Rachael Kelsey > SKO > Edinburgh, United Kingdom > Lawyer Profile

18 George Street
United Kingdom


Founding Partner of SKO. Remains the only ‘Hall of Fame’ family lawyer in Scotland in the current Edition of the Legal 500; the only Scottish lawyer in band one of Chambers High Net Worth (2023) and the first Scottish lawyer in the Spears 500 Family Lawyers Guide.

Only Family Lawyer shortlisted for Lawyer of the Year Award at the inaugural Legal 500 Scottish Law Awards in 2023, where she was also shortlisted as Private Client Lawyer of the Year.

Elected President of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) in 2023- the first Scot and the only woman from the UK in the thirty-seven year history of the Academy.

Described as, “the doyenne of Scots family law” by both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 and The Times Scottish Lawyer of the Week in July 2020.  Accredited as a Specialist in Family Law and as a Family Mediator by the Law Society of Scotland.

Practice centres on financial provision, often in cases with an international or intra-UK dimension. Significant experience in cross-border, intra-UK and abroad, cases. Particular expertise in acting for LGBTI individuals (child and financial cases). Increasing corporate advisory and reputation management practice. Family arbitrator with, and trainer for, FLAGS (Family Law Arbitration Group Scotland). Trained collaborative lawyer. Past chair of Board, (Director and trustee) Family Mediation Lothian and treasurer of CALM (the organisation of accredited family solicitor mediators in Scotland)) and past chair of the Family Law Association.


Appointed to Scottish Civil Justice Council, Family Law Committee (2016- to date); Scottish Law Commission Arbitration Advisory Group for the Review of Contract Law: Third Party Rights (2016). Elected President IAFL (Sept 2023).

Trained Anderson Strathern. Assistant solicitor, Ian Smith and Partners, Galashiels; assistant solicitor, associate and latterly senior associate, Morton Fraser; partner, MHD; partner Pagan Osborne; founding director SKO Family Law Specialists upon family team from Pagan Osborne breaking away to set up niche family law practice, SKO Family law Specialists in 2008. Co-author of Scottish Chapters of Thomson Reuters Family Law Global Guide (the ‘Blue Book’) and Practical Law International Relocation of Children.




IAFL (fellow, counsel 2013-14, secretary 2014-2020, President European Chapter 2020-2021, President-Elect 2022- 2023 and President 2023- to date); CALM (member and former treasurer); Family Law Association (member and past Chair); Past Chair, director and trustee Family Mediation Lothian; founding, and now committee, member and treasurer of FLAGS; Consensus Collaboration Scotland;


Culloden Academy, Inverness; University of Edinburgh (LLB; Dip LP).


good company, good food and good wine.

Lawyer Rankings

Scotland > Private client > Family

(Hall of Fame)

Rachael KelseySKO

Praised for its ‘unrivalled breadth and depth of knowledge’, boutique firm SKO fields a strong team, whose expertise runs the full gamut of family and child law matters, with demonstrable strength in multijurisdictional work, novel child law cases and surrogacy and parentage matters. The highly regarded Rachael Kelsey, a ‘towering figure in family law’, has considerable expertise advising on both Scottish and international family law, and is a key member of the team alongside Robert Gilmour, who takes point on surrogacy, parentage and cohabitation issues, Alison Edmondson, who focuses on high-net-worth matters involving corporate and tax issues, Susan Oswald, who routinely acts for local authorities on public child law cases, and associate Seonaid Cochrane.