Meet Our Family Law Specialists | OLS Solicitors

Meet The Team

Peter Thomas LLB (HONS)

DIRECTOR AND HEAD OF LEGAL SERVICES

Peter Thomas is a Director and our Head of Legal Practice at OLS Solicitors and has been a practicing family law Solicitor for over 25 years.

Peter attended The University of Wales Cardiff and  studied law.

He subsequently did his training contract at well known Birmingham practice Brendan Fleming where he progressed to Associate level.

In 2005 he left to set up his own firm Peter Thomas Law, which was a pioneer in delivering family law services over the internet in Wales and beyond.

Peter specialises in high net worth matrimonial finance cases and has acted in some extremely complicated and high profile cases, including to the Court of Appeal.

He  is married with two adult children and lives locally to our Wales office.

Pete likes to travel and experience new places and cultures and has taken a liking to trekking holidays including Everest base camp, Belize and MattaPiccu.

Mark Keenan F.Inst.Pa

DIRECTOR

Mark is the founder and Chief Executive  of OLS Group and practiced as a Legal Executive in family law in a range of law firms before launching Divorce-Online in May 2000.

The firm has grown to become one of the largest divorce services in the UK specialising in cases where there is agreement. It made sense to widen the scope of services to help people who cannot reach agreement or where there are complicated issues that need good legal representation.

The acquisition of OLS Solicitors in 2017  was an opportunity to bring the 21st century to the family law firm, and the investment in people, technology and culture has created a first class family law firm that clients love. Mark is responsible for the overall strategy of the firm.

In his spare time he loves dog walks, spending quality time with his family and playing golf whenever the opportunity arises.

Lara-Jayne Hooper LLB (HONS)

SOLICITOR

Lara is a solicitor specialising in Matrimonial and Private Children matters. She thinks creatively and cost effectively to assist clients in achieving the best possible outcome whilst always providing the highest levels of client care. Approachable, kind and understanding, Lara is able to bridge the gap between legal jargon and the day to day struggles clients are facing.

Lara is a member of Resolution, the Family Law association, whose members are committed to a non-confrontational approach to resolving family disputes.

Lara regularly advises on complex financial remedy proceedings, private child disputes, and Inheritance Act cases. She also has a keen interest in protecting vulnerable clients, particularly those who have experienced forms of domestic violence in their relationships. Lara has often represented fathers in private child proceedings and has a unique understanding of the challenges faced by them.

Lara is keen horsewoman, and has spent her life competing in national and regional level dressage competitions with success. She is also a keen runner, and has completed Marathons, Half-Marathons and mountain races – she is now building up to her first ultra-marathon. Lara loves being outside in the mountains; her favourite place is the Scottish Highlands where she can be found a few times a year with her other half and their Pug in their campervan. She is slowly making her way through climbing each of the Scottish Munros and high peaks of England and Wales. Lara is a Welsh speaker.

Isabel Gillman LLB (HONS)

SOLICITOR

Isabel grew up in Llanelli, then attended Cardiff University and graduated in 1987 with a Degree in Law (LLB Honours).

Isabel has over thirty years’ experience as a solicitor, both “in-house” and freelance and specialises in family cases of all kinds. Isabel has taken cases to the Court of Appeal.

Away from the office, there is nothing Isabel enjoys more than being in the great outdoors with her family and dogs. She is a keen walker, and likes to keep active through box-fit, aerobics and yoga. She is also a volunteer at a local animal rescue shelter and a member of her local Chamber Choir.

Wendy Edwards F.Inst.Pa

QUALIFIED PARALEGAL

Wendy commenced her career as a legal secretary at the young age of 18 and has in excess of 35 years’ experience in the industry. She excelled to 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 Ltd, 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.

Fondly known as WendyWonderWoman, 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.

Lucy Batstone LLB (Hons)

TRAINEE LAWYER

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.

She was placed on our fast track career pathway and is now studying the Graduate fast track Diploma with ILEX and subsequently will progress to qualify as a solicitor with the firm.

She assists Lara Hooper with her family law case load as well as taking on her own clients.

Lucy is married and has a menagerie of animals that she cares for.

Georgina Hitchins BA (HONS)

TRAINEE LAWYER

Georgina is working her way through her training to qualify as a Solicitor.

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 always wanted to be a lawyer and OLS gave her the opportunity to study and work while raising her family.

Georgina is on our fast track training programme to qualify as a solicitor and is working through the Solicitors Qualifying Examination.

She has two young children and a partner in the forces.

Zoe Harding

LEGAL SECRETARY

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 Peter Thomas and other 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.

Donna Jones

LEGAL SECRETARY

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 Welsh and English.

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 a welsh speaker.

Steph Broadfield

PRACTICE MANAGER

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.

Clare

LEGAL SECRETARY

I have worked in Solicitors for 19 years, firstly as a receptionist for a year or so and then as a Legal Secretary primarily for the Conveyancing department.

I live locally with my husband and daughter and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

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