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  1. Wealth
June 29, 2022

Who are the ‘Queen Bees’ of divorce and family law?

By Spear's

The ‘Queen Bees’ of family law are five leading solicitors at top firms who have built their careers and reputations over the course of several decades in the profession

These women have long been the go-to names for the most high-profile divorces and ‘big-money cases’, representing leading business figures, celebrities and royalty – and often finding themselves going head-to-head in court.

A new generation is lining up to revolutionise the industry, but for now the ‘Queen Bees’ remain as active as ever…

Sandra Davis

Sandra Davis

Mishcon de Reya

Over the course of her long career, Davis has dealt with just about every kind of case in family law. No wonder she’s been called a ‘powerhouse of knowledge’ by one peer. She has acted for many notable HNWs, including Princess Diana, Jerry Hall and Thierry Henry.

Frances Hughes

Frances Hughes

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

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Famed for big-money cases, Hughes has told Spear’s the cases she settles are often the most rewarding: ‘We don’t want clients feeling like the walking wounded and spending the rest of their lives complaining about their awful divorce at cocktail parties.’

Diana Parker

Diana Parker


Parker was the first female senior partner of a City law firm in 1998 and worked on the country’s first £1 billion divorce. One impressed QC told Spear’s ‘there’s no glory-singing from her’ and complimented her style: ‘It’s discreet. It’s slick. It’s awesome.’

Fiona Shackleton

Fiona Shackleton

Payne Hicks Beach

When Spear’s asked family lawyers who they would instruct in their own divorce, the name of Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia was uttered more than any other. She recently secured Britain’s biggest ever divorce payout, for Princess Haya bint Hussein of Jordan.

Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Stewarts Law

‘When she is on your case she is a tigress who never sleeps,’ said one client of Lady Helen Ward’s zeal for protecting the interests of her clients. A giant of the industry who attracts starry clients, she has fought for Andrew Lloyd Webber, Guy Ritchie and Countess Spencer.

Main Image: Chris McAndrew/WikiCommons

Read next:

The Spear’s Family Law Index 

2022 Spear’s Family Law Survey

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