Family Law in Partnership is an award-winning team of specialist family lawyers, mediators, arbitrators and family consultants

Gillian Bishop



Gillian is a consultant at Family Law in Partnership. She is a founding member of the firm, setting it up in 1995 to provide a distinctive client focused family law service. As an experienced family lawyer, Gillian wanted to create a firm for clients looking for a holistic approach to their divorce. Gillian’s aim is to keep the family unit as amicably cohesive as possible.

Gillian focuses on all aspects of divorce and family law, in particular in the financial repercussions of relationship breakdown and complex private law children matters. Her work frequently has an international perspective, often involving tax and trust implications, substantial assets or incomes. A trained mediator, arbitrator (children issues) and collaborative lawyer, Gillian offers clients a range of dispute resolution options to best meet their needs. Gillian has been described as a “the top collaborative lawyer” by Chambers HNW 2017 and “a leading light for collaborative law” by Legal 500 UK 2017. The Law Society Excellence Awards 2017 described Gillian as “innovative and inspirational, Gillian is recognised as a leader for positive change in family law“. She is “brilliant when it comes to complex, international financial situations” notes Chambers UK 2018 while Chambers HNW 2018 describes Gillian as “excellent on complex children work“. She was named Family Law Partner of the Year in the prestigious LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2018 and is listed in The Legal 500 2020’s “Hall of Fame” for both family law and family mediation. The Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by clients for continued excellence and who are at the pinnacle of the profession. Take a look at Gillian speaking about her approach to advising clients through divorce and separation here.

Representative matters:

  • Gillian represented a client with substantial trust assets. The negotiations were complicated by a dispute about the extent of the wealth. Nevertheless a settlement was reached which kept the trust assets intact without having to make an application to the court.
  • Acted for the heir of a multi-million pound estate in relation to his pre-nuptial agreement. Negotiations were concluded to ensure the estate was protected from potential claims in the event of a divorce.
  • Gillian acted collaboratively for the wife of an international businessman enabling the wife to retain the lion’s share of the substantial liquid capital assets. The case was complex as it involved assets in several jurisdictions with associated tax considerations and involved working closely with the parties’ personal tax advisers.
  • Acted collaboratively for the CEO of a global corporation involving a multi-million pound estate enabling the case to be kept out of the public gaze for the benefit of the whole family.
  • Gillian represented the wife in the reported case of JL v SL (No 1) [2014] EWCH 3658 (Fam) where Gillian successfully argued that the wife’s inheritance should be ring-fenced against claims from the husband notwithstanding a degree of intermingling of the inherited funds.
  • Gillian has extensive experience in acting for parents who wish to relocate (or prevent relocation) with their children to another jurisdiction. Recent cases have involved potential relocations to Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.

What Gillian’s clients say:

She just looked after me – I knew she was focusing on me and my family’s best interests.”

“Your support has gone well above and beyond the call of duty and was worth every penny. I feel lucky enough to consider my lawyer has become my friend which I suspect not many do.”

“I valued your calm approach, your very careful and attentive listening and your ability to stay unrattled.”

“Gillian was just wonderful and I could not have asked for better service.”

“You made an awful process manageable and bearable and for that I will always be grateful.”

“Client service, responsiveness and efficiency all outstanding.”

The leading legal directories Legal 500 UK, Chambers HNW and Chambers UK have named Gillian as a top ranked family lawyer for many years with The Legal 500 also ranking Gillian as a leading family mediator: she is “vastly experienced“, “always able to see the bigger picture” and “she literally wrote the book on collaborative law.” Legal 500 2020 notes that she is “adept at handling international issues as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements and relationship agreements“. Chambers HNW notes: “She is the top collaborative lawyer” “She’s constructive in her approach, applies the law properly, but is practical first and foremost” “What shines out about Gillian is she never fails to see the bigger picture” remarks one silk “…she is incredibly emotionally intelligent and always calm however tense the situation gets“”She is an extremely good negotiator” observes a peer, adding “She is able to attend a round table meeting with both parties and solicitors present and manoeuvre her way thorough the process and get an agreed solution at the end of it. That’s quite a remarkable skill”….”She looks at her cases holistically and is always trying to provide solutions that are best for the family concerned. She speaks with years of experience and vast wisdom“, “She is one of those truly genuine, nice, decent people who cares about families,” according to a fellow family lawyer who adds: “I think she’s a leading light and I think she’d be inspirational for the next generation of family lawyers coming through.”  Chambers UK 2020 comment “She is one of the most dynamic and pioneering family law solicitors of her generation,” and “She brings great wisdom to every case she handles”. 

Gillian has appeared in the Spear’s 500 Index of the top family lawyers for a number of years. Spears comments: “Unassuming and personable….well-known and respected by peers (and appreciated by clients) for her empathy and expertise, she is experienced in the multi-jurisdictional repercussions of HNW relationship breakdown…. also a specialist in complex private law children’s matters.” Gillian won the Citywealth PowerWomen Career Achievement Award 2017 and was named as a leading family lawyer by Best Lawyers 2020.

Gillian is recognised as a leader for positive change in family law. For over 20 years she has pioneered essential skills training for family lawyers and this remains a passion. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is on the Resolution training faculty for collaborative lawyers. In 2011 Gillian qualified as an accredited civil/commercial mediator. Gillian is one of the founding members of FLiP Faculty, an organisation which provides essential skills training to family law professionals.

Gillian is the author of “A Client’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce – Putting Your Family First” (2010).

Read Gillian’s recent blogs:

  • GB
  • Chambers Gillian
  • Print
  • Top_tier_firms
  • Top_tier_firms
  • Law Soc Excellence Awards 2017 highly commended
  • CIArb
  • PWA-CareerAchievementAward
  • Spear's-500-2017-Top-Recommended
  • resolution.collaborative
  • sorting-out-separation