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Nigel Priestley

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Jane Bolton

  • Queens House, 35 Market Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2HL
  • 01484 538421

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Nigel Priestley Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year


  • I feel so lonely. My one salvation is a Facebook page that I managed to find and it was through this that I found out about Ridley & Hall and am so thankful I have – prior to this I felt I was the only person going through what I am.

  • This guy is amazing he’s helped me so much and I actually think he’s not in his job for the money. He does what he believes in and that’s the difference between him and most solicitors. I’ve had several phone calls with Nigel also a huge amount of emails and even a court appearance from 1 of his colleagues when we thought things was going wrong with our last SGO and I’ve never paid a penny for his help just about to start legal correspondence to LA and I can honestly say he’s not charging the earth. Keep doing what you do best Nigel you change people’s lives.

  • Thank goodness for people like you

    Comment from Kinship Carers Support Group UK
  • “Being at the ‘sharp end’ Nigel you are more aware than most that we are the cinderella service… Thanks for your concern…” | “Thanks Nigel for being in our corner.” | “Thank you for all your help and support.” | “Thanks for all your help” | “Thank you for supporting us x” | “Thank you for always putting our case forward so eloquently, Nigel. xx”

    Comments from Kinship “Foster” Carers Group
  • All SGO’s are so lucky to have you in their corner. We knew how privileged we were to have you in ours. More power to your elbow Nigel keep up the good work x

  • A huge thank you to Nigel for making what could have been a god awful day not so awful. He was amazing. Nigel clearly knew exactly what he was doing and we have complete faith in his abilities and we both feel as if we can move forward a bit now, Thank you again

  • Thank you so much for being on our side. It’s been a very stressful process. Why it has to be so hard to do what is best for these children is beyond me. I could not have got through without your help.

  • When this process started we both felt so alone and scared, not knowing what was going to happen or what to do about it. When I found Nigel’s details and read through the website, I was reassured you would be able to help us before I even contacted you. We contacted you upon receipt of the care order papers and were immediately reassured. You were both so understanding and non-judgemental. Up until that point we had always blamed ourselves for the breakdown but you helped us see that it wasn’t our fault and fought for us against the local authority. We will be forever grateful to you for standing by us and fighting so hard for us. Its given us both a real sense of ‘closure’ and we feel able to begin our lives once again.

  • Nigel Priestley is my solicitor too. I have just had my special guardianship order granted on Wednesday. If he thinks something is wrong he will query it and, most importantly of all, he makes his clients feel valued. He and his colleagues have been brilliant throughout the last 6 months for me and as I have said he listens to you…… he doesn’t seem to be led by social services so please contact him. xx

    Contributor on the KinKids Facebook page
  • I think your solicitor needs changing. I see it all the time on [Facebook}. They use family law solicitors who don’t have the full grasp of kinship and these solicitors end up agreeing a compromise with the social worker whereas Nigel Priestley goes in both guns blazing for whats best for the kids x

    Contributor to Kinkids support group on Facebook
  • My sincere thanks goes to you and your colleagues, especially you, for my excellent legal representation. I could not be happier with the outcome of my case. It was such a difficult and stressful experience and you have handled it with care and compassion. How lucky I was to have someone that was truly professional but more importantly personable and human too. Most of all though thank you for caring about grandparents that find themselves in this situation which you clearly do and that is what makes the difference between a lawyer and a very good lawyer. Words cannot give my appreciation justice. Your foresight on all matters on my case was truly remarkable. I owe the success and victory of my case to your dedication and perseverance, which you showed throughout. I will always refer to your firm if the need ever arises that I shall need any legal assistance again. Once again my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

    Tuesday 28 January 2014
  • Words cannot convey how grateful I am to you for your help and complete competence on my behalf. Without you it would not have been possible. I am happy to report I have been granted Special Guardian Allowance for all three children AND it has been backdated to 7th Jan, when the order was granted. I am so so thankful and will sing your praises to everyone. I can never thank you enough, you wonderful man. After such a circus with all other so-called professionals. You, sir, are worth your weight in gold. Forever in your debt

    L.P. Monday 05 August 2013
  • You guys have been more than just representatives throughout the process.  You have been incredibly supportive and have always been straight-forward with your advice whilst allowing us the space to make decisions of our own.  I just wanted to let you know just how much we have appreciated that.

    Thursday 13 June 2013
  • Well, was first visit in court yesterday for possible Special Guardianship Order, huge huge thank you to Nigel Priestley and his team for all there help and support. Highly recommended to anyone who needs a solicitor.

  • Adoption breakdowns are extremely distressing so it makes all the difference knowing that Nigel truly understands and is there fighting for what is right, every step of the way. I was very impressed with the responsiveness and genuine concern shown by everyone I had contact with on this case, with special thanks to Jane who always has a kind word.

    16th August 2016
  • "Nigel was brilliant in Court. You (Jane - PA to Nigel) and Nigel always believed in us and that meant so much - you always did what we asked and went that extra mile. Thank you."

    Thursday 6th April 2017
  • Finally feel like we are not alone. I have contacted Nigel Priestley...Felt heard & understood. - Sarah H

    Wednesday 26th April 2017
  • I just wanted to send you an email to say thank you so much for yesterday. It was really good to have someone on board who is forth right but also not emotionally involved.  Your clear eyes on the situation has been a god send and your valued insight has been fantastic. I learned a lot!  After 3.5 years of consistent social worker involvement its brought us all to tears that its nearly over. My guard can finally be lowered and I will be allowed to just be a Mum, getting on with it. - Julie K 

    Friday 28th April 2017
  • "Just wanted to say thanks for your support and for being so frank. Appreciate where you've got us."

    Tuesday 16th May 2017
  • "Hi Nigel, as you know, it is with GREAT pleasure that I can announce the forthcoming return of my grandson to his rightful place within his family following the local authorities application being rejected by the judge surely couldn't have been achieved without the intervention of one particular FANTASTIC solicitor who believed I was worth fighting for - I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart Nigel for all your hard work in helping to achieve this outcome ???????????????? xx"

    Wednesday 10th May 2017
  • "I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to both yourself and the rest of the team at Ridley & Hall for assisting me in negotiating the shark infested waters of the past year. From my initial contact with Rosie and my subsequent dealings with all the support staff and professionals I have been treated with care and consideration, in my view, above and beyond the norm. I would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever about recommending the firm to anyone who will listen."

    Thursday 11th May 2017
  • "I just want to send you a quick e-mail to say thank you for your help and support over the last few months. I do not know what would have been foisted upon us as a family without your guidance I know we are at the start of a long road, but at least we now have the direction and support to perhaps find the correct destination for everyone involved in the journey."

    Monday 8th May 2017
  • "From the very first day I approached Ridley & Hall, I dealt with Nigel and everything no matter simple questions from myself to bigger issues have been resolved with the utmost sensitivity and understanding."

    24 July 2017
  • "Nigel, an enormous thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have helped two wonderful families, both Julie & Sam. Thank you for making your way down to Worcester again. If my referrals are getting too much please let me know."

    20 July 2017
  • "It all went really well I was expecting the LA to be difficult as they had employed a Barrister. A big thank you to Nigel Priestley and  Sarah Brown from Ridley & Hall Solicitors for your advice and understanding."

    28 July 2017
  • "We are so pleased we found Nigel & Sarah. At last we found professionals who understand the situation and stood up for us. The knowledge & understanding of both Nigel & Sarah puts a lot of social workers to shame! It was lovely, and a relief, to have someone believe in us."

    27 September 2017
  • "It seems from speaking to other families in a similar situation that Ridley and Hall are one of the very few firms all be it with adoption disruption so I’d say plenty of room for outreach and training to other firms, but aware Nigel is already a spokesman. Grateful to have found you"

    29 September 2017
  • "Ours was a complex case. We felt completely secure in the hands of Nigel Priestley and Sarah Brown. The outcome was the best possible given the circumstances. We would recommend them unreservedly and have done so already. Thank you!"

    10 January 2018
  • "It was a pleasure to work with Sarah & Nigel. They were always available when I needed to talk to them"

    25 March 2018
  • "We would like to thank you for everything you have done Nigel. You made it memorable for us"

    24 October 2018

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Nigel Priestley

Senior Partner – Kinship Care & Adoption Specialist Lawyer

Nigel Priestley is a Senior Partner of Ridley & Hall Solicitors and a community care and adoption specialist solicitor. He is a member of the Children’s Panel and regularly represents children and parents in care proceedings.

Nigel’s work has been celebrated and he is a leading expert in kinship care, adoption breakdown and care proceedings. Nigel won the Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards in 2017.

He has taken the lead in bringing Judicial Review proceedings on behalf of children placed with Kinship Carers. These actions are to ensure that local authorities fulfil their legal obligations towards Family and Friend Carers and the children who are living with them.

He has been involved in landmark decisions as a result of Judicial Reviews he has brought. These include a successful challenge against Kirklees when they were paying Special
Guardianship Allowance at 2/3 the Fostering Allowance. In another case the Court of Appeal set out when children living with grandparent carers should be regarded as ‘looked after’ children.

He represents children, parents and grandparents in care proceedings. He has been involved in cases in the High Court which have been reported in the legal press including a foreign adoption and the making of Wardship Orders in care proceedings where the children suffered serious global developmental delay.

Nigel works closely with Grandparents Plus and many support organisations. Over a million has been paid to carers in respect of back paid Fostering Allowances as a result of actions in which Nigel has been involved.

Nigel has spoken at conferences organised by the Grandparents Association, BAAF and Grandparents Plus.

Nigel is concerned about the support given to adopters. He is a member of Adoption UK and advises adopters facing post adoption support challenges as to their rights.

Nigel helped set up the unique Twinning Link between Huddersfield Law Society and the Uganda Law Society in 2002. The link has provided legal resources and training for Ugandan lawyers. Nigel has regularly carried out training in Kampala.  The Twinning Link won the Pro Bono Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2016, and it was highly commended at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2016.

He is a grandfather himself and understands the pressures on grandparent carers!

Areas of work Nigel deals withnigel-profile-awards


  • Won Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year 2017
  • Won Lawyer of the Year Award at the Modern Law Awards (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Adoption Week Awards (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Partner of the Year at both Yorkshire Legal Awards and Family Law Awards (2016)
  • Shortlisted for Family Law Partner of the Year at the Family Law Awards (2015)
  • Won Legal Champion of the Year Award at the Kinship Care Awards (2013)
  • Named The Solicitor of the Year (Private practice) in the National Law Society Excellence Awards (2010)
  • Shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award (2008)
  • Law Society Highly Commended Solicitor of the Year (2008)