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 I do. I regard litigation as a failure of one’s creative powers to settle a case,’ she says. ‘Obviously one can’t take responsibility for that alone, but litigation is not the outcome I seek to achieve. I think I had nine cases simultaneously against Diana Parker of Withers, and we settled every single one of them.’
Clients also offer poetic praise. ‘A mind like a jewelled watch and a wise and honest heart — a very rare combination,’ says one. ‘Once on your case, she is a tigress who never sleeps.’