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Penningtons Manches Cooper is a leading UK and international law firm which provides high quality legal advice tailored to both businesses and individuals. We address the specific objectives of each client through our flair and technical expertise and offer a personal service founded on a strong team ethic. We have UK offices in the City of London, Basingstoke, Birmingham, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford and Reading while our overseas network stretches from Asia to South America through our presence in Singapore, Piraeus, Paris, Madrid and São Paulo. With 130 partners and over 880 people in total, our main areas of practice are dispute resolution, corporate and commercial, real estate, private client and family.
Widely acknowledged to be one of the UK’s leading private wealth firms, we deliver a bespoke service to both UK based and international clients through our integrated team of private client, family, residential property, dispute resolution and immigration specialists. High net worth individuals and families have, for generations, turned to Penningtons Manches Cooper for high quality, and frequently pioneering advice on tax, family law and succession issues to enable them to safeguard and grow their wealth. Increasingly clients require a broader perspective as the lines between commercial and privately owned assets blur. By accessing expertise from across the firm, we can offer private individuals, family offices and their advisers, entrepreneurs, business owners, banks and fiduciary providers a comprehensive private wealth service which manages both short term challenges and long term strategies.
Our family law department offers the highest quality of support to our clients, stemming from the experience and talent of outstanding family lawyers who are nationally and internationally acknowledged as leaders in their field. We act in some of the leading cases in England and Wales representing clients including professionals, entrepreneurs, wealthy individuals, landowners, those in the public eye, and their partners.
Our team is committed to providing clients with an unparalleled level of service in a compassionate, timely and cost effective manner from our offices in London, Oxford, Reading and Guildford. Our solicitors’ skills include constructive negotiation, a full range of family dispute resolution services, including mediation and collaborative law, and robust and rigorous litigation where required.
We have significant experience in handling relationship breakdown, including divorce, the dissolution of civil partnerships and disputes between unmarried couples; the ground breaking issues surrounding surrogacy; ‘alternative families’; and complex parenting arrangements. Our solicitors also work closely with the firm’s highly regarded private client team on complex onshore and offshore tax and trust issues, as well as lifetime, inheritance and succession planning.
About Rachel Donald
Rachel is a partner and collaborative lawyer in the family team in Guildford and acts for national and international families based in Surrey and beyond. Rachel is a mum to two young children and is passionate about providing specialist family law advice to families. She advises both married and unmarried couples in relation to divorce, separation, financial matters and children disputes. Her cases often involve substantial financial assets, including digital assets, held in the UK and abroad including applications for financial orders relating to an overseas divorce. She regularly represents entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, legal and health professionals, and their spouses.
Rachel has expertise in representing clients where there are allegations of domestic violence, including physical or emotional abuse such as gas lighting and controlling and coercive behaviour. She also acts for parents in complex disputes to resolve arrangements for children, for example, where a parent wishes to relocate with a child or where there are allegations of parental alienation and other forms of emotional and physical abuse. Rachel also regularly advises international clients and has particular experience assisting with the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) cases.
Widely regarded as an expert in prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements, Rachel regularly works with the firm’s private client team to help clients and their families protect gifts and inherited assets from claims in the event of separation. Rachel also advises modern families and works alongside specialists in the team who advises intended parents in respect of their surrogacy agreements, both in the UK and internationally.
An active member of Resolution, she has been ranked for many years by both Chambers UK and The Legal 500 as a leading individual in her field. Chambers has described her as ‘without doubt a star of the future’ while she is listed as a ‘next generation partner’ in The Legal 500. She was shortlisted for ‘Partner of the Law – Family Law’ in the Citywealth Future Leader Awards 2019 and is listed as a top 100 lawyer in the Future Leaders Directory. Rachel is a member of the Surrey Collaborative Pod and is also a Governor at a local school.
Rachel is ranked as leader in her field in the legal directories for many years. Recent directories say:-
Chambers & Partners 2022 – Band II – “Rachel Donald is a standout solicitor in her ability to be creative in solving problems.” “She is incredibly technically astute and constructive in the way she handles matters.”
Legal 500 2021 – Next Generation Partner – ‘Rachel Donald is exceptionally approachable and behind her relaxed approach is a sharp case analysis with a good ability to think outside of the box and come up with sensible solutions.
Chambers & Partners 2020 – Rachel Donald is an increasingly prominent figure in the market, regularly acting on high-stakes children and matrimonial finance matters. A client comments: “I’ve been delighted with her handling of my case. She’s very diligent and has helped me immensely,” adding: “She not only helped with the case in her official capacity, she’s also been sympathetic and delicate with my emotions.”
Legal 500 2020 – Next Generation Partner – “Rachel Donald is an expert on pre-nuptial agreements and where company assets are involved”
- Tax & trust planning
- Expatriate finances
- Long Term Care
We offer an initial 30 minute free remote meeting with our family team in Guildford.