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  • Overview

    Thomson Snell & Passmore is a long-established firm handling high-value and technically demanding matrimonial disputes for high net worth individuals and professionals.

    Our family lawyers always try to minimise the pain and stress caused by family issues and focus on finding the best outcome for you. We never lose sight of the long-term interests of both the adults and children involved.

    With a broad range of clients, knowledge and experience, our family lawyers are also specialists in mediation and collaborative law, providing the right expertise in even the most unusual and difficult circumstances.

    Sarah Judd was a Deputy District Judge which enables us to offer a unique view from the court. Joanna Pratt, Kirstie Law and Sarah Judd are accredited in Chambers Directory as industry leaders in their field for family law.

    We pride ourselves on providing all of our clients with a high quality and efficient service. Our family team was quoted in the Chambers independent guide to the legal profession as being “one of the top firms for family work to the south of London”. The Legal 500 quotes "Well-considered advice…presents a realistic picture of the likely outcome".

    Our clients benefit from the support and collective experience of the firm. As well as family law, we offer a strong network of lawyers to provide a comprehensive service, including the provision of Wills, buying or selling a home as well as details of counsellors, mediators, forensic accountants and enquiry agents.

    Our strong team of family law specialists deals with the legal aspects of any family problem in a practical, clear and supportive way. We regularly publish information sheets covering all aspects of family law to help guide you through what can be a stressful process.

    For further information please contact our family solicitors in Kent and Sussex today.

     

     

  • Related Client Stories

  • Latest Updates

    FAQ: Tax Planning

    Q. We want to help our 20 year old daughter buy her first flat, but we’re worried about putting such a valuable asset directly in her name. Is there anything we can do to protect the property until she’s a bit older?

    Bank of Mum and Dad – how to protect your wealth

    It is increasingly difficult to save for a deposit whilst paying rent and outgoings on a rented property. Lenders are now far more cautious about how much they will lend and who they will lend it to. As a result parents are regularly stepping in to help out their children to purchase a property.

    Giggs drop bid to gag reporters

    Partner, Kirstie Law from our family team speaks to The Times and comments on the privacy of Ryan Giggs' divorce.

    Are trusts the new pre-nups for wealthy families?

    Desmond O'Donnell, senior associate from our family department and Stuart Price, solicitor from our private client department speak with Spear's about pre-nuptial agreements for wealthy families.

    FAQ: Family

    Q: I have recently separated from my long term partner, we were not married.  Am I able to make a financial claim against them?

    Christmas Contact

    Christmas is undoubtedly one of the hardest times for parents who are separated.  Do remember that most families find Christmas stressful at times.  Acknowledge that it is inevitably particularly hard when there is so much emphasis on one day that most separated parents cannot spend together so usually “miss out” alternate years.

    Social media in your relationship

    Social media seems to be taking over the world as a form of communication. Both young and old are opening Twitter accounts, regularly updating their Facebook pages, constantly sending text messages and exchanging photographs on Instagram to name a few.

    Update on prenuptial agreements

    Every so often there is a high profile wedding or divorce which highlights throughout the media the role of prenuptial agreements. It is certainly the case that more couples are entering into a prenuptial agreement before they marry. In early 2016, when Cheryl Cole’s marriage broke down, there was a lot of speculation in the media as to whether she and her husband had entered into a prenuptial agreement, and if they hadn’t, what the extent of his potential claim against her might be.

    Reflections on a business owner’s sale of company shares to fund a divorce

    Joanna Pratt, Partner in our family department speaks to global wealth management reporter WeathBriefing and discusses a case in which a business owner sold a large block of shares in a company to fund a divorce settlement.

    Wealth preservation

    Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more common, and are not just for the rich and famous.  Helen Waite, Senior Associate in our Family team, addresses the importance of protecting family wealth at an early stage of a relationship and explains the options available.

    Top 25 UK Law Firm

    We are pleased to receive, for another year, the accolade from eprivateclient of being listed as one of the Top 25 Law Firms in the UK.

    Court orders Laura Ashley boss to settle 'titanic' divorce case

    Desmond O'Donnell from our Family team speaks to the Guardian in relation to the Laura Ashley boss divorce case.

    Maughan v Wilmott [2016] EWHC 29 (Fam)

    The Maughan v Wilmott [2016] EWHC 29 (Fam) case outlines a child maintenance order served by email whilst a husband was out of jurisdiction. The husband would like the order set aside due to the basis that it was served to him out of jurisdiction by which the email was refused.

    What's the point of Civil Partnership?

    Heterosexual couples may soon be allowed to enter into civil partnership. Nicola Plant from our Private Client department speaks about why some heterosexual couples prefer the idea of civil partnership over marriage and what it will mean to them legally.

    Holy matrimony or civil partnership, should straight couples have both options too?

    Anna Stokeld says a recent bill is considering a change in law to allow ‘happily unmarried’  heterosexual couples to enter civil partnership.

    The family home allowance

    Or to give it its proper name the ‘residence nil rate band’ (RNRB).

    Caring for elderly relatives from a distance: legal and practical steps

    In an increasingly competitive and international economy, it is more and more usual to seek new opportunities abroad. However, the lure of exciting new prospects will invariably weigh against concern for those left behind – not just friends and familiar faces, but parents and other relatives. While it may no longer be possible to call in and check up on elderly parents, there are steps that can be taken to give them the support they need and their far-flung children the reassurance they need.

    Keeping it out of court

    The feedback from both children and parents who have been involved in mediations is extremely positive. Mediation can be concluded very quickly enabling the whole family to move on and hopefully the parents to co-parent more successfully.

    Are you aware of your digital assets?

    For most of us, and increasingly irrespective of age, the digital world has crept into our lives. Whether we manage our bank accounts or investments online, store our photographs in the cloud or manage our social lives through Facebook, our digital footprints are becoming deeper and deeper.

    Should married couples receive ‘milestone’ tax breaks?

    Divorce poses a considerable cost to the state each year. The family courts are overloaded and, despite the changes introduced to make an initial mediation meeting mandatory before issuing children and financial proceedings on divorce, there are still numerous applications to the family courts each day.

    National Siblings Day

    10 April is known largely across America as National Siblings Day. We meet plenty of families who are going through separation, and we too recognise the importance of having a day for children to recognise and lean on each other when, at times, feelings may be a little unsettled.

    Wyatt v Vince – what does it mean in practice?

    There has been much comment in the press recently about the case of Wyatt v Vince, where an ex-wife was given permission by the Supreme Court to bring a financial remedy claim against her ex-husband, some 22 years after their divorce.

    An exciting new company launches in Kent: Mexxa Mixx

    These case studies were serialised in the Kent and Sussex Courier, but are collated together in this case to show all of the different stages a company can go through and how we can assist. MexxaMixx is a ficticious Kent-based business which manufactures and sells a range of Mexican style cooking sauces.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore’s bumper year in the Chambers UK rankings

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is pleased to announce its excellent rankings in the new Chambers UK guide, published last week.

    Post 22 April 2014 reforms to the Family Law system

    Family lawyers are not unused to significant changes in the way in which the family law system works. The Children Act 1989 introduced a wholly different approach to how the courts dealt with cases relating to the arrangements for children. The Family Law Act 1996 updated the law in respect of domestic violence.

    Freezing Order in Divorce Proceedings

    By Joanna Pratt, Partner. Article first published in New Model Adviser, February 2014.

    Predictions on Prest

    By Kirstie Law, Partner in Family. Article first published in the Family Law Journal April 2013.

    The Lawyer Work Life Quiz: Joanna Pratt

    Article published in The Lawyer (online) on 4 February 2013.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore Retains Excellent Rankings

    Thomson Snell & Passmore has achieved outstanding rankings in this year’s Chambers & Partners – with an impressive 24 lawyers recognised as “leaders in their field” – four more than last year.

    Holmes v Cruise: the bigger picture

    By Kirstie Law, Partner in Family. Article first published in The Times on 5 July 2012.

    'Shared parenting' - Court needs to catch up

    By Kirstie Law, Partner in Family. Article first published in The Lawyer on 14 June 2012.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore Announces Two Major New Hires for the Family Team

    Thomson Snell & Passmore today announces two significant hires in the Family team with the appointment of Kirstie Law as a Partner and Helen Waite as an Associate.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore Retains Excellent Rankings

    Leading South East law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore has achieved outstanding rankings in this year’s Chambers & Partners and has an impressive 20 lawyers recognised as ‘Leaders in their Field’ – retaining its position as one of the region’s leading law firms. Chambers & Partners is one of the foremost independent guides to the legal profession and this year Thomson Snell & Passmore has maintained its strong reputation across all its practice areas.

  • Know How

Get in touch

“Kirstie was helpful and very pleasant from the start. She gave me useful, informal advice before we agreed a formal legal relationship and I valued this very much.” 

Client

“I found Sarah very approachable and her advice pragmatic. She immediately understood my situation and I felt comfortable in sharing information about my situation. The written advice that followed was easy to understand and I felt clear about my options.”

Client

“Joanna Pratt is 'sensible and sensitive. She really cares about her clients and has the human touch while being efficient and staying on top of things.'”

Chambers UK 2015

“Kirstie Law is 'absolutely committed to moving things along, getting a result and resolving cases,' Sources say: 'She is one of the most effective lawyers practising in this area. Her approach is wonderfully refreshing and straightforward.”

Chambers UK 2015

“I found everyone helpful, considerate and professional. At times I believe Joanna Pratt and Amy England went above and beyond the 'normal' course of duty. The advice and support given to me was excellent."

Client

Courteous, timely and professional expert advice leading to a successful outcome

Client

Impeccable knowledge, and ability to interpret my expectations and insights with respect to settlement in a pragmatic manner to drive to an acceptable outcome.

Client

I got on extremely well with Joanna, she was always available, explained everything very clearly and gave me extremely good advice throughout my lengthy separation and divorce. Also I felt completely at ease discussing every details of my personal life with her. I could not have wished for a better lawyer.

Client

Understanding but sensible commercial advice specialist.

Client

At every stage in instructing TS&P (and I have used them for Residential Conveyancing, Family Law and Employment Law) I have always been very impressed with the quality of the people I have dealt with. Keep doing what they are doing and they will keep my business as well as be warmly recommended by me.

Client

I know it is your job but thank you for making this awful process bearable. You gave me the confidence to get through it with your professionalism.

Client

At Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP, team head Joanna Pratt's 'confident air puts clients at ease', Kirstie Law has 'well-regarded collaborative law expertise', and senior associate Desmond O'Donnell is an 'outstanding family lawyer'. Sarah Judd has highly regarded expertise in complicated financial proceedings.

The Legal 500 2015

Very efficient service - always responded promptly to any queries.

Client

I was impressed with Des’ attention to detail, understanding and humanity.

Client

I have found both Una and Desmond very professional, knowledgeable and understanding people. It is good to deal with 'humans' when having to work on personal documentation.

Client

Extremely professional, great communication and a personal service throughout.

Client

Prompt direct communication, and offered a supportive but not intrusive edge to their legal services. Even though Thomson Snell & Passmore is a large firm it still offers a very tailored personal service.

Client

Sarah is professional, well-organised, and thorough in her work. I was impressed by the way in which she kept matters cool and polite when dealing with my ex-husband's solicitor, always focused on the task at hand and never engaging in power games.  The outcome of the divorce was very satisfying for me, I felt well-advised and supported by Sarah Keily and Emma Sumner, and it is most gratifying to be able to have such high quality legal service locally.

Client

I found Sarah very approachable and her advice pragmatic. She immediately understood my situation and I felt comfortable in sharing information about my situation. The written advice that followed was easy to understand and I felt clear about my options.

Client

Joanna Pratt is 'sensible and sensitive. She really cares about her clients and has the human touch while being efficient and staying on top of things.'

Client

Kirstie Law is 'absolutely committed to moving things along, getting a result and resolving cases,' Sources say: 'She is one of the most effective lawyers practising in this area. Her approach is wonderfully refreshing and straightforward.

Client

They provide good value for money and an excellent service, and they know the courts very well.

Client

I'm really happy with them, they communicate well and keep me informed. They're great to deal with and they work hard.

Client

Thomson Snell & Passmore is an 'excellent' firm which provides 'a robust service and good value for money'.

Client

I found everyone helpful, considerate and professional. At times I believe Joanna Pratt and Amy England went above and beyond the 'normal' course of duty. The advice and support given to me was excellent.

Client

Their technical and experiential knowledge in divorce law and experience in presenting legal arguments at court are real strengths.

Client

The 'very personal' family team is 'always accessible' and 'very knowledgeable.'  

Client

They are sensible and realistic in their expectations, practical, tough and yet fair - they get good results.

Client

They are sensible and realistic in their expectations, practical, tough and yet fair - they get good results.

Client

Well-considered advice and presents a realistic picture of the likely outcome.

Client

They just led the way for me, steered the way for me through it...I didn't have to worry about anything they just were very proactive.

Client

Kirstie was helpful and very pleasant from the start. She gave me useful, informal advice before we agreed a formal legal relationship and I valued this very much.

Client

"An outstandingly good regional firm - the partners are excellent." "Efficient, helpful and effective."

Chambers UK 2016

Sarah Judd commands respect in the market for her long-standing experience in complex financial and children matters. "She does difficult and wonderful cases and she does them really well," a source notes.    

Chambers UK 2016

Very efficient and caring. Always responding to emails even on days off.

Client

Trained mediator and collaborative lawyer Kirstie Law is "obviously a highly experienced family lawyer, who is pragmatic and a great problem solver," according to an interviewee. Another source adds: "She is brilliant to talk things through with. She explored options and came up with creative ideas. She had my back the whole time and I trusted her judgement."    

Chambers UK 2016

Department head Joanna Pratt is highly regarded for her work in high net worth financial matters, children cases and prenuptial issues. A client notes: "She held my hand and kept a level head throughout." Sources add that she is "very straightforward and you always know where you are with her."    

Chambers UK 2016

Associate Desmond O'Donnell is well versed in both financial and children matters. "He is refreshingly forthright and honest with his advice to the client, which manages expectations. I always know that he will approach things sensibly," a source highlights. 

Chambers UK 2016

They act effectively, on time and deliver results in all the areas that we ask them to work on our behalf.

Client

He was always very patient with me and ensured that I fully understood each step

Client

He was always very patient with me and ensured that I fully understood each step

Client

I liked the thoroughness to detail

Client

Desmond was very helpful, kind and supportive.  

Client

It was good to know that I could contact Desmond if I had a problem, either by email or phone and I always got a prompt reply  

Client

Very nice people. Really made the case a lot easier to understand; they were always there to help.

Client

I was grateful for the advice and support provided by Desmond O'Donnell at a time which was of considerable personal stress. Desmond made the process I had to go through as simple as he could, in the circumstances.

Client

Desmond responded quickly to all communications, gave sound advice and was very supportive.

Client

Desmond is an asset to the firm and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.

Client

During the initial meeting with Helen, she had a manner about her that was reassuring and professional. I knew the company she represented was expensive, but felt absolute confidence in her to deliver if it was required.  

Client

Helen was very patient with me, as she often needed to translate documents from legalese to layman. The advice was always solid, but commensurate with the outcome I was seeking.

Client

Helen Waite carried out my instruction, she listened to what I wanted/needed. She kept me well informed on what was happening or not happening.

Client

Helen kept me informed, listened to what I wanted to say, achieved a great outcome for me.

Client

I feel that the compassion and determination of Sarah gave me hope and a will to push through such a painful time. I felt very confident in her letters and phone contact. She also made me laugh, which was hard at the time.

Client

The most reassuring and professional service you could get. Everything felt real and true, no false hopes but always reality which is what you need through emotional times,

Client

I was kept fully informed of progress. I was extremely satisfied with the outcome. Any questions I asked were quickly dealt with.

Client

The service was quick, friendly, thorough, and contained muchy common sense.

Client

Very efficient and pleasant to deal with.

Client

Demonstrated a good understanding of the current laws pertaining to my particular case and ensured that my best interests were represented.

Client

Sarah came highly recommended via a family friend. I am based in the USA and was looking for an attorney that could handle a UK-based legal matter for me.

Client

Helen Waite listened to my concerns, ensuring that it was my daughter's best interests that were at the heart of any argument, not mine or my ex-husband's.

Client

Desmond is highly professional, courteous, and efficient

Client

Throughout what was a very stressful process Joanna and her team were superb in advising me on my options. Advice was given in a considered way and I never felt under pressure to adopt a course of action. She took the time to explain everything and was a superb advocate in hearings. It was very comforting to know that my case was being handled by Joanna and her very capable team.

Client

Meeting was productive & clear information given & followed up in writing.  

Client

Advice & service was clear, concise & valuable in such a stressful situation.  

Client

The legal basis for advice was always fully explained and at no point was I left not understanding the process or what we needed to do to give ourselves the best chance of success.

Client

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