Our specialist judges each determine the shortlist and winner for one individual awards category.
The judges have been carefully selected on the basis of their considerable experience and expertise in relation to their awards category and we are delighted that a number of leading figures from the legal profession, and beyond, have chosen to become involved with the LexisNexis Family Law awards.
The shortlist and winners will once again be chosen by a judging panel made up of the heads of the Family Law Bar Association, Resolution and the Association of Lawyers for Children, along with Family Law editors and publishing executives.
Partner, BHP Law
Oluwapelumi (Amanda) is a Partner and Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Rights Civil) at BHP Law. Based at the Darlington, County Durham office, Amanda specialises in all aspects of family law including divorce, separation, financial matters arising from divorce/separation and private law children proceedings. Amanda is a keen advocate and she represents her clients at Court in some proceedings. Amanda is an Advocate for diversity and change in the profession and is also a supporter of aspiring lawyers as well as young lawyers in the region where she practices. She is also a champion for women in the law and is an ambassador for Women in the Law UK. Amanda is also a committee member for Resolutions Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and also a committee member for the Centre for Child and Family Law Reform.
Shiva Ancliffe KC is a tenacious new silk, specialising in all aspects of private law children cases and public law care cases. She has a growing arbitration practice and her wealth of experience in private children matters, and her fair approach, make her ideally suited for children’s arbitration work. Shiva is also a qualified mediator and children’s arbitrator.
Jay is a senior junior specialising in family and children cases. He is one of only 12 junior counsel ranked as Tier 1 in his field by the Legal 500, where he is described as ‘intelligent’, ‘a brilliant communicator’, and ‘a class act’. Jay often appears against King’s Counsel, whether led, or as sole counsel.
Susie has advised clients in relation to family matters for more than twenty-five years, initially within leading family teams at Manches, Farrers and Speechly Bircham and latterly in her own specialist family law firm, Percival Rose & Co. She took a sabbatical in 2022 before joining Child & Child as Head of Family Law in February 2023.
Her include business owners, entrepreneurs, sportspeople, medics, lawyers, politicians and those in the arts and entertainment industry, both in this country and abroad. Her practice incorporates both the financial consequences of separation and divorce and matters relating to children. She also advises in relation to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Jenny is an award winning family lawyer committed to accessible justice and the rights of the individual. She is an entrepreneurial business leader successful in creating running high performance teams. Beck Fitzgerald was set up with a view to providing excellent advice and representation alongside helping to shape the future of family justice by influencing policy to make our system fairer. Jenny specialises in all aspects of divorce, separation, complex financial negotiations and arrangements concerning children. She has particular expertise concerning the impact of domestic abuse on children and families and cases with allegations of parental alienation. Recognising that family breakdown involves so much more than the law Jenny is committed to working personally with clients to understand and support their needs in order to help achieve results which are fair. She is regularly praised for her integrity and tenacity. Jenny is often called upon by the media to provide expert insight and comment on family law and practice. Jenny holds a number of positions on representative bodies:
She is current member and former chair of The Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee
Member of The Law Society’s Family Law Committee
Current co-chair of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group
Private law solicitor representative on the Family Justice Council
Ros is a Partner in the London and Manchester offices and the National Head of Irwin Mitchell's Divorce & Family Law team. She has experience advising both heterosexual and same sex couples, whether married or in a civil partnership; couples who live together, or have lived together; and those who have children together but have never married or lived together. She has extensive experience in high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth cases, which often involve complex international issues, high value trust structures, and pension arrangements.
Catherine is the editor of various titles, including the Family Court Practice and Clarke Hall and Morrison on Children.
Catherine has been involved in the Family Law Awards for the last few years.
Simon has been a lawyer for 40 years.
He does finance, children and prenup cases at Dawson Cornwell LLP.
He tells us that all of his clients are kind, interesting and a pleasure to help.
His interests include the careful presentation of his clients, attempting to settle cases fairly, using mediation, negotiating, mentoring young lawyers, making new friends in the law and making new law.
He has had six Supreme Court cases - including Radmacher in 2010.
Member of international organisations including IAFL and Union Internationale des Avocats. Simon also has an important pro bono practice. He is Legal Director of Dads House family law clinic in Fulham, London; and at three other family law clinics. He is often an advocate in his cases.
He is also a qualified FA football referee.
Hannah Budd is a founding partner of BloomBudd LLP, a boutique family law firm founded in 2022. Hannah has worked exclusively in family law for over 15 years. She deals with all aspects of relationship breakdown with a particular focus on cases involving both financial and children elements. Hannah often works on cases involving the international relocation of families and the financial arrangements which flow from such relocations. These cases are often fiercely contested. Hannah has represented many parents seeking to relocate with their children, or seeking to prevent such a move.
Alongside this, Hannah advises clients in relation to financial settlements often involving complex assets with complex taxation considerations. Hannah’s work often has international dimensions. She advises clients entering into pre nuptial agreements and cases in which one or either party is seeking to resile from the terms of such an agreement.
Jonathan is the editor of Butterworths Family Law Service and Scottish Family Law Service, plus Court of Protection Practice. He has also worked on the Red Book and the Family Law website, and has been involved in the Family Law Awards for a number of years.
Grant qualified as a Solicitor in 1990. He is a Partner in the Family Team based in Southampton. He has over 30 years’ experience dealing with all aspects of family law. This includes divorce and dissolution, private law children matters (to include complex children proceedings and removal from jurisdiction cases), financial cases (to include advising medium to high network clients, cases with trust and taxation elements, business and farming interests, pensions including armed forces and police pensions and foreign assets), pre-nuptial agreements, separation agreements, co-habitation agreements and disputes & change of name deeds. Grant qualified as a collaborative lawyer in 2007 and as an all-issues family mediator in 2010.
Grant actively promotes alternate forms of dispute resolution, although a capable advocate with wide experience in conducting children and financial remedy proceedings. He is an active member of Resolution, a national body of family law professionals committed to dealing with matters in a sensitive, constructive and cost-effective way. He sits on the National Committee and is currently Vice Chair to become Chair in 2023.
Alexis is joint Head of Chambers. She has specialised in divorce and matrimonial financial claims (including financial claims for children) for more than 30 years. The backbone of her work is complex financial remedy cases, although she does some children (mainly re-location) work. Alexis is a qualified arbitrator (Finance) through the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators scheme. She was originally appointed as a Crown Court Recorder in 2010 and since 2014 sits as a Recorder in the Family Court (in both public and private law). Alexis is regularly instructed to conduct Private FDR Appointments.
Tina is Head of Chambers at 42BR and a family law specialist. During the first 15 years of her career at the Bar, she practiced in a wide range of areas, which has equipped her with the experience and skills she applies to her cases today, allowing her to perform her role as a barrister to great effect. She has practised exclusively in family law for the last 20 years.
Her practice spans all areas of family law with a particular emphasis on children work. Tina specialises in cases involving non-accidental and fatal injury, FGM, sexual abuse, neglect and domestic abuse, as well as cases involving substance abuse, mental health issues, adoption orders, Human Rights Claims and a range of injunctive work, including Pt IV Family Law Act and forced marriage. She often acts in complex, multi-party and high conflict intractable private law disputes. Tina is instructed at first instance in the Family Court, the Court of Protection, and the High Court; she has also appears in the Court of Appeal. She is happy to be instructed in inquests and inquiries.
Karen qualified as a solicitor in 1995 and specialised in family law work from that point on after a broad range of training covering not only family law but also conveyancing, medical negligence, personal injury, employment and crime.
She is accredited by the Law Society for her expertise in family law. She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, having qualified as a financial arbitrator. She is the Vice Chair for the Forum of Family Arbitrators, which is the national organisation speaking for arbitrators in England and Wales. She is a member of Resolution and a past National Committee member of Resolution. She is a current member of the Law Society Family Law Committee, which advises the Law Society response on law and policy.
Judi is Head of the Family & Divorce team at St John’s Chambers, and practises across public and private family law, with particular expertise in cases of abduction and the international relocation of children. In complex public law cases she is involved in multiple parties, significant injuries and complex medical evidence. In private law proceedings she is instructed in parental alienation, allegations of physical and sexual abuse, and complex jurisdictional issues. She is commended for her passionate style of advocacy and her commitment to her clients.
Judi also advises and represents local authorities, family members and the subject person on all matters including DOLS both in the County and the High Court. Judi has had key involvement in creating and implementing changes to help litigants in person access the Family Justice System.
Sital is a partner in Kingsley Napley’s family team, where she specialises in complex financial matters within a divorce, including international jurisdictional cases, negotiating and drafting pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements as well as every aspect of private children law cases. Sital’s areas of practice include all aspects of private family work, with particular expertise in financial remedy proceedings often involving an international dimension. Sital has extensive experience in complex cases involving off-shore trusts, family businesses, tracing assets and inherited wealth.
Sital is an active member of the Resolution Cohabitation committee and has considerable experience in dealing with claims arising for cohabiting couples and their children.
Denise is a Family Law practitioner specialising in the law relating to children with a particular focus on complex public and private law children cases appearing in all levels of court including the High Court and Court of Appeal. She also specialises in adoption (including inter-country adoption), Wardship/inherent jurisdiction and Court of Protection matters.
Nick is a leading family law silk with a substantial first instance and appellate practice, primarily in the law relating to children. His advocacy is measured, subtle and firm. Out of court he is noted for his thorough paperwork and excellent client relationships. He took silk in 2014 and now routinely appears in the most complex and serious cases typically involving allegations of inflicted injury and abuse. He undertakes increasing amounts of appellate work in the Court of Appeal often with technical argument on difficult points of law. In 2016 he was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge, sitting exclusively in the Family Division, having previously sat as a Recorder since 2010.
Teertha is a specialist senior barrister and trial advocate with over 29 years of experience.
He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and a (Family) Deputy High Court Judge in 2016. Teertha also sits as a part time Circuit Judge (a Recorder) in the Criminal and Civil courts.
His areas of expertise include complex domestic and international children cases such as relocation, cross-border parental abductions and acrimonious contact disputes. Teertha is also the go to person for Forced marriage and stranded spouse cases.
He has spoken in the House of Commons and was named by Lord Lester in the House of Lords as one of the four senior pro bono lawyers behind the Forced Marriage Civil Protection Bill which became a statute in 2007. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70126-0001.htm
Hotly contested proceedings for clients who are running unpopular arguments before the courts are his forte. He has developed the ability present any case in its best possible light and has been known to have changed Judges’ minds in the most difficult of cases. He examines cases in detail and leaves no stone unturned. Teertha’s practice is widely spread geographically across England and Northern Ireland (and the Eastern Caribbean) in all levels of court from County court to the ECJ. To date, he has been involved in 10 full appeals in the UKSC/House of Lords.
Juliet Harvey is the first Legal Executive to chair Resolution, having previously served as a member of National Committee for the past 5 years. Juliet is a Legal Director at Birketts LLP and handles a busy, varied caseload including both finance and children work.
Eliza works with high net worth, high profile and international private clients advising on all areas of family law, but particularly complex financial disputes, jurisdiction battles and multi-jurisdictional prenups. Formerly practising at Farrer & Co since 2001 (partner from 2011-2021), Eliza is recognised across the private wealth sector as a leader in her field, acting for some of the highest-profile and wealthiest individuals and families in London.
Eliza is particularly known for her expertise in resolving disputes about children, including contested international relocation cases, risk of harm cases (including international abduction/flight risk), paternity disputes, applications by grandparents and cases involving addiction or mental health problems.
Sam Hillas KC is financial remedy silk at St Johns Buildings based in Liverpool, a Bencher at Inner Temple, Attorney General of the Northern Circuit and an FLBA committee member. Her practice takes her up and down the country appearing before Courts at all levels and she is well known for her various lectures, seminars and podcasts on matters relating to financial work work and practice. Aside from her financial remedy practice, Sam is a Patron of Wirral Women’s and Children’s Aid and sits as a judicial chair for disciplinary offences arising out of RFU, World Rugby, Six Nations and European Professional Club Rugby games.
Voted “Family Law Partner of the Year” at the 2021 Family Law Awards, Henry is one of London’s leading family lawyers with over 20 years’ specialist experience. Henry is ranked as a leading individual in Chambers High Net Worth and The Legal 500, is a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is an accredited Resolution specialist in financial provision and private children law.
Darren is a child protection specialist who represents parents, children and Local Authorities across the whole range of children-related disputes. Darren specialises in complex cases at High Court level and above involving:
Disputes as to the cause of catastrophic injuries and/or death of children, particularly cases that may involve complex and ‘cutting-edge’ medical and scientific evidence;
Allegations of recent or historic sexual abuse; Fabricated or induced illness;
Disputes as to the deprivation of liberty of a child; Parents with special needs;
Vulnerable or child witnesses
Darren also has extensive experience in contentious private law cases involving allegations of parental alienation, intractable contact disputes, domestic and international relocation. Darren advises public and private bodies concerning child protection duties.
Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 with over 25 years experience in the field of family law, Taryn was appointed a Recorder in 2008 and hears both private and public law family cases. Her practice encompasses all courts but she has an extensive practice in High Court public law children matters. Taryn is known for her formidable cross examination and her ability to 'pull together' the evidence in the most complex and unwieldy cases and cut through complex medical evidence. Taryn appears on behalf of local authorities, parents & step-parents, extended family members including grandparents, foster parents, interveners and guardians-ad-litem and often represents parents with mental health problems, severely learning-disabled parents and child parents.
Keeley qualified as a Solicitor in 2008 and has been working in our Family and Child law team at the Bexleyheath office since joining MW Solicitors in 2012. Keeley was promoted to Partner in July 2018 and is Officer Manager of our Bexleyheath office. Keeley became an accredited member of the Prestigious Children panel in July 2019.
Keeley has a strong professional background working in both public and private law on Children and Family Law Act matters with expert knowledge and practical experience of legal aid. She has a very strong track record, as a fee earning partner, of overseeing the effective and efficient conduct of cases on behalf of clients and working with integrity and to the highest ethical and professional standards.
Geraldine is Head of Lexis®PSL Family. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and was in practice for 15 years, most recently as a partner and head of the family team at Hart Brown, a large Surrey firm. She also writes for Butterworths Family Law Service and is a past editor of the Resolution Review.
Krina is a Director of Family and Child Care Law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors. She qualified as a solicitor in 2009 after completing seats in criminal, family, child care and prison law. She is a police station accredited representative. She specialises in public and private law children matters with significant expertise in the following: International child abduction matters; Forced marriage applications; Female genital mutilation (FGM) applications; Emergency matters such as removal of children and domestic abuse.
Many of her cases are culturally complex cases with international elements. She represents parents, family members and children as parties to applications for child arrangement orders, special guardianship orders, child abduction matters, adoption proceedings and care proceedings to include serious non-accidental injuries where a baby has died. She regularly attends pro bono surgeries for Women’s Aid, local contact centres and have a strong relationship with victim support and the police. She has represented the police as a party to a forced marriage application. She regularly trains professionals in supporting victims of domestic abuse, forced marriages, and FGM.
Sharon specialises exclusively in cases involving children, both in private law and public law proceedings, which results in her being instructed in the most complex of cases within each area. She is consistently ranked in the legal directories as a leading junior barrister who is outstanding in her field. Sharon frequently appears against Leading Counsel in a number of cases each year, and her workload sees her regularly appearing in the High Court, as well as appearances in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Somia is Co-Vice Chair of the Association of Lawyers for Children (ALC). She is a Children Panel Solicitor at ITN Solicitors. She specialises in all areas of children law and has particular expertise in complex public law matters. She often represents parties in care proceedings where concerns have included non-accidental injuries, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health issues. Somia has in recent years expanded her practice to include representation of children either through their Guardian or directly. Somia is a member of the Cafcass Learning and Improvement Board, Cafcass Partners Forum and the ALC’s Equality and Diversity and Events Sub-Committees.
Greg develops content for publication in all areas of Family Law (including the Court of Protection). He was called to the Bar in 1991, subsequently moving into publishing in 1997 and working on the Red Book for several years, before assuming commissioning responsibility for the market-leading Family Law imprint.