BDB Pitmans bolsters family department in Cambridge with two key hires and promotions across the firm


Leading law firm, BDB Pitmans, is pleased to announce the appointment of Roopa Ahluwalia as a partner, and Elisabeth Sneade as a legal director, to the firm’s family and matrimonial department.

Roopa and Elisabeth both join BDB Pitmans from Birketts and will be based in the firm’s Cambridge office. Their appointments are with immediate effect and are announced at the same time as three partner promotions at BDB Pitmans across the corporate and agriculture and rural property teams. 

Roopa Ahluwalia has a breadth of expertise in all family law matters ranging from divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships to co-habitation agreements and pre and post-nuptial agreements. She has particular expertise in complex and multi-jurisdictional divorce cases involving a significant amount of wealth. Her practice also covers matters arising under the Children Act, including child care arrangements, and she is an experienced mediator and trained collaborative lawyer.  Roopa has been recognised for her “excellent feel for the law relating to children and her great manner with clients,” by one of the leading legal directories, Legal 500. In addition, she is the chair of the Cambridge and West Suffolk arm of Resolution, the leading national organisation for family lawyers, and is a committee member of the Cambridge Dispute Resolution group.

Elisabeth Sneade has over 17 years’ experience in family law and, as such, she is instructed in a wealth of family and matrimonial matters, including divorce, financial remedies, co-habitation agreements and child maintenance. Having spent the majority of her career in Cambridge and the surrounding areas, Elisabeth has established strong connections and has been instructed by a wide range of clients in the region, including those from Cambridge University and the Biotech sector. Similarly to Roopa, Elisabeth is a member of Resolution’s Cambridge and West Suffolk regional group. Additionally, this year, Legal 500 acknowledged Elisabeth for being “particularly supportive emotionally and structurally”.

Since the Cambridge office opened in January 2017, it has continued to significantly grow its service offering  in response to increasing client demand in the region. This includes the appointment of David Thompson as a family partner in August last year. Roopa and Elisabeth will work closely with BDB Pitmans’ partner-led team in Cambridge, as well, as colleagues in BDB Pitmans’ offices across London, Reading and Southampton.

Roopa Ahluwalia, partner at BDB Pitmans, says of her appointment: “It is an exciting prospect to be joining BDB Pitmans which has made its mark in the Cambridge region. I look forward to contributing to the growth of its family and matrimonial department and to working closely with the impressive calibre of experts that BDB Pitmans has on its roster.”

The new appointments coincide with BDB Pitmans’ promotion of the following two legal directors to partners within the corporate team, Robert Chidley and Tessa Trevelyan Thomas. Both have a wealth of experience in corporate finance and transactional matters. BDB Pitmans’ agriculture and rural property team has also been further strengthened by the promotion of Paddy Lynam to partner. Paddy has a particular expertise in bloodstock law and works closely with the firm’s wider private wealth department, consisting of 8 partners and 45 fee-earners.

Andrew Smith, managing partner of BDB Pitmans, comments: “It is a pleasure to welcome Roopa Ahluwalia and Elisabeth Sneade to BDB Pitmans’ Cambridge office. We have established a strong foothold in the region and this is a reflection of our continued commitment to growing our offering in Cambridge in line with growing client demand.

"I would also like to warmly congratulate Tessa, Robert and Paddy on joining the partnership – all richly deserved promotions. These promotions reflect our commitment to growing talent within all our offices.”



BDB Pitmans was established in 2018 following a merger between legacy firms Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) and Pitmans Law. The firm brings together over 300 years of legal expertise across four locations – Cambridge, London, Reading and Southampton.

BDB Pitmans