Firm Profile > Family Law in Partnership Ltd > London, England

Family Law in Partnership Ltd
Melbourne House, 46 Aldwych

Family Tier 1

Family Law in Partnership Ltd has been active advising on a significant number of high-value matters with an international dimension. The 'highly experienced and sensible' team is known for its strength across the full range of dispute resolution, from litigation to complex mediation, arbitration and collaborative work, and is praised for its ‘clear and peer-leading commitment to resolution of cases away from the court process where possible, whilst having huge experience in managing litigation’. Recent work has included advising on pre and post-nuptial agreements, substantial financial claims on divorce, private children law matters, and matters relating to same-sex relationships, such as civil partnership and relationship agreements. Gillian Bishop and David Allison are among the names to note in a team that is highlighted for its 'absolute strength in depth', in addition to Daniel Coombes, who has particular expertise in high-net-worth and international finance cases and complicated  children cases. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP London family asset protection head Elizabeth Hicks joined as a director in October 2020; two associates including Alexie Bonavia followed her in the move.


‘FLiP is the family law firm that other firms aspire to be. It has a modern, progressive way of working and a focus upon reaching an early amicable settlement wherever possible’

FLiP offers the complete service in mediation, arbitration, conciliation and litigation and has a skilled and specialised lawyer for each platform. David Allison is probably one of the most sane and sensible lawyers I know. He understands the gravity and complexity of complicated financial arrangements, which he is able to unravel without fuss or fanfare. He is efficient, modest and a pleasure to work with

‘David Allison has an exceptional knowledge and ability to see the wood for the trees. He always has his client’s interests at heart but calmly assesses each situation as and when it arises. His experience as a mediator is evident in his prioritising of the client’s interests over the process

‘Gillian Bishop remains a star lawyer. Harriet Burge is incredibly kind and understanding but also very professional and efficient. Elizabeth Fletcher and James Pirrie are truly outstanding. James is an exceptionally talented, forward-thinking and creative family lawyer, who is always promoting his clients’ interest with vigour. Overall, a top-class outfit

Significant knowledge and experience of the international aspects of the cases and contesting matters in different jurisdictions, and of assembling the right team to contest complex disputes. Bradley Williams displays all of the qualities referred to here and is a pleasure to work with – he is incredibly hardworking and adopts a sound tactical approach

‘Dan Coombes has the most impressive attention to detail I have ever seen in a solicitor. Absolutely meticulous in his preparation yet able to see the wood for the trees and provide coherent strategic advice right from the get-go. An absolute pleasure to work with

Helen Greenfield is no-nonsense, effective and a problem solver. She is direct and pragmatic, and never shies away from litigation if needed. Nicole Hackett has a pragmatic approach which is informed by years of experience and good judgement

Mariko Wilson is hugely impressive – a powerhouse of industry, enthusiasm and good humour, and a very shrewd litigator to boot. Definitely a rising star to watch. Pamela Collis is a wise and hugely experienced family law practitioner who strikes exactly the right balance of firmness and common sense

Liz Hicks is a force of nature, very bright and keen to motivate her team

‘Liz Hicks is a standout practitioner. She is the whole package, technically good, has warmth in abundance and is completely committed to her clients

‘Liz Hicks is one of the doyennes of family law. She is highly respected and a safe pair of hands

Elizabeth Hicks is a true star of her generation. She has the intelligence, talent and charm to attract clients.’

Alexie Bonavia is excellent. She has insight and compassion in spades and clients love her

‘I was very happy with the work done for me by Charlotte Symes. I chose Charlotte from personal recommendations and was not disappointed. I found her team efficient and effective, and we were able to deal with the matter without a court hearing. From wide experience of other legal practices in different settings, I would judge the team’s performance to be top quartile.’

Family: mediation Tier 1

Family Law in Partnership Ltd fields a 'human, approachable and solution-focused' team with a large number of mediators who can assist on the full spectrum of family law matters. The department offers all types of family mediation, including sole and co-mediation as well as child inclusive mediations. A number of its mediators are trained to act in civil and commercial mediation and it has also handled mediations in cases involving child abductions. Clients come from a range of different backgrounds, and include celebrities, City professionals and middle-income to high-net-worth individuals. The team is made up of a host of star individuals, including the well-renowned Dominic RaesideRuth Smallacombe, who is a senior accredited mediator and counsellor, David Allison, Gillian Bishop and James Pirrie.


It is heads above anyone else on ADR

We rate Family Law in Partnership extremely highly, with its chosen focus of out-of-court (alternative) dispute resolution and holistic support for individuals and couples going through relationship breakdown

The unique nature of the practice is its clear and peer-leading commitment to  the resolution of cases away from the court process where possible, but with the support of the highest quality legal advice

FLIP is human, approachable, solution focused and always puts settlement at the forefront of its aims. I have never had to litigate a case with the team as, even where there have been difficult issues, it is possible to have sensible and practical discussions to work through to a solution. This is in the whole family’s best interest

‘ A boutique firm with a reputation for ADR and collaborative practice. The quality of the individual lawyers makes it stand out from other firms – there are no weak links in the chain. James Pirrie and Gillian Bishop are lifetime achievers who lead by example. They are extremely capable and authoritative

James Pirrie is an exceptionally talented, forward-thinking and creative family lawyer

‘James Pirrie is intellectually extremely bright, very creative, a blue sky kind of thinker and finds solutions

David Allison is very experienced in mediation. He is extremely calm and very skilful at diffusing potentially inflamed situations

Based in Central London, this award-winning team of specialist family lawyers, arbitrators, mediators and counsellors offers excellence across all aspects of family law with a distinctive, client-centred approach. The firm has a wide-ranging client base covering national and international clients from all walks of life.

The firm: Family Law in Partnership is widely recognised as one of the country’s leading family law practices. The firm was the first practice to bring together lawyers, mediators and counsellors in a holistic approach to the resolution of relationship issues. Although known for its constructive and conciliatory approach to family law, Family Law in Partnership is highly effective in litigation and has acted on numerous ground-breaking cases. The firm uses its depth and breadth of expertise to provide solutions that are entirely client-focused.

Family Law in Partnership has close relationships with a network of trusted advisers both at home and abroad to ensure it offers real depth and breadth of knowledge. The firm is represented on a wide range of national and international family law associations including the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Through its work with third-party agencies and the government, Family Law in Partnership continually looks for better ways to help clients navigate the divorce and separation process. The experience gained and contacts fostered as a result of the firm’s involvement with these organisations are used for the benefit of each and every client.

Family Law in Partnership’s comprehensive family practice offers clients a unique blend of specialist family law advice complemented by a range of family support services, including counselling and parenting classes. At the heart of everything that Family Law in Partnership does is a desire to use the depth and breadth of its expertise to provide tailored solutions which deliver the very best outcomes for clients.

Types of work undertaken: Family Law in Partnership offers expertise of the highest quality across all areas of family law. The firm’s lawyers regularly advise on cases involving financial complexity, including those with an international dimension, hidden assets, family companies and complex trust structures. Family Law in Partnership is highly regarded for its experience in advising parents on issues concerning their children, particularly removal from the jurisdiction, same-sex parenting and surrogacy. The firm’s lawyers have considerable expertise in advising on pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and pre- and post-civil partnership agreements for both domestic and international clients. Family Law in Partnership’s expertise in acting for cohabitants and civil partners on issues such as financial claims, children matters and relationship agreements is second to none.

Family Law in Partnership has market-leading family lawyers, mediators, collaborative lawyers and arbitrators, and offers clients a range of process options, including robust litigation, solicitor-led negotiation, collaborative law, mediation and arbitration. The firm works carefully with clients to select the process best suited to their needs. Family Law in Partnership’s expertise in out-of-court settlement options can provide clients, in particular those in the public eye, with privacy and discretion in dealing with the sensitive issues they face.


Department Name Email Telephone
David Allison +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Out-of-hours contact James Pirrie 07989 303637
Daniel Coombes +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Elizabeth Fletcher +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Helen Greenfield +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Bradley Williams +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Photo Name Position Profile
 David Allison  photo David Allison David is a director at Family Law in Partnership who has specialised…
 Gillian Bishop  photo Gillian Bishop Gillian is a consultant and founder member of Family Law in Partnership.…
 Harriet Burge  photo Harriet Burge Harriet is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She is a…
 Pamela Collis  photo Pamela Collis Pamela is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She is a…
 Daniel Coombes  photo Daniel Coombes Daniel is a director at Family Law in Partnership. He handles a…
 Elizabeth Fletcher  photo Elizabeth Fletcher Elizabeth is a director at Family Law in Partnership. She focuses on…
 Helen Greenfield  photo Helen Greenfield Helen is a director at Family Law in Partnership who advises on…
 Nicole Hackett  photo Nicole Hackett Nicole is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She specialises in…
Ms Elizabeth Hicks photo Ms Elizabeth Hicks Elizabeth is a director at Family Law in Partnership. She specialises in…
 Ann Northover  photo Ann Northover Ann is a highly regarded family law specialist who joined Family Law…
 Nicole Phillips  photo Nicole Phillips Associate
 James Pirrie  photo James Pirrie James is a director at Family Law in Partnership. He specialises in…
 Dominic Raeside  photo Dominic Raeside Dominic is one of the five principals who founded Family Law in…
 Ruth Smallacombe  photo Ruth Smallacombe Ruth is a senior accredited mediator and counsellor, practice consultant and trainer of…
 Charlotte Symes  photo Charlotte Symes Charlotte is a solicitor, collaborative practitioner and mediator. She advises on a…
 Bradley Williams  photo Bradley Williams Bradley is a director at Family Law in Partnership. He has a…
 Mariko Wilson  photo Mariko Wilson Mariko handles all aspects of private family law and has a broad range…
Number of UK partners : 6
Number of other UK fee-earners : 18