Gibson Kerr > Edinburgh, United Kingdom > Firm Profile

Gibson Kerr
6 Randolph Crescent
United Kingdom

Private client > Family Tier 4

Under the joint leadership of the 'formidable' Fiona Rasmusen and the 'highly experienced' Nadine Martin, the family law practice at Gibson Kerr combines the firm's wider property and private client capabilities to advise on a wide range of matters. Martin has a niche specialisation in trauma-informed law, while senior solicitor Karen Sutherland is a key contact for cases concerning the welfare of children.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Rasmusen; Nadine Martin

Other key lawyers:


‘Nadine Martin has been nothing short of amazing to deal with. Aside from her insight, advice and guidance – which I really value – she is an excellent communicator and a genuinely nice person – sincere, compassionate, interested and engaged and a pleasure to work with. I am extremely grateful for her support.’

‘Karen Sutherland always looks out for her clients’ best interest and knows what that is. She is dependable and 100% trustworthy. I would happily recommend her to anyone.’

‘Fiona Rasmusen is extremely experienced and knowledgeable. She is able to take a pragmatic approach with a view to finding mutually acceptable outcomes, whether in the context of litigated disputes, or less contentious but still difficult matters, such as the drafting of prenuptial agreements. She is honest and straightforward in her approach.’

‘Fiona Rasmusen, Nadine Martin and Karen Sutherland are all excellent family lawyers with a keen eye for detail and a compassionate and considered approach to clients.’

‘Fiona Rasmusen is a formidable lawyer in family law. She exudes gravitas and knowledge. She leads the firm’s family department.’

‘Fiona Rasmusen is vastly experienced across all areas of family law. She is highly competent. She takes a proactive stance in litigation and, as a result of her very significant experience of arguing cases herself in the Sheriff Court, is able to organise and manage cases with the minimum of guidance from counsel. She is highly attuned to her clients’ needs and prepared to fight for their position if necessary.’

‘Nadine Martin is sensible, pragmatic and also highly experienced in family law. She has an excellent manner with clients and a willingness to engage with opponents with a view to resolution.’

Work highlights

Established in the 1920s as a private client firm, Gibson Kerr is today a modern and expert family law firm with three legal teams, each one headed up by a partner: private client law; family law; and property law.

The firm acts in some of the most complex and difficult family law cases in Scots law, working with a range of trusted experts and counsel. Many of these matters are cross-jurisdictional or involve parties in other countries. The firm is expert at using tactics and innovative remedies to deal with such parties, who often imagine that they might be beyond the reach of a Scottish law firm.

A firm with a wide reach
In terms of geographical reach, Gibson Kerr has many enquiries from clients across the UK and internationally. We are active in all Scottish courts, including the Court of Session, and we receive regular referrals from London law firms and Edinburgh accountancy firms. Clients and their partners are (increasingly) from all over the world. Where children are involved, this mobility makes things much more complicated. In addition to such lifestyle issues, there are also new areas of legislation in relation to matters like cohabitation.
What makes Gibson Kerr different?

Gibson Kerr’s differentiator is that the firm is more personal and affordable than the big firms – who are also often not quite as flexible about payment arrangements. In relation to boutique family law firms, we differentiate ourselves by having a private client and a property department. It is frequently the case with family law that there is a crossover for clients who also require advice about property issues or succession issues.

A combination of key services around family law
The entire practice is overseen by a practice manager and combines family law with private client and property law to create a service that is built around all the key areas of law that typically affect a family law client. The firm’s structure reflects client interests as well as the commercial interests of the firm, making it more resilient to macro-economic challenges. This approach stood the firm in good stead during the 2008 financial crash which exposed many property-focused law firms.

A pragmatic approach to clients – to secure their best interests
As a firm, we see our target audience not in the ‘high-end’ family law segment (which was too small), but more in the middle market. We have set pricing accordingly and made fees manageable by looking at deferred payments and monthly payments. In particular, we recognise the reality that doing a lot of work in a short period of time could mean that fees would rack up and people might not yet have the money to pay.

All of this informs the firm’s outlook and approach to clients. As a family law firm we take a pragmatic approach to cases and problems, seeking always to resolve them in the best interest of our clients. We continually seek to preserve our clients’ financial resources by employing carefully thought-out strategies while also making the other side work hard to pursue their case. Our strategy is based on getting the best outcome for a client and to do so in the most cost-effective way that makes their legal position as robust as possible to prevent any future legal challenge.

A structure built around clients’ needs
Each solicitor in the firm has their own caseload and responsibility for individual clients. What this means is that each client knows the point of contact in the firm throughout their case. In complex cases a senior team member will often work with a more junior member of staff. The junior team member will deal with more routine aspects, leaving the senior team member to deal with the more complicated issues in a case, where commensurate levels of expertise are required. This arrangement is both highly efficient and cost-effective for the client.

All solicitors are supported by the firm’s support staff and can call on additional assistance from all the other solicitors in the family law department at all times. This arrangement makes for continuity and ensures that clients enjoy the benefits of one point of contact. It also provides complete back-up availability from other senior solicitors who are fully familiar with their case should their individual solicitor be unavailable at a particular time (eg in court or on leave).

A broader perspective – a commercial awareness
The team is highly commercially aware. Partner Fiona Rasmusen has a business management background and has managed her own business for over 30 years; she is also MBA-qualified. It means that the firm understands business and is well-placed to help clients to deal with all the complexities of matters involving personal and business interests, protecting clients’ positions at every touchpoint.

Although the firm is private client-based, it does act in a handful of legal aid cases, where there is a client in a particularly difficult position or where the case is particularly challenging or interesting.

Depth of expertise
The team is one of the largest specialist family law teams in Scotland. Three of the firm’s solicitors are accredited specialists in family law as well as being accredited family law mediators. Nadine Martin is accredited in family law and child law and is also an accredited family law mediator; she also has trauma-informed practice certification. Karen Wylie is a family law specialist and mediator and is an accredited child law specialist, with experience and expertise in education law. Fiona Rasmusen is a family law specialist and am accredited family law mediator. She is also trained in collaborative law and as a family law arbitrator. Fiona is also a child welfare reporter for the courts.

The firm has a focus on improving and expanding its knowledge base and training. It is highly supportive of individuals’ efforts and seeks to broaden and deepen its expertise at every turn. Solicitor Karen Sutherland is currently undertaking training to become a family law mediator. Paralegal Katherine Logan is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a family law paralegal, and family law administrator Nadia Ingles is undertaking training to become a family law mediator.

Department Name Email Telephone
Photo Name Position Profile
Zaynab  Al Nasser photo Zaynab Al Nasser Zaynab is a Senior Associate in our Family Law department, advising clients…
Laura Brown photo Laura Brown
Beverley Cottrell photo Ms Beverley Cottrell Beverley is the Head of our Property Team and has over 30…
Katie Fulton photo Katie Fulton Katie advises clients on all family law matters, including separation, divorce, cohabitation, child residence/contact issues,…
Gabriella Lipschitz photo Gabriella Lipschitz Gabriella is a Solicitor in our Family Law department, advising clients on…
Lindsay Maclean photo Ms Lindsay Maclean Associate partner and head of the personal law department, work covers an…
Gregor Mair photo Mr Gregor Mair Solicitor
Katie Marshall photo Ms Katie Marshall Katie joined Gibson Kerr in December 2018 and is a solicitor in…
Nadine Martin photo Ms Nadine Martin Legal Director Accredited Specialist: Family Law and Child LawAccredited Mediator: Family LawCertified…
Stuart Millar photo Mr Stuart Millar As a solicitor in the Personal Law department, Stuart advises on all…
Scott Rasmusen photo Mr Scott Rasmusen Head of Property Law, advising on all aspects of conveyancing for residential…
Fiona Rasmusen photo Ms Fiona Rasmusen Head of Family Law, advising on all areas of family law in…
Karen Sutherland photo Ms Karen Sutherland Senior Solicitor