Who We Are

Collaborative Law Wales is an organisation of specialist family lawyers who share a commitment to resolving the issues following relationship breakdown in a constructive and amicable way.  We are all members of Resolution and all trained Collaborative lawyers.  Some of us are also trained mediators, arbitrators or accredited as specialist by The Law Society and/or Resolution.

Choosing a lawyer that is right for you is one of, if not the most important decision you can make.  Take time to explore our members’ profiles and individual firm websites.  Please do also feel free to call us for an informal chat to see whether the Collaborative process is right for you.

Katie McColgan

Katie McColgan is the Head of the Family Team at Berry Smith solicitors. As a highly experienced family solicitor and Accredited Member of Resolution (a professional body of family lawyers committed to a non-confrontational approach to family disputes), she has always sought to achieve the best long term solution for her clients through professionalism, negotiation, mediation and collaboration. Believing that separating couples and particularly, their children, do best when they are able to continue working with each other, she became the first solicitor to train as a family mediator in Wales in 1992 and she continues to sit as the Chair of Family Mediators (South Wales) Limited to date. With the development of Collaborative Law, she was again among the first to train and operate in this newer area of family law. Listed as a first tier firm for family work in the Legal 500 and noted for her work with high value financial disputes, she is accredited by Resolution for her work with emergency remedies, child disputes and domestic violence. For many years Katie ran a question and answer column for a local newspaper, then for a local magazine, Kids come First. She is the former Welsh representative in the National Interdisciplinary Forum in London. Katie is also Chair of the Interfaith Council for Wales.

Thea Hughes

Thea Hughes is a Partner with Cardiff-based Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice LLP. Thea is considered by her peers to be one of the best family lawyers in South Wales. She is recommended by Chambers & Partners, the Legal 500, Legal Experts 2012 and the Good Lawyer Guide. Thea, who deals with all aspects of family law and is on the Law Society Family Law Panel, was a founder member of Collaborative Lawyers in Wales. She is on the management committee of Family Mediation Cardiff, and is also a member of Resolution. Thea deals with all aspects of family law, specialising in the financial issues arising upon separation and divorce. She regularly deals with high net worth cases, including cases involving lottery winners. Thea regularly contributes to topical news stories on the radio and TV.

Joanna Purnell

Jo qualified in 1992 and since then has practised family law. She is a Resolution accredited specialist and an advanced member of the Law Society’s Family Law panel. Jo became a collaborative lawyer in 2009 and is committed to assisting couples to achieve a fair and conflict free outcome to relationship breakdown.

Sally Matthews

Sally joined the firm in 1996 and qualified as a solicitor in 1999 becoming a partner in 2002. Sally trained to be a Collaborative Lawyer in 2010. Sally has many years experience in dealing with divorce/civil partnerships, high value and complex cases, cohabitation disputes, pre-nuptial agreements, private Children Act cases and domestic violence issues. Sally is an accredited specialist member of Resolution in ancillary relief and domestic violence. Sally is a trustee for a local Women’s Aid and governor of a junior school.

Sophie Hughes

Sophie is a Director and Head of the Family Team with expertise in high value financial arrangements following divorce and also cohabitation disputes. Sophie trained and qualified at a “magic circle” firm in London in 1991. Sophie is an accredited specialist of Resolution; the first in South Wales to be accredited for small and big money cases. She also holds specialist accreditation for domestic abuse cases. Sophie became a collaborative lawyer in 2010. Sophie always looks for creative solutions; “thinking outside the box” – which is an attribute ideally suited to the collaborative process. 

Gerard Griffiths

Gerard is the Head of the Family Law Department at Howells, solicitors. He has been a solicitor since 1996 and has specialised in Family Law working career. He is particularly interested in dealing with financial matters following divorce, divorce and children matters. He is an accredited member of Resolution, Specialist Accreditation in financial matters following divorce, European and International Law and children matters. He qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer in 2011. He is the treasurer of the Collaborative Law in Wales Pod.

Sandra Horwood

Sandra is the Head of the Matrimonial and Family Department at Quality Solicitors J A Hughes. Sandra specialises in all aspects of Family law, including divorce, children and financial matters, including both private and legal aid work. Sandra also advises in care cases. Sandra meets with clients in any of the 3 offices in Cardiff, Barry and Penarth. Memberships: Sandra is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel and trained Collaborative lawyer. Career: Sandra qualified in 1987 having partially served her articles with J A Hughes. She was made Partner in 1992 and became head of the Family and Matrimonial department the same year. Education: Sandra enrolled at Cardiff University to study Law. On graduation from Cardiff University Sandra moved on to Lancaster Gate, London to study for her Law Society Finals and obtain her status as a legal professional. Sandra graduated from her finals and quickly obtained her first legal role. Personal: Sandra is married with one child and living near Cardiff. Leisure: Sandra spends her spare time enjoying time with her family, gardening and reading.

Catrin Griffiths

Catrin Griffiths is Partner with Red Kite Law LLP and Heads up the Family Department with offices in Cardiff, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. Catrin handles some of the most difficult and sensitive cases involving families in South and West Wales, whether disputed financial settlements, children cases or domestic abuse. Many of Catrin’s clients are land owners, business owners or professionals with valuable pension assets. Catrin qualified as a Solicitor in 2002 and since then has dedicated her career to dealing with all aspects of the law as it relates to families – whether married, living together or forced apart by circumstance. Catrin’s expertise was recognised in April 2013 when she was accredited as an Advanced Family Law Panel member with the Law Society. Catrin prides herself on being approachable and friendly. Most of her work comes from personal recommendations. Catrin is also a member of Resolution, a family law organisation that encourages a non-confrontational approach in dealing with family law cases. Her aim is to help every client reach an amicable solution to their problem wherever possible. When recourse to court is needed, Catrin is a confident and experienced court advocate. In 2015 Catrin qualified as a Collaborative lawyer increasing her dedication to conciliatory and non-court methods of resolving family breakdown matters. Catrin is described as the leading individual for South and Mid Wales Family lawyers in the 2015 Edition of the Legal 500. Catrin is a Welsh Speaker and happy to accept instructions in either Welsh or English.

Juliet Thomas

Juliet is the Family Partner with Shanahans. She qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and has experience with complex family breakdown, including resolving financial matters on divorce and the arrangements for the children of separating parents. Juliet is a Resolution accredited specialist, a member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family Law Accreditation Scheme, and a Collaborative Lawyer. She is a firm believer that dealing with the breakdown of a relationship collaboratively is an excellent way to achieve a fair settlement. You can rest assured that Juliet will handle your case in a sympathetic and understanding manner.

Luke Dixon

Luke Dixon is head of the Family Law Department at Martyn Prowel Solicitor and is an experienced specialist in divorce, finances, and children matters. He deals with all matters arising out of divorce and separation, with a focus on financial disputes. Luke has returned to practice in Cardiff having worked at a busy law firm in London for several years where he was a key member of a well-known family law practice. Luke brings a warm and professional approach to client care, priding himself on the attention he pays to the individual requirements of each case. This lends itself well to a Collaborative matter. He is also a strong believer in the benefits of the Collaborative Law process to both clients and lawyers alike.

Mary Evans

Mary Evans works part time as a consultant solicitor for Lewis Lewis & Co, after selling her practice Mary Evans & Co to them in 2016. Mary has 40 years’ experience of matrimonial matters and is a member of the Law Society’s Advanced Accreditation scheme, specialising in Financial Settlement and all aspects of Cohabitation. She is also a member of STEP. Mary is an assessor for the Law Society for both the family law and the advanced family Law Accreditation Schemes. She has trained as a collaborative lawyer and enjoys exploring as many pragmatic options and solutions and proceeding to court is very much a last resort. She works in the Carmarthen telephone number 01267 233881.

Chris Hatcher

Chris is a consultant at Watts Gregory LLP, formerly Partner and Head of Forensic Accounting & Expert Witness Services. Chris has been involved in a wide range of forensic accounting engagements throughout his career and has given expert evidence on numerous occasions in court and at hearings and tribunals.

Hollie Edwards-Davies

Hollie is Director of Forensic Accounting at Watts Gregory LLP. Her specialisms are business valuations and financial investigations. She has been instructed as an expert witness in family, civil and criminal proceedings. She is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, has a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Accounting and an LLB (Hons) degree in Law. Hollie is an Affiliate member of Resolution, a member of the UK200 Group Corporate Finance Panel and Forensic Accounting Group and a Board member and Treasurer of the Network of Independent Forensic Accountants (NIFA). Hollie has completed Cardiff University Bond Solon training in Family Law and Procedure and the duties of expert witnesses.