Welcome at Ayres Waters Family Lawyers

AYRES WATERS are specialist family lawyers with an excellent reputation throughout the north-west. Based in Stockport, close to the historic old town, we specialise in finding solutions when family relationships break down.

You may have already separated from your partner, and have been unable to agree about the kids, or the house, or the money. Or you may still be unsure, and want to know where you stand.

Or things may be more urgent – and you need help in a crisis.

Whatever your situation, our team of specialist family lawyers can provide you with the professional guidance and support that you need.

Meet the Team

We are a team of dedicated professionals, ready to do what ever it takes to make your business grow

Andrew Ayres


Andrew has a wealth of legal experience, he specialises in family disputes over money and property, and complex cases concerning children. He is the firm’s managing partner.

Having joined the firm’s sole principal, David Hartley in 1986, Andrew became a partner in 1990. The firm became Ayres Waters in 1994. David Hartley, the firm’s founder, had retired and Paul Waters (see below) joined Andrew in partnership.

Andrew is an accredited family mediator. As well, for more than 15 years he has been sitting as a part-time District Judge, in the Family and County Courts.

A former President of the Stockport Law Society, Andrew is currently chair of the Wellspring, a charity that provides help and support to Stockport’s homeless.

Please contact Andrew directly by email: andrewa@ayreswaters.co.uk

Paul Waters


Paul joined the firm in 1991, having trained with the legal department of Tameside MBC. He became a partner in 1994.

Paul specialises in disputes where the wellbeing of children is at stake, and especially those involving Social Services. He is highly experienced in care and adoption cases, including cases where there are allegations of physical abuse and non-accidental injury. He has established a reputation as a committed and tenacious advocate, prepared to go that extra mile for his clients.

As a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel, Paul is able to represent children within care proceedings, when he works closely with the children’s Guardian.

Paul has provided training to lawyers and social workers. He is also a qualified counsellor.

Please contact Paul directly by email: paulw@ayreswaters.co.uk

Maria Taylor


Maria is an experienced family lawyer, who has practised in Stockport for more than twenty years. She has earned a high reputation, with clients, colleagues and judges, for her conscientious and thorough approach.

Maria represents clients in disputes over children and family finances, and those who have suffered domestic abuse. She also acts in care cases, where parents face criticism from Social Services.

Maria qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer in 2005 and has dealt with a number of complex cases, assisting clients in resolving family conflicts through a series of face-to-face meetings, and collaborative discussions.

Please contact Maria directly by email: mariat@ayreswaters.co.uk

Kathryn Wright


Kathryn joined the firm in 2008, and specialises in representing victims of domestic abuse. She has led the way in the use of legal proceedings to protect against forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

A former Police Officer and Women’s Aid support worker, Kathryn is a dedicated and robust advocate for those who have suffered violence and abuse within the family. She is highly regarded by other lawyers and by judges, as well as by her clients.

Kathryn provides training to a wide range of support agencies, including Victim Support, as well as to the Police and social workers.

Please contact Kathryn directly by email: kathrynw@ayreswaters.co.uk

Clare Sorrell


Clare specialises in cases involving children, and particularly those where the local authority (Social Services) is involved. She joined Ayres Waters in 2002, and has worked as a family lawyer throughout her career.

Clare is a member of the Law Society’s specialist Children Panel, meaning that she can act for the child or children concerned, as well as for parents. She has a wealth of experience in handling cases where there are allegations of abuse and of non-accidental injury.

Clare is chair of the Women’s Centre in Stockport, which is a charity that works to improve the self-esteem and good mental health of women in and around Stockport.

Please contact Clare directly by email: clares@ayreswaters.co.uk

Beth Lee


Beth joined Ayres Waters in 2007, and has recently resumed practice following the birth of her second child.

She specialises in cases involving children and domestic violence, especially those requiring urgent action. Highly regarded by clients and fellow lawyers, Beth has a reputation as a committed and persuasive advocate for victims of abuse.

Beth’s experience in these areas has led to her providing training to Police officers and support services.

Please contact Beth directly by email: bethl@ayreswaters.co.uk