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

Sali Jackson-Thomas

Sali Jackson Thomas is a family law Solicitor and Partner in JCP Solicitors. With offices in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, and Pembrokeshire, Sali is on hand to offer her services in collaborative law across the whole of South and West Wales. Sali has more than 20 years of experience providing family legal advice. In 1996 Sali underwent training as a Mediator with the late Professor John Haynes PhD, who was known to be a leading authority on Alternative Dispute Resolution. Sali then qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer in 2005, after undergoing training with Pauline Tesler, a San Francisco Bay area Collaborative Lawyer. Sali is an expert in cases involving family businesses, pensions, overseas trusts, and assets outside the jurisdiction. Sali and her team have been actively involved in developing new approaches to partnership and living together agreements for many years. As well as being a member of Collaborative Lawyers in Wales, Sali is a member of the Solicitor's Family Law Association (now Resolution), The Law Society Advanced Family Panel and the UK College of Mediators.

Rachel Davies

  Rachel is a member of the Family Department at Martyn Prowel Solicitors where she specialises in financial cases and private law children matters. She has been practising exclusively in the area of family law for 20 years and is a member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family Law Panel. She qualified as a Collaborative lawyer in February 2009 and is convinced of the benefits to clients of dealing with cases in a collaborative way. She was a founder member of the local collaborative pod of solicitors and has recently been appointed Chairman.

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.

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.

Rhys Taylor

Rhys Taylor is a public access barrister, collaborative lawyer and qualified family arbitrator (MCIArb). He has 16 year’s experience at the bar and extensive experience in family finance matters for married and unmarried clients. As a public access barrister he is able to accept instructions direct from a member of the public without going through a solicitor, in appropriate cases. Please feel free to contact Rhys to discuss this option. As a barrister Rhys is also able to act as a “fifth person” in the collaborative process, in giving advice to each side on how to progress their collaborative negotiation, should an impasse be reached. Rhys has been mentioned in the standard legal directories, including Chambers UK 2012, where he is described as, “Really pleasant, thorough and efficient, particularly noted for his expertise in ancillary relief proceedings and TOLATA applications.” Rhys co-edits the website www.familyarbitrator.com and sits part time as a legal chairman of the Residential Property Tribunal (Wales).