Top Flight Family Lawyer
Before Spear’s meets Diana Parker, a partner at Withers and one of family law’s ‘Queen Bees’, one industry figure issues a friendly warning: ‘She’s an ice queen.’ This is not the only way Parker’s reputation precedes her.
She became Britain’s first female senior partner of a City law firm in 1998 and has a CV packed with high-profile reported cases, including Britain’s first £1 billion divorce.
Sure enough, when we meet at Withers HQ, the handshake offered is rebuffed. A week or so later, when the enormity of the pandemic becomes clear, everyone else will be doing the same.
Parker is merely thoughtful – and ahead of the curve. This isn’t atypical, suggests a top barrister who knows her well. ‘She may come across as clipped. But she isn’t. She’s shy. She won’t always look you in the eye but, I tell you: the Roman Abramoviches of the world go there.’
The barrister adds: ‘There’s no glory-singing from her. There’s no press. There’s no nothing. It’s discreet. It’s slick. It’s awesome.’ Parker estimates that 80 or 90 per cent of her cases are decided by financial dispute resolution, with 10 or 20 per cent settled before then. Very few go to a final hearing. Maybe it has something to do with that reputation.