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

Gerard Griffiths

Gerard is an experienced Family Solicitor.  He has a wide range of experience in all aspects of matrimonial law.  He is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel, a Higher Court Advocate in Civil matters and a Resolution Accredited Specialist in European and International Law.  Having conducted a number of Collaborative Cases he has become even more committed to the view that the Collaborative process offers families the best solutions to their problems.

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.

Malcolm Stevens

Malcolm qualified in 1977 and has been Head of the Family Law Department at Hugh James for almost 12 years. He specialises in high net worth financial claims and private law children matters. The ethos of the Department is to provide support in a professional and sensitive manner and to achieve solutions by negotiation rather than litigation if at all possible. The Department has the advantage of being able to call upon expertise within the firm in the fields of tax, asset management, employment, trust and corporate law. Malcolm has been recognised in the 2012 edition of Legal 500 as having “a strong reputation, within the region and beyond, and regularly acts in multi-million pound divorce cases”. In the 2011 version he was described as having an “excellent, client-based, focused attitude, and is commercial: a very safe pair of hands”. The Department has a top tier rating. In Chambers UK 2011 Malcolm was described as having clients who have “absolute trust in him because he won’t settle for second best”.

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.

Karina Russell

I am a UKCP registered Systemic and Family Psychotherapist with 30 years experience of working with children and their families in various capacities including as a Solicitor, Social Worker, Child Guidance Specialist and presently as a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. I have a Masters degree with distinction and my private practice includes offering a service as a Family Consultant in conjunction with Collaborative lawyers. Much of my therapeutic practice has involved working with families following marital disharmony or breakdown. I draw on systemic ideas and brief therapy approaches which focus not only on emotional difficulties experienced by an individual but within family relationships and the context in which they live. My approach is relationship-based, collaborative and non-judgemental where I offer a supportive space in which individuals, couples and families can explore choices and dilemmas, access their own resources and seek positive solutions. I also undertake therapeutic assessments, particularly in situations where contact with a parent is in dispute Here, I explore the potential for progressing the issue of contact in a way that is constructive for children and acceptable for both parents. My training has covered various modalities including cognitive-behavioural, humanist, solution-focussed and Rogerian person-centred therapy which I integrate with systemic psychotherapy.