Welcome to the Spear’s Indices

Each issue of Spear’s Magazine contains an exclusive Index prepared by the experts at the Spear’s Research Unit identifying the very best providers of professional services to the high net worth audience. Comprehensive, authoritative and indispensible, these are the definitive lists of the top HNW advisers in Britain working in property, family law, wealth management, tax and trust, alternative assets and reputation management. Once a year the Indices are updated and expanded to form the core of the Spear’s 500, the bible of HNW advisers. Go to the drop down menu below for the latest indices of top professionals from the Spear’s Research Unit

Quick Search

Family Lawyers 2017

MOST RECENT: Family Lawyers 2017

SUSAN APTHORP

SEARS TOOTH

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Susan Apthorp is both Ray Tooth’s right-hand woman and ‘an outstanding family law solicitor’ in her own right. When Spear’s meets the pair, they brim with bonhomie and finish each other’s sentences. However, there’s no doubt that Apthorp has attained an unique eminence in family law out of her own hard work and abilities: ‘She has a depth and breadth of experience not available elsewhere in London — her track record speaks for itself,’ one QC enthuses. Apthorp, who joined Sears Tooth as a partner in 2008, specialises in complex financial remedy cases, jurisdictional battles and private law children cases. She is valued by the high number of HNWs she advises for her ‘sound judgment, tenacity and her ability to resolve matters’. She says big firms are passing on the most time-consuming cases due to their complexity. ‘Unlike many larger firms we are interested in pursuing novel points of law, […]

TOBY ATKINSON

STEWARTS LAW

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘Over the past twelve months I’ve been engaged predominantly on two very HNW cases,’ says Toby Atkinson. ‘One of £200 million, which was resolved in mediation, and the other — with total assets of £80 million — was resolved through negotiation.’ Both matters involved the issue of ‘special contribution’, and Atkinson is pleased that in both instances he was able to avoid court. ‘One of the most interesting things we’re seeing is couples electing to go private — either arbitrate or have private FDRs [financial dispute resolutions] — because the court system is broken. We’re at the forefront of the arbitration movement, and it’s what our clients are looking for.’ Stewarts Law, with its strength in litigation, is a natural forum for arbitration. For Atkinson the benefits are clear: the chance to choose an arbitrator; confidentiality; and a speed of decision-making no longer possible in a court system suffering from […]

CAMILLA BALDWIN

CAMILLA BALDWIN

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

When Camilla Baldwin took some time off to have her children twelve years ago, the founder of the eponymous niche law firm sat for a time as an immigration judge. It’s that drive which has led the straight-talking Baldwin, who learned the ropes at Kingsley Napley and Withers, to the top. She first worked with Diana Parker and Charles Doughty on (in her own words) ‘extraordinary cases’ involving Greek shipping billionaires, European royalty and in one instance, acting for the wife of a Nigerian tribal chief (‘He was as rich as Croesus until I came along,’ she previously told Spear’s). She’s also noted an increase over the years in male clients ‘grumbling’ about lifelong maintenance to spouses. Nowadays, Baldwin’s practice has earned a strong reputation. In particular she has seen a rise in advice on postnups involving two types of clients: those who tie the knot for immigration purposes and […]

CATHERINE BEDFORD

HARBOTTLE & LEWIS

Top Ten Family Lawyers

A first-choice solicitor for high-flying CEOs, investment bankers, sports stars and entertainers, Catherine Bedford made her name by building Lee & Thompson’s family practice from the ground up. In a major move, she has just brought her entire team to Harbottle & Lewis, known for its privacy work with UK and international royalty. Bedford is experienced in exposing and defending trusts, and is also rare in her ability to assist fathers in obtaining sole residency orders in their favour. The warm and engaging Canadian isn’t afraid to get tough when necessary, although her emphasis remains on reducing stress and emotional turmoil — a goal furthered by arbitration. Such soothing hardly aligns with many people’s preconceptions about family lawyers. ‘You’ll almost get this rather hostile response: “How can you do that job? How can you profit from other people’s misery?”’ she says. ‘If I thought I was profiting from misery I […]

NICHOLAS BENNETT

FARRER & CO

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Nicholas Bennett moved from the bar to Farrer’s five years ago and is ‘on the way to being one of their main partners in the coming years’, says an industry observer, who praises his ‘thoughtful and measured approach and enormous intellectual capacity’. The cerebral practitioner (he lectures at Oxford University) deploys this intelligence in a wide range of work, specialising in prenups and international divorce disputes, which dovetails with a talent for languages (he speaks French, German and Italian — a handy skill in multi-jurisdictional matters). Prenups comprise 60 per cent of Bennett’s work. He is working on a £100 million case involving a self-made businessman where the validity of a prenup is being contested. ‘We’re saying it’s iron-clad and they want it ignored,’ he says, with the air of a man experienced in these matters. Bennett is also a thought-leader in the prenup field, and believes that they should […]

GILLIAN BISHOP

FAMILY LAW IN PARTNERSHIP

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Unassuming and personable, Gillian Bishop is notable for the way she eschews the trappings of big-money cases. She says the larger firms are overstretched and now their chickens are coming home: ‘I think there is a tendency among some firms and individuals to opt for litigation because it makes more money,’ she says, pointing to the targets systems that often act as a driver. ‘Clients are becoming a lot more canny about that, and really don’t want to be paying over the odds for their lawyers if they don’t have to.’ She highlights an alternative in FLiP’s offering: ‘Whether it’s to arbitrate, mediate, collaborate, litigate or negotiate, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.’ Author of A Client’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce, Bishop co-founded FLiP in 1995 with a mission ‘to provide a distinctive, client-focused family law service’. Well-known and respected by peers (and appreciated by clients) for her empathy and expertise, […]

ZOE BLOOM

KEYSTONE LAW

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Zoe Bloom wins the admiration of her peers, one of whom says that she would instruct the ‘formidably tenacious’ lawyer herself if she were going through a divorce. Bloom is also valued for her ‘pithy and straight-talking’ personality. Her international client base includes cutting-edge business minds: a typical Bloom client is as likely to hold a portion of their assets in Bitcoins as in trust funds. She’s also a lawyer for the ‘dynamic next generation,’ says one peer. Spear’s is not surprised to find that Bloom’s caseload is notably complex: she points humorously to the ‘narcissistic, borderline personalities on the other side’. She specialises in steering her clients through the highly emotive terrain of litigation: ‘It’s absolutely mental but very fulfilling,’ she says. Bloom notes that there is now a culture clash between the ‘older school of judges’, who are in favour of joint lives maintenance and bigger sums for […]

CHARLOTTE BRADLEY

KINGSLEY NAPLEY

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Charlotte Bradley’s emphasis is on the humanity essential to the family lawyer, and she aims to stay pragmatic, especially when emotions are running high. ‘Of course it’s important that you remain calm and objective like a GP to a certain extent,’ she explains, ‘but you have to have empathy for them [the client] and their situation, otherwise you wouldn’t be a good family lawyer.’ One peer rates Bradley’s ‘excellent client care skills’, while another regards her as ‘an intelligent lawyer who never takes aggressive action unnecessarily’. Bradley is among the more mediation-oriented on this list, especially in one of her areas of expertise, Brussels II, concerning family law cases in EU states. She is also well known for handling financial disputes, as well as for relocation and surrogacy matters. Sometimes the results surpass her expectations: in a recent case a couple, after going through mediation over children’s proceedings, returned to […]

LINZI BULL

HARBOTTLE & LEWIS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

In keeping with the firm she practises at, Linzi Bull’s clients often have a high profile in the media or business. She is a trusted port of call for these rarefied HNWs who tend to stick with the firm from cradle to grave. Bull has seen an increase in prenups and postnups. ‘When I started doing them it was for the wealthy, but nowadays more and more people want to protect particular assets: it’s definitely not an unusual instruction.’ That work sits alongside her alternative families practice. ‘My work is extremely varied,’ she says. ‘I am currently acting in a High Court case fought across two jurisdictions, where the validity of the marriage is in dispute; an alternative family case which has spent years in difficult and protracted High Court litigation; and a financial remedy case where we are arguing about issues such as telescoping and sham trusts.’ Another recent […]

ALEX CARRUTHERS

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Most of us have heard of faking your own death, but never faking your own divorce. Alex Carruthers has, at least in the case of one client: a wife whose husband claimed to have ended their marriage in a Russian court. ‘It makes it very difficult not to say, “That’s a fake! And in an English court you shouldn’t accept that!”’ he has told Spear’s. Carruthers is relaxed about this firm’s reputation for being litigious. ‘If you don’t like litigation, frankly you shouldn’t be a family lawyer,’ he says. Spear’s finds that honesty bracing, but it doesn’t mean Carruthers is unable to pursue other routes if he thinks the case demands: ‘You’ve got to be able to say, “Right: mediate. Right: arbitrate.”’ Sometimes his inspiration for these approaches is practical: for instance, he was speaking to Spear’s after a wasted afternoon at court where the judge dismissed his team due […]

DEBBIE CHISM

STEWARTS LAW

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

When Debbie Chism last spoke to Spear’s she told us that she had a client who resembled James Bond. ‘I’m now working for people who would hire James Bond,’ she says, laughing. Chism is a natural choice for such clients, not just for her technical skills but also for the creativity she can bring. She is also enthusiastic about the possibilities of the collaborative approach: ‘The clients are really empowered and feel in control, and the lawyers work as a team.’ Last year was another blockbuster for Chism, who is also part of the wider Stewarts Law success story, the result of a ‘happy ship full of energy, drive and real determination to get the best’. So while Chism would be the first to admit she’s been in the right place at the right time, it has also been a tale of considerable hard work: she has worked on a […]

SANDRA DAVIS

MISHCON DE REYA

Top Ten Family Lawyers

A veteran of family law’s top set for more than a quarter of a century, Sandra Davis is described by one peer as a ‘fantastic lawyer who does her utmost for clients’. She took over as head of Mishcon de Reya’s family department in 1981 and has an impressive list of previous clients, including Princess Diana, Jerry Hall, Tamara Mellon and Thierry Henry. The big cases keep on coming. In 2014, she achieved the largest divorce settlement ever awarded — a cool £337 million — for the wife of a high-profile hedge fund manager. In the past year, Davis acted on two widely reported cases — Juffali v Estrada and Thakkar v Thakkar — the latter on behalf of the wife of Africa’s so-called ‘youngest billionaire’, who originally disclosed assets worth less than £500,000. Following a five-day hearing in February, the judge in the case found the husband to be […]

DEBORAH EATON QC

1 King Bench Walk Chambers

Top Five Barristers

‘There’s no better counsel for HNW private children law matters — a brilliant strategist and plan executioner,’ says one colleague of Deborah Eaton, a legend of the family bar with a refreshingly wholesome and practical approach to children’s cases. ‘I’m a problem-solver and I will find a solution that fits best,’ she says. ‘When we walk away from cases, the family have to carry on. I look at what I can preserve and what my red lines are, rather than just steamrollering. I’m not interested in being destructive.’ Eaton, who has just won a case at the Bermuda Court of Appeal, is a trailblazer in family law. She single-handedly redefined the law regarding care-sharing following a number of cases in 2011 and 2012, including K v K — this time at the UK Court of Appeal — in which she challenged the old-fashioned approach which loaded international relocation cases in […]

MIRANDA FISHER

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Recently appointed head of Charles Russell Speechlys’ Middle East family division, Miranda Fisher has been busy racking up air miles to the likes of Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE. The sums crossing her desk are vast, as one might expect from a lawyer dealing with asset protection and nuptial agreements in the Persian Gulf, but so are the sensitivities: one of her first duties in the role was to give evidence to the Home Affairs select committee on Sharia councils — a testament to her leadership on the subject. Oligarchs and professional sportsmen were already beating a path to the door of the insightful Fisher before 2014’s Luckwell v Limata, a ‘very difficult’ case in which she helped the husband win a fairer settlement and established ‘three, arguably four’ potentially important precedents along the way (according to one leading QC) as the wife tried and failed to defend the harsh […]

ED FLOYD

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

Family Law Rising Stars

Credited by leading silks as ‘head and shoulders’ above peers, Ed Floyd is growing a name in the profession. One even notes that he displays outstanding forensic and client care abilities ‘way beyond his years’. The momentum Floyd has built is reflected in his schedule. He is currently preparing a ‘complex, big-money’ case listed for a fifteen-day High Court hearing in November. He was also recently lead senior associate in the reported case of T v T, which focused on the use of the Brussels IIa Regulation to transfer a financial claim across EU jurisdictions. Other highlights include his work as lead associate with heavyweight partner James Stewart in securing a needs-based settlement for one Middle Eastern UHNW with assets over £1 billion. Much of his caseload carries an Anglo-Russian dimension, enabling him to draw upon his Russian language skills (he is also fluent in French). ‘The work is endlessly […]

STEPHEN FOSTER

STEWARTS LAW

Top Ten Family Lawyers

The head of family law at Stewarts Law has returned refreshed from a sabbatical to New Zealand, and when Spear’s meets him he looks content after a decade of unmatched success at the top of family law. Clients include City entrepreneurs, businessmen and ‘a sprinkling of well-known figures from media and the arts’, who value speed, confidentially, control over their own affairs and certainty, with assets often stretching into the hundreds of millions or even billions. His clients’ needs? ‘Business people like clarity and certainty and are not encouraged when the court cannot even agree whether the family proceedings are “quintessentially private” [as said Mr Justice Mostyn] or should be held in open court, as Mr Justice Holman says. It’s rather like a modern day papal schism,’ he says. That last comment is instructive. Stephen Foster is a renaissance man with a wide frame of reference, and he balances this […]

JAMES FREEMAN

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘When a case is terribly interesting for a lawyer it’s a curse, because it’s usually horrific for everyone else involved,’ says the formidable James Freeman, who has had another busy year pursuing his specialism of complex cases on behalf of HNWs. His work might encompass anything from international issues, offshore assets and trusts to hidden assets and the construction of sophisticated financial settlements. Although Freeman relishes the intellectual challenges of his work, it’s the human element that first attracted him to family law. ‘The satisfying thing is when you get someone out of a hole and wake up the next day thinking, “I did something that counted.”’ He receives praise from colleagues. ‘He is a great tactician who drills down into complex situations with ease and aplomb,’ says one. Another praises his common sense and ‘outstanding ability to understand complicated business interests and financial arrangements’. As outspoken as he is […]

MICHAEL GLASER

FOURTEEN

Top Five Barristers

Being a top matrimonial barrister comes down to ‘judgement, humility and not forgetting it’s your client’s case,’ says Michael Glaser, a silk-in-the-making who is modest and friendly despite his formidable reputation. ‘It’s also about understanding that things in the real world are not as straightforward as a legal textbook. People do things for a multitude of reasons,’ he adds. An ex-banker and commercial solicitor, Glaser crossed over to the bar in 1998. It’s a decision he’s unlikely to have regretted. Success has come in a range of family work, including cohabitation disputes and proceedings involving children. He is also one of the supreme practitioners in cases of matrimonial finance. ‘Michael is a shrewd tactician and a tenacious advocate. You are always pleased when he is on your side and disappointed when he is representing your opponent. He is intelligent, hugely perceptive and never fails to notice any details, no matter […]

CLAIRE GORDON

FARRER & CO

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

  ‘Family lawyers have to be both intellectually and emotionally astute,’ says Claire Gordon, who fits the bill and is charming to boot. She’s certainly won over colleagues, who describe her as ‘a good tactician’ and ‘a sensible, calm and reassuring presence who grasps complex issues quickly and is trusted by her clients’. Gordon covers a broad range of issues, including divorce, complex financial settlements involving trust and international aspects, private law children matters, as well as civil partnerships and international prenups and postnups. She has (‘unwittingly’, she says) carved out a niche working on complex private equity cases, for which she has an obvious relish. The past year has been spent on a huge case (‘it’s fascinating’) advising a top international private equity company in relation to a billion-dollar investment in the context of the divorce of one of their senior figures. ‘It’s never dull,’ she insists. Gordon’s clients […]

LUCY GOULD

STEWARTS LAW

Family Law Rising Stars

‘A rising star among her peers in this field of law,’ Lucy Gould is a name increasingly breathed with respect by senior solicitors and barristers alike. Withers-qualified and with valuable experience in Hong Kong (‘People litigate hard there, not like they do here’), Gould developed an interest in complicated trust arrangements. Her early experience was broad: ‘I was doing a mixture of finance, international and children work. While on the LPC I spent time working as a volunteer at Refuge on research into forced marriage just as the Forced Marriage Act came into force.’ This natural litigator saw major litigation up close as a trainee in the high-profile Tchenguiz v Imerman case. Gould recently assisted a high-profile CEO in contested financial remedy proceedings concerning assets and tax across three jurisdictions and was resolved through arbitration, avoiding the risk of major press interest for the client. Gould initially went to ballet […]

MICHAEL GOURIET

WITHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘Most family lawyers really ought to be able to resolve things through negotiation,’ says the impressive Michael Gouriet. Gouriet is speaking in relation to a major settlement in a £1 billion Middle Eastern case, just one major piece of work in a banner year. Gouriet conducts work on behalf of international families, with an increasing number of cases involving third-party intervention from trustees and companies. ‘The rich are extremely rich,’ Gouriet observes, ‘and inevitably will structure their wealth to preserve it for generations.’ In this vein he is active on a great deal of high-end prenup work: in the past year, for instance, he handled a matter involving assets held across England, Switzerland, Germany and Brazil. Another area of expertise for Gouriet is cohabitation — he is the longest-serving member of Resolution and is a firm advocate of reform. He emphasises the need to be creative: ‘A lot of cases now […]

MARK HARPER

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘I’ve had clients sobbing hysterically when I said, “You have to file for divorce right now,”’ says family law heavyweight Mark Harper. He is speaking in the context of a post-Brexit Great Repeal Bill, which he hopes may end the so-called race to court which can arise between EU jurisdictions over divorce. However, Harper cannot be convincingly pegged as a pure Brexit optimist. Should the Brussels II regulations governing the ‘race to court’ be scrapped, Harper suspects an expensive ‘fight over where to fight about money’ might ensue. ‘That fight could take six to eight months, could cost several hundred thousand pounds, and once that’s finished, assuming the court says you can continue the proceedings in London, you then have a fight about how the assets are divided,’ says the cross-border expert. Harper says his overall strategy is in ‘understanding the psychology of the spouse on the other side. But […]

EMMA HATLEY

STEWARTS LAW

Top Ten Family Lawyers

‘Emma Hatley is a young partner, already handling some of the wealthiest clients in London and from abroad,’ says a peer. ‘She is an excellent negotiator and has a phenomenal grasp on the facts of the case.’ That view is echoed throughout the world of family law: there is no doubt that Hatley, previously a star in the making, is now a bona fide top-ranker. Another peer points to her ‘no-nonsense approach, mixed with charm’. When Spear’s talks to Hatley, she exhibits an infectious love of her job, which isn’t surprising as she has some of the best work out there. In the past year she has been active on a range of important work, including a major piece of litigation in which she acted for a number of large corporations joined to family proceedings. ‘My past ten months have been spent defending offshore structures; the majority of my practice […]

ELIZABETH HICKS

IRWIN MITCHELL

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘Liz is a real star and will move heaven and earth for her clients,’ says a colleague of the dynamic Hicks, who was shortlisted for Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year in 2016. ‘What I bring is a mix of empathy and practicality,’ says Hicks, speaking in tones which will doubtless have soothed many a distressed client. ‘I don’t shy away from giving advice but they know I’m always there for them. And they love my voice — it’s probably the Welsh accent.’ She may be soft-spoken, but Hicks is a formidable defender of HNW assets. Head of department for more than a decade now, she has had another busy year including three reported cases, a number of international prenups and cohabitation disputes, and numerous unreported cases in the High Court Family Division concerning jurisdiction disputes, financial remedy, leave to remove applications and contested Children Act cases. A fellow of […]

FRANCES HUGHES

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

Top Ten Family Lawyers

‘Frances is a fighter,’ says a contemporary. It’s a word used often about Hughes, but in her meeting with Spear’s her calm and gentle manner is different from what one would have expected, given her reputation for fierce litigation prowess. A solicitor of 36 years’ standing, the founding partner of HFC has had a ‘fantastically busy’ twelve months, including the leviathan six-month-long case Estrada v Juffali, in which her socialite client was awarded ‘the highest calibration of reasonable need’ by an English court. It was a success in a case of immense complexity, in which the husband was a billionaire sheikh with diplomatic immunity who was also on his deathbed. ‘If he had died at any point she’d have had no claims,’ Hughes says of her client. But cooperation between judges resulted in a timely judgement: ‘The speed with which we got through that process was very unusual,’ she recalls. […]

SARAH HUTCHINSON

Farrer & Co

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘As a parent, I have a huge amount of respect for any other parent. You have to think about what is the best outcome for the entire family.’ This is the empathetic attitude that drives Sarah Hutchinson, who is known for both high-end divorce work and complex leave to remove applications. Hutchinson is alive to the emotive aspects of the children side of her practice. ‘If one parent wishes to move to America, even with FaceTime and Skype and so forth, things are better than they were, but it’s still a huge deal and very fiercely fought. Either you will move to America or you won’t.’ Hutchinson, a new partner at Farrer’s, also handles child abduction matters and has contacts across numerous jurisdictions. ‘I’ve had two maternity leaves in the past five years, which in many respects is sort of research,’ she jokes. Hutchinson’s notable cases include KG v LG, […]

DAVINA KATZ

SCHILLINGS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

When Davina Katz left Mishcon de Reya to join Schillings in 2009, she was by far the youngest head of a family law department in London. Known for her ‘utmost professionalism and excellence’ according to a peer, today she’s a star solicitor to A-list celebrities, blue-chip entrepreneurs and gilded names from the banking, private equity and hedge fund arenas. She has made important contributions to family law in reported cases such as Vince v Wyatt and Abuchian v Khojah. She leads a formidable team focused on big-ticket litigation, but you’ll need at least ‘30 or 40 million’ at stake to get Katz involved. Does anything still shock her? ‘I’m seeing a lot of male clients at the moment with stupendous amounts of money — hundreds of millions — who’ve been married for twenty years who just appear to be bored,’ she says. ‘It’s one thing if you’ve met someone or […]

JANE KEIR

KINGSLEY NAPLEY

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

A high-calibre practitioner with an enviable client base, Keir became Kingsley Napley’s senior partner in May 2013 after 26 years at the firm. Unlike most senior partners, she’s hardly winding down, instead splitting her executive and legal roles 50:50 and continuing to specialise in complex cross-border financial and children’s cases. Speaking to Spear’s at the height of the spring ‘prenup season’ (before the summer weddings), she explains how she puts legal jargon and ‘fancy terms’ to one side with clients: ‘I say, “If I could wave a magic wand, what would you like to do?”’ This, says Keir, releases their inhibitions and can make clients think about their needs from the start. She’s noticed a generational shift: ‘It’s really interesting watching them try to protect the wealth that dad and the immediate family have built up — and that’s why I think prenups are becoming more and more common. It’s […]

SUZANNE KINGSTON

WITHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

  Suzanne Kingston is passionate about keeping clients out of court when possible, so much so that she’s known as ‘the Queen of ADR’ (alternative dispute resolution). It was Kingston, in fact, who introduced family law arbitration training to England and Wales. The Spear’s 2015 Family Lawyer of the Year prides herself on her creative approach. ‘Each individual presents a unique issue and it’s about thinking outside the box, giving different options and helping them reach a solution via court, mediation or arbitration,’ she says. Kingston, described as ‘sensible, approachable and fair, and tough when she needs to be’ by a colleague, relishes variety in her practice. Highly regarded for her handling of complex and often international financial issues for HNWs, in the past year she has advised an HNW family on legal issues involving money and children, and worked on numerous big divorces, prenups, mediations and arbitrations. Clients, who […]

AMY KISSER

QEB

Family Law Rising Stars

QEB’s rising star Amy Kisser is rated as ‘ferociously bright’ with an ability to ‘hold her own against any silk’ by peers. The engaging Oxford graduate is the new go-to junior barrister for complex financial cases, ‘with an ability to absorb and analyse a wealth of information that is second to none’. Kisser’s practice has an emphasis on matrimonial finance and private law children work. She tells Spear’s about a recent case in which she represented a British wife whose husband left for abroad with most of his assets transferred, ‘beyond the reach of his wife’, to third parties and offshore structures. ‘The difficulty was trying to unwind what he’d done,’ she says. Peers call her the ‘wunderkind’ lawyer who has a reputation as ‘someone who gets results’, so it’s not surprising to find that Kisser is often summoned against leading counsel on the other side. ‘It never stands still […]

RENATO LABI

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Renato Labi is a true litigator, described by peers as ‘tenacious’. It might be said that in pursuing a litigation-centric vein in family law he is working contrary to the prevailing trend, but he’s an experienced hand when it comes to big-ticket financial and children’s relocation cases, and is widely known for his forensic and assured approach. His skill-set has seen him act in some of family law’s biggest cases, not least 2010’s ground-breaking Imerman v Tchenguiz, a bitterly fought four-year battle that established the principles that spouses are not allowed to help themselves to private documents to help their case. He is currently acting in a number of reported cases, and is also involved alongside Frances Hughes (see page 70) in the monster case Estrada v Juffali. Labi, a cultured lawyer with a love of the arts, is at the crest of a wave of trusts-related litigation. Prenups is […]

KATHARINE LANDELLS

WITHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘I’m a geek,’ says Katharine Landells. ‘I love the technical aspect of my job and the human aspect of the job and how they come together.’ This love of detail, together with an ability to empathise with her clients, has led to a thriving practice: ‘My clients are my currency and their faith in me is my practice. I really pride myself on the relationships I build with clients, from the big to the small matters.’ Over the past year, Landells has been occupied with the monumental case of X v X, a highly contested case with high-profile clients and a complex trust aspect. She’s no stranger to big trust cases (she also acted on the legendary Charman v Charman) and has argued in her time for both the inviolability of a trust and the need to breach. These intellectual skills are always deployed for the same goal: ‘I aim […]

MELISSA LESSON

MISHCON DE REYA

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Unusually for a family lawyer, Melissa Lesson spent two years at the bar before joining Mishcon de Reya in 2000. Four years later, she worked with Sandra Davis (see page 69) on reported case Minwalla v Minwalla, in which the duo successfully challenged the husband’s motives for holding assets in foreign trusts and also addressed the enforcement of an English order against those trusts. Does she think a family lawyer’s role is well understood? ‘No. Many don’t consider it to be “real law” and don’t appreciate how much common sense, sympathy and empathy is required,’ she says. The fluent French-speaker increasingly acts for clients asking for prenups and wealth planning advice in the early stages of relationships. ‘It’s young people coming in of their own volition and saying, “What can I do to protect myself?”’ she has previously told Spear’s. In a climate that can easily turn contentious, Lesson’s clients […]

JULIAN LIPSON

WITHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Withers’ former head of family law has seen ‘a lot of bad-tempered litigation’ in the past year with an unprecedentedly high percentage of cases having gone to final hearings. Julian Lipson wonders whether the added heat has a ready explanation: economic turbulence following the EU referendum result. ‘Husbands are nervous about their financial prospects in a post-Brexit situation and not quite so happy-go-lucky,’ he says. Lipson specialises in domestic and international financial cases, many of which involve tax and trust implications, substantial assets or incomes. Prenups are also becoming increasingly common among HNWs and those set to inherit wealth. ‘It’s a realistic and healthy way to start a marriage,’ he states. ‘It doesn’t bode well if you are unable to communicate about things of this nature with your spouse.’ Originally a tax lawyer, Lipson moved into family law because he was attracted by the human and strategic element of the […]

DAVID LISTER

MISHCON DE REYA

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

  ‘There are two extremes in this work,’ says David Lister. ‘One is to do a clean, negotiated settlement — the utopia — and the other is when you have someone sticking two fingers up at the court and their partner. Then it’s gloves off. That’s the sort of hardcore, nasty stuff I do.’ This year marks three decades in matrimonial law for the formidable Lister, who has been a partner in Mishcon de Reya’s family department for almost a decade. He’s celebrating with a motorcycle road trip — and few deserve it more than he does. Lister specialises in complex HNW international financial and property cases which are often multi-jurisdictional and require asset-tracing and international enforcement. Lister operates in a rarefied world. An increasing number of Lister’s cases involve at least one party from overseas. He acts for both the weaker and stronger parties, which requires his masterful co-ordination […]

WILLIAM LONGRIGG

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

Top Ten Family Lawyers

It’s been an impressive journey for William Longrigg, from his humble beginnings as an articled clerk at Charles Russell in 1985 to his crowning as Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year in 2016. The multilingual lawyer specialises in multi-jurisdictional cases, often involving Europe and the US, Hong Kong and Australia. Longrigg is also a recent president of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. ‘This started off as a travel club for people who do big-money divorces. That has completely changed,’ he says, pointing to new areas the organisation covers, from surrogacy to child abduction and forced marriage. While leading conferences in Africa and UHNW hotspots, Longrigg also steered the organisation into a close relationship with the Hague Conference on International Law. It’s not just the IAFL that’s been in flux: ‘I have seen an extraordinary change in the work we’re doing over that period,’ he says, oozing old-school charm. ‘There’s […]

LEWIS MARKS QC

QEB

Top Five Barristers

One of the greats of the family bar, Lewis Marks deals predominantly with cases surrounding the valuation and liquidation of assets in divorce proceedings. It’s an area which has been in constant flux since White v White (2000), the landmark case in which the courts were instructed to assume an equal division of matrimonial assets on divorce. It can be a frustrating terrain to work in. ‘There’s too much of a strong tendency to think cash is the answer,’ says Marks. ‘How do you divide up a business which employs lots of people and give one party their share in cash? The answer is you can’t without destroying the business. The courts need to catch up, and a move away from cash is the next step.’ Who better to cope with these complications than Marks, of whom a peer says: ‘Marks is able to grasp the most complex issues extremely […]

WILLIAM MASSEY

FARRER & CO

Top Ten Family Lawyers

‘His clients love him,’ says one colleague of William Massey, Farrer’s gently spoken head of family, while another describes him as ‘a complete star: astute, incisive, creative and all-round excellent’. This praise is well deserved. It’s certainly been a very good year for Massey, including one case that he counts as a highlight even in his illustrious career. This was Goddard-Watts v Goddard-Watts, a financial remedies application following non-disclosure, which saw Massey win an extra £6.24 million for a client at a rehearing when a husband was found to have £21 million of undisclosed trust assets. A former corporate finance lawyer, Massey is known for his work on complex and often multi-jurisdictional financial cases, which he handles with sensitivity. ‘You have to firmly make sure they know you’re on their side and that you’re doing the best possible job anyone could do for them,’ says Massey. The real challenge is […]

MAGNUS MILL

ALEXIOU FISHER PHILIPPS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘Magnus Mill is your perfect lawyer,’ says one industry colleague, who praises him for seeing cases through cost-effectively, with minimal stress and absolute discretion. The AFP partner handles all aspects of family law for HNWs, and is involved in matters of unique complexity. A recent case involved complex offshore trusts as well as an enormous private art collection; in this instance, Mill coordinated lawyers, accountants and valuation experts from Switzerland and from North and South America, and deployed a level head to manage the acrimony between the couple involved. Another speciality for Mill is cohabitation cases, which are often ‘hard fought’ due to the lack of clarity in the law. ‘If society as a whole knew what the situation was as to the outcomes of cohabitation, people would make very different choices,’ he says. The whole area needs revision, he adds, and public awareness of the issue would, in Mill’s […]

PAUL NEWTON

CLINTONS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

  ‘No nonsense, no pretension, Paul is the absolute ‘What You See Is What You Get’ family lawyer. And what you get is an intelligent and excellent practitioner,’ a fellow solicitor says of the straight-talking Paul Newton. Since qualifying in 2003, Newton has specialised in the resolution of complex financial disputes arising from divorce, and pre- and postnups. A good family lawyer cuts through issues and doesn’t litigate for the sake of it, he explains, adding: ‘Clients are increasingly time- and costs-conscious these days, so you need to steer them to the things that matter.’ In keeping with Clintons’ ethos, Newton is a champion of arbitration. He has seen prenups move from the exotic to become de rigueur: ‘There’s much less stigma, and rightly so.’ Spear’s notes Newton’s passion for the job, a quality which he considers a necessary prerequisite. But Newton is also down-to-earth and realistic. ‘It’s about managing […]

CAROLINE PARK

HUGHES FOWLER CARRUTHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Five years at Freshfields mastering the nuances of corporate tax isn’t the standard route to a career in family law. But Caroline Park has broken the mould, both in her route to the top and in becoming the first partner at Hughes Fowler Carruthers to have come up through the ranks in around a decade. ‘My time at Freshfields equipped me for dealing with complicated structures,’ she says. ‘I made the move into family law in 2008 and I was fortunate then that HFC were willing to take a punt on me.’ Park’s skills align with the current direction of family law in which an understanding of complex structures is increasingly valuable. Park is equally at home hunting down assets for the weaker party or protecting them for the stronger, going, she says, ‘above and beyond’ for her clients. Park also enjoys the surprises of her profession, including being present […]

DIANA PARKER

WITHERS

Top Ten Family Lawyers

A mainstay of family law’s top tier for more than two decades, the former Withers chairman and Spear’s Family Lawyer of the Year Award winner is described by one pre-eminent peer as ‘three steps ahead of everyone else — counsel included’. Diana Parker enjoys one of the strongest reputations in the field for negotiating financial settlements for UHNWs out of court, and out of the press, typically at an early juncture — though she was also the driving force behind some of the best-known family law cases, including the 2006 House of Lords decision Miller and McFarlane and the Court of Appeal cases of Marano, Vaughan and Tchenguiz v Imerman. Her cases are invariably vast: not least Britain’s first billion-pound divorce, in which she spared Chris Hohn’s business from his final settlement. She takes Spear’s through the legal landscape with speed and acuity. ‘A rule that I do think is not […]

MAGGIE RAE

CLINTONS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘The grande dame of divorce’ is a favourite among high-profile HNWs, perhaps because she’s in favour of ‘civilised remedies that keep people’s lives private’. Maggie Rae’s modus operandi is to avoid court and go to mediation and arbitration whenever possible. ‘I’m very firmly of the view that people who pay tax and want to use the courts to resolve personal issues should not have to put up with having their names in the papers,’ explains the outspoken yet endearingly humble Rae, who made her name at Mishcon de Reya (where she represented Princess Diana) before joining Clintons in 1999. A successful mediation has always been the most satisfying part of her job, she says. ‘You see people come out, they haven’t spent a fortune and they’re talking to each other: it’s heartwarming.’ She says clients want more control and are less inclined to go for what she calls the ‘Rolls-Royce’ […]

LUNED REES WILLIAMS

CAMILLA BALDWIN

Family Law Rising Stars

Since joining in January 2017, Luned Rees Williams has become an important figure at Camilla Baldwin. She was plunged ‘straight in at the deep end’, conducting a case in the High Court, with the formidable Fiona Shackleton on the other side. It’s a measure of her ability that she emerged from this baptism of fire uncharred. ‘We’re good at giving practical and tactical advice,’ she says, demonstrating the ‘quiet confidence and reassurance’ for which her colleagues praise her. Rees Williams is well versed in the family affairs of HNWs and already has considerable experience in prenups, postnups and big money divorces where ‘the level of wealth goes beyond imagination’. Clients have included the heir to a well-known Greek shipping family and the director of one of the world’s leading insurance and re-insurance brokers. Rees Williams is also passionate about reforming the law to a ‘no-fault divorce’ system, a change she […]

JULIAN RIBET

LEVISON MELTZER PIGOTT

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Praise abounds for Julian Ribet. ‘A boy wonder grown into Superman!’ one contemporary tells us. A QC dubs him ‘an extremely able, top-rank practitioner’, while another refers to the LMP partner as ‘impressive, diligent and practical’. Ribet’s clients include an impressive number of international HNWs and City professionals. He has built his reputation on the back of his ability to trace substantial business and family assets, and also for his mastery regarding complex points of inherited wealth, tax, pensions and offshore trusts in the divorce context. He is known for the widely publicised 2012 case AC v DC, in which Ribet was instrumental in unwinding an intricate overseas transaction which the husband had set up to stymie his client’s financial claims. The case resulted in the largest sum (£54 million) set aside into a trust. His career has also included his successful representation of the wife in US v SR […]

ROSIE SCHUMM

FORSTERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘Rosie Schumm used to be a rising star in the family law world, but now her star has risen,’ says one peer, and Spear’s agrees. ‘She has a well-deserved reputation for being charming with clients and fellow lawyers alike.’ She caught the eye of Forsters, and her move there from Wedlake Bell was a major development. Schumm would like to see the law become fairer and more user-friendly for clients. ‘There is a need for a new approach to prenups, where negotiation is too often unnecessarily protracted,’ she says. Schumm displays impressive qualities of thought leadership. In concert with Zoë Bloom of Keystone Law, she’s setting up a new package-deal approach to prenups, whereby negotiation is streamlined through a round-table meeting: ‘The process should take ideally half a day, and [under the package deal] parties can then minimise difficulty in the lead-up to the marriage. Some lawyers set out to […]

BARONESS SHACKLETON

PAYNE HICKS BEACH

Top Ten Family Lawyers

Fiona Shackleton is regarded as one of the best family lawyers of her generation, but one peer is prepared to go further, calling her ‘one of the leading family lawyers of all time’. About anyone else this might sound like hyperbole, but not Shackleton. She alone among those in this list is not only known for representing celebrities but is a celebrity in her own right. But for all the glitz that accompanies the ‘Steel Magnolia’, as she has become known, her reputation hinges on technical skill and imagination. She ‘has outstanding judgement and flair and cuts to the chase’, says another observer. In 2010, Shackleton was made a life peer as Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia in the City of Westminster, but her life in the House of Lords has not diminished her profile as a practitioner of the highest calibre. Another contemporary says of her: ‘Fiona is someone to […]

ERICA SHELTON

CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘A solid, old-school lawyer,’ one family head of a competitor firm tells Spear’s in commending Erica Shelton. The Bloomsbury-born partner is known for ‘litigating effectively when required with patience and pragmatism’, and she certainly gets results. For instance, she recently won £10.5 million for the wife of Sir Terence Conran in a landmark case where the non-financial contribution to a marriage was taken into account for the first time. But war is not always necessary: in fact, such forcefulness now receives reprimand from judges. ‘That doesn’t mean you don’t fight very hard for your clients,’ she explains. ‘Of course you do! But I don’t think you see the very aggressive letters that used to be sent when I started.’ The former trust litigator is a member of both ACTAPS (the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists) and the IAFL, which speaks to her breadth of intellectual interest. A recent […]

JAMES STEWART

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

One of the most visible faces in UK family law, the co-head of his firm’s private wealth team has been acting in some of the most complex and high-value cases in London over the past year. James Stewart is representing the wife in a £1 billion-plus Anglo-CIS case. In another matter, he’s concluding a negotiated settlement in an Anglo-Middle Eastern case with assets in excess of £1 billion, in a bid to spare his client unwanted publicity and heavily contested High Court proceedings. ‘That’s what UHNW individuals are looking for now — firms that put privacy on their  priority list,’ says the friendly Irishman. ‘We’ve taken on three or four cases from a very well-known law firm, one which has a reputation for most of its cases making their way into the press. We’re finding that style might suit clients with an axe to grind, but it’s horrific for many […]

LUCY STONE QC

QEB

Top Five Barristers

Lucy Stone is a big-money heavyweight and ‘one of the most impassioned advocates at the family law bar’ who will use her ‘extraordinary judgement’ to ‘fight your cause to the end’, a peer promises. It is no wonder she’s earned the apt moniker ‘Lucy-No-Stone-left-unturned’ and has a thank-you plaque from a Rolling Stone on her office wall. The former head of chambers at QEB specialises in cross-border battles in jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, the US and the Isle of Man. Stone understands that discretion is key for someone of her stature, particularly with the sensitive nature of her cases. The silk is optimistic about the current state of the law, deeming it a ‘flexible regime capable of adapting to current mores’. But 30 years’ experience has taught her that reform is crucial, especially in issues such as no-fault divorce and heterosexual civil partnerships. ‘These both seem like no-brainers to […]

CATHERINE THOMAS

VARDAGS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Perhaps of all the lawyers on this list, none has had so meteoric a rise as Catherine Thomas, who reached partnership at Vardags at just 26. At an age when most practitioners are still learning the ropes, Thomas was playing crucial roles in reported cases such as Young v Young, Chai v Peng (which went up to the Court of Appeal) and Al-Baker v Al-Baker. In Al-Baker, which concluded in October, Thomas’s client was awarded over £63 million, in what is thought to be the largest Part III financial relief payout in English legal history and the highest award ever against a spouse after a foreign divorce. ‘We’re still on a lot of the big-ticket finance and complicated jurisdictional work,’ says Thomas, who is also well-versed in collaborative law and mediation. ‘There’s slow progress towards people taking up arbitration, and people are suspicious of change.’ Thomas is also keenly aware […]

SUZANNE TODD

WITHERS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Trained by Diana Parker and Gill Doran, Suzanne Todd has now risen through the ranks to be head of Withers’ UK family team. Likeable and cheerful, she’s an impressive presence at the front of the firm’s matrimonial offering: ‘A superb lawyer who leads by example,’ as one observer puts it. Asked about her client list, she says: ‘Rolls-Royce clients often with international problems and total discretion is what we’re known for. We will do everything we can to protect our clients’ needs.’ The past year showcased Todd’s linguistic proficiency when she managed to return a mother and her one-year-old to Italy in four days: ‘The case began on the Monday; we had the hearing on the Thursday, and the order was made for leave to remove on the Friday,’ she recalls. She’s helped by her knowledge of the Italian court system: ‘The Italian culture is different from the English or […]

RAYMOND TOOTH

SEARS TOOTH

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

Raymond Tooth is a celebrity, whose hard-fought battles (including on behalf of the wives of Jude Law, Eric Clapton and Colin Montgomerie) have earned him the moniker ‘Jaws’. If Spear’s is inclined to wonder whether age has mellowed him, the thought is dispelled on witnessing his vigour as he dashes across the path of a car in Mayfair: ‘Nothing can kill me,’ he declares. ‘I’m Ray Tooth.’ Although there has been a downturn in the 76-year-old’s cigar intake, his 40-year career remains a wonder of staying power. Tooth started out as a litigator but eventually found his calling in family law. He offers Spear’s a valuable lesson: ‘Never take any opponent for granted: take a short cut and you get kicked up the arse.’ Best-known for representing wives, Tooth has seen a rise in the number of non-disclosure cases coming his way post-Sharland, from which he draws the pithy conclusion: […]

JOE VAITILINGAM

VAITILINGAM KAY

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘You get Magic Circle quality service, you get our brains, but without the ginormous price tag of our competitors,’ Joe Vaitilingam tells Spear’s when asked to detail his firm’s offering. Vaitilingam Kay might be a new kid on the block, but it was built on the solid foundations of the fast-talking Vaitilingam’s twenty years’ experience. There’s also no doubting his calibre, with one senior partner dubbing him ‘a real star in the making’. A former Hughes Fowler Carruthers partner of ten years’ standing, Vaitilingam and former Mishcon partner Anne Kay make up a boutique powerhouse. Its size doesn’t limit its disruptive ambitions: it has recently taken on ‘mega-money cases’. The Moorgate firm also uses Cloud-based systems which make a compelling value proposition to clients: ‘We’re more modern than most — we have technology in a way that cuts costs, which means our fees are lower.’ Such innovation is necessary, he […]

ALEX VERDAN QC

4 PAPER BUILDINGS

Top Five Barristers

Peers attest that the bar’s ‘go-to children silk’ is quick to put clients at ease with his ‘down-to-earth and diplomatic’ approach. Alex Verdan’s ‘powerful and eloquent’ advocacy skills have also won him praise from a celebrity client base: he achieved a successful result for Guy Ritchie after a tough nine-month custody battle with Madonna to keep their son Rocco in London. Relocation cases are the most difficult to settle, the amiable Verdan tells Spear’s, as there’s no possible compromise: ‘Either they go to New York or they don’t go to New York — you can’t really say, “Well, why don’t you go as far as the Azores or Madeira.” It doesn’t really work like that.’ His clients’ biggest concern is being excluded after separation. But Verdan notes a move towards shared care in judgements, when the best a husband could hope for previously was ‘alternative weekends’ with the child. ‘The […]

LADY HELEN WARD

STEWARTS LAW

Top Ten Family Lawyers

Lady Helen Ward attracts only superlatives (the legendary QC Lewis Marks calls her ‘not merely one of the best, but the best family lawyer in London’). Another respected peer says: ‘Helen and Fiona Shackleton are the two most important divorce lawyers of their generation.’ That’s high praise, and this veteran lawyer has a track record to match. Ward has been active on some of the most important cases in recent memory, and her celebrity clientele includes Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paloma Picasso, Bernie Ecclestone, Guy Ritchie and the Countess Spencer. These are mere hints of a far wider client base: as her colleagues point out, she has kept many of them out of the spotlight. Revered for her discretion, forensic prowess and the ‘staggering amount of time and energy’ that she devotes to clients, the classical pianist is clear when asked about her motivation. ‘Every case that I settle is the best case […]

NICHOLAS WESTLEY

HARBOTTLE & LEWIS

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

‘The fall in the value of the pound has thrown up some interesting issues,’ says Nicholas Westley. One of his recent cases involves a UK-US couple who separated two years ago, splitting their British property equally, resulting in £3-4 million for the wife and its equivalent in dollars for his client. But the sterling crash has made the husband’s US assets worth around £2 million more. ‘The wife was saying, “To equalise the assets — you now need to give me more!”’ the former QEB barrister says. Westley recently moved from Lee & Thompson to Harbottle & Lewis to take advantage of the wider spectrum of practice areas there: there is often a spillover from matrimonial finance to tax and trust issues, he notes. Westley is another to see a rise in private FDRs and arbitration: solicitors are now more eager than ever to suggest alternative routes for their clients. […]

BRADLEY WILLIAMS

FAMILY LAW IN PARTNERSHIP

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

When Spear’s suggests that he forms part of a new guard of family lawyers, Bradley Williams modestly demurs. There is no doubt, however, that he has made a name for himself as a natural litigator in a firm with a strong reputation for mediation and the collaborative approach. ‘I’m known more for the litigation side, but only on the right case. When people know you’re prepared to take the case as far as it needs to go, it assists in terms of settlement,’ says Williams. All his cases are high-end, ranging from HNWs in the £5-6 million range to postnup work involving an asset pot of £2 billion. Williams recently represented the wife of a Premier League footballer in a case with a ‘stellar contribution’ element. Pre- and postnups also remain growth areas, with clients of inherited wealth looking to ringfence wealth early on to avoid problems down the line. ‘Pre- and […]

LAURA WINTERBOTTOM

WITHERS

Family Law Rising Stars

‘Laura is renowned for clear-headed thinking and efficiency. She is a deal-cutter and strives diligently to achieve a pragmatic and commercial resolution for her clients,’ says one colleague of Laura Winterbottom, who was ‘born and bred’ in Withers’ family department. Her practice spans the range of family law issues affecting HNWs, with a particular focus on advising on complex financial disputes. But Winterbottom’s practice is also highly varied, and includes private children disputes and cohabitation claims, as well as prenups and postnups, with a compelling international element. She has spent a busy year juggling two big reported cases, both ‘highly litigious and acrimonious’ and involving ‘rooms full of paper work’. One of the cases — now bound for the Court of Appeal — involved a prenup, an offshore business and pre-marital wealth, among other complexities. ‘It’s an interesting and demanding case,’ says Winterbottom with characteristic pragmatism. Spear’s senses that Winterbottom […]

ANNA WORWOOD

PENNINGTONS MANCHES

Top Recommended Family Lawyers

When one looks at her last year, it’s no surprise that peers consider Anna Worwood one of the brightest family lawyers in London. A leading authority on relocation, she has worked on a slew of reported cases, including Re C (in which the Court of Appeal ruled that local migration disputes have equal gravity to inter-jurisdictional ones) and Re D (in which she represented the mother). Worwood notes that amid cuts, the courts have been forced to find ‘creative ways’ to give children a voice in proceedings. As a result, she says, the quality of verdicts is improving because judges are ‘talking to the children themselves, rather than ascertaining their views through a long report’. ‘[Those] who are experienced with children matters are getting to good grips with cases at an early stage,’ she says. ‘They really are managing cases more proactively than ever, trying to avoid delays wherever possible.’ […]



ICONS FROM 2016