Biography

Summary

  • English solicitor (1978 and accredited 1996),
  • Mediator (1997),
  • Family arbitrator and Member Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) (2002),
  • Deputy District Judge sitting at the Central Family Court, London (1995)
  • Australian (NSW) solicitor and barrister (2003) and mediator
  •  Visiting Professor, University of Law (2015)

I am a highly experienced family law dispute resolution specialist, especially involving an international element or complex assets or issues.  I am joint founder (2007) and a partner at iFLG.

I was appointed OBE in Queens Birthday Honours List, June 2014, for services "to international family law".

I believe I am one of the world's leading family lawyers and I am (apparently) regarded as one of the most innovative family lawyers of my generation:

  • I was the originator and a creator of family arbitration in England and Wales, now emulated in other countries
  • I was instrumental in the 1990s in the creation of the English Family Law Accreditation Scheme
  • I was co-founder in 1995 of the world's first multi-disciplinary metropolitan family law practice, combining lawyers, mediators and counsellors, and now much copied around the world
  • I was co-founder in 2007 of the world's first law firm dedicated to international families and their children, with many law firms worldwide subsequently setting up specialist international units
  • I am author of the leading textbook on international family law, now in 4th edition

My career history and qualifications are set out along with my personal narrative of my careeer and interests

This is a summary

After training and qualifying in Southampton,  I spent 10 years at City of London law firms; a partner in City of London firm Theodore Goddard as head of their Family Law Department and then Frere Cholmonley Bischoff (later Eversheds).  In 1995, I was joint founder of probably the world’s first metropolitan practice to combine family lawyers, mediators and counsellors and with an emphasis on a conciliatory and holistic approach. It was subsequently copied in many practices across the world. From 2003 to 2005 I worked in Sydney for a leading family law firm, qualifying as an Australian lawyer.  I retain my entitlement to practice as a solicitor and barrister in Australia.

In 2007 I  co-founded iFLG with Ann Thomas, the world's first law firm specifically dedicated to serving international families and their children and families with international, foreign assets.

I am past chair of the Resolution/SFLA’s Financial Provision Reform Committee, Training Committee and Good Practice Committee and a founder member of its International Committee.  I was a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol Committee.  I am a member of the Family Justice Council International Committee.  I was past vice chair of the UK College of Family Mediators, the umbrella organisation for family mediation.  I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  I am a member of the Law Society Family Law Committee

I was chair of the Family Law Review group of the Centre for Social Justice which in July 2009 produced a report, “Every Family Matters”, a ground breaking set of major reforms of all aspects of family law, in order to support families, marriage and children. It has been well received and parts have been endorsed by the political parties and others involved in family law and has prompted changes in the law.  In 2014 I was made a Fellow of the Centre for Social Justice.

I am author and editor of "The International Family Law Practice" published by Jordans and probably the leading textbook on the international aspects of family law work. The 5th edition was published January 2017. With Ann Thomas, I am author of “When Cupids Arrow crosses National Boundaries: A Guide for interntaional families”, a simple Q&A guide for lay persons distilling the complexities of international family law issues into an easily manageable format. Both publications are available me.

I am also author of “Divorce Reform: a Guide for Lawyers and Mediators” (Thompson Reuters), “The Business of Family Law” (Jordans), “SFLA/Resolution Guide to International Family Law” and consulting editor of “Butterworth’s Family Law in Europe”.

I am an Accredited Family Law Specialist (with portfolios in Substantial Assets and International Cases), a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a past trustee of Marriage Resource, a Fellow of the Centre for Social Justice and a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.  I have been a member of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship since my days as a trainee solicitor.

I have been a member of the Advisory Board of the Law Commission in respect of their work on "Marital Agreements, Matrimonial Property and Needs", and of the Advisory Board of the Financial Services Authority on provision of information for separating and divorcing couples.

In November 2011  I received the prestigious inaugural Jordans Family Law Commentator of the Year award for my "outstanding contribution to commentary on family law matters", as voted by family lawyers. 

I have written and spoken extensively on family law including many conferences abroad. Copies of  my papers are on my information pages and at iFLG.

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