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 has a ‘genuine passion and understanding for what it does – a thirst for wanting to do the best for families and an openness to always learning more’. It has a whole host of skilled individuals who cover all types of mediation from child inclusive mediation to sole and co-mediation in addition to hybrid mediation. The team has 14 qualified family mediators including Dominic Raeside who is a ‘reassuring safe pair of hands for children mediation’. James Pirrie is praised for his ability to ‘distil complex financial cases and get to grips with the facts fast’. Elizabeth Fletcher is a ‘class act and extremely empathetic’. David Allison ‘can handle the most confrontational and complex situations well’.  Ruth Smallacombe is another known name who is a senior accredited mediator and her expertise spans the full spectrum of family issues.


‘Great collection of talented individuals who offer a comprehensive service for both money and children. Their reputation for mediation in central London is stellar’.

‘James Pirrie is an outstanding mediator – he is my first port of call recommendation. He is very successful at getting to the heart of a case and goes the extra mile to assist clients to settle’.

‘Years of experience 5-star reputation of being able to deliver good results. Particular expertise in the most complex and intractable disputes‘. 

‘All get mediation and DR generally – it is their calling card’.

‘James Pirrie is a detailed and committed collaborative lawyer. Dominic Raeside is the old guard on children matters’.

‘FLIP is hands down the leaders in the mediation world with several excellent mediators and a team of partners who constantly give to the family world. They have strength and diversity throughout their partnership with some good new partners already having an impact’.

‘James Pirrie – the leader in Child maintenance and Schedule 1 cases -knows more than any practitioner – barrister or solicitor and works phenomenally hard with immense energy and willing to pass on his knowledge to everyone‘.

‘Elizabeth Fletcher – not a partner who shouts from the rooftops about her clear achievements so perhaps not as well known as her peers but she is a fantastic lawyer, super bright and solution focused‘.

Private client > Family Tier 1

Family Law in Partnership Ltd is a ‘a unique firm. It can do it all – mediation, litigation, arbitration. It is genuinely diverse, a broad church. It’s one of the best firms in the business’.  It offers the full range of out of court options by way of its collaborative practice, mediation work, arbitration expertise and private FDRs . A significant proportion of its work has an international dimension and high-value matrimonial finance issues. The focus of David Allison  ’s practice is on complex financial claims on divorce. Daniel Coombes  deals with difficult financial claims on divorce and complex children cases.  Elizabeth Hicks ’ practice is focused on cases involving major cross-jurisdictional issues of family, matrimonial and trusts law. James Pirrie  advises on difficult financial remedy cases and private children law matters.  Pamela Collis  and Bradley Williams  are both well regarded. Overall, the team is praised for its ‘settlement focused’ approach ‘but is prepared to fight its client’s corner if required. Technologically innovative. Streets ahead of its competitors’ .

Other key lawyers:

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


‘James Pirrie is an exceptional person – legally and personally lovely to work with. Charlotte Symes impressed me with her ability to deal with tricky legal points in a few international cases we’ve had recently’.

‘The team work and collegiate approach to cases is outstanding at this firm. Working with David Allison, Helen Greenfield, Nicole Phillips, Kara Swift is a masterclass in how family law should be done. They are forward thinking, highly creative and committed to fixing family problems in a pragmatic and empathic way. I would send a family member to this firm they are that good’.

‘Elizabeth Hicks – very experienced, excellent rapport with clients. Vanessa Sampaio – good attention to detail, good judgment’.

‘David Allison is exceptional. He is hugely respected, and liked, by his peers. He is kind and empathetic and is able to undermine the most aggressive of opponents with a totally different approach to family law.  Helen Greenfield is everyone’s favourite. She is a real individual and attracts clients who are themselves unique. She is overwhelming likeable which gives her an edge on many of her opponents’.

‘Pamela Collis (partner) Grace Lawrence (associate). Both are extremely competent, knowledgeable and empathetic. They have given excellent service to our mutual client’.

‘Family Law in Partnership is a forward-thinking firm with a strong tradition of championing collaboration and the use of ADR to reduce conflict in family law cases.’

‘Daniel Coombes has amazing attention to detail and leaves no stone unturned in his efforts to get the best outcome for his client. Elizabeth Fletcher is valued by her clients for her patience, care and understanding and her superlative judgment which means that they receive sensible and realistic advice at all stages of their case’.

Bradley Williams – knowledge in depth on family law matters – good tactical awareness – practical approach – hardworking and dedicated to clients’.

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.

David (0)20 7420 5000
Daniel (0)20 7420 5000
Elizabeth (0)20 7420 5000
Helen (0)20 7420 5000
Elizabeth (0)20 7420 5000
Out-of-hours contact James 303637
Charlotte (0)20 7420 5000
Bradley (0)20 7420 5000
Mariko (0)20 7420 5000
David Allison photo David AllisonDavid is a director at Family Law in Partnership who has specialised…
Selena Arbe Barnes photo Selena Arbe BarnesSelena is an associate at Family Law in Partnership. She advises on…
Gillian Bishop photo Gillian BishopGillian is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She is a…
Harriet Burge photo Harriet BurgeHarriet is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She is a…
Pamela Collis photo Pamela CollisPamela is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She is a…
Daniel Coombes photo Daniel CoombesDaniel is a director at Family Law in Partnership. He handles a…
Elizabeth Fletcher photo Elizabeth FletcherElizabeth is a director at Family Law in Partnership. She focuses on…
Helen Greenfield photo Helen GreenfieldHelen is a director at Family Law in Partnership who advises on…
Nicole Hackett photo Nicole HackettNicole is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She specialises in…
Elizabeth Hicks photo Elizabeth HicksElizabeth is a director at Family Law in Partnership. She specialises in…
Grace Lawrence photo Grace LawrenceGrace is an associate at Family Law in Partnership. She advises on…
Nicole Phillips photo Nicole PhillipsNicole is an associate at Family Law in Partnership. She combines a warm,…
James Pirrie photo James PirrieJames is a director at Family Law in Partnership. He specialises in…
Dominic Raeside photo Dominic RaesideDominic is one of the five principals who founded Family Law in…
Ruth Smallacombe photo Ruth SmallacombeRuth is a senior accredited mediator and counsellor, practice consultant and trainer of…
Kara Swift photo Kara SwiftKara is an associate at Family Law in Partnership. She advises on…
Charlotte Symes photo Charlotte SymesCharlotte is a solicitor, collaborative practitioner and mediator. She advises on a…
Bradley Williams photo Bradley WilliamsBradley is a director at Family Law in Partnership. He has a…
Mariko Wilson photo Mariko WilsonMariko 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.