My name is Vanessa Gillbanks FCILEx.
I am a chartered legal executive and a fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives with over 30 years’ experience in dealing with family law and relationship breakdown. I act as a consultant for Richard Nelson LLP.

I give all clients a personal service in all areas of family law, including advice and assistance to people embarking on a new stage in their relationship or who may be considering divorce or separation. 
Living Together and Premarital Agreements

It’s wise to cover all eventualities, even during the first stages of a new relationship or marriage. Talk to me about a living together or premarital agreement – it will help you and your partner to be clear from the outset about your ownership and rights in relation to any property you have, and/or to preserve the assets acquired before you move in together or marry.

Relationship Breakdown Advice and Assistance

When a relationship breaks down it can be stressful for all concerned. You may be financially reliant on your partner or vice versa and the financial arrangements can be interwoven. 

At the end of any relationship, the financial arrangements need to be untangled to allow both parties to move forward. If there are children, arrangements will also need to be made for their care. I help people to work through the often complex issues surrounding family finances and to agree arrangements for children, making the process less stressful and helping everybody to move forward.


I am a member of Resolution, a group of family lawyers who believe in fair play and use a non-confrontational approach to resolving family issues.

My experience in practising family law has included helping families resolve complex matters, from difficult situations involving applications to remove children from the UK to general post-separation applications made in relation to children.

I also have experience in dealing with several high income and capital asset cases in relation to financial issues, plus routine financial negotiations and issues around  sharing and preserving the family home/pensions.

Court Work

I have worked throughout Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and I have extensive knowledge of the courts and family lawyers in those areas. I continue to take instructions from those living in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and into London.

About Me

In addition to helping families resolve their issues, I have also given advice on and had input into a top storyline on the TV soap Emmerdale and spoken on BBC Radio Suffolk about the legal position of cohabiting couples. I have also been asked to speak on BBC Radio Suffolk about my life and my role as a family lawyer.

My spare time is taken up with my family. I am married with three children and have an interest in charities, in particular those that work with children who have learning or speech difficulties. I have taken Makaton training myself so that I can help others with communication and language problems.

I am a 2019 SME legal award winner for Best Family law firm East Anglia and Divorce Lawyer of the year East Anglia.

For more information, visit SME News here.