Leading Family Lawyers in the South West
Welcome to Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors.
We are specialist Family Law Solicitors / Divorce Lawyers / Family Mediators working across Exeter, Honiton, Taunton, Torquay as well as Yeovil, Weston-super-Mare, and Bridgwater.
We have one of the most experienced teams of Family Law Solicitors and Divorce Lawyers in the South West. (Several of our team have previously headed family law teams at rival firms) We are also a neutral family mediation service.
We want to be the best family law solicitor / divorce solicitor / family mediator for you.
Coronavirus / COVID-19 (updated 11 May 2020)
We remain open for business and continue to provide clients (including new clients) with the advice, representation and service whilst at the same time prioritising the health of our employees and their families.
Our legal team is largely working from home. We are meeting with clients through videoconferencing (including new clients). This is working well for everyone.
We will wait and see how the spread of the virus is affected by the loosening of lock-down restrictions before we reinstate the offer of face to face meetings. We will in due course need to review what additional safeguards will be needed. For the time being meetings will remain as being through videoconferencing.
The Courts remain open but offering a reduced service. We continue to represent our clients.
Our switchboard remains open. The email addresses of our lawyers can be found on our contact page. Clients are encouraged to email where possible.
Until the crisis passes, we will follow carefully the guidance from the Government and from HM Courts service.
Inevitably, the speed of response to communications will be slightly slower than normal – but we remain committed to doing the very best for our clients.
Please be patient and generous and child focused. The crises will pass.
I founded Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors from scratch in 2012. We are now one of the South West leading Family Law Solicitors practices with an exceptionally experienced team. We hold the Law Society Lexcel Accreditation for excellence in Legal Practice.
We are all committed members of Resolution. I am the current Chair of Devon Resolution, first being elected by my peers in 2009. I am also a former member of the Law Society Family Law Committee and a former trustee of the Family Mediators Association. I am a current member of Resolution’s Dispute Resolution Committee. The best progressive family law practice is embedded in the DNA of our team.
We assist with matters such as; Divorce/Separation, Divorce Finance, Pre-nuptial Agreements; Child Law including; Child Arrangements, Social Services cases, Surrogacy, Adoption, Mediation, Arbitration and (subject to availability) with Legal Aid.
We strive to achieve the best outcomes for our clients and their children and to provide an outstanding service. We are transparent about how we charge. Read more about us below…Please get in touch to arrange a meeting to discuss your case
Director/Solicitor/Mediator/ Arbitrator Law Society Children Panel and Mediation Accredited
Consultant Solicitor/Mediator - Law Society Family Law and Mediation Accreditations
Associate Solicitor - Resolution Financial Provision Accredited – Law Society Children Panel
I founded Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors because I wanted to use technology to build a progressive practice to assist our clients to find the best solutions for their family cases,
Family disputes/problems are often made more complicated because those involved can make bad decisions based on emotion.
Bad decision making can have irreversible consequences. That’s why it is so important to get good legal advice.
As experienced specialists we can assist our clients in a clear headed way to make better decisions. We help our clients to make best use of the most appropriate dispute resolution option for their situation. These include: Legal advice and representation, collaborative family law, neutral family mediation and impartial family arbitration. We specialise in all these options.
Our Mission Statement
Our Mission Statement is:
- To set standards of excellence in the practice of Family Law and Mediation.
- To offer top city centre expertise in accessible locations.
- To be transparent about how we charge.
- To offer all family dispute resolution options.
- To provide an outstanding service.
To achieve this:
- We have built one of the most experienced teams of specialist family law solicitors in the South West.
- We use the same top level family law library and practice support service used top national solicitors.
- We have built a widely admired website containing a wealth of freely available information.
- We have always openly published our hourly charge rates on our website. We are always happy to discuss charging options.
- We have achieved the Law Society Lexcel Accreditation which demonstrates we are a well-run organisation.
- We continue to offer a Legally Aided service to those who qualify.
Some of our testimonials so far include:
“We would like to thank you for the masterful way in which you have dealt with this matter on our behalf. It has certainly not been easy or smooth running…” (Ian)
“ Ian was brilliant. Would recommend him 100%”
“Ian is a very committed and hardworking solicitor with a passion for child law in particular. He deals with cases in a holistic way putting his clients’ interests first. He is also proactive in advancing law reform.”
“Really happy. Brilliant. I would recommend Karen absolutely.” (Karen)
“I am writing to you to say a massive thank you for helping me through (my) non-molestation order that we got back along. I am very grateful for what you did. I have enclosed survey: I would like to say that Carrie was 100% great with my case and could not fault in any way”
“This case was taken on a short notice due to another solicitors firm being ineffectual. The case progressed swiftly with your support and excellent advice was given leading to the right outcomes for the child”.(Kim)
We attract clients from across the South West including; Devon; Axminster, Beer, Clyst St Mary, Colyton, Cranbrook, Crediton, Cullompton, Exeter, Exmouth, Honiton, Newton Abbott, Okehampton, Ottery St Mary, Plymouth, Seaton, Sidmouth, Tiverton, Torquay, Uplyme and Somerset including; Bridgewater, Chard, Minehead, Taunton, Street, Wellington, Weston-Super-Mare, Yeovil.
I am passionate about assisting clients to obtain good outcomes for their cases. Ideally through sensible negotiation.
Going to Court rarely helps parents get on better. Sometimes it is necessary, but it should only be as a last resort.
Most cases are capable of being resolved through sensible negotiation. This could be mediation or collaborative family law. Arbitration can be used to overcome sticking points. Clients should not be denied the best dispute resolution process for them because of lack of information or because their advisors are not sufficiently trained or committed to all forms of dispute resolution.
I qualified as a Solicitor in 1992. At a very early stage, I also qualified as a neutral family mediator in 1996. A neutral mediator assists clients to find solutions through voluntary, structured and confidential negotiations.
During my career I have served as a member of the Law Society Family Law Committee (which promotes law reform on behalf of the legal profession) and as a Trustee of the Family Mediators Association. I was instrumental in bring Collaborative Family Law to the South West and I am a founding Arbitrator within the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) Children Arbitration Scheme. (An Arbitrator is a private judge who is able to make legally binding decisions).
I am the longstanding Chair of Devon Resolution (which promotes training and good practice to family lawyers in Devon) and I am a member of Resolution’s national Dispute Resolution Committee.
My other speciality is Child Law. I have been a member of the Law Society Children Panel since 1996. I represent parents in complex cases either brought by social services or between parents (e.g. relocation).
On a personal level I am a married father of four and have lived in East Devon for more than 20 years.
A Highly Experienced Family Law Team
Since I founded the firm, it has evolved. I have been joined by other experienced practitioners including; Kim Stradling, Sandy Powell, Fiona Griffin, Nicole Phare, Karen Elliott and David Howell-Richardson.
Kim Stradling, Sandy Powell, Fiona Griffin and David Howell-Richardson were all partners and heads of family law departments at previous firms. Together we have a massive concentration of experience and expertise. All have chosen to join me because they share my ideals.
Kim Stradling was head of family law at Everys Solicitors. Kim is a very well respected children law specialist including cases involving Social Services. Kim has particular expertise in cases where there are complex evidential issues, such as non-accidental injury or alleged sexual abuse.
David Howell-Richardson has more than 40 years’ experience in family law. For many years David was partner and head of the family law team at Stones Solicitors and then Trowers and Hamlins. David is also an accredited mediator. David his highly respected and has assisted many Exeter and Devon families.
Fiona Griffin has nearly 20 years’ experience in family law. Fiona specialises in Divorce Finance and Co-habitation cases. Fiona was previously a partner and head of the family law team at John Hodge Solicitors in Weston-Super-Mare.
Sandy Powell has specialised in Family Law for 30 years and is well respected in the Devon family law community. She has previously worked for a number of Devon Solicitors including WBW and Dunn and Baker (where she was a head of the family law team).
We aim to be the best family law solicitors in Exeter, Honiton, Taunton, Torquay as well as Yeovil, Weston-super-Mare, and Bridgwater. We all share the same office and work as a team. This gives us greater flexibility and availability to meet the needs of our clients.
We are happy to assist clients who either live within, or are travelling into the South West.