Award-winning specialist family law practice acquires new talent during the Pandemic and celebrates increased recognition

South Oxfordshire based Boardman Hawkins & Osborne LLP has acquired three additional lawyers during the last 6 months to expand their growing specialist team, at the same time as being recognised as a Tier 2 Firm in the Legal 500 Guide (the Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession) 2021 Edition.

In just two years, the firm has not only merited inclusion in the Guide, but this year has received increased recognition, going from Tier 3 to Tier 2, with partner Emily Boardman being celebrated as one of 7 Leading Individuals in family law in the Thames Valley, and all three partners being recognised for the quality of their expertise and work.

The firm is noted for being “exceptional practitioners” with ”great reputations” and a “passionate interest injustice”.

Confirming her as a Leading Individual, the Guide confirms that “Emily Boardman works with integrity and child focus.”

The Guide comments that “Ruth Hawkins is totally committed to the practice, the local community, her team, and her clients”.

The firm is “Genuinely caring, totally professional, community centred, hardworking and committed. Small enough to personally care, large enough to make a difference.”

“Despite being a boutique firm, their practitioners are able to offer expertise in the entire breadth of Family Law and have a fantastic depth of knowledge therein.”

“Irena Osborne cares about her clients and outcomes, making no distinction between legal aid and private cases. Manages expectations and handles sensitive situations with compassion and good judgment.”

During the last 6 months, Ruth Sharon, Amanda Stopps and Karen Newman have all joined the team as Consultant Solicitors, alongside paralegal Georgina Dewin. Ruth has joined the partners and Lucy Lightowler in BH&O’s public law children team and Karen and Amanda have joined experienced Consultant solicitor Helen Bishop in the firm’s matrimonial and private law children department.

Ruth Sharon, has more than 20 years’ experience in family law has recently relocated to Oxfordshire and is thrilled to be joining BH&O. Ruth said “it is rare to find a firm with a combination of such legal expertise, combined with a commitment to client care. It is a privilege to join them. I am really excited about the opportunity to contribute to the team.”

Ruth was a senior partner in a large law firm in the North of England, where she specialised in cases involving social care, representing both parents and children; disputes within families about arrangements for children; domestic violence and cases of forced marriages. She was frequently asked to train social workers, police, Women’s Aid and other support agencies in these areas and championed a multi-agency approach for the protection of children and families.

Ruth recently spent 18 months travelling in Africa, Central and South America acting as an international legal consultant and trainer to Governments and the Judiciary in relation to their legal processes, to ensure vulnerable children are properly safeguarded and their families were given rights to a fair trial. She continues this consultancy work remotely on a part-time basis.

Clients and other professionals say:

“Ruth made the world seem a less scary place when I was facing court proceedings about my children”

“Ruth is empathetic, approachable and patient, no matter how stupid my questions seem!”

“Ruth takes time to get to know clients as individuals and really understands what they want to achieve, and empowers them by providing excellent legal representation”

“Ruth is an effective negotiator, remaining professional, calm and focussed under pressure”

Karen Newman has more than 18 years’ experience in family law.

Karen says: “I’m delighted to be able to contribute to such an experienced team. BH&O is a real powerhouse in family law. They’ve literally written the book about it. I can’t think of a more experienced team in this area and I’m very excited about working together.”

Karen has practised family law at a leading firm in the South East and continued to work in the family departments at various firms in and around Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire throughout her career.

Karen practises exclusively in family law and is an experienced family solicitor specialising in divorce, separation, reconciliation, resolution of financial claims including maintenance, property, pensions and company matters, private Children Act matters, protection from domestic abuse, cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements.

She has a particular interest in divorce and the resolution of financial matters, and has wide experience, with cases ranging from modest assets to those of more complexity and higher value.

Karen is formerly an Accredited Resolution specialist in private children and domestic abuse matters.

Karen is a member of Resolution and was previously the secretary for Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Resolution.

Karen is also a qualified Collaborative Lawyer and collaborates in all areas of family disputes including children and financial disputes. Karen currently is the co-pod liaison officer for the South Bucks/East Berks collaborative pod and is a member of Resolution’s Dispute Resolution group. Karen is skilled at helping her clients benefit from the collaborative approach.

Karen’s articles have been published in various magazines and journals and she has been a guest speaker on local radio.

Karen has provided training for Women’s Aid and various networking groups, for example, the Chamber of Commerce.

Clients and other professionals say:
“Karen was a pleasure to deal with offering friendly and professional advice”

“Karen is fantastically organised very committed to making sure arrangements which need making are made efficiently and has been a real source of support”

“Karen has a rare mix of legal expertise and empathy. She is very supportive of her clients whilst working to get them the best possible outcome”

“Karen is totally dedicated to her work with clients and always focuses on their needs. She is warm and friendly, an excellent listener, and develops a real rapport with people quickly and easily. She is punctilious, and precise, and has strong professional and personal ethics”

Amanda Stopps joined the team back in April 2020, during Lockdown.

She qualified in 2002. She completed her legal training at a high street practice in Henley-on-Thames before moving to practice exclusively in family law at a firm in Banbury, before joining the BH&O Team.

Amanda is a member of Resolution and prides herself on her ability to make her clients feel at ease and is able to explain the law in a clear understandable manner to her clients. Amanda is experienced in divorce, financial settlements, private Children Act matters and cohabitation disputes.

Amanda was excited about joining our niche family firm, saying that “I am delighted to be joining such an amazing group of dedicated and supportive colleagues. I have settled in well during these unprecedented times and the support the whole team has given me has been incredible.”

About Boardman, Hawkins and Osborne LLP
Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne LLP is a specialist family practice established in September 2018. The three founding partners are locally and nationally highly regarded family lawyers Emily Boardman, Ruth Hawkins and Irena Osborne.

The partners and consultants all have established reputations for particular specialisms and many of them appear in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 Guides.

Our ethos is based on a strong commitment to supporting individuals in some of the most difficult circumstances of their lives: divorce and separation; disputes over children; involvement with social services and domestic abuse.

Each of our clients has their own needs and we tailor our legal advice and packages to each situation. Some clients want to do everything themselves, except appearing in court; while some want a full service and representation throughout their process.

We offer competitive private rates, fixed fees where appropriate and legal aid for eligible cases and clients.

Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne LLP

Boardman, Hawkins & Osborne LLP is a niche family practice established in 2018.

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