SKO Family Law



Customer types




SKO Family Law

Company Profile

‘There is no question that SKO is the firm most suited to effectively carrying out complex and sophisticated work in the Scottish market.’ Chambers and Partners HNW Guide 2023.

SKO is the largest niche family law practice in Scotland and now in its fifteenth year. Practising from Edinburgh and London, it is one of only two Scottish firms in Chambers and Partners HNW Guide, and has three of the four named individuals. SKO has been top ranked for family law in Scotland in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners guide for well over a decade. SKO has unrivalled expertise and experience in family law and reputation management practice in Scotland. It encompasses the whole range of family law matters, from divorce and financial provision to child law, and is known for careful and faithful representation of clients – with a style that is intimate and responsive. 

Known as ‘the lawyers’ lawyers’, they have a niche in unusual and complex matters and cases with privacy and reputational issues. Their experience and expertise in jurisdiction, surrogacy and ART law and, where novel applications are required, cannot be rivalled.

 ‘SKO lawyers are consistently responsive and empathetic, and demonstrate a deep understanding of the law.’ Chambers and Partners HNW Guide 2023. The practice is a close-knit team of specialists (eleven lawyers) who enjoy working collaboratively. They routinely work with other professionals and the firm has enviable relationships with leading counsel, tax, family office, wealth managers, trustees, health professionals, psychologists and more. 

Although SKO exclusively offers advice on Scots law, many clients and referrers live or work in England and Wales or abroad and the team has an extensive network of agents across the world on whom they can call. One of the founding partners, Rachael Kelsey, is the first woman from the UK to be elected President of the International Academy of Family Lawyers in their thirty-seven year history. She is the only named individual from Scotland in the first rank of lawyers in Chambers and Partners HNW Guide in 2023. A client reported to Chambers and Partners HNW 2023 that, ‘Rachael is the leading practitioner in the field in Scotland. Truly untouchable.’

Alison Edmondson focuses on cases that involve private companies and trusts and where there are tax issues. She is one of two individuals in the firm elected as IAFL Fellows and is highly regarded for her legal knowledge and wisdom. Reports from clients to Chambers and Partners HNW 2023 note, ‘Alison is a class act. In terms of family law advice she operates with an iron fist in a velvet glove,’ and ‘Alison is sensible, wise, pragmatic – yet tough and absolutely prepared to fight when needed. She is the perfect lawyer – empathetic and understanding, but also good at analysing and setting the legals out really clearly and dispassionately.’ 

Robert Gilmour is known for his work in novel matters, including in relation to domestic and international pensions issues, cohabitation and surrogacy/assisted reproductive technology. He is regularly asked to comment in the media on such matters and has an incredible ability to explain complex legal issues to laypeople. Chambers and Partners HNW 2023 note that, ‘Robert is exceptionally able and engenders a great feeling of trust,’ and ‘Robert is an absolute legal encyclopedia. He’s very knowledgeable and thorough.’

Susan Oswald, founding partner, specialises in child law including international adoption and cross-border public law matters, and mediation. She deals with the most intractable matters and is sought out for her wisdom, and is known as the person who can get the unsettleable, settled. Chambers Family/Matrimonial Guide in 2023 report that, ‘She is solution-driven and great with clients.’ 

At SKO the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – the breadth and range of expertise, experience and wisdom means that clients are looked after and supported at times of transition in their private lives.


18 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PF

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