Rachael Kelsey, Partner
Rachael is a founding Partner of SKO. She is the only 'Hall of Fame' family lawyer in Scotland in the Legal 500 (2021 Edition) and the only Scottish lawyer in the Spears 500 Family Lawyers Guide (2021). Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 both describe Rachael as, 'the doyenne of Scots family law'. She is President of the European Chapter of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) and accredited as a Specialist in Family Law and as a Family Mediator by the Law Society of Scotland.
The current edition of Chambers notes that Rachael "is renowned for her skills in complex litigation", it goes on to note that "Sources say she "really is a phenomenon," while clients value her warm personality, with one reporting that "her enthusiasm, consideration and genuine empathy is invaluable."". The Legal 500 report that Rachael is 'the go-to person on Scottish family law issues' and that she 'is the doyen of Scots family law solicitors with a global reputation'.
Rachael has cases in both the Court of Session and the Sheriff Court. She also provides expert opinions on Scots law for courts outwith Scotland. Many of her cases have international or intra-UK jurisdictional issues, an area of specialism for which she is particularly well known and in respect of which she has built up a UK-wide practice. She has a particular interest in the issues that arise when acting for individuals in same-sex relationships.
Rachael is known as someone who is adept at using her considerable knowledge of the law to deliver novel, yet practical, solutions for clients. She is particularly experienced in acting for individuals for whom there are privacy concerns and is used to managing the issues that flow from people's private lives being in the public eye. Rachael has lectured widely- nationally and internationally- on pure family law issues as well as on dispute resolution (DR) generally. She enjoys writing, and talking, about Scots family Law, both for lay-people and other lawyers, and is widely published and regularly appears on the broadcast media.
In 2019 Rachael was re-appointed by the Lord President to the Family Law Committee of the Scottish Civil Justice Council. She is a FLAGS (Family Law Arbitration Group Scotland) Arbitrator and trainer, is the only Scottish Arbitrator on the IFLAS (International Family Law Arbitration Scheme) panel and is on the committee of the Scottish Branch of CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators). Rachael is the Scottish correspondent for International Family Law, published by Jordans.
Rachael is a past Chair of the Family Law Association; was Chair, a Director and Trustee of Family Mediation Lothian for eight years, until 2017 and was Treasurer of CALM (the organisation of accredited family solicitor mediators in Scotland) for nine years until 2016. In 2016 Rachael was on the Scottish Law Commission Arbitration Advisory Group for the Review of Contract Law: Third Party Rights.