The regions have not been ignored by solicitors in their recommendations of up-and-coming juniors in family and matrimonial matters. It is a field that needs, as one solicitor says, “someone who is superb with clients, very understanding and able to smooth things over with the clients, as well as fighting in their corner”.
In Birmingham, some consider Robin Rowland at 1 Fountain Court and Patricia Deeley, head of chambers at Priory Chambers, 2 Fountain Court, as “by far the two leading specialist senior juniors in Birmingham”.
Others singled out for mention at the chambers include David Hershman for childcare work, Andrew Mcfarlane “for the heavyweight cases”, plus the more junior junior Alison Cook. Next door at 3 Fountain Court, Sybil Thomas and Carolyn Hilder have been particularly noted.
At 5 Fountain Court, headed by Anthony Barker QC, Christopher James, Anne Smallwood and Douglas Draycott are all well-experienced in matrimonial matters, and the more junior Michele Friel and Lorna Meyer rate honourable mentions.
At 8 Fountain Court, Vanessa Meachin is a “junior who will get her teeth into childcare cases”. Another Birmingham set with a number of notable juniors is St Ive's Chambers with Julia Macur, Margaret Hodgson and Michael Keehan.
Outstanding at the Manchester Bar is Lesley Newton at Young Street Chambers, Alan Booth at Deans Court Chambers, Ernest Ryder at King Street Chambers, and the more junior Helen Matuk at 58 King Street Chambers, who is said to be “very good for her level”.
At 28 St John Street, Bernard Wallwork is recommended, as is Sonia Gal at 40 King Street Chambers, and Mark Laprell, Anastasia Ioannou and the more junior Joy Booth at 18 St John Street.
Jane Walker is “up and coming and competent” at 9 St John Street. At Deans Court Chambers the more junior Karen Brody is also mentioned.
In Leeds, Paul Isaacs at 9 Woodhouse Square, is “perhaps recognised overall as the leading family barrister”, followed closely by Rodney Ferm at 37 Park Square. Sally Cahill at 39 Park Square is highly regarded, and also recognised are the more junior Roger Bickerdike, at 9 Woodhouse Square, Angela Finnerty at Pearl Chambers, Annabel Walker at 12 Paradise Square and Peter Hunt at 25 Park Square. In Preston, at 15 Winckley Square, set head Stephen Dodds and Barbara Watson are recommended.
Further south and west, senior juniors Maureen Roddy and Gail Owen are highly rated for ancillary relief cases, at Peel House Chambers in Liverpool, as are the more junior Michael Kennedy, Patricia Pratt and Jonathan Taylor. Margaret de Haas at Corn Exchange Building is singled out, likewise Christine Bispham at the same chambers. Martyn Bennett at Peel House Chambers, headed by Nigel Gilmour QC, is said to be good for “the financial stuff”.
Kevin Reade at Martins Buildings and the more junior Deirdre McGuire and Judith Fordham at Exchange Chambers are also named. Others include Ivan Woolfenden at 14 Castle Street, Celestine Greenwood at Derby Square Chambers, and chambers head at Oriel Chambers Andrew Sander.
In Newcastle upon Tyne, Sally Bradley at 31/33 Broad Chare is an eminent senior junior, with Judy Moir and Ian Kennerley noted, plus Pauline Moulder for both public and private law cases and Kester Armstrong.
Christopher Knox and Rachel Hudson of Trinity Chambers receive honourable mentions, as do Tom Finch and the rising Claire Middleton at 67a Westgate Road Chambers, Susan Taylor at New Court Chambers, and head of chambers at Counsels' Chambers in Middlesbrough, Stuart Lightwing.
Heading south, Lindsay Davies at Fenners Chambers in Cambridge is noted as a specialist, and the more junior Susan Espley and Hazel Clark are mentioned.
In Norwich, senior juniors Anthony Kefford and Roderick Newton of East Anglian Chambers, and Timothy Townshend, Philip Curl and Robert Aldous at Octagon House make up for the lack of leaders there.
In Wales, Jane Crowley at 30 Park Place, Cardiff has “impressed”, as has Isabel Parry at 9 Park Place.
In Bristol, Christopher Sharp at St John's Chambers, is “probably the senior junior” for this type of work and other juniors to note include Nicholas Marston, Susan Jacklin and Ralph Dixon, who is used for specialist cases, particularly ancillary relief cases.
Stephen Wildblood at Albion Chambers is “highly recommended and very busy”, and juniors Sheelagh Corfield, Nicholas Miller and Catriona Duthie at Guildhall Chambers are also singled out.
In Southampton, Alastair Haig-Haddow is consulted for complex financial matters. Head of chambers at 33 Southernhay East in Exeter, David Tyzack, is “really good”, as is Hugh Lewis at the same set, plus John Neligan at Walnut House.
Others based in the Western Circuit who stand out include Paul Storey at Bedford Row Chambers, Robin Tolson at 35 Essex Street, Miranda-Louise Robertshaw at 2 King's Bench Walk, and Hilary Beechey at Godolphin Chambers in Truro.