Firm / Organisation

Dawson Cornwell

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Managing Partner: Stephen Harker Partners: 11
Associates: 9
Assistants: 13
Other fee-earners:

Managing Partner:
Stephen Harker
Children’s Issues: Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, QC (Hon)
Family Law: Russell Bywater

THE FIRM Dawson Cornwell is a leading specialist family law firm described, in the words of Chambers and Partners, as “a leader in the field, not just nationally but internationally.” The firm combines its highly regarded expertise in all aspects of family law with an unrivalled reputation in the field of international children law. The firm is unusual in that it has developed two specialist departments: the matrimonial department and the international children department, which work together with “clear communication between everyone.”

The matrimonial partners are the “incredibly clever, quick thinking” Russell Bywater, the “analytical, thorough, organised” Rhiannon Lewis, the “unafraid of a fight” Kate Allen, highly experienced mediator Jeremy Abraham and “brilliant lawyer” Charlotte Conner. The international children department is headed by the “doyenne of international family law” Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, QC (Hon) with the “wonderful professional,” dual-qualified Carolina Marín Pedreño and the “supportive and engaging” public law specialist Zoë Fleetwood.

The vast majority of the firm’s cases are international. The firm’s lawyers have extensive experience dealing with jurisdiction and other international issues. “They have multi–linguists at the office” including Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Catalan, Creole, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. The lawyers are trail blazers in the field of cross-border children work, to which their unparalleled and ongoing record of reported cases is testament. Because of its international expertise, the firm is uniquely placed to advise in cross border court of protection and public law cases.

It is also regarded by many as the firm of choice in the field of domestic and international surrogacy and fertility law.

The firm prides itself on its partner led approach, with strategic thinking and deft negotiation. Whilst fee earners assist partners to ensure that all work is undertaken cost effectively, clients are always able to speak directly to, and deal directly with, the partner in charge of their case. Each partner has, deliberately, a different speciality so that they are able to offer collaborative law and mediation through to a high level of experience in jurisdictional work and complex litigation and trusts. At the same time, the firm is known for being united in resolution rather than litigation and proportionality in respect of costs.


Family & Matrimonial:
Conveyancing: 5%
Wills, Trusts & Probate: 5%
Litigation & Miscellaneous: 4%