Partners and senior associates from our Divorce and Family, Trust and Probate Litigation, Employment, Tax Litigation and Resolution and Commercial Litigation teams are listed in the ninth edition of The Spear’s 500.

Five of our lawyers including managing partner Stuart Dench are included in the Top Flight, with another 19 included in the Top Recommended and Recommended sections, recognising their practice as leading individuals in their fields.

Spear’s says: “The philosophy that underpins it all is the same as ever – to be the definitive resource for HNWs in search of the highest-quality specialist advice and services to support their work, their lives, their families and their ambitions. It is important to note that each one of the advisers included earns their selection on merit. It is not possible to buy one’s way into The Spear’s 500.”


Top Flight Family Lawyers

Head of Divorce and Family Stephen Foster is again ranked in the Top Flight for work on complex family matters, international cases and children work. The guide highlights Stephen’s role leading role at Stewarts, which one private client lawyer described as “the Slaughter and May of family law”. Stephen explains the team’s philosophy: “It’s not enough to have one or two star partners. Everyone in the firm, at every level, needs to demonstrate excellence.”

Emma Hatley is acclaimed as “the essence of what HNW clients want and need in a family lawyer: highly intelligent, industrious, fast, constructive… [with] no sitting on the fence or waffle.” She was named Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year in 2017 and has recently acted in several of the most complex cases pending in the High Court.

Spear’s acknowledges Debbie Chism as “one of the most respected family solicitors in London” who is “not only for winning fierce court battles, but also for devising creative out-of-court methods to settle complex disputes.” Debbie was Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year in 2019.

A previous winner of the Spear’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Helen Ward has been recognised as attracting clients with the highest profiles and praised by judges as “a giant of our industry”.


Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Adrian Clossick, Head of Divorce and Family Leeds, is acclaimed for work involving international jurisdictions and overseas trusts assets. “The real skill is in being able to take that technical expertise and convert it into pragmatic commercial advice that clients can understand,” he says.

Having risen the ranks at Stewarts from paralegal to partner within 12 years, Carly Kinch is also Top Recommend and highlighted for her detail-orientated approach to her complex family law cases, many of which involve high-value assets.

Richard Hogwood offers tax and trusts experience as well as family law expertise; Spears says he gets “tangible results, both financially and personally, for his clients.” He is Top Recommended by Spear’s in the latest edition of the guide.

Also now Top Recommended, Sophie Chapman is recognised for a “constructive approach to all aspects of family law, supporting her clients through the divorce or separation process and into their new co-parent status with pragmatism and sensitivity.”

Sam Longworth is recognised for acting on big-money cases, matrimonial issues and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. He tells Spear’s: “My goal is to put clients in a position to make fully informed decisions as to their next steps – and do so from the very first meeting.”


Recommended Family Lawyers

Spear’s acknowledges Toby Atkinson as “popular with lawyers across the profession” as well as for his experience and high-value practice spanning divorces, international child relocation and other areas of family law.

Matthew Humphries has handled “some very substantial cases, with assets often in excess of £50 million,” as well as “cutting edge matters including set-aside injunctions and nuptial settlements.”

Leeds-based Lisette Dupré is recognised by Spear’s as a “highly competent and knowledgeable specialist on cross-border and multi-jurisdictional cases.”

Lucy Stewart-Gould is ranked and recognised as “a popular lawyer among HNW businesspeople (and their spouses)” who “regularly acts for well-known figures in entertainment and sport.”

Senior Associate Ellie Hampson-Jones is also recognised by Spears for her work in Leeds “ranging from multi-jurisdiction, highly complex cases with assets in excess of £100 million for UHNW individuals, to cases involving clients dealing with financial and welfare proceedings.”


Contentious Trusts

Head of Trust and Probate Litigation James Price is Top Recommended for dispute resolution work related to wills and trusts. He is “frequently instructed to assist with court applications, both onshore and offshore”, usually with an international dimension involved.

Fellow partner Geoff Kertesz “aims to strike a balance between securing results and managing emotions” when providing clients with “sound commercial guidance”.

Emma Holland “specialises in disputes relating to private wealth matters, trusts and succession in jurisdictions around the world.” She also has a largely international client base.

Marcus Parker is Recommended as a “highly experienced and trusted practitioner in the management of complex disputes between wealthy families and their associated wealth structures,” recognised in particular for his experience in the Cayman Islands.


Tax Lawyers

Head of Tax Litigation and Resolution David Pickstone is acclaimed for his work on large class actions including Ingenious and Eclipse. He has also “acted for various well-known HNWs in individual tax disputes.”

James Le Gallais “has drawn praise for his work supporting clients in their disputes against promoters of failed film financing schemes”, and is also recognised for his work on commercial fraud claims and corporate disputes.


Employment Lawyers

Head of Employment Joseph Lappin “regularly advises clients on grievance and disciplinary investigations, unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing, breaches of post-termination covenants and incentive schemes.”

Also Top Recommended, Charlie Thompson explains his working style: “Because my clients are high-achieving and intelligent, I aim for both of us to leverage the other’s expertise to come up with the best strategies.”



Commercial Litigation partner Marc Jones acts for a “varied client base which includes HNW private clients” and is Top Recommended having “made considerable industry strides in is his work in cryptocurrency disputes.”



If you require assistance from our team, please contact us or request a call back from one of our lawyers by submitting this form.

Key Contacts

See all people