Top Ten Family Laywers
‘I’m the ghost of Christmas past and these are the ghosts of Christmas present and Christmas future,’ says Fiona Shackleton as she enters the main boardroom at Payne Hicks Beach.
Dressed in her trademark magnificent colours, she gestures at her team, consisting of associates Catherine Costley, Ben Parry-Smith, Vicky de’Sanna and Emilie Helm, and solicitors Camelia Buckmaster and Victoria Hingston.
Ignore anyone who tells you the Baroness of Belgravia spends all her time in the House of Lords: Shackleton, whose clients have included Prince Charles and Paul McCartney (see page 56), remains impressively active in the law.
‘Her honesty and integrity are legendary, and coupled with her acute mastery of the law leave her in an unparallelled position as the top divorce lawyer in London,’ says Nicholas Cusworth QC, who has been instructed both by and against Shackleton over the years.
But it’s probably true to say magic circle teams are rarely spoken of. Not so with Shackleton: keen to ensure her team receives sufficient credit, she leaves. Spear’s has a front-row seat at a sort of a university debate, with questions lobbing back and forth about conduct and special contribution: life at PHB seems part-Suits, part-Athens in 400 BC.