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Nigel Shepherd

Nigel Shepherd
Nigel Shepherd
National Head of Family Law
Phone: 44 (0)161 235 5426
Email: nigel.shepherd@mills-reeve.com
Office: Manchester


What can you do for me?

Breaking up with your partner can be one of the most stressful and emotional experiences you can go through. I have over 35 years of experience working with divorcing and separating clients in the Manchester area and much further afield, both nationally and internationally.

I can give you legal advice and practical support to protect your interests and help you through the process. There are a number of different ways of getting the right outcome for you and I will work through the options with you so we can decide together the best way forward in your particular situation. What matters most to me is what matters most to you, whether it be dealing with the immediate practical and emotional consequences, the medium and longer-term finances (including the most complex situations involving businesses, pensions, trusts etc) or advising on the arrangements for your children and your role as a parent after separation.

On a different note, I also have considerable expertise in dealing with pre- and post-marital agreements and trusts.

What makes you different from other divorce lawyers?

I am national Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve. I am recognised as one of the leading family law specialists in Manchester and the North West, with a national and international reputation. I believe really strongly that the best outcomes for separating couples are usually those that are agreed between them and I always try my best to encourage negotiated settlements. However, there will unfortunately be cases where agreement cannot be reached and a decision must be made for the couple through the courts, or by a family arbitrator, and I am known for my robust but fair and professional approach in those circumstances.

I am trained as a collaborative lawyer and am heavily involved in our Manchester collaborative group, Collaborative Law Manchester. I am also one of only a couple of Manchester and North West-based lawyers who are Fellows of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), a worldwide group of family law experts. This means that I have the ability to deal with the increasing number of Manchester and North West cases that have an international element.

In 2012, I was among the first group of highly experienced family lawyers to qualify as a practitioner of family arbitration, an alternative to court in those cases where agreement cannot be reached through negotiation, mediation or collaborative law.

What do your clients say about you?

It is really rewarding to get positive feedback from my clients and to know that I have been able to help and support them at such a difficult time. 

One Cheshire-based client recently said “I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me during the two most emotionally challenging years of my life…I chose you for the collaborative angle and your reputation and I have been very well rewarded…I very much like your style."

Another client recently said that my advice and strategic thinking had achieved a result that could not have been improved upon and said that I was definitely someone you'd want on your side.

These kinds of comments mean a lot.

What involvement do you have in the Manchester community?

Although I was born and went to school in Essex, I saw the light pretty quickly and came up to Manchester to do my law degree. I have lived in South Manchester ever since.

Professionally, I was chairman of the Manchester regional group of the leading family law group, Resolution, in the late 80s/early 90s when it was first established in the North West. I remain involved with Resolution locally as well as having been elected in April 2016 as Chair of the national organisation. This will be some 20 years after I last held the top job and I am the only person to have done it twice. I'm proud to be flying the flag for Manchester family lawyers in our national organisation.

I am a well-known and well regarded member of the professional community in Manchester and Cheshire. Outside work, I play golf and tennis among other sports, at local clubs, albeit with varying degrees of success! I've also recently taken up football again, which might be considered foolhardy, but for the time being seems to be helping the fitness!

I am also passionate about music (playing, listening and concert going) and wrote the music that my daughter came down the aisle to at her wedding in Cheshire a couple of years ago.

What else should I know about you?

Through my work with Resolution, as well as on behalf of Mills & Reeve, I appear regularly on TV, radio and in newspapers and professional journals talking about family law issues, such as the campaign to introduce no-fault divorce, cohabitation law reform and alternatives to court such as mediationcollaborative law and now arbitration. Over the years, this has included appearances on Kilroy, Richard & Judy, BBC News, Radios 4 and 5 and Channel 4 News. I've also made a number of appearances on BBC Radio Manchester.

I have written numerous articles on family law matters and present seminars to fellow lawyers and other professionals.

I am active on Twitter and you can follow me at twitter.com/topfamilylawyer. (Apologies for the less than modest Twitter name but you have to think of something)!