UK

The South

Family/Matrimonial


Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Family/Matrimonial - The South

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Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Guildford

What the team is known for Provides specialist expertise in complex high net worth financial matters and all aspects of private children law, including cases with international aspects. Houses a number of lawyers trained in alternative forms of dispute resolution, including mediators and collaborative law practitioners.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are extremely professional and provide super support for their clients."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Judith Ball specialises in high net worth financial remedy cases, and also maintains an active children law practice. She is widely admired by peers and clients and is described as "practical and really easy to get on with. She took a sensible, no-nonsense approach whilst also being empathetic." 

Joanna Kemp deals with a wide range of family matters but is particularly adept at matrimonial finance disputes. One client praises her manner: "She is personable, tactful, calm and smart. She is organised and dynamic and listened well."

Basic facts about the department

- 7 qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Woking

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its expertise across the full spectrum of family law matters, with a particular focus upon complex children law matters, including care proceedings, adoption and child abduction.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are extremely diligent in the work they do for their clients, whether it is a private paying case or a publicly funded matter."

Notable practitioners  

Penelope Moult heads the family department.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Maidstone

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its capacity to handle high net worth matrimonial finance cases, often involving cross-border aspects and complex business interests.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "They have the ability to explain complex legal matters in a way that is readily intelligible to a lay person."

Client service: "We have found them to be an informed and calming influence in litigation, which has the potential to escalate."

Notable practitioners  

Mary Raymont is highly regarded for her handling of complex financial remedy cases. One impressed source notes: "I have confidence in her knowledge of the law, but more importantly in her ability to reassure people that matrimonial litigation can be handled in a civilised and non-confrontational way."

Department head Stephen Smith specialises in complex financial disputes after separation, often involving trusts, offshore assets and company dissolutions. Sources comment that "Stephen has a no-nonsense attitude and is totally dedicated to ensuring that his clients always come first."

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Guildford

What the team is known for Recognised for its handling of complex financial remedy matters, wherein the firm often acts for high-profile and high net worth clients. Draws upon the substantial resources of the wider firm to provide clients with comprehensive advice covering commercial issues, pensions, immigration, employment and trusts. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "A highly pragmatic and non-combative approach which means unnecessary litigation is avoided."

Pragmatic advice: "What stands out is their thorough and efficient approach to every case; clients are always given correct and comprehensive legal advice combined with practical advice."

Notable practitioners  

Margaret Tyson specialises in complex financial proceedings, and is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer. She is described as "an established heavy hitter - good to have in your corner." 

Karen Wilsher specialises in complex children law matters, particularly leave to remove cases. Sources describe her as "intelligent, sensible, good on the law, and able to provide excellent support for clients."

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Orpington

What the team is known for Acts for mid and high net worth individuals in financial remedy cases, as well as housing considerable expertise in private children law matters, including leave to remove cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The firm's strengths are their exceptional organisation, their friendly, approachable manner and their ability to deal with any matter of family law."

Notable practitioners  

Head of family law Claire Schneck demonstrates strengths across the board, with considerable expertise in complex financial remedy disputes, TOLATA cases and children law matters. Sources note that "she's very incisive and forward-thinking."

Kevin Bristow specialises in leave to remove cases and high net worth financial disputes, and he is also trained in collaborative law methods. Sources note that "he makes his clients feel secure, especially anxious clients. He makes them feel like they can relax and have complete confidence in him."

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton, Portsmouth

What the team is known for Highly regarded financial disputes practice, with notable expertise in matters involving armed forces pensions. Also noted for its handling of children matters, including complex leave to remove cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They were efficient, professional, and achieved the desired aims as quickly and cost-effectively as possible while maintaining good attention to detail."

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Upfield is respected for his "immense experience, robust approach and excellent judgement." He specialises in financial disputes and has a national reputation for his work with complex pension structures, particularly armed forces pensions.

Department head Sally Pike handles a broad variety of matters, from prenuptial arrangements to complex financial and children matters, and she is also a leading collaborative law practitioner.

The "passionate and perceptive" Tina Day specialises in children matters, with a focus on leave to remove cases. She is also trained in collaborative law methods.

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Strong expertise in high net worth financial disputes, child support law, and pre and postnuptial and cohabitation agreements. Also houses a notable family mediation practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They consider the case not only on its merits but with an eye on underlying economics – risk, probability and outcome – providing the client with a sound basis upon which to make sensible decisions."

What's new? Alex Davies joined the team from TWM to take on the role of head of department after the departure of Amanda Andrews to Levison Meltzer Pigott.

Notable practitioners  

Alex Davies is described as "highly professional, candid and totally committed to his client’s best interests." He deals with high net worth financial matters as well as complex disputes concerning children.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bournemouth

What the team is known for Advises clients across the board in family matters, with strong expertise in matrimonial finance cases, cohabitation and private children law matters.

Notable practitioners  

Deborah Leask handles all aspects of family law, with a particular specialism in complex financial disputes, often involving pensions and family-owned businesses. She is renowned for her strong capabilities in mediation and collaborative law.

Family team head Sean McNally is noted for his ability to handle high net worth matrimonial finance disputes and children matters, particularly relocation and leave to remove cases. He is also an experienced mediator and collaborative law practitioner.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 directors
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Brighton

What the team is known for Provides clients with a comprehensive family law offering, encompassing matrimonial finance and private children law matters. Strong expertise in ADR, including collaborative law and mediation, and also has a strong commitment to ensuring clients have access to counselling and financial planning services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I found them to be supportive, responsive, timely and empathetic, and they provided me with sound advice and guidance."

Notable practitioners  

Alan Larkin deals predominantly with complex financial remedy cases. One client highlights his "cool head and sound judgement - and on top of that he's a kind, caring, compassionate man as well."

Robert Williams handles a variety of high-stakes matrimonial finance disputes. Clients appreciate his support and advice, with one commenting that "he's been excellent in terms of his willingness to give time to provide explanation of the legal process."

Linda Lamb specialises in children matters and is trained as a mediator to work with both adults and children.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: Beckenham

What the team is known for Specialist family law firm which has expanded significantly since its inception in 2010. Handles financial disputes and complex children matters, and continues to strengthen its reputation in ADR.

Notable practitioners  

Lisa Jones advises clients on complex Children Act cases and high net worth financial remedy matters. One client describes her as "very approachable, offering clear concise advice and responding very promptly to calls and correspondence."

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bournemouth

What the team is known for Highly regarded regional firm, with the capacity to advise on complex financial remedy disputes and Children Act cases, as well as prenuptial and cohabitation agreements. Strong commitment to alternative methods of dispute resolution, with several members of the practice trained in collaborative law and mediation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They really went the extra mile with me, they had an extremely good manner and handled my complex case very efficiently."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Jane Porter specialises in all aspects of matrimonial finance and private children law matters and is also a trained mediator. She is widely admired by sources, who "have great respect for her calm authority."

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cobham

What the team is known for Handles complex family matters including settlements involving businesses, trust and overseas assets. Also houses considerable expertise in children law matters, TOLATA and inheritance act claims, as well as advising on pre and postnuptial agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "The whole team has the legal expertise required for complex family law cases as well as the personal skills to support and reassure their clients through this challenging time in their life."

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Duckworth predominantly handles financial cases, often with an international element, and she is also a trained collaborative lawyer. She is admired for her ability to "combine a great technical legal knowledge with a lovely bedside manner which puts the clients at ease."

Veronica Gilmour specialises in complex financial disputes and is also a collaborative lawyer. Sources note that she is "down to earth and always realistic about the case prospects - she always provides the client with sensible advice." 

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regional leader in family law, housing expertise in matrimonial finance, private law children matters and cohabitation disputes. Also continues to expand its practice in the field of ADR.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They work very hard to make sure that everything is in proper working order. They are very commercial."

Client service: "They have a culture of trying to do the best for the whole family as well as the client."

Notable practitioners  

Frank Prior is widely admired for his approach and experience within his field. He focuses on complex and high net worth divorce cases and also has a strong collaborative law practice.

Neil Davies has considerable experience in complex children law cases, as well as a strong collaborative law practice. He is described as "an excellent people person as well as a first-rate lawyer who could in my view compete with all of London's top lawyers."

Department head Huw Miles is "tenacious, terrier-like and pragmatic in his approach." He advises on a broad range of family law issues, including matrimonial finance, TOLATA disputes and Schedule 1 Children Act proceedings.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- Office locations ranked: Dorchester 

What the team is known for Handles a variety of high net worth matrimonial finance and children law matters. Particularly noted for its strong expertise in international surrogacy law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Fantastic people with such a strong international specialism."

Notable practitioners  

Richard Baker is a key contact for this practice area.

Since publication, Louisa Ghevaert has joined Michelmores LLP

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Uckfield, Brighton

What the team is known for Large family law team assists on a range of matrimonial finance and children law matters, as well as matters concerning civil partnerships and surrogacy. Houses significant capacity to provide alternative means of dispute resolution, including mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Rix & Kay took a personal interest in my case, were willing to listen, and went the extra mile to discuss issues and suggest alternatives."

Efficiency: "They are very good at listening to their clients with regard to their problems and try to manage the matter with as little confrontation as possible."

Notable practitioners  

Alan Foster is "very respected. A very safe pair of hands who knows the law inside out," according to sources. Foster is experienced in dealing with disputes involving complex trust or inheritance issues and frequently acts for his clients in court.

Julia Dyson undertakes both financial remedy and child cases, with a particular focus on more complex children matters. She is an experienced collaborative lawyer and recently qualified as a mediator. Sources note that she has "a clear commitment to achieving the best for her clients."

Michael Hayes has a particular focus on providing specialist advice to unmarried and same-sex couples, including the dissolution of civil partnerships and surrogacy issues. He is also qualified in collaborative law and family law arbitration. Sources admire his ability to "make clients feel at ease."

Vanda James advises on divorce settlements for high net worth clients, as well as assisting in complex children law cases. Sources describe her as "extremely gifted and very good strategically."

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- Office locations ranked: Lymington

What the team is known for Offers a wide range of family law services, covering finance and private children law matters. Particularly noted for its commitment to mediation and methods of collaborative law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They are a good family team here. All three of the partners are very experienced."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Suzanne Sutherland advises on a broad range of family law matters, and is noted for her commitment to the use of collaborative law and mediation.

Dinshaw Printer handles all manner of family work from complex children matters to financial remedy cases, and is also a trained collaborative lawyer.  

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Guildford

What the team is known for Strong market presence on high net worth and ultra high net worth financial remedy cases, as well as a broad range of children matters. Frequently assists in matters with a significant international aspect.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They gave me top-class advice and guided me through what was a very difficult and unpleasant process."

Efficiency: "Their undeniable strength is in their efficient, timely responses and advice."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Caroline Gordon-Smith specialises in complex divorces and high net worth financial remedy cases. Clients praise her approach and dedication to their cases, with one commenting: "She was sympathetic, kind and considerate of my situation, and guided me to make the correct decisions throughout an acrimonious divorce."

Nicola Harries handles both matrimonial finance and complex children law matters. One client notes: "From the very first meeting I was struck by her integrity, wisdom and good sense. She is highly knowledgeable, both about the law and about how people tick."

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Strong reputation for handling complex financial provision cases, but also deals with children matters and other familial arrangements, such as prenuptial agreements. Committed to alternative methods of dispute resolution, housing four collaborative lawyers and two mediators.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their technical and experiential knowledge in divorce law and experience in presenting legal arguments at court are real strengths."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Joanna Pratt continues to work on matrimonial finance and complex children law matters. Clients admire "her personal skills and exercise of judgement."

Sarah Judd specialises in complex financial remedies, often with further complexities relating to trusts or international issues.

Kirstie Law continues to strengthen her position within this team and is particularly regarded for her skills in collaborative law and financial remedy cases. Clients have commented on her commitment, noting that "she was clearly ready to put her clients before her personal agenda on several occasions." 

Desmond O'Donnell continues to draw attention for his expertise in children matters and specialises in particularly complex cases, often with significant external issues.

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton, Salisbury

What the team is known for Provides the full range of family-related legal advice. Houses considerable expertise in ADR, with particular experience in methods of collaborative law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Approachability: "Their manner is excellent. They are extremely professional, knowledgeable, efficient and very personable."

Availability: "Their client response times were astounding - all queries were answered very quickly."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Andrew Mercer specialises in complex and high net worth financial remedy cases, as well as drafting prenuptial agreements. He also has a well-established collaborative law practice. Clients describe him as "personable and tenacious, with great people skills."

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Guildford

What the team is known for With offices throughout Surrey this family law team retains a strong presence on high net worth financial cases and complex children law matters. It also houses notable expertise in mediation and collaborative law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The entire family team at TWM have attended to my matter with consummate professionalism and empathetic understanding."

What's new? The firm has recently undertaken a merger with Wheltons Solicitors, adding three partners to the team, plus significant experience in collaborative law. It has also hired Sarah Cornes from Howell Jones to head the family and matrimonial team.

Notable practitioners

Sarah Cornes is the head of the family team here.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Sevenoaks

What the team is known for Advises clients across the board in family matters, including both financial remedy and children law matters. Also has a growing practice in alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation and collaborative law. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their willingness to negotiate and advise and not pursue an aggressive style in dealing with my case really impressed me."

Bench strength: "Very good at partner level with good support from the rest of the team, who are all very competent."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Rayma Collins frequently handles complex separations and financial remedy cases and also has a strong collaborative law practice. Clients note: "She was quite open about the risks whilst being reassuring. I found that I really trusted her as my adviser."

Matthew Aves specialises in complex financial remedy matters, and is also a trained mediator. Sources note that he has "a reputation for being robust when needed.

Charles Tennant has experience across the board in family law but is particularly adept at handling complex financial disputes. Sources describe him as "a rarity - in that he provides good advice and efficient service, but focuses his work on the aspects of the case that really matter and does not run up unnecessary costs."

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Maidstone

What the team is known for Strong reputation for its handling of mid to high-end matrimonial finance matters, and its commitment to the use of mediation and collaborative law methods.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They dealt with everything very calmly and efficiently and thoroughly understood my intentions in the case."

Client care: "The team is very client-focused and has a high degree of professionalism."

Notable practitioners  

Dawn Harrison leads the family team here and is particularly well regarded for her collaborative law expertise. Clients appreciate that she "provides clear instruction, has a good understanding of the financial issues and adopts a measured approach."

Graham Jones has particular experience with divorce, private child law and cohabitation, and also practises in mediation. One client notes: "He provided a professional service and was approachable and honest throughout. Graham kept me well informed and gave clear and helpful advice."

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Charlotte Adler of Adler Fitzpatrick Solicitors in Kingston-upon-Thames advises on divorce and financial claims as well as resolving children law disputes. She is highly regarded by both peers and clients, with one source noting: "I know of no other divorce partner capable of providing a more incisive and rapid response, with outstanding forensic abilities and knowledge of divorce law and procedure."

Charlotte Collier of Atkins Hope in Croydon is described by peers as "a very good childcare lawyer." She handles both public and private children matters and often represents clients in highly sensitive and complex cases.

Simon Burge of Blake Lapthorn in Southampton is noted particularly for his constructive approach to matters, in particular in matrimonial finance disputes. Clients appreciate his "calm, professional manner, which was accompanied by a great deal of compassion and understanding."

Lucy Gregory has set up Brighton & Hove Law following her departure from Crosby & Moore. She maintains a significant presence in the area and is highly regarded for her skills in both litigation and negotiation.

Mahie Abey of Dawson Hart in Brighton regularly handles complex separations and high net worth financial remedy disputes. One client comments: "He was very astute and firm in settlement negotiations but was able to keep discussions between the parties as emotionally neutral as possible so that I was able to reach a favourable divorce settlement out of court."

Helen Fitzsimons of Edward Hayes in Chichester is "very reassuring and professional" with "impeccable attention to detail." Her work spans both financial remedy and children matters, and she is frequently involved in complex leave to remove and care cases.

Susi Gillespie of Furley Page Solicitors continues to draw praise for her abilities in both complex children matters and high-value financial disputes. She is described by peers as "a first-rate lawyer who strikes just the right note of compassion for her client."

Susan Hayes of Griffith Smith Farrington Webb LLP is "a formidable presence in Brighton and the South Coast." She handles complex financial disputes and children matters, and has an active collaborative law practice.

Karin Walker of KGW Family Law in Woking handles a variety of finance and children matters and remains noted for her dedication to ADR; she is trained in family law arbitration, collaborative law and mediation. One client enthuses: "The tact, diplomacy and skill with which she operates is spectacular to behold."

Grant Cameron of Lamport Bassitt in Southampton is a qualified mediator and trained collaborative lawyer, who handles both complex finance and children law matters. Clients describe him as "extremely pragmatic, sensitive and efficient. The situation I found myself in was extremely stressful but once I had instructed Grant he took the pressure away."

Deborah Emery of Moore Blatch LLP has an "unflappable and sensible approach" to complex finance cases, particularly those requiring a further understanding of corporate structures and commercial aspects. She is also trained in collaborative law methods.

Natalie Gamble of Natalie Gamble Associates is held in high regard by peers and clients for her specialism and expertise in all children matters, and particularly her strength in assisted reproduction, surrogacy and same-sex parenting. One client describes her as "passionate and extremely knowledgeable in this specialist field, offering insightful and pragmatic advice in a calm and reassuring way during the most challenging and stressful time of our lives."

Robert Worthing of Rawlison Butler LLP in Crawley focuses on divorce and relationship breakdown, and he is also a trained mediator. He is described by his clients as "a very reliable and helpful lawyer who gave me the confidence to pursue my case and my rights."

Sarah Haywood of ThomasHaywood in Kent specialises in all aspects of family law, with a particular focus on complex finance disputes and children matters. One client notes: "From the outset her advice and understanding of the complexities of the case have been outstanding."

Christopher Nisbet of Wilsons specialises in financial disputes, particularly those involving complications stemming from international assets. He is described as "tenacious, intelligent, perceptive and hard-working."

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.