When a family relationship breaks down, the situation is stressful and requires sympathetic and practical advice in order to steer the matter to resolution.

Our experienced team of leading family lawyers provides pragmatic, commercial, supportive and caring advice. As leaders in family law with significant technical expertise, we aim to offer decisive advice at all stages, always mindful of the realities of family finances and your strategic goals. No case is too big or too complex, including at the more complex end, high net worth cases with international and offshore assets, and disputes as to the jurisdiction of the English Courts.

We are driven by a desire to find cost-effective, practical solutions to meet your objectives. Our team will always explore alternative dispute resolution methods that avoid determination by the court wherever that is practicable, as detailed below. Equally, our lawyers are very experienced in Court processes and are prepared to take your case to court, if that is what is required to get the right result for you.

We are equally as experienced in dealing with pre-and post-nuptial agreements, living together agreements and disputes between cohabitees. Whatever the case, your matter will always be handled with sensitivity and discretion.

We aim to give realistic and clear advice so that you can make informed decisions at the earliest possible stage in your case, ensuring that unrealistic goals are not pursued and, hopefully, curtailing unnecessary and costly litigation.

Children Arrangements

Our family law team at Spencer West provides discreet child-focused advice to parents, step-parents, grandparents, guardians and alternative families. Each family is different, and we tailor our advice to your family’s needs.

We work collaboratively with mediators, family consultants, therapists, counsellors, other lawyers and are members of Resolution to promote an amicable approach to achieving an agreement between the parents of the children wherever possible. We also understand there will be circumstances where an agreement cannot be reached, and we have extensive experience in assisting parents through the court process, in arbitration and mediation.

We aim to help separated couples reach an agreement about how their child should be looked after and to find the best outcome for the child on where to live and how much time to spend with each parent. We can help parents negotiate and we advise in complex situations such as where grandparents or other individuals are involved.

We understand that parents may have drug addiction, alcohol addiction or mental health issues and we have a wealth of experience in resolving such complex cases. We are regularly involved with cases that include allegations of domestic abuse whether it be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. We will also recommend specialists that may be able to assist the parent and the child.

We offer a discreet, sensitive, and empathetic approach to difficult situations. We are able to help in an emergency such as where a parent fears for the safety of themselves and their child and child abduction.

The Spencer West family team is only able to assist with private law cases and does not take on public law children work.

We offer expert advice for:

  • Helping parents draft a parenting plan
  • Child arrangements to include contact and living arrangements
  • Parents suffering mental health difficulties or addiction
  • Parents and children suffering from domestic abuse (physical, emotional, sexual abuse)
  • Parental Alienation
  • Relocation of a child domestically and internationally to include child abduction
  • Disagreements between parents or carers of the children in relation to schooling, medical treatment, use of surname, religious following or any other matters
  • Grandparents or other individuals who have care of a child
  • Enforcement of orders
  • Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Law approaches for an alternative resolution
  • Child maintenance and financial support

We can assist you when a party fails to comply with a Court Order and enforcement proceedings are necessary. These vary dependent on whether the Order being enforced relates to money, children or failure of one party to carry out a specific action e.g., signing of documents to sell an asset.


We are highly experienced in dealing with all types of financial applications including high asset cases including those with an international element.

International / Expat International / Multi-national

Our highly respected team of divorce and family lawyers are all English qualified solicitors and advise couples and parents who have a connection with England and Wales by birth or by residence but who have, or plan to move overseas. We have connections with family lawyers around the world and we are able to work in collaboration to provide the best advice. We work on a range of family law matters involving expats and multi-national couples from living together, getting married, having children to separating and divorcing.

Meet our team

Michelle Bird
Partner - Family
Golnar Bokaei
Partner - Real Estate, Family Law & Dispute Resolution
Valerie Cooper
Partner - Family Law
Richard Wyn Davies
Partner – Family, Dispute Resolution, Private Client
Richard Gilbert
Partner - Family, Contested Trust & Probate
Anne-Marie Hamer
Partner - Family
Hanne Mällinen-Scott
Partner – Family Law
Diane Liston
Partner - Family, Private Client and Litigation
Georgia Neblett
Associate Solicitor – Family Law
David Rose
Partner – Family, Commercial Dispute Resolution
Venisha Shah
Partner – Family Law
Andrew Smith
Partner - Family Law