Family Lawyers

Spears 2019

KATE ALLEN

DAWSON CORNWELL

A ‘good, solid and sensible’ family lawyer according to market sources, Kate Allen is respected for her thriving collaborative law practice and strong negotiating skills. The family courts system she works with is anything but good, solid and sensible. ‘It… Read More

TOM AMLOT

ALEXIOU FISHER PHILIPPS

Described by one leading QC as ‘absolutely first class’, Tom Amlot is one of London’s most discreet divorce lawyers. He joined AFP in 2011 from Harbottle & Lewis, a firm known for its pre-eminent privacy and media work. He disagrees… Read More

SARAH ANTICONI

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

‘Clients want an end to conflict, often at speed and appreciate a no-nonsense yet human approach,’ says Sarah Anticoni, a partner in the family law team at Charles Russell Speechlys since joining the firm in 1999. Her clients are professionals… Read More

SUSAN APTHORP

SEARS TOOTH

Susan Apthorp has long since emerged as a first class family lawyer, as evidenced by her nomination as Family Lawyer of the Year at the 2017 Spear’s Wealth Management Awards and her string of reported cases. One should not underestimate… Read More

TOBY ATKINSON

STEWARTS

One of Stewarts’ top talents, partner Toby Atkinson acts for a plethora of HNW entrepreneurs, professionals, bankers and private equity investors (he has also advised clients in the sports and media industries). He says he has worked on more prenups… Read More

Camilla Baldwin

CAMILLA BALDWIN

CAMILLA BALDWIN

Camilla Baldwin is the founding partner of her boutique Mayfair family law firm. Warm and straight talking, she has a wealth of family and matrimonial law experience, spanning over 25 years. She forged her career at Withers before founding her… Read More

Louise Barretto

LOUISE BARRETTO

BISHOP & SEWELL

Louise Barretto works with a variety of wealthy business owners and professionals in the areas dealing with family finance on relationship breakdown. As a fluent speaker in Afrikaans and with a dual qualification as an attorney in South Africa, many… Read More

KIM BEATSON

ANTHONY GOLD

Kim Beatson has headed up Anthony Gold’s family department for 22 years, focusing on matrimonial finance and children matters. She is also a member of the firm’s dispute resolution team, lending her well-established mediation expertise. Beatson tells Spear’s she sees… Read More

CATHERINE BEDFORD

HARBOTTLE & LEWIS

Lawyer of choice to high-flying entrepreneurs, entertainers, financiers and sporting UHNWs, Catherine Bedford made her name building Lee & Thompson’s family department from scratch and making it one of London’s top-ranked outfits. In 2017 she took her entire team to… Read More

NICHOLAS BENNETT

FARRER & CO

Five years as a barrister before joining Farrer & Co in 2011 gave Nicholas Bennett a grounding in family disputes. For him solving ‘complex divorces’ is a specialism – these can feature jurisdictional conflicts, the unravelling of company structures or… Read More

GILLIAN BISHOP

FAMILY LAW IN PARTNERSHIP

Valued for her calm approach, careful and attentive listening and unflappable demeanour, Gillian Bishop, one of the directors of Family Law in Partnership, qualified in 1982 and spent nine years in a civil litigation team of a full service law… Read More

ZOë BLOOM

KEYSTONE LAW

Straight talking Zoë Bloom often acts for people locked in difficult conflict. Personality disorders are extremely trying, as opponents may exaggerate, manipulate, coerce and bully to influence a case. ‘They see court as a stage,’ she says. ‘You have to… Read More

CHARLOTTE BRADLEY

KINGSLEY NAPLEY

Charlotte Bradley emphasises the humanity essential to the family lawyer, and aims to stay pragmatic. ‘It’s important that you remain calm and objective,’ she explains, ‘but you have to have empathy for [the client], otherwise you wouldn’t be a good… Read More

LINZI BULL

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

Linzi Bull’s clients, for whom she is a trusted port of call, often have a high profile in the media or business. She has seen a rise in prenups and postnups: ‘When I started doing them, it was for the… Read More

PETER BURGESS

BURGESS MEE

‘A fantastic lawyer’ says a peer of Peter Burgess, who co-founded boutique family firm Burgess Mee in 2013 with Antonia Mee, a colleague from their time at Withers. He tells Spear’s that his practice is predominantly focused on financial remedy… Read More

ALEX CARRUTHERS

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

‘We are renowned for our ability to deal with complicated and unusual cases, and this is what the clients come to us for,’ says the niche family firm’s founding partner Alex Carruthers. The challenging and non-uniform nature of the work… Read More

DEBBIE CHISM

STEWARTS

One of the most respected family solicitors in London, Debbie Chism acted for HRH Prince Louis of Luxembourg in his recent court battle against The Daily Telegraph – ‘one of the leading cases of the moment on the ever-present conflict… Read More

JANE CRAIG

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

‘I think what my clients are looking for is the knowledge that comes from years of experience – the grey hair factor,’ says Jane Craig, Penningtons Manches’ family law head. They want someone who will ‘fight their corner’ but also… Read More

SANDRA DAVIS

MISHCON DE REYA

‘This year has been our busiest ever,’ says Sandra Davis, the distinguished head of Mishcon’s family department. She adds that 2018 has seen her and her team of 19 advise on ‘a number of high profile, high calibre cases’. When… Read More

DEBORAH EATON

1 KING’S BENCH WALK

‘There’s no better counsel for HNW private children law matters – a brilliant strategist,’ says one colleague of Deborah Eaton’s. ‘When we walk away from cases, the family have to carry on. I look at what I can preserve and… Read More

JOANNE EDWARDS

FORSTERS

‘I wanted to be a family lawyer since I was 15 – don’t ask me why,’ says Joanne Edwards, the affable head of family at Forsters. Always up for a challenge (‘I’m also someone who likes to be fantastically busy’),… Read More

JAMES FERGUSON

BOODLE HATFIELD

James Ferguson brings more than 35 years of experience to the family team he leads at Boodle Hatfield. Clients commend him as ‘very wise, very astute’ and peers observe that he ‘has the respect of everyone around him’. Ferguson handles… Read More

MIRANDA FISHER

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

‘Generally I’m a settler if I can be, which is what most clients want,’ says Miranda Fisher. ‘They don’t want ten days in the High Court.’ Even so, there will always be a case for big litigation, says the razorsharp… Read More

EDWARD FLOYD

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

‘I’ve just surfaced from a 15-day financial final hearing in the High Court, where judgment is imminent’, says Edward Floyd. ‘We were instructed at the 11th hour and a huge amount of work had to be done to get the… Read More

STEPHEN FOSTER

STEWARTS

An industry heavyweight who ‘radiates confidence’, according to a client, it was Stephen Foster who masterminded Stewarts’ ascent from small beginnings (‘just me and a paralegal on day one!’ he recalls) to its present supremacy in family law. ‘At a… Read More

PAULINE FOWLER

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

HFC’s founding partner Pauline Fowler has specialised in family law since 1985, most notably in complex children’s work such as international adoption and surrogacy. She was drawn to family law because of the blend of human interest and strategy that… Read More

MARK FREEDMAN

OSBORNES LAW

Osbornes’ managing partner Mark Freedman is clear why HNWs should choose his firm: ‘A first class service from a team of lawyers who are ranked as a leading family department in London, and who hold external accreditations of excellence.’ Freedman… Read More

JAMES FREEMAN

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

James Freeman specialises in cases of ‘unusual complexity’, principally very high-value financial claims involving trusts, significant businesses, cross-border issues, especially Anglo-French/Swiss (being a French speaker) and acting for trustees and third parties joined to divorce proceedings. He has worked with… Read More

Michael Gillman

MICHAEL GILLMAN

BISHOP & SEWELL

Michael Gillman is senior partner of Bishop & Sewell and head of the family and divorce team. He qualified as a general litigator in 1979 and has been a deputy district judge since 1992. As a solicitor with Higher Rights… Read More

MICHAEL GLASER

FOURTEEN

Being a top matrimonial barrister comes down to ‘judgement, humility and not forgetting it’s your client’s case,’ says Michael Glaser, a silk in the making who is modest and friendly despite his formidable reputation. ‘It’s also about understanding that things… Read More

CLAIRE GORDON

FARRER & CO

‘Family lawyers have to be both intellectually and emotionally astute,’ says Farrer & Co’s Claire Gordon, whom one peer describes as ‘a reassuring, trusted presence who grasps complex issues quickly ’. She started at Farrer as a trainee almost 20… Read More

LUCY GOULD

STEWARTS

A popular lawyer among HNW business people and high-fliers (and their spouses), Lucy Gould regularly acts for well-known figures in entertainment and sporting arenas. She says the potential (‘or actual’) media interest in clients’ personal lives during her cases ‘adds… Read More

MICHAEL GOURIET

WITHERS

Michael Gouriet is one of family law’s earliest advocates for greater protection of unmarried couples. He is also an expert in complex multi-jurisdictional work and financial matters, recently reaching a successful settlement for a Middle Eastern UHNW involving more than… Read More

ALISON GREEN

MACKRELL TURNER GARRETT

Head of family law at Mackrell Turner Garrett, Alison Green joined 1989 where she qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in 2010. An expert in matrimonial work, she works on cases relating to divorce and the associated… Read More

JOSHUA GREEN

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

‘My caseload over the last 12 months has been extremely busy and more litigious than previous years,’ says Joshua Green, rising star in the family law department of Charles Russell Speechlys. ‘I don’t believe this to be a particular trend,… Read More

SARA HANNELL

ALEXIOU FISHER PHILIPPS

A respected lawyer with an international clientele, Sara Hannell knows Brexit’s impact. ‘International families are feeling less settled and less welcome in the UK. Some Middle Eastern clients have become less willing to base themselves in London due to a… Read More

MARK HARPER

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

The last 12 months have been the busiest of Mark Harper’s career, with several career-defining cases. He acted for the Norwegian businessman Torstein Hagen in ‘the largest contested divorce for years’, involving assets worth billions, which was settled ‘on very… Read More

CHARMAINE HAST

WEDLAKE BELL

A veteran of big-money divorce for over 35 years in South Africa and London, Charmaine Hast is highly regarded among peers. A QC calls her ‘an outstanding practitioner, hard as nails when it counts, soft as a feather when needed’,… Read More

EMMA HATLEY

STEWARTS

There have been some ‘grand dames’ of divorce, says Stewarts super-solicitor Emma Hatley. But some of them are reaching the twilight of their careers, ‘and there’s been some young blood coming through and challenging them’. Nobody has assailed the old… Read More

ALISON HAYES

LEVISON MELTZER PIGOTT

Alison Hayes describes her route into family law as ‘very bland’, saying she fell into it accidentally rather than by any personal design. ‘I probably thought I’d be an entertainment lawyer – but I did a seat in family law… Read More

SARAH HIGGINS

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

‘It seems extraordinary that some courts do not open post for weeks,’ sighs Sarah Higgins, Charles Russell Speechlys’ head of family. She says the administration of English courts needs attention, as the current lack of funding will ultimately incur costs… Read More

DAVID HODSON

THE INTERNATIONAL FAMILY LAW GROUP LLP

An experienced lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, IFLG’s joint founding partner David Hodson is proud of his firm’s first decade. ‘We were the world’s first practice looking after the interests of international families and their children, combining lawyers, mediators and arbitrators…. Read More

RICHARD HOGWOOD

STEWARTS

Described by market authorities as ‘very intelligent’, ‘calm’ and ‘very results-focused’, family lawyer Richard Hogwood is streets ahead of most of his contemporaries. Clients are a ‘mixture of husbands, wives, entrepreneurs, aristocrats, businesspeople and everyone else, from all over the… Read More

HENRY HOOD

HUNTERS SOLICITORS

“I am not sure that wealth makes much difference to what a client looks for in a solicitor” Henry Hood, partner and head of Family at Hunters ponders. “Divorce is a miserable experience whatever you are worth, and it is… Read More

FRANCES HUGHES

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

‘Frances is a fighter’, says a peer. It’s a word often used of the solicitor of 37 years’ standing. Yet Hughes also understands that her clients ‘want settlement’, adding that there are ‘interesting ways to pursue settlement of the most… Read More

MATTHEW HUMPHRIES

STEWARTS

A popular family solicitor to HNWs and their spouses, Matthew Humphries has particular expertise resolving complex financial claims after family breakdown, and advising on nuptial agreements. Recent highlights include representing ‘a number of corporate entities defending claims in multiple jurisdictions… Read More

SARAH HUTCHINSON

FARRER & CO

Sarah Hutchinson’s practice is split between financial matters on divorce and children work. ‘Child arrangements require a different approach as the situations are ongoing and parenting plans can accommodate some, but not all, situations,’ she says. A sizeable chunk of… Read More

MARK IRVING

HARBOTTLE & LEWIS

A financial remedy and Children Act specialist, Mark Irving qualified into the family department at Manches in 2007, where ‘the personal client interaction and tactical planning got me hooked and there was no looking back,’ he says. ‘I originally wanted… Read More

DEBORAH JEFF

SEDDONS

‘It’s the inter-human skills which set apart those that excel in what they do in our niche of the legal profession,’ says founder and head of Seddons’ family department, Deborah Jeff. Her attention to the psychological impact of her clients’… Read More

AMRIT JOHAL

JARMANS SOLICITORS

Amrit Johal is a leading consultant solicitor based in the City of London. Having previously worked for two leading city firms, he has a huge amount of commercial experience and offers commercially astute advice. In his 13 years as a… Read More

DAVINA KATZ

SCHILLINGS

A star solicitor who has seen action (and success) in some of the biggest cases of the decade, Schillings family law team head Davina Katz is in vogue among next-gen HNWs. And for good reason: ‘I see a lot of… Read More

JANE KEIR

KINGSLEY NAPLEY

‘Some of the preliminary advice you give is: “Get off social media!”’ says Jane Keir. She adds that ‘you can pick up a lot’ from researching an opponent’s online activity – photos can reveal true lifestyles and serve as evidence…. Read More

RACHAEL KELSEY

SKO FAMILY LAW

‘We don’t take on many clients – we turn away two of every three enquiries, but those we take on we are totally committed to’, says Rachael Kelsey, partner and cofounder of SKO Family. ‘The client will know the director… Read More

CARLY KINCH

STEWARTS

The latest lawyer to be made a partner on Stewarts’ phenomenally successful family team, Carly Kinch has already amassed serious experience across ‘all aspects’ of family law. She specialises in the resolution of complex financial issues, including the negotiation and… Read More

SUZANNE KINGSTON

WITHERS

A previous Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year, Suzanne Kingston has spent much of the year advising trustees on ‘divorce-proofing’, stress-testing and fine-tuning their asset-holding structures against drastic circumstances. She recently advised one UHNW private equity principal with ‘really complex… Read More

RENATO LABI

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

Renato Labi is a true litigator, described by peers as ‘tenacious’. Formerly of DLA and Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, Labi has wide experience in dealing with financial disputes within divorce proceedings and following cohabitation, and in complex private law children’s… Read More

KATHARINE LANDELLS

WITHERS

A rising legal force respected for her pragmatism, empathy and clear advice, Katharine Landells is described by market authorities as ‘a real powerhouse’. ‘Family law has not been touched by government for decades, except to withdraw funding, to withdraw legal… Read More

MELISSA LESSON

MISHCON DE REYA

Melissa Lesson spent two years at the bar before joining Mishcon de Reya in 2000. Four years later, she worked with Sandra Davis on reported case Minwalla v Minwalla, in which they successfully challenged the husband’s motives for holding assets… Read More

JEREMY LEVISON

LEVISON MELTZER PIGOTT

This year Levison Meltzer Pigott celebrates its 20th anniversary, and when Spear’s catches up with Jeremy Levison, one of the founding partners, he is in celebratory mood. ‘I can’t imagine we won’t have a little wine with lunch,’ he says…. Read More

RHIANNON LEWIS

DAWSON CORNWELL

‘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… Read More

JULIAN LIPSON

WITHERS

Reported cases are still worn like a badge of honour by many lawyers. But not so in family law. ‘Clients should perhaps choose their lawyers by who has the fewest reported cases rather than the other way around,’ says Withers’… Read More

DAVID LISTER

MISHCON DE REYA

‘There are two extremes in this work,’ says David Lister. ‘One is to do a clean, negotiated settlement – the utopia – and the other is when you have someone sticking two fingers up at the court and their partner…. Read More

WILLIAM LONGRIGG

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

William Longrigg joined Charles Russell as an articled clerk in 1985 and simply never left. ‘There was never anywhere better to go,’ says the lawyer who has been partner at the firm since 1992, whose practice has an emphasis on… Read More

SAM LONGWORTH

STEWARTS

‘You could not write the script of your next case – that’s what keeps you interested and on your toes as a divorce lawyer,’ says Stewarts’ rising solicitor-supremo Sam Longworth. No stranger to reported cases worth hundreds of millions of… Read More

DAVID MARGO

DIVORCE SOLUTIONS

David Margo is responsible for a genuinely innovative contribution to the divorce experience. After nearly 40 years as a real estate partner in City law firms, Margo heard a friend remark: ‘I need to do something about my divorce but… Read More

LEWIS MARKS QC

QEB

Lewis Marks QC is ‘almost frighteningly intelligent, able to grasp the most complex of issues extremely quickly and present them in a way which makes them look so simple’, says a colleague. ‘He is always available to assist and is… Read More

WILLIAM MASSEY

FARRER & CO

One of Farrer’s leading lights, William Massey remains involved in cutting-edge cases. In a November 2016 re-hearing of Goddard-Watts v Goddard- Watts – where non-disclosure of assets had unravelled the original consent order – Massey’s client was awarded an additional… Read More

JANE MCDONAGH

SIMONS MUIRHEAD & BURTON

Jane McDonagh began her career as a libel lawyer acting for celebrities and newspapers, but then her career path changed. ‘A divorce in my family made me realize how rewarding it could be to support someone through this process and… Read More

SIMON MCKIRGAN

VARDAGS

‘Family law is personal, and the results are profound. You work directly with your clients and make a real difference to their lives. In my work I have never felt like a cog in a machine, says Simon McKirgan, senior… Read More

ANTONIA MEE

BURGESS MEE

I undertake the whole gamut of private family work,’ says Antonia Mee, the accomplished partner who co-founded Burgess Mee five years ago. She launched the Clapham-based boutique family firm with Peter Burgess, a colleague from her time working at Withers,… Read More

MAGNUS MILL

ALEXIOU FISHER PHILIPPS

A family lawyer with two decades’ experience, Magnus Mill acts for HNWs, specialising in ‘all’ private family law matters – including pre- and postnuptial agreements, divorce, financial remedy, offshore financial structures and children’s law – often of an international nature…. Read More

PAUL NEWTON

NEWTON KEARNS

‘No nonsense, no pretension – Paul is the absolute “what you see is what you get” family lawyer. And what you get is an intelligent and excellent practitioner,’ says a fellow solicitor of Paul Newton. Since qualifying in 2003, he… Read More

KATIE O’CALLAGHAN

BOODLE HATFIELD

‘Bright and incisive… a star of the future,’ says one barrister of Katie O’Callaghan, a senior associate who joined Boodle Hatfield as a trainee. Known for excelling on complex financial points, she is currently acting as lead associate on several… Read More

CAROLINE PARK

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

‘When the quantum of assets is eye-watering, the stakes on divorce are high,’ says Cambridge graduate Caroline Park. ‘This emphasises the importance of being honest with clients about what can be achieved, but then tenacious in pursuing it.’ Park joined… Read More

DIANA PARKER

WITHERS

One of the family law greats – she became Britain’s first female (and the youngest ever) senior partner of a City law firm in 1998 – Diana Parker has been at the top of her game for more than 30… Read More

BEN PARRY-SMITH

PAYNE HICKS BEACH

‘A newly wealthy client once said to me after her divorce, “Thank you – I now have freedom and responsibility.” These two things are what I think most people – whatever their situation – aspire to,’ says Ben Parry-Smith. He… Read More

JAY PATEL

HUNTERS SOLICITORS

With over two decades of experience acting for UHNW and HNW individuals on divorce, civil partnerships, financial remedy claims and children issues, Jay Patel has built a reputation as one of the top figures in family law. He works for… Read More

KATHRYN PEAT

HARCUS SINCLAIR LLP

The ‘talented and highly effective’ Kathryn Peat, to quote a client, has specialised in family law for over 30 years, and with boutique firm, Harcus Sinclair, as a partner since 2009. Peat’s desire to practice law was instilled by a… Read More

LISA PEPPER

OSBORNES LAW

A respected family lawyer and accredited mediator who made her mark in the groundbreaking 2007 case of MB v KB, Lisa Pepper acts on financial cases as well as disagreements over child-related contact and living arrangements. She joined Osbornes in… Read More

EMMA PERCY

CAMILLA BALDWIN SOLICITORS

Emma Percy is a ‘star in the making’ who’s rapidly progressing in the family landscape, according to a senior lawyer. Her UHNW practice boasts celebrities, aristocracy, Russian oligarchs and sports stars. Her performance in complex cases alongside founder Camilla Baldwin… Read More

SUSAN PHILIPPS

ALEXIOU FISHER PHILIPPS

‘A phenomenally bright, tactically astute family law solicitor with remarkable intuition’, according to market authorities, AFP’s cofounding partner Susan Philipps is an experienced lawyer who acts across the full breadth of family and matrimonial matters (they also describe her as… Read More

MARTIN POINTER QC

1 HARE COURT

Martin Pointer QC has appeared in no fewer than 100 reported cases since being called to the Bar in 1976 – an achievement no other family barrister can claim. His expertise lies in division of intractable assets, particularly concerning arguments… Read More

MAGGIE RAE

NEWTON KEARNS

Maggie Rae, ‘the grande dame of divorce’, is a favourite among high-profile HNWs, perhaps because she favours ‘civilised remedies that keep people’s lives private’. Her modus operandi is to avoid court and go to mediation and arbitration if possible. ‘You… Read More

FIONA READ

RUSSELL-COOKE

Fiona Read has 30 years of experience in family law. ‘My work is varied,’ she tells Spear’s, ‘and I advise married and non-married couples as well as same sex couples.’ Of late she has had a ‘higher number of instructions… Read More

BARBARA REEVES

MISHCON DE REYA

Barbara Reeves specialises in complex international divorces, which often involve non-disclosure issues, enforcement orders and complex family trust issues. Her expertise in family law stretches beyond divorce and is remarkably broad – she covers injunctions, property disputes and private children… Read More

JULIAN RIBET

LEVISON MELTZER PIGOTT

Praise abounds for Julian Ribet. A QC dubs him ‘an extremely able, top-rank practitioner’, while another says the LMP partner is ‘impressive, diligent and practical’. Ribet is also known for his ‘ambition and loads of energy’ in tackling children issues…. Read More

AMY ROWE

BINDMANS

Partner and head of the family and matrimonial team at Bindmans, which covers the full spectrum of family law issues, Amy Rowe acts in all aspects of domestic and international family law, and is a recognised leader in the field… Read More

MICHAEL ROWLANDS

KINGSLEY NAPLEY

Michael Rowlands is hailed as an exceptional lawyer, ‘a class operator who always goes the extra mile with clients,’ a peer says. An impressed client echoes this, crediting his ‘patience, kindness, understanding and communication’ and as someone who remembers to… Read More

Philip Rutter

PHILIP RUTTER

BISHOP & SEWELL

Philip Rutter is a third generation family solicitor, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps training and qualifying at S Rutter & Co. With experience in the family law departments of several leading London firms, he moved to Bishop &… Read More

ROSIE SCHUMM

FORSTERS

Rosie Schumm might be the nicest family lawyer in London – but that won’t stop her fighting ferociously for righteous results on behalf of clients. ‘My priority has to be to find the right solution for my client. What is… Read More

FIONA SHACKLETON

PAYNE HICKS BEACH

‘I’m the ghost of Christmas past and these are the ghosts of Christmas present and Christmas future,’ says Fiona Shackleton as she enters the main boardroom at Payne Hicks Beach. She gestures at her team: associates Ben Parry-Smith (since promoted… Read More

ERICA SHELTON

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

‘A solid, old-school lawyer,’ one competitor firm tells Spear’s in commending Erica Shelton. The Bloomsbury-born partner is known for ‘litigating effectively when required with patience and pragmatism’, and she certainly gets results. Some years ago she won £10.5 million for… Read More

JULIA STANCZYK

MILES PRESTON & CO

‘I chose to do what I do because it is challenging and endlessly interesting. There is never a dull moment,’ says Julia Stanczyk, senior partner at Miles Preston & Co, the boutique family law firm – ‘as far as I… Read More

JAMES STEWART

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

A specialist in international family law and co-head of private wealth (including the family, immigration, and tax and trust departments) at Penningtons Manches, James Stewart speaks of the firm’s ‘sector-orientated approach’ that is in line with the increasing complexity of… Read More

LUCY STONE QC

QEB

A stalwart member of the Family Law Bar and a silk since 2001, Lucy Stone’s recent work shows the remarkable breadth of her skills. One case involved assets in excess of £500 million and ‘just about every complex area of… Read More

CHARLOTTE SYMES

FAMILY LAW IN PARTNERSHIP

With the difficulties in the economy and uncertainties around Brexit, fluent French speaker Charlotte Symes says it has been a challenging 12 months for clients and their finances. ‘It is important that we as lawyers adapt to our surroundings and… Read More

CATHERINE THOMAS

VARDAGS

Managing director at Vardags, Catherine Thomas specialises in UHNW matrimonial finance cases, usually involving highly complex jurisdictional issues and corporate structures. The firm, which is best known for its big-money divorces, particularly those with an international element, provides for the… Read More

ANN THOMAS

THE INTERNATIONAL FAMILY LAW GROUP LLP

Ann Thomas has specialised in international child relocation cases for more than 20 years, and has co-authored a book on the topic. ‘These cases are probably the most difficult to deal with, as the result can have such devastating consequences… Read More

SUZANNE TODD

WITHERS

The English family courts may be crippled by delays – but it’s often the opposite with children’s cases, says Withers’ UK family team head, Suzanne Todd. ‘They are pushing them through so quickly now, to try to tick their boxes,… Read More

RAYMOND TOOTH

SEARS TOOTH

Raymond Tooth is one of very few lawyers who is a household name beyond the field of law, in which he has practised for around half a century. Known for his love of cigars and horses – and dubbed ‘Jaws’… Read More

JOE VAITILINGAM

VAITILINGAM KAY

Described as ‘the future’ by a judge at the 2017 Spear’s Wealth Management Awards, Joe Vaitilingam has the slight scruffiness which is an offshoot of a cerebral nature. He trained at Hughes Fowler Carruthers in 1996 and became a partner… Read More

AYESHA VARDAG

VARDAGS

‘After more than a dozen years working all hours building Vardags, I am now the president of a leading national law firm with an elite team of over 100, including the very best lawyers in England and Wales, and five… Read More

ALEX VERDAN

4PB

Peers attest that the bar’s ‘go-to children silk’ is quick to put clients at ease with his ‘down-to-earth and diplomatic’ approach. Alex Verdan’s ‘powerful and eloquent’ advocacy skills have also won him praise from a celebrity client base: he achieved… Read More

LADY HELEN WARD

STEWARTS

A veteran of some of the most important family cases heard in English courts, Lady Helen Ward’s celebrity clientele is well documented: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paloma Picasso, Bernie Ecclestone, Guy Ritchie and the Countess Spencer – though inevitably, she has… Read More

NICK WESTLEY

HARBOTTLE & LEWIS

A partner and barrister in the family department at Harbottle & Lewis LLP, Nicholas Westley specialises in complex matrimonial finance work, acting for UHNWs and those in the public eye. He prides himself on always being honest with his clients…. Read More

BRADLEY WILLIAMS

FAMILY LAW IN PARTNERSHIP

When Spear’s suggests that he forms part of a new guard of family lawyers, Bradley Williams modestly demurs. There is no doubt, however, that he has made a name for himself as a natural litigator in a firm with a… Read More

LUNED REES WILLIAMS

CAMILLA BALDWIN

Since joining in January 2017, Luned Rees Williams has become an important figure at Camilla Baldwin. She was plunged ‘straight in at the deep end’, conducting a case in the High Court with the formidable Fiona Shackleton on the other… Read More

MARIKO WILSON

FAMILY LAW IN PARTNERSHIP

Mariko Wilson trained at Anthony Gold under Kim Beatson before moving to Forsters, where she worked under Ann Northover for five years. Now a senior associate at Family Law in Partnership, she handles all aspects of private family law and… Read More

ANNA WORWOOD

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

Anna Worwood’s most memorable experience in her legal career is being selected (‘after several beauty parades with other solicitors’) as the international family lawyer to work with a UNHW entrepreneur in relation to his divorce and children matters. Several years… Read More

TOBY YERBURGH

COLLYER BRISTOW

Head of family law at Collyer Bristow, Toby Yerburgh concentrates on international, high value and complex domestic divorce litigation including jurisdiction disputes, pre- and postnuptial contracts and disputes regarding children. Over the last 12 months, he has seen an increase… Read More