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

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.

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.

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.

Grant Stephens

  Based in Cardiff, Grant Stephens is head of Grant Stephens Family Law specialising in all aspects of family law. He is passionate about family law and has achieved a great number of successful outcomes on a wide variety of cases including millionaire lottery wins, issues surrounding inherited wealth, protracted contact disputes and complex business interests to name but a few. He has close links with a number of outside agencies both local and national and works closely with a network of professionals including pension experts and forensic accountants. Grant Stephens is accredited by the Law Society Family Law Advanced Panel. He has a sterling reputation as a skilled negotiator, is renowned for his ability to put clients at ease and strives to find an early resolution in each and every case. He firmly believes that the court process should be viewed as a last resort and promotes Collaborative Law wherever possible. Grant Stephens Family Law offer a first half hour free appointment with no obligation. Please call 02920 329 129 or email grant@grantstephensfamilylaw.co.uk

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.