Top Flight Family Lawyers
‘The difference between myself and partners at HFC and our direct competitors at other firms is that we’re not afraid of litigating,’ says Mark Harper. ‘There are quite a few of my rivals who fundamentally don’t like having cases go to trial. But if you’re talking about hundreds of millions or billions, it’s very high stakes. Businesses are under attack.’ Harper, who was at Withers for 15 years before joining HFC in 2014, has dealt with his fair share of big-money cases. When Spear’s catches up with him, he’s awaiting a judgment over the recognition of a Russian divorce that was granted in 2006. ‘The case has been very dramatic,’ he confides. ‘Halfway through a five-day hearing in the UK, a new document came to light and the court was adjourned. We ended up having to travel to a Cypriot court. Hopefully we’ll win.’ Harper is very aware that when a case goes to trial, there’s always the chance that his client might lose. ‘I’ve had quite a few reported judgments where my client has lost, and I’ve told them repeatedly that they were going to lose, but to them it’s worth the risk. As a lawyer you have to be ready for that.’ He’s also been advising on international children’s cases, where he says Brexit is a complicating factor: ‘There’s no guarantee that the rulings of an English court system will be recognised by the other 27 EU states,’ he advises.