Elaine Ioannou

I joined the OGR Stock Denton team in October 2020 as an Associate Solicitor in the Family department. Prior to this, I worked at a boutique family law firm in West London and trained at a leading London law firm where I qualified as a solicitor in March 2016.

During this time, I have acquired a variety of skills which enable me to effectively assist my clients through the legal process in an approachable and efficient manner. My ability to dissect complex information and eye for detail is matched by my flexibility when problem solving. In all cases, I strive to attain the best possible outcomes for my clients and I aim to adopt a conciliatory approach whenever possible.

I have experience in a range of family law matters including advising on divorce, financial settlement and complex children matters often with an international aspect. I am also a member of the family law group Young Resolution (Yres).

Holly Covington

I joined the OGR Stock Denton team in September 2019 as a Solicitor in the Family department. Prior to this, I worked and trained at another London-based firm where I qualified as a Solicitor in November 2018.

I have experience of a wide range of family law issues including divorce, financial settlements, children matters and domestic violence injunctions.  I am committed to providing clients with objective and professional advice at every stage which helps to resolve disputes in a cost effective manner and importantly, reduces conflict during what is often a very stressful experience.

I am also a Resolution trained collaborative family practitioner. Collaborative family law is an non-confrontational way of resolving issues without the involvement of the court. Both of you instruct collaborative solicitors who work with you both to take a more flexible, nuanced and family focused approach to negotiations by coming together face-to-face to work things through.

I am also a member of Young Resolution (YRes) which is promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of children.

Education/background

BPP University, London- Legal Practice Course- Distinction
Durham University- LLB (Hons) Law

Memberships

Member of Young Resolution (YRes)

Additional Languages

Spanish

Peter Martin

Having been a specialist family lawyer for over 35 years I am, as you would expect, particularly good at advising clients on all of the issues that arise from the breakdown of their marriage, partnership or relationship.  This includes all of the financial consequences for both those couples with both modest assets and high-net-worth individuals.

What makes me different is my approach.  I believe that clients need to be advised fully and in as much detail at the outset so that their expectations of what is achievable and what is realistic (bearing in mind the vagaries of the judicial system) can be managed.  I try to negotiate and settle cases as early as possible as this is of the greatest benefit to the clients, their children and their pockets.

I firmly believe, given that many couples have children, trying to maintain their relationship as parents is incredibly important and of benefit to children.  If children are able to see that even when their parents separate that they both still love them and that each realises that the other does as well, this can have long lasting effects to their benefit.

I have long held this view, which is why I was one of the first solicitors to also train as a mediator over 20 years ago.  I was also one of the first to train as a collaborative family lawyer.  For more details about mediation and collaborative law, please click here.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to obtain co-operation from the other party or their lawyers or resolve the matter amicably.  Sometimes a swift response is necessary to protect assets.  In these cases strong and efficient action is required and I pride myself on being tough where necessary.  This approach can also be useful in negotiation on behalf of clients when I am, as stated at the beginning of this, firm but fair.

My key specialisms
  • General divorce and family issues.
  • High-net-worth financial matters.
  • Issues relating to who a child should live with and how often they should see the other parent.
  • International matters, including the financial complexities of international relationships and “leave to remove cases”.
  • Anglo Swedish Family Law (I am probably one of only three or four people with this specialism).
  • Child abduction cases.
  • Arbitration – as one of the first family law arbitrators.
Education/background

I studied my LLB at the University of Westminster and was articled (that was what training used to be called!) to S Rutter & Co Specialist Divorce Lawyers. I joined Osmond Gaunt & Rose (the previous incarnation of this firm) in 1979; became a Partner in 1983 and the Head of the Family Department by 1990.

Client testimonials

“I changed solicitors to Peter Martin as after three months I still had no real idea of where we were heading and felt no progress was being made.  I received more advice from Peter in the first hour than I had received in the previous three months and the outcome was exactly as he predicted.”

“Peter is so calm and patient that he enabled me to deal with the issues following my split up without losing my mind.”

“You defused the situation.  My husband and I can talk to each other again as parents and the children are much better because of this.”

“I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“I owe you a great debt of gratitude for the kind, helpful, empathic way you dealt with me and went about your business at a time in my life when I was suffering huge emotional pain.  I did not really understand what was happening to me but you did, and your advice was invaluable.”

“Keep up your good work Peter, because I am sure when you finally decide to hang up your daily family law work you will derive great satisfaction when you look back knowing that you have had a positive effect on so many children, parents and grandparents and me.”

“Peter Martin is very professional and knowledgeable.”

Recent notable cases
  • Acting for a Premier League footballer in an application for maintenance for the child and its mother under Schedule 1 of the Children Act.
  • Commenting in a recent case in which the other side’s costs were twice those of my client, a High Court Judge “it is well known what good value Peter Martin is.”.
Memberships
  • Accredited Specialist of Resolution
  • Member of the Law Society Family Law Panel
  • Examiner and Part of the Technical Board for the Law Society Advanced Family Law Panel
  • Member of the Justice Department Child Abduction Panel
  • Resolution Collaborative Lawyer
  • Accredited Mediator of Resolution and the Family Mediators Association
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Member of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators.
Leisure interests

I have been happily married since 1975.  I have three children and three grandchildren.  Grandchildren can be much more fun!  I am heavily involved in local communal work in my synagogue.  From the age of 18 I have been actively involved in youth and education work and continue to be so.  I am a keen wine buff and occasionally enjoy watching football. I go to many matches, although it is only occasionally they are enjoyable!  For my 60th birthday I gave myself the present of running the London Marathon.

Graeme Fraser

Graeme has specialised in family law throughout his career of over 20 years. Formerly a Partner at Hunters, he joined OGR Stock Denton LLP,  as a Partner in October 2017. Graeme is well-known in the legal community and beyond not simply as an experienced specialist family lawyer, but also as a commentator, writer and trainer. His practice covers, divorce, financial settlements, involving complicated assets and substantial wealth, children issues, marital agreements, cohabitation, intervenors, insolvency related settlements, European Family law, relationship breakdowns, tax rules on divorce, use of experts, corporate and family law strategic advice and multi-ethnic law.

He has considerable experience in advising on financial settlements involving complex assets and substantial wealth, and on cohabitation, for which he holds the Resolution specialist accreditation. He also belongs to the Law Society Family Accreditation Scheme. His work often involves international aspects, including working with foreign lawyers on pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements involving competing jurisdictions in the European Union and worldwide. Graeme has been trained by Resolution and subsequently developed part of his practice to include resolving disputes using the collaborative process. 

Graeme is renowned for having dedicated his career to improving protections for cohabiting couples through his practice, through his work with Resolution and through commentary in the media. He is particularly concerned about the impact that the law currently has on women, who tend to be the lower-earning partner and who take on the bulk of caring duties within families. He has repeatedly highlighted in articles and interviews that women who give up their careers to look after children and the family home can find themselves destitute, and with little recourse, should their cohabiting relationship break down. Graeme has been a relentless campaigner on an issue that continues to cause a great deal of harm. His campaigning has contributed to raising awareness of the lack of rights cohabitants enjoy and helped increase the pressure on the Government to introduce reforms. Graeme’s practice has given him the insights that inform his commentary in both the specialist and nationalist press. He is a spokesperson for Resolution in conveying the importance of revising family law reform to achieve better outcomes for modern families. In recognition of this body of work, Graeme received the prestigious Family Law Commentator of the Year Award in 2018.

Memberships/Associations

Throughout his career, Graeme has been  motivated to engage with the wider profession and public discourse on family reform.

He was recently appointed to the Family Procedure Rule Committee (FPRC). The selection process is exceptionally rigorous, as members need to demonstrate not only a solid working knowledge of Court and administrative proceesses within the family jurisdiction, but also a commitment to valuing diversity and an understanding of the impact of the Family Procedure Rules and Practice Direction amendments.

He is also Chair of Resolution’s Cohabitation Committee and am serving the Resolution National Committee (NC) for a term of 7 years, working with colleagues to improve outcomes for families and children involved with the family justice system. This includes his role on the Family Law Reform Group, a sub-committee of the National Committee, with an agenda to promote and progress family law reform. He is also an immediate past member of the London Regional Committee where policy and practice issues were regularly discussed; including regular dialogue with leading judges, barristers and solicitors.

Graeme has contributed towards formulating Resolution’s response to various government consultation papers and discussing other policy issues. His committee work has involved contributing to the strategic direction of Resolution, often in relation to highly complex matters.

This includes:

Resolution (2021) : Response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the rights of cohabiting couples launched by the Women and Equalities Committee.

For Family Law Reform Group (2017 to 2019): FPRC Calderbank consultation; Private Law Children; Public Law Consultation; Review of how the Courts treat parents and children in case of domestic abuse (Ministerial Statement); Resolution response to Reducing Family Conflict (Divorce Law Reform); Approach to Private Members Bills (a) Divorce (b) Divorce Financial Provision (c) Cohabitation Rights Bill; Resolution’s role and co-ordination with other organisations ; and Domestic Violence Evidence Requirements for Legal Aid

For Cohabitation Committee (2008 to 2019 and which I have chaired since 2015): Responses to government and other consultations in relation to Law Commission report in respect of proposed financial provision on death and intestacy; Government Consultation prior to introduction of Equal Civil Marriage; Lord Lester’s Cohabitation Bill; Matters arising from the Law Commission’s Report on Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown

Recent notable cases

Graeme’s practice comprises complex divorce and cohabitation matters, including transactional and litigation work, sometimes involving assets between £10M and £20M.

Over the past year, Graeme has worked on High Court litigation involving a highly successful property developer was successful in asserting an agreement reached in 2012 should be upheld to the extent that the claim made by his wife was limited to £600,000, roughly one tenth of the amount claimed, thereby saving him approximately £5M. Mr Justice Holman complimented the attention to the case by all the lawyers, including Graeme.

He has also worked on a case instructed by the Official Solicitor concerning a high earning spouse in the Central Family Court Remedies Unit. At trial, his client was awarded a considerable capital award as well as a joint lives maintenance order in the face of strenuous attempts to cap her award.

He was very recently involved in a one day CEDR style mediation focusing on the mechanics of sale in respect of a Cohabitation TOLATA property worth around £4M which resulted in settlement on all issues. The mediator described Graeme as one of the foremost family practitioners in cohabitation law.

Graeme has seen a notable increase in nuptial agreement transactions involving offshore trusts with international dimensions. He has also observed an upsurge in cohabitation agreements, with instructions coming not only locally, but also nationally. During the Pandemic, there has been an increase in older couples living together in bubbles who wish to enter into cohabitation agreements as a matter of asset protection and creating financial certainty.

Awards

LexisNexis Family Law Commentator of the Year Award in 2018 - Winner

LexisNexis Family Law Firm of the Year (London) 2020 - Shortlisted

Public speaker events

In 2015, Graeme helped organise and chaired a national debate on Cohabitation Reform at the Law Society. Speakers included Mr Justice Potter, past President of the Family Division, Lord Marks, Baroness Deech and Jo Miles, lecturer at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Over 150 people attended, and included contributions from the floor from notable guests including Sir Paul Coleridge and Professor Rebecca Bailey-Harris.

In 2017, Graeme helped spearhead a campaign to raise cohabitation awareness, which was adopted at national and regional level, leading to regular mentions in Parliament and the news media. In recognition of the quality of my media commentary on topics relating to family law he was named as Family Law Commentator of the Year at the Lexis Nexis Family Law Awards in 2018.

His engagement with the profession has extended to working with the Law Society of Ireland and the Chair of its Family & Child Law Committee, Keith Walsh. He was able to deliver talks on Brexit and on the Divorce and Family Law processes in England and Ireland.

In May 2021, Graeme lectured at the Chartered Institute of Taxation on the impact of the automation of family law processes, and the anticipated adoption of  artificial intelligence in the coming years, and how this may reduce the sizeable court backlogs.

Graeme works with barristers to deliver focused family law webinars on Cohabitation, Divorce and the Wider Family and Private Children Law, that have attracted interest from family law professionals nationwide. He has also regularly hosted and spoken at National Conference through biennial workshops.

Publications

Graeme is consultant editor and author for LexisPSL Family on cohabitation. Additionally, he is the editor of Resolution’s Cohabitation Claims, which was published in April 2020 and which assesses the complex concepts emerging from the case law relating to property claims by cohabitants. His work has helped develop the Cohabitation Agreement Precedents as an online tool widely available to Resolution members which enables Agreements to be simply and quickly prepared and in a cost efficient way.

Most recently, Graeme wrote a Chapter on Cohabitation for the Resolution Family Law Handbook published in the autumn of 2021. In the Foreward to the Handbook, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, describes the authors as “household names in their respective areas of work”.