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UK Guide

Family/Matrimonial — Kent

From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Maidstone

What the team is known for Superb family law practice tackling substantial matrimonial finance cases, providing expertise on complex commercial, agricultural and trust structures. Also handles complicated matters in children law including removal from jurisdiction. Offers collaborative approach and alternative dispute resolution.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are outstanding in every criterion, and personable but supremely efficient. The team does heavyweight cases and everyday cases with the same first-class service."

"I trust the team's guidance and knowledge on critically important matters."

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Smith is an outstanding practitioner in matrimonial finance, dealing with complex, high-value cases. Sources enthuse: "He's very clever and modest and, in terms of case management and tactics, he's a master. He has very good experience and technical knowledge."

Mark Leeson advises on Children Act matters, co-habitation disputes and matrimonial finance issues. He is considered by his peers to be "a really sensible, pragmatic, down-to-earth and realistic opponent."

Mei-Ling McNab handles complex, high-value and often international matrimonial finance cases. Sources praise her as "a very experienced, sound solicitor who is very client-centric."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners 
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office location ranked: Orpington

What the team is known for Well-known family law practice handing post-separation issues, including child arrangements and financial remedy matters. Experienced handling cases involving inherited wealth, businesses, pensions and property abroad. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I have enormous respect for the solicitors there - they are meticulous, insightful and entirely client-friendly."

"In terms of general communication, approachability and professionalism, I can only commend Clarkson Wright & Jakes."

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Claire Schneck maintains an impressive practice in divorce and financial settlement matters. One client appreciates her "keen ability to ensure the outcome is as financially fair as possible" and was confident that she "listened carefully and with compassion to what I had to say initially, and gave me excellent and clear advice." 

Kevin Bristow handles financial remedy disputes as well as children and cohabitation issues. He also has notable experience in civil partnership disputes. Sources report: "He has provided expert, professional, balanced advice along with practical support when required."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Highly regarded team working on financial remedy cases involving high-value assets and international issues. Experienced in private law children matters, as well as cohabitation and nuptial agreements. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The firm is excellent at what they provide and very good with people. They are sensibly priced. Across the board the quality of service is excellent."

"The team is first-rate. They are the first firm I would recommend to anyone in that area and I'd even recommend people travel to see them."

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Alex Davies is well reputed for his expert handling of financial matters for high net worth individuals, including ancillary relief and nuptial agreements, as well as children arrangements. Sources highlight him as "a standout person in the team, who has a nice manner and prepares cases well."

Vanda James undertakes complex work in international financial remedy cases and significant children's cases involving relocation or abduction. Sources say: "She's non-argumentative and gets the job done with as little aggravation as possible. She tries to take the sting out of it, and gets the client looked after and sorted out."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Beckenham

What the team is known for Top-quality Kent practice with expertise in family law litigation, as well as a commitment to collaborative methods and alternative dispute resolution. Undertakes both private children matters and high net worth matrimonial finance cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The firm is a niche family practice with very good lawyers, and they are not the kind of firm to litigate for the sake of litigating."

Notable practitioners  

Claire Nickolds is a leader in the field of family law and a respected mediator. She is experienced handling financial cases involving business interests and trusts. She also handles prenuptial agreements and complex children matters, including removals from jurisdiction. Sources say: "Claire is able to deal with pretty difficult litigation. She knows how to give clients detailed advice concisely, which allows them to understand the complex details."

Lisa Jones focuses on financial remedy cases, including those with offshore and tax elements. Sources say: "She is extremely bright, and knows how to run a case efficiently and successfully." Another comments: "Divorce is a highly emotive area but she is able to stay calm and measured, as well as being incredibly sympathetic."

Gemma Irving acts on international family work and is considered by sources to be "bright and sensible with great experience." She is also highlighted for her ability to "deal with tricky cases."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Impressive family team skilled in handling high-value financial cases and private law children work, including maintenance, residence and relocation issues. Also equipped to handle cases with jurisdictional complications and international dimensions. Fields alternative dispute resolution specialists for clients seeking to avoid litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Of all the firms I deal with, they really are the standout family law department."

"It's an exceptional team of people - everybody I've dealt with has been supportive and friendly."

Notable practitioners  

Trained collaborative lawyer and mediator Kirstie Law is active in cases involving childcare arrangements and pensions. One source comments: "She is one of the best family lawyers I've come across. She's fantastic on collaborative and mediation work, she's really well suited to the round table approach, and she's tough when she needs to be. Getting a solution is her forte."

Sarah Judd acts on a range of financial disputes and children proceedings. Source consider her to be "a very fine lawyer" and praise her as "solution-focused and reasonable to deal with."

Head of department Joanna Pratt handles a range of family and matrimonial issues, including high-value financial settlements, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and children law cases. One client reports: "She was very thorough in explaining the legal concepts so that I had the best basis from which to give instructions. Her knowledge of the law was superb and she was also able to provide opinions, using the benefit of her extensive experience, which were invaluable to me through the process."

Desmond O'Donnell advises on a range of children-related matters and financial remedy cases. Sources describe him as "very helpful and creative in his approach to some of the issues."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Sevenoaks

What the team is known for Skilled, multi-talented team working with cross-border clients on financial remedies and Children Act proceedings. Advises high net worth individuals on post-separation issues as well as wealth protection agreements. Offers mediation and collaborative law services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The team was impressive and cohesive, highly innovative and very good at problem solving."

"The Warners team as a whole are very hard-working, supportive and professional."

Notable practitioners  

The "pragmatic and sensible" Rayma Collins acts on both children and financial matters, especially those which involve cross-border aspects. Sources say: "She's so compassionate with the client, and she also knows the law inside out."

Matthew Aves handles divorce, financial remedy and Children Act proceedings, and is a trained mediator. Sources refer to his ability to "cut to the chase with the real issues," with one commenting: "He reached a settlement when I never thought it would settle!"

Charles Tennant is often called upon for his wealth of experience in handling complex children matters as well as matrimonial finance. Sources praise him for his "extremely eloquent advocacy."

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From the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Maidstone

What the team is known for Distinguished family practice working with an international client base on financial remedies involving pensions and businesses. Active in private law children disputes concerning contact, residence and maintenance. Also advises on cohabitation and prenuptial agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The lawyers are professional, practical and pragmatic. Their skills are well diversified: they do collaborative and mediation as well as litigation."

"The team is really helpful and pleasant - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them for anything."

Notable practitioners  

Dawn Harrison is "unflappable, sensible and doesn't rise to the bait," according to market commentators. She handles both financial matters and children work. Sources say: "Clients love her to bits; she's got good empathy with them, but she's pretty pragmatic. She really knows her family law."

Graham Jones handles private children cases, ancillary relief work involving property portfolios, and cohabitation work. Sources consider him to be a "very experienced and able practitioner."

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Band 1

Cripps LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Alex Davies is well reputed for his expert handling of financial matters for high net worth individuals, including ancillary relief and nuptial agreements, as well as children arrangements. Sources highlight him as "a standout person in the team, who has a nice manner and prepares cases well."

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Band 1

Whitehead Monckton

From the Chambers UK guide

Dawn Harrison is "unflappable, sensible and doesn't rise to the bait," according to market commentators. She handles both financial matters and children work. Sources say: "Clients love her to bits; she's got good empathy with them, but she's pretty pragmatic. She really knows her family law."

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Band 1

Cripps LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Vanda James undertakes complex work in international financial remedy cases and significant children's cases involving relocation or abduction. Sources say: "She's non-argumentative and gets the job done with as little aggravation as possible. She tries to take the sting out of it, and gets the client looked after and sorted out."

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Band 1

Jones Nickolds

From the Chambers UK guide

Lisa Jones focuses on financial remedy cases, including those with offshore and tax elements. Sources say: "She is extremely bright, and knows how to run a case efficiently and successfully." Another comments: "Divorce is a highly emotive area but she is able to stay calm and measured, as well as being incredibly sympathetic."

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Band 1

Thomson Snell & Passmore

From the Chambers UK guide

Trained collaborative lawyer and mediator Kirstie Law is active in cases involving childcare arrangements and pensions. One source comments: "She is one of the best family lawyers I've come across. She's fantastic on collaborative and mediation work, she's really well suited to the round table approach, and she's tough when she needs to be. Getting a solution is her forte."

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Band 1

Jones Nickolds

From the Chambers UK guide

Claire Nickolds is a leader in the field of family law and a respected mediator. She is experienced handling financial cases involving business interests and trusts. She also handles prenuptial agreements and complex children matters, including removals from jurisdiction. Sources say: "Claire is able to deal with pretty difficult litigation. She knows how to give clients detailed advice concisely, which allows them to understand the complex details."

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Band 1

Brachers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Stephen Smith is an outstanding practitioner in matrimonial finance, dealing with complex, high-value cases. Sources enthuse: "He's very clever and modest and, in terms of case management and tactics, he's a master. He has very good experience and technical knowledge."

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Band 2

Warners Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

The "pragmatic and sensible" Rayma Collins acts on both children and financial matters, especially those which involve cross-border aspects. Sources say: "She's so compassionate with the client, and she also knows the law inside out."

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Band 2

ThomasHaywood

From the Chambers UK guide

Sarah Haywood of Thomas Haywood specialises in private children law and complicated matrimonial finance disputes including cases with international aspects and family businesses. She is also a mediator.

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Band 2

Thomson Snell & Passmore

From the Chambers UK guide

Sarah Judd acts on a range of financial disputes and children proceedings. Source consider her to be "a very fine lawyer" and praise her as "solution-focused and reasonable to deal with."

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Band 2

Thomson Snell & Passmore

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Joanna Pratt handles a range of family and matrimonial issues, including high-value financial settlements, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and children law cases. One client reports: "She was very thorough in explaining the legal concepts so that I had the best basis from which to give instructions. Her knowledge of the law was superb and she was also able to provide opinions, using the benefit of her extensive experience, which were invaluable to me through the process."

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Band 2

Clarkson Wright & Jakes Ltd

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Claire Schneck maintains an impressive practice in divorce and financial settlement matters. One client appreciates her "keen ability to ensure the outcome is as financially fair as possible" and was confident that she "listened carefully and with compassion to what I had to say initially, and gave me excellent and clear advice." 

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Band 3

Warners Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Matthew Aves handles divorce, financial remedy and Children Act proceedings, and is a trained mediator. Sources refer to his ability to "cut to the chase with the real issues," with one commenting: "He reached a settlement when I never thought it would settle!"

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Band 3

Clarkson Wright & Jakes Ltd

From the Chambers UK guide

Kevin Bristow handles financial remedy disputes as well as children and cohabitation issues. He also has notable experience in civil partnership disputes. Sources report: "He has provided expert, professional, balanced advice along with practical support when required."

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Band 3

Boys & Maughan

From the Chambers UK guide

Jonathan Da Costa heads the family law department at Boys & Maughan and is particularly admired for his talent in collaborative law methods. He handles a broad range of matrimonial finance matters including those involving businesses, tax and pensions. Sources say: "You know the client is in a safe pair of hands; he's an exceptional practitioner."

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Band 3

Whitehead Monckton

From the Chambers UK guide

Graham Jones handles private children cases, ancillary relief work involving property portfolios, and cohabitation work. Sources consider him to be a "very experienced and able practitioner."

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Band 3

Brachers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Mark Leeson advises on Children Act matters, co-habitation disputes and matrimonial finance issues. He is considered by his peers to be "a really sensible, pragmatic, down-to-earth and realistic opponent."

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Band 3

Brachers LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Mei-Ling McNab handles complex, high-value and often international matrimonial finance cases. Sources praise her as "a very experienced, sound solicitor who is very client-centric."

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Band 3

Warners Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Charles Tennant is often called upon for his wealth of experience in handling complex children matters as well as matrimonial finance. Sources praise him for his "extremely eloquent advocacy."

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Star Associate

Thomson Snell & Passmore

From the Chambers UK guide

Desmond O'Donnell advises on a range of children-related matters and financial remedy cases. Sources describe him as "very helpful and creative in his approach to some of the issues."

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Associates to watch

Jones Nickolds

From the Chambers UK guide

Gemma Irving acts on international family work and is considered by sources to be "bright and sensible with great experience." She is also highlighted for her ability to "deal with tricky cases."

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