Our Team

Already ranked in the top tier for family law in the region by the leading legal directories, Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we were over the moon to be recognised as the Family Law Team of the Year by the prestigious Yorkshire Legal Awards.

We work together to ensure a real collective approach can be brought to cases. Described as the pre-eminent Leeds based team we are consistently commended for our client services.

Lyn Ayrton

Managing Partner

Lyn is the Managing Partner of Lake Legal and Head of the Family Law Team.

Lyn is regarded as one of the most effective practitioners in family law in the North of England. She has over 25 years’ experience in dealing with complex and high value financial settlements arising from divorce and separation.

Lyn has represented a number of clients, or their partners, who appear in The Times’ Rich List. Lyn was the first family lawyer in Leeds to be ranked as a Star Individual by Chambers & Partners and maintains that recognition to date. She is one of just five identified as Leading Individuals in Yorkshire by Legal 500. Legal 500 describes her as someone who has "a wealth of practical knowledge and expertise that is second to none; her direct and sensible way of communicating is a breath of fresh air" whilst Chambers UK has confirmed that she has "immediate warmth and empathy. Her calmness and strength leave you with no illusion you are dealing with a very accomplished and strong individual. She is in total control”. Lyn appears regularly on the radio and in the press both locally and nationally.

Lyn is a member of Resolution, the former Chair of the Precedents Committee for Resolution and is a member of the Law Society Family Law Accreditation Scheme. Lyn is a qualified collaborative lawyer and a qualified Family Law Arbitrator, one of only a handful in Yorkshire. She is a member of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Clients appreciate Lyn’s no nonsense approach and value her sound advice, judgement and experience.

Claire Glaister


Claire can pin point the start of her interest in family law when she was just 19 years old and did some work experience with Lyn, who at the time headed a team at Gordons. Claire went on to qualify as a solicitor at another firm but returned to work with Lyn in 2010 after the launch of Lake Legal the previous year. As an Associate, Claire is heavily involved in the firm's management and development.

Claire is highly experienced in dealing with financial settlements across a wide range of cases: from high value with complicated financial structures to complex cohabitation cases.

Clients appreciate Claire’s practical approach coupled with her ability to get straight to the heart of the matter. She is recognised in Chambers & Partners as an 'Associate to Watch’, reporting that sources say Claire is "absolutely brilliant. She fights her clients' corner and gives sensible advice". Legal 500 describes her as "very knowledgeable, committed, compassionate, highly motivated and willing to go the extra mile".

Sam Haslam


Sam qualified as a solicitor in 1999 at a Leeds firm and has practiced solely in family law in both Leeds and Harrogate since then, including working previously with Lyn when they were both at Gordons.

Sam is experienced in a wide range of family related issues, but with particular emphasis on financial settlements and child related issues arising on separation and divorce. She acts for parents seeking to move with a child to another part of the country, or abroad, and for parents opposing such a move.

Although adopting a constructive and conciliatory approach to her work, Sam is no stranger to the courtroom when agreement cannot be reached.

Sara James

Chartered Legal Executive

Sara and Lyn first worked together at Gordons in 2000. Their paths went separate ways when Lyn left the firm in 2005. Sara subsequently left with Peter Foskett when the remainder of the Gordons family law team joined Lupton Fawcett in 2014. Sara re-joined Lyn in 2018 since when it has been ‘just like old times’.

Sara is one of the most experienced all round family lawyers in the region, having been in practice for over 25 years. She deals with both finance related and child related cases at all levels of complexity. Her clients appreciate her commitment and support from start to finish. She is highly regarded in the business community as someone who strives to find a solution even when none appears obvious.

Alison Schmidt


Having started legal life as a corporate lawyer at one of London's "magic circle" firms, Alison has been a firmly committed member of the family law profession since 2006. Specialising in financial settlements upon divorce and private law children matters, Alison gained a wealth of experience in medium to high net worth financial cases and complex Children Act proceedings during her six years at Levison Meltzer Pigott, one of London's leading niche family law firms. Returning to Yorkshire in 2012 with her young family, Alison initially practised in Harrogate before joining Lake Legal.

Alison is a member of Resolution and wholly endorses a constructive approach to the resolution of family matters. She is regarded by her peers as being extremely pragmatic with clients frequently commending her for the support she provides to them.

Hollie Burnett


Hollie qualified as a solicitor in 2015 at a firm in East Yorkshire before relocating to Leeds to join Lake Legal in May 2017. Hollie is able to advise on financial settlements and child related issues arising upon divorce and separation.

Hollie is a member of Resolution and promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. She is dedicated to assisting clients at the most vulnerable times in their lives and is praised for her sympathetic, understanding and approachable manner.

Frances Wagstaff

Legal Assistant

Frances has been a member of the team since the firm was first established. She has invaluable hands on experience of all aspects of family law issues and is often the first port of call for clients. Frances is complemented for her sensitive and sympathetic manner with clients and provides a cost effective service.

Our clients say it all