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Family

Family Family

It is a fact of life that many marriages now end in divorce which can be a painful and stressful process for everyone involved. At Hay & Kilner, we have one of the leading Family Law teams in the North East.

We provide legal advice in a practical and understanding manner to achieve a prompt settlement with the minimum amount of emotional stress. Independently researched legal guide, The Legal 500 praises our family law team for its ‘holistic and well-organised approach.’ Nicola Matthews is recommended for financial and child-related cases, while Robert Hart is described as ‘one of the best practitioners in the North East.

We also hold a Legal Aid franchise for family work so are able to represent publicly funded clients at our Wallsend branch.


We are members of the following specialist panels / groups:

  • Resolution
  • The Resolution Specialist Accreditation Scheme
  • The Law Society Children Accreditation Scheme
  • Collaborative Family Law North East 

Nicola Matthews is a Law Society Family Law Advanced panel member with specialisms in Ancillary Relief and Complex Assets.


  • "Key partner Rob Hart is respected in the market as an authority on children cases. He frequently represents guardians and family members in contentious cases, where he is able to serve as both solicitor and advocate. Peers recognise him as 'very competent; he has the ear of the court'."

    - Chambers Guide

  • "Department head Nicola Matthews wins praise for her straightforward approach, with one source observing: 'She's always been very sensible and able'. She focuses on high-value divorces."

    - Chambers Guide

  • "The service Nicola Matthews provided was amazing. I was always given sound advice and never had to 'chase' for any information. Nicola made me feel at ease at such a stressful time. I would have no hesitation in recommending Nicola."

    - Client of Nicola Matthews

  • "Hay & Kilner is a long-established firm with an excellent family department."

    - Chambers Guide

  • "Hay & Kilner has ‘a deservedly strong presence in the core areas of family work: children cases (public law and private law) and ancillary relief’. Department head Nicola Matthews, who is ‘extremely experienced’ and‘ client friendly’, acted in a divorce and financial provision case involving property, savings and investment, and capital gains tax considerations. Rob Hart, who is ‘very experienced’, has a strong reputation for guardian instructed childcare cases, and Kerry Sutherland is ‘approachable and dedicated’."

    - Legal 500

  • "'Calm and sensible' Nicola Matthews provides excellent representation without overdoing the arguments in her clients' favour. She deals with high-value divorces."

    - Chambers guide

  • Accreditation Family Law Advanced colour gif
  • Children panel colour_75px
  • Collaborative logo colour
  • Resolution logo colour_75px