Robert Williams has always been involved in litigation and has appeared in high profile trials. He now concentrates on private divorce work, specialising in high value cases. He regularly deals with other professionals such as accountants, actuaries and planning consultants.
Robert has been recommended as a first class divorce lawyer in the Legal 500 for very many years. Clients describe him as proactive and passionate about his work. He usually does his own advocacy and enjoys working closely with the client and managing their hopes and expectations during what is usually a very traumatic time in their lives.
Neath Grammar School, Neath; Manchester University (LL.B); College of Law, Guildford
Qualified 1972; Partner at R B Hutchinson Morris & Harrett (now Hutchinson Thomas) 1980
Robert has been and is still involved in a number of organisations within the town of Neath including Neath Round Table and Rotary. He has been Chairman of Neath Athletic Rugby Football Club for 20 years and is one of the longest serving church wardens. He is also president of the Friends of the Hospital.
Robert was a highly respected Judicial Officer for rugby both nationally and internationally. He chaired some of the major rugby disciplinary cases including the infamous ‘Bloodgate’ case.
Roger is a partner at Hutchinson Thomas, head of the corporate and commercial team and a Notary Public.
As well as having extensive corporate experience, he also specialises in complex property matters and sports law.
His advice is pragmatic and he is known for his effective problem solving and practical, hands-on approach. He has exceptional depth of expertise in his specialist areas and a strong understanding of the commercial needs of his clients.
Roger’s clients range from sole traders to large companies and property developers across South Wales. He is trusted and respected by clients and other practitioners alike, receiving regular referrals from professionals in other fields, including accountants and financial advisers.
He represents and advises clients in respect of commercial contract negotiations, shareholder and partnership agreements, company sales and purchases, complicated property cases and sport discipline.
His expertise in property issues means he can act for clients across a transaction involving both commercial and property matters, rather than having to refer them to a different lawyer.
Recent property successes include working for a client in the development of a leisure complex for a holiday village involving planning and difficult legal property matters as well as a complicated sale of industrial units with contentious land issues.
Hutchinson Thomas is one of the few firms in South Wales outside Cardiff to offer notarial services. The firm has two Notaries Public available, including Roger, who are qualified to deal with documents in respect of foreign legal matters, confirming the authenticity of business documents for use overseas, dealing with paperwork for land transactions abroad, arranging for documents to be executed at foreign embassies or apostilled at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and drawing up and witnessing powers of attorney for use overseas.
Roger has also developed the commercial aspect of his practice into the field of sports law. As a World Rugby Judicial and Appeal Officer dealing with discipline and misconduct in Rugby Union, he has been assigned to the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cup. He has also acted in cases for RBS Six Nations, European Professional Rugby, Celtic Pro 12, RFU and WRU and is chair of the Guinness Pro 14 Discipline Committee.
He is recognised for his legal expertise in the Legal 500.
Ystalyfera Grammar School, Swansea Valley; Cwmtawe Comprehensive School, Swansea Valley; Emmanuel College, Cambridge MA (Cantab) History, Law
Trained at L C Thomas & Son (now Hutchinson Thomas); qualified 1979; Partner at L C Thomas & Son 1979; Notary Public 1985
Clerk to Neath Port Authority
Roger represents and advises numerous local organisations on a voluntary basis, particularly golf, cricket and rugby clubs.
He is an honorary life member of Neath Cricket Club, a life member of Glamorgan CC and a member of MCC.
He is a former member and chair of Cricket Wales and a golf club trustee.
Partner leading the Property Department
Glanafan Comprehensive School, Port Talbot; Birmingham University (1980 LL.B); College of Law, Guildford
Trained at R B Hutchinson Morris & Harrett; qualified 1983; Partner at R B Hutchinson Morris & Harrett (now Hutchinson Thomas) 1986
Member of the Law Society Property Group; Past President of Neath Port Talbot Law Society
Past Chairman of Neath Amateur Operatic Society; Past Area Chairman of Rotaract District 115; Past Chairman of Neath Round Table; Past President of Neath Round Table
Paul deals with all areas of personal injury and clinical negligence cases but specialises in high value, catastrophic injury and damage claims. He has acted for clients who have suffered birth related injuries resulting in substantial awards for future care and assistance.
He has also handled a number of traumatic brain injury cases which have been life changing for the client and which have required significant consideration of the future needs of the client who is no longer able to work and who requires long term care and financial security.
Paul particularly enjoys working with external specialist agencies and experts to provide practical and professional help to address the injured client’s needs so as to bring a holistic approach to the individual client’s case.
Paul is the Assistant Coroner for Swansea & Neath Port Talbot and Assistant Coroner for Pembrokeshire & Carmarthenshire
Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School, Neath; Dwr-y-Felin Sixth Form College, Neath; University of Wales College, Cardiff (1984 LL.B); College of Law, Guildford
Trained at G Huw Lewis and James Neath; qualified in 1987; Partner Hutchinson Morris & Harrett (now Hutchinson Thomas) 1991.
Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Member of Law Society Personal Injury Panel
Paul is an active member of the Church in Wales at local and provincial level.
He served as an elected member of the Governing Body of the Church (‘GB’) for 15 years and was an appointed legal assessor for its bi-annual meetings. He currently serves on the Provincial Panel of Bishops’ Advisers on Remarriage, Divorce and Ordination.
He was appointed as one of three new Lay Canons of Llandaff Cathedral Chapter in June 2019 following revision of its governance and is a member of the Llandaff Diocese’s Churches and Pastoral Committee.
On a local level he is Church Warden in the Rectorial Benefice of Neath and is currently Treasurer of Saint David’s Church where he has been a chorister for the last 50 years.
He has previously served as the Area Chairman of the Royal School of Church Music’s Committee which exemplifies his passion for choral singing.
He is also a co-founder and active member of the Neath Polyphonic Choir, a community choir that was established in 2010 which affords the opportunity for people of mixed ability to sing a wide range of music.
Apart from music in all its various forms, Paul enjoys foreign travel and is passionate about Britain’s heritage, particularly its historic buildings and railways.
Peter specialises in dispute resolution, dealing mainly with commercial and property disputes.
His practical and common-sense approach to negotiating means that cases are resolved efficiently and cost-effectively. He is commercially-focused and works with clients to understand their legal and business needs so that the right solution is found.
He works across a range of commercial areas including franchising and franchise disputes, property disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of contract claims, landlord and tenant disputes and building and construction disputes.
In his property practice Peter regularly represents clients in boundary disputes and disputes relating to rights of way , other easements and covenants.
By assessing the important issues and looking at the bigger picture he finds pragmatic and effective solutions for both business and private clients.
He is an expert negotiator, conducting the dispute resolution process with a minimum of confrontation. His approach minimises damage to commercial relationships and ensures that no unnecessary costs are incurred.
With an excellent track record of success in negotiating satisfactory outcomes without recourse to court, he has an in-depth understanding of dispute resolution. In the event that litigation is necessary, he provides robust representation and has successfully defended claims amounting to several hundred thousand pounds.
Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School, Neath; University of Wales, Swansea (1996 LL.B); University of Wales, Cardiff (Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice).
Trained at Hutchinson Morris & Harrett (now Hutchinson Thomas) qualified in 2000; Partner 2006. In 2009 Peter became managing partner.
Peter enjoys tennis, squash, golf and football, although nowadays more watching and taking his children than participating himself.
Partner specialising in employment law and contentious trusts and probate.
Simon is regularly involved in disciplinary and regulatory proceedings, particularly in the health care and education sectors (GMC, NMC, GPhC, CCIW)
His published cases include Saunders -v- Garrett  WTLR 749, R v Davies  EWCA Crim 2949 and R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Davies  The Independent (London), Nov 23, 2000. Khan & Anor v Landsker Child Care Ltd UKEAT/0036/12/DM
He is one of only six Welsh solicitors to have been appointed members of the Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). He is also a member of the Employment Law Association and the Association of Disciplinary and Regulatory Lawyers.
Simon sits as a Judicial Officer for the WRU, Guinness Pro 12, EPRC and World Rugby. He was appointed as a Judicial Officer in the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School, Neath College, University of Wales, Cardiff (1991 LL.B); College of Law (Guildford); Universite de la Sorbonne, Paris
Trained at Hutchinson Morris & Harrett; qualified 1995; Partner at Hutchinson Morris & Harrett (now Hutchinson Thomas) 1998
Outside his busy family life, Simon’s interests revolve largely around sport and rugby in particular. He regularly sits as a Judicial Officer in top flight rugby and was one of ten Judicial Officers appointed to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
He has always been actively involved in the community and is a past Chairman and President of Neath Round Table where he was a member for over twenty years.
Partner and head of Probate, Wills and Trusts department.
Louise has particular expertise in advising on and drafting wills, powers of attorney, personal injury trusts, administration of estates and inheritance tax planning. She is regularly asked to act as a professional attorney, executor and trustee.
Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School, Neath (Head Girl 1991); Neath College, Neath; Somerville College, Oxford (1996 MA Jurisprudence); Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, University of Wales, Cardiff; Cours de Civilisation Francaise de la Sorbonne, Paris
Trained at Hutchinson Morris & Harrett (now Hutchinson Thomas) qualified in 2000; Partner 2006
Full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners; Member of Law Society Private Client department
Partner dealing with Wills, Probate, Trusts & Tax.
Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School, Neath; Neath College; University of Oxford (Master of Arts in Jurisprudence); Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (distinction) at the College of Law (London); Post Graduate Diploma of Notarial Practice, University of Cambridge
Trained at Hutchinson Thomas; qualified 2004; partner 2010. Qualified as Notary Public in 2009.
Full member of Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP), Solicitors for the Elderly and the Law Society Private Client Section. Often gives talks to groups about wills, powers of attorney and long term care.
Rhian sits as a judicial officer appointed to hear rugby disciplinary cases arising from matches under the jurisdiction of World Rugby, 6Nations, EPCR, URC and WRU.
Partner in the Property department
Adrian specialises in residential conveyancing including new builds, help to buy, shared ownership, lease extensions, stair casing of shared ownership leases and purchase of freehold reversion of leasehold houses.
Cefn Saeson Comprehensive; Neath Tertiary College; University of Kent at Canterbury; Guildford Law College
Trained at Gordon Williams Solicitors, Cardiff 1989-1992; Partner at Sheehans Solicitors 1992-2004; Partner at Morleys Solicitors 2004-2005; Partner at Howells Solicitors 2005-2007; joined Hutchinson Thomas 2007; partner 2013
Adrian is deputy Vice President of Swansea and District Law Society
Member of Neath Golf Club and social member of Neath Cricket Club. Adrian enjoys watching football, rugby and bowls and is an avid reader.
Darren is a partner specialising in commercial and company law, in particular franchise matters and intellectual property.
With a strong commercial understanding, he is able to assess clients’ businesses as a whole and find innovative solutions to difficult issues. By considering the options available and talking them through with his clients, Darren is known for both problem solving and his ability to move cases forward.
He also has expertise in commercial dispute resolution, working to resolve disagreements in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.
Under Darren’s leadership of the Franchise Team, Hutchinson Thomas has membership of the accredited British Franchise Association, the main regulator for the UK franchise industry. The Association sets high standards, requiring accreditation for all members, and is known for championing excellence in ethical British franchising.
Darren is recognised by the British Franchise Association as a QFP (Qualified Franchise Professional), having completed the specialist qualification.
Darren has worked with businesses to turn their enterprises into franchises that have been offered across the UK.
He also specialises in intellectual property matters, in particular trademark applications.
When working with clients, he is a hands-on lawyer, providing a personal service and ensuring he is available whenever needed. He builds long-term relationships with his clients, providing stability of service and meaning that he has an in-depth understanding of their businesses and legal needs.
Cwmtawe Comprehensive School, University of Wales, Swansea (LLB); University of the West of England, Bristol (Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice).
Joined Hutchinson Thomas in 2006, became a partner in 2015. Now head of the Franchise Team & Criminal Team.
Hutchinson Thomas is heavily linked with the children’s hospice Tŷ Hfan, with Darren representing the firm and organising fund-raising events, to include business lunches, golf days and croquet events. With the aim of raising £10,000 per year for the charity, £50,000 has been raised over the past five years. Hutchinson Thomas is a corporate partner of the hospice.
Member of Neath Round Table and Vice Chairman of the Area of Round Tables; Area 43 Chairman as of April 2021.
A Governor of Rhos Primary School.
Past Director of Neath AFC; Management Committee member of Neath Cricket Club.
In any spare time, Darren enjoys spending time with his young family, running and playing golf.
Partner dealing with Family and Criminal matters with a special interest in Child care and public law (care proceedings)
Meriel is a keen advocate in the Criminal Court who undertakes cases from initial hearing through to trial.
She has been involved in several high profile cases including allegations of the death of an infant by a parent administering adult medication, and cases involving significant injury to children including an allegation of branding. She has also been involved in serious sex abuse cases.
Meriel has been involved in cases at the High Court of Justice including a case in relation to reporting restrictions in a matter involving the death of a baby, and the request by a 14 year old to give evidence in a case involving allegations of sexual abuse against her parents.
Pontrhydyfen Welsh School; Emmanuel Preparatory and Grammar School, Swansea; Swansea Institute of Higher Education; University of the West of England
Trainee Legal Executive at G Huw Lewis and James 1987-97; L C Thomas & Son 1997-2000; qualified as a Solicitor in 2000; Howe & Spender 2000-02; Goldstones 2002-05; Hutchinson Thomas 2005; partner 2015
Member of the Law Society Children panel, and Criminal Duty Solicitor
In her free time Meriel enjoys spending time with her children and helping on the family farm. She is also an enthusiastic martial artist and practices ju jutsu and judo being an assistant coach at a local club and the YMCA. Meriel is also is a keen motorcyclist.
Partner heading the childcare department.
University of Central England Law Society (1984 BA Law); College of Law (Guildford)
Qualified 1994; Hugh James 1985-1999; Devonalds 1999-2002; Hutchinson Thomas 2002, partner 2010
Member of the Law Society Children Panel. An approachable advocate with over 20 years’ experience in the legal profession. Has expertise in handling divorce and high value financial cases with an active interest in domestic abuse cases. She is a member of the Law Society Children Panel and is committed on a daily basis to child law work. Deals with all aspects of child law and has experience in complex cases including fabricated illness syndrome, sudden infant death syndrome, non-accidental injury and neglect. Has a particular interest in the representation of parents with learning difficulties.
Rachel has specialised in the area of family law since qualifying in 2001. She deals predominantly with children cases and is a member of the Law Society Children Panel which recognises solicitors with particular expertise in this complex field. Rachel acts for parents, grandparents, and children’s guardians and usually undertaking her own advocacy. Such cases are often complex and involve difficult issues of harm to children, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse and physical injuries.
Rachel deals with cases against the Local Authority social services department including applications for care orders and adoptions. She has represented clients with learning difficulties and those who are victims of domestic abuse. She always strives to get the best outcome possible for her clients.Rachel also acts in private law cases, representing parents seeking contact with their children or seeking orders that their child should live with them.
Dwr y Felin Comprehensive School, Neath; Neath College; University of Reading (LLB Hons); University of Bristol (Diploma in Legal Practice)
Trained at Avery Naylor Solicitors Swansea; joined Hutchinson Thomas 2011; partner 2015
Outside the law, Rachel is devoted to enjoying family time with her children and keeping fit.
Sandra is a qualified Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives working within the Probate Department. She qualified as a Fellow in 1992 and has over 25 years’ experience working in the areas of administration of estates, drafting wills and lasting powers of attorney and some aspects of trust work.
She has a sympathetic approach and when dealing with probate cases she sees part of her role as helping clients through difficult times.
Sandra often deals with complex matters, including taxable estates, estates comprising foreign assets and the drafting of wills setting up trusts for vulnerable beneficiaries.
Sandra started her training at Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1978 before moving on to attend the Business Studies Department at Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education between 1981 and 1982. She then we on to complete her Legal Executive qualifications while working full-time, via distance learning.
Sandra started her legal career with Collins Woods & Vaughan Jones, which merged to become Morgan Cole. She qualified as a Legal Executive in 1992.
She joined us in 2001 and will celebrate 20 years with the firm in July 2021.
Full Member of Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners; Member of Law Society Private Client Section
Ros is a partner and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. She works in the Property Department dealing with residential sales and purchases, voluntary registrations of unregistered property, transfers of ownership and gifts of property.
She is good at representing vulnerable clients and those who are new to the process of buying a home. She guides them through the conveyancing procedure, making sure they understand what will happen next and what is needed from them.
She also makes herself available to speak to her clients throughout their matter to keep them updated as to progress and answer any questions they may have.
Her work includes drawing up contracts for sale, inspecting title documents and deeds, writing reports on title and liaising with mortgage brokers, estate agents, the Land Registry, banks and building societies. She deals with a full range of property matters, including leasehold and new-build transactions.
She makes sure that clients are happy with all aspects of their sale or purchase, explaining issues as needed. If difficulties arise, she has the experience to find the right solution and she works proactively to ensure that completion can take place as soon as possible.
Ros will always go the extra mile to help her clients complete their transaction successfully. During lockdown, she completed the sale of a property in less than 14 days for an elderly client who needed to move into sheltered accommodation and who had no family nearby to support them.
Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive School, Swansea; Swansea College; Further Education Teaching Certificate WGIHE; ILEX Distance Learning University of Westminster.
Legal Secretary 1989-2001; joined Hutchinson Thomas; qualified as a Member of the Institute of Legal Executives 2008.
Ros enjoys the gym, walking and climbing with her dog. She walks in the local country park nearly every day and each weekend she can be found hiking in the Neath Valley, Lliw Valley, Beacons or Black Mountains. She likes socialising and spending time with friends. She also sings in a choir.
Michael Simmonds is a consultant solicitor with nearly fifty years’ experience. He specialises in residential and commercial conveyancing, lately focusing mainly on residential transactions.
He understands how stressful a home move can be and works to make the process as smooth and problem-free as possible for his clients.
Michael is known for providing an efficient, personal service and a flexible approach to his cases. His exceptional legal experience means that he is able to resolve difficulties quickly and efficiently, meeting and exceeding client expectations.
Degree from Hull University; College of Law, Lancaster Gate, London: qualification as a solicitor
Qualified as a solicitor on 1 December 1973 and worked in private practice continuously from that time.
For many years Michael has been a season ticket holder for Swansea City, watching the team as often as possible. He also has a keen interest in cricket as well as spending time gardening.
Helen specialises in residential conveyancing, including home sales and purchases, probate sales, first registrations, remortgages and general property work. She has been qualified for over 40 years and has in-depth experience in property matters.
She works with clients through the conveyancing process, from start to finish, ensuring that they have the help and guidance they need at what is often a stressful time. She deals with associated issues such as mortgages, help to buy ISAs and registration at the Land Registry.
Helen is known for clearly explaining the conveyancing process to clients so that they understand how the transaction will proceed and for dealing quickly and effectively with any complications that arise.
Mynyddbach Comprehensive School, Swansea.
Bachelor’s Degree in German with Law and French (B.Sc in Linguistic and International Studies); worked for six months in a German law firm in Hamburg.
Used German regularly while working in London at a firm that acted regularly for German clients.
Articles/training contract with Hedleys in London City; qualified as a solicitor for over 40 years.
Returned to Swansea to work for long-established local firm Collins Woods & Vaughan Jones doing commercial property, general commercial work and some residential conveyancing.
Became a partner in 2003 with Simmonds Hurford. Specialised in Wills and probate as well as residential and commercial conveyancing.
In June 2021 Simmonds Hurford merged with Hutchinson Thomas where Helen works as a consultant in the property department.
Helen and her family fundraise and generally help out with the Horton & Port Eynon RNLI Lifeboat Station where her daughter is an active crew member.
Helen enjoys walking with her family and their black Labrador particularly along the beaches and coastline of Gower near where they live. She also enjoys sea swimming. Other interests include reading and book club membership, yoga and watching rugby. Helen and her husband are season ticket holders for the Ospreys in Swansea.
Assistant solicitor in the Property department specialising in residential conveyancing
Olchfa Comprehensive School, Exeter University, Ebenhards-Karls Universitaet Tuebingen Germany, Swansea University (LL B)
Joined Hutchinson Thomas in 2013, qualified 2015
Rachel’s interests revolve largely around the sea. She is an active member and current captain of Mumbles Sea Rowing Club. She is also a volunteer crew member and the only female helm at Horton and Port Eynon Lifeboat Station.
Solicitor in the Wills Trusts & Probate Department.
Dyffryn Comprehensive School, Neath Port Talbot College, University of Wales Swansea (Ll B), University of South Wales Pontypridd (LPC)
Joined Hutchinson Thomas in 2013
Interested in fitness classes, reading and travelling
Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives specialising in Residential Conveyancing both Freehold and Leasehold.
Jacqui is a Residential Property Lawyer working within the Conveyancing team and deals with all aspects of residential conveyancing including Freehold, Leasehold, Help to Buy England and Wales, Help to Buy ISA’s, Probate Sales, New Build, Shared Ownership and Right to Buy amongst other areas.
Jacqui qualified as a Legal Executive in October 2008 and now has 10 years post qualified experience. Jacqui has been working in the Conveyancing sector since 2014. Prior to that has specialised both in Civil Litigation and Commercial Conveyancing.
Jacqui is always keen to build a rapport with her clients both via the telephone and in person. ‘For me, and more importantly for each and every one of my clients, communication is the key to continuity and swift progression of the transaction. With a clear objective for each individual case, I always seek to ensure that clients are completely satisfied with the service they receive and that I personally have done everything possible to expedite the matter and provide clear timescales, communicating as efficiently as possible.
Chancellors Secondary School Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire; University of the West of England (BA Honours Law and History) – 2002; Chartered Institute of Legal Executives – 2008.
Joined Hutchinson Thomas in November 2018. Previously has worked for Griffiths Ings Property Lawyers in Barry and Insight Law in Cardiff. Prior to that Lyons Davidson and Clarke Willmott Solicitors both in Bristol.
In her spare time Jacqui enjoys spending time with her family and hiking in West Wales, where she now lives.
Helen deals with a wide range of commercial property and planning matters including sales and purchases, leases, licences, infrastructure agreement, section 106 agreements, development agreements and acting on SIPP and SAAS pension matters.
Helen is dual qualified as a Solicitor and Chartered Town Planner and has experience in both the private and public sector.
Helen works for a variety of clients including developers, pension funds, leisure organisations, manufacturers and retailers. She also acts for a number of charities.
Cardiff University- Town Planning Studies and Postgraduate Diploma in town Planning
University of London-LLB
University of Glamorgan-Diploma in Legal Practice
Helen has experience of working in a number of large commercial legal firms as well as experience in local authorities
Helen is also the Company Secretary of the National Waterfront Museum Swansea and Wales national Pool Swansea
Melanie is an Assistant Solicitor in the residential conveyancing department.
She has 16 years’ experience in this area, meaning she knows how to solve difficult problems that may arise in conveyancing transactions and obtain the results clients want.
Moving house can be stressful, and Melanie always works to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible for her clients. She is always honest about the issues that are encountered and clients appreciate this as well as the fact that she makes sure they have a clear understanding of the situation.
She works hard to resolve any difficulties without delay and her experience means that she knows the best way forward and can suggest solutions that can save a sale or purchase when problems have arisen.
From the start, Melanie makes sure that clients know what to expect during a conveyancing transaction. She works hard to achieve desired deadlines, but will also be open about the likelihood of achieving them where necessary.
She works in all areas of residential conveyancing, including sale, purchase, remortgage, purchase of flats and newbuild homes, transfers of equity, leasehold enfranchisement, right to buy and shared ownership.
Her clients value the support she gives them throughout what can be a nerve-wracking time and she is often recommended by them to their friends and family.
University of Wales, Swansea (LLB) Law; University of Wales, Cardiff (Legal Practice Course)
Joined Hutchinson Thomas in 2019 as an assistant solicitor in the residential property department.
Melanie is from Neath, where she has lived all her life. She is a military wife with two young children.
Leah Jones is a solicitor specialising in residential conveyancing. She represents clients in a range of property transactions, to include sales, purchases, re-mortgages and Right to Buy.
Her clients value her organised approach to conveyancing, where it is often crucial to be able to deal with matters quickly and efficiently. She is known for her excellent attention to detail and her experience in the residential conveyancing sector means she is also able to resolve difficulties that arise satisfactorily and without unnecessary delay.
Leah understands how stressful moving house can be and always does all she can to make the process as easy as possible for her clients. They appreciate her excellent service and client care and that she makes herself available to talk throughout the transaction, keeping them updated as to progress and dealing with any queries they may have.
Swansea University: Law degree and LPC
Qualified as a solicitor in August 2014. Joined Hutchinson Thomas in September 2014 and worked for the firm for four years, leaving in 2018. Returned to Hutchinson Thomas in January 2021.
Leah is an enthusiastic runner and has participated in two half-marathons in Cardiff and has undertaken various charity 10k runs.
Ellie is a solicitor in the Childcare and Family Law department working under the supervision of Debbie Richards.
The family team has extensive expertise in Children Act cases, representing parents, grandparents and children through their Cafcass guardians.
Ellie’s supervising partner is a member of the Law Society Children Panel and a solicitor with over twenty years’ experience in the legal profession, meaning Ellie has assisted on numerous complex and notable cases. With the family team having extensive advocacy experience, Ellie has been able to observe clients being represented by the firm in all courts.
The department also deals extensively with divorce matters, to include complex high-value cases and cases involving domestic abuse. Ellie has also had the opportunity to work in other aspects of child law, including non-accidental injury and neglect cases, in particular a case considered by the High Court to be one of the most extreme it had ever encountered.
Bishopston Comprehensive School; Olchfa Sixth Form; University of the West of England LLB (Hons) 2:1 Law Degree; Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Swansea University; Masters Degree – Merit at Swansea University
Joined Hutchinson Thomas in October 2018 as a paralegal following completion of the Legal Practice Course and a Master’s degree.
Ellie qualified as a solicitor in April 2021.
Outside of work Ellie enjoys spending quality time with family and friends and travelling abroad.
Kiani works in the Family Law department dealing with divorce and financial issues, training under senior partner Robert Williams. She is due to qualify as a solicitor in September 2021.
She deals with the full spectrum of family law matters, to include settlement, cohabitation and separation agreements.
She also works in licensing, representing clients to secure licences for the sale of alcohol, late-night refreshment and entertainment as well as dealing with applications for premises licences, to include full and minor variations, applying to be DPS, personal licence applications and business licences for establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafés, sports clubs and shops.
Kiani is good at explaining complex issues to her clients. She understands the emotional strain of divorce proceedings and deals sensitively with clients throughout as well as being friendly, approachable and good at listening.
She is proactive in her approach, working to resolve issues and obtain the results that her clients want without delays. She has excellent relationships with professionals in adjacent areas, such as barristers and accountants, meaning she is well placed to instruct third party experts where necessary.
She has particularly strong IT skills, keeping up to date on the latest processes and often teaches others in the firm how to fully utilise new software.
Hutchinson Thomas was one of the first law firms in Wales to trial a new pilot scheme whereby all stages of a divorce are completed electronically via the HM Courts and Tribunals Service portal. Kiani was advised that she was the first person in Wales to officially use it, subsequently teaching colleagues to use it as well.
Born and brought up in Swansea, Kiani completed a law degree at Swansea University in 2014-2017 followed by the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in 2017-2019.
Joined Hutchinson Thomas while completing her LPC studies for a year in 2018. Was offered a training contract in January 2019, starting in September 2019.
Read more about Kiani’s time with the firm here.
She has been offered a position as a solicitor in the family team in September 2021 when she is due to qualify.
As well as legal networking and fundraising events, Kiani loves going to the Gower, spending time on beaches, walking and keeping fit as well as spending time with friends and family and going to rugby matches.
Sylwia works in employment law and contentious trusts and probate.
As part of the employment team, she is involved in advising and representing employers in respect of disputes and legal compliance.
Sylwia also assists in representing employees across a range of issues, including disciplinary matters, grievances, unfair dismissal, redundancy and settlement agreements.
The Team works with both employees and employers to resolve disputes in the workplace as amicably and professionally as possible.
As a member of the Contentious Probate Department, Sylwia deals with applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and is involved in advising clients who are considering challenging a will and also representing executors or beneficiaries who are seeking to defend a claim.
Swansea University (LLB) 2016; Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, also Swansea University; Legal Practice Course completed part-time while working as a legal assistant for several local law firms, graduated in 2018.
Joined Hutchinson Thomas in 2017. Commenced her Training Contract in January 2021. Due to become fully qualified in December 2022.
Sylwia enjoys travelling and spending time with family and friends and walking her dog.
Lauren is a trainee solicitor in the childcare department. She assists partner and Law Society Children Panel member Rachel Pudner with childcare cases.
She assists with public law cases involving the local authority in respect of issues such as care orders and adoptions, representing parents and guardians. These cases are often complex and sensitive in nature and include physical and sexual abuse cases as well as cases involving drug and alcohol abuse and mental health problems.
Lauren also helps out with private law cases, representing parents who wish to have contact with their children or who are seeking orders from the court allowing their children to live with them. She drafts court statements and applications and attends meetings with and on behalf of clients, such as Looked After Child meetings and Public Law Outline proceedings.
She has represented clients with learning difficulties, who understandably can find the legal system daunting. She is known for her friendly approach and building a good rapport with people, meaning she can support vulnerable clients and explain complex issues clearly so that they are able to know exactly what is happening and what to expect from the legal process.
Lauren makes sure she is always on hand to deal with queries from clients and she liaises with them daily. Her clients appreciate that she goes above and beyond to help wherever necessary. Her work is exceptionally thorough and she pays great attention to detail.
She has worked closely with Rachel Pudner in very complex High Court matters involving cases where children who are the subject of legal proceedings need protecting, with this protection not possible under the Children Act 1989. These types of cases are often serious and complex.
Brynteg Comprehensive School; Swansea University LLB First Class Honours; LLM masters degree Legal Practice Course and Advanced Drafting (distinction)
In 2020, Lauren joined Hutchinson Thomas as a paralegal, commencing a training contract in November 2021.
Lauren had a ten-year gymnastics career, representing South Glamorgan in competitions. She coached children’s gymnastics from the age of 15 and throughout her time at school and university, finally retiring when she joined Hutchinson Thomas.
She plays netball in the local Swansea league as well as representing West Glamorgan in annual tournaments.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family.