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 in equine 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 high net worth individuals in 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, compliment her professional acumen, enabling her to connect with a broad spectrum of clients.

Lara is based in our Llanelli office.

 

Lara-Jayne Davies, Director and Head of legal Practice at OLS Solicitors in Llanelli

Isabel Gillman LLB (HONS)

SENIOR SOLICITOR

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 as an undergraduate at The University of Bristol and post graduation joined Divorce-Online as a Paralegal, dealing with uncontested divorce and finance cases and has progressed through the company training programme through on the job learning.

Lucy now 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 about her dedication and professionalism.

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

Lucy is based in our Swindon office.

Georgina Hitchins BA (HONS)

SOLICITOR

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 Broadfield

PRACTICE MANAGER

Steph is our Practice Manager. She has spent most of her working life in the legal accounts sector in London before choosing to become part of the OLS team.

She maintains our accounts and ensures we all comply with the strict rules surrounding client money.

As well as being a whizz with numbers, she teaches aqua fit and step in her spare time.

Mark Keenan

CEO

As the founder and Chief Executive of OLS Group, Mark has been at the cutting edge of legal technology and services innovation for over 25 years. His journey in the legal industry 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. However he found working for other people to be highly frustrating and in May 2000, Mark launched Divorce-Online.co.uk, a pioneering low cost internet divorce service that has since become one of the UK’s leading providers, specialising in amicable, non-disputed divorce proceedings. The company has saved people millions in legal fees and allowed over 200,000 couples to move on without huge expense.

Mark’s foresight into the need for the legal industry’s digital transformation led to the expansion of OLS Group’s services from uncontested divorce to all matters relating to family law . 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 at a much lower cost than traditional law firms.

Mark is in charge of strategy, product, marketing, and technology. Mark’s philosophy centres on innovation and driving costs down for the legal consumer. 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 and radio discussions, and quoted in print media, often spotlighting his thought leadership in the intersection of law and technology.

Outside of legal services, Mark is an avid globetrotter, an enthusiastic yet self-admittedly rubbish golfer, and a dog lover.

 

Donna Jones

LEGAL SECRETARY

Donna is a highly experienced and efficient legal secretary.

Donna has worked in family law firms for over 20 years . Donna supports our lawyers with their workload and will often be a point of contact for client updates, and a friendly reassuring voice at the end of the phone.

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 is passionate about art and loves visiting galleries and exhibitions all over the country.

Donna is based in our Llanelli offiice.

Zoe Harding

LEGAL SECRETARY

Zoe is a highly experienced and efficient legal secretary.

She spent many years working for a senior partner for 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.

Clare Howell

NEW CLIENT CO-ORDINATOR

Clare has worked in a number of Solicitors firms for over 19 years, firstly as a receptionist and then as a Legal Secretary primarily for a Conveyancing department.

She wanted to do something different and the opportunity came to head up our client onboarding team. Her friendly and empathetic manner made her perfect for the role.

She is usually the first person that a client will speak to when they contact the firm.

She is  responsible for giving initial advice to new clients, setting up their appointments with the most appropriate lawyer , sorting out their ID and AML requirements and helping with documentation . 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.

 

Caitlin Jones

PARALEGAL

Caitlin is a Paralegal for OLS Solicitors and has worked part time in two different solicitors offices over the last three years while she has been studying her Law degree at Swansea University.

Caitlin has lived at home during her studies and is local to Llanelli.

Caitlin will be graduating from Swansea University with a Law LLB degree in Summer 2024. Caitlin has worked with OLS Solicitors for almost a year alongside her studies and has gained lots of experience in family law. Caitlin hopes to go on and study the LPC in September 2024 which she will do alongside working at OLS.

Caitlin is bilingual and speaks both Welsh and English.

Caitlin books appointments, answers calls and emails, drafts legal documents and is learning more and more each day from the solicitors at OLS.

Caitlin aspires to be a family law Solicitor and hopes to practice as a Solicitor at OLS when she completes her Legal Practice Course.

Caitlin is the youngest member of the OLS team but is passionate about her work and always has the clients best interests at heart.

Caitlin enjoys shopping, trying new foods and sight seeing. Caitlin also loves to spend time with her family and two dogs on beach walks.

She is a determined young person who knows how to balance working hard and enjoying life. When at work she puts the clients needs first and does her best to aid them in any way she can.

Caitlin is based in our Llanelli office.

Jack Furnell

PARALEGAL

Jack is a law graduate (LLB Hons) who completed his studies at Southampton Solent University. Currently, he is employed as an Apprentice Paralegal at OLS , where he assists with tasks such as Consent Order preparation, Will drafting, and a host of other administrative duties. Jack is preparing to commence his training to become a Solicitor.

During his leisure time, he indulges in creative pursuits like painting and photography.

We are pleased to have Jack working out of our Swindon office.

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