Firm Profile > Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice > Cardiff, Wales

Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice
CF10 3BY

Family Tier 1

Specialist family law boutique Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice has the critical mass and expertise to handle a significant volume and variety of family law matters, often involving high-net-worth individuals and cross-border issues. Melanie Hamer provides a 'professional and knowledgeable service' and alongside the 'exceptionally calmThea Hughes, is regularly engaged in high-profile and high-net-worth divorce cases. The team is rounded out at partner level by the 'exceptionalSarah Wyburn, who has niche expertise in relation to same sex marriage cases, and the 'approachable and knowledgeableDavid James, who as well as handling high-value cases with a particular focus on business ownership and pension sharing issues, is also an expert on Children Act cases. At an associate level, the 'conscientiousRebecca Knight has a thriving reputation and was singled out by one client as being 'surely one of the future managing partners of the firm'.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Hamer; Thea Hughes; Sarah Wyburn; David James

Other key lawyers:


Exceptional attention to detail

Caring and down-to-earth approach

Calm and pleasant environment

They understand your concerns and try and offer solutions for the best possible outcome

Melanie Hamer has a formidable reputation as a divorce lawyer

Thea Hughes is so understanding and you know by how quickly she replies with information that she is 100% behind you

Rebecca Knight is incredibly empathetic and focused


Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice is a high-quality boutique specialist practice. It is one of the largest niche family law firms in the UK and has a high media profile.

The firm: Founded in 1996 as Wales’ first specialist family law firm, the firm is now the largest niche family law firm in Wales in terms of both size of team and turnover. While the firm is based in Cardiff, its clients are based all over the UK and the world including a sizeable proportion of high-net-worth and high-profile individuals (e.g. Premier League footballers, business owners, professionals, well-known entertainers etc).

By concentrating on purely family law issues, including divorce, separation, children matters, finances, pre-marital agreements, civil partnerships, international family law matters and private client services, Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice is able to provide expert and specialist advice to its clients. It is recognised as one of the best family law firms in Wales by both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice is an innovative and approachable law firm with years of experience dealing with family law issues sensitively and professionally. It has built a reputation for providing an empathetic and knowledgeable approach to finding solutions for all of its clients.

The firm prides itself on the service it provides and is committed to Resolution’s code of practice. This includes dealing with matters in a non-adversarial way whenever possible. It offers clients broad knowledge and years of experience of a whole range of family law issues.

The firm also provides private client services, having developed special individually tailored programmes which include advice on wills, powers of attorney, administration of estates, court of protection matters, tax and other legal issues. Our private client department can communicate in both English and Welsh.

Types of work undertaken:

Divorce and separation: The firm understands that contemplating the end of a marriage or going through a divorce can be a painful and confusing process. As Wales’ first and largest specialist family law firm, it has the necessary experience and expertise to help clients through this difficult time with the best possible advice and support. With its years of experience and specialist expertise, Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice can help guide separating and recently-separated couples through this process with the minimum amount of acrimony. The firm is especially experienced in complex and high-value financial matters and children matters.

Cohabitee disputes: If an unmarried couple’s relationship breaks down, there may be many difficult and emotional issues to be resolved. It is likely that they will need to divide the assets which they own (both personal assets and property) and make arrangements for the children, but it can be confusing and stressful not knowing where to start, or where to find reliable advice on this subject. With years of experience and specialist expertise, Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice can help guide separating and recently-separated couples through this process as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Civil partnership work: Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice is proud to be the first law firm in Wales to join Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme, which aims to promote equality for LGBT+ staff and clients. The firm has a long history of working with the gay community to resolve the issues that arise from the end of a relationship, and was one of the first law firms in Wales to offer a specialist service for clients in civil partnerships and same-sex relationships.

When civil partners separate, their finances and child arrangements need to be resolved in the same way as divorcing couples. Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice has the expertise and experience to advise and assist clients to resolve issues and obtain the best possible outcome.

Pre-marital and post-marital agreements: Pre-marital agreements are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice has a wealth of experience producing pre and post-matrimonial agreements.

Department Name Email Telephone
Director Melanie Hamer
Director Thea Hughes
Director Sarah Wyburn
Director David James
Head of Private Client Catrin Griffiths
Photo Name Position Profile
 Claire Binnersley  photo Claire Binnersley
 Lucy Chandler  photo Lucy Chandler
 Gabriella Evans  photo Gabriella Evans
 Catrin Griffiths  photo Catrin Griffiths
Ms Melanie Hamer photo Ms Melanie Hamer
 Thea Hughes  photo Thea Hughes
 David James  photo David James
 Sam John  photo Sam John
 Rebecca Knight  photo Rebecca Knight
 Katie O’Connell  photo Katie O’Connell
 Lorraine Watts  photo Lorraine Watts
 Sarah Wyburn  photo Sarah Wyburn
Number of directors : 4
Number of solicitors : 7
Number of other fee-earners : 5

CLIENT: Confidential
COMPANY/FIRM: Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice TESTIMONIAL: “Family court proceedings can be distressing, so it’s so important to have expert, sound advice, which is exactly what is provided by Wendy Hopkins Family Law. I cannot speak highly enough of the team.”

CLIENT: Confidential
COMPANY/FIRM: Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice TESTIMONIAL: “I am absolutely delighted with the service, the attention to detail, the back up available and the approachable nature of your firm. I felt that you were large enough to fight my corner confidently, and yet small enough to deliver a personal edge to the advice given.”

CLIENT: Confidential
COMPANY/FIRM: Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice TESTIMONIAL: “Melanie has been brilliant – she took a firm line with the other side (and with me) and was the positive influence to change the direction of what had preceded. Melanie has been extremely kind and patient and her advice has been accurate and to the point – her handling of the other side’s behaviour took a major amount of stress and pressure out of the situation and her reassurance and determination secured the fair result. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.”

CLIENT: Confidential
COMPANY/FIRM: Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice
TESTIMONIAL: “Thea Hughes was wonderful, and the advice and support provided was invaluable. I knew exactly where I stood and what I was entitled to, which helped enormously.”

CLIENT: Confidential
COMPANY/FIRM: Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you, Sarah, for all you have done on my case. It has been a horrible and difficult time, but you have given me the best advice and been such a lovely solicitor. You are a true inspiration to me. You have empathised with me and provided support and strength when needed. THANK YOU.”

CLIENT: Confidential
COMPANY/FIRM: Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice TESTIMONIAL: “I thought the level of service given to me was of the highest standard – I would thoroughly recommend David James to anyone seeking a solicitor.”

Diversity statement – Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice 

We are a forward-thinking law firm, we strongly believe in providing a diverse working environment and providing equal opportunities for both employees and our clients. In 2011 we were the first law firm in Wales to join Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme, this programme promotes good practice for employers, creating excellent working environments for all employees whilst ensuring equal treatment. We have a long history of working with the LGBT+ community to resolve the issues that arise from the end of a relationship. We were one of the first law firms in Wales to offer a specialist service for clients in Civil Partnerships and same-sex relationships. We feel strongly about being a member of the Stonewall programme as it reflects our values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. 

Our ethos is to encourage personal development throughout the firm, this is why we focus on promoting internally. Many of our current solicitors and associates started with the firm in a paralegal position. All bar one of the firm’s present associates started as trainees within the firm. We base our selection on the individual’s qualities and their passion for law and development. In today’s fast-paced environment, we understand it can be a mammoth task managing a work-life balance. We always ensure to take care of our employees and to provide flexibility as to hours or days worked. 

In a recent report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority – The business case for diversity (2017), it was reported that 48% of all solicitors are women, whilst only 33% of law firm partners are women. In our instance we go against the grain with 3 out of our 4 directors being women. 

It is important to us that we inspire to be a diverse company from both an employee and client prospective. We provide pro bono work at a legal advice clinic run by the Personal Support Unit (PSU). PSU focus on helping disadvantaged people facing the civil and family justice system without a lawyer. Our private client (wills and probate) team frequently volunteer their time and provide free Wills to patients of Maggie’s Cardiff. Maggie’s have centres built on the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals and provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. 

Due to the services we provide under the family law spectrum and also the private client services we offer, it is no surprise that we see a broad client base. We ensure to treat all clients equally regardless of background or culture. In addition, we provide clients the option to communicate in English and Welsh. 

We have an accessible office with disabled access and facilities.