Background and Expertise

Ian qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and founded Walker Family Law in 2012.

Highlights of Ian’s career include winning a Law Society Excellence Award in 2021 and being named Resolution’s inaugural Regional Champion in 2023 as well as an award from the Devon and Somerset Law Society in 2020.

Ian’s legal career has included being a member of the Law Society Children Panel between 1996 and 2023. Being amongst the first solicitors nationally to train as a Collaborative Family Lawyer in 1996 and a Resolution Together Lawyer in 2023. Ian has also served as a member of the Law Society Family Law Committee and for 12 years as the Chair of the Devon region of Resolution. Ian qualified as an arbitrator (private judge) in child law in 2016. Ian’s wide expertise as a family lawyer is across the full spectrum of family law.

Ian is also a highly experienced mediator having qualified as a mediator in 1996. Ian undertakes various advanced forms of mediation including what is known as Hybrid Family Mediation (using the civil style of mediation in family cases and including solicitors in the mediation process) and the Family Mediation Association (FMA)’s advanced integrated mediation. Ian is a supervisor of other mediators; child inclusive mediation trained and is accredited by the Family Mediation Council.

Additional experience includes being a past trustee of the Family Mediators Association, and a member of Resolution’s Dispute Resolution Committee. A common theme in Ian’s career is a commitment to sensible and out of court dispute resolution and an enthusiasm for being at the forefront of advances in family law practice.

Spare Time

Until succumbing to injuries Ian was an enthusiastic club runner enjoying the London Marathon, the Taunton Marathon and 6 goes at East Devon’s Grizzly as well as numerous other Devon races. These days Ian is sadly limited to a few kilometres on a treadmill.

To make up for this Ian has recently taken up painting and also enjoys trips to Southampton to watch Southampton FC and taking in the occasional gig of ageing 1980s alt rock/indie bands. (Essentially tribute bands to themselves and rudely described by his children as dad rock).

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Background and Expertise

Fiona specialises in divorce and finance cases including cases with net assets of several millions.

She is a Resolution Accredited Specialist Solicitor with specialist accreditation in Financial Relief and Cohabitation.

Fiona is also a Collaborative Family Law specialist and practices Resolution Together.

Like our other lawyers, Fiona is a committed member of Resolution and she is well known and well respected in our local legal community. She is a member of the Somerset Resolution Committee.

Most of Fiona’s career has been spent assisting clients in Somerset and North Somerset, most recently as Partner and Head of Family Law for several years with John Hodge Solicitors in Weston-Super-Mare.

Spare Time

Fiona is married with children and enjoys getting out and about with her family including going away with their caravan.

Fiona is a member of the Soroptimists, an international organisation which has the mission of transforming the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.

Client Feedback

Thank you for your support during the last few years, you’ve always been there, even at midnight via email!

I have to say getting divorced was an awful process and now we’ve come out the other end, we are so blissfully happy, so thank you for getting us to this point.
Mrs F

I wanted to say thank you for all the help and advice during the past year and a half on my divorce. I think we worked well together and you gave me good advice but respected the times that my personal requirements were perhaps a little different, and made sure that I got the best result regardless.

Thank you for remaining very calm and pragmatic even at times when things got heated, and for giving considered options to help me find the best way forward.

Mrs M

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Emma Perkins is a well-respected and experienced family solicitor who heads our Children Law Team.


Background

Qualifying as a solicitor in 2005, Emma specialises in acting for children and parents in complex children, public, and private law cases. She has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel since 2015 and a Resolution Accredited Specialist in relation to both Private Children Act and Domestic Abuse cases since 2011.

Emma sat as both the Vice Chair and the Chair of the Domestic Abuse Forum in Taunton Deane for a few years and continues to be a passionate advocate for victims of domestic abuse.

Spare Time

When not working Emma enjoys spending time with her friends and family and walking her dogs. She is a keen runner and has completed various marathons with more in her sights.

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Background and Expertise

Paul originates from Caister-on-Sea in Norfolk and gained a BSc in Mathematics with Statistics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich before qualifying as an accountant.

Following a period working in industry, Paul relocated to Devon in 2012 and moved into the law industry, taking an accounting role with Foot Anstey. It was from Foot Anstey that Paul joined us in 2020.

Paul is part of our management team and is responsible with Ian for the financial management of the practice as well as the management of its day-to-day operations.

Paul’s accountancy and industry experience together with his numeracy means that he is able to assist our divorce finance team in appropriate cases.

Spare Time

In his spare time Paul is a keen footballer and has been assistant manager of a local under 18’s football team.

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Background and expertise

Bridget is a specialist in complex divorce and cohabitation cases and LGBT+ family law. She is a former Chair of the Devon Region of Resolution and is a current committee member for The Law Society’s LGBT+ Lawyers Division. Bridget is well liked and highly respected among her peers and regularly acts for clients from London and the Home Counties as well as the South West.

Bridget qualified as a solicitor in 1994 after spending several years working for Citizens Advice as a debt counsellor and welfare rights officer.

Bridget  has practiced family law in Exeter throughout her career, and was a partner at Boutique Exeter firm Cartridges Law for 20 years. Bridget is also a former Chair of Devon Resolution, and specialises in the financial, property and pension aspects of family breakdown, and the tricky legal minefield surrounding cohabitation. In 2001, Bridget was one of the first solicitors to be accredited by Resolution as a Specialist Family Lawyer with expertise in Pensions on Divorce, and in Cohabitation.

Bridget is an advocate for the benefits of  trauma-informed legal practice, which recognises the benefits for clients and their lawyers of reflective practice. This underpins her values as a family lawyer which have been firmly rooted in the  Resolution Code of Conduct since 1992, enhanced by her training and practice as a Collaborative Family Lawyer since 2005. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Bridget has represented clients from all over the world, but is based in the South West of England as a part time Consultant Solicitor with Walker Family Law.

Amongst her career highlights, Bridget lists her work for her LGBQT+ clients, including her niche legal expertise working with trans and non-binary clients, plus her contribution to the Civil Partnership Act of 2004 as part of a working party of the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association (LAGLA). In 2019 Bridget was honoured to join the UK and Ireland LGBT+ Family Law Institute, part of a global network of leading family lawyers who are often at the cutting edge of LGBT+ family law issues including fertility, children law, matrimonial law, finances and gender identity. As a  committee alumni member of The Law Society’s LGBTQ+ solicitors Network , Bridget contributes to their blogs, events and podcasts. She supports and mentors aspiring and fellow lawyers at all stages of their career journeys as  from trainee solicitor or pupil barrister, to circuit judges. 

In 2020 she won the Debbie Hill Award for the Exceptional Support of Students for being instrumental in setting up the LGBTQ+ and Law University of Exeter student project . 

She shares with fellow lawyers and others, her expertise not only in family law, (particularly as this  affects  LGBQT+ clients) but also in  wellbeing, diversity and inclusion for the legal profession. 

This includes her work as a Reflective Practice Family Law Supervisor, supporting fellow family lawyers to practice more sustainably, based on the premise that we are best able to help our clients if we  are well supported too. This model of supervision acknowledges the emotional health of not just the families we work with,  but also of the professionals helping them, as being central to the process of transforming conflict at a deep and enduring level.

Bridget was awarded her FLiP Faculty Diploma in Family Law Supervision in 2022 by the training arm of Family Law in Partnership. This qualifies her to offer to family law firms, chambers and individuals a reflective, independent, confidential one to one space, which supports the lawyer in turn to support the effective care of their family law clients, whether as lawyers or other key workers within the Family Justice system, from judges to paralegals. 

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Background and Expertise

Carolyn Croft qualified as a solicitor in 2010, but has worked in law for over 30 years and has specialised in family law for over 10 years.

Carolyn joined us from Legal 500 practice; Kitsons, where she was an associate.

Carolyn offers advice on all aspects of relationship breakdown, including divorce, financial disputes and children, co-habitation disputes, pre-nuptial and separation agreements.

She is very much Plymouth-based and studied for a law degree at Plymouth University. Carolyn is also a member of the Plym chamber of commerce.

Spare Time

Carolyn has two grown-up children and is a keen rugby fan and music lover.

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Background and Expertise

Kim is particularly interested in complex care cases involving babies and children who have suffered accidents and injuries. She has experience in cases involving mental health, drug and alcohol misuse, and learning disabilities. She has experience in cases involving foreign jurisdictions.

Kim joined Walker Family Law in 2017 after 27 years in a local high street practice in which she was an equity partner.

She has been a member of the Children Panel since 1999. She is also a qualified mediator and collaborative lawyer.

She is an independent panel member and Vice Chair for The Fostering Foundation and regularly sits on panels to approve potential and appraise current foster carers.

When she joined us in 2017 she said:

“The legal climate is changing. Firms that used to pride themselves on providing a broad spectrum of legal services, including legal aid, are moving away from it. Ian Walker is different; he is committed to access to justice and to filling the holes that others are leaving behind. Ian is offering a full family service to whoever needs advice or mediation, and (through Legal Aid) whatever their ability to pay. His vision matches my ethos.”

Spare Time

“In my spare time I like to potter in my garden, which was renovated during the pandemic. I enjoy live music and attend gigs when I can.”

In 2021 she walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End virtually and is very proud of the medal to prove that she actually did it. Since then, she has kept up with her walking and walks for an hour most days, work commitments and weather permitting.

A testimonial from an experienced Children’s Guardian

An experienced Children’s Guardian says of Kim:

I’ve known Kim for about 20 years. I first met her when I was a social worker.

I have instructed Kim in my role as children’s guardian for 14 years.

Kim is a pleasure to work with, level headed with a great sense of humour. She is reliable, fully committed to her job and very competent.

Kim is realistic, practical and gives good sound advice. She is good at interacting with the children we visit.

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Background and Expertise

Linda qualified as a solicitor in 2007 having previously had a career as a qualified nurse before pursuing a career in law in 1999. She has been a member of the Law Society Children’s Panel since 2011.

Linda is a child law specialist and represents children, parents and grandparents in care proceedings including complex cases such as non-accidental injuries. Linda is a well known and respected lawyer in the local legal community. She is a member of Resolution and joined us in March 2022 from WBW Solicitors.

Spare Time

In her spare time Linda enjoys walking with her two dogs and spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading.

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Background and Expertise

Nicole qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 following a career in the law going back to 1980.

Nicole is a child law specialist with particular expertise in Child Law (including complex cases involving Social Services). This includes representing vulnerable children as well as their parents and grandparents.

Like our other lawyers, Nicole is a committed member of Resolution and she is well known and well respected in our local legal community.

Nicole was previously a colleague of Ian Walker when both worked together at Tozers.

Nicole has spent most of her career working in Torbay and is available to see clients in Torquay as well as our other venues in Exeter and Honiton.

Spare Time

In her spare time Nicole enjoys sailing and cooking and weightlifting.

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Background and Expertise

Karen specialises in Divorce/Divorce Finance and disputes between parents/family members about child arrangements and in particular grandparental contact.

Karen qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in October 2003 following a lengthy career in law since the early 1980’s.

“I chose family law as my specialism because I felt that I could help people during what can be a very stressful time.

I enjoy being able to assist individuals during difficult periods in their lives and consider myself to be a kind, considerate and approachable advocate. My aim is to agree matters in as non-confrontational way as possible. However, when that is not achievable, I am able to ‘step up to the mark’ and argue my clients cause when necessary.”

Karen is a member of Resolution and Devon and Somerset Law Society.

Spare Time

“I am married with one son and two grandchildren. I “attempt” to keep fit and regularly attend my local gym. I enjoy my holidays, particularly Australia where my son and his young family now live.”

Client Feedback

Here is some recent feedback we have received about Karen:

“Many thanks for your final letter and cheque, and a big thank you for the lovely card you included with it, so thoughtful.

I appreciate your kindness and am truly grateful I found you to represent me during this challenging time in mine and xxxx’s life. without your help and advice I don’t think I’d be in this position now and I thank you once again. Things are settled now and I feel at peace with the whole situation, (former partner) and I are managing to communicate better. Anyway life goes on.. xxxx and I are happy and that’s all that matters.

Wishing you all the best…”

Another client commented:

“Karen dealt with difficult conversations and offered constructive advice in a way which meant it was all much easier than it could have been with a less sympathetic person. Everything was clearly explained…”

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A confidential and supportive space for those going through a divorce or separation.

The
Walker Way

Our mission to set standards of excellence in our practice of family law.