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Katie O’Callaghan

Katie O'Callagahan_web

Partner
Family

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Katie O'Callagahan_web

Katie advises clients on all aspects of family law, with a particular emphasis on high net worth financial remedy proceedings on divorce.

A high proportion of her workload involves complex wealth structures both in the UK and abroad. She often acts for clients where the majority of the wealth is tied up in a family business which raises issues not only about the value of the company but also the ways in which funds can be extracted from it to buy out one spouse’s interest. She has a varied client base with backgrounds in private equity, sport, retail and technology.

Katie has a particular interest in the preparation and negotiation of pre- and post-nuptial agreements in order to seek to protect certain assets in the event of a divorce. She works closely with the Firm’s corporate and private client teams to advise entrepreneurs, landed estate families and trustees in relation to such agreements. These may also be preceded by cohabitation agreements for unmarried partners as a means of regulating each partner’s financial contribution to their relationship.

Katie has expertise in private children law matters which often involve disputes regarding the arrangements for the children upon their parents’ separation, applications by one parent to relocate a child elsewhere in the UK or abroad and financial provision for children of unmarried parents. She has particular experience in dealing with cases involving an autistic child.

Katie is also a qualified mediator. Mediation works by helping people who have decided to separate, end a civil partnership or divorce or who are trying to deal with changes in family relationships to talk things through. Katie is trained to help clients focus on what really matters to them and their family and to help clients to discuss and agree the best arrangements for the future, whether that be in relation to their children, their money or the practicalities of how life will work in the future. Find out more about mediation here.

Clients and Counsel commend her support throughout what can be a difficult process and her detailed knowledge of the law. She is dedicated to securing the best outcome for her clients, whether through negotiated settlements or via the court.

Track Record

Advising a wealthy Middle Eastern family in connection with the preparation of pre and post-nuptial agreements for the heirs as part of a wealth protection strategy in order to preserve it for future generations. The family lead a highly international lifestyle which resulted in the need to work closely with lawyers in various jurisdictions

Acting for an international sport star in connection his divorce proceedings with his wife, a renowned model

Acting for the wife in the case of WM v HM [2017] EWFC 25. The primary issue in the case related to the value and extraction of liquidity from the parties’ family business in order to meet the wife’s award. The husband also attempted unsuccessfully to argue that he had made a special contribution to the marriage which should justify a departure from equality

Advising a father in relation to his ex-wife’s application to relocate their two children abroad

Acting for the husband in the case of B v B [2013] EWHC 1232 (Fam) in a two week trial in the High Court. The family had liquid wealth of £40m and the husband had potential illiquid wealth of, on the wife’s case, between €139m to €278m as a result of the husband’s fund manager role at a private equity firm. The main issue in the case was the extent to which the wife should be entitled to share in these valuable illiquid assets in the future. Katie and the team successfully argued on behalf of the husband that there should be a substantial departure from equality in relation to the illiquid assets given the post-separation efforts required by the husband to bring the funds to fruition

Acting for Mr Don Gallagher, a male civil partner in the case of Lawrence v Gallagher [2012] EWCA Civ 394 which was the first civil partnership financial relief case to reach the High Court and subsequently the Court of Appeal. The case was widely reported in the media, being the first of its kind

Acting for the former husband in relation to his former wife’s claim for further maintenance provision for their disabled child, who is now in her 20s but still lives with her mother and her mother’s new husband

Awards & Rankings

Legal 500, Next Gen Partner, 2021

Chambers HNW Awards, Shortlisted – Rising Star, 2020

Chambers HNW, Up and Coming, 2020

Legal 500, Rising Stars, 2020

Spear’s 500, Rising Star, 2019 – 2020

Spears Family Lawyers, Rising Star, 2018

Publications

Tolley’s Estate Planning

Memberships

Resolution

Family Mediation Council

Education & Qualification

University of Leeds

Qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and trained with Boodle Hatfield

Advising a wealthy Middle Eastern family in connection with the preparation of pre and post-nuptial agreements for the heirs as part of a wealth protection strategy in order to preserve it for future generations. The family lead a highly international lifestyle which resulted in the need to work closely with lawyers in various jurisdictions

Acting for an international sport star in connection his divorce proceedings with his wife, a renowned model

Acting for the wife in the case of WM v HM [2017] EWFC 25. The primary issue in the case related to the value and extraction of liquidity from the parties’ family business in order to meet the wife’s award. The husband also attempted unsuccessfully to argue that he had made a special contribution to the marriage which should justify a departure from equality

Advising a father in relation to his ex-wife’s application to relocate their two children abroad

Acting for the husband in the case of B v B [2013] EWHC 1232 (Fam) in a two week trial in the High Court. The family had liquid wealth of £40m and the husband had potential illiquid wealth of, on the wife’s case, between €139m to €278m as a result of the husband’s fund manager role at a private equity firm. The main issue in the case was the extent to which the wife should be entitled to share in these valuable illiquid assets in the future. Katie and the team successfully argued on behalf of the husband that there should be a substantial departure from equality in relation to the illiquid assets given the post-separation efforts required by the husband to bring the funds to fruition

Acting for Mr Don Gallagher, a male civil partner in the case of Lawrence v Gallagher [2012] EWCA Civ 394 which was the first civil partnership financial relief case to reach the High Court and subsequently the Court of Appeal. The case was widely reported in the media, being the first of its kind

Acting for the former husband in relation to his former wife’s claim for further maintenance provision for their disabled child, who is now in her 20s but still lives with her mother and her mother’s new husband

Legal 500, Next Gen Partner, 2021

Chambers HNW Awards, Shortlisted – Rising Star, 2020

Chambers HNW, Up and Coming, 2020

Legal 500, Rising Stars, 2020

Spear’s 500, Rising Star, 2019 – 2020

Spears Family Lawyers, Rising Star, 2018

Tolley’s Estate Planning

Resolution

Family Mediation Council

University of Leeds

Qualified as a solicitor in 2009 and trained with Boodle Hatfield