Beyond Law Group’s specialist family law practice, McAlister Family Law, launches unmarried disputes team led by newly appointed Partner

Beyond Law Group’s specialist family law practice, McAlister Family Law, announces the appointment of Partner, Jason Stanley, and Solicitor, Joanne O’Donnell, who will form part of the practice’s new unmarried disputes team.

Beyond Law Group’s leading family and children practice, McAlister Family Law, has appointed Jason Stanley and Joanne O’Donnell to its divorce and finance team, enabling the team to establish a greater and more specialist focus on unmarried couple and cohabitation disputes.

The formation of the new team, which Jason will head up, is in response to a rise in client enquiries related to cohabitation and unmarried disputes. Jason brings invaluable experience to the role, having specialised in family law for the last 15 years and successfully established a matrimonial and litigation department at a practice in the Fylde Coast, before joining Stowe Family Law as a Partner in 2018.

Described in the UK Legal 500 as “practical and approachable”, Jason covers most aspects of family law but in the main, advises clients in relation to resolving financial issues following a marriage breakdown, divorce and separation, as well as inheritance act claims. Jason’s primary role at McAlister Family Law will be to lead, grow and develop an unmarried couple and cohabitation disputes focus, which is a rare specialism in a family law practice.

The appointments follow the most successful year to date for Beyond Law Group and its specialist practices. McAlister Family Law has established itself as the go to family and children law practice in the region, having climbed the rankings in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners year on year and being named “Family Team of the Year” at the Manchester Legal Awards for two consecutive years running in 2022 and 2023.

Jason comments on his appointment: “I’m thrilled to join Beyond Law Group and am looking forward to working alongside such experienced, specialist family and children lawyers at McAlister Family Law. I’m joining at a very exciting time for the practice; its growth, scale and ambitions are evident and I’m keen to build on its strong reputation with the launch of the practice’s new unmarried disputes team.”


Joanne O’Donnell re-joins McAlister Family Law as solicitor, having worked at the practice as a paralegal at the beginning of her career in 2018. Joanne qualified as a solicitor in 2022 and specialises in divorce, the division of matrimonial finances and unmarried disputes. Joanne will support Jason in launching McAlister Family Law’s unmarried disputes offering.

Joanne comments on her appointment: “I have watched the incredible growth and success of Beyond Law Group and its specialist practices over the years and it is an honour to be back. Despite its vast growth, it is reassuring to see the business is operating with the exact same culture and spirit as it was five years ago. It really feels as though I have come full circle and I can’t wait to get started!”

Amanda McAlister, managing partner of McAlister Family Law, added: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Jason to McAlister Family Law and to have Joanne re-join us as a newly qualified solicitor. Both Jason and Joanne will be a tremendous asset to the Group and will make a significant contribution to the development of our Divorce and Finance division, as we continue our programme of strategic growth and cement our reputation as the UK’s leading family law practice.”

Matt Fleetwood, Chief Executive and Founder of Beyond Law Group, comments: “The appointments of Jason and Joanne enables the Group’s family and children law practice to significantly enhance its offering. Jason is highly regarded throughout the industry and is a natural fit for us, and Joanne joins us with tremendous experience and a work-ethic which will be a huge asset to McAlister Family Law and the wider Group”.

Beyond Law Group is a modern firm whose approach is to create, build and manage specialist legal practices within a modern law firm environment and business structure. It has been able to create the sense of personal service, sociability, identity and teamwork associated with specialist practices, whilst its people and clients can still be confident that they are working with the strength of modern and established legal business. The Group’s portfolio consists of McAlister Family Law, Beyond Corporate and Beyond Conveyancing.