District Judge Michael Baker was a solicitor in practice for 24 years. He was DDJ on Chester and Wales Circuit 1995 – 2006 and DJ in Liverpool 2006 to date. A ticketed s8 Private Law Children DJ. Latterly the Deputy Lead Judge for Financial Remedy in Cheshire and Merseyside.
Caroline Bayliss has been a qualified actuary for over 25 years, and has worked in pensions, wealth management, risk management and life insurance across the UK and Australian markets during that time. She is a Director of Excalibur Actuaries Limited, who specialise in the provision of single joint expert pension reports in respect of divorcing parties. She has many years’ experience of working with a wide variety of private and public sector pensions, which allows a real insight into how the often-complex pensions which divorcing couples have built up between them over the years can most effectively be analysed and dealt with appropriately on divorce.’
Robert Cole worked for Stoy Hayward following graduation, gaining experience in accountancy and insolvency before coming to the Bar. He has applied that knowledge over his 29 years practice and is recognised as one of the senior financial remedy practitioners in the north; specialising in this field for the last 20 years. His practice extends across both the Northern and North Eastern circuits. Robert has lectured for the judicial college in the treatment of companies in financial remedy proceedings and sits as an Arbitrator. He is Head of the Family Team at Broadway House Chambers
Archna Dawar was called to the bar in 1996. She started her career in Bristol and is now at St Johns Chambers. She specialises in high value financial remedy cases and complex private law matters. Archna is ranked in Chamber and Partners and Legal 500 as ‘having an impressive ability in getting to the crux of matter and is a delight to work with‘ and ‘she is skilled at providing innovative solutions to complex cases.’
Samantha Hillas QC was called to the Bar in 1996. Samantha specialises in ancillary relief, cohabitation, children and personal protection. Practicing at St Johns Buildings, Samantha is a member of the Family Law Bar Association.
Harry Gates has been a practising family law barrister for almost 20 years focusing on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown. He has significant experience dealing with complex corporate, tax and offshore structures. Harry is a trained collaborative lawyer and mediator, and ranked as a leading individual in his field in both The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.
Helen Pittard is a long Standing Advocate for ADR having practiced Mediation for over 20 years and specialising in Family Law for over 25 years. Helen was one of the first to offer Legally aided Mediation in the North West and as a Professional Practice Consultant to other mediators is helping to nurture future mediators on a national basis. Helen is a Trustee of the Family Initiative which incorporates “ Voices in the middle” a digital support facility for Children whose parents are separating which also introduces the concept of Child inclusive Mediation which Helen also promotes.
Joseph Switalski was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2014. His father practised law on the North Eastern Circuit for many years. Joseph undertook his pupillage at 29 Bedford Row, London before accepting their offer of tenancy. His practice encompasses all areas of family law with a particular focus on financial remedy claims. Though in the early stages of his career, he has been led in the Court of Appeal twice: first by Jonathan Southgate QC in the case of Sharp v Sharp  EWCA Civ 408 and subsequently by Jonathan Swift in the case of Wilmot v Maughan  EWCA Civ 1668.
Lauren Walsh is a Welfare Benefits Supervisor at Frenkel Topping, who provide specialist advice to safeguard your clients’ financial future.
Samantha Woodham has been practising family law as a barrister for almost 15 years, advising couples as to the finances and arrangements for their children on family breakdown. She has represented high profile and high net worth clients. Samantha started her legal career at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer qualifying as a solicitor in 2004. She is a trained collaborative lawyer and mediator, and ranked as a leading individual in her field in both The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.