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Portrait of Laura Hunter Watkins
Areas of expertise: Family law, Private wealth


Laura is a senior associate in the family team, based in the London office. She advises on the full spectrum of family law matters arising from the breakdown of a relationship including divorce/dissolution, financial claims, arrangements for children, adoption, marital agreements, protective injunctions in domestic abuse cases, and cohabitation disputes.

She acts for a range of clients including entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, spouses or partners who run the home, and city professionals. Laura has considerable experience advising clients in complex international children matters including child arrangements for international families, relocation of a child to live abroad, schooling disputes and wrongful removal/retention of a child. The financial matters on which Laura advises often have an international element and she has particular experience in financial claims arising from divorce that involve assets in East Asian jurisdictions.

Her experience includes representing clients in the Family Court and the High Court, and she is well versed in the use of alternative dispute resolution as a means to settle cases. Her approach is constructive and focused on the goals of each individual client. An experienced barrister has said of Laura: “She is exceptionally strategic, prepares beautifully and is always completely focused on the issues. She is patient and pragmatic with clients, and quite simply a joy to work with.”

Laura is a Resolution-accredited specialist in private children law and complex higher income financial remedies. She joined the family team in September 2018 after training with the firm. Laura is also a member of the firm’s socioeconomic subcommittee and internal sustainability committee.

Recent work highlights

  • Reported financial remedies case in the High Court before Sir Jonathan Cohen where both parties were Russian nationals - AG v VD [2021] EWFC 9.
  • Advising a German mother in relation to a child abduction from this jurisdiction to another European country.
  • Advising on a complex financial remedies matter where the parties were resident in England but their main asset base remained in China.
  • Acting for a mother in a same sex relationship regarding removal of a child to Russia.
  • Advising in a high value financial matter with assets and business interests in Hong Kong and England.

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