(L-R) Kate Roberts, Lucy O’Brien, Natalie Corten

Leading South Wales law firm Watkins & Gunn has appointed a new partner, along with two new associates, as it continues to recognise the “sector-leading talent” and “dedication” of its staff.

The award-winning firm promoted associate solicitor and childcare legal specialist Kate Roberts to partner, while solicitors Natalie Corten and Lucy O’Brien have both been appointed to associate level.

Ms Roberts, who has worked at the firm’s Pontypool office for the past 11 years, was also promoted to the head of the childcare team after developing an unparalleled reputation for her work in this area, and also for working across complex private law matters.

As part of her role, she acts for parents and guardians and undertakes advocacy at all levels in the family court. Due to her expertise she is also a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel.

On her promotion Ms Roberts said she was “privileged” to be joining the senior ranks of one of Wales’s leading law firms.

She said:

“I am delighted to have been promoted to partner at Watkins & Gunn, and head of the childcare team.

“I’d like to thank my fellow partners at the firm for their belief in me and for supporting me in taking this exciting new step.

“Advocating for children and families has been my professional passion for a number of years, it is so rewarding for that work to be recognised in this way.”

Also being promoted this month are solicitors Natalie Corten and Lucy O’Brien, who will both take on the role of associate.

Ms Corten joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in 2014 and qualified into the family department in 2016.

Since then, she has specialised in all aspects of family law, with a particular focus on children matters, and represents parents in both private and public Children Act matters.

Fellow associate Ms O’Brien, who specialises in Public Law, was also delighted to be taking up her new role.

She has been carrying out high profile national judicial review work and also  working alongside partner and head of Public Law Michael Imperato in representing clients in the on-going infected blood Inquiry.

On the promotions, managing partner at the firm, Clive Thomas, said it was a pleasure to see all three progressing and strengthening the firm’s offering.

He said:

“On behalf of all of the partners I would like to congratulate Kate, Natalie and Lucy on their promotions, which are very well deserved. It is great to see the role women are playing at the forefront the growth of our firm. As signatories of the Women in Law Pledge we are committed to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the profession by focusing on retention and promotion opportunities.

“Kate in particular has been a driving force behind the success of our childcare team and it has been a pleasure to see her grow and develop over her 11 years here. We look forward to seeing her progress further in the firm within her new role as partner.

“Both Lucy and Natalie have grown from strength to strength since joining us and we have been thrilled to see their progress too.

“These latest promotions demonstrate the sector-leading talent we have at Watkins & Gunn and we are proud to be able to recognise their dedication and to support their progression.”