Susan Apthorp is Ray Tooth’s right-hand woman, and ‘an outstanding family law solicitor’ in her own right. Over the last nine years they have expanded Sears Tooth and clocked up an incredible number of reported cases. There is no doubt that Apthorp has attained her unique eminence in the landscape of family law out of her hard work and abilities alone, and is a force to be reckoned with: ‘She has a depth and breadth of experience not available elsewhere in London — her track record speaks for itself,’ one QC enthuses. The partner is valued by the wide number of HNWs she advises, with her ‘sound judgement, tenacity and her ability to resolve matters’ all cited as qualities. Apthorp joined Sears Tooth as a partner in 2008, and specialises in complex financial remedy cases, jurisdictional battles and private law children cases. The engaging solicitor points out that Sears Tooth is known for helping clients extricate themselves from difficult situations. Further, if they take on a client they are in it for the long haul, and will invariably find a way to fund it if necessary. Asked for lessons from her 23-year career, she says humour is vital: ‘If you can make your client laugh, tensions tend to ease.’ She was shortlisted for Family Lawyer of the Year in this year’s Spear’s Wealth Management Awards.