Our People - Shortlands Law Firm
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Email:Email Shabana
Direct Line: 0207 471 7350

Shabana Walayat

Shabana is a co-founder of Shortlands Law Firm Ltd. She is a Specialist Family Solicitor and has vast experience in all aspects of family law cases.

She believes in adopting an approach which is not only sensitive and cost-effective but constructive with a view to reaching a settlement at an early stage of the case. She takes practical and decisive Court Action quickly when necessary.

Shabana is an Honorary Legal Advisor at the High Court’s Principal Registry of the Family Division where she offers pro bono advice on a regular basis for those who qualify. She is an SRA -Accredited Specialist Family Lawyer.

Career History

  • 2004 Founded, Shortlands
  • 1998 Partner, JR Jones Solicitors, London
  • 1995 Head of Family Law at JR Jones Solicitors, London
  • 1991 Trainee Solicitor: JR Jones Solicitors, London
  • 1991 LPC, College of Law, Guildford
  • 1990 LLB, University of North London
  • 1987 Kendrick Grammar School, Reading
Email:Email Sian
Direct Line: 0207 629 9905

Sian Whittaker

Sian has over 20 years of specialist experience in Family Law. She is an Accredited Collaborative Lawyer, a Trained Mediator and Family Law Arbitrator. A majority of her cases have an international dimension where she advises high net worth individuals in complex assets and pension related matters. In addition Sian has an in-depth understanding and experience about Wills, Probate and Estate Planning matters.

If you do not have a Will in place then the government distributes your assets as they see fit. If you are not married then your partner does not automatically inherit your assets. Sian can help you prepare your will and advise you on Trusts and ways in which you can reduce Inheritance Tax Liabilities.

Sian joined Shortlands in 2005 and prior to this she was with another Niche Family law practice in London. She is the most senior and experienced solicitor at Shortlands and a member of Shortlands Management Committee.

Sian focuses on the following areas :

  • All types of Divorce and Family breakdown issues.
  • Complex International and Multi Jurisdiction cases.
  • Safeguarding Assets and Estate Planning.
  • Wills and Probate.
  • Family Law Arbitration, Member Charted Institute of Arbitrators.
  • Trained Family Mediator


Career History

  • 2005 Joined Shortlands
  • 1988 Qualified as a Solicitor
  • 1986 Winstanley Burgess Solicitors, Trainee Solicitor
  • 1986 College of Law, Chancery Lane London
  • 1980 Graduate Diploma in Social Administration, London School of Economics
  • 1977 BA (Hons) University of Cambridge
  • 1973 St Pauls Girls School, Brook Green, London
Direct Line: 0207 629 9905

Carolyn Hanes

Carolyn began practice as a family lawyer in 1999 and has gone on to become a highly experienced collaborative family solicitor and FMC accredited mediator. Ever mindful that the justice system is not ‘one size fits all’, Carolyn recognises that the best method for reaching a resolution in family conflict is not always captured in legal framing. Never losing sight of the family members within every dispute, she is able to create the ‘clearing in the forest’ needed to reach lasting and satisfactory outcomes with humanity and precision.

Direct Line: 0207 629 9905

Johnathan Pease

Johnathan is a highly experienced FMC accredited family mediator with over 20 years resolving conflict both as a mediator, family therapist and Family Consultant. A member of Resolution and accredited by BACP and ADRg, his flexible and pragmatic approach to mediation makes the most of his understanding of interpersonal dynamics for the benefit of all concerned. Recognising there are often many layers to the end of a marriage hindering a successful settlement than first meets the eye, Johnathan applies his wide training and experience to the time sensitive and practical needs of family mediation with consistent success.

Email:Email Austin
Direct Line: 0207 629 9905

Austin Chessell

Austin Chessell is a specialist family solicitor and a trained mediator. He joined Shortlands as a paralegal in 2008. He subsequently received training at the firm and qualified as a solicitor in 2010. Since qualifying as a solicitor Austin attended a Family Mediation Course in Family Mediation. He focuses mainly on Mediation as well as divorce and children matters.

Austin takes a pragmatic approach to his cases and his aim is to resolve matters without the escalation of costs to his clients.

He is very active with charitable and pro bono work and as such devotes his time at several Citizens Advice Bureaus. Austin is a Trustee of Families Need Father, a UK based Charitable Organization.

As a member of the Marketing Committee at Shortlands Austin is very active on all marketing campaigns and contributes significantly to the firms marketing efforts. He has formed a family mediation service with another mediator for privately paying clients in London. www.famia.co.uk

Austin is also a member of a Sunday league football team, sits on the committee as sponsorship secretary and made a successful application to receive a European grant in October 2010 which helped to fund our annual birthday tournament. Member of a running club. I ran the Flora London Marathon for Shelter in 2005 and continue to run 10km events.

Career History

  • 2010 Associate Solicitor, Shortlands
  • 2008 Trainee Solicitor, Shortlands
  • 2004-06 LPC, College of Law, London
  • 2001-04 LLB, University of Reading
  • 1999 -2001 A levels, Wallington County Grammar school
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