Family Law

Chris Fairhurst

Partner, Family Law and Divorce Solicitor


Chris Fairhurst Profile Picture

Areas of Expertise:

Chris is a Partner and Family Law Solicitor based in Northwest England, with more than 25 years’ experience in this area of law.

His areas of expertise include, but not limited to, dealing with complex financial arrangements in separation and divorce and relationship breakdowns for clients in England, Wales and living overseas often involving high value cases including multiple assets often involving pension funds of several million pounds.

Chris also specialises in complex cases dealing with children’s arrangements including living or spending time with a parent, and national or international relocation cases, as well as advising upon prohibited steps and specific issues orders including school arrangements for children of the family.

He believes that each family is unique, experiencing individual circumstances that need careful consideration to ensure a successful outcome.

His aim is to be firm but fair, always offering support and empathy, clear guidance and advice, encouraging solutions that consider the needs of the whole family, and in particular the best interests of children.

Chris supports the Head of Family Law in developing and building of the profile of the department throughout the Northwest, particularly Lancaster and Manchester, as well as the rest of the country.

Chris is also responsible for leading the department’s union and other membership services work, with a view to enhancing its current offering.

Prior to joining Simpson Millar, Chris was a Partner at McAlister Family Law and a Principal Lawyer for a period at Slater and Gordon, and before then at Northwest based Stephensons LLP.

Chris has been in demand by radio and television media, making appearances on BBC Radio London and BBC Radio 5 Live, and commenting on a high-profile child abduction case for BBC 2’s The Victoria Derbyshire Show.

He has also advised researchers at BBC News in respect of important Family Law issues of the day and has written and contributed to articles within national and local press.


  • "I contacted Simpson Millar relating to the financial aspects of my divorce. I spoke to Chris Fairhurst. Once I explained my situation he told me immediately and honestly what I could expect based on the information I had given. No waffle, just a simple explanation. This was followed by him explaining what he would be doing to achieve that. Chris told me what was relevant and what wasn't and throughout focused on what mattered. If I needed help I either e-mailed or phoned and received an immediate response, again without any waffle. Plain, simple, honest answers... There were no false promises, just clear explanations and actions... Difficulties with the opposing side are dealt with without fuss. I felt comfortable leaving everything for them to get on with. I really can't recommend them highly enough. They are superb. "



  • "We consulted Chris Fairhurst over a complex family law case and were not only pleased with his professional, thorough and detailed response, but touched by the gentle, sympathetic way he treated my vulnerable sister. This is actually the second time we have used Simpson Millar (the first occasion was for advice during an SEN tribunal - which we won). Brilliant law firm - always seem to have brilliant, professional people with the human touch."



  • "I commissioned Chris Fairhurst to handle my extremely complicated divorce. Chris is a partner at Simpson Millar and so his hourly rate is high; however, after 18 months of complexity, and in the light of the final settlement, he provided good value for money. Central to my divorce was a large and complicated final salary pension. Chris worked closely with my financial advisor to understand this and ultimately position it well in the extremely painful negotiation."



  • "I have been a client of Simpson Millar and with my Solicitor Chris Fairhurst for nearly 2 years. Chris came as a recommendation as I had never had a solicitor before. Chris and the entire Simpson Millar team have been great over the last 2 years. Despite COVID, Chris was always accessible. I could contact him whenever I had a concern and when he wasn't available I knew who to contact. As a whole, everyone at Simpson Millar were really approachable. The advice I received was balanced and honest, allowing me to make informed decisions about my case. Chris and the team worked with me to try and achieve a variety of resolutions. These escalated over the time I was a client and ultimately ended with a court outcome. The team worked extremely hard to find a solution that fit my family. Ultimately, Chris and the team were able to achieve an outcome I hadn't thought was likely. I can't recommend the team more."



  • "Chris is detailed, careful and smart. He knows his subject very well, gives sound advice, and is clear and practical. I've recommended him several times and have never been disappointed with the feedback. A safe pair of hands and very easy to talk to."



  • "If you need help with any kind of family related legal problem, Chris can help. He's helped me on various occasions with family matters and I am always confident that not only will he give me/family members the right guidance, gained from years of experience in the field, but that he will do so with an understanding ear."



  • "Chris is a very professional switched on family lawyer. I engaged Chris for a personal matter. I found him extremely focused, very well versed in the intricacies of family law but above all very understanding of the situation. I would not hesitate to hire him again."



  • "I found Chris great with his advice and recommendations. My case was tricky but the price was reasonable despite this. Chris was responsive both on email and phone and i would 100% use him again."



Professional Accreditations and Memberships

Chris is a member of Resolution in respect of which he has previously held accreditation as a Financial and Children Specialist and is currently also a member of Resolution’s Innovation Committee, which is tasked with researching and developing new ways to support clients and their lawyers in dealing with issues arising from relationship breakdown.

He is a member of the Law Society and was previously an Accredited Children Panel Specialist.

Interests outside of work

Chris has previously held volunteer roles with Lancashire Mind, where he was a Trustee and Board Member for 3 years and spent 12 years as a Primary School Foundation Governor, with specific responsibility for safeguarding.

Having played when the right side of 30, he is a Rugby fan and Committee Member at Wigan St Patrick’s ARLFC, the original club of current England Rugby Union captain Owen Farrell.

Chris enjoys spending time with his family and friends, as well as travelling with his wife and partner of over 30 years, Helen with whom he has 4 adult children.

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