Family law and divorce solicitors in Reading

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

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Our highly experienced team of Reading family law solicitors and divorce lawyers are ready to assist clients across Berkshire and the surrounding areas who need specialist advice on a family law issue. We know how important it is to have someone on your side who is understanding, supportive and empathetic if you are going through a difficult time, whether emotionally or practically, following the breakdown of a relationship.

Our expertise

At Penningtons Manches Cooper, our family lawyers fully appreciate that clients require clear and pragmatic guidance in order to navigate a challenging process with the minimum of stress and acrimony. Our aim is to achieve the best possible outcome while always ensuring that you are kept completely in the loop and that the legal costs incurred are proportionate.   

We provide expert insight on all areas of family law - including divorce, financial settlements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements. Our family and divorce lawyers are also highly experienced in private children cases. They regularly advise parents on disputes over arrangements for children, permission to leave the jurisdiction cases and financial settlements in Schedule One cases where the parents are unmarried. 

The vast majority of our work is settled without the need for court proceedings, but our family law solicitors also recognise that there are times when litigation is essential. We are highly experienced at dealing with court proceedings both in Reading and the surrounding areas and in London. 

Many of our cases involve complex financial matters, including offshore assets and trusts, and a large proportion of our clients have international assets. They are often high net worth individuals, company directors, owners of businesses, and professionals including lawyers, bankers, accountants, academics, doctors and surgeons and their spouses. We have also acted for intervenors in financial disputes.

Why choose our family lawyers?

We offer an outstanding level of service, and care deeply about our clients. Our entire family law team is dedicated to understanding what the client needs and working closely together to achieve these goals. We pride ourselves on our friendly, sympathetic and thorough approach.

Many of our Reading based divorce lawyers trained in the City and are widely recognised for providing the highest quality of advice at regional rates, delivering excellent value. We are conscious that it is important to be transparent about legal fees and ensure that work is conducted as cost effectively as possible so that you can budget appropriately. 

Our Reading team includes mediators and accredited specialist family lawyers. When our clients need additional, dedicated guidance, we have access to top rated private client, trust and property lawyers across our network of UK and international offices.

The chief legal directories, Chambers UK and The Legal 500, have ranked us as a top tier firm in the Thames Valley for divorce and family law over many years, praising our strong regional presence and ‘standout’ divorce lawyers. We are members of Resolution, the leading specialist family law solicitors’ organisation in the country.

Our local presence in Reading

Our Reading family law team is headed by Kerry Fretwell, a London trained divorce lawyer and mediator. With nearly 30 years of family law experience, she was a partner in a London law firm before returning to the Thames Valley, where she grew up, to be closer to her family. She is highly regarded by her peers as well as leading counsel and has been described in Chambers UK as ‘super experienced and thoughtful’, ‘sensible’ and ‘solutions-oriented’.

All members of the team advise on a broad spectrum of family law issues and are committed to resolving family disputes in a constructive and non-adversarial way. Our solicitors play an active role in the regional legal network, including the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire branches of Resolution which run local training and networking sessions to further the development of specialist skills and knowledge. They also contribute to key community and cultural events such as the Henley Youth Festival and the Henley Literary Festival which has established a reputation as one of the UK’s biggest book festivals.

In addition to a wealth of experience in British family law cases, we offer international divorce law advice from our Reading office, supporting both UK nationals living abroad and international clients with questions about how English family law might apply to them. Members of the team are experienced in international family work across numerous jurisdictions. They have a notable interest in cases with a UAE/Sharia law dimension having spent extensive time in the Middle East.

Located in Apex Plaza in the centre of Reading, just two minutes’ walk from the mainline railway station, our practice is easily accessible by public transport and only a short drive from the M4 motorway. Parking for disabled visitors is available beneath Apex Plaza, together with some parking facilities for general use - please let us know if you require a space. There are also several public car parks nearby.

Alongside face to face meetings, we offer video calls via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Recent work highlights

Children proceedings following parental separation

Acting for the managing director of a successful business to resolve schedule one claims and children proceedings brought by his former partner. We achieved an advantageous outcome in the financial matters, as well as securing a lives with order and shared care regime for him despite fierce opposition from the mother, who had been exhibiting behaviour akin to parental alienation.

Favourable division of marital assets

Acting for a consultant surgeon in financial proceedings against his barrister wife involving assets totalling £3 million. We obtained a favourable outcome for him after a court based financial dispute resolution appointment, securing him a significant proportion of the matrimonial assets while also ringfencing his inheritance.

Better than 50/50 split in complex divorce

Representing a wife in financial proceedings against her husband in a case involving assets of £2 million, much of which was gifted to the husband by his parents. There was an added complexity as the couple had worked in Africa for a significant period in the husband’s family business. We obtained an order that resulted in more than half of the assets being transferred to our client.

Questions of jurisdiction and applicable law

Acting for a husband who has issued proceedings in Mauritius while his Mauritius based wife has issued proceedings in London to try to obtain a more favourable settlement. A Mauritius court will determine whether the wife’s application for a stay of proceedings will succeed but so far has been sceptical of her delaying tactics.

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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