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.

Some of the CLW members

Matthew Johnson

Matthew qualified in 1998 and has worked for some of the region's leading firms. He specialises in private client divorce cases, financial proceedings, children matters, cohabitation, civil partnership dissolution and family law generally. Matthew is a member of Resolution for Family Lawyers and a qualified Collaborative Lawyer. This means although he is experienced in dealing with cases in the traditional litigation fashion, he is trained in and committed to trying to reach agreement wherever possible and helping parties avoid court. This can minimise cost and reduce conflict, which is particularly important where children are involved. Matthew's overall expertise has seen him interviewed on national radio and in the national press. Matthew is also well regarded in the Business Community and has held high profile positions with leading business referral organisation, Business Network International (BNI), as well as winning the BNI regional award for exceptional business and networking skills. He has been elected Director of Chapters in Cardiff and Newport.

Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards is a family lawyer with over 25 years experience in all aspects of family law and is a Partner in the firm of  JCP Solicitors. She is accredited by Resolution as a specialist family lawyer, with particular expertise in children law and in advanced financial matters arising from family breakdown. She is frequently involved in cases involving substantial assets. Melanie is based in West Wales but receives instructions from a wide geographical area. She has a constructive, pragmatic and conciliatory approach and an interest in alternatives to the Court process in trying to resolve family disputes. Melanie is a trained and practising collaborative lawyer committed to working with clients in the collaborative process in a way that achieves the best possible outcomes for families going through family breakdown, divorce or separation. Melanie is a fluent Welsh speaker.

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.

Valerie Henley

I am a Solicitor, Partner and Head of the Family Department at Rubin Lewis O’Brien. I run a busy department and overseeing 3 Solicitors and various support staff. I deal with all areas of family law including divorce, separation, children and finances and represent clients at court. Matters are often complex involving complicated financial issues which I must readily understand. I am able to interpret complex personal finances. I am a specialist member of ‘Resolution’. I trained as a collaborative lawyer with Resolution in 2011. I also trained as a Mediator and have been a Trustee of a local Women’s Group. I also give talks to professionals from various agencies on Domestic Abuse and the legal framework. I have a keen interest in collaborative law. I see it as a further option open to couples attempting to deal with Children and financial issues following family breakdown. It allows them to stay in control of their own futures. I wholeheartedly see its benefits and support its ethos of helping couples to work together with their lawyers to reach agreement without recourse to costly, stressful Court battles. I am committed to minimising the financial and emotional pain of family breakdown. I studied my Law Degree at Leeds University and then went to Chester Law College. I finished my training at a Cardiff City Centre Law Form. I have been with my current firm since 1993 where I have been a Partner since 1994.

Mike Davey

  Mike has over 20 years’ experience as a solicitor in general high street practice, and has been a partner for over 18 years. He brings to the table not only knowledge of the law and an understanding of relationship dynamics, but substantial and wide life experience outside and before entering the law. He now practices in Llanelli and Swansea, and is also a Consultant with Scott-Moncrieff and Associates in London.  Mike is committed to resolving difficult situations in as sensitive and dignified a way as may be achievable.