Olive McCarthy

Partner & Arbitrator

Family Law, Management

01727 845245


I am based in St Albans and am a senior partner in the Family Department. I advise on medium to high net worth relationship breakdowns, whether that is for married or unmarried couples.  I also specialise in Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) cases.

Over the years I have been involved in complex matters such as Schedule 1 Children Act applications and financial provision for children of an unmarried couple, coupled with a claim under the TOLATA. I have also dealt with complicated corporate and Trust structures which has enabled me to build and attain a wide spectrum of technical, practical knowledge and experience.

I am a collaborative lawyer where I have successfully collaborated with other solicitors on many cases over the years achieving for clients an outcome they are happy with without having to engage in Court proceedings.  I am one of the few specialist family solicitors in the country qualified to give an Arbital award for parties looking to resolve the financial part of their relationship breakdown.  Such awards are then converted into Orders of the Court.  This is an accolade I am extremely proud of as I was one of the first groups of specialists to train and one of the youngest to become an Arbitrator.

In addition to my work as a family lawyer, I am the Risk Management Partner and Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP). This additional role enhances my family practice as I am further exposed to a diverse array of knowledge about other areas of law which benefit my family clients as well as being alive to compliance and regulatory issues thus resulting in an all rounded force to be reckoned with.

I regularly act and advise in pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, complex finances on divorces both for high net worth matters and in low value cases where agreement is difficult to achieve, farming cases and Schedule 1 Children Act applications.

I volunteer at The Citizens Advice providing free legal advice to those most in need.  In June 2022. I was nominated for and awarded the Hertfordshire Law Society award for community engagement and thereafter within a few weeks was further honoured by having my name on the law building of the University of Hertfordshire as one of their most successful law graduates alumni.


My passion is to travel the world and I am making good inroads into this In addition I love the theatre and boats – although I am yet to learn to sail..


  • I acted on a complicated Schedule 1 Children Act matter to assist a client in obtaining a home for herself and her children. This wasn’t a high net worth case and was complicated by the presence of little money outside of a Trust that was designed to keep assets out of reach. I secured for the client a home until the youngest child attained 18 and thereafter by making a further application under the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 application a percentage of the house on sale to the client to recognise her financial contribution. An amazing outcome in the circumstances.
  • I acted collaboratively in complex high net worth divorce and after 5 roundtable meetings, and the assistance of a financial neutral to advise on a tax efficiencies, we reached an agreement saving my client thousands of pounds.
  • I acted for a client on the Times Rich List; through skilled negotiation and a robust approach, I secured a more favourable settlement than what a Court would have ordered.
  • I regularly take on cases from other solicitors where a client has lost confidence in their previous representation. Notably securing settlement for a client that had previous representation for 18 months and the parties were at an impasse. I concluded the client’s matter with a favourable outcome after negotiating a settlement within 3 months of receiving the client’s file – A very happy client.

Joined Taylor Walton in 2018

What our clients say

"After a google search for top female family solicitors in my area, Olive McCarthy was part of the top ten. I liked what I read about her and I felt that she was the right person for my case in particular.

I was very impressed with the way Olive captured what I meant to say and transformed it into meaningful phrases within the law. I am very grateful for all the support I have received from the beginning to the very end. I felt that she fought my corner, which did make me feel safe and hopeful that the battle would end sooner than later, and it did.

I cannot think of anything to improve - what you do is just right. I think having Olive service through Taylor is worth every penny!"

"Olive McCarthy is an outstanding matrimonial lawyer, with enormous tenacity, incredibly meticulous, knows every nook and crevice of a case yet always focuses on the key points and priorities." -Legal 500

"Olive McCarthy has provided an incredibly reassuring service to me and nothing has ever been too much trouble. Her extensive knowledge of family law has been a constant reassurance during a difficult time." -Legal 500

"Olive McCarthy has been outstanding and totally professional but has also helped me deal with and understand how to cope with a very unpleasant period in my life." -Legal 500

Emergency Alert

By Olive McCarthy | 21 April 2023

On Sunday 23 April 2023, the government will be testing their new emergency alert systems and everybody will get an alert.   The alarm will go off even if it is on silent with notifications disabled. That does not sound like much of a problem at first glance; people are always getting notifications on their mobile…

Revenge Porn

By Olive McCarthy | 3 March 2023

Revenge porn as a phrase does not really convey the huge damage that it causes to a victim.  Revenge porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress.  The offence applies both online and offline and to…

Divorce is not the End

By Olive McCarthy | 16 January 2023

Since the Divorce Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into effect on 6 April 2022, there have been misconceptions that once you receive the Final Order (previously referred to as the Decree Absolute) that this automatically severs the financial ties you have with your spouse or that it is much easier to sever those ties…

MAFS UK – Love bombs and Coercive Control

By Olive McCarthy | 28 September 2022

Anyone watching Married at First Sight UK will be amazed at the lengths people will go to find love. However it doesn’t always seem to work out in the programme which is referred to as an “experiment”. It has been reported that in one coupling, one party has been accused by former partners of “love…

Netflix’s Squid Games highlights parent and child relationship issues

By Olive McCarthy | 14 October 2021

In Episode 2 of Squid Games, Netflix’s acclaimed South Korean survival drama, Seong Gi-Hun was left feeling unimportant in his daughter’s life as he wasn’t able to contribute financially for her. This is a feeling likely to resonate with some separated parents. Whether a parent can afford to pay child maintenance or not or pay…

Cohabitation agreements

By Olive McCarthy | 23 November 2018

What is a Cohabitation Agreement/Cohabitation Deed? A cohabitation agreement is a written, signed document, often signed as a deed in front of witnesses. It will generally deal with three principal areas: who owns (and owes) what at the time of the agreement, and in what proportions what financial arrangements you have decided to make while you are…

Family Law Specialist Solicitor and Arbitrator joins highly respected law firm Taylor Walton LLP

By Olive McCarthy | 23 November 2018

Taylor Walton LLP are delighted to announce the arrival of Family Law specialist and Arbitrator Olive McCarthy, who joins our St Albans office as a partner adding to our ever-expanding family team. Olive has over 18 years’ experience in Family Law with a particular interest in alternatives to Court proceedings. Who is Arbitration for? Arbitration is not just…