Highly acclaimed family solicitor joins leading Northern law firm

Highly regarded lawyer David Lister has joined Ward Hadaway as a partner in the family and matrimonial team

A highly regarded lawyer has joined a leading Leeds-based law firm as it strengthens its team following continued strong growth.

Multi-award-winning solicitor David Lister joins Ward Hadaway as a partner in the family and matrimonial team. His priorities will focus on the growth and development of the team and expanding the firm’s family and matrimonial client base as it continues to build on its strong, trusted reputation across Yorkshire.

Nationally, the Ward Hadaway family team is led by Christine Barker and Liz Bottrill and has grown significantly under their leadership. The team regularly advises clients in relation to divorce and cohabitation issues, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and financial solutions, and issues relating to children, as well as surrogacy agreements.

David has built a reputation across the region and nationally for his innovative approach to family law. For instance, he was the first solicitor in England and Wales to represent both parties in a divorce and financial proceedings in 2021. Now known as the ‘one lawyer per couple’ model, it is one of the fastest-growing methods of resolving family disputes.

He specialises in complex cases involving separation and children in areas such as financial disputes and parental alienation. During his prolific career, he has acted for a range of high-profile TV personalities and sports stars.

As part of his work to continuously improve family and matrimonial law, David sits on the National Committee of Resolution, the main family law member body, which is the driving force for improvements in the family justice system.

Emma Digby, executive partner of Ward Hadaway Leeds, said: “David is one of the best family lawyers not just in the region but in the UK and I’m absolutely thrilled to have someone of his calibre on board as our family and matrimonial services continue to grow. David’s exceptional skillset and great character are an asset to our hugely talented and motivated team. He adds even further momentum as the Leeds office grows at an exponential rate – a testament to the hardworking and all-round brilliant solicitors we have at Ward Hadaway.”

The appointment follows a strong performance from Ward Hadaway over the last financial year which saw its Leeds office turnover increase by nearly a quarter (24%).

Christine Barker, a partner and joint head of the matrimonial team, said: “Our highly skilled and innovative team of lawyers, with a diverse range of experience, sets us apart. David’s appointment brings with it an added dimension. We are really excited to be working together, and to achieving great things for our clients, and for Ward Hadaway.”

David won Partner of the Year at the 2022 Yorkshire Legal Awards and was the youngest solicitor in the British legal system to be appointed as a national head in a large law firm at the age of 33. He was also named National Family Law Solicitor of the Year at the Lexis Nexis Family Law Awards last year and a national finalist in the Partner of the Year category at the Modern Law Awards.

Talking about his appointment, he said: “I chose Ward Hadaway because of its people and its potential. The opportunities for development at the firm are endless and Ward Hadaway has made some huge strides recently, experiencing firm-wide growth and expansion of the team across numerous departments. It’s exciting to be a part of such a driven and skilled team. My main objective is to raise the profile of Ward Hadaway’s family and matrimonial services in Yorkshire, driving growth by working alongside and supporting the team to innovate and develop. I can’t wait to get started.”

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