An interview with Emma Willing


What do you do for Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP?

I am a Partner and member of the private wealth group, specialising in family law at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. I advise on all aspects of family law, including the resolution of complex and high value financial issues on divorce, private law children disputes, cohabitation matters and the drafting of cohabitation and marital agreements. I also have experience of advising clients in relation to modern family building - whether through surrogacy, assisted reproduction, donor conception, co-parenting and adoption. My cases frequently have an international element requiring me to draw on my network of international contacts.

What do you love most about your role?

By its nature, family law work is emotionally charged and clients frequently find themselves seeking advice from us in particularly difficult circumstances. Having been qualified as a family lawyer now for 16 years, I recognise the significant and positive role that we, as family lawyers have, in assisting clients in resolving issues which arise following a relationship breakdown. Most importantly, is seeking a clear path for those clients to reach a resolution and wherever possible minimising the impact of the relationship breakdown on both parties and any children involved. It is always particularly reassuring to meet clients, as I often do, years after the conclusion of a case and seeing how they have been able to rebuild and move on with their lives.

What has been your greatest achievement?

Securing a senior promotion in 2019 during my time at Mishcon de Reya, at a time when I was 8 months pregnant with my first daughter. It was around 3 years later after the arrival of my second daughter in 2022 that I secured my current role as a Partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. I consider it important to speak out about my own career path – particularly, to junior lawyers who want to progress their own careers whilst also starting or expanding their family. I consider my own career experience in recent years demonstrates that it is possible to both excel in your career and have a family and that junior lawyers should be fully supported with both endeavours.

What type of intermediaries do you tend to work with? 

I work with a broad range of intermediaries to include therapists, psychologists, coaches, private wealth managers, accountants, financial planners, surveyors, mediators, independent financial advisors, pension advisors and international lawyers.

Why did you join PCD?

In order to meet likeminded professionals, including those internationally, allowing me to continue to build my own and the team’s network of contacts. Learning from the experience of professionals in different disciplines in order to further and better support my own client base in the family law arena.

On a weekend, I am most likely found...

In one of a number of playgrounds, with a coffee or enjoying the West Sussex countryside with my husband and two young daughters.


Find out why leading brands in the private client industry are partnering with PCD to raise their profile, make connections and drive new business.



Find out how you can participate in the leading club for international private client advisors and unlock opportunities around the globe. 


MoST Content Management V3.0.8923