Stewarts has 12 lawyers listed across the London and Leeds offices in the latest edition of the Spear’s Family Law Index.

Four lawyers are listed in the Top Flight Family Lawyers: Debbie Chism, Stephen Foster, Emma Hatley and Helen Ward. Two are listed as top recommended lawyers: Adrian Clossick and Carly Kinch. Six are listed as recommended lawyers: Toby Atkinson, Ellie Hampson-Jones, Richard Hogwood, Matthew Humphries, Sam Longworth and Lucy Stewart-Gould.

The Spear’s Family Law Index is an indispensable resource for high-net-worth individuals in search of expert advice on family law matters. 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

Spear’s describes Debbie, former Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year, as “one of the most respected family solicitors in London”, known for “winning fierce court battles, but also devising creative out-of-court methods for complex disputes”.

Head of Department Stephen Foster is also listed in the top flight. He is credited with starting the department and about him, Spear’s says: “In the dozen or so years since he set it up, the department has grown into one of the strongest in London.’ Stephen is quoted as saying: “It’s not enough to have one or two star partners. Everyone in the firm (at every level), needs to demonstrates excellence.” His profile says, “Industry commentators have described him as ‘a great lateral thinker,’ ‘an intelligent and superbly talented litigator’ and ‘the go-to for complex financial proceedings.’”

Emma Hatley is described as “one of the very best family lawyers in the business”. Another former Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year, one peer describes her as “the essence of what HNW clients want and need in a family lawyer: highly intelligent, industrious, fast and constructive… [with] no sitting on the fence or waffle”.

Helen Ward is also listed in the top flight and is described by a peer as “Not merely one of the best, but the best family lawyer in London”. She won a Spear’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for her work and is praised as “a giant of our industry” who has “steel” as well as “a ferocious appetite for work”.


Top Recommended and Recommended Family Lawyers

Toby Atkinson is praised for his “calm demeanour, pragmatism and sense of humour”. Peers say he is popular with lawyers across the profession “thanks partly to his ability to stay calm ‘in the heat of battle’”. In the guide, Toby says: “Most clients want the same thing – to reach settlement quickly, efficiently and without acrimony – and I work hard to achieve that.”

Adrian Clossick is listed as a Top Recommended Lawyer within the list. He is quoted as saying: “I am a firm believer that being an excellent technical lawyer is simply not enough in the field in which I operate. The real skill is being able to take that technical expertise and convert it into pragmatic commercial advice that clients can understand.”

Richard Hogwood is praised as achieving “tangible results, both financially and personally, for his clients”. Richard’s background as a corporate tax lawyer before moving to family law is mentioned, and Spear’s particularly note Richard’s experience in securing reporting restrictions on London proceedings for one particular client.

Matthew Humphries is listed as a recommended family lawyer within the guide. The guide says he is known for his “attention to detail, which ensures that nothing – no matter how small, is overlooked”. He says he is not afraid to “protect clients from themselves”.

Carly Kinch is listed as a Top Recommended Lawyer described by Spear’s as having a “detailed-orientated approach to her complex family law cases”. She is also praised as having a “no stone unturned” and “results-focused” mindset.

Longstanding team member Sam Longworth says in the Spear’s guide that his goal is to “put clients in a position to make fully informed decisions as to their next steps – and to do so from the very first meeting”. He says new cases require a realistic assessment of the factors really driving the dispute – whether it be emotional, financial or something else entirely.

Lucy Stewart-Gould is described as a “popular lawyer amongst HNW businesspeople (and their spouses)”. The newly promoted partner says these clients “need someone savvy, discreet and effective – which is what we do at Stewarts”.

Senior Associate Ellie Hampson-Jones is quoted as enjoying the “varied and high-tempo cases” that Stewarts is known for. She says the aim is always to help clients look forward to a brighter future, and this often requires creative solutions. Ellie is based in the firm’s Leeds office, which she says provides “true London quality” in the north of England.


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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