London (Firms) - Family/Matrimonial Lawyers & Law Firms - UK | Chambers and Partners
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UK Guide

Family/Matrimonial — London (Firms)


Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Specialist family law firm handling complex financial remedy cases, as well as nuptial agreements. Recognised for its strength in high-value international disputes, mediations and collaborative proceedings. Recent activity includes high-value litigation arising involving pre- and postnuptial agreements.

Strengths One source states: "It's a terrific firm from top to bottom. It attracts top-notch clients, is involved in big cases, boasts a team of really clever lawyers and delivers a high-quality service that few other firms can match."

Clients say: "They have all been wonderful and can pick up all the pieces. I never feel like I've been left hanging, and they're all really on the ball."

Notable practitioners

Susan Philipps is "one of London's outstanding family lawyers" who is "hugely experienced and utterly unflappable," according to interviewees. Her expertise includes complex litigation and mediation proceedings, and she is particularly noted for her strength in matters with international elements.

Tom Amlot frequently acts for high-profile individuals in financial proceedings, drawing on notable experience in matters involving parallel privacy issues. Sources note that he is "analytical but also very pragmatic," while also stating that he "concentrates on what's important and doesn't create arguments where they don't exist."

Impressed sources report that Emma Harte "displays tremendous insight in the most complex of cases." She frequently serves as a mediator and collaborative lawyer in family disputes, complementing her strong matrimonial practice with expertise in areas such as assisted reproduction cases.

Sara Hannell comes recommended for her handling of complex financial issues, particularly those involving an international element. She is also well versed in private children matters. Commentators say: "She shows an intelligence, drive and commitment to her clients that is truly remarkable."

Douglas Alexiou is an esteemed consultant at the firm who draws on his wealth of expertise to provide high-level strategic input on family law cases. "He's obviously hugely experienced," one source notes, adding: "He's been around the block twice on everything and there's nothing that's new to him or fazes him."

William Healing maintains a broad family law practice covering both financial and children issues. He is frequently involved in cases with cross-border elements and attracts particular praise for his work with French clients.

Department profile by Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP

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Anthony Gold - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broad practice committed to ADR in complex children law and financial remedy cases. Acts for high-earning professionals in contentious divorce proceedings. Increasing active in cases involving cross-border issues, drawing on in-house language capabilities and experience in Europe and Asia.

Strengths Clients say: "They've been extremely supportive and excellent to work with. They provide clarity in such an emotional environment."

Sources report: "They're effective and they know their stuff. They'll adapt for the client and are easy to work with. You know that the advice they give will be steered in the right way to be effective at trying to resolve matters."

Notable practitioners

Practice head Kim Beatson balances her practice between high-end litigation and alternative forms of dispute resolution, acting on matters such as complex financial disputes and child abuse allegations. Interviewees note that "she has impeccable judgement and is super-efficient, and her advice is amazing: she is the full package."

Department profile by Anthony Gold

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Bircham Dyson Bell - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Respected team offering the full range of family services to a broad clientele, including high net worth individuals. Noted for its expertise in cases involving US elements, as well as its involvement in financial remedy cases involving agricultural assets. Offers counsel in challenging litigation as well as matters requiring a collaborative approach and experience in ADR.

Strengths Sources note the firm's "first-rate client care and ability to get the job done effectively in a timely manner and at a fair cost."

One client reports: "It was fantastic - everything worked very well. I was highly impressed with the quality of the service."

Notable practitioners

Clients describe Lisa Bolgar Smith as "very sensible and smart, with a high level of empathy." She handles a wide range of private children issues, including abductions, as well as complex financial issues. She also regularly serves as a mediator.

Department profile by Bircham Dyson Bell

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Boodle Hatfield LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 consultant

What the team is known for Punches above its weight with an enviable international client base of sports personalities and high-earning business professionals. Handles a range of complex proceedings including nuptial agreements, child disputes and high-value ancillary relief. Draws on wider private client and commercial expertise to advise on the full range of matrimonial issues.

Strengths A client says: "I am extremely impressed by the client service. From the moment you enter the offices you're met very professionally and welcomingly. You are never made to feel uncomfortable at all and you are treated with huge respect. I just can't speak highly enough of the firm."

Sources report: "Boodle Hatfield is one of the very best of the London family firms, with a long-standing reputation for providing a high-quality service for high net worth clients from a number of fields."

Notable practitioners

Christopher Butler sits as a Deputy District Judge in the Central Family Court and also advises clients on matrimonial finance issues, particularly those involving complex trust and tax elements. "He is an intelligent and insightful lawyer with a personable yet authoritative manner that clients find very comforting," according to interviewees.

James Ferguson's expertise includes nuptial agreements, matrimonial and civil partnership finance proceedings and private children issues. Sources note that "he absolutely knows what he's doing and has the respect of everyone around him," and describe him as "very wise and astute."

Barbara Simpson represents clients in substantial finance issues as well as private children matters. She has particular expertise in international cases and those involving complex commercial issues. Commentators highlight her "wealth of big case experience and expertise," noting: "She's very good at getting very good results."

Emily Brand is held in high regard for her handling of complex financial litigation and private children issues, offering particular expertise in nuptial agreements and cross-border matters. Sources report that she is "very committed to her clients, very compassionate and has really good judgement about how to run her cases."

Department profile by Boodle Hatfield LLP

Advising families has been at the core of Boodle Hatfield's business throughout its three hundred history both the UK and internationally.
The team understand the very personal nature of family law matters and their related disputes require clear and practical advice to resolve sensitive issues. They can help with all aspects of family law including:
•    Divorce
•    Financial remedy claims
•    Cohabitation
•    Dissolution of same sex unions
•    Children
•    Pre and post nuptial agreements
•    Living together agreements

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Bross Bennett LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Family law boutique handling complex financial remedy proceedings involving businesses and shareholdings, as well as allegations of non-disclosure. Also advises on children law matters, including contact, maintenance and relocation. Offers in-house counselling to clients as well as mediation capabilities and broader collaborative expertise.

Strengths Sources say: "They produce a very high-quality service. The tend to take a very pragmatic, sensible approach to their case."

One client states: "I found the whole team, their service and billing transparency to be excellent. I can't fault Bross Bennett in any respect. They're genuinely worth every penny spent."

Notable practitioners

Sharon Bennett is a highly experienced practitioner who earns praise for her work on complex financial issues involving high net worth individuals. "I love working with her," one source reports, adding: "She's very clever, she gives excellent and very clear, sensible advice to clients."

Ruth Bross is "clever, effective, no-nonsense and sensible," according to one source, while another notes: "Her professional yet personable style is one of the best I've come across. Her support was invaluable throughout my case." She comes recommended for her expertise in leave to remove cases and high-value financial disputes.

Anna Wagstaff is well versed in complex private children issues and has a particular focus on relocation work as well as financial matters. She is "extremely sensible, extremely experienced and very pragmatic," according to interviewees.

Department profile by Bross Bennett LLP

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Burgess Mee Family Law - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Emerging family law outfit handling the full gamut of family issues, including high-value financial remedy, private children law work and ADR proceedings. Well versed in matters such as nuptial agreements, Schedule 1 claims and cohabitee disputes, including TOLATA work.

Strengths Clients say: "Anyone that you talk to there is really polite and friendly. You always feel like someone is there who will know what is going on in your case."

Sources report that "they really do provide a first-class service and have incredible technical knowledge. They're very conscientious lawyers who look after their clients."

Notable practitioners

Peter Burgess is a trained Resolution mediator who regularly advises on finance issues, including nuptial, separation and cohabitation agreements. He is "an extraordinarily sensitive, patient and accessible person who clients feel very confident in," according to interviewees, who also highlight his strength as a "very skilled negotiator."

Commentators describe Antonia Mee as "a hard-working, dedicated and experienced practitioner who exudes considerable confidence and who inspires a lot of respect." She frequently advises on financial issues arising from relationships and has notable expertise in international cases, as well as offering experience in complex private children issues.

Department profile by Burgess Mee Family Law

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Charles Russell Speechlys - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for International family practice with strong ties to the Middle East and the Gulf. Has expertise in complex matrimonial matters involving trusts and multi-jurisdictional asset portfolios, as well as cross-border relocation and international surrogacy. Highly regarded for its prowess in collaborative law and ADR proceedings. Also offers strength in complementary areas such as private client, corporate and real estate work.

Strengths Commentators state: "It's an absolutely phenomenal team. They're very high-quality and don't miss a trick."

Sources confirm that they are "impressed by the team's dedication and competence."

Notable practitioners

One source labels James Freeman "the brightest solicitor practising family law; he's a great tactician and a brilliant mentor to junior colleagues." He maintains a leading reputation for his expertise in challenging financial issues as well as children work.

William Longrigg operates at the top level of financial remedy cases, including those involving international concerns. He is also noted for his expertise in private children work and nuptial agreements. Sources describe him as "extremely knowledgeable about the law" as well as being "one of the nicest people you'll meet."

Sarah Anticoni "just has that skill of being able to resolve a case without raising the temperature," according to sources. She is experienced in financial family matters as well as child arrangements, both domestic and international. "She is extremely experienced, a very good lawyer and fabulous with clients," according to commentators, who also laud her mediation skills.

Sarah Higgins acts on a broad range of family law issues, including cases involving financial and private children matters. Her experience extends to disputes arising from civil partnerships. "Extremely calm are the words that come to mind," says one source, adding: "There's nothing that fazes her."

Erica Shelton is "very good with clients" and "will have a very good idea from the word go of where a case is going," according to sources. She is well versed in dealing with complex financial issues, including offshore tax and trust matters. She also acts on private children work.

Miranda Fisher is commended for her expert representation of high-profile foreign nationals, which includes particular experience in acting for Russian clients. Interviewees highlight her "sophisticated client-handling skills" and note that she is "certainly tough, scared of nothing and prepared to argue the unarguable."

Sources describe Grant Howell as a "very experienced family lawyer who has a lot of good clients and really knows what he's doing." He is an experienced arbitrator and draws on deep expertise in international finance issues.

Sarah Whitten "thinks about the case from every angle there is," says a source, adding: "Clients adore her because she's very nice and, when she needs to be, she's hard as nails." She is an accomplished financial practitioner with expertise in complex commercial and pension issues as well as international matters.

Department profile by Charles Russell Speechlys

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Clintons - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Media and entertainment firm with an established team providing public figures and high net worth individuals with discreet family services, from matrimonial finance to private children matters. Advises on divorce proceedings, cohabitee separation, financial settlement and child maintenance on a cross-border basis. Additional strength advising on high-value nuptial agreements. Experienced across all forms of dispute resolution, including litigation and mediation.

Strengths A source says: "I think they are very much on top of their game. Their judgement on financial cases is excellent, realistic and pragmatic."

Notable practitioners

Elizabeth Vernon heads the practice and offers impressive depth of experience in high-level matrimonial finance matters. "She's got fantastic judgement," sources say, adding: "She will argue her client's corner hard but fairly."

Paul Newton regularly acts on complex nuptial agreements as part of his broader matrimonial finance practice. Interviewees describe him as "pragmatic, sensible and good to deal with," while also praising his "good constructive approach."

Maggie Rae is one of the most experienced members of the London family Bar. Sources say: "She's incredibly sensible and very nice - she's seen it all and she looks after clients extremely well without being overly aggressive." She continues to provide expert counsel across a range of matters.

Patrick Kearns draws praise for his work in complex matrimonial finance matters as well as civil partnership dissolutions. Sources say: "He's firm with good judgement and he always tries to do the best by his clients. He does so in a personable and constructive way."

Department profile by Clintons

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Collyer Bristow LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises on high-value, multi-jurisdictional financial remedy proceedings, as well as children law issues. Experienced advising on cases involving allegations of financial crime, non-disclosure and tax evasion. Offers notable expertise in nuptial agreements, while children cases include leave to remove and arrangement disputes.

Strengths One client enthuses: "I cannot say how highly I felt taken care of. I just couldn't commend them highly enough. They always made me feel like I was completely supported and gave very good, sound advice."

Sources comment: "The team are commercially savvy and can deal with anything."

Notable practitioners

Michael Drake is "a grandee of the family legal fraternity," according to commentators. He specialises in financial cases with an international element. Sources say: "I have immense respect for him. He's a brilliant draftsman; he's got a real gift for distilling down quite a verbose requirement and putting it into two or three lines."

Toby Yerburgh is highly accomplished in cases involving an international element and has particular expertise in prenuptial agreements. One commentator states: "He is my first choice for heavyweight divorce where finances are at stake. He is superb at putting clients at ease by his manner, his thorough preparation and his commercial advice."

Philippa Dolan has "outstanding legal, collaborative and mediation skills," according to sources, who add: "She has a wide range of experience and she is good at seeing the wider picture, which often leads to innovative solutions." She is well versed in international and domestic finance issues.

Department profile by Collyer Bristow LLP

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Dawson Cornwell - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong all-round offering in public and private children law. Also advises on contentious, high-value divorces, with dedicated departments operating for each area. Renowned for housing a collection of leading experts in cross-border issues. Also leads the way on cutting-edge international issues such as surrogacy.

Strengths One interviewee reports: "They are in my view the pre-eminent solicitors in international children work. It is the quality of the work they are doing and it's the creativity of their legal approaches too. The knowledge of the team as a whole and the coherence of the team is outstandingly good."

Another source notes: "I am a huge admirer of theirs. They do an incredible job. Of all the lawyers I work with, they are the best at what they do."

Notable practitioners

Anne-Marie Hutchinson is the pre-eminent name in cross-border children matters. She has experience at the cutting edge of law from across the full spectrum of issues, including abduction, relocation and surrogacy. "She is a force of nature," states one source; "she has an innate ability to see things in a case that no one else sees. An exceptional lawyer."

Carolina Marín Pedreño has earned a reputation as one of the foremost international children lawyers, offering particular expertise in cases with a Spanish element as a dual-qualified practitioner. Interviewees describe her as "a wonderful professional with great knowledge of both UK and Spanish children law at the same time as international regulation."

Kate Allen comes recommended for her collaborative matrimonial practice, which focuses on both domestic and international relationship dissolution issues. Her practice includes Schedule 1, children and cohabitation disputes, and draws on notable strength in ADR.

Zoë Fleetwood is an accomplished public law children's lawyer whose experience includes international child placement, serious non-accidental injury, sexual abuse and trafficking allegations. Sources highlight her "clarity of thought, and supportive and engaging manner," as well as her "very strong commitment to ensuring that the very best possible outcomes are achieved for children."

Interviewees describe Rhiannon Lewis as "a very responsible lawyer who knows the legal aspects very well and is very reliable." Her broad family practice includes particular experience in matrimonial finance work, as well as cases involving an international element. She is also highlighted for her expertise as a mediator.

Russell Bywater regularly acts for high net worth individuals in finance matters arising from relationship breakdowns, fielding extensive strength in cases involving international trust elements. Clients describe him as a "great listener" who "has a fantastic way of looking at situations."

James Netto attracts significant praise for his handling of cross-border children matters. "He's absolutely great," says one source, while another adds: "He's very passionate. He fights awfully hard for his clients and knows far more than his years would suggest. He's a real rising star."

Department profile by Dawson Cornwell

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Family Law in Partnership LTD - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Full-service family outfit renowned for its dedication to discreet and amicable settlement through ADR. Maintains a robust financial remedy and child law offering. Houses leading professionals in mediation, arbitration and collaborative law proceedings. Frequently instructed in complex cross-border mandates, including challenging litigation involving high net worth individuals.

Strengths One source reports: "The thing which strikes me most about them is their absolute devotion to doing the best for their clients."

Others say: "They have a good range of practitioners. Their approach to the way family law should be practised is worthy. They're more holistic in their approach."

Notable practitioners

Gillian Bishop is "brilliant when it comes to complex, international financial situations," according to sources. She maintains a broad family law practice covering both complex financial and private children work, and regularly acts on challenging international cases and matters involving complex tax and trust elements.

James Pirrie is a well-regarded practitioner who has extensive experience in child maintenance and relocation issues as part of a broader financial disputes practice. "He is one of the brightest lawyers I know and has no hesitation in going the extra mile on behalf of his clients," reports one interviewee.

David Allison specialises in complex financial issues, both domestic and international. He has significant expertise in cases involving alternative family structures and cohabitees. He is a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer who is well versed in high-asset cases.

Pamela Collis has earned a strong reputation for her work in financial and private law children matters. She is regularly involved in cases with complex jurisdictional issues including cross-border tax and business aspects.

Ann Northover focuses on the financial issues associated with relationship dissolution as well as matters involving children. Her expertise includes dealing with trust and tax issues on behalf of trustees, settlors and beneficiaries. She also advises on nuptial agreements.

Daniel Coombes maintains a broad family law practice that includes financial and private children issues. He has experience in acting for high-profile clients, same-sex couples and vulnerable parents. He is well versed in international relocation matters.

Nicole Hackett has extensive experience in complex prenuptial agreements as part of a broad private law matrimonial practice. She handles both children and finance matters, both domestic and those with an international element.

Bradley Williams is "a very impressive lawyer," according to market commentators, who also laud his experience in private matrimonial issues. He is an accomplished practitioner who practises across matrimonial issues as well as private law children matters.

Department profile by Family Law in Partnership LTD

Based in Central London, Family Law in Partnership is an award winning team of specialist family lawyers, arbitrators, mediators and counsellors offering excellence across all aspects of family law with a distinctive, client-centred approach. The firm has a wide-ranging client base, covering both domestic and international clients from all walks of life, and is widely recognised as one of the country’s leading family law practices. 

Family Law in Partnership has market leading 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 its 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.

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Family Law in Partnership has a wide ranging client base covering domestic and international clients from all walks of life. The firm has close relationships with a network of trusted advisers both at home and abroad to ensure it offers real depth and breadth of expertise and cutting edge advice. The firm is represented on a wide range of national and international family law associations including the American Bar Association, the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. 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.

Director Bradley Williams is fluent in German whilst Senior Associate Charlotte Symes is a fluent French speaker and runs cases in French, when required.


Farrer & Co LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Long-established firm handling high-value and technically demanding matrimonial disputes for high net worth individuals and professionals. Active in international cases and disputes involving complex trust and business structures. Notable strength in ADR demonstrates its commitment to offering a constructive approach to matters.

Strengths Sources say: "They are an exceptional family team, a real powerhouse. They offer excellent client care."

One client notes: "I was really well taken care of considering what a horrendous process it is. They looked after me brilliantly and took all the stress away."

Notable practitioners

Jeremy Posnansky QC is a highly respected practitioner who provides strategic advice across a range of matters. Sources label him a "delightful, brilliant, kind and terrific lawyer," while also noting that "you've got the combination of a top solicitor who knows how to advise clients tactically and practically, but has also been a leading advocate himself."

The "exceptional" Simon Bruce speaks fluent French and frequently acts on complex, international finance matters. Commentators describe him as "an exceptionally intuitive lawyer with a brilliant tactical brain," while also highlighting his "fantastic bedside manner" and ability to "manage expectations realistically in a really helpful way."

William Massey is a highly experienced family law solicitor who is sought after for his expertise in both money and children issues associated with relationship dissolution. "He's fantastic," say sources, adding: "He's a dignified and sophisticated operator." His expertise includes issues such as tax, trust and pension problems.

Richard Parry is a consultant at the firm and offers a wealth of experience in matters arising from the relationship breakdowns of high net worth individuals. He has particular expertise in contentious trust issues and frequently advises beneficiaries and trustees.

Sources describe Claire Gordon as "one of the smartest family lawyers in London today," adding that "she displays an exceptional grasp of complex case issues." She is frequently involved in international cases and those involving complex trust elements, as well as advising on nuptial agreements.

Eliza Hebditch is well versed in international children issues associated with relationship dissolution, as well as nuptial agreements and offshore wealth structures. Her expertise includes Anglo-American cases. Interviewees note that "the commitment that she shows to her clients and their cases is quite simply extraordinary," and label her "one of the most client-focused family lawyers about."

Mark Fenton is "just superb," states one interviewee, adding: "He's a terrific person to have running a case. He's good on strategy and very good on client management." He is noted for his experience in complex financial cases, which includes expertise in non-disclosure issues.

Department profile by Farrer & Co LLP

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Forsters LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 consultant
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broad practice covering complex and high-value financial remedies, as well as a variety of children law matters for married and unmarried parents. Advises foreign nationals on complex post-separation issues, as well as UK-based parties with cross-border asset portfolios. Houses significant strength in nuptial agreements covering multiple jurisdictions.

Strengths Sources say: "Clients get a bespoke service that is all-encompassing. They can deal with the children matters as well as the finances. They don't seem to get flustered by things. They're a good team and clients are going to feel assured straight away that they're a team of professionals who know their stuff."

Notable practitioners

The "exceptional" Joanne Edwards frequently acts for high net worth individuals across the breadth of issues arising from relationship breakdowns. Clients say: "She has breathtaking knowledge and expertise in family law topics. As a former chair of Resolution, she enjoys an excellent reputation with other professionals, which she leverages to get the best for her clients."

Department profile by Forsters LLP

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Gordon Dadds LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers advice on a range of financial matters arising from matrimonial dissolution as well as private law children work. Increasingly active in international work, particularly financial remedy cases involving offshore trusts and child relocation matters. Well-established team that offers a full service to high net worth clients.

Strengths One commentator reports: "If I had matrimonial issues, I would go to them. They have quality clients who they do a superb job for. They are always understanding, great at communicating and experienced. Anyone that goes to them is in a safe pair of hands without a doubt."

One client says: "I can honestly say that I have only praise for the way the firm handled my case and supported me throughout the whole process."

Notable practitioners

John Burrell is a qualified mediator and arbitrator who offers significant experience in the full range of matrimonial finance issues. He also has notable expertise in child arrangement and broader private law children disputes. He is described as an "intelligent, thoughtful man who works hard and puts forward a very good case in court."

David Ruck is a respected practitioner whom sources describe as "very sensible, very mature and experienced," adding: "He has good judgement and a sensible approach." He handles financial and private children issues including nuptial agreements and cases with an international dimension.

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Harbottle & Lewis LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Respected for its representation of professionals and high-profile media clients in significant financial remedy cases. Also provides specialist advice to same-sex couples on assisted reproduction, parenting disputes and prenuptial agreements. Recently strengthened by the arrival of the family team from Lee & Thompson LLP.

Strengths Sources say: "Harbottle & Lewis is a vibrant, progressive, innovative firm whose profile and high standards of client service continue to attract high-profile individuals."

One client reports: "I felt as though the group of individuals really was a team, and this in itself is a strength in my view."

Notable practitioners

Linzi Bull is "a very popular choice for the A-list client who values dedicated, attentive, high-quality representation," say sources. She is sought after for her expertise in complex financial disputes and nuptial agreements. Her experience also extends to surrogacy and other alternative family children issues.

Tom Farley-Hills represents individuals going through divorce, cohabitees and those involved in Schedule 1 proceedings. He has experience across property, probate and Children Act disputes. Interviewees describe him as "an extremely accomplished family lawyer who takes a commercial and sensible approach."

Catherine Bedford is increasingly involved in some of the most complex high net worth financial litigation and regularly represents high-profile individuals. Sources describe her as "hugely dynamic," adding: "She's fiercely loyal and protective of her clients and she brings the same level of commitment to all her clients."

Nicholas Westley brings experience as a barrister to his strong family law practice, which includes both financial and private law children issues. He is experienced in matrimonial dissolution as well as pre-emptive measures to protect family wealth. Interviewees note that he is "going from strength to strength" and is "very good at seeing the whole picture."

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Harcus Sinclair LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broad-based practice offering services in a range of family matters, including children and financial proceedings in the UK and abroad. Also advises on pre- and postnuptial agreements. Additionally engages in arbitration and mediation for clients seeking alternatives to litigation. Acts for clients across a broad spectrum of incomes, including high net worth individuals.

Strengths One client reports: "My impression of the firm is flawless. The group always accompanied me and always respected my rights, and fought until the end."

Sources say: "You get a real sense of depth of knowledge and they are really well connected. They're a high-calibre firm."

Notable practitioners

Kathryn Peat is a mediator and arbitrator who earns the respect of her peers for her work across both substantial financial and complex private children matters. One client says: "I have only words of thanks to Kathryn Peat for her complete knowledge of the law, dedication and her willingness to defend my best interests."

Department profile by Harcus Sinclair LLP

Harcus Sinclair's family department acts for high net worth individuals with complex financial issues, often across a range of business and trust assets, and several jurisdictions. We also advise more middle-day professionals who may be income rich and cash poor, or vice versa. We are known for our work in private children matters both within England and Wales and internationally.  This work requires us to find creative solutions for clients with both domestic and international needs, including leave to remove, financial remedies, nuptial settlements and non-married cohabitation.

Our ability to present effective solutions to complex problems is enhanced by working closely with our private client team which is recognised internationally for the quality of its work. 

We provide a boutique and personalised service from start to finish, tailored to the specific needs of each client with flexible case resourcing options that help clients contain costs as much as possible while providing them with the mix of expertise they need.

In summary:

  • We have extensive experience of domestic and international financial and children matters, including applications for leave to remove.  

  • We advise on issues arising from non-married cohabitation.

  • We receive ever increasing instructions and referrals for nuptial settlements.


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The department regularly works on international matters, both relocation of children and financial remedy proceedings involving foreign assets and offshore trusts for which expert advice from foreign practitioners is sought. The department’s nuptial agreement work often requires the seeking of advice on implementation and enforcement in other jurisdictions.


Howard Kennedy LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 senior consultant
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Robust family team advising on ADR, litigation and nuptial agreements. Handles matters across borders and is noted for its surrogacy practice. Offers a well-rounded service through strategic domestic and international professional partnerships in areas such as accountancy.

Strengths Interviewees highlight the firm's "really top-notch service" and note that it is "great with clients and strong on law."

Notable practitioners

"Distinguished lawyer" Alan Kaufman is a qualified mediator and a collaborative practitioner who has extensive experience in complex financial disputes. Commentators report: "He's a great lawyer who will always try and put clients' interests first."

Lois Langton maintains a broad practice that includes particular expertise in surrogacy work. She is also well versed in complex issues such as tax, trust and offshore corporate structures. "She is a really pragmatic, commercial lawyer with an amazing, strategic approach," say sources.

Department profile by Howard Kennedy LLP

The team advises a variety of high net worth clients including entrepreneurs, City workers, sports & media personalities. Their experience with these clients has led to them developing a particular strength in freezing injunctions, inherited wealth and the wrongful removal of confidential information, all of which are issues which are relevant to their clients.

Leading reported cases

Arbili v Arbili [2015] EWCA Civ 542: Lois Langton successfully acted for the wife, the Court of Appeal case concerned treatment of inherited property and the use of unlawfully obtained confidential information. 

UL v BK [2013] EWHC 1735 (Fam): Lois acted successfully for the husband, this case remains the leading Family Law authority on freezing injunctions & without notice applications, it also provided clear updated guidance on Imerman principles. 

DM and LK, Re [2016] EWHC 270 (Fam): Lois acted successfully for the commissioning parents, the case is a leading authority on what constitutes an "enduring relationship" and provides guidance on the issue of consent in surrogacy agreements. 

G v G [2015] EWHC 2101 (Fam): Alan Kaufman acted successfully for a former wife, the case examined the interplay of UK and European law in a Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) application to determine jurisdiction. The ex-husband appealed to the Court of Appeal.The team again successfully challenged and defeated the application is now reported as Magiera v Magiera [2016] EWCA Civ 1292.

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With some 80% of all the work that the Family team deals with having an international element, we are able to assist high net worth clients with assets around the world and ensure that they receive the best outcome. Lois Langton continues to gain ground within the Chinese community with her memberships of the CBBC and 48 Group Club. In addition to this, Alan Kaufman continues to be an active member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.


Hughes Fowler Carruthers - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Leading family boutique advising ultra high net worth and high-profile clients on post-separation issues as well as wealth protection agreements. Renowned for its role in shaping recent developments in complex, multi-jurisdictional matters. Frequently involved in precedent-setting appellate proceedings, including those heard in the Supreme Court.

Strengths Sources say: "They're extremely experienced in this area. They're very responsive, easy to deal with and they know what they're doing. They are terrific negotiators."

One client reports: "I felt well looked after, and they were very good at listening to what I wanted to do. I felt very much that we were a team."

Notable practitioners

Frances Hughes is undeniably one of the top family law solicitors in London. She has a track record of excellence in some of the market's most high-profile cases, often acting for ultra high net worth clients. She is frequently engaged to deal with nuptial agreements and cases involving an international element.

Sources state that Alex Carruthers "always has the clients' best interests at heart. He's always sensible when you are trying to resolve something." He has extensive experience in high net worth divorce issues, and fields particular expertise in cases involving trust complications.

The "fantastic" Pauline Fowler earns the praise of sources, who praise her "natural gravitas" and describe her as "an excellent mediator." Her experience includes acting for some of the firm's most high-profile clients on sensitive matrimonial finance issues.

Mark Harper is "an extraordinary technician who really immerses himself in the case," according to impressed sources. He comes highly recommended as one of the foremost high net worth matrimonial finance practitioners at the London Bar.

Renato Labi specialises in financial disputes centring on relationship dissolution. He has particular expertise in cases involving large sums of money and complex trust issues, both domestic and those based offshore. Interviewees describe him as "very effective, very clever and very good at what he does."

Ann Ison maintains a broad matrimonial practice covering both financial and private children matters. Her caseload includes nuptial agreements and matters involving international individuals.

The "brilliant" Caroline Park is increasingly recognised for her work involving high net worth financial disputes. Her background in corporate and tax matters complements her strong family practice, which also includes private law children concerns.

Department profile by Hughes Fowler Carruthers

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Hunters Incorporating May, May & Merrimans - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-known family team handling matrimonial finance issues involving real estate and business interests. Also handles children law cases, including international relocation, maintenance and contact. Draws on a strong private client and commercial offering to service the full range of clients' needs.

Strengths One client comments: "I was beyond satisfied with the level of focus and client service provided by Hunters. I approached Hunters knowing them to be an outstanding firm. My personal experience turned out to even better than the already high expectations I had of them. I genuinely struggle to point out any weaknesses."

Sources say: "The overall service they provided was excellent and they gave commercially sensible advice. Hunters were proactive rather than reactive and were always on top of the issues and procedural requirements; they never needed to be reminded to do anything."

Notable practitioners

Henry Hood "gives an enormous amount of thought to his cases," according to impressed market commentators. He is highly experienced in both private children and matrimonial finance issues. Clients particularly value his "very supportive" approach and "superb technical skills."

Hetty Gleave maintains a broad family law practice, which includes matrimonial finance and private children issues. She is a qualified mediator and has particular expertise in art and cultural property assets. "For a family lawyer, empathy and sensitivity are equally as important as the knowledge of legal principles and Hetty has an abundance of them," enthuses one source.

Jo Carr-West handles a wide range of private law issues associated with divorce, including children and financial aspects. "She's really superb – very technical and very detailed," assert impressed sources.

Department profile by Hunters Incorporating May, May & Merrimans

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Irwin Mitchell - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for National firm with a strong London offering. Routinely handles high-value matrimonial finance proceedings and sensitive children issues for an enviable client base. Represents a broad range of parties, including entrepreneurs, city professionals and high-profile individuals.

Strengths Clients say: "The team understand the emotional turmoil that their clients can go through. There is a fine line between caring and compassion on the one hand and being overly familiar and unprofessional on the other. The team understand this and get the balance correct. They are aware of costs and ensure that their time is used to maximum benefit."

Sources describe this as a "very good firm," noting that "they provide a very high level of service."

Notable practitioners

Elizabeth Hicks heads the firm's London team and specialises in finance issues involving an international dimension, including forum disputes and offshore asset or trust issues. Interviewees highlight her "phenomenal reputation" and note that "she's very empathetic and will always seek to further the clients' interests."

Sital Fontenelle is described as "a very good lawyer" who can "deal with tricky issues sensibly and well." She practises across a range of matrimonial finance issues and has notable strength in cases involving complex inter-jurisdictional elements.

Department profile by Irwin Mitchell

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Kingsley Napley LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-balanced practice with a strong offering on both the high-value financial remedy and sensitive children sides of private family law. Provides expertise in international work, particularly in relation to child abduction, surrogacy and maintenance. Frequently involved in cases spanning Europe, the Middle East and America.

Strengths Interviewees state: "They are an excellent family team. They are really sound, they know their stuff and they have a great mixture of competence and friendliness."

Sources say: "They're very good. They're able to deal with big cases and smaller cases. It's a good firm for covering different bases, particularly cases involving a criminal or tax crossover. They have the necessary expertise in-house."

Notable practitioners

Charlotte Bradley specialises in international matrimonial issues involving both children and finance concerns. Her expertise includes notable familiarity with ADR proceedings. Clients report that "she has shown exceptional knowledge, skill and judgement" and has "always shown genuine concern and dedication."

Michael Rowlands "is incredibly client-focused and moulds himself to any circumstances," say sources, adding: "He's fierce when it comes to battling complex cases. Clients find him incredibly loyal, trustworthy and sympathetic." He is a finance specialist with extensive experience in acting for individuals in cases involving generational wealth.

Jane Keir is an experienced matrimonial finance practitioner and senior partner of the firm. Interviewees describe her as "absolutely excellent," adding: "She has a very high profile and she's also extremely good at client care. She's a very hard worker and she's very well respected."

The "incredibly bright" Claire Wood is increasingly involved in high-end matrimonial finance issues, including nuptial agreements. She has notable expertise in surrogacy issues and cases involving farming assets. Sources commend her skills as a "tough negotiator."

Department profile by Kingsley Napley LLP

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Levison Meltzer Pigott - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong family boutique servicing clients across the spectrum of private family law, with particular expertise in high-value and multi-jurisdictional disputes involving asset tracing. Houses a renowned ADR practice that seeks to facilitate sensible resolution at good value. Offers notable strength in private children issues, including those with an international element.

Strengths Sources say: "Levison Meltzer Pigott are sensible and pragmatic opponents who will look to alternative dispute resolution methods where appropriate. They're a good, strong outfit."

One interviewee reports: "Everyone there seems tireless in their efforts to achieve what their clients are seeking."

Notable practitioners

Simon Pigott is a highly experienced family lawyer who has extensive expertise in issues associated with divorce, whether involving children or financial concerns. One source reports: "He's someone I would send friends to, because he's ordinarily going to give you a quick, sensible result. That comes from his wealth of experience and not feeling that he needs to prove a point."

Interviewees note that Alison Hayes "will always go the extra mile for her clients - she's so completely available and dependable. She also manages to combine delicate cases with humour so that she keeps her clients' spirits up." She handles a wide range of issues associated with relationship dissolution, including finance and private children matters.

Julian Ribet is highlighted for his work representing high net worth individuals in financial issues associated with divorce. His cases typically involve an international dimension and complex assets, and he draws on additional experience as a mediator and arbitrator.

Jeremy Levison has impressive depth of experience in family law issues, offering particular expertise in complex financial matters. He is also sought after for international cases. "He's very sensible. He's a fighter and a very experienced lawyer," note interviewees.

Alistair Myles's broad family practice includes a focus on complex financial issues involving trust structuring. Interviewees commend his ability to "see the wood for the trees in what can be very complicated and emotional circumstances."

Department profile by Levison Meltzer Pigott

Levison Meltzer Pigott (LMP) is one of the UK’s leading firms of solicitors specialising in all aspects of family law. Founded in 1998, LMP was one of the first niche solicitors’ practices specialising exclusively in this practice area. 

LMP has always been at the forefront of legal developments in family law and offers, as areas of expertise, a sound track record in divorce and separation, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, paternity disputes, civil partnerships, cohabitation and the rights of unmarried couples together with all issues relating to children. 

The firm’s lawyers are particularly experienced in complex financial cases including those involving the treatment of trusts, pensions, property, Inheritance Act Applications and business interests.

International cases are a speciality with several of the partners members of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL). This gives the firm access to an established network of divorce specialists in other jurisdictions as well as a great deal of experience and knowledge in cross jurisdictional matters. 

The strong emphasis on work with complex financial and international aspects, includes the location of hidden assets, defending and challenging trust structures and complicated jurisdictional disputes.

The partners also regularly put to use alternative forms of dispute resolution such as mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.

The firm is acknowledged for its high level of client care and discretion 

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International cases are a speciality with several of the partners members of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), of which Jeremy Levison was one of the founders. This gives the firm access to an established network of divorce specialists in other jurisdictions as well as a great deal of experience and knowledge in cross-jurisdictional matters.


Miles Preston & Co - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Long-established London boutique offering specialist financial services to clients with inherited or pre-acquired wealth in family proceedings. Additionally handles children matters such as leave to remove and relocation. Maintains strong professional connections with bodies such as forensic accountants, both domestically and abroad.

Strengths Interviewees state: "You get a particularly dedicated service from a small, dedicated team. They work together as a team much better and you get a service that's more focused on you as an individual client."

One source reports: "I have always been a fan of them. Every time I have a case with them, it's always going to be a fair fight without needless aggression."

Notable practitioners

Julia Stanczyck is a key contact at the firm.

Department profile by Miles Preston & Co

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Mishcon de Reya LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 2 legal directors
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded family team advising on high-value and international separation and financial remedy matters. Experienced handling cases involving substantial assets, trusts and offshore structures, inherited wealth and foreign enforcement proceedings. Regularly engaged in divorce and ancillary relief proceedings which involve high-profile and well-known individuals. Dedicated sector expertise complemented by its wider private client and commercial offering.

Strengths Sources note that "clients' needs are looked after by them and their interests promoted valiantly. They are all fearless advocates for their clients, who feel very secure in their hands."

Interviewees draw particular attention to the firm's "Rolls-Royce kind of service."

Notable practitioners

Practice head Sandra Davis "has a great wealth of experience over all areas but particularly in relation to high net worth clients," say sources. She is frequently involved in cases with complex financial and jurisdictional elements. "She has a lot of international connections and she knows how to best use the foreign jurisdiction to bring together a more unified approach," confirms one source.

David Lister is a highly experienced practitioner who specialises in complex financial aspects of divorce, including asset tracing and international enforcement. "He's just an absolute delight to deal with," reports one interviewee, adding: "He has a light touch but is very focused and gets a good outcome for his clients."

Interviewees describe Barbara Reeves as "absolutely committed to her client and fearless on their behalf." She has a strong track record in high-profile disputes involving high net worth individuals and "brings a commercial savvy to matrimonial cases - she knows where we should be going and she knows how to get there."

Claire Yorke is a legal director within the team and comes recommended for her handling of big-ticket family cases. One commentator states: "She's very able, very sensible and very hard-working. She also has a very good manner with clients."

Kate Clark is "a real star in the making," according to those who have seen her act on complex matrimonial finance cases. She offers particular expertise in matters involving cohabitation and nuptial agreements.

The "fantastic" Caroline Kelly is an associate who is "not afraid to fight," according to sources, who add: "She is extraordinary in her energy and work ethic." She practises across all areas of private family law, including both financial and children work.

Department profile by Mishcon de Reya LLP

A family problem or relationship breakdown is seldom straightforward. Those with significant wealth or who lead lives in the public eye have an extra burden. Not only can problems be extremely draining both emotionally and financially, they also have the potential to damage careers and reputations.

Beyond offering a premier service for the full range of issues clients face during separation or divorce, we are also able to meet the needs they encounter in their wider personal and business lives. This includes reputation management, corporate and commercial advice and a wide variety of litigation issues.

We understand the complexity that wealth brings. As experts in wealth preservation and protection, we assist our clients and their families through all life stages, not just divorce.

We put children first. We handle a large number of defended relocated children cases. We are the first firm to enter into a partnership with a therapeutic organisation, setting up a relationship with the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships to find a better way of resolving disputes relating to children.

Our dedication to pushing the boundaries for the benefit of our clients sets us apart from other family lawyers and their firms.

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The department are frequently instructed on complex high net worth and ultra-high-net worth cases, where clients hail from or have assets in overseas jurisdictions. Our Partners are Fellows of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.


Osbornes Law - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded family practice assisting clients with substantial matrimonial disputes and sensitive children proceedings. Recognised for its expertise in both domestic and international adoption, as well as assisted conception. Expertise in private law children matters complemented by its strength in top-level public law work.

Notable practitioners

Naomi Angell is one of the country's foremost specialists in domestic and international adoption issues. She is also noted for her experience in surrogacy and broader fertility work. Sources say that she "definitely knows her onions when it comes to matters involving bringing children into the country."

Simone McGrath handles both public and private law children matters, and has particular expertise in child abduction issues. Sources describe her as "extremely organised and hard-working," while also praising her "imaginative approach."

Mark Freedman is "a good thinker who always fights his clients' corner," according to impressed sources. He frequently acts on matrimonial finance matters involving complex and high-value assets, while also offering experience in private children issues.

Lisa Pepper attracts praise for her strong collaborative approach, as one interviewee confirms: "She's sensible, approachable and no-nonsense. You can have a disagreement with her without having a row; it's a proper dialogue." She is highlighted for her strong finance and private law children practice.

Bridget Thompson is lauded by market commentators for her strength in handling children law matters, noting: "She's really experienced and gets good results." She is particularly recognised for her public law expertise, while also offering experience across a range of private law matters.

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Payne Hicks Beach - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Nationally recognised team engaged in high-end matrimonial disputes for an enviable client base of the wealthy and high-profile. Also advises on complex matters involving children. Frequently handles cases with complications arising from pre- and postnuptial agreements.

Strengths One interviewee states: "Payne Hicks Beach are arguably the strongest family law firm in the country, providing enviable strength in depth in both financial and private children law areas."

Sources confirm that "even though it's a bigger team, it still manages to operate a very personal service and clients feel very comfortable there."

Notable practitioners

Fiona Shackleton attracts high praise for her leading ultra net worth divorce practice, which sources confirm sees her "live up to her reputation." One source reports: "Working with her is a lesson to all of us. She really manages to make clients feel that every aspect of their case is being looked after and every concern they might have is being catered for by the firm."

Ian Airey is a highly experienced family law practitioner and a go-to for complex high net worth disputes, including those with complex international components. "He's seen it all, done it all and has really good judgement based on years of experience. Clients love him and he's completely unflappable," say sources.

Philip McGuirk is "a highly astute, commercially minded solicitor who never misses a point," say sources, who add: "He's a very good choice for the high net worth client with a business background." He focuses on financial remedy work and frequently acts on matters involving cross-border complications.

Fiona Brown is held in high regard for her handling of particularly complex divorce proceedings. She focuses on the financial aspects of relationship dissolution and is noted for her expertise in cases involving offshore issues.

Consultant Rebecca Cockcroft is highlighted for her dedication to collaborative proceedings. Her experience in alternative forms of dispute resolution includes acting in mediations and arbitrations.

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Penningtons Manches LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Versatile outfit engaged in a wide range of high-level family law matters, including cross-border financial remedies and challenging child relocation. Exhibits strength in collaborative and ADR methods. Houses notable experience across complex, high-value financial litigation.

Notable practitioners

The "hugely experienced" Jane Craig heads the department and is highly regarded for her expertise in both financial and children law matters, including Schedule 1 claims. She is also highlighted for her handling of complex international cases.

James Stewart attracts some of the highest-value family law cases and is well versed in matters involving multi-jurisdictional issues. Sources describe him as "a very good strategic lawyer - he thinks around his cases and how to get the right result for his clients." He is also an experienced arbitrator.

Anna Worwood "is really good with clients and has amazing attention to detail," according to one interviewee who also describes her as "the best partner I have worked with for some time." She has extensive expertise in financial issues as well as private children matters such as international relocation.

Simon Blain is increasingly involved in complex matrimonial work involving both finance issues and children law. He is also experienced as a mediator and is noted for his commitment to collaborative approaches. Sources note that he is "very good with clients" and "very steady, thorough and easily accessible."

Tammy Knox is highly regarded for her work on cross-border children matters, including wardship, leave to remove and abduction cases. Commentators say: "She is vigorous, intelligent, personable, enthusiastic and indefatigable in her pursuit of a case. She is a very good person to have on your side."

Department profile by Penningtons Manches LLP

Our family law department offers the highest quality of service to our clients, stemming from the experience and talent of outstanding family lawyers who are nationally and internationally acknowledged as leaders in their field.

We act in some of the leading cases in England and Wales representing clients including professionals, entrepreneurs, wealthy individuals, landowners, those in the public eye, or for their partners.

Our team is committed to providing clients with an unparalleled level of service in a compassionate, timely and cost effective manner from our offices in London, Oxford, Reading and Guildford. Our skills include constructive negotiation, a full range of family dispute resolution services and robust and rigorous litigation where required.

We work closely with the firm’s highly regarded private client team on complex onshore and offshore tax and trust issues, as well as lifetime and succession planning. We have significant experience in disputes between unmarried couples, the ground breaking issues surrounding surrogacy, “alternative families” and complex parenting arrangements.

Six members of our team are fellows of the prestigious International Academy of Family Lawyers. We are at the very forefront of those who advise on international family law issues including “forum shopping” or jurisdiction disputes as well as international marital agreements and cases involving cross-border disputes about children.

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Russell-Cooke - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Versatile, well-regarded family department representing clients in issues ranging from high-value financial disputes to serious public law children matters. Possesses noted expertise in public care and safeguarding work, including forced marriage. Also experienced handling international child relocation and adoption cases, both international and domestic. In-house strengths in areas such as immigration and education further enhances its offering.

Strengths One source comments: "I unhesitatingly recommend them. The advice they give is accurate and client-focused, and their clients are well served, both in private and public law. Their integrity is excellent and their services are efficient and caring."

Interviewees state: "The firm offers very good advice at reasonable prices. They know who to instruct on a case and work tirelessly for their clients. They are strong team workers."

Notable practitioners

Samantha Little is "extremely bright, very good at client care and has an enormous work ethic," according to sources. She specialises in children issues such as declaration of parentage, surrogacy, and both domestic and international adoption. Interviewees praise her "extremely good judgement" and note that "she has this wonderful combination of being both forceful and flexible."

James Carroll is highly regarded for his work in matrimonial dispute resolution. He is also noted for his experience as a mediator and for his handling of financial issues such as Schedule 1 matters. Sources say: "He is a complete delight and clients love him. He's a good lawyer, a good strategist and knows where a case is going."

Sarah Richardson is a dedicated children law practitioner and mediator whose experience spans public, private and adoption matters. Interviewees report that "she's a really strong advocate and a real fighter for her clients. She gives people very clear, robust advice."

Kate Hamilton is a respected family law practitioner who is adept at handling both matrimonial finance and private children law issues. Sources particularly commend her even-handed approach: "She always seeks a constructive outcome and is a pleasure to deal with."

The "absolutely brilliant" Fiona Read is a highly experienced lawyer who also sits as a District Judge and arbitrator. Interviewees hold her in high regard, stating: "She is very seasoned and absolutely knows what she is doing." She is noted for her expertise in matrimonial finance work.

Camilla Thornton is a family mediator and collaborative lawyer who frequently acts on complex matrimonial finance disputes, including those involving tax and trust matters. Commentators praise her "really easy and productive working approach."

Department profile by Russell-Cooke

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Schillings - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers a range of family services to public figures and successful businesspeople, with an emphasis on discretion and reputation management. Advises on significant financial cases, private law children matters and navigating complex trust structures. Particular presence in advising women who are experiencing abusive relationships. Expertise also extends to high net worth prenuptial agreements.

Strengths One source reports: "The firm's strengths are in listening intently to the client's wishes and holding an extraordinarily detailed retention of every client detail over the years, as well as very sensitive client handling in difficult moments."

Commentators say: "It's a fabulous service and always gets results. Clients are never let down or left feeling disappointed."

Notable practitioners

Davina Katz is held in high regard for her expertise in high net worth divorce. Clients describe her as "exceptional," adding: "In a difficult situation, she is calm, insightful and able to provide timely, appropriate advice in a measured way." Her experience includes handling some of the most high-profile recent matrimonial finance decisions.

Department profile by Schillings

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Sears Tooth - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-established family law specialists advising on private law children and ancillary relief cases. Recognised for its representation of notable public figures and businesspeople in international matrimonial proceedings. Frequently acts on cases involving ultra high net worth individuals with complex business assets and wealth structures.

Notable practitioners

Susan Apthorp "has a tactical brain par excellence," according to commentators, who also report that "she's very experienced, which comes out in dealing with difficult situations." She comes highly recommended for her matrimonial finance practice, which typically involves overseas issues. She also has expertise in complex children matters such as abduction.

Raymond Tooth is founder of the firm and one of the most esteemed names in the London market, as sources confirm: "He's in a class of his own. He's a brave and courageous lawyer, and also has a huge amount of compassion about him." He is renowned for his expert handling of some of the most complex and acrimonious disputes in family law.

Department profile by Sears Tooth

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Seddons - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Advises high net worth individuals, wealthy professionals and non-domiciled individuals on complex matrimonial finance matters. Additional expertise in handling inherited and non-matrimonial wealth through divorce proceedings. Also noted for its complementary strength in areas such as private client and residential property.

Strengths One client reports: "I was very pleased from beginning to end. They took good care of me and I was well advised and well communicated to."

Sources confirm that "client service has been very good and provides good value for money."

Notable practitioners

Toby Hales is a "very experienced, very able matrimonial finance lawyer," according to market sources. He handles a broad range of private matrimonial issues that span both children and finance work.

Deborah Jeff is an experienced family law expert who specialises in complex financial disputes between both married and unmarried couples. She is well versed in matters involving complex offshore assets. Clients describe her as "very supportive while getting on with the job in a very efficient way and handling tricky situations."

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Stewarts - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Pre-eminent family law team handling dispute resolution and wealth protection agreements for international and high net worth clients. Maintains a deep bench and a strong reputation in high-profile divorce litigation, mediation and collaborative proceedings. Offers expert counsel in cases involving complex multi-jurisdictional issues and ultra high-end assets.

Strengths Sources report: "They are very empathetic, efficient and straightforward. Those are the three most important things you're looking for in what is inevitably a difficult time. They absolutely delivered on all three, and were exemplary."

One client states: "I felt that everything was done to an extremely high standard. I felt I was in the best possible hands. I felt I could not ever look back and wonder if I could have got a better outcome."

Notable practitioners

Helen Ward is a consistently excellent performer at the top end of family law work. "She's very intelligent and an incredibly good litigator. She has a beautiful turn of phrase and she's a good tactician," say sources. She frequently acts for high-profile individuals in cases involving substantial assets held in highly complex structures.

Debbie Chism is held in high regard for her expert matrimonial finance practice and is equally adept in both litigation and collaborative cases. One source comments: "If you have a difficult divorce, as far as I can tell there is nobody better in London than her. She's clear, she's strategic - what more could you want?"

Stephen Foster heads the team while maintaining an active practice in high-value matrimonial finance disputes, as well as matters such as Schedule 1 applications. Interviewees note that "he grasps the nuances very quickly" and has "a very special way about him that allows him to handle difficult people and situations."

Emma Hatley specialises in highly complex, high net worth financial issues. "Her knowledge of the law is unparalleled. She is tactically very strong and very good at dealing with a diverse range of clients," say sources.

Matthew Humphries is an accomplished family practitioner noted for his handling of financial issues associated with relationship dissolution, particularly those with an international element.

Richard Hogwood brings a background in corporate tax law and extensive private client experience to his practice. He is highly skilled in cases involving complex trust and tax issues. "He's very intelligent, he's calm and you can negotiate with him. He's very results-focused," according to interviewees.

Sam Longworth has a strong family practice focusing on the financial aspects of divorce as well as Schedule 1 and nuptial agreements. Interviewees praise his handling of international work and note that he is "very good at knitting it all together and is incredibly hard-working."

Department profile by Stewarts

We are the pre-eminent divorce and family practice in the UK, ranked No.1 in the legal directories. We act for high net worth individuals based in the UK and overseas.

Our partners are regarded as “the leading lights of the profession”, spearheading a department of unrivalled strength and depth advising on all aspects of family law.

We take time to understand the issues our clients face, and help them achieve the best possible outcome both in relation to their children and their finances.

Our lawyers have particular expertise in unravelling complicated trusts, identifying assets held within companies and advising on complex tax issues.

When required, we are supported by experts in our Tax Litigation and Trust and Probate Litigation teams, and select law firms in other jurisdictions.

Our team is at the forefront of taking a collaborative approach to divorce and family issues and, when appropriate, use arbitration and mediation as an alternative to court proceedings. A number of our partners are accredited mediators and arbitrators.

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Vaitilingam Kay - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Boutique family law practice with a growing reputation for its work in high-end financial and private law children matters. Offers a streamlined, partner-led approach to cases. Represents a wide range of individuals, including high net worth clients. Strength includes complex cross-border mandates such as jurisdictional disputes.

Strengths Interviewees report: "They have done a fantastic job and are utterly dedicated to what they do. They've made a great success setting up as a niche practice. They're a smaller firm able to offer a more personalised service."

Sources say: "They're not only experienced; they are universally known as being incredibly pragmatic, honest, hard-working and nice solicitors."

Notable practitioners

Anne Kay co-founded the firm and maintains a broad private family law practice. Market commentators call her "an absolute pleasure to deal with," while a client adds: "She was exceptional at boiling down the legal process to something that I understood, and I always felt that she was on my side. She was excellent throughout and never promised me things she couldn't deliver."

Joe Vaitilingam is "an excellent solicitor who really brings a lot to his clients. He treats them very well and is very careful about their case," say sources. He co-founded the firm and is held in high regard for his expert handling of complex financial issues, as well as his experience in complex children matters.

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Vardags - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-known divorce boutique representing wealthy professionals and business owners in large-scale matrimonial litigation. Routinely advises on international cases. Expanding team that is committed to providing a first-rate service to its impressive client base.

Strengths One client reports: "It is their great teamwork that make Vardags such a success. Their service is prompt and queries are answered clearly and efficiently. There was never a moment in my mind when I thought that I had chosen the wrong firm."

Sources label the firm "very dynamic and very modern in their approach," adding: "They have a very high profile in all areas of family law."

Notable practitioners

Catherine Thomas is the firm's managing director and attracts significant praise for her "absolutely phenomenal practice" which sees her frequently instructed on high-value financial matters. Clients say: "Nothing escapes her. She is very detailed, thinks ahead and pre-empts everything. She is brilliantly tactical."

Department profile by Vardags

Vardags is best known as a top divorce firm providing a full range of family law services for high net worth individuals, including matrimonial finance, child arrangements, child relocation and abduction, domestic violence, and prenuptial, postnuptial, and cohabitation agreements.

With unsurpassed international expertise and a global clientele, Vardags has galvanised the area of high-end family law. Supported by an in-house financial forensics team, Vardags’ experience in complex remuneration and corporate structures, valuations and asset tracing ensures every client gets their fair share.

Notable cases include winning the largest ever award against a spouse after a foreign divorce in Al-Baker v Al-Baker, obtaining record-high costs orders against the other side in Young v Young and changing English law on prenuptial agreements in Radmacher v Granatino. In the ‘titanic’  case Chai v Peng, Vardags secured one of the highest ever court awards for Pauline Chai’s divorce settlement.

In addition to their impressive track-record in the courtroom, Vardags favours round table meetings and private FDRs to reach settlement swiftly, successfully settling almost 95% of cases before they go to trial.

Cases are handled with the utmost discretion and, where necessary, Vardags supports high-profile clients with reputation and media management cultivated from years of experience handling the press.

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Today, the most challenging family law cases can involve competing jurisdictions and international assets. Resolving them can be like a global financial demerger or a 50% tax on your total net worth. The English family courts are renowned for fairness and world-class representation, and Vardags’ familiarity with complex multi-jurisdictional work is unparalleled. With a Masters in European Law from Brussels’ Université Libre, Founder and President Ayesha Vardag is uniquely placed to advise clients in the wake of Brexit.

In 2014, Vardags won the leviathan jurisdiction battle for the former Miss Malaysia against her Laura Ashley chairman husband, in Chai v Peng. This resulted in the wife, Pauline Chai, being awarded one of the largest ever settlements of the UK courts.

In the 2016 case Al-Baker v Al-Baker, Vardags secured the highest award ever against a spouse after a foreign divorce. Contending with many millions, multiple jurisdictions and foreign religious proceedings, the firm successfully obtained a global freezing order. Vardags also acted successfully in a groundbreaking transatlantic nullity case involving Sharia, English, US and Italian law.

A go-to for those who lead international lifestyles, Vardags is well-equipped to assist individuals for whom English is not their first language.


Wedlake Bell LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises on high-value litigation arising from matrimonial dissolution, as well as private law children matters. Also recognised for advising on nuptial agreements and financial remedy matters involving multiple jurisdictions. Handles issues for individuals with highly complex wealth structures, both domestic and offshore.

Strengths One source reports: "I think Wedlake Bell offers excellent value for money compared with others."

Notable practitioners

Charmaine Hast is highly regarded for her ability to handle complex financial litigation, as well as her strength in collaborative proceedings. Commentators describe her as "fantastic with clients and a really good tactician," adding: "She's got a huge amount of experience but she's not afraid to try different things in a case."

Department profile by Wedlake Bell LLP

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Withers LLP - Family/Matrimonial

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Global firm with a thriving London family practice. Renowned for its deep team, international and domestic caseload and impressive client list. Continues to offer arbitration and mediation options for clients seeking to avoid traditional litigation. Widely recognised as a go-to practice for major disputes involving high-value assets.

Strengths One source comments: "The whole team is brilliant - I would never go anywhere else. I cannot recommend a legal team more highly. They were incredibly kind and compassionate to me on a human level, which spoke to me as strongly as their talent as lawyers."

Another client notes: "I had a five-star impression of them and was very happy. During what was an incredibly painful, emotional time, I was absolutely aware that they made it as smooth and painless as that sort of process can be. That says a lot."

Notable practitioners

"Real class act" Julian Lipson is acclaimed for his expert handling of market-leading financial work involving high-profile clients, including prenuptial agreements and post-separation litigation. "There's the legal skill and the client care. He's got the best of both worlds. He's a very clever lawyer, he's terribly calm and no fuss. He doesn't inflame the situation and he keeps everybody under control with style and humour. But he's also a superb lawyer," say sources.

Diana Parker is widely regarded as one of the foremost litigators in family law and frequently represents high-profile individuals in top-end cases. Sources highlight her intellect and pragmatism. One interviewee reports: "She's awesome. She is the brain of family law and she's just brilliant."

Michael Gouriet is "consistently really good," according to sources, who add: "When he's on the other side of a case you know he's going to take the right points. He knows the law, he's all over the detail of the case and he knows what positions to take." He is frequently involved in complex financial issues, including those involving trust and cross-border complications.

Suzanne Kingston is one of the foremost names in ADR, having pioneered the introduction of financial arbitration. She is also notably involved in the nascent child arbitration system, as well as offering experience as a mediator and handling high-end litigation. She is "technically brilliant at unravelling complex cases where clients have a diverse range of assets globally," state interviewees.

The "extremely good" James Copson practises across a range of family financial issues and Children Act matters. He is particularly well versed in cross-border issues, particularly those involving Italy and other EU states.

Suzanne Todd is "very down-to-earth and very popular with clients," according to sources, who add: "She is sympathetic but will cut to the chase when needs be." She maintains a broad family practice that covers areas such as finances, children and nuptial agreements.

Lisa Fabian Lustigman is highly regarded for her extensive expertise in private children issues. She frequently acts on matters such as the relocation of children both domestically and internationally, as well as finance issues. "Her preparation is immaculate, she fights her corner hard and she's got compassion and humanity," say sources.

Claire Blakemore is a rising presence in the world of private family law and is recommended for her experience in high net worth divorce matters, as well as areas such as nuptial agreements and children work. Commentators describe her as "a very pragmatic person and a real all-rounder."

Interviewees describe Katharine Landells as "a real powerhouse," highlighting her "intelligent, sharp and emotionally intelligent" approach. She comes recommended for her handling of money and private children work, which includes cases involving cross-border concerns.

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Senior Statesmen

Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Douglas Alexiou is an esteemed consultant at the firm who draws on his wealth of expertise to provide high-level strategic input on family law cases. "He's obviously hugely experienced," one source notes, adding: "He's been around the block twice on everything and there's nothing that's new to him or fazes him."

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Senior Statesmen

Levison Meltzer Pigott

From the Chambers UK guide

Jeremy Levison has impressive depth of experience in family law issues, offering particular expertise in complex financial matters. He is also sought after for international cases. "He's very sensible. He's a fighter and a very experienced lawyer," note interviewees.

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Senior Statesmen

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Richard Parry is a consultant at the firm and offers a wealth of experience in matters arising from the relationship breakdowns of high net worth individuals. He has particular expertise in contentious trust issues and frequently advises beneficiaries and trustees.

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Senior Statesmen

Jeremy Posnansky QC

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Jeremy Posnansky QC is a highly respected practitioner who provides strategic advice across a range of matters. Sources label him a "delightful, brilliant, kind and terrific lawyer," while also noting that "you've got the combination of a top solicitor who knows how to advise clients tactically and practically, but has also been a leading advocate himself."

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Senior Statesmen

Clintons

From the Chambers UK guide

Maggie Rae is one of the most experienced members of the London family Bar. Sources say: "She's incredibly sensible and very nice - she's seen it all and she looks after clients extremely well without being overly aggressive." She continues to provide expert counsel across a range of matters.

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Senior Statesmen

Sears Tooth

From the Chambers UK guide

Raymond Tooth is founder of the firm and one of the most esteemed names in the London market, as sources confirm: "He's in a class of his own. He's a brave and courageous lawyer, and also has a huge amount of compassion about him." He is renowned for his expert handling of some of the most complex and acrimonious disputes in family law.

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Eminent Practitioner

Kingsley Napley LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Jane Keir is an experienced matrimonial finance practitioner and senior partner of the firm. Interviewees describe her as "absolutely excellent," adding: "She has a very high profile and she's also extremely good at client care. She's a very hard worker and she's very well respected."

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Star Individuals

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

From the Chambers UK guide

Frances Hughes is undeniably one of the top family law solicitors in London. She has a track record of excellence in some of the market's most high-profile cases, often acting for ultra high net worth clients. She is frequently engaged to deal with nuptial agreements and cases involving an international element.

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Star Individuals

Withers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

"Real class act" Julian Lipson is acclaimed for his expert handling of market-leading financial work involving high-profile clients, including prenuptial agreements and post-separation litigation. "There's the legal skill and the client care. He's got the best of both worlds. He's a very clever lawyer, he's terribly calm and no fuss. He doesn't inflame the situation and he keeps everybody under control with style and humour. But he's also a superb lawyer," say sources.

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Star Individuals

Withers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Diana Parker is widely regarded as one of the foremost litigators in family law and frequently represents high-profile individuals in top-end cases. Sources highlight her intellect and pragmatism. One interviewee reports: "She's awesome. She is the brain of family law and she's just brilliant."

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Star Individuals

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers UK guide

Fiona Shackleton attracts high praise for her leading ultra net worth divorce practice, which sources confirm sees her "live up to her reputation." One source reports: "Working with her is a lesson to all of us. She really manages to make clients feel that every aspect of their case is being looked after and every concern they might have is being catered for by the firm."

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Star Individuals

Stewarts

From the Chambers UK guide

Helen Ward is a consistently excellent performer at the top end of family law work. "She's very intelligent and an incredibly good litigator. She has a beautiful turn of phrase and she's a good tactician," say sources. She frequently acts for high-profile individuals in cases involving substantial assets held in highly complex structures.

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Band 1

Family Law in Partnership LTD

From the Chambers UK guide

Gillian Bishop is "brilliant when it comes to complex, international financial situations," according to sources. She maintains a broad family law practice covering both complex financial and private children work, and regularly acts on challenging international cases and matters involving complex tax and trust elements.

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Band 1

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

The "exceptional" Simon Bruce speaks fluent French and frequently acts on complex, international finance matters. Commentators describe him as "an exceptionally intuitive lawyer with a brilliant tactical brain," while also highlighting his "fantastic bedside manner" and ability to "manage expectations realistically in a really helpful way."

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Band 1

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

From the Chambers UK guide

Sources state that Alex Carruthers "always has the clients' best interests at heart. He's always sensible when you are trying to resolve something." He has extensive experience in high net worth divorce issues, and fields particular expertise in cases involving trust complications.

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Band 1

Stewarts

From the Chambers UK guide

Debbie Chism is held in high regard for her expert matrimonial finance practice and is equally adept in both litigation and collaborative cases. One source comments: "If you have a difficult divorce, as far as I can tell there is nobody better in London than her. She's clear, she's strategic - what more could you want?"

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Band 1

Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Practice head Sandra Davis "has a great wealth of experience over all areas but particularly in relation to high net worth clients," say sources. She is frequently involved in cases with complex financial and jurisdictional elements. "She has a lot of international connections and she knows how to best use the foreign jurisdiction to bring together a more unified approach," confirms one source. 

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Band 1

Stewarts

From the Chambers UK guide

Stephen Foster heads the team while maintaining an active practice in high-value matrimonial finance disputes, as well as matters such as Schedule 1 applications. Interviewees note that "he grasps the nuances very quickly" and has "a very special way about him that allows him to handle difficult people and situations."

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Band 1

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

From the Chambers UK guide

The "fantastic" Pauline Fowler earns the praise of sources, who praise her "natural gravitas" and describe her as "an excellent mediator." Her experience includes acting for some of the firm's most high-profile clients on sensitive matrimonial finance issues.

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Band 1

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers UK guide

One source labels James Freeman "the brightest solicitor practising family law; he's a great tactician and a brilliant mentor to junior colleagues." He maintains a leading reputation for his expertise in challenging financial issues as well as children work.

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Band 1

Withers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Michael Gouriet is "consistently really good," according to sources, who add: "When he's on the other side of a case you know he's going to take the right points. He knows the law, he's all over the detail of the case and he knows what positions to take." He is frequently involved in complex financial issues, including those involving trust and cross-border complications.

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Band 1

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

From the Chambers UK guide

Mark Harper is "an extraordinary technician who really immerses himself in the case," according to impressed sources. He comes highly recommended as one of the foremost high net worth matrimonial finance practitioners at the London Bar.

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Band 1

Stewarts

From the Chambers UK guide

Emma Hatley specialises in highly complex, high net worth financial issues. "Her knowledge of the law is unparalleled. She is tactically very strong and very good at dealing with a diverse range of clients," say sources.

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Band 1

Irwin Mitchell

From the Chambers UK guide

Elizabeth Hicks heads the firm's London team and specialises in finance issues involving an international dimension, including forum disputes and offshore asset or trust issues. Interviewees highlight her "phenomenal reputation" and note that "she's very empathetic and will always seek to further the clients' interests."

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Band 1

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

From the Chambers UK guide

Renato Labi specialises in financial disputes centring on relationship dissolution. He has particular expertise in cases involving large sums of money and complex trust issues, both domestic and those based offshore. Interviewees describe him as "very effective, very clever and very good at what he does."

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Band 1

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers UK guide

William Longrigg operates at the top level of financial remedy cases, including those involving international concerns. He is also noted for his expertise in private children work and nuptial agreements. Sources describe him as "extremely knowledgeable about the law" as well as being "one of the nicest people you'll meet."

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Band 1

Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

William Massey is a highly experienced family law solicitor who is sought after for his expertise in both money and children issues associated with relationship dissolution. "He's fantastic," say sources, adding: "He's a dignified and sophisticated operator." His expertise includes issues such as tax, trust and pension problems.

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Band 1

Levison Meltzer Pigott

From the Chambers UK guide

Simon Pigott is a highly experienced family lawyer who has extensive expertise in issues associated with divorce, whether involving children or financial concerns. One source reports: "He's someone I would send friends to, because he's ordinarily going to give you a quick, sensible result. That comes from his wealth of experience and not feeling that he needs to prove a point."

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Family Law in Partnership LTD

From the Chambers UK guide

James Pirrie is a well-regarded practitioner who has extensive experience in child maintenance and relocation issues as part of a broader financial disputes practice. "He is one of the brightest lawyers I know and has no hesitation in going the extra mile on behalf of his clients," reports one interviewee.

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Band 2

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers UK guide

Ian Airey is a highly experienced family law practitioner and a go-to for complex high net worth disputes, including those with complex international components. "He's seen it all, done it all and has really good judgement based on years of experience. Clients love him and he's completely unflappable," say sources.

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Band 2

Dawson Cornwell

From the Chambers UK guide

Kate Allen comes recommended for her collaborative matrimonial practice, which focuses on both domestic and international relationship dissolution issues. Her practice includes Schedule 1, children and cohabitation disputes, and draws on notable strength in ADR.

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Band 2

Family Law in Partnership LTD

From the Chambers UK guide

David Allison specialises in complex financial issues, both domestic and international. He has significant expertise in cases involving alternative family structures and cohabitees. He is a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer who is well versed in high-asset cases.

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Band 2

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers UK guide

Sarah Anticoni "just has that skill of being able to resolve a case without raising the temperature," according to sources. She is experienced in financial family matters as well as child arrangements, both domestic and international. "She is extremely experienced, a very good lawyer and fabulous with clients," according to commentators, who also laud her mediation skills.

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Band 2

Anthony Gold

From the Chambers UK guide

Practice head Kim Beatson balances her practice between high-end litigation and alternative forms of dispute resolution, acting on matters such as complex financial disputes and child abuse allegations. Interviewees note that "she has impeccable judgement and is super-efficient, and her advice is amazing: she is the full package."

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Band 2

Catherine Bedford

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Catherine Bedford is increasingly involved in some of the most complex high net worth financial litigation and regularly represents high-profile individuals. Sources describe her as "hugely dynamic," adding: "She's fiercely loyal and protective of her clients and she brings the same level of commitment to all her clients." 

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Band 2

Charlotte Bradley

Kingsley Napley LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Charlotte Bradley specialises in international matrimonial issues involving both children and finance concerns. Her expertise includes notable familiarity with ADR proceedings. Clients report that "she has shown exceptional knowledge, skill and judgement" and has "always shown genuine concern and dedication."

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Band 2

Russell-Cooke

From the Chambers UK guide

James Carroll is highly regarded for his work in matrimonial dispute resolution. He is also noted for his experience as a mediator and for his handling of financial issues such as Schedule 1 matters. Sources say: "He is a complete delight and clients love him. He's a good lawyer, a good strategist and knows where a case is going."

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Band 2

Family Law in Partnership LTD

From the Chambers UK guide

Pamela Collis has earned a strong reputation for her work in financial and private law children matters. She is regularly involved in cases with complex jurisdictional issues including cross-border tax and business aspects.

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Band 2

Withers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

The "extremely good" James Copson practises across a range of family financial issues and Children Act matters. He is particularly well versed in cross-border issues, particularly those involving Italy and other EU states.

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Band 2

Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

The "hugely experienced" Jane Craig heads the department and is highly regarded for her expertise in both financial and children law matters, including Schedule 1 claims. She is also highlighted for her handling of complex international cases.

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Band 2

Collyer Bristow LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Michael Drake is "a grandee of the family legal fraternity," according to commentators. He specialises in financial cases with an international element. Sources say: "I have immense respect for him. He's a brilliant draftsman; he's got a real gift for distilling down quite a verbose requirement and putting it into two or three lines."

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Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Sources describe Claire Gordon as "one of the smartest family lawyers in London today," adding that "she displays an exceptional grasp of complex case issues." She is frequently involved in international cases and those involving complex trust elements, as well as advising on nuptial agreements.

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Wedlake Bell LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Charmaine Hast is highly regarded for her ability to handle complex financial litigation, as well as her strength in collaborative proceedings. Commentators describe her as "fantastic with clients and a really good tactician," adding: "She's got a huge amount of experience but she's not afraid to try different things in a case."

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Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers UK guide

Sarah Higgins acts on a broad range of family law issues, including cases involving financial and private children matters. Her experience extends to disputes arising from civil partnerships. "Extremely calm are the words that come to mind," says one source, adding: "There's nothing that fazes her."

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Hunters Incorporating May, May & Merrimans

From the Chambers UK guide

Henry Hood "gives an enormous amount of thought to his cases," according to impressed market commentators. He is highly experienced in both private children and matrimonial finance issues. Clients particularly value his "very supportive" approach and "superb technical skills."

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Schillings

From the Chambers UK guide

Davina Katz is held in high regard for her expertise in high net worth divorce. Clients describe her as "exceptional," adding: "In a difficult situation, she is calm, insightful and able to provide timely, appropriate advice in a measured way." Her experience includes handling some of the most high-profile recent matrimonial finance decisions.

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Howard Kennedy LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

"Distinguished lawyer" Alan Kaufman is a qualified mediator and a collaborative practitioner who has extensive experience in complex financial disputes. Commentators report: "He's a great lawyer who will always try and put clients' interests first."

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Withers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Suzanne Kingston is one of the foremost names in ADR, having pioneered the introduction of financial arbitration. She is also notably involved in the nascent child arbitration system, as well as offering experience as a mediator and handling high-end litigation. She is "technically brilliant at unravelling complex cases where clients have a diverse range of assets globally," state interviewees.

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Dawson Cornwell

From the Chambers UK guide

Interviewees describe Rhiannon Lewis as "a very responsible lawyer who knows the legal aspects very well and is very reliable." Her broad family practice includes particular experience in matrimonial finance work, as well as cases involving an international element. She is also highlighted for her expertise as a mediator.

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Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers UK guide

Philip McGuirk is "a highly astute, commercially minded solicitor who never misses a point," say sources, who add: "He's a very good choice for the high net worth client with a business background." He focuses on financial remedy work and frequently acts on matters involving cross-border complications.

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Turner Nicholson

From the Chambers UK guide

A founding member of Turner Nicholson, John Nicholson is well versed in complex financial structures and handles a wide range of domestic and cross-border matrimonial finance matters. "He's very good at taking the heat out of situations. He's a very sensitive, very smart lawyer and he can get a deal where others fail," say sources.

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Family Law in Partnership LTD

From the Chambers UK guide

Ann Northover focuses on the financial issues associated with relationship dissolution as well as matters involving children. Her expertise includes dealing with trust and tax issues on behalf of trustees, settlors and beneficiaries. She also advises on nuptial agreements.

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Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Susan Philipps is "one of London's outstanding family lawyers" who is "hugely experienced and utterly unflappable," according to interviewees. Her expertise includes complex litigation and mediation proceedings, and she is particularly noted for her strength in matters with international elements.

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Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

James Stewart attracts some of the highest-value family law cases and is well versed in matters involving multi-jurisdictional issues. Sources describe him as "a very good strategic lawyer - he thinks around his cases and how to get the right result for his clients." He is also an experienced arbitrator.

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Clintons

From the Chambers UK guide

Elizabeth Vernon heads the practice and offers impressive depth of experience in high-level matrimonial finance matters. "She's got fantastic judgement," sources say, adding: "She will argue her client's corner hard but fairly."

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Penningtons Manches LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Anna Worwood "is really good with clients and has amazing attention to detail," according to one interviewee who also describes her as "the best partner I have worked with for some time." She has extensive expertise in financial issues as well as private children matters such as international relocation.

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Collyer Bristow LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Toby Yerburgh is highly accomplished in cases involving an international element and has particular expertise in prenuptial agreements. One commentator states: "He is my first choice for heavyweight divorce where finances are at stake. He is superb at putting clients at ease by his manner, his thorough preparation and his commercial advice."

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Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Tom Amlot frequently acts for high-profile individuals in financial proceedings, drawing on notable experience in matters involving parallel privacy issues. Sources note that he is "analytical but also very pragmatic," while also stating that he "concentrates on what's important and doesn't create arguments where they don't exist."

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Sears Tooth

From the Chambers UK guide

Susan Apthorp "has a tactical brain par excellence," according to commentators, who also report that "she's very experienced, which comes out in dealing with difficult situations." She comes highly recommended for her matrimonial finance practice, which typically involves overseas issues. She also has expertise in complex children matters such as abduction.  

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Camilla Baldwin Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Camilla Baldwin is recognised for her broad matrimonial practice and is the founding partner of Camilla Baldwin Solicitors. One client states: "She has been supportive and encouraging when I have struggled. Her availability has been exceptional and her expertise in her area of law is impressive."

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Lisa Bolgar Smith

Bircham Dyson Bell

From the Chambers UK guide

Clients describe Lisa Bolgar Smith as "very sensible and smart, with a high level of empathy." She handles a wide range of private children issues, including abductions, as well as complex financial issues. She also regularly serves as a mediator.

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Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers UK guide

Fiona Brown is held in high regard for her handling of particularly complex divorce proceedings. She focuses on the financial aspects of relationship dissolution and is noted for her expertise in cases involving offshore issues.

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Harbottle & Lewis LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Linzi Bull is "a very popular choice for the A-list client who values dedicated, attentive, high-quality representation," say sources. She is sought after for her expertise in complex financial disputes and nuptial agreements. Her experience also extends to surrogacy and other alternative family children issues.

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Christopher Butler

Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Christopher Butler sits as a Deputy District Judge in the Central Family Court and also advises clients on matrimonial finance issues, particularly those involving complex trust and tax elements. "He is an intelligent and insightful lawyer with a personable yet authoritative manner that clients find very comforting," according to interviewees.

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Dawson Cornwell

From the Chambers UK guide

Russell Bywater regularly acts for high net worth individuals in finance matters arising from relationship breakdowns, fielding extensive strength in cases involving international trust elements. Clients describe him as a "great listener" who "has a fantastic way of looking at situations." 

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Forsters LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

The "exceptional" Joanne Edwards frequently acts for high net worth individuals across the breadth of issues arising from relationship breakdowns. Clients say: "She has breathtaking knowledge and expertise in family law topics. As a former chair of Resolution, she enjoys an excellent reputation with other professionals, which she leverages to get the best for her clients."

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Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

James Ferguson's expertise includes nuptial agreements, matrimonial and civil partnership finance proceedings and private children issues. Sources note that "he absolutely knows what he's doing and has the respect of everyone around him," and describe him as "very wise and astute."

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Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers UK guide

Miranda Fisher is commended for her expert representation of high-profile foreign nationals, which includes particular experience in acting for Russian clients. Interviewees highlight her "sophisticated client-handling skills" and note that she is "certainly tough, scared of nothing and prepared to argue the unarguable."

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Osbornes Law

From the Chambers UK guide

Mark Freedman is "a good thinker who always fights his clients' corner," according to impressed sources. He frequently acts on matrimonial finance matters involving complex and high-value assets, while also offering experience in private children issues.

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Hunters Incorporating May, May & Merrimans

From the Chambers UK guide

Hetty Gleave maintains a broad family law practice, which includes matrimonial finance and private children issues. She is a qualified mediator and has particular expertise in art and cultural property assets. "For a family lawyer, empathy and sensitivity are equally as important as the knowledge of legal principles and Hetty has an abundance of them," enthuses one source.

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Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Impressed sources report that Emma Harte "displays tremendous insight in the most complex of cases." She frequently serves as a mediator and collaborative lawyer in family disputes, complementing her strong matrimonial practice with expertise in areas such as assisted reproduction cases.

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Levison Meltzer Pigott

From the Chambers UK guide

Interviewees note that Alison Hayes "will always go the extra mile for her clients - she's so completely available and dependable. She also manages to combine delicate cases with humour so that she keeps her clients' spirits up." She handles a wide range of issues associated with relationship dissolution, including finance and private children matters.

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Farrer & Co LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Eliza Hebditch is well versed in international children issues associated with relationship dissolution, as well as nuptial agreements and offshore wealth structures. Her expertise includes Anglo-American cases. Interviewees note that "the commitment that she shows to her clients and their cases is quite simply extraordinary," and label her "one of the most client-focused family lawyers about."

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Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers UK guide

Sources describe Grant Howell as a "very experienced family lawyer who has a lot of good clients and really knows what he's doing." He is an experienced arbitrator and draws on deep expertise in international finance issues.

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Matthew Humphries

Stewarts

From the Chambers UK guide

Matthew Humphries is an accomplished family practitioner noted for his handling of financial issues associated with relationship dissolution, particularly those with an international element.

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Vaitilingam Kay

From the Chambers UK guide

Anne Kay co-founded the firm and maintains a broad private family law practice. Market commentators call her "an absolute pleasure to deal with," while a client adds: "She was exceptional at boiling down the legal process to something that I understood, and I always felt that she was on my side. She was excellent throughout and never promised me things she couldn't deliver."

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David Leadercramer

DMH Stallard LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

David Leadercramer of DMH Stallard LLP is widely admired by interviewees, one of whom states: "While forcefully striving to achieve the best possible result for his client, he was always careful to consider the commercial implications of litigation." His broad experience includes matrimonial finance issues, TOLATA disputes and private law children work.

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Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

David Lister is a highly experienced practitioner who specialises in complex financial aspects of divorce, including asset tracing and international enforcement. "He's just an absolute delight to deal with," reports one interviewee, adding: "He has a light touch but is very focused and gets a good outcome for his clients." 

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Simons Muirhead & Burton

From the Chambers UK guide

Jane McDonagh of Simons Muirhead & Burton specialises in complex matrimonial disputes, fielding particular expertise in cross-border matters and those involving esoteric wealth structures. "Her strengths are her intelligence and legal knowledge combined with her acute emotional intelligence," note impressed clients.

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Russell-Cooke

From the Chambers UK guide

The "absolutely brilliant" Fiona Read is a highly experienced lawyer who also sits as a District Judge and arbitrator. Interviewees hold her in high regard, stating: "She is very seasoned and absolutely knows what she is doing." She is noted for her expertise in matrimonial finance work.

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Mishcon de Reya LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Interviewees describe Barbara Reeves as "absolutely committed to her client and fearless on their behalf." She has a strong track record in high-profile disputes involving high net worth individuals and "brings a commercial savvy to matrimonial cases - she knows where we should be going and she knows how to get there."

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Levison Meltzer Pigott

From the Chambers UK guide

Julian Ribet is highlighted for his work representing high net worth individuals in financial issues associated with divorce. His cases typically involve an international dimension and complex assets, and he draws on additional experience as a mediator and arbitrator.

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Kingsley Napley LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Michael Rowlands "is incredibly client-focused and moulds himself to any circumstances," say sources, adding: "He's fierce when it comes to battling complex cases. Clients find him incredibly loyal, trustworthy and sympathetic." He is a finance specialist with extensive experience in acting for individuals in cases involving generational wealth.

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Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers UK guide

Erica Shelton is "very good with clients" and "will have a very good idea from the word go of where a case is going," according to sources. She is well versed in dealing with complex financial issues, including offshore tax and trust matters. She also acts on private children work.

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Vardags

From the Chambers UK guide

Catherine Thomas is the firm's managing director and attracts significant praise for her "absolutely phenomenal practice" which sees her frequently instructed on high-value financial matters. Clients say: "Nothing escapes her. She is very detailed, thinks ahead and pre-empts everything. She is brilliantly tactical."

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Withers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Suzanne Todd is "very down-to-earth and very popular with clients," according to sources, who add: "She is sympathetic but will cut to the chase when needs be." She maintains a broad family practice that covers areas such as finances, children and nuptial agreements.

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Vaitilingam Kay

From the Chambers UK guide

Joe Vaitilingam is "an excellent solicitor who really brings a lot to his clients. He treats them very well and is very careful about their case," say sources. He co-founded the firm and is held in high regard for his expert handling of complex financial issues, as well as his experience in complex children matters.

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gunnercooke LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Mary-Ann Wright brings significant experience in matrimonial work to her practice at gunnercooke LLP. Her expertise includes complex financial litigation involving challenging asset structures and cross-border issues. Interviewees praise her "good communication and excellent teamwork."

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Taylor Vinters

From the Chambers UK guide

Catherine Bell of Taylor Vinters maintains a broad family law practice that spans both finance and private children matters. "She's punctilious, always has excellent preparation and provides pragmatic advice on the finances," say sources.

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Bross Bennett LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Sharon Bennett is a highly experienced practitioner who earns praise for her work on complex financial issues involving high net worth individuals. "I love working with her," one source reports, adding: "She's very clever, she gives excellent and very clear, sensible advice to clients."

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Boodle Hatfield LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Emily Brand is held in high regard for her handling of complex financial litigation and private children issues, offering particular expertise in nuptial agreements and cross-border matters. Sources report that she is "very committed to her clients, very compassionate and has really good judgement about how to run her cases."

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Bross Bennett LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Ruth Bross is "clever, effective, no-nonsense and sensible," according to one source, while another notes: "Her professional yet personable style is one of the best I've come across. Her support was invaluable throughout my case." She comes recommended for her expertise in leave to remove cases and high-value financial disputes.

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Burgess Mee Family Law

From the Chambers UK guide

Peter Burgess is a trained Resolution mediator who regularly advises on finance issues, including nuptial, separation and cohabitation agreements. He is "an extraordinarily sensitive, patient and accessible person who clients feel very confident in," according to interviewees, who also highlight his strength as a "very skilled negotiator."

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Gordon Dadds LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

John Burrell is a qualified mediator and arbitrator who offers significant experience in the full range of matrimonial finance issues. He also has notable expertise in child arrangement and broader private law children disputes. He is described as an "intelligent, thoughtful man who works hard and puts forward a very good case in court."

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Rebecca Cockcroft

Payne Hicks Beach

From the Chambers UK guide

Consultant Rebecca Cockcroft is highlighted for her dedication to collaborative proceedings. Her experience in alternative forms of dispute resolution includes acting in mediations and arbitrations.

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Family Law in Partnership LTD

From the Chambers UK guide

Daniel Coombes maintains a broad family law practice that includes financial and private children issues. He has experience in acting for high-profile clients, same-sex couples and vulnerable parents. He is well versed in international relocation matters.

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Fladgate LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Teresa Cullen is an established family practitioner at Fladgate LLP whose expertise covers both money and private children work. She offers particular experience in divorces involving a cross-border element.

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Jemma Joanne Dally

Goodman Ray

From the Chambers UK guide

Jemma Dally has extensive knowledge in the developing area of adoption and surrogacy as well as a range of cross-border children issues. "In her surrogacy and alternative families practice, she is one of the best people one could go to for very knowledgeable advice," according to one source. She has particular expertise in artificial insemination work.

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Collyer Bristow LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Philippa Dolan has "outstanding legal, collaborative and mediation skills," according to sources, who add: "She has a wide range of experience and she is good at seeing the wider picture, which often leads to innovative solutions." She is well versed in international and domestic finance issues.

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Russells

From the Chambers UK guide

Carol Ellinas of Russells represents clients in a broad range of private law issues associated with relationship dissolution. Her expertise includes divorce and disputes between civil partners and cohabitees as well as nuptial agreements and children matters. "Carol was exceptional throughout the process - she was always attentive and professional while having a very personable approach," says a client.

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