Firm Profile > Vaitilingam Kay > London, England

Vaitilingam Kay

Family Tier 3

Vaitilingam Kay is 'now a serious contender in the market – very sensible and a great firm'; it frequently attracts high-value cases of over £500m and is also known for its considerable expertise in contentious Children Act work. In addition, it has a niche surrogacy practice headed by Anne Kay. The firm has been active in litigation in complex jurisdictional matters in the High Court; however, Kay and Joe Vaitilingam are both also meditators and proponents of alternative dispute resolution, and Vaitilingam is a trained arbitrator. Helen Wilby focuses on contentious children matters and Tom Duggins is experienced in wealth protection through nuptial and cohabitation agreements.

Practice head(s):


VK is the ultimate success story of the many boutique firms set up to build a new model of solicitor’s firm, with the aim of providing the same first-rate legal services that are offered by the major players, but with greater partner access and more controlled costs that can be achieved by those providers’

‘Joe Vaitilingam has a brilliant analytical mind and a willingness to go the extra mile in every case. Hugely admired by other lawyers and judges for his judgement and tactical approach, he can pick up the phone to virtually any family practitioner who all know and respect his advice. He wants to do the very best for each and every one of his clients and is willing to explore novel and creative ways to achieve a successful outcome in each case

‘Anne Kay’s clients go to her for her expert judgement and ability to discern what really matters from all the noise, as well as her ability to articulate tactical advice in clear, down-to-earth, practical terms. She is completely unflappable

A small but growing team at this niche firm. All have excellent pedigree from other firms where they previously worked and there are no weak links – it is a strong team. Helen Wilby and Tom Duggins are standout members. Not only do they have a full command of every detail of intricate matters on a case, but they retain the confidence of the client in very difficult circumstances when many would not manage it. Each case involves the need for many fine-balance judgement calls and each time they make the right decisions

‘Vaitilingham Kay is amongst the best specialists in the field of private children and family finance work. It excels in both areas, meaning it is an excellent firm for clients who are experiencing difficulties in several different aspects of their family breakdown. Helen Wilby is one of the best in the business. She gives absolutely sound advice

Tom Duggins is a brilliant litigator and a disarming negotiator, who brings tremendous energy and judgement to each of his cases

Sara Wychrij is a superb lawyer who combines the great technical ability and human empathy required in family practice. Kathryn Cassells is already establishing a brilliant reputation in the field for her thorough analysis and legal expertise. No detail of any case escapes her. She is particularly good at assessing wider case strategy where there are inter-related financial and children issues. She is also kind and compassionate and makes every client feel fully supported

‘Not only is Darren Hark’s preparation of material immaculate but he understands the nuances of the case

The firm: A leading central London based boutique specialising in family law. The ethos of the firm is to combine the best practices of a traditional law firm, with the agility and intelligence of a modern business. The firm keeps its overheads down and these savings are reflected in the fee structure, saving clients considerable amounts compared to the firm’s main competitors.

Since inception in 2014, the firm has gone from strength to strength, rising through the ranks to be classed as one of the country’s leading family law practices. The partners have particular expertise in complex, multi-jurisdictional matters and have acted in numerous high profile, reported cases. The firm has also litigated novel points of law, including relating to the European Maintenance Regulations.

Despite growing in size to 8 lawyers (4 of which are partners), the practice remains intimate and holds a reputation for discretion and integrity.

The partners share a wealth of experience enabling them to offer client focused, tailored solutions to each individual matter. The team are all members of Resolution and are committed to a code of practice that adopts constructive methods to resolve disputes. Where the case dictates, the team will deploy skilful negotiation and tactical litigation.

The firm has a wealth of connections made though the founding partners’ tenures at leading family firms to include forensic accountants, tax experts, enquiry agents and international lawyers.

Joe Vaitilingam is a ‘Top Recommended Family Lawyer’ in Spears and he and Anne Kay are listed amongst the UK’s leading family lawyers. Thomas Duggins was shortlisted for the young lawyer of the year at the Spears Wealth Management Awards 2016 and is listed as a “Rising Star” in their 2016 indices of prominent family lawyers. He also appears in the 2016 Citywealth Leaders List and was shortlisted for partner of the year at the Citywealth Awards 2016.

Principal Areas of Work: Vaitilingam Kay offers expertise across all areas of family law.

The firm regularly advise on cases with financial complexity including those with international elements, global asset portfolios, hidden assets and trust/ company structures. The firm also handles matters concerning children, including applications to remove from the jurisdiction (‘leave to remove’), disputes in relation to the living arrangements of the children, financial provision for children outside of marriage and same sex parenting and surrogacy.

The lawyers in the firm have extensive experience in drafting and advising on pre and post nuptial agreements for both domestic and international clients.

Both Anne Kay and Joe Vaitilingam are committed mediators and proponents of alternative dispute resolution.  Joe is a trained arbitrator.

International: Joe Vaitilingam is a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Recruitment: In 2017 Partner Helen Wilby (previously at Mishcon de Reya) and in 2018 Partner Thomas Duggins (previously at Charles Russell Speechlys)

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Anne Kay 020 3126 4920
Managing partner Joe Vaitilingam 020 3126 4920
Partner Helen Wilby 020 3126 4920
Partner Thomas Duggins 020 3126 4920
Number of UK partners : 4
Number of other UK fee-earners : 4