Family law and divorce solicitors in Oxford

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is home to a sparkling collection of successful and empathetic family lawyers.

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As the top team of family law solicitors and divorce lawyers in Oxford, we support clients throughout Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley, the Cotswolds and beyond. Offering a first-class and empathetic service, we provide specialist legal advice for married or unmarried couples on all aspects of family breakdown, including family law cases with an international dimension.

Our expertise

Our Oxford family lawyers have many years of experience across the full spectrum of family law issues – covering divorce, dissolution of civil partnerships, financial settlements between married couples, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, the legal aspects of surrogacy agreements and financial disputes between unmarried couples. We also act in cases where an unmarried parent has a child and needs advice on appropriate financial provision for them.

We have particular strength in disputes concerning children including where children should live, how they should divide their time between their parents and applications for children to move abroad with one of their parents. In addition, our Oxford family law solicitors have a proven track record in children cases where significant welfare issues are involved – such as allegations of substance abuse, domestic violence, coercive and controlling behaviour or mental health difficulties.

Combining sensitivity with a highly professional and realistic approach, we work very hard to achieve settlements that avoid the need to involve court litigation. We encourage alternative means of dispute resolution such as collaborative law, mediation, private financial dispute resolution hearings and arbitration. Where litigation is necessary, however, our divorce lawyers are resolute and robust and have experience of taking our cases to the highest courts, including the Supreme Court.

Complex financial cases are another area of strength for our Oxford family law experts. Their experience spans overseas assets, interests under trusts, including discretionary trusts, complicated pension schemes, inherited wealth and sophisticated business structures

Our client base encompasses people from many walks of life. We advise business leaders, innovators, scientists and academics, medical and legal professionals, journalists, novelists, actors and farmers as well as those who have inherited wealth.

Why choose our family lawyers?

Our family law offering is unrivalled in Oxford and the Thames Valley. Blending expert guidance with a caring personal service, we calmly treat every case with the importance it deserves.

Although a number of our Oxford-based divorce lawyers have previously practised in London, they are now able to provide their first-class expertise at significantly lower rates as a result of being located in the Thames Valley.

We collaborate closely with colleagues from our highly ranked private client, corporate, property, employment and immigration teams, ensuring our clients have access to high quality support across the firm. All our family law solicitors are committed to transparency in legal fees and effective management of costs. They continually look to exceed client expectations.

Our pre-eminence in Oxford and the Thames Valley has been recognised for well over a decade by the two principal independent legal directories, Chambers UK and The Legal 500. Both publications have ranked us as market leaders in the area year after year, with a prestigious band 1 listing. They repeatedly highlight the ‘outstanding’ work of our ‘stellar’ divorce solicitors as well as our ‘sensible and realistic advice’.

Our local presence in Oxford

The family law practice in Oxford is led by Jane Mitchell, a London trained divorce lawyer who is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. She has over three decades of experience and her reputation has been built on many years of impeccable advice. Jane is top ranked in both Chambers UK and The Legal 500 and features in The Legal 500 Hall of Fame. She is described as ‘absolutely fantastic’ and as knowing ‘all there is to know’.

Fellow Oxford partner Ruth James is also regarded as one of the foremost family practitioners and divorce solicitors in the Thames Valley. Trained in London and with over 20 years’ experience, she combines a keen eye for strategy with first-class client care. She is also top ranked by both legal directories, which have noted that she is ‘exceptionally smart’, ‘super professional’ and ‘a pleasure to work with’.

Our Oxford family team also includes Eleanor Moodey and Fareen Mohmood. Eleanor is a member of the International Association of Young Lawyers, underlining her particular interest in cases with an international family law element. Fareen is an LLB graduate of the London School of Economics and spent time after graduating working at Berkshire Women’s Aid.

All of our team are members of Resolution, the leading organisation for specialist family law solicitors in England and Wales. We are also members of Oxfordshire Resolution and belong to its Committee as well as the Thames Valley Law Society Committee. Together with other colleagues in our Oxford office, we support local charities, including Emmaus and Maggie’s Oxford. Our divorce lawyers are also enthusiastic contributors each year to the Oxford Legal Walk which raises funds for the London Legal Support Trust.

We are based in Oxford Business Park, close to local bus routes and easily accessible from Oxford mainline railway station. Parking for disabled visitors is available in front of our office alongside some parking facilities for general use.

Recent work highlights

Long-running divorce case

Acting for the wife in a high profile case involving English and Scottish law during which she sought maintenance under a little-used provision of the Matrimonial Causes Act. Our client has been successful in both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.

International child custody dispute

Successfully representing a client in resisting an application made by her husband for the immediate return of their child to Bangladesh.

Advice on later-in-life separations

Representing a number of clients based in South and West Oxfordshire involved in ‘silver’ divorces, including providing guidance on how far assets brought to the marriage by one party should be shared with their ex-spouse.

Divorce and the family farm

Offering strategic advice to a husband to ensure maximum protection of his farming partnership assets. Our divorce lawyers worked in conjunction with members of our Court of Protection and dispute resolution teams who had previously acted for another generation of the family.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP