Catherine Thomas


Catherine Thomas - Dawson Cornwell

Catherine Thomas is "widely regarded as one of the top divorce lawyers in the country" (Management Today) praised for her "remarkable intellect, formidable legal prowess and client care that is out of the movies" (The Legal 500). She is Top Recommended in the elite The Spears 500 and consistently ranked as a leader in her field by Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Citywealth Leaders List.

She qualified in 2008, was made a partner at the age of 26 and joined Dawson Cornwell in 2019.

Catherine specialises in complex high net worth financial settlements arising out of divorce and relationship breakdown, particularly those with an international element. She deals with international jurisdictional disputes, pre and post-nuptial agreements and children disputes. She has acted for many high-profile individuals or their spouses and is experienced at managing the publicity to which such individuals are sometimes exposed. 

Some of her high profile family law cases include  Al Baker v Al Baker, in which she secured a lump sum of £63 million, believed to be the largest lump sum ever awarded against a spouse after a foreign divorce and Chai v Peng reported in the press as one of the largest divorce awards in English legal history at £64 million. She also acted for Michelle Young in her high profile trial Young v Young, achieving what is thought to be the largest costs order ever made by the family courts.  

She regularly appears on TV, radio, print and online media, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, BBC Radio 2, 4 and 5, the major broadsheets, The Metro and The Lawyer. 

  • "Top Recommended" in Spear’s elite list of family lawyers (2020 Family Law Index)
  • Bronze winner of "Family Lawyer of the Year, Partner" in Citywealth Future Leaders Awards 2019
  • Shortlisted for "Inspirational Individual of the Year" in Citywealth Future Leaders Awards 2017
  • Featured in Management Today 2014’s prestigious "35 under 35" list of the country’s highest achieving young business women. 

Leading Individual
Catherine Thomas has considerable experience of handling complex financial disputes in relation to divorce and separation. She has particular experience in disputes involving issues of jurisdiction. "Catherine is brilliant - I have seen her with clients and she is calm, clear and decisive. She is very smart and picks up quickly on the forensic points. She's at her best in complex, high net worth cases and she's very professional and a delight to work with." "Catherine is outstanding. She has very strong interpersonal skills, and her judgement and advice demonstrate that she is hugely experienced."
Chambers UK 2021

Leading Individual
Catherine Thomas is a name to note and “has a gravitas and reputation far beyond her years. A real heavyweight in complex financial disputes. She is an intellectual powerhouse. She has a great head for strategic decisions, and provides advice which is always sound. Her client care skills are excellent and she inspires confidence.”
Legal 500 2021

Notable Practitioner
Catherine Thomas joined Dawson Cornwell as partner in August 2019 and brings with her a wealth of experience on high-value financial proceedings with a cross-border dimension. Thomas also deals with children arrangements and marital agreements. An interviewee says Thomas "picks up on the accounting or forensic points and is very commercial in her thinking about business issues," adding that she is "at her best in complex high net worth cases." A client says that "she has very strong interpersonal skills and made me feel at ease with her from the get-go." 
Chambers HNW 2020

Outstanding in field - Recommended Family Lawyer

Adept at cross-jurisdictional disputes, she has acted for a raft of high-profile individuals with an expert eye.
The Spear's 500 2020

Recommended Lawyer
The Legal 500, 2020

Leading Individual
Catherine Thomas is routinely engaged in high-value divorce cases, offering particular experience in disputes involving issues of jurisdiction. She comes recommended as a "very able practitioner."
Chambers & Partners 2020

“Catherine Thomas is routinely engaged in ultra high net worth divorce cases, offering particular experience in jurisdictional disputes and issues.  “She grasps the complexities of matters and provides sounds advice," according to one interviewee, while another praises her "highly analytical and very responsive" approach”
Chambers & Partners, 2019

“Catherine Thomas, who is praised for her ‘remarkable intellect, formidable legal prowess and client care that is out of the movies’”
Legal 500, 2018

“An absolutely phenomenal practice… Nothing escapes her. She is very detailed, thinks ahead and pre-empts everything. She is brilliantly tactical”
Chambers & Partners, 2018

“An exceptional lawyer and leader… Her instinct, charm and determination comprises an intoxicating success story”
Citywealth Leaders List, 2018

"Catherine Thomas attracts praise for her ‘formidable intellect and knowledge of the law. Her approach and advice is always right’”
Legal 500, 2017

“Catherine Thomas focuses on complex, high-value financial disputes between separated parties, acting in particular for high net worth individuals. Her caseload is mainly international, involving business people with multi-jurisdictional assets.
Chambers & Partners, 2017

“A first-class family lawyer with excellent client and case management skills… receives many accolades as a ‘clear-thinking and robust negotiator’”
Legal 500, 2016

“She generates confidence and is very personable. Catherine is a brilliant strategist, efficient and dependable
Citywealth Leaders List, 2015

“Regarded as one of the best young legal minds in family law, Thomas is a top international divorce lawyer….She has worked on some of the highest –profile divorce cases going through the UK courts, including representing Pauline Chai, the Miss Malaysia wife of Laura Ashely tycoon Khoo Kay Peng, who is seekingBritain’s biggest-ever divorce payout”
Management Today  2014

"commercial in her thinking”  she is "at her best in complex high net worth cases"

Chambers HNW 2020

“a real heavy weight in complex financial intellectual powerhouse”

The Legal 500 2021

"outstanding....her judgement and advice demonstrate that she is hugely experienced"

Chambers 2021

“an exceptional lawyer and leader”

Citywealth Leaders List 2018