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

Family Law in Partnership Ltd
Melbourne House, 46 Aldwych

Private client > Family: mediation Tier 1

Family Law in Partnership Ltd is praised for its ‘ability to create an environment where clients feel safe and able to express themselves’. Its commitment to mediation lies at the core of the firm. The excellent practice fields a number of leading mediators such as the ‘reassuringDominic Raeside who is a ‘brilliant children mediator with years of experience’. Raeside offers sole and co-mediation and is qualified to offer child inclusive mediation, hybrid mediation and civil/commercial mediation. James Pirrie has an ‘ability to easily build a rapport with clients’ – he is a senior mediator, who is also qualified in child inclusive mediation and in commercial & hybrid mediation. David Allison has senior mediator status with the Family Mediators Association. Also recommended is Ruth Smallacombe, who is a senior accredited mediator and counsellor, practice consultant and trainer of mediators, lawyers and therapists. Elizabeth Fletcher’s practice covers all family law issues, although more recently her work has had a particular focus on children matters.

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Raeside; David Allison; Elizabeth Fletcher; James Pirrie; Ruth Smallacombe; Nicole Phillips


‘James has a very approachable and down to earth manner. He is hugely knowledgeable in family law and relays this in a way that assists in the mediation’.

‘ James has huge amounts of energy! Indefatigable – which in the context of working in a mediation is a key requirement. He is very personable- clients love him and more importantly they trust his input’.

‘Liz Fletcher is very skilled in financial matters in particular. She allows participants time to evaluate all the options which she explains clearly to them’.

‘Dominic has huge experience. He is extremely skilled and a perfect supervisor as a mediator. He is very good on children disputes and making parties work hard to resolve issues’.

‘Nicole understands how mediation works and was supportive of the mediation process. She is thoughtful, knowledgeable and focused on getting a fair outcome for families in mediation’.

‘Dominic is able to win the ears (and respect) of both parties, no matter how much water under the bridge. He unlocks tricky areas which have built up over the years and helps to diminish tension between the parties so that they can have a healthy dialogue beyond’. 

‘Ruth has a warm and personable approach. She is extremely experienced and puts clients at ease immediately. She listens and makes you feel heard. She is measured and calm in her approach even if the clients are not.’

‘Elizabeth is a strong communicator with excellent client skills and her mediation practice is a credit to her. She has the ability to break down complex legal principles into bite-size chunks, negotiation skills and empathy in the bucketful’.

Private client > Family Tier 1

Family Law in Partnership Ltd has a ‘great team with a stellar reputation’ and is praised by one client for its ‘great mediation offering and support for ADR’ which ‘marks them out against their competitors’. Many of its clients are high profile figures, including royalty, those in the public eye, and ultra-high-net-worth businesspeople. The ‘fantastic family law firm’, while ‘focused on settling cases’ also has ‘outstanding litigators’. The focus of David Allison’s practice continues to be on complex and high-value financial claims regarding divorce proceedings, particularly those with an international dimension. Daniel Coombes regularly advises clients on children cases, including those involving children born into same-sex families and international relocation cases. Elizabeth Fletcher predominately handles cases involving both financial remedy and children proceedings. Helen Greenfield has a particular specialism in assisting clients who have been affected by domestic abuse or coercive and controlling behaviour. James Pirrie specialises in complicated financial remedy cases and private children law matters. Other ‘intelligent, empathic and highly-skilled lawyers’ include Pamela Collis , Bradley Williams, Charlotte Symes, and Elizabeth Hicks.

Other key lawyers:

David Allison; James Pirrie; Pamela Collis; Daniel Coombes; Bradley Williams; Elizabeth Fletcher; Hannah Greene; Helen Greenfield; Charlotte Symes; Mariko Wilson; Selena Arbe Barnes; Nicole Phillips; Kara Swift; Elizabeth Hicks; Grace Lawrence; Vanessa Sampaio; Rebecca Alexander


‘James Pirrie is the Duracell bunny of the legal world. He effectively brings energy to managing his case load, has an open approach, and he gets a lot of referrals based on word of mouth. He wears his encyclopaedic legal knowledge lightly. Hugely impressive.’

‘Elizabeth Fletcher is a standout lawyer here. She is extremely sharp and knows the law inside out. Hugely responsive and extremely tenacious on behalf of her clients. She has great empathy and always does a first-class job.’

‘Bradley Williams is a superb solicitor. A comprehensively talented team of family lawyers who are at the top of their game. Pamela Collis is a great leader and a very accommodating person who balances her professional service with a unique personal touch.’

‘Helen Greenfield displays a calm attitude that belies her fiercely analytical mind and her wealth of experience. Helen is brilliant with lay clients and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of family law and her cases. This combination of skills makes her an exceptional family law solicitor and an opponent to be reckoned with.’

‘Elizabeth Hicks: she is at the top of her game. Fiercely loyal to, and protective of, her clients, they feel supported and extremely well represented as a result. She is not afraid to stand her ground and delivers results time after time.’

‘Daniel Coombes is the most deep-thinking and strategic family law solicitor I know. He is exceptional and incredibly hard working. Nicole Phillips is client focused and has an empathetic demeanour, but she is also incisive and analytical when it counts.’

‘I would describe FLIP as a Magic Circle firm with a difference. They are settlement and ADR focussed with an eye on the emotional welfare of the client. They litigate well when necessary, but only when necessary.’

‘Mariko Wilson is outstanding, clever, gentle, thoughtful, and conscientious. Excellent client manner, great on detail, but sees the overall picture. Grace Lawrence is fiercely intelligent, forthright, conscientious. Selena Arbe-Barnes is clever, committed, interested, and supportive. She absorbs every detail of the client’s case.’

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
Daniel Coombes +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Elizabeth Fletcher +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Helen Greenfield +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Elizabeth Hicks +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Out-of-hours contact James Pirrie 07989 303637
Charlotte Symes +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Bradley Williams +44 (0)20 7420 5000
Mariko Wilson +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…
Selena Arbe Barnes photo Selena Arbe Barnes Selena is an associate at Family Law in Partnership. She advises on…
Gillian Bishop photo Gillian Bishop Gillian is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She is a…
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…
Elizabeth Hicks photo Elizabeth Hicks Elizabeth is a director at Family Law in Partnership. She specialises in…
Grace Lawrence photo Grace Lawrence Grace is an associate at Family Law in Partnership. Grace advises on…
Nicole Phillips photo Nicole Phillips Nicole is an associate and mediator at Family Law in Partnership. She…
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…
Kara Swift photo Kara Swift Kara is a Senior associate and collaborative practioner at Family Law in Partnership.…
Charlotte Symes photo Charlotte Symes Charlotte is an experienced family solicitor, accredited mediator and collaborative practitioner. She…
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 : 9
Number of other UK fee-earners : 18
International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Nextlaw Global Referral Network

Diversity & Inclusion at Family Law in Partnership: Our Statement of Principle Family Law in Partnership is determined that equality and diversity is maintained across our firm.

We value and are committed to treating all of our clients, and all of those working with our firm, equally.

No person working with, or potentially working with, Family Law in Partnership will receive less favourable treatment because of any “protected characteristic” namely:

  • age (or perceived age)
  • disability (past or present)
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage or civil partnership status
  • race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

No person dealing with Family Law in Partnership or employed by our firm will be disadvantaged by any terms or conditions that cannot be justified as necessary on operational grounds.

Everyone in the firm should feel able to contribute and have their opinion valued irrespective of protected characteristics or otherwise.

We aim to encourage, value and manage diversity and are committed to equality for our entire staff. Similarly, we expect those working with us to support us in working towards these aims and to appreciate that these principles of equality and diversity also apply to the manner in which we treat our clients, our business directors and visitors.

There are various aspects to this which include:

  • avoiding stereotypes and treating everyone as an individual;
  • ensuring documents, blogs and other written communication from the firm are gender neutral;
  • referring to individuals by their name (spelt and pronounced correctly);
  • avoiding assumptions that play into gender stereotypes; and
  • reminding our clients that any professionals that we propose for selection are proposed on the basis of expertise and not sex or other protected characteristics.

It should be remembered that these principles apply both in the workplace itself and outside in work-related situations where individuals may be considered to be representing our firm.