Published on 20 May, 2024 | Katie Welton-Dillon

Hall Brown has reinforced its reputation as Manchester’s leading family law practice by topping a new independent ranking of legal specialists.

In addition to being the only inclusion in the First Tier of family and divorce law firms in the city compiled by the Doyle’s Guide, Hall Brown has more of its lawyers recognised for their individual strengths than any of its rivals.

Its co-founders – Senior Partner Sam Hall and Managing Partner James Brown – are two of only three lawyers identified as Pre-eminent in their field, while Andrew Newbury and his fellow Partner Beth Wilkins are singled out as Leading practitioners.

Partner Katie Welton-Dillon is one of only two lawyers to feature both in the general family law ranking and a separate classification of specialist children law experts.

While Partner Sarah Manning is named as one of the best mediators, her colleague Senior Associate Madelaine Hailey is among those lawyers considered ‘Rising Stars’.

Mr Brown described the findings as further evidence of the strong progress made by Hall Brown.

The Doyle’s ranking comes less than a week after Hall Brown was named as one of the UK’s Best Places to Work in the latest edition of the annual ranking compiled by the Sunday Times.

Mr Brown said: “We are incredibly proud to be regarded as the top family law firm in Manchester.

“This city is where we launched and where so many of our lawyers began their careers, so being named alongside – let alone ahead of – so many friends and professional peers is immensely gratifying.

“We are particularly delighted that so many individual members of our team are singled out for their abilities.

“When it comes to dealing with often complex divorce cases, building a thriving children law team or spearheading a vibrant mediation practice, they are proof of the skill which we’re lucky to have in our ranks.

“That we also have one of our young talents included in Doyle’s grouping of rising stars is an illustration of the strength in depth which we have throughout the firm and not just in our Manchester head office but right across the country.”

The Doyle’s Guide is one of a handful of respected legal rankings worldwide and has a specific focus on lawyers and law firms in the UK, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

It bases its conclusions on carefully vetted opinions within the legal industry and client feedback.

Hall Brown sits alone at the head of a table of 11 law firms operating in the Manchester area which offer family law services.

Hall Brown partners also account for more than one-quarter of all the individuals making a table of the best family and divorce lawyers profiled by Doyle’s.

The Doyle’s findings add further lustre to Hall Brown’s reputation, following its prominent placing in the UK’s other leading legal rankings.

In October, Hall Brown clinched a place as one of the best 250 law firms in England and Wales in a classification compiled by The Times newspaper for the sixth successive year.

During the same month, it appeared once more in the echelon of family law practitioners in two other prestigious rankings drawn up by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Having been dubbed “the crème de la crème” by Legal 500, Hall Brown was referred to as “incredible” by Chambers and Partners.

Only last week, it was one of only two legal firms nationwide and the only boutique practice to feature in a Sunday Times’ list of the Best Places to Work.

Hall Brown was one of 40 companies of all sizes and from a wide range of industries singled out by the newspaper for creating ideal working environments for staff which provide “the best possible platform for business success”.

In April, it announced the promotions of seven staff for their contributions to its development.

At the time, Mr Brown also disclosed that award-winning firm, which employs a total of 69 people – 51 of whom are fee earners – is on course to see turnover rise by one-sixth to £7.2 million in the current financial year.

The latest expansion by Hall Brown saw it open an office in Birmingham in December, its fifth location after Manchester, London, Sheffield and Leeds.

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