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 & Expertise

Lauren is a specialist family law solicitor. She is approachable, calm and proactive. Lauren is the Chair of Somerset Resolution, local Collaborative POD and assisted the founding of the firm’s Divorce Support Club (DSC).

Lauren specialises in divorce and separation cases. Her expertise lies particularly in resolving complex and high net-worth financial matters, often involving businesses and pensions. She is experienced in working with individuals who may exhibit challenging behaviours, such as those who have been affected by coercive control. Lauren approaches these sensitive situations with care and professionalism.

Also, Lauren has vast experience in dealing with private children cases. This includes assisting people who may have a dispute about where a child will live, when they will see each parent or there may be a specific issue about education, for example where a child will go to school. 

Lauren has a particular interest in the protection of assets. This includes:

• Pre nuptial and post nuptial agreements (before AND after marriage);
• The protection of family businesses and wider family wealth;
• Cohabitation agreements;
• Inherited assets and assets acquired prior to the relationship; and
• Separation Agreements.

It is always hoped that all legal disputes can be resolved without court proceedings. Lauren assists her clients using a variety of methods including round-table meetings, collaborative law and most recently Resolution Together. Lauren will advise clients to commence Court Proceedings if necessary and is an experienced advocate and negotiator.

Spare time

Outside of the office, Lauren is a member of Toppers Carnival Club which raises money for various charities and enjoys spending her free time with her friends and family.

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Background & Expertise

Paul is a highly respected and very experienced Children Law Specialist. He has practised as a solicitor since 1986, having previously been a partner in a firm of solicitors in Taunton.

He is a member of the Law Society’s Children panel, and Advanced Family Law Panel. He represents parents and other family members as well as children themselves.

Paul specialises in acting for children and parents in complex children law cases including Fabricated and Induced Illness (FII), People Trafficking, Non Accidental Injury and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Immigration issues and Children and Parents who are not UK nationals.

“I enjoy the challenge of applying the law to assist clients and find satisfaction trying to help them deal with hard situations and find the best way forward.”

Spare Time

“I enjoy playing some squash and running – both badly – gardening and watching SCCC when I have time.”

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Background and Expertise

Sandy qualified as a Solicitor in 1988 and has practiced family law for over 30 years.

Sandy’s career has included time with WBW, Trowers and Hamlin, Ford Simey and Dunn and Baker (where she was a Partner and Head of the Family Team).  She has mostly been responsible for the supervision of other solicitors and trainees.

Sandy has also been a member of the Law Society Children Panel continuously since 1992.

In this time she has represented many parents as well as children in complex cases including with social services.

In addition Sandy has been a Resolution Accredited Specialist since 2004 and her specialisms include Advanced Financial Provision. 

Sandy has represented clients where there are complex financial arrangements including business assets and preserving assets. She also specialises in preparing Pre-Nuptial Agreements.

“I believe that over the years I have gained a number of skills such as negotiation, which is often vital, drafting and advocacy as well as the ability to get on with and effectively represent many different types of people at difficult and often traumatic times in their lives.”

Spare Time

Sandy is married with grown up children and in her spare time she enjoys visits to historic places and to the theatre.

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Background and Expertise

Lucy qualified as a solicitor in 2012 and has practiced exclusively in family law since then.

Lucy can act in private law children matters, including international child abduction and contact. She also acts in domestic abuse cases. Whilst her current caseload is predominantly focused on private law children matters, she does also have experience in divorce and finance matters.

Lucy is one of the handful of solicitors in the South West with particular expertise in International Child Abduction and Wardship and she is accredited under the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced scheme as a specialist in this area.

Lucy accepts instructions as an accredited panel member of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) and has, for a number of years, been a member of Reunite International and the Child Abduction Lawyers Association.

Lucy also has lots of experience in working on International Child Contact cases and cases involving the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court including Wardship.

Due to the nature of her work, Lucy is confident in accepting instructions in cases with an international element.  Lucy has clients based all across the UK and abroad, and can work with interpreters where needed.

Spare Time

Lucy enjoys long walks with good views and yoga.

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Background and expertise

Natasha has practised family law since qualifying as a solicitor in 2003.  Natasha started her career in a large regional firm, Ashfords, where she trained and remained for 15 years. Natasha then spent several years practising in South Devon before joining the firm in 2023.

During her many years of practising as a solicitor, Natasha has gained extensive experience in all aspects of family law and advises on issues of living together, including the preparation of living together agreements, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, separation, divorce, division of the family assets, civil partnership dissolution, domestic abuse and private children matters. Natasha’s experience includes advising on complex business arrangements and pension arrangements, division of assets in family businesses with an agricultural basis and cases involving acquired wealth and inheritance.  Natasha has experience of assisting clients who are unmarried and seek advice on property ownership and rights of occupation.

In matters involving children, Natasha is experienced in assisting clients to finalise parenting agreements and can assist clients in all applications to the court to decide where a child should live, what time they spend with each parent and specific issues that may need addressing such as a child’s schooling.  Natasha is experienced in dealing with relocation cases.

Natasha will support clients who have reached agreement to finalise those arrangements but is equally adept at negotiating settlements and agreements to protect client’s current and future wealth. If a settlement cannot be reached, Natasha is experienced in representing clients at all stages of the court process.

Natasha’s approach is to provide pragmatic and realistic advice to clients with an emphasis on reaching agreement without court intervention if possible. Natasha is a member of Resolution and is a Law Society Accredited Family Scheme member.

Spare Time

In her spare time, Natasha enjoys playing netball, exploring the Devon countryside by walking with her family and volunteering at her local cricket club where she is also the nominated safeguarding officer.  Natasha also volunteers as a local authority governor for a federation of schools in Devon.

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Background

Since qualifying as a solicitor in 2016, Emilie has specialised exclusively in child-related matters. Emilie acts for parents in a wide range of private law cases (disputes between parents), including contact and residence, child abduction and international relocation. Emilie also acts in public law matters (where social services are involved), including care proceedings and cases where there are serious concerns but a court application has not yet been made (often called PLO) . Emilie also acts in domestic abuse cases where court orders are needed to protect victims of abuse.

Spare Time

Outside of work Emilie enjoys exploring the Devon countryside and coast with her husband, two young sons and dog.  She spends as much time as possible in the sea, having been born and raised on the island of Jersey.

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The
Walker Way

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