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Family law and divorce

The very personal nature of family disputes requires clear and objective advice to resolve sensitive issues regarding divorce/civil partnership dissolution, pre and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation, and children.

Find a family lawyer

James Ferguson, Partner and Head of Family

Emily Brand, Partner

Christopher Butler, Consultant

Katie O'Callaghan, Senior Associate

Harriet Errington, Senior Associate

Alexandra Hirst, Associate

Katie Male, Associate

Our family law expertise 

Divorce 

We advise on all aspects of divorce, including the divorce procedure and division of family capital and income. We also advise on the prevention and effect of either party disposing of their assets just prior to or during divorce proceedings.

Find out more about divorce and financial implications

Pre and post-nuptial/civil partnership agreements

Although not always legally binding in England and Wales, the courts are placing more weight on such agreements. As a result they are becoming increasingly common in order to protect assets such as inherited, pre-marital/pre-partnership or trust assets in the event of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

Find out more about pre and post-nuptial agreements

Cohabitation

Many people wrongly believe that cohabitants share the same legal rights and responsibilities as married couples and civil partners. We can provide the expert advice cohabitants need to protect their position.

Find out more about cohabitation

Dissolution of civil partnerships

This is a rapidly developing area of family law, and one in which we have particular expertise, including the first case to reach the High Court and subsequently the Court of Appeal regarding the division of the partners’ finances.

Children

Disputes concerning children can be particularly distressing. Our objective is to find speedy, amicable solutions to minimise any adverse effects on those involved. We advise on all issues, including the living arrangements for children upon their parents' separation, level of maintenance, child abduction and where one party wishes to relocate with the children, whether within the UK or abroad

Collaborative law and mediation

We offer a specialist legal service for these increasingly important forms of dispute resolution, either for financial or children issues in connection with divorce, as a way to reach agreement without going to court.

Our Track Record

  • Acting for the husband in the case of Iqbal v Iqbal [2017] EWCA Civ 19 concerning the husband's appeal against six orders made during the course of long-running divorce proceedings. All of the orders, which had been made in the context of financial remedy proceedings spanning over six years, were successfully overturned by the Court of Appeal in favour of the husband. 
  • 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 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 a wife in a High Court case where the husband and his brother had inherited a large manufacturing Company. The parties had married very young and had accrued a substantial property portfolio, both in the UK and abroad. There were numerous assets which required valuation and there was a forensic valuation of the company interests at the date of the marriage and upon separation. The extent of the marital acquest was a big issue between the parties. The wife received well over one half of the marital acquest and the vast majority of the liquid assets.

  • Advising a wealthy client in a jurisdictional race as to the most appropriate forum to commence divorce proceedings which involved consideration of the relevant law in New York and Monaco as well as England and Wales. Proceedings were eventually issued in New York, to the husband's advantage.

  • Acting for the husband in the case of Robson v Robson [2010] at first instance. This was a case where the husband had inherited substantial wealth, including an Oxfordshire estate worth £16m and a Scottish castle. There were issues over whether the Oxfordshire estate would have to be broken up and the Scottish castle sold and whether it was appropriate to capitalise the wife's maintenance and the impact on the award of the parties' extravagant standard of living during the marriage.

  • Acting in private Children Act proceedings involving issues of supervised contact, residence, alienation and conflicting expert evidence as to whether one of the parties/children were on the autistic spectrum. Both children were separately represented by a solicitor guardian.
  • Acting for the mother in a successful application to relocate to Singapore with her two children.
  • Acting for the husband following the breakdown of a 3 year marriage which had produced two children. There were substantial assets including trust assets. The parties were able to agree terms through solicitors without involving the Court.

  • Acting for a high net worth wife in divorce and financial remedy proceedings against a husband who was a director and shareholder of an international publicly-listed company. The case involved complex issues regarding the parties' pensions in light of recent changes imposed by HMRC. Other assets included various properties situated in England and overseas and substantial shareholdings in other companies held by both parties.

  • Representing the husband of a business woman who owned a well known private company in England. This case involved a dispute as to the value of that business and of the husband's contribution towards the family wealth, which included the company assets, a property in England and a holiday home, together with substantial pensions and investments.

  • 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 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.

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Recent awards

How to find us:
London Bankside

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

London Mayfair

Mayfair Office

6 Grosvenor Street
London
W1K 4PZ

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Oxford

Oxford office

6 Worcester Street
Oxford
OX1 2BX

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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