Thirteen lawyers from across our London and Leeds offices are listed in the latest edition of the Spear’s Family Law Index, more than in any previous year. Stewarts has more individuals included in the new edition than any other firm.

Debbie Chism, Stephen Foster, Emma Hatley and Helen Ward are once again included in the Top Flight. Adrian Clossick and Carly Kinch are both Top Recommended; seven lawyers are Recommended by Spear’s including Toby Atkinson, Sophie Chapman, Richard Hogwood, Matthew Humphries, Sam Longworth, Lucy Stewart-Gould and Ellie Hampson-Jones.

The Spear’s Family Law Index says: “The best family lawyers combine legal knowhow with an emotional understanding of a client’s situation, getting the best results for them while minimising the stressful aspects of the process.

“Spear’s publishes annual rankings of the top private client advisers and service providers to HNWs. These are drawn up on the basis of peer nominations, client feedback, telephone and face-to-face interviews, data supplied by firms, as well as information gathered by the Spear’s editorial and research teams.”


Top Flight Family Lawyers

The 2022 edition says Debbie Chism has “a formidable reputation for working with complex issues that arise from divorce”. The guide quotes Debbie’s clients and suggests she is “able to see solutions that others can’t. She’s clear, she’s strategic – what more could you want?”

Head of Divorce and Family Stephen Foster is praised for his leadership of the department as well as his own practice. “Foster’s clients mainly consist of figures from the City and entrepreneurs and many of his cases have an international dimension including Europe, the US and the Middle East,” Spear’s says.

Highlighting Emma Hatley’s “reputation as an excellent technical lawyer and tough negotiator, who quickly wins the confidence of her clients”, the index notes that she “recently acted in several of the most complex cases pending in the High Court.”

Winner of the Spear’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, Helen Ward is described by sources as “superb in every way”, “extraordinary and brilliant” and as “absolutely a class act… if you want a star, there she is.” Helen also features in a Spear’s report for 2022 as one of the “queen bees of family law”.


Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Head of the Leeds Divorce and Family team Adrian Clossick “has a particular interest in cohabitation claims, including the property rights of unmarried families.” Spear’s says he also “has considerable expertise in the negotiation of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements and the treatment of personal injury damages on divorce.”

Carly Kinch is also Top Recommended. The index commends her “diverse HNW client base, previously advising a well-known telecoms pioneer, a family with assets valued at over $3 billion and the wife of a billionaire diamond merchant.”


Recommended Family Lawyers

Toby Atkinson “describes his current practice as reliably international”. Spear’s quotes him: “As the capital has cemented its position as the world’s financial centre, more and more UNHWs have been drawn here.”

Newly included in the Spear’s Family Law Index in 2022, Sophie Chapman “brings a constructive approach to all aspects of family law, supporting her clients through the divorce or separation process into their new co-parent status with pragmatism and sensitivity.”

Richard Hogwood “is always sensitive to the human aspect” of cases according to Spear’s, “ensuring that clients have the ability to move on with life when the legal process is over.” The 2022 edition also highlights Richard’s experience in complex tax and trust issues.

Receiving praise for his attention to detail, Matthew Humphries tells Spear’s: “Combined with my strategic approach to litigation, this ensures I obtain the best possible results.” The index notes he has worked on “cutting edge” matters including set-aside injunctions.

Spear’s says Sam Longworth is “recognised across the private wealth industries as a leader in his field.” According to the new edition, he is “known for his complete discretion, commercial advice and ability to achieve swift, best-outcome solutions for his clients.”

Lucy Stewart-Gould’s “aim is to cut through the complexity and to focus not on every issue, but on the fights that matter to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients.” The index notes that “all of her cases involve connections with at least one other jurisdiction and, for the majority, multiple jurisdictions.”

Senior Associate Ellie-Hampson Jones “is conscious of the emotional complexity her cases involve.” Spear’s quotes clients who “praise her for her client-focused demeanour and ability to put the client and their needs at the heart of everything she does.”


The full list of family lawyers within the Family Law Index can be accessed here on the Spear’s website.

The index also assesses the best barristers, litigation funders and others experts within family law, and this can be accessed here.



You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our  Divorce and Family pages.

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