’
‘Alison Fernandes is an absolute delight to deal with – constructive, collaborative and calm in her approach. Communicates promptly and directly, bringing practical solutions to difficult and complex cases. I have no hesitation in recommending clients to Alison.’
‘Martin Loxley gives sensible and pragmatic advice to his clients and deals with solicitors for the other party in a non-confrontational manner.’
The family team at Howells is co-led by Alyson Siddall, Sharon Lockwood and Sarah Walker. The team covers a wide range of cases including divorce and civil partnership dissolution matters, high-value financial disputes, pre-nuptial agreements and domestic abuse cases. Walker leads the children offering on matters involving complex care proceedings such as custody, adoption and abduction disputes. The team also offers collaborative law solutions to its clients.
Alyson Siddall (head of family); Sharon Lockwood (head of matrimonial, Rotherham); Sarah Walker (head of children)
Other key lawyers:
‘Sharon Lockwood is very conscientious and always has an eye on costs from the client perspective.’
The family team at Rollits LLP is headed up by Alison Benson and focuses on high-value relationship dissolution financial disputes, with particular expertise in matters involving family-run businesses and farming assets. In addition, it works on matters involving relationship planning, including pre and post-nuptial agreements, as well as advising on complex children cases, often involving custody or contact arrangements.
‘I mainly dealt with Alison Benson for help with a divorce. I found her to be very professional, calm, even-handed and patient in helping me through this process.’
‘Rollits responded promptly to my request for help and then set about providing the information and assistance I needed in a very timely manner.’
Wilkin Chapman LLP
The team at Wilkin Chapman LLP is led by the ‘stand-out’ James Marsden and its workload consists mainly of high-net-worth financial disputes resulting from relationship dissolution. Such matters often involve additional complexities including the division of business and agricultural assets, and trusts. The team has received recognition for its Courts Martial department, which offers clients specialist advice in Ministry of Defence divorces and military pension cases.
Other key lawyers:
Brittany Codling; Lucy Reding
‘Wilkin Chapman will be your guiding light through the darkness. They are exceptional in every way. In my opinion, their professional experience, knowledge, fanatical attention to detail and communication skills sets them apart from any other firm. Why would you place the future of your family with anyone else?’
‘I have been thoroughly impressed with the firm’s knowledge of the military pension schemes, this has enabled me to make very informed decisions when moving forward with my divorce and financial settlement.’
‘James Marsden has been my dedicated solicitor throughout my particular situation. I have valued his expert knowledge with great respect. James Marsden has always told me what I need to hear rather than what I may have wanted to hear. This has led to such a positive outcome in my financial settlement case.’
‘James Marsden is a stand-out lawyer whose ability is worthy of national recognition. He provides a first-class service to his clients. He is an all-rounder with first-rate knowledge, sound judgment and tactical nous.’
‘A very strong team in matrimonial finance in the East Yorkshire area.’
‘James Marsden is outstanding. Very knowledgeable, measured and calm, he adds palpable value to any case he takes on. Clients love him for it.’
Acclaimed Family Law
The team at Acclaimed Family Law is led by Michelle Cooper and workload is predominantly focused on divorce and financial dispute matters. The group's cases are often high-value, involving additional factors such as tax elements, business and inherited assets and trusts. Sandra Russell is a noteworthy member, and all team members are Resolution-accredited.
Other key lawyers:
Sandra Russell; Peter Dadswell
‘As soon as I contacted Acclaimed Family Law, I immediately felt that I was in safe, competent hands.’
‘Michelle Cooper, Director of Acclaimed Family Law, guided me through a divorce that was fraught with financial complexities. She demonstrated strong legal competence, a wealth of knowledge and years of experience. Michelle was robust and methodical as she “untangled” messy business accounts and various assets. She fought for transparency, equality and fairness in our financial settlement. She gave accurate, concise instruction about the division of properties and transfer of ownership etc – signposting me to the appropriate people. I found her to be approachable and dedicated to my case, she always made herself available if I had queries or doubts.’
‘Excellent team. Very friendly in all aspects of dealings, along with in-depth knowledge. Very quick to respond to all enquiries and proactive.’
‘Michelle Cooper has been an excellent representative during a difficult time. Always helpful and responses to questions always answered rapidly and accurately. Instils a high level of confidence in her knowledge and abilities. Someone to have on your team any day.’
‘I worked with Peter Dadswell, and he is an extremely professional and knowledgable individual. I trusted him 100%, and I knew he was always doing his best for me. He was always available when I needed him.’
‘It was the people that made this practice so special. And provided a great experience.’
‘Michelle Cooper – Strong, no nonsense and extremely knowledgeable. Sets out the stall as it should be best presented and has a clear strategy from day one.’
‘Peter Dadswell is an excellent lawyer as well as being understanding and empathetic. A great all-rounder.’
Bell & Buxton
The ‘stand-out’ Demelza Wrigley heads up the Sheffield-based family team at Bell & Buxton, which handles a workload involving a broad range of complex case types spanning divorce, religious uncertified marriage dissolution and asset division and donor insemination disputes. In addition, the team has expertise in children matters, particularly cross-jurisdictional contact disputes.
‘The team at Bell and Buxton are highly approachable and engage phenomenally with their clients, in a way that not many firms do. Work is always done on time to a high standard and briefs are complete and thorough. The team are always a pleasure to work with.’
‘Demelza Wrigley has an exceptional way with her clients, often getting the most difficult of clients to engage and open up. Her dedication is clear for all to see and most of all she is a real pleasure to work with.’
‘Demelza Wrigley stands out, not only within Bell and Buxton but within the Sheffield legal community generally. She is an extremely conscientious and hard-working solicitor who leads her team by example.’
‘Demelza Wrigley is an excellent practitioner with good judgment and excellent attention to detail. She provides a personal service to clients despite being the head of the family team.’
‘Demelza Wrigley is a local leading family law practitioner, having a practical and constructive approach to cases.’
‘This is a small department which has a good reputation in the city. The firm is long established and has a good mix of personal and commercial expertise.’
‘Demelza Wrigley is experienced, approachable and sensible. She is also very personable on a professional level and this helps our clients and her own clients. There is no drama, no aggression and sensible solutions are easy to come by because of the approach that she adopts.’
The team at Graysons Solicitors is led by Bradie Pell and primarily focuses on matrimonial financial matters. Its cases are often of significant value and complexity, involving the division of assets. In addition, the practice deals with children matters involving emotionally and technically difficult custodial disputes. The ‘fantastic’ Nicola Cancellara is also a noteworthy member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
Nicola Cancellara; Philippa Smith
‘Brilliant client care. Very passionate about client welfare.’
‘The team is very organised from the start. In my initial meeting, my solicitor Nicola Cancellara gave me a very clear plan with realistic time frames which allowed me to understand the process and to feel more confident and in control of what I was going through.’
‘Nicola Cancellara was fantastic. I was so nervous, emotional and unsure initially, but from the first meeting, I felt like she was someone I could open up to and trust with my case, as she had empathy and compassion for my situation. She simplified things such that I could make informed decisions. She kept me informed and was easily accessible. Without Nicola’s support and guidance I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to start my case or to stand up for myself and eventually achieve the outcome that I did.’
‘Both Nicola Cancellara and Bradie Pell are approachable and very good at explaining any general legal or pension-related information with clarity. Equally, the relevant members of the administrative teams have been helpful and quick to respond.’
‘Nicola Cancellara is clearly very knowledgeable in her field of expertise and I have found her approach to be very friendly and warm. Bradie Pell is equally knowledgeable and has a friendly and approachable personality with a ‘no nonsense’ persona when it comes to professional matters – I feel very confident having her dealing with my divorce.’
‘Graysons have a strong matrimonial team, in particular in relation to financial matters. They understand the key areas and are prompt at obtaining the relevant information and making decisions as to which avenues a client should pursue, or abandon, thereby avoiding unnecessary fees.’
‘Bradie Pell is the firm’s head of family and is bright, friendly, accessible and pragmatic. I have found her a pleasure to work with and would recommend her services to my clients without hesitation.’
‘Bradie Pell and Philippa Smith are especially worthy of mention as they are particularly conscientious and strive to achieve the highest standards.’
The Lupton Fawcett team is headed up by Chris Burns and offers legal or collaborative resolution options to its clients. It has particular expertise in complex financial disputes which result from relationship breakdowns, primarily in relation to security, tax, pensions, companies and trusts issues. The team also advises on Children’s Act proceedings, including cross-border relocation matters. ‘Expert in his field’ Richard Buckley is a key member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has commendable general legal knowledge and a non-aggressive way of dealing with a difficult team on the other side. Also, very good and concise letter writing, cutting out non-essential legal jargon so that it can be understood by clients.’
‘Richard Buckley is a trusted solicitor because of his manner, his honesty and his ability to push-back where appropriate in his cases.’
‘I regularly collaborate with Richard Buckley. He is extremely professional and an expert in his field. He is flexible and cooperative. I can’t speak highly enough of him.’
Wake Smith Solicitors Limited
The team at Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is led by ‘exemplary solicitor’ Lindsey Canning. The team’s caseload mainly involves complex financial dispute cases, involving the division of assets following the dissolution of relationships. Cases are often cross-jurisdictional in nature and high value.
‘I was thoroughly impressed. Everyone I had dealings with was very professional, always helpful and very friendly. Emails were answered very quickly, appointments made within a few days of asking and follow up was fast and comprehensive.’
‘Lindsey Canning is a legend. She has the patience of a saint and I learnt so much from her. Her advice was spot on at every step of the process. We had open and frank discussions and at no point did she make me feel that my matter was insignificant. She gave me so much confidence in myself.’
‘Lindsey Canning was incredible from start to finish. At my first contact with Lindsey, she was kind and compassionate and this was a trait that was there throughout. Her sound counsel and support were essential during a difficult process for me and would not have been able to do it without her and her team.’
‘The team I have dealt with at Wake Smith have been nothing but exceptional. They are extremely knowledgeable, experts in their field. I don’t think there has ever been a question they couldn’t answer or deal with. Their communication skills are fantastic and I have always felt like I was valued as a client. They are extremely professional in all dealings I have had with them but also friendly and welcoming, and made me feel very comfortable in what has and continues to be a very stressful and difficult time in my life.’
‘I was recommended Lindsey Canning by a friend. From the moment I met her, her experience with similar people and situations were outstanding, I had and still have complete faith in her. She is phenomenal at her job. She is honest, realistic, compassionate and manages my expectations perfectly. I would recommend Lindsey time and time again to anyone going through something similar to myself.’
‘Lindsey Canning is a star in Sheffield. She has an excellent grasp of not only the legal principles but also the wider context of any case including trust and tax issues.’
Taylor Bracewell‘s Doncaster-based family offering is led by Sharon McKie and specialises in advising on often emotionally complex financial disputes resulting from relationship dissolution. The cases vary from divorce proceedings to cohabitation and civil partnership disputes.
‘Sharon McKie is an excellent solicitor, she explains everything is a way which makes it easy to understand. The advice I have received from Sharon has always been accurate and useful. I have a feeling of total confidence when being advised by her.’
‘Sharon McKie was very straightforward with information and kept me informed of costing at all times. Sharon was a wealth of knowledge, I felt incredibly supported.’
‘Sharon always made time for me; she provided me with facts and had extensive knowledge. She was always calm, which I needed. I felt she had my interests at heart.’
‘I’ve worked with Sharon McKie on numerous occasions. Very prompt action, courteous, knowledgeable, understanding, and always find resolve if any problems occur.’
‘I found the firm to be professional, thorough, and honest.’