Hawkins Family Law > Milton Keynes, England > Firm Profile

Hawkins Family Law
MK11 1BE

Private client > Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 1

Hawkins Family Law is a family law boutique, known for its mediation and arbitration services relating to issues such as finance and children matters. Practice head Joanna Hawkins specialises in financial matters, regularly handling cases involving assets in multiple jurisdictions. Loraine Davenport advises on complex children cases, while Annabel Hayward has expertise in financial provisions and cohabitation matters. Stacey St Clair heads up the Watford office, which opened in March 2020, and Philip Hunter handles divorce and private children matters. Helen Taylor joined from Shoosmiths LLP in July 2020.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Hawkins


‘Excellent team of specialists in family finance. The team are hardworking, approachable and a pleasure to work with. They see the wood from the trees and can distill the issues whilst also being on top of the papers.’

‘Annabel Hayward is a leading financial practitioner. Her knowledge of the law is excellent. Clients rate her for her no-nonsense approach and down to earth manner. She is always available, no matter the time of day. A pleasure to work with.’

‘The team is led by Jo Hawkins and she sets the bar high. She brings a fantastic blend of steely determination and pragmatism to cases. Her knowledge of the law is excellent and her judgment impeccable. Stacey St Clair is a newly appointed partner who is following in Jo’s footsteps.’

‘Stacey St Clair provided me with timely updates and concise information. She was realistic with the potential outcomes, but remained positive throughout which provided me with the confidence that the objectives would be met.’ 

Hawkins Family Law is a niche family practice. The firm was established in 2001 by Jo Hawkins who recognised that there was a need for a different approach to clients going through divorce and separation. The ethos of the firm was and continues to be to provide service to the individual tailored to their need and to offer choice in terms of the approach to the resolution of their issues. The firm has grown substantially since 2001 with much of that growth being organic, and now offers seven legal advisers with experience in arbitration, collaborative law and mediation.

The firm: Hawkins Family Law practises exclusively in family law and in September 2016 celebrated 15 years, a milestone that the firm takes great pride in.

The greatest percentage of work comprises financial disputes for mid- to high-net-worth, though the firm offers support in all areas except public law and publicly funded work. The team has achieved accreditation for private law children specialism and cohabitation as well as for financial and high-net-worth work.

The individual reputation of the lawyers in the team makes it one of the strongest in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, with an increasing profile nationally. The firm is known for aspiring to be the ‘go to’ family lawyers in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas, and its main source of intake continues to be referral.

All of the solicitors and trainees at Hawkins are Resolution members and the three directors plus two other solicitors are collaboratively trained. The collaborative practice continues to be promoted where appropriate with firms on a local and national level. The firm has also continued to promote the use of arbitration and has used the process to conclude several cases swiftly and effectively.

On a local level the firm has been instrumental in running the Milton Keynes regional Resolution group with Loraine Davenport as the acting chair, Annabel Hayward as the regional media representative and Jo Hawkins the new members committee member. All three directors are active members of the Milton Keynes Collaborative Pod and recently the directors have spearheaded negotiations with the local judiciary to improve the litigant in person experience at court. Nationally, Annabel is an active member of Resolution’s cohabitation committee campaigning for a law to protect the rights of cohabiting couples.

Types of work undertaken: The firm is known for its excellent service and advice to clients, particularly its strength in negotiating financial agreements either collaboratively or via litigation, with the focus being on constructive pragmatic advice.

Hawkins Family Law is notably described as a boutique family law firm which punches above its weight in terms of high-value and complex matrimonial finance instructions. It also represents clients in the negotiation of wealth protection agreements and private law childcare arrangements and is justifiably proud of the fact that it can field a team trained in collaborative law and alternative dispute resolution.

The firm also unusually recognises and supports the long-term impact of divorce or separation on the individual ensuring that all clients have the support of the in-house consultant psychotherapist, ensuring that the sensible and constructive approach for which it is known continues after the involvement of the lawyers.

Managing director Joanna Hawkins
Private client – family Joanna Hawkins
Private client – family Loraine Davenport
Private client – family Annabel Hayward
Ms Loraine Davenport photo Ms Loraine DavenportDirector at Hawkins Family Law.
Ms Joanna Hawkins photo Ms Joanna HawkinsJoanna is the Managing Director of Hawkins Family Law.
Ms Annabel Hayward photo Ms Annabel HaywardAnnabel is a Director in the family team.
Number of UK partners : 3
Number of other UK fee-earners : 4