Vanessa Gardiner


About Vanessa

Vanessa is a Partner in our Family law team in Oxford with extensive experience in all aspects of family and matrimonial law.

Vanessa has specialised in family law throughout her career. She joined the Family team at RWK Goodman from Gateley Legal, where she was a Legal Director.

Vanessa has significant experience and expertise in dealing with cases involving aspects of narcissistic behaviour and other personality and psychiatric disorders.

She has been a trained collaborative lawyer since 2010 and understands the benefits for the family as a whole of practising in a conciliatory manner, with both lawyers and clients working on a face-to-face basis, with integrity and willingness to achieve bespoke settlements and arrangements.

Vanessa is experienced in all aspects of family and matrimonial law including:

  • divorce
  • separation
  • complex high net worth financial and property disputes, including intervener proceedings and financial settlement after a foreign divorce
  • pre- and post-nuptial agreements
  • children arrangements
  • domestic abuse


  • Resolution
  • Thames Valley Collaborative Family Lawyers POD
  • Thames Valley Family Lawyers Society

Work Highlights:

  • Co-worked on a pre-nuptial agreement with combined assets including two businesses, capital and investments exceeding £2 billion.
  • Dealt with variation of spousal maintenance orders, seeking capitalisation orders, remittance of arrears, exclusion of bonuses and obtaining dismissal of a variation application by a husband seeking to withdraw financial support.
  • Dealt with divorce and financial matters with intervener involvement, and obtained injunctive relief through s37 applications to protect capital assets against dissipation and reversal of transactions, also material non-disclosure and other conduct issues.
  • Experience with private FDRs and contributing to agricultural case culminating in a five-day arbitration tribunal in divorce and financial proceedings.
  • Represented clients within complicated child arrangements cases including where s8 Children Act proceedings of two mothers relating to half siblings were joined and coercive and emotional abuse findings were sought through identifying a pattern of behaviour through multiple relationships over a sustained period of time. Also, proceedings where allegations have been made of sexual abuse, parental alienation and applications for leave to remove a child from the jurisdiction and internal relocation of a child within England and Wales.

"Vanessa acted recently (2021/2022) for a litigant in financial remedy proceedings... There were limited assets in the case, and they were all required to provide financial security for the family; it was therefore paramount that the legal costs remained proportionate. Vanessa’s ability to conduct the case with this in mind but also with thoroughness and competence was striking... It is without doubt because of Vanessa’s exceptional abilities that the case was concluded by agreement at a private FDR and without either side having incurred the type of costs that might otherwise have depleted the limited funds available. "

Senior Counsel