Meet The Team
Lara-Jayne Davies LLB (HONS)
Director and Head of Legal Practice
Lara is a Head of Practice and a business leader specialsing invequine law, matrimonial finance, and private children matters.
Her extensive experience and strategic thinking are pivotal in steering clients towards favourable resolutions, always with a commitment to the highest standards of legal care. She excels at demystifying legal complexities, making her a trusted adviser for those confronting the many and varied challenges of family law.
As Head of Legal Practice, Lara’s leadership is characterised by her dedication to fostering professional growth within her team. She is deeply involved in mentoring junior lawyers, providing guidance and training to ensure the next generation of legal professionals upholds the firm’s reputation for excellence and empathy in client service.
Lara is an advocate of the collaborative approach espoused by Resolution, the Family Law association, and promotes this philosophy within her practice, encouraging a non-confrontational path to dispute resolution where possible.
Her legal acumen is particularly notable in her work with complex financial remedy proceedings, private child custody disputes, and Inheritance Act cases. Lara is also passionate about the protection and representation of vulnerable clients, including those affected by domestic violence, and has distinguished herself in advocating for the rights of fathers in child-related proceedings.
Within the firm, Lara’s leadership extends beyond her legal expertise. She is instrumental in shaping policies and initiatives that enhance the firm’s culture, advocating for continuous learning and development opportunities. Her commitment to professional excellence is mirrored in her personal achievements as a competitive dressage rider at both National and Regional levels.
In her personal time, Lara is on a journey to becoming a certified yoga instructor, reflecting her belief in the importance of balance and well-being. An avid mountaineer, her ambition to scale the Scottish Munros and the elevated terrains of England and Wales is a testament to her perseverance and determination.
Lara’s linguistic capabilities, including fluency in Welsh and conversational French, complement her professional acumen, enabling her to connect with a broad spectrum of clients.
Lara is based in our Llanelli office.
Isabel Gillman LLB (HONS)
Isabel, our Senior Solicitor, has a strong connection to Llanelli, having grown up in the area. She attended Cardiff University and graduated in 1987 with a Degree in Law (LLB Honours). With over thirty years of experience as a solicitor, Isabel has worked in-house and freelance, specialising in family cases of all kinds. Her expertise has seen her take cases to the Court of Appeal, an accomplishment that reflects her professionalism and dedication to her clients.
Away from the office, Isabel enjoys spending time with her family and dogs in the great outdoors. She loves to keep active by engaging in box-fit, aerobics, and yoga. As a volunteer at a local animal rescue shelter, Isabel demonstrates her passion for animal welfare. She is also an active member of her local Chamber Choir.
Isabel is based in our Llanelli office
Lucy Batstone LLB (Hons) (Cilex)
Chartered Legal Executive
Lucy studied law at The University of Bristol and after graduation joined Divorce-Online as a paralegal Case Manager, processing uncontested divorce and finance cases and has progressed through the company.
Lucy qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer in September 2023 and will continue her studies to convert to Solicitor in 2023.
Lucy specialises in divorce and family finance as well as private children cases. She has a very detailed and analytical mind and can spot problems before they become an issue. She is very down to earth and her clients tend to leave great reviews.
Lucy is married and has a menagerie of animals that she cares for.
Lucy is based in our Swindon office.
Georgina Hitchins BA (HONS)
Georgina has recently been admitted as a Solicitor following a long period of study while working as a paralegal with the firm.
She has a degree in English literature and cultural criticism and obtained a PGCE in middle English.
Before starting her legal career, Georgina has worked in the education sector as a teacher, recruitment services at a senior level as well as Management, Property Renovation and Maintenance with her own property company. She has an analytical mind and is a great communicator, which is essential in family lawyers.
She has devoted the last few years to becoming an expert in advising on, and drafting complex pre nuptial agreements.
She has always wanted to be a lawyer and OLS gave her the opportunity to study and work while raising her family.
She has two young children and a partner in the forces.
Georgina is based in our Swindon office,
Steph is our Group Finance Manager. She has spent most of her working life in the legal sector in London and the home counties before choosing to become part of the OLS team.
What she doesn’t know about SRA rules and compliance is not with knowing about.
As well as being a whizz with numbers, she teaches aqua fit and step in her spare time.
Mark Keenan F.Inst.Pa
As the visionary founder and Chief Executive of OLS Group, Mark Keenan has been at the vanguard of legal technology and services innovation. His journey in the legal field began in 1988 as a solicitor’s clerk with a focus on family law, working with several prominent law firms across Dorset, the West Midlands, and Wiltshire. In May 2000, Mark launched Divorce-Online, a pioneering online divorce service that has since become one of the UK’s leading providers, specialising in amicable, non-disputed proceedings.
Mark’s foresight into the legal industry’s digital transformation led to the expansion of OLS Group’s services. Under his leadership in 2017, OLS Solicitors was integrated into the group to cater to more complex cases requiring legal representation. Mark is a driving force behind the firm’s investment in cutting-edge technology and progressive culture, consistently pushing the boundaries to deliver a 21st-century family law service that exceeds client expectations.
As the director in charge of strategy, marketing, and technology, Mark’s philosophy centres on innovation and intelligence. He attributes the company’s success to his approach of surrounding himself with a team that not only matches but surpasses his own expertise.
Mark’s contributions to the legal sector are widely recognised. He has authored numerous articles, been featured in television discussions, and quoted in print media, often spotlighting his thought leadership in the intersection of law and technology.
Outside the realm of legal services, Mark is a globetrotter, an enthusiastic yet self-admittedly amateur golfer, and a lover of nature, often found walking his dog or exploring new countries.
Donna is a highly experienced legal secretary.
Donna has worked in family law firms for over 20 years and has worked with Isabel Gilman at previous law firms. Donna supports Isabel and Lara with their workload and will often be a point of contact for updates, and a friendly reassuring voice.
Donna is bilingual and speaks both English and Welsh.
Outside of work she enjoys cold water dipping/ swimming in the sea all year round. She is a huge music fan and attends as many gigs as she can. She also loves art and visiting galleries.
Donna is based in our Llanelli offiice.
Zoe is a highly experienced legal secretary.
She spent many years working for a senior partner in a firm of Solicitors in South Africa before returning to the UK for family reasons.
She assists the fee earners with a whole range of matters. Her friendly and warm nature gives clients the reassurance they need, during what can be a difficult time.
Zoe is based in our Swindon office.
Wendy Edwards F.Inst.Pa
Wendy commenced her career as a legal secretary at the tender age of 18. She has in excess of 35 years’ experience in the industry.
She became a Divorce Case Manager in 2009 and qualified as Paralegal Specialist in Family Law in 2018.
She is responsible for the management of all divorce case clients within OLS Solicitors, reporting directly to the Head of Legal Services. Wendy delivers an efficient, client focused service and ensures the smooth running of, what can be, an emotionally difficult process.
Wendy has been happily married for 29 years with 2 grown up children. In her spare time, she relishes spending quality time with her family and friends, travelling, photography, supporting Welsh rugby and involves herself in local community events.
She enjoys walking to keep fit and, on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon, she can be found relaxing on the sofa watching her beloved vampire box sets. Wendy is a welsh speaker.
Wendy is based in our Llanelli office.
LEGAL ASSISTANT AND CLIENT ONBOARDING
Clare has worked in Solicitors firms for over 19 years, firstly as a receptionist and then as a Legal Secretary primarily for a Conveyancing department.
She is responsible for giving initial advice to new clients, setting up appointments with the most appropriate lawyer and helping clients throughout their journey with OLS Solicitors. She is very friendly and warm and simply enjoys helping people.
She lives locally with her husband and daughter and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Clare is based in our Llanelli office.