WiFL brings together women from across England and Wales, whether solicitors or barristers, judges or paralegals, all of whom have the shared aim of uniting and supporting women in the profession.
About Women in Family Law
Women in Family Law (WiFL) was founded in January 2020 by a group of women, all of whom work in the field of family law. WiFL brings together women from across England and Wales, whether solicitors or barristers, judges or paralegals, all of whom have the shared aim of uniting and supporting women in the profession.
The founding Chair, Hannah Markham QC along with Katherine Rayden, Vanessa Meachin QC, Frances Judd QC (now Mrs Justice Judd) and Simone McGrath began their discussions in the summer of 2019. As word spread, more women offered their support and expressed their desire to be part of this unique group. Now, we have a diverse committee (see below) made up of women across all levels of seniority and from across the jurisdiction.
WiFL is a collective in which all women who work in the field can come together to share views, seek guidance, involve themselves in events and support the furtherance of women. We are acutely aware that women face particular challenges and fears within the profession, and that some may need that extra bit of care.
Our patrons, Lady Hale, the outgoing President of the Supreme Court, and Lady Justice King pledged their support very early on. They are just two of a number of female judges from the north and the south who have offered to assist WiFL. Others include: Mrs Justice Theis, Mrs Justice Leiven, Ms Justice Russell, Her Honour Judge Sapnara, Her Honour Judge Joanne Vincent, Her Honour Judge Sonia Harris, Her Honour Judge Rachel Hudson and Judge Vera Mayer.
Meet the team of talented women who form our diverse committee. We are a board created of various levels of seniority and have vast experience across the jurisdiction.
Hannah Markham KC
Hannah is a silk at The 36 Group who specialises in public and private children law. She is Chair of the Family Law Bar Association.
Simone is a consultant solicitor at Osbornes Law and she sits as a deputy district judge, South Eastern Circuit. She has particular expertise in domestic and international child abduction work.
Leanne is a barrister at 10 King’s Bench Walk in London and 7 Harrington Street in Liverpool, and the chair and founder of Temple Legal Centre. She is a pupil supervisor and advocacy trainer for Lincoln’s Inn; a Bar Council representative; Chair of the Bar Council’s Pro Bono & Social Responsibility Committee, and treasurer for the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association.
Women in Family Law (North) Lead
Jess is a barrister at St John’s Buildings. Before coming to the Bar, Jess was an intern at the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office via Amicus ALJ, assisting with capital defence trial preparation; a volunteer caseworker with Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research, and a volunteer caseworker for the National Centre for Domestic Violence.
Charlotte is a barrister at East Anglian Chambers, practising in civil, crime and family law.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Charlotte was an intern at the Criminal Cases Review Commission as part of the Kalisher Trust Scholarship Scheme. She is a trustee for Suffolk Rape Crisis.
La-Toyah is a family solicitor at Lamb Brooks and qualified as a solicitor advocate in 2022.
She deals with children, divorce and finances, with a view to building a specialism in children law.
Education and Training Co-Lead
Suzanne is a consultant at Mills & Reeve. She is a qualified mediator and arbitrator and has been described by the Chambers UK High Net Worth Guide 2018 as the “queen of arbitration”.
Lisa is the Operations Manager at Rayden Solicitors.
Katy is the founder of and senior partner at Rayden Solicitors. She specialises in financial disputes on the breakdown of relationships, and also handles almost all aspects of private children law, including relocation and surrogacy. She sits on Rayden Solicitors’ Resolution Skills and Support Committee.
Social Media Lead
Tia is a senior associate and a solicitor-advocate at Crane & Staples. She was President of the Hertfordshire Law Society for 2018/19 and serves on her local Family Justice Board Council as Hertfordshire Law Society’s representative. In 2019, she was a finalist in the ‘Women in Law, 100 years’ category at the National Asian Legal Awards.
Shakira is a solicitor at Morr & Co LLP, dealing with the full range of family matters, including divorce, finances and children.
Education and Training Co-Lead
Barbara is a Jersey Advocate and English solicitor. She is a senior partner at Corbett Le Quesne, which she co-founded in 2017. She is at the forefront of developing family law in Jersey.
Vanessa Meachin QC
Women in Family Law (Midlands) Lead
Vanessa is a silk at 3PB Barristers. Her practice spans care, adoption, matrimonial finance, private law children and Court of Protection work.
Vanessa is head of the family group at 3PB and she sits as a recorder (South Eastern circuit).
Malvika is a barrister at St Ives Chambers. Alongside her practice, she is part of the core group for The Transparency Project. She runs a blog on wellbeing in the legal profession and is a Champion for LawCare. She co-hosts a family law podcast which has been shortlisted for ‘Commentator of the Year’ in the LexisNexis Family Law Awards in 2021 and 2022.
Clarissa is a family law barrister at 4PB. Prior to coming to the Bar, she was Director of the School Exclusion Project. She spent a year at Harvard studying the relationship between adverse childhood experiences, neural development and the experience of children in the justice system.
Sam worked in private practice as a family solicitor in England until 2012 when she moved to Jersey. She was called to the Jersey Bar in 2015 and was appointed as a Family Division Registrar of the Royal Court in 2018.