I specialised in family law from the outset of my career because I wanted to help people. That was and has remained, important to me.

I know just how challenging issues arising from relationship breakdowns can be. I also know that the legal process can be very daunting. I can help to make the process more straightforward so clients can make decisions and get to where they want to be.

I have a very open approach to cases. I ensure I take the time to genuinely understand my clients’ situations and what is important to them. That, along with many years’ of experience in family law practice, means that I am well-placed to help clients.

I am an experienced litigator, with many years litigating in both the Sheriff Court and Court of Session. I recognise that in some cases, litigation will be appropriate. However, in the majority of cases, I am able to help clients reach a positive outcome without the need for court proceedings.

I have extensive experience covering the spectrum of family law case types, including complex financial provision matters both in divorce (often including a cross-border element) and cohabitation cases. I regularly negotiate and assist clients in entering into separation agreements. In addition, I am regularly instructed to assist clients who wish to put in place pre or post nuptial and cohabitation agreements.

I receive regular instructions in complex cases relating to children, particularly those arising following the breakdown of relationships, including residence and contact cases, as well as relocation cases. I have particular experience in dealing with cases where there has been the rejection of a parent following a separation and I recognise that such situations are often very complex and deeply distressing. My child law practice also includes cases with an international element as well as child abduction cases.

I receive regular appointments from Edinburgh Sheriff Court to act as a child welfare reporter in private child law cases.

I have many years of experience in dealing with cases where domestic abuse is, or is alleged to be, a feature. I recognise the complexity of such cases and the need for sensitivity. I am a keen proponent of the use of mediation in family law cases, recognising the benefits the process can bring to many family law cases. I offer mediation in all types of family cases.

I am a member of Consensus, IACP (the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals), CALM Scotland and the Family Law Association of Scotland (FLA). For many years I had a close involvement with the running of Scotland’s FLA as a committee member from 2008 to 2016 as well as in office bearing roles (Vice Chair 2012 to 2014 and Chair 2016).

I have now worked exclusively in the area of family law for more 15 years. I am accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in family law and in family mediation.  I am also trained in Collaborative Practice.


"Karen's knowledge is excellent and she is very attentive to clients and their needs. She is an effective and thoughtful operator."

- Chambers UK 2024

"I work mostly with Amanda Masson, who impressed this year by tenacious work in overcoming obstacles in an international case. Despite matters looking almost insuperable, she persisted and secured a good result for her client. Karen Gibbons and Alexis Harper are excellent partners and Linda Walker is worth watching."

- The Legal 500 2024

"Karen Gibbons is a highly professional solicitor. She is incredibly thorough and organised."

- The Legal 500 2023

"Karen is very knowledgeable in what she does and is able to reassure and provide support in what are difficult times."

- Chambers UK 2023

"She has an analytical approach to matters and a no-nonsense approach."

- Chambers UK 2023


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