Vanessa is a partner in the Family Law team, which she joined in April 2019 from a leading central London firm. Her practice encompasses all areas of family law, with a particular focus on the financial issues arising from relationship breakdown, pre-marital agreements and leave to remove children cases. She aims to reach a negotiated outcome where possible, but also recognises the importance of strategic litigation if the circumstances require it.
As a family law solicitor and mediator Vanessa encourages clients to carefully consider the best approach to their matter. Her particular experience includes:
- Pre-marital agreements for couples who expect to inherit or establish future wealth to those with assets in excess of £50 million.
- Leave to remove children matters. She has represented many parents on their successful applications to relocate permanently to another country with their children, including China, Germany and Australia.
- Divorce and the related financial issues from modest asset cases to high net-worth.
- Dealing with high value pensions on divorce, including NHS pensions.
- Separation agreements and cohabitation agreements to regulate the financial and living arrangements between couples.
- Private law children matters.
- Schedule 1 applications for financial provision for children of unmarried parents.
- Mediation “My husband and I are getting divorced and needed help to agree the financial settlement. Relations and communications between us had become very difficult and strained so we attended mediation with Vanessa Friend. Always calm, clear and professional, Vanessa helped us to navigate and overcome the tensions between us and we were eventually able to reach agreement. Vanessa made what felt like an impossible situation feel manageable and I’m very grateful to her. Would highly recommend her services.”
- Separation agreement “Vanessa has been extremely helpful and explained every step of the process. It was a pleasure working with her. “
- Financial proceedings on divorce “I would hand on heart recommend Vanessa to anyone who is looking for a solicitor to deal with family matters. Her professionalism, knowledge of law and negotiating skills are exceptional. Vanessa’s attention to detail far outweighs any solicitor I have ever encountered”
- Leave to remove “Thank you so much for your great support and everything you did for me. I am so grateful. I feel a bit sad about the fact that you won’t be around on my daily basis. Thank you again “
- Mediation “Thank you for your mediation services. Happy to comment that I found your approach very professional.”
- Prenuptial agreement “Great working with you on this.”
Articles and Publication
- New Law Journal – The split: relocation & the child’s best interests
Education and Recommendations
- Legal 500 2018 and 2019 for her legal and mediation practice respectively.
- Family law associate of the year (silver award) in the City Wealth Awards 2017.
- College of Law, London – Post Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course (commendation and distinction)
- University of Westminster – Broadcast Journalism MA (Hons)
- University of Bristol – Politics and Philosophy BA (Hons)
- Partner at Hodge Jones Allen – 2019
- Associate and Senior Associate at Hunters, Lincoln’s Inn – 2015 – 2019
- Associate at May, May & Merrimans, Gray’s Inn – 2012 -2015
- Trainee and Solicitor at Silverman Sherliker – 2007 – 2012
Memberships & Appointments
- Resolution – an organisation for family lawyers committed to a non-adversarial approach. Vanessa sits on their Working Party for Litigants in Person.
- Trustee for the West London Centre for Counselling.