Top Ten Family Lawyers
Stephen Foster is one of the most admired names in family law: it was he who masterminded Stewarts’ ascent from small beginnings (‘just me and a paralegal on day one!’ he recalls) to its present position of supremacy.
And Foster remains extremely active on the fee-earning front: in the past year he has handled ‘a cluster of cases where assets exceeded £250 million’. And sometimes the assets are north even of that: he is acting for a husband who owns a worldwide luxury fashion brand, where the assets are in the region of £1 billion – a case which, Foster tells Spear’s, could have important ramifications for special contribution.
Foster has recently had a number of cases involving what he calls ‘the nuptialisation of cohabitation’ (see page 75). He is critical of the courts’ approach: ‘The statute very specifically refers to the length of marriage and does not mention cohabitation, yet the court’s default position is to treat cohabitation that runs seamlessly into marriage as elongating the length of marriage.’
Beyond family law, Foster’s interests include American literature, tennis and walking – after a visit to New Zealand on sabbatical last year, his next walking trip will be to Patagonia.