Firm Profile > Vaitilingam Kay > London, England

Vaitilingam Kay

Family Tier 3

Vaitilingam Kay had another successful year. Recently it has been involved in some of the most complex and unusual private children work and surrogacy cases and the full range of financial work from big money international High Court work to smaller money cases. The 'quick thinking and tenacious' Anne Kay ’s mediation practice has continued to grow. It has some 'superbly talented individuals who provide top-quality advice' among them the 'incredibly cerebral' Joe Vaitilingam.  Helen Wilby  and Thomas Duggins are also both 'outstanding' .

Practice head(s):

Anne Kay; Joe Vaitilingam

Other key lawyers:

Helen Wilby; Sara Wychrij; Thomas Duggins; Kathryn Cassells; Thomas Pavey ; Darren Hark; Kate Barnett


The team is very thorough in reviewing evidence, and has a sensible approach. The strategy was clear from the start, and the lawyers always took the time to thoroughly explain strategic decisions. Their work was consistently high quality and I was impressed with their attention to detail. However, it is their genuine concern and evident drive to want to achieve the very best outcome for their client which truly sets the firm apart. I always felt that both Joe Vaitilingam and Kathryn Cassells genuinely cared about the outcome of my case. They both worked tirelessly and went above and beyond in a deeply contentious children’s case and subsequently a leave to remove case. I don’t believe another firm would have achieved the same outcome‘.

‘I think it is unique in the excellence of client-care. Having used many other law firms, I have never received such a tailored, sensitive and caring service. Great care was taken to ensure that I was well-supported and informed throughout the process. Extremely responsive, hardworking and highly professional. Anne Kay- phenomenally impressive, very knowledgeable about the surrogacy procedure, authoritative, pro-active and determined to achieve the best outcome. Kathryn Cassells – Excellent eye for detail on all the important legal points, very thorough and diligent, hardworking and reassuring‘.

The practice is made up of a team that has exceptional focus on the client’s legal and personal needs. The lawyers deliver strong advice giving the right balance to be realistic whilst trying to achieve the best outcome for you. They are empathetic to how difficult and emotional the divorce process can be. They are all very responsive.  Anne Kay was exceptional throughout the process with her advice, professionalism, approach and preparation. She was supported by Thomas Pavey, the associate, who did most of the case management and preparation work for our court appearances in both my cases. His attention to detail, writing skills, ability to summarise complex issues into constructive arguments were exceptional‘.

‘One of the best, if not the best, boutique divorce firms in London. It is the go to practice for all aspects of divorce. The team is as solid on children matters as on money matters. The lawyers have a particular expertise for cases with an international element and are brilliant at knotty questions concerning European regulations‘.

‘Joe Vaitilingam is quality through and through. A fantastic divorce lawyer with enormous experience and a wonderful manner to go with it. Clients love his ability to stay calm and provide a light touch in the most difficult circumstances. He has an answer for any problem and it is always the right answer. A star player! Darren Hark is a very bright associate who is an invaluable team player and one to be deal with even the most complex case management issues‘.

Joe Vaitilingam – Brilliant lawyer, with experience of the most complex and technical legal issues, he is immensely widely respected by judges, barristers and other solicitors. Anne Kay – Expert judgment and tactical sense, Anne steers even the most difficult cases back into safe harbour. She knows exactly how to run a case and she never puts a foot wrong. Helen Wilby – tremendous insight and a real gift for understanding what clients want. Kathryn Cassels – very able and fiercely passionate about all of her clients, Kathryn is a brilliant lawyer and a real star of the future. Tom Duggins – Tom brings real wisdom to his cases, and is equally comfortable on difficult children work as he is financial. Sara Wychrij – a dream to work with on a case. She’s always on top of the detail and clients love her‘.

One of my favourite teams of family law solicitors! They are lovely people, sensible, pragmatic and keen to achieve the best outcome for their clients when taking into account prospects, cost and the emotional strain of family law disputes. They divide work out well between them and the partners are very good at giving strategic and tactical advice to help their clients plan their paths. I have worked frequently with the partners Anne Kay, Joe Vaitilingam and Helen Wilby, who are skilled, pragmatic and very pleasant people. You would trust your own family to them. They are extremely ably supported by associates Kate Barnett, Sara Wychrij, Tom Pavey and Kathryn Cassells, all of whom I have worked with regularly and are great fun, but also clever young lawyers who work really hard for their clients’.

‘Strong and proficient family law boutique with a very good reputation in the market and with a great team of lawyers. They are straightforward, sensible and constructive but tough when necessary. Anne Kay and Joe Vaitilingam- very open, charming and sensible founding partners who are easy to deal with. Thomas Duggins and Helen Wilby – both constructive, firm but fair and very able partners who will try to find common ground and settle a case wherever possible. There are some great associates including Sara Wychrij and Kathryn Cassells – both of whom are delightful to deal with‘.

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 advises 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