Our Team

Specialist Family Law Solicitors
Together we have over 50 Years of Experience in Family Law
Constructive & Collaborative

Meet The Team

Bessie Hanson - Director & Collaborative Lawyer

Bessie Hanson is a Director of Brigstow Family Law. She was previously a Director of The Family Law Practice, and prior to that a solicitor at Bobbetts Mackan.

Since qualification as a solicitor in 2008, Bessie has exclusively practised family law. Bessie has the experience, expertise and knowledge to assist her clients with the legal issues and challenges arising from the breakdown of a relationship.

Bessie has extensive experience advising clients on child arrangements, including complex cases where there are serious welfare issues, domestic abuse, parental alienation and expert evidence.

Bessie specialises in resolving financial matters, including cases where there are complex asset structures, trusts, pensions and business assets.  

Bessie has meticulous attention to detail and great judgment, both of which are key in advising clients who have complex finances such as farming assets, complex business structures, significant pension funds, inherited wealth and trust assets.

Bessie is a member of Resolution and a collaborative lawyer. Bessie is committed to adopting a constructive and solution focused approach.

Bessie is ranked in Chambers & Partners (Band 2).

In October 2022, Bessie was appointed as a Deputy District Judge on the Western Circuit.

“She is very skilled and professional.” “She’s technically good and a pleasure to work with.”  Chambers and Partners 2024

Bessie is a truly exceptional family solicitor. I will always feel grateful for her wisdom and professional guidance, her intuitive, compassionate approach and her deep integrity”  Legal 500 2024

Sharon Mahmood - Director

Sharon Mahmood is a Director of Brigstow Family Law. She was previously a Director of The Family Law Practice, and prior to that a solicitor at Burges Salmon.

Sharon qualified as a solicitor in 2008 and since qualifying has specialised exclusively in family law. She has experience in all aspects of family work; her core practice is in resolving complex financial disputes and private law children matters, between both married and unmarried couples.

Sharon is ranked in Chambers & Partners (Band 1).

Sharon is a member of the Bristol Court Users Group. She has written articles for Family Law. She is a former lecturer on the Legal Practice Course at the University of the West of England and The University of Law, Bristol.

In September 2021, Sharon was appointed as a Deputy District Judge on the Midland Circuit.

“Sharon’s level of knowledge, understanding and support was impeccable.” Chambers and Partners 2024

“She is absolutely brilliant and is really great at what she does.” Chambers and Partners 2024

“She has a high attention to detail and has real insight into cases.” Chambers and Partners 2024

Mary Gaskins - Partner

Mary Gaskins is a Partner of Brigstow Family Law and joined the team in July 2024. She was previously a Director at Burges Salmon having trained at the firm.

Mary qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and practices exclusively in family law. She predominately focuses on the implications of relationship breakdown and the resolution of financial claims arising on divorce and separation.

She has a particular interest in complex financial issues, especially those relating to pensions, businesses, trusts and also financial claims on behalf of children. Coming from a farming background, she also has a specific interest in farming cases.

Mary’s practice includes cohabitation disputes, including drafting cohabitation/living together agreements. In addition, she advises clients in relation to asset protection (pre and post nuptial agreements). 

Mary also acts for parties in relation to children arrangements, including Children Act applications.

Mary is a qualified family mediator and deals with all types of mediation including financial claims arising on divorce, disputes arising from cohabitation and children arrangements. She is available to conduct mediations in person in our Bristol office, or online.  

Mary is Chair of the Bristol Resolution Committee and has previously sat on the Resolution Standards Committee and the Bristol Law Society Committee.

Mary is ranked in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 London.  She is also ranked in Chambers and Partners Alternative Dispute Resolution directory for her expertise as a mediator.

“Mary is a standout lawyer. She has a superb legal mind with great attention to detail. She understands the key issues in a case which enables her to see the answer to a case early on. She is an asset on any case”. Legal 500 2024 

“Mary is an amazing lawyer.  She cares about her clients and is passionate about getting the right outcome for them.” Chambers and Partners 2024

“Mary is client-focused, very technical and not afraid to fight for her clients.” Chambers and Partners 2024

Harriet Shaw - Associate Solicitor

Harriet Shaw is an Associate Solicitor of Brigstow Family Law and joined the team in February 2022. Harriet studied Law at the University of Exeter and then went on to study her LPC at BPP University in Bristol where she gained a distinction.

Harriet previously worked alongside directors, Sharon, and Bessie at The Family Law Practice. Prior to this Harriet trained at a national law firm in the Thames Valley.

Harriet qualified as a solicitor in March 2018 and since qualifying has specialised exclusively in family law. She has experience assisting clients on a wide range of family law matters including divorce, financial proceedings and private law children matters. Harriet also advises clients going through mediation.  

Harriet is a member of Resolution. She is committed to supporting her clients constructively and emotionally, whilst protecting their interests to achieve the best possible outcome.

“I felt well supported, advised and communicated with through an extremely difficult process.” Mrs W

“The service and commitment I received on my case was second to none.” Mrs C

“Harriet’s clear tenacity and knowledge of law reassured me that my case was in safe hands.” Mr W

“I feel so fortunate that our paths crossed. Harriet has handled my case sensitively and pro-actively.” Mrs L

Sasha Tilley - Paralegal

Sasha Tilley is a Paralegal at Brigstow Family Law and joined the team in June 2024.

Sasha has worked within the legal profession the whole of her professional life, after completion of her law degree.

Prior to joining Brigstow Family Law, she worked at Bobbetts Mackan solicitors. Sasha has  over 20 years’ experience of working in a family law department.

Sasha is committed to ensuring excellent client care and assisting the solicitors in delivering the best service to our clients. Sasha is efficient and friendly and is an invaluable member of the team.

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