Crane & Staples LLP > Welwyn Garden City, England > Firm Profile

Crane & Staples LLP

Private client > Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

Crane & Staples LLP‘s family law practice offers a mediation service as a form of dispute resolution ‘together with a great overall service‘. The firm’s private law cases include divorces involving complex pensions and non-disclosure of assets and child arrangement cases with abduction allegations. The public law offering often involves care cases with abuse, addiction and non-accidental injury. Danielle Peters leads the practice and specialises in financial remedy matters while Sharon Montgomery focuses on nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Peters

Other key lawyers:


‘Very efficient, honest and always available when needed.’

‘They are honest and transparent with the process, including costs and work together with the client. They are friendly and care about getting you a good outcome.’

‘The team are professional and pull together to provide a great overall service. They connected me with the right people and advice to meet my needs.’

‘Great professional and technical knowledge but also the experience to know how and when to apply this knowledge in the right context and situation which was essential in the advice that I needed.’

‘This practice has approached our issues with complete professionalism, throughout the Covid pandemic, with the challenges that has caused they have continued to operate successfully with compassion and empathy. They had made it possible to make regular payments through online banking. They have also made home visits where necessary.’

‘Our solicitor, Sharon Montgomery has been very compassionate and understanding given the difficult circumstances our situation presented to her.’

‘Every member of stuff from receptionist to para legal and solicitors / barristers are very polite professional and nothing is too much trouble.’

‘An outstanding team who always go the extra mile in supporting clients. Such high quality work and attention to detail within end to end support approaches.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the maternal grandmother in care proceedings after the mother was tragically killed by her ex-partner.
  • Acting for a wife-to-be in preparing a pre-nuptial agreement involving assets of £1.5 million.
  • Acting for the wife in divorce proceedings where the husband failed to disclose significant assets.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

The private client department at Crane & Staples LLP deals with a broad range of work from complex estate administration, court of protection matters, technical tax issues and statutory wills. Practice head David Bird handles complex matters such as administration of high value estates, preparation of wills and cases involving tax issues. Samantha Webb is a specialist in inheritance tax issues and will preparation. Tahir Nisar is a competent associate with a varied case load including some cross-border issues. Georgina Christou is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

David Bird

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Webb; Tahir Nisar; Georgina Christou


‘I was very pleased with the service from Georgina Christou in the preparation of my will, including suggestions which I had not considered. She was very efficient and personable.’

‘Helpful, efficient.’

‘Georgina Christou is understanding, friendly and efficient. Any questions answered immediately.’

‘They are truly excellent at what they do. At no point during any of our dealings with them did we have to chase for an update or wait for them to contact us. Any time we were told that something would happen, it did, usually ahead of schedule. There isn’t a single fault to be found with any part of the company that we worked with and we wouldn’t hesitate in using them again, or recommending them to everyone we know.’

‘Crane & Staples has a highly skilled team of individuals who are knowledgeable, dedicated, approachable and who liaise with their colleagues to ensure the optimum level of service is delivered. Although we are served will by local solicitors in the market town we live in, none of them have the skills and strength in depth we experience with Crane & Staples.’

‘Tahir Nisar was helpful, polite and accommodating at all times and in all respects. He was never to busy to explain and clarify anything we were unsure about. He made all the form filling associated with the process of probate as simple as possible. The process was remarkably stress free due to the helpful nature of Tahir and his team.’

‘We have used C&S for a number of legal needs over the past 10 years. They have always acted in a highly professional manner, seeking to fully understand our requirements before providing advice. Their follow-up has been proactive and we have always been fully satisfied with their delivery.’

‘We have worked several times with Samantha Webb, who we rate very highly. She is a warm and highly experienced individual, and always strives for the best outcome for her client.’

Work highlights

  • Acted in a complex and high-value probate dispute involving misappropriated funds valued at over £3.5 million.
  • Acted in an estate administration involving substantial assets abroad valued at over £7 million.
  • Assisted a business owner with their estate planning to mitigate tax liability on their £3 million estate.

Real estate > Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 4

Based in Welwyn City, Crane & Staples LLP‘s commercial property department is known for assisting individuals and businesses with acquisitions, security documentation, re-mortgages, lettings and finance. Bonnie Twiggs is specialised in leasehold enfranchisement work and co-heads the practice with Christopher Brewis who handles high value residential matters.

Practice head(s):

Bonnie Twiggs; Chris Brewis

Other key lawyers:

Manish Patel


‘Chris Brewis handled our conveyancing and I can’t really add anything except to say that his team were always on hand to deal with enquiries if Chris was busy or away.’

‘I was impressed with the team collaboration. When different team members gave an update or requested information from us, they understood the transaction, where we were at in the process and what needed to be done. We didn’t have to re-explain anything!’

‘Chris Brewis was personable, helpful and offered pragmatic advice on how to navigate the process.’

‘Always work in a timely manner and are always easy to reach.’

‘I have worked with Manish Patel for many years and would not trust anyone else with my legal affairs. Always gives good advice.’

‘Excellent people who work together seamlessly to achieve results. I think their team is second to none in terms of quality and skill.’

‘Chris Brewis has always provided excellent service and advice. We couldn’t have asked for more from him – proactive communications, quick responses, always on the front foot.’

‘Bonnie Twiggs has handled my affairs promptly and efficiently and always seemed available on the day!’

Crane & Staples was established in 1938 in the heart of Welwyn Garden City. We position ourselves as: ‘Professional solicitors delivering a specialist service to the local community’.

Our eight partners are passionate about their business. They are dynamic and forward thinking, embrace challenge and change and make significant investment in both their team and technology to drive the business. The total team numbers 45 and includes 23 lawyers.

We pride ourselves on both our legal expertise and understanding our clients’ needs across a diverse and complicated range of areas such as commercial, employment and property law, significant lifetime events such as divorce and family law, and sensitive areas of later life planning and bereavement.

Nearly 98% of our work comes from happy clients who return to us, from their recommendations to family and friends, or from professional referrals. We pay no introducer fees.

As a firm, Crane & Staples is extremely well established and connected in Welwyn Hatfield having an excellent reputation with individuals, families and businesses. We have always been a proactive firm within the local and business community and the last 12 months have been no exception.

We aim to provide our clients with legal expertise in a professional way at every point of contact; to deliver an outstanding level of client care, advise, guide and reassure our clients through the times that matter and exceed their expectations.

Quality in all aspects of the business is fundamental to our philosophy. We were the second law firm in Hertfordshire to achieve the Lexcel legal quality mark, whose standards we will have consistently achieved over the past 17 years, including this year.

Family Sharon 329333
Family Danielle 329333
Private Client David 329333
Private Client Samantha 329333
Property Bonnie 329333
Property Christopher 329333
Property Manish 329333
Employment and Dispute Resolution Michael 329333
David Bird photoMr David BirdPartner and Head of Private Client Department, specialising in Tax planning, estate…
Adrian Boulter photoMr Adrian BoulterDispute Resolution Executive, specialising in : Property and Contract Dispute Resolution Contentious…
Christopher Brewis photoMr Christopher BrewisPartner and Head of Residential Property, specialising in all aspects of residential…
Heather Charles-Wall photoMrs Heather Charles-WallResidential Conveyancer specialising in all aspects of residential conveyancing, plot sales and purchases.
Georgina Christou photoMrs Georgina ChristouAssociate Solicitor specialising in Wills, Trusts, Probate, Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning,…
Georgina Christou photoMrs Georgina ChristouAssociate Solicitor specialising in Wills, Trusts, Probate, Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning,…
Sian Churchill photoMrs Sian ChurchillSenior Associate Solicitor, specialising in Children Law and Domestic Abuse, passionate about…
Malcolm Hemmings-Portas photoMr Malcolm Hemmings-PortasAssociate with broad experience dealing with a range of aspects of Commercial…
David Hughes photoMr David HughesConsultant Solicitor specialising in helping business owners with: Shareholder agreements Selling and…
Natasha Khakhar photoMrs Natasha KhakharSenior Associate Family Solicitor, specialising in all aspects of family law including…
Janet Martland photoMrs Janet MartlandAssociate Solicitor specialising in Family and Children Law, in particular representing parents…
Sharon Montgomery photoMrs Sharon MontgomeryPartner, dealing with problems or issues that result from the breakdown of…
Tahir Nisar photoMr Tahir NisarSenior Associate specialising in Estate Administration, preparation of Wills and LPAs, Court…
Manish Patel photoMr Manish PatelPartner specialising in all aspects of residential and commercial conveyancing, including Freehold…
Danielle Peters photoMrs Danielle PetersHead of Family Department and Partner, specialising in all issues of relationship…
Michael Scutt photoMr Michael ScuttPartner and Head of Department specialising in employment law for both small…
Katie Smits photoMiss Katie SmitsSolicitor specialising in Wills, Trusts and Probate.
Bonnie Twiggs photoMrs Bonnie TwiggsPartner and Head of Commercial Department, specialising in all aspects of residential…
Samantha Webb photoMrs Samantha WebbPartner with a breadth of experience in Private Client work, including Court…
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE)
Law Society

Crane & Staples LLP is committed to promoting equality and diversity and eliminating discrimination in its own policies, practices and procedures and in those areas in which it has influence. The Firm has joined the Law Society Equality & Diversity Section and hopes soon to be signing the Charter. Our Equality and Diversity Policy is available on request.

Our Commitment to Diversity

Crane & Staples LLP champions diversity in the workplace.

We employ the most ambitious staff members and are keen to nurture developing talent. We adhere to a diversity policy to ensure we never discriminate based on gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability or social background. This applies to clients and contacts as well as our own staff and hiring practices.

Many of our employees come from local state schools. We also have strong links with the University of Hertfordshire and frequently recruit students and graduates from this university, many of whom join us as assistants and trainees and progress to more senior positions in the firm.

Four of our eight partners are women and 68% of all our lawyers are women, exceeding the national average of 48%. We are passionate about encouraging women in the legal profession and some of our team are involved in women-only networking groups and the Women in Family Law Group.

Additionally, members of the BAME community are represented across the firm, including in the Partnership and senior positions.

We are proud to employ a multi-generational workforce, utilising the skills, talents and experience of all our employees. Our lawyers have a combined experience of over 350 years and all members of the team benefit from their breadth of knowledge and expertise. We were delighted that Georgina Donnellan won Hertfordshire Law Society’s Junior Lawyer of

the Year in 2019 and Katie Smits won this award in 2022. Many of our junior staff are members of the Hertfordshire Junior Lawyers Division.

Our role in the community

Over eighty years, we have cemented an excellent reputation with local individuals, families and businesses.

Some of our activities from the last year include:

  • Supporting charitable causes like the Great Legal Bake, Mental Health Awareness Week and Lister Hospital Sunshine Appeal;
  • Sponsorship of local and national business events such as the Best Business Women Awards;
  • Sponsorship of legal events including the Hertfordshire University Law Ball and the Hertfordshire Junior Lawyers Division Networking night.
  • Sponsorship of community events including the Welwyn Garden City Screen on the Green and the Carol Allen Dance Show.
  • Sponsorship of local teams including the youth football teams (Panshanger Pumas and the WGC Typhoons).


In particularly specialist, sensitive and unusual cases that may have an impact on the community or the legal process, we have been able to act pro-bono. Recent examples include a case at the Supreme Court and a highly sensitive domestic abuse matter.

Please contact our Equality and Diversity Partner, Sharon Montgomery, if you require more information.