Meet the Team


Alison Barnes


I am 49 and I live with my sons and our two dogs, Milo and Dexter. I have two sons who are 23 and 13. My eldest is in his 6th – and thankfully final - year at University at Newcastle where he is currently studying for his Master’s Degree in Architecture. He then plans to travel staring with South America and the South Pole. He loves Huddersfield Town and plays semi-professional football himself. My youngest son is at high school and lives for his rugby, playing for both his school and a local team. He loves all things sport and the next goal for him is to get a dirt bike.

I qualified as a solicitor in 2002 but have over 25 years’ experience in family law. Prior to that I had various jobs including regional sales for Yellow Pages and working 12 hour night shifts on the factory floor of a plastic moulding factory. As the only female this was often challenging and always hard work.

I set up Barnes Family Law in 2010 following a bout of swine flu and pneumonia that landed me in a coma on a life support machine. I have not looked back and enjoy the different challenges every day brings. My objective from the start was to make sure all my clients received the best level of service and client care that I could possibly offer and, I hope, based on the feedback we get we have achieved that.

When I am not at work or standing on the touchline watching the boys, I love skiing and riding motorbikes up trees and my tractor, Enzo!


Sally Clark

Director / Accredited Mediator

I live with my husband, my two children, who are 11 and 8, and our cocker spaniel. I understand the process of divorce and separation having gone through it myself a number of years ago. As such I am very aware of how challenging separation can be particularly where there are children involved. My personal experiences, as well as my 16 years of legal experience as a solicitor and mediator, equips me with skills to help both parties through the most challenging of times.

Before I became a lawyer and mediator I did a degree in mental health and spent my early 20s working as a mental health nurse. I have significant experience of working with children and young people dealing with mental health issues, quite often precipitated by family breakdown. This experience has really assisted me in my work as a Child Inclusive Mediator, an area in which I specialise.

I have worked in a number of legal practices over the years from large regional firms to being a partner in two smaller firms. I took the decision to join forces with Alison in 2018 to create what is now Barnes Clark Family Law. Alison and I share the same passion, commitment and drive for client care.

When I am not working I am a very keen runner and I love getting outdoors with my family, walking, cycling and generally keeping fit. I also love travelling and all things Italian.


Rebecca Higgins


I graduated from the University of Manchester in 2014, with a First in my Law LLB (Hons) degree, before completing the Legal Practice Course with the University of Law in Manchester, where I obtained a Distinction.

Following this, I made the decision to move to Yorkshire, which is where my (now) fiancé is from. I completed my training contract with a law firm in York, during which I spent a year training with the Family Law team and decided that this is the area of law that I want to specialise in. I qualified as a Solicitor in July 2019 and moved to join this firm in November 2019. My parents got divorced whilst I was in primary school and I am aware of the impact that separation can have on both parties and any children that are involved. I am conscientious and committed to providing a practical and tailored approach to resolving all family law issues.

When I am not working, I am often watching my fiancé play rugby or spending time with friends. I really enjoy travelling and I am a massive ‘foodie’, so I love trying out new places to eat.


Anneka Howie

Office & Accounts Manager

I am 35 and up until 10 years ago I ran the family business alongside my father. I worked in the garage where I spent my days in overalls in the workshop but also managing the day to day running of the business. My father unfortunately became seriously ill and the garage closed.

I then met Alison who gave me a foot on the ladder to a whole new career and I have been here for over 8 years now. I used my existing office skills but also developed a whole new set which I have been given the freedom to develop and progress within the business.

I love my job and the great team of people I work with. I get job satisfaction knowing we help people start a new chapter of their lives.

I really enjoy skiing, traveling, plus I have a large family and close knit group of friends that keep me happy and out of mischief.


Lesley Pugh

Legal Secretary

I am 51 years old and have worked as a Legal Secretary for 35 years. I have worked here for 7 years now. I am married to my second husband and have two children, a boy aged 22 and a girl aged 14.

My son graduated last year from Chester University with a Degree in Mathematics. My daughter has for the past 2 years been a member of The Anchormen, a troop of performers that travels around the country to Winter Guard UK Competitions. (Google it, it’s amazing). Because it is so physically demanding we have now joined the gym together to keep active, fit and spend some time together.

On a daily basis I do general administration tasks, typing, answering the phones and keeping the files in good order. I really enjoy working with the people I work with and the type of work we do. We work as an excellent team.


Sara Walker

Legal Secretary

I am 52 years old and have worked as a secretary for 36 years in various sectors, the last four years being in Family Law. The best part of the job is meeting people, although we meet at a difficult time in their lives it is nice to see them come out the other side of the process as they enter a new phase in their lives.

I have two children. My eldest daughter is 28 and after qualifying as an Accountant is now working as a Management Accountant. My youngest daughter is 26 and having graduated from Durham University with a Masters Degree in Mathematics is now an Actuary. I also have two amazing grandchildren who keep us all on our toes.

My big passion is gardening and interior design which I find really relaxing after spending all week in an office. I also love travelling, not fussy as to where, as long as its sunny and warm.

My daily tasks involve typing, answering the phones, administration and keeping the files in good order.


Faith Colling

Legal Secretary & Receptionist

I am 21 years old and live at home with my parents and younger brother. When I finished college, I started working as a Legal Apprentice where I achieved my level 2 diploma in Legal Administration.

I now have 2 years’ experience working within a legal environment. This is my first time working within Family Law however, it has been an easy change due to the lovely, friendly team I am working with.

My daily duties consist of, answering the phones, administration and keeping the files in good order.

In my spare time, I enjoy travelling around the world, California and Vancouver being my favourite places to visit yet! I also enjoy going to the gym and spending time with my amazing family and friends.


Nicole MacDonald


I previously studied at the university of St Andrews (no, I do not know Prince William or Kate Middleton) which is where I met my partner. I graduated from St Andrews with honours in Modern History, and from there I went on to study at Cambridge University.

I worked as a primary school teacher in East London for a few years, and eventually decided to retrain as a solicitor, moving to York to study at the University of Law for both my Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC). I graduated with an LPC Master of Laws with Distinction in November 2019.

I have worked as a paralegal in family law throughout my studies, with over 4 years of experience running client files. I can assist with all manner of family law issues, including divorce, finances, disputes around children, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, separation agreements and cohabitation issues.

Whilst away from the office I enjoy doing yoga, reading (especially mystery / detective novels), playing video games and watching anime.


Divorce & Separation

We offer up-to-date legal expertise and a Divorce & Separation service you can both trust and rely on.

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Financial & Property

For any couple faced with separation, finances will be a difficult and hotly contested area of discussion.

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Arrangements for Children

We work sympathetically with both parents to avoid any unnecessary upset for the children involved.

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Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch via contact form, email or give us a ring.

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