Head of Family and Director

Rachel Horman-Brown

Head of Family & Director

Winner – Family Law Partner of the Year 2014

Rachel Horman-Brown is a Director & Solicitor and the head of the Family Department. She specialises in cases of domestic abuse and stalking with a very fast growing niche practice in cases involving coercive control. Her reputation extends beyond the firm’s North of England base across the UK and overseas. A leading family law barrister has described Rachel’s approach as having a

“protective imperative running through all her work”.

Rachel is known for her ability to recognise coercive control cases even when the victim may not fully realise it and strives to ensure that the court recognise coercive control for the high risk factor that it is – something which is still woefully lacking as Judges often ignore the non-physical abuse even though it is a far more reliable indicator of homicide than physical violence. Rachel deals with particularly complex and high-profile cases, with clients travelling from all ends of the UK to see her for advice and representation, based on her reputation in the area of coercive control and staking cases particularly in the family courts. A recent client’s testimonial on social media is typical of the feedback Rachel receives:

“Rachel Horman-Brown has changed my life. More importantly that of my child. I will never be able to thank her enough. She should indeed be recognised.”

Throughout her career she has worked at the forefront of campaigns for domestic abuse and stalking legislation, Rachel is the Chair of Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy Service who campaigned to create a specific criminal offence of coercive control and continues to advise the government and police in relation to these issues. Rachel has sat on All Party Parliamentary Groups for Domestic Violence and Stalking & Harassment and was invited to give evidence to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights about Domestic Violence and Forced Marriage in the House of Lords. Rachel was also involved in the successful campaign to increase the sentence for stalking form 5 years to 10 years. She continues to regularly advise the Home Office and legislatures out of the jurisdiction in relation to legislation and guidance on coercive control and stalking Rachel’s work has been recognised with many national awards, including the 2012 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award and 2014 Jordan’s Family Partner of the Year Award. In 2016 Rachel was highly commended as Woman Lawyer of the Year at the National Law Society Excellence Awards. Judges said they wanted to

“recognise technical excellence and exceptional leadership and wanted to highly commend one person because of her work on stalking and coercive control and domestic violence legislation, which has had considerable impact and raised awareness despite lack of proper funding – she has changed the lives of many women across the country”.

In 2016 Rachel won the Eva Women in Business Award and in 2019 she was shortlisted for the Centre for Women’s Justice/Emma Humphries Award for her work in coercive control. Rachel is widely regarded as the go to solicitor regarding cases of coercive control and stalking, harassment and cyberstalking with a national client base of high profile clients.

Contact Details


25-29 Victoria Street

Email: Rachel.Horman-Brown@watsonramsbottom.com

Telephone: 01254 67 22 22

Awards and Accreditations


  • Coercive control and children
  • Stalking and cyber stalking
  • Domestic abuse
  • Honour based violence
  • Private and public law children cases
  • Actions against the police


Rachel has created a number of short informative videos as part of our WR Insights series

Head of Family and Director

Head of Family and Director

Head of Family and Director

Head of Family and Director


“Rachel taught me to be a stronger woman!”

Rachel Horman-Brown was my solicitor a good few years ago now, back when I thought zero about myself, and had no self confidence at all. I got to know Rachel through the work she was doing, building a case against my despicable ex-partner.

This lady helped me to see that my worth was huge, that I actually mean something in this life; I couldn’t have had a better adviser.

I thank Rachel for many things in my life, I have to say being strong is one of my biggest qualities, and Rachel is one of the people to thank for that, she never let me give up, even when I was at my weakest and terrified.

Due to the advice, & support from Rachel and her team, I am now living the best life I can.

Thank you so very much Rachel. You are the North West’s guardian angel.

“Very satisfied client!”

I highly recommend Rachel for her competent, fully researched, legal advice and case preparation.

She instantly identifies the fundamental legal issues leaving her client confident that they are in safe hands thus reducing their stress.

I was regularly updated on, and included in, the progress of my case and she sourced an excellent, relevant and robust barrister to represent me in court.

“You can do no better than to choose Rachel”

I had been the victim of emotional and mental abuse from a person well known to me for many years. I had tried to deal with it myself, but this approach was not working and I was suffering a lot of heartache, dread, anxiety.
I had started to question myself, even though I knew deep down that their actions, although subtle to an outsider, were deeply manipulative, controlling, and obsessive. I was worried about whether anyone would take me seriously or believe me, so I had avoided confronting the issue through the legal channels.

I was very anxious due to the most recent incident, and unsure how to find a solicitor to help me. I started doing searches and found Rachel Horman on the Watson Ramsbottom website. I had not done any more research at this time. It was gut instinct that she might be able to help me.
I initially spoke with her legal secretary Sharon Short who was extremely calming and approachable. This communication happened very quickly, she answered all my questions and everything I needed to do at that point regarding speaking with Rachel was clearly explained to me. I felt confident to engage Rachel’s services because of Sharon’s genuine enthusiasm for Rachel’s work and what Rachel stands for.

I asked more about Rachel’s experience. I had not realised at the time how specialised Rachel is in this area of expertise, having advised parliament committees on the issues surrounding stalking law and the previous Jack of legal assistance to help all those suffering at the hands of a perpetrator.
Rachel was most professional and so easy to talk with, it was like talking to a good friend. She really listens and accurately perceived why I was so frightened. Rachel did not rush me. I found her to be genuinely caring and on the victim’s side. She sees many types of abuse and I feel glad that my gut instinct led me to her door. I know I cannot control another person’s behaviour, however, knowing that I have the voice of a brilliant and highly sought after solicitor on my side has enabled me to stand in my power and stand up to the abuser.

I have no hesitation recommending Watson Ramsbottom. Everything has been clearly explained to me. If you are scared, or feel it is time to stand in your own power and defend yourself against an abuser, you can do no better than to choose Rachel Horman.

“I highly recommend Rachel”

Rachel Horman understood my partners fairly subtle, but devastating coercive control from the outset where two other Solicitors and Barristers hadn’t.

She had fresh ideas and strategies to turn my difficult situation around. Rachel found a barrister in a different league to the others ‘a fighter’ she said, and under Rachel’s management, over a number of months and 6 days in court we did successfully fight and win the case. Now my daughter lives with me and has contact with her mother.

Rachel had excellent knowledge, judgement and experience and wasn’t afraid of being appropriately aggressive. She’s approachable, and was always quickly available to talk by phone.

Surprisingly, our being opposite ends of the country wasn’t an issue, we never needed to meet in person. I highly recommend Rachel and will definitely be using her again if I need help.

“Rachel helped me believe in myself”

Rachel Horman dealt with my initial enquiry quickly and calmly. Her knowledge and experience of safety planning and offering practical advice for the victim and children of Domestic Abuse, was excellent.

She helped me believe in myself and gave me the confidence to put measures in place quickly regarding childcare arrangements, which were being violated due to COVID-19.

“Thanks to Rachel for listening”

I don’t know what will happen in the future but today I feel something that I have not felt in a very long time. I don’t feel so scared now.

“I cannot recommend Rachel highly enough!”

I do not think it is too strong to say that Rachel saved us, her meticulous attention to detail allowed the judge to see the whole picture despite there being no direct physical evidence she clearly demonstrated a pat- tern of serious coercive control.

I cannot thank her enough for the support and dedication she provided during the most difficult and stressful times of my life. We achieved the best result possible in court and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

“A pleasure!”

It was a pleasure to deal with Rachel Horman-Brown.

Rachel was honest, open and offered constructive advice on my case. She was very responsive to any questions or concerns that I had and dealt with it the same day.

“Rachel saved us”

I do not think it is too strong to say that Rachel saved us, her meticulous attention to detail allowed the judge to see the whole picture despite there being no direct physical evidence she clearly demonstrated a pattern of serious coercive control.

I cannot thank her enough for the support and dedication she provided during the most difficult and stressful times of my life. We achieved the best result possible in court and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

“Rachel is an expert in her field”

Rachel Horman-Brown is an expert in her field. She is diligent, thoughtful and her knowledge of domestic abuse and stalking legislation is of superior quality.

Her team are equally as efficient and I would highly recommend them.

A Practical Guide to Coercive Control

Rachel has also recently published a book to assist victims on the family courts dealing with issues of coercive control as these are often dealt with badly by many courts

The book has received many positive reviews, being described by one barrister as

“a brilliant guide” 

A solicitor stated

“What Rachel Horman-Brown doesn’t know about coercive control isn’t worth knowing, she is a nationally recognised expert…..I cant recommend it highly enough”

and a victim commenting

“thank you for giving me the words to describe what I’m going through”

Rachel’s book is available to buy here

TV Appearances

Rachel also undertakes regular TV and radio work having featured on the Today Programme on Radio 4, Radio 2 News, Radio Lancashire, Radio Manchester, BBC News Channel, BBC Breakfast, Sky News and Channel 4 News and Crimewatch as well as being quoted in the national and local press.

Head of Family and Director

BBC Breakfast – Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse Solicitor on BBC Breakfast News 22 January 2014 discussing proposed new legislation to make domestic abuse a criminal offence

Head of Family and Director

Sky News – Forced Marriage

Solicitor Rachel Horman discussing a recent report detailing that British Citizens who are victims of forced marriage are being made to pay for their own rescue and repatriation to the UK.

Head of Family and Director

Sky News – Signs of Domestic Abuse

Rachel Horman discussing training for NHS staff to recognise the signs of domestic abuse Sky News.

Head of Family and Director

BBC Breakfast – Stalking

Solicitor Rachel Horman speaking on BBC Breakfast News on Thursday 7th April 2016 discussing stalking legislation and the protection of stalking victims and the circumstances surrounding the case of stalking victim Mandy Dunford.

Head of Family and Director

BBC Crimewatch – The Blame Game

Online dating sites are increasingly becoming the way that many of us form new relationships and as a lawyer specialising in stalking and Chair of the National Stalking Advocacy Service I was asked by BBC Crimewatch to discuss the risks for users of these sites.

Head of Family and Director

BBC – News at 10

Rachel Horman-Brown speaks to special correspondent Ed Thomas as part of a documentary on stalking and the increase of such offences throughout the pandemic – 14th July 2021

Head of Family and Director

LBC – Shelagh Fogarty

Rachel Horman-Brown appears on LBC, talking to Shelagh Fogarty – 16th March 2021

Head of Family and Director

ITV Tonight – Tech Abuse

Rachel Horman-Brown appears on ITV Tonight 9th January 2020

Head of Family and Director

Channel 4 – Stalking

Rachel Horman-Brown speaking on Channel 4 News feature 29th April 2019 discussing the case of stalking victim Justene Reece and the report of the Independent Office for Police Conduct in to the circumstances which led her to take her own life as a result of the stalking and harassment she suffered.

Head of Family and Director

Talk TV – 20th Feb 2024

Rachel Horman-Brown speaks about stalking on Talk TV with Jeremy Kyle and Rosie Wright

To view all of Rachel’s TV appearences please visit her website where you can find a comprehensive playlist.

Radio and Print

Rachel is also often asked to speak on local and national radio

You can also listen to Rachel’s radio interviews and panel discussions on her podcast feed here or via her podcast on iTunes

LISTEN: Apple Podcasts

Rachel is also regularly interviewed by local, regional and national press, providing expert insight into issues regarding Coercive Control and Stalking

Read ON Rachel's Blog

Additional Links