Sophie is a Partner at Watkins and Gunn and Head of our Family Matters team, having joined us in 2003 to bring her enviable experience in all kinds of family and childcare law matters to South Wales.
She is highly regarded by clients and other lawyers for her expertise in ‘private’ family law matters, including divorce, financial arrangements on divorce and cohabitation disputes; with particular expertise in high value/complex and international cases.
As a Partner, Sophie is responsible for personnel matters and Human Resources and, as an Equity Partner (and alongside our partnership team) she is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day management of the firm as well as managing the Family Matters team.
Sophie trained in London with a ‘magic circle’ firm (the name given to the most aspired to / leading law firms based in the UK) of divorce lawyers. After two years post-qualification experience she went to work with what was then a large South London practice. Sophie became a Partner by the age of 30, thanks to her passion for family law and business focus. She moved out of London in 1997 to live closer to family and, after a short career break, returned to work for a highly regarded Worcester based Midlands practice. Sophie joined Watkins & Gunn in 2003 as an Associate and Head of Family, becoming a Partner and part owner of the business soon after.
Her unwavering passion for clients, her solution-led approach and her empathic and professional stance on all her clients’ matters have given Sophie an enviable reputation within the legal sector and beyond. Year on year, she is singled out as a leader in her field in both the Chambers UK Guide and the Legal 500 Directory.
– The Legal 500 2020 directory listed Sophie as a leading lawyer in the Private Client (Family Law) section for Wales.
“Hughes has vast experience in the market and is noted for her collaborative approach to handling matters which often involve highly complex financial arrangements.”
– The Chambers UK Guide 2020, Matrimonial / Family Law listing for Sophie.
“She is excellent: supremely calm and measured, and a very able negotiator and tactician”.
- Sophie holds an LL.B Hons and is a qualified Solicitor.
Awards & Accolades
The Family Matters Team won Family Law Team of the Year at the Wales Legal Awards 2019.
Sophie was shortlisted for Welsh Woman of the Year and the team was shortlisted in the 2015 Family Law Awards for Family Law Firm of the Year. The team was shortlisted again the following year for the (now regionalised) category: Welsh Family Law Firm of the Year.
The family team was also awarded Public Private Sector Partnership award for its work with Torfaen Women’s Aid (now Cyfannol) and Gwent Pathfinder Project.
- Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) member
- Accredited Specialist of Resolution. (the first lawyer in Wales to be accredited for both small and big money cases)
- Member of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee
- Collaborative Lawyer
- Past Chair of South Wales region of Resolution & formerly a member of its International Committee
- Yeoman of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Outside of Work
Sophie is a Cordon Bleu trained cook, has skied since the age of six and is a very a keen tennis player. She is currently the Chair of Monmouth Tennis Club.