But at the same time and alongside my London based work, I was invited to join one of the top Australian family law firms to help them for 12 – 24 months. So in July 2003 I moved to Sydney where within 2 months, I qualified as an Australian solicitor, barrister and mediator and I worked for one of Sydney’s top international family law practices, also continuing with my English work. I stayed in Sydney for almost two years and had one of the most wonderful times of my life.
I loved the climate, the people, the approach to life, the outdoor living, the sports especially scuba diving, sailing (which I learned in the Harbour, an idyllic place to learn) and bush walking, and I made some fantastic friends. I attended an incredibly supportive and friendly church in the eastern suburbs. I travelled a lot around Australia and New Zealand and I got involved in a number of aspects of Sydney community life. I learned a great deal from working in family law in Sydney, although it was much more American combative and non conciliatory than practice in England. It was right to come back home when I did. However I miss hugely my life in Sydney and my friends there, and I remember my time there with much fondness and suspect (hope!) I will return one day to Australia in years to come.
Whilst I was away, I continued to be involved in my English cases and clients, working remotely alongside my team in London. I kept in touch with developments in English family law and twice returned to sit at court.