Changes to submissions to Family/Matrimonial in Chambers UK

Chambers UK is rolling out significant changes to our Family research we are rolling out in advance of the 2024 research cycle. 

Published on 29 November 2022
Written by Rebecca Patton
Rebecca Patton

What changes are taking place?

Both the Chambers UK guide and the High Net Worth guide have historically ranked Family/Matrimonial law, which has led to significant crossover between the two sections over the years, as well as some notable differences in how firms or individuals may be ranked.  

Many firms have been sending in two submissions for Family work, one to HNW and one to UK, causing confusion and duplication of effort.  

To avoid such duplication in future, we will now only be asking for one submission to the HNW guide to cover all matrimonial and family finance work. (The UK guide will still accept separate submissions for Child Law work – detailed below). 

By only asking for one submission in this way, our aim is to simplify the submissions process while also avoiding confusion in some of the rankings. 

At the same time, we will be expanding our coverage of children work. Firms with a strong focus on children law will now be able to showcase this even more than before through two dedicated Children Law submissions, which we will now have more space to research and rank in their own right.  

We hope that by making these changes, firms will see their submissions workload lightened and we will also be able to ensure that the tables cover the market in as much depth, and as accurately as possible. 

What does this mean for law firms looking to submit to the Chambers UK 2024 Guide?

In the 2023 guide (released on the 20th October 2022), you will see that our London coverage has already largely been brought into line with the HNW guide’s approach. The tables have been renamed and many of the rankings reorganised and brought into alignment with their HNW equivalents.  

Further to this, and starting with the UK 2024 guide, we will no longer accept submissions directly to the Family/Matrimonial – London section. In future, all firms looking to submit work concerning matrimonial finance and divorce should submit via the following section in the High Net Worth Guide: 

Family/Matrimonial Legal Rankings

This section will cover all financial work and disputes related to divorce, separation and cohabitation. Nuptial agreements and wealth management in the context of family law may also be included, as well as children arrangements that are ongoing alongside financial cases, such as custody, maintenance and relocation. 

You will note that the HNW table covers the whole of the UK. For the UK Solicitors guide, this will remain a London-focused table and so any firms outside of London ranked by HNW will be excluded for our purposes. The guide will continue to rank regional sections in their own right. 

There is also a table in the HNW guide exclusively for Mediators, to which you are welcome to submit separately. You may also include information on mediators within your team on your main Family submission. 

The deadline for this submission is 16th December 2022

Although all finance work will now be researched by the HNW team, the UK Solicitors Guide will continue to accept submissions and conduct research into firms handling predominantly Children Law work. With this in mind, in future you will have two options for submitting: 

Children Law Legal Rankings and Analysis

For work which is exclusively concerned with the care, welfare and placement of children. This includes such matters as were previously included on submissions to “Children: Cross-border Disputes” (which will remain as a sub-table), as well as a wider range of private cases related to child law. These submissions should ideally not include matrimonial finance work that happens to involve associated child arrangements: as detailed above, these may be included on your submission to the HNW guide. 

Children Law: Public Law Matters Legal Rankings and Insights

This will remain the same, with a focus on lawyers handling care proceedings and other public law work. However, it will now be available as a “UK-wide” table allowing firms from outside of London to submit. 

Both of these submissions will be due on 6th December 2022. However, if you would prefer to delay all three to come in at the same deadline as the HNW guide, this will almost certainly be fine. 

Summary of changes for sections of the Chambers UK 2024 Guide

  • From UK 2024 onwards, you will not be able to upload a submission or referees to the main Family/Matrimonial table for London. 
  • For family finance work in London you should submit to the Family – UK section of the Chambers HNW guide. Agreements for child custody, maintenance and relocation in the context of such financial proceedings can also be included here. These submissions are due on 16th December 2022.
  • The main Family/Matrimonial table will then be researched and ranked by the HNW team and their findings will be duplicated in the UK Guide, (excluding any firms that are based outside of London). 
  • The UK Solicitors guide will accept a separate submission for Children Law in London, to cover work previously submitted to “Cross-Border Disputes” as well as wider work focused on the care and welfare of children. These submissions are due on 6th December 2022. 
  • For public law work concerning children, you will still be able to submit to Children: Public Law Matters in the UK Solicitors guide. This table will now operate on a UK-wide basis, allowing firms from around the country to submit. These submissions are due on 6th December 2022. 

We appreciate these are quite significant changes and that there will naturally be a period of adjustment. Please feel free to reach out with questions at any time to any of the following individuals: 

Chambers UK Solicitors Team

Rebecca Patton
Research Manager
Contact Rebecca

Chambers High Net Worth Team

Simon Christian
Global Research Director
Contact Simon
Chris Nicholson
Research Manager
Contact Chris

Chambers UK

With the most comprehensive view of the UK legal market and the top law firms and lawyers working, the Chambers UK guide is the market leading resource for those looking to buy legal services.