Western Mail, 17th August 2011

A FAMILY law firm has marked the completion of 15 years in business by posting a record annual turnover of almost £2m.

Since being launched in the summer of 1996, Cardiff-based Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice has looked after more than 7,000 clients and seen staff numbers increase to more than 30.

Now one of the most successful family law practices in the UK, it covers all aspects of family law, including divorce and separation, children matters, finances, pre-marital agreements, civil partnerships, domestic violence and services for the elderly – all from its offices in Windsor Place.

Since formation joint senior partners Melanie Hamer and Thea Hughes, who previously worked at Eversheds, have been joined by fellow partners Rhian Howells, David James and Sarah Wyburn. More than a dozen other solicitors are also part of the firm.

Ms Hamer said that while the increase in turnover from £220,000 in the first year to almost £2m last year was a recognised way of demonstrating growth, the real test of the firm’s success had been the number of individuals, couples and families who had turned to the firm for support in what were often difficult times.

She said: “Turnover is a measure but was never going to be the most important for us. We wanted to offer a skilled and able service, the resulting increase in the business has been based solely on our original values.

“I never believed when we started all those years ago that the business would grow to such an extent.

“Indeed, we never really had any grand plans – we just wanted to do our job well. By staying true to that guiding principle and recruiting the right people, the firm has grown very naturally over these 15 years.”

Highlights have included the success of individuals within the practice, including Sarah Wyburn who joined the firm as a trainee in 2000 and is the most recent partner.

The firm acts for clients based across the UK and all over the world, and has developed a particular reputation acting for a number of celebrity and sporting clients.

Ms Hamer said: “Above all, we firmly believe the growth of Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice is based solely on the service it provides. We are committed to Resolution’s code of Practice and this includes dealing with matters in a non-adversarial way wherever possible.

“We take real pride in that commitment, and we hope that will stand us in good stead as we look to the next 15 years.”