Partner, Family

Desmond O’Donnell

Desmond has a wealth of experience in dealing with families in difficulty and in seeking to resolve their problems constructively.

As a mediator and collaborative lawyer with over 30 years’ experience, Desmond’s preference for resolving cases, is for his clients to avoid the emotional and financial stress of having a judge determine their case, in court. However, he acknowledges that sometimes, there is no alternative to attending court.

Desmond ODonnell

Specialisms & expertise

  • Divorce, judicial separation and dissolution of Civil Partnerships
  • Issues in respect of children, including parental responsibility, deciding with whom a child should live, deciding how often a child should spend time with a parent and re-location (national and international)
  • All financial aspects of a relationship breakdown
  • Collaborative law
  • Family mediation
  • Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements
  • Advice and agreements for cohabiting couples
  • Issues between former cohabitees
  • Domestic violence, including applications for non-molestation and occupation orders.

Achievements & other appointments

Desmond is a member of Resolution and is a Resolution trained mediator and collaborative lawyer. In addition, he has passed the Californian Bar examinations and completed a Los Angeles mediation course and is listed as a Citywealth Leader.

Desmond was a member of the Lord Chancellor’s International Child Abduction Panel and the English Law Society’s representative on the National Victim Support Working Party on Domestic Violence. He was involved in preparing a paper for the Lord Chancellor’s Department concerning domestic violence.

Desmond is acknowledged in leading independent guide to UK law firms, Chambers UK as a leader in his field.

The British Family Law Awards 2024 - Family Law Firm of the Year (Regional) - Highly Commended award Desmond O'Donnell, Chambers 2024 eprivateclient Top Family Law Firms 2023 Legal 500 - uk-recommended-lawyer-2023 logo eprivate client - top law firm 2022 logo Citywealth leaders button


Desmond graduated from the University of Kent in Canterbury where he obtained an Honours Degree in Law. He studied for and took his solicitors’ examinations through the College of Law. He was admitted as a solicitor in December 1985.

Between 1983 and 1997, Desmond worked in London, spending the last 10 years of this with Bindmans LLP. From 1997 until 1999, he worked in Los Angeles and from 1999 until 2005, Desmond worked in Northern Ireland, in a specialist family law firm.