Hedges Law > OXFORD, England > Firm Profile

Hedges Law

Private client > Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 3

Hedges Law is a 'forward-thinking' firm that acts for high-net-worth private individuals on a range of family law matters. The 'indefatigable' Nicola Poole heads the Oxford and Wallingford offices, focusing on divorce and finance cases and prenuptial agreements. Laura Mortimer handles the full range of issues that arise on relationship breakdown, including complex private children law disputes. Carrie Rudge and Stuart Webber are also recommended, with the latter joining the firm in May 2020 from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Poole


‘Hedges has a close-knit family team led by the indefatigable Nikki Poole. She has huge drive and energy and takes a keen interest in fostering success and well-being within the team. Stuart Webber is a recent, but very valuable addition to the staff. He is cool, calm and collected and soothes the nerves of even the most anxious client. Alongside that he is extremely capable. A combination which must make him a nightmare opponent.’

‘Hedges is a client-orientated firm with a determinedly modern outlook – they have established themselves as one of the very best family law firms in the Oxford area – they are a very professional, forward-thinking outfit.

‘The team is innovative and is involved in thought leadership in the Thames Valley.’

‘Carrie Rudge has good skills as a mediator and is respected for this. She is involved in the Thames Valley mediation community.’

Formed in 1789, Hedges has been providing legal services for over four consecutive centuries. The last member of the founding family, Sir John Hedges, died in 1983 but his legacy lives on in the firm, with his huge portrait hanging in the reception of the Wallingford office. The firm restructured in 2012 as a limited company and is now steered by MD Nicola Poole. Nicola is seeking to maintain the very best of the established values of personal service and lifetime loyalty, while moving the practice into the modern world with a fresh and forward-thinking outlook. This is a law firm where all staff live and breathe the company values, and are recruited and evaluated monthly against these. Making the difference to clients and to each other lies at the very heart of Hedges’ culture and is deeply embedded in its daily life. The philanthropic nature of the Hedges family has been retained within the business, another of its values being actively to give back. Hedges’ staff are regularly found raising funds for their annual charity. It is a happy and fulfilling place to work.

The firm: Hedges Law has positioned itself as the legal advisor of choice to high-net-worth individuals, their families and their businesses. The firm’s excellent reputation and visibility has further grown in the last few years with the opening of a new city-centre office in prestigious new premises alongside the Ashmolean Museum and Randolph Hotel in Beaumont Street. This allows the business to continue to serve its long-established clients in and around Wallingford while extending its reach to those clients in the city, and also nationally and internationally.

The firm, its client base and reputation continue to grow year on year.

Historically, the mainstay areas of the firm have been property, private client and family, but now alongside these, newer business services and commercial property teams are flourishing. This reflects the nature of Hedges’ evolving client base: for example a large number of its farming clients are also businessmen and require advice accordingly. While Hedges has always served the private needs of its clients, it now looks after their commercial and business interests too.

Types of work undertaken: Hedges advises in all areas of property law, both residential and commercial. Director Vicky Hernandez leads the property team. With a background of acting for high-profile commercial property clients, she is rapidly growing Hedges’ reputation in the commercial field. Vicky’s expertise and no-nonsense approach is highly regarded.

Hedges’ family team is very strong, with a sixth specialist solicitor joining the team shortly. At one end of the spectrum, the team has a proven track record of achieving excellent outcomes in court. At the other, it receives growing numbers of recommendations for its family mediation. All of the team are members of Resolution and adopt a practical and conciliatory approach to resolving matters on their clients’ behalf where possible. It acts for a range of high-net-worth clients across the whole spectrum of family and divorce law, including same-sex cases involving adoption, surrogacy and civil partnership disputes. Pre- and post-nups are being sought in growing numbers. Managing director Nicola Poole heads up the team and has a reputation for being a tenacious but highly practical and approachable lawyer.

The private client team is historically one of the strongest practice areas in Hedges’ long history. The team members’ attention to detail, intelligence and delightful interpersonal skills win them high praise and loyalty from both clients and colleagues alike. The growing team deals with all aspects of wills, probate, tax, trust and estate planning, and powers of attorney.

Toby Walker heads up the firm’s dispute resolution team and takes on a wide range of litigation matters, from employment issues, to boundary and building disputes, to partnership and franchising litigation. His recent qualification as a civil and commercial mediator adds another limb to the firm’s dispute resolution offering.

Carl Selby joined Hedges this year to head up the business services team and is rapidly making a name for himself with local businesses, banks and accountants alike.

Other offices: Wallingford

Managing director Nicola Poole
Property and business services Vicky Hernandez
Divorce and family Nicola Poole
Dispute resolution Toby Walker
Business services Carl Selby
Number of UK directors : 4
Number of other UK fee-earners : 16