Major Family Law > Newcastle upon Tyne, England > Firm Profile

Major Family Law
NE20 9SU

Private client > Family Tier 1

Highly regarded boutique firm Major Family Law has continued its trajectory of team growth; in March 2020 the team welcomed Stephanie Layton, formerly of Hay & Kilner, and in January 2021 Sahil Aggarwal joined the group from London-based firm Moore Barlow. They join an established offering, which includes founder and managing director Joanne Major, 'stand-out individualAnna Hunter, 'outstanding performerLucinda Connell, commercial specialist Jonathan Dunkley and noted associate Sam Carter. The practice is equally versed in complex work relating to divorce, children and financial issues arising out of relationship breakdowns, and several of the practitioners have extensive experience of assisting with cases relating to international relocation of children.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Major


‘Anna Hunter is a stand-out individual and worthy of the highest praise. Client handling, attention to detail and professional support is the most impressive I have ever seen/experienced. Utterly supportive of counsel, firm in giving realistic advice to lay clients and realistic in setting expectations. Utterly organised, comprehensive instructions, bright and always available. A genuine pleasure to work with and would unequivocally recommend.’

‘Joanne Major and Lucinda Connell are both outstanding performers in the field of matrimonial finance – highly experienced, excellent client-care skills, tenacious and determined to secure positive outcomes for their clients.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and up to date with legal proceedings. Very friendly and helpful in stressful times for clients. The communication is honest and transparent, you know everything step by step. The costs are very reasonable comparing to other firms.’

‘The practice offered great advice and also when any issue was raised it was resolved very quickly. Always responsive and articulate and accurate in their suggested approach.’

‘First class service – their attention to detail and clients’ needs are exceptional.’

‘Very good mix of experience and younger talent. Very high quality service.’

‘Very collaborative team, with real strength and depth. I’ve worked extensively with them this last year and with (I think) every single member of the team: they are all real quality lawyers.’

‘Under the strong leadership of Joanne Major and the recruitment of well regarded family lawyers, Major Family Law has carved out an excellent reputation in the North East and beyond for offering sound family law advice. A well run law firm with a good team behind its very well regarded figurehead.’

Major Family Law is a highly-regarded specialist practice, offering family law advice and representation.  They are known as being a strong, experienced team of lawyers, most in excess of 20 years’ post qualification experience, and together they provide a depth of expertise many other practices lack.

Founded in 2009 by managing director Joanne Major, the firm has grown organically from a standing start. Starting off as a sole trader the firm now has over staff 20 – three partners, six consultants, one associate, three solicitors, one paralegal, and eight supporting staff. The firm is growing exponentially at a rate of 25% each year.

The firm’s team of lawyers combine their legal expertise and emotional intelligence with hard-hitting commercial nous.  This is epitomised by Joanne Major; her commitment to clients is second to none, and is coupled with commercial acumen – her style and gravitas are replicated by the rest of the team.

Major Family Law has established relationships with other legal practices and non-legal professionals regionally and nationally to ensure a high proportion of cases are secured through professional as well as personal recommendations.  As a stand-alone family law practice, referrals are very important.  Those who recommend work to the firm are not forced to do so – and would not do so – unless they were confident in the standard of care their referred clients received. Many professional referrers are other solicitors, barristers, members of the local judiciary as well as other businesses, accountants in the region and beyond.

Major Family Law has a significant share of the North East family law market. Over recent years, many boutique family law practices have been established. When Major Family Law was created, niche firms were still in their infancy. The success of Major Family Law helped pave the way for a new type of family law legal practice.

Principal areas of work

Divorce and separation: Major Family Law is a leading divorce and separation practice in the North East, offering expert guidance and services for divorce and separation agreements. Our team offers services for those undergoing divorce or other relationship issues. We also provide services and advice on civil partnership dissolutions and same-sex divorce.

Read more about our divorce & separation services

Children and parenting disputes: Our leading North East family law firm provides expert advice from our best child law specialist solicitors. Our experienced solicitors manage all parenting disputes, including child arrangement orders, financial provision matters, and step-parent parental responsibility issues. We can offer specialist guidance and legal knowledge to guide you through your situation; we also offer full court representation where required.

Read more about our child law services

Financial provision: Ending your relationship will have huge financial implications for a family. Whatever your personal circumstances, you need to understand your financial obligations and entitlements. We are here to provide assistance in securing the financial support that you need, as well as to help protect what is yours.

Read more about our services for marital and family finances

Unmarried couple and cohabitation disputes: Major Family Law can help couples who are not married but may require legal assistance to settle a dispute or to avoid one. We can help couples protect their assets, such as property, when they are cohabiting. We can also advise clients who have children with a partner they are not married to and are seeking to protect their child’s interests.

Read more about our services for cohabiting couples

International divorce and child abduction: Major Family Law is a top family law firm specialising in matters of Expat divorce and separation, child and parental disputes, property disputes, and international relocation. Our team are some of the best separation and international divorce solicitors in the North East and we represent clients from across England and abroad.

Read more about our international family law services →

Variation and enforcement of financial orders: Major Family Law can help you recover your assets, that are rightfully yours, after a divorce. Alternatively, we can vary the terms of settlement in light of a change in your financial circumstances. Variation and enforcement of financial orders are court orders that are sometimes necessary to ensure a fair financial settlement. Often this will come as a result of a change of employment or circumstances. In the event that you need a temporary, or permanent change of circumstances, our solicitors can help you to apply to the court for a variation order.

Read more about our services for relating to financial orders

Motoring and driving offences: The Major Family Law motoring solicitors can quickly help you avoid some of the sanctions imposed with driving offenses. Whether you have been charged, summonsed or have received a notice of intended prosecution for any motoring offense, we can offer our expert services. We are here to protect you from discretionary bans, licence revocation and some totting up driving bans.  Our job is to protect you from the impact that a driving ban could have on you and your family.

Read more about our services for relating to motoring offences

Our recent Knowledge Hub articles
A section of the recent articles published on our knowledge hub:

Managing Director Joanne 824582
Legal Director Anna 824582
Legal Director Lucinda 824582
Children's Law Senior Associate Solicitor Samuel 824582
Consultant Solicitor Jonathan 824582
Consultant Solicitor Rona 824582
Consultant Solicitor Lewis 824582
Associate Solicitor Calvin 824582
Solicitor Stephanie 824582
Solicitor Sahil 824582
Solicitor Katie 824582
Solicitor Stacy 824582
Consultant Solicitor Mena 824582
Consultant Solicitor Charlie 824582
Practice Manager Jane 824582
Client Manager Helen 824582
Trainee Solicitor Anya 824582
Sahil Aggarwal  photo Sahil Aggarwal Solicitor at Major Family Law Sahil is an experienced and approachable family solicitor…
Sam Carter photo Sam CarterSenior Associate Solicitor at Major Family Law Since qualifying as a solicitor…
Lucinda Connell photo Lucinda ConnellLegal Director at Major Family Law Lucinda has practiced exclusively in family…
Jonathan Dunkley photo Jonathan DunkleyConsultant Solicitor at Major Family Law Jonathan Dunkley is now in his…
Anya Harrison  photo Anya Harrison Paralegal at major Family Law Anya graduated with an Upper Second-Class Honours…
Lewis Hulatt  photo Lewis Hulatt South East Consultant at Major Family Law Lewis qualified as a solicitor…
Anna Hunter photo Anna HunterLegal Director at Major Family Law Anna is a well-respected and experienced…
Stephanie Layton  photo Stephanie Layton Solicitor at Major Family Law Stephanie qualified as Solicitor in February 2014…
Joanne Major photo Joanne MajorManaging Director at Major Family Law Joanne Major is a well-regarded family…
Mena Ruparel  photo Mena Ruparel In-House Consultant Solicitor at Major Family Law Mena has specialised in the…
Rona Samuel  photo Rona Samuel Consultant at Major Family Law Rona joined Major Family Law in January…
Charlie Waddell  photo Charlie Waddell Consultant Criminal Defence Solicitor at Major Family Law Charles has worked as…
Calvin Walker  photo Calvin Walker Associate Solicitor at Major Family Law Calvin is a highly motivated solicitor…
Stacy Williams photo Stacy WilliamsSolicitor at Major Family Law Stacy is a Solicitor with Major Family…
Katie Wright photo Katie WrightSolicitor at Major Family Law Katie qualified as a solicitor in 2001…
Number of directors : 3
Consultant Solicitors : 6
Solicitors : 6
Legal Assistants : 4
Paralegals : 1
Support Team : 4

At Major Family Law we recognise the importance of a diverse workforce to both eliminate discrimination and to create a strong team that will be a benefit to one another and to our clients. We pride ourselves on our commitment to fair treatment and have built an incredible team of solicitors that is equal and representative, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or any disability that they may have.

We provide an equality of opportunity where we exclusively hire solicitors based on their personality, aptitude and ability. Each member of our team is influenced to exercise personal development to bring them to their full potential, and we actively look to facilitate this training where required. Any professional advancement or promotion will be as a result of accomplishments and personal development.

We also advocate for members of the LGBTQ+ community in their needs for a family and divorce representation.

We take all accusations of discrimination seriously and will take any appropriate action necessary to provide a welcoming work environment for our team, and a safe place for our clients to come and discuss their needs. All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the firm’s grievance or complaints procedure with the complainant being informed of the outcome.

Major Family Law also support The Brain Tumour Charity, an organisation fighting to find a cure for Brain Cancer. We have an incredible opportunity to help support, and better, an incredible organisation like The Brain Tumour Charity, and so we have made a public commitment to helping raise money for this cause.

CLIENT: Jason Wainwright, Managing Partner
TESTIMONIAL: Complete faith in dealing with Joanne Major: We have very high standards of excellence at Muckle LLP and expect them from people to whom we refer work. In this respect we have complete faith in dealing with Joanne Major and her team of specialist family lawyers as we have heard nothing but good things from our clients about their client care and their capable approach to family law legal services.

CLIENT: Gillian Hall, Formerly Senior Partner, Watson Burton LLP
COMPANY/FIRM: Gillian Hall Consulting
TESTIMONIAL: Joanne’s knowledge of family law, professionalism and business acumen are second to none: I have known Joanne for many years. She has never disappointed. Her knowledge of family law, professionalism and business acumen are second to none.

CLIENT: Bradley Thomas, Tax Partner
COMPANY/FIRM: RHK Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers
TESTIMONIAL: Have referred a number of clients to her. I am very impressed with the quality: I have known Joanne Major since she established Major Family Law and have referred a number of clients to her. I am very impressed with the quality of her legal advice, her professional and personable approach and that of her able team of experienced Family Lawyers.

CLIENT: James Richardson, Barrister
COMPANY/FIRM: Trinity Chambers
TESTIMONIAL: Hugely impressed by Joanne Major’s drive, vision, and meticulous attention to detail: I’ve always been hugely impressed by Joanne Major’s drive, vision, and meticulous attention to detail. I’m not surprised, therefore, that Joanne and her dedicated team of lawyers and support staff have rapidly gained recognition as one of the most forward-looking, innovative, client-focussed family practices in the country.

CLIENT: Max Paterson, CEO
TESTIMONIAL: Joanne Major has rare and outstanding strategic vision: I am a lawyer who left practice due, in part, to a sense of frustration with the legal profession due to what I perceive as a lack of innovation, bureaucratic decision making, and defensive conservatism. Through my start-up legal tech company Settify, I now work with 150 family law practices around Australia, New Zealand and the UK, representing more than 1,000 family lawyers. Of that, Major Family Law under Joanne’s leadership stands out for having the courage to chart its own course, the ability to make strategic decisions without oppressive prevarication, a rare sense of ‘nimbleness’, which is hugely underrated in law, and a genuine desire to work collaboratively with partners of all kinds to advance clients’ interests. It is my contention that Joanne Major has rare and outstanding strategic vision.

CLIENT: Eugenia Castro
COMPANY/FIRM: Former Client
TESTIMONIAL: I went to the right team of lawyers: Joanne and her team handled my divorce which was a complex matter over 24 months, and involved cross-jurisdictional child contact. From the first phone call, she took time to explain to me both the human and legal aspects of each step. I needed a great deal of reassurance about my infant daughter and about the financial aspects of my divorce, because it had bearing on my family home which had been gifted to me during marriage. Joanne and her team see the long term picture – resolution, mediation, a sound path forward during a very upsetting time. I went to the right team of lawyers who, under expert liaison with each other, guided me through both financial and contact matters. I am based in Spain and the distance was no barrier. I trust Joanne and her team implicitly. I am not surprised her firm has grown so steadily and with such recommendation.

CLIENT: Tracy Chandler
COMPANY/FIRM: Former Client
TESTIMONIAL: Invaluable professional advice: Joanne Major and her experienced team of family lawyers are first rate. Throughout the most difficult and emotionally challenging time of my life, I was warmly guided and provided with invaluable professional advice. It is possible to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, and rest assured Major family Law are the best people to get you there. I can recommend this law firm in a heartbeat – your future truly is in the safest of hands.

CLIENT: Neville Takiar, Partner
TESTIMONIAL: We believe they are the best around: We consider Major Family Law to be the pre-eminent specialist family law firm in the North East, particularly for complex and/or high value matters. We choose to recommend Major Family Law to our clients because we believe they are the best around.

CLIENT: Paul McGowen, Principal Solicitor
COMPANY/FIRM: Collingwood Legal
TESTIMONIAL: Family lawyer of high calibre and drive: Having worked with Joanne Major at a large commercial firm some years ago, I am aware she is a family lawyer of high calibre and drive. During a short period of time she has put together an excellent team of intelligent, approachable lawyers who deliver first rate family law services to clients. We as a firm are happy to recommend them.

CLIENT: Louisa Whitney
TESTIMONIAL: Positive attitude and practical approach: I have worked as a family mediator in Surrey for a number of years. It really helps the mediation process where the solicitors giving the clients advice understand how the mediation process works, and work to help the clients achieve a resolution in mediation. I have found Lewis Hulatt really understands the mediation process and how best to support it. This gives his clients the best chance of finding a sensible resolution. His positive attitude and practical approach work well with mediation, and that makes him the kind of solicitor that I like to work with.