Family Lawyers
Company Size

I always act in my clients’ best interests, even when this may not be synonymous with what they tell me to do,’ says Rhiannon Lewis, partner at family law firm Dawson Cornwell where she has been looking after a range of clients including professionals, lawyers, entrepreneurs, bankers and their spouses for over 25 years. Lewis is emphatic there is no firm she would rather work at. ‘The firm’s ethos of providing autonomy, encouraging young lawyers to develop their own profiles and practices from an early stage and focusing on cost-effective solutions has always appealed to me.’ Another source of pride is the predominance of female lawyers, who make up two-thirds of the partners and 70 per cent of qualified lawyers at the firm. Unusually for a specialist family law firm, Dawson Cornwell is structured with two separate but complementary departments: the divorce and financial department and the international children department, which collaborate on cases where necessary. Lewis notes a continued lack of understanding among the public ‘that there is no such thing as a “common law wife”,’ she says. ‘Nearly everyone I meet… believes that if they cohabit with a partner they will acquire quasi-marital rights.’ A major frustration at the moment is ‘the collapse of administration in the Civil Courts Service’, Lewis says. ‘We spend more time apologising to our clients for the Civil Court system’s failings than explaining how it should work.’

Rhiannon Lewis
Tagged on: