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

Major Family Law
NE20 9SU

Private client > Family Tier 1

Major Family Law stands out in the as a specialist family and child law boutique housing a sizeable team of experts. The group is praised for its client care which is described as ‘second to none’. Managing director Joanne Hilary Major leads a strong team made up of highly experienced senior family lawyers and junior solicitors providing a pyramid structure of knowledge to their clients. Anna Hunter is experienced in complex children work with expertise in international and internal relocation and cases involving serious allegations of abuse. Legal director and litigator Lucinda Connell is experienced in alternative dispute resolution. Senior associate Sam Carter and associate Sahil Aggarwal are praised by clients as key team members.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Hilary Major

Other key lawyers:

Anna Hunter; Lucinda Connell; Jonathan Dunkley; Rona Samuel; Sam Carter; Calvin Walker; Sahil Aggarwal; Stacy Williams


‘My experience with this firm, particularly my solicitor Stacy Williams, has been exceptional. My case was complicated and emotional and the response time, support and advice received proved to be above and beyond my expectations. I felt listened to and my opinions and wishes were always taken into consideration. I also felt challenged when necessary and guided well throughout my lengthy proceedings. I was updated constantly with regards to costs and predicted costs which were managed in accordance with what I could afford and plan for, and I was relieved where possible of as much of the stressful legalities of my case, which I simply couldn’t have managed alone.’

‘My solicitor (Stacy Williams) was extremely engaged throughout my lengthy proceedings. She offered understanding, comfort and support in an extremely difficult time in my life. She was always on hand to take my calls, and messages and would always respond within a matter of hours, which in my experience is above and beyond what should be expected. She worked on my case out of hours, and took the time to really understand my situation putting her in the strongest position to support me and build the best case possible.’

‘Sahil brought lots of experience to my case and also a level head, very rational and kept the case on track when things became difficult in my divorce. Stacy was more personable and a more delicate touch, yet still very professional and experienced. She helped me see through the drama and focus on what we needed for a successful outcome.’

‘At Major Family Law Joanne Major has assembled a truly outstanding team made up of a mixture of highly experienced matrimonial lawyers and younger rising stars. The firm goes the extra mile to provide its clients with a very high quality of service and leaves no stone unturned in seeking to achieve the best possible outcome for them. I am very familiar with the matrimonial finance scene in Newcastle, as I am instructed by numerous firms in the city, but I have no doubt that the best matrimonial finance firm in the Newcastle/the North East is Major Family Law. When I was asked to recommend a firm to represent a friend of a friend in a difficult case, I had no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Major Family Law, and they did not disappoint!’

‘Jonathan Dunkley and Lewis Hulatt, both consultants at the firm, have a wealth of experience, superb client care skills and very highly developed commercial acumen. Lucinda Connell is a brilliant solicitor who rises above any “white noise” in a case so as to hone in on the real issues. Calvin Walker is younger, but a rising star – bright and incisive, he rightly inspires confidence in his clients.’

‘They are our obvious and clear first choice recommendation for family law matters in the North for our clients and contacts. They combine a great personal service with innovation. I have been particularly impressed by their team growth in the last 12 months and the introduction of the specialist information website in the last year.’

‘The team at Major all have a client-centric approach and have a specialism in family law. The greatest pride is taken in client care and technical capabilities of the team are unrivalled in the North East region where they are highly regarded as the go to family law firm.’

‘Stephanie Layton is one of the standout family lawyers in the North East. Her excellent technical expertise, particularly with financial and family matters, means Stephanie navigates complex issues with ease owing to her calm and reassuring nature. Stephanie is an excellent advocate and her passion for the job and for delivering results for clients is refreshing.’

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 25 staff.

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 selection of the recent articles published on our knowledge hub:

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Director Joanne Major 01661 824582
Legal Director Anna Hunter 01661 824582
Legal Director Lucinda Connell 01661 824582
Children's Law Senior Associate Solicitor Samuel Carter 01661 824582
Consultant Solicitor Jonathan Dunkley 01661 824582
Consultant Rona Samuel 01661 824582
Consultant Solicitor Lewis Hulatt 01661 824582
Associate Solicitor Calvin Walker 01661 824582
Associate Solicitor Stephanie Layton 01661 824582
Associate Solicitor Sahil Aggarwal 01661 824582
Senior Solicitor Katie Wright 01661 824582
Solicitor Stacy Williams 01661 824582
Solicitor Kalem Grant 01661 824582
Solicitor Carly Hope 01661 824582
Solicitor Anya Harrison 01661 824582
Consultant Solicitor Charlie Waddell 01661 824582
Practice Manager Jane Henderson 01661 824582
Client Manager Helen Charlton 01661 824582
Photo Name Position Profile
Sahil Aggarwal photo Mr Sahil Aggarwal Associate Solicitor at Major Family Law Sahil is an experienced and approachable…
Sam Carter photo Mr Sam Carter Legal Director at Major Family Law Sam is both an outcome and…
Lucinda Connell photo Mrs Lucinda Connell Legal Director at Major Family Law Lucinda has practiced exclusively in family…
Jonathan Dunkley photo Mr Jonathan Dunkley Consultant Solicitor at Major Family Law Jonathan Dunkley is now in his…
Kalem Grant photo Mr Kalem Grant Solicitor at Major Family Law Kalem graduated from Northumbria University in 2019…
Anya Harrison photo Ms Anya Harrison Solicitor at Major Family Law Anya graduated with an Upper Second-Class Honours…
Carly Hope photo Ms Carly Hope Solicitor at Major Family Law Carly is a solicitor with Major Family…
Lewis Hulatt photo Mr Lewis Hulatt South East Consultant at Major Family Law Lewis qualified as a solicitor…
Anna Hunter photo Mrs Anna Hunter Legal Director at Major Family Law Anna is a well-respected and experienced…
Stephanie Layton photo Ms Stephanie Layton Associate at Major Family Law Stephanie qualified as Solicitor in February 2014…
Joanne Major photo Mrs Joanne Major Managing Director at Major Family Law With 27 years’ experience under her…
Rona Samuel photo Mrs Rona Samuel Consultant at Major Family Law Rona joined Major Family Law in January…
Charlie Waddell photo Mr Charlie Waddell Consultant Criminal Defence Solicitor at Major Family Law Charles has worked as…
Calvin Walker photo Mr Calvin Walker Associate Solicitor at Major Family Law Calvin is a highly motivated solicitor…
Stacy Williams photo Ms Stacy Williams Solicitor at Major Family Law Stacy is a Solicitor with Major Family…
Katie Wright photo Ms Katie Wright Senior Solicitor at Major Family Law Katie qualified as a solicitor in…
Partners : 3
Consultant Solicitors : 5
Associates : 4
Solicitors : 6
Paralegals : 3
Support Team : 9

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.