Now back in England and with the lessons learned in Sydney, I continued my work as a solicitor dealing with complex cases, often involving an international element. This was originally through my own business, Panorama Legal Services
In April 2007, I co-founded with Ann Thomas, The International Family Law Group LLP (iFLG). It is a specialist law firm providing services to the international community as well as for purely national clients. iFLG has a contract with the Legal Services Commission for child abduction work and is regularly instructed by the UK Government (Central Authority). It acts for international families, ex pats and others in respect of financial implications of relationship breakdown including forum shopping and international enforcement of orders. It receives instructions from foreign lawyers and, as accredited specialists, acts for clients of other law firms seeking their specialist experience.
iFLG is situated in Covent Garden near the Law Courts. Its mobile telephone accessible website includes valuable information, podcasts, a government approved child abduction questionnaire and formulae as a starting point for calculating fair financial settlements. It has emergency 24 hour contact arrangements, +44 7973 890648. Contact at http://www.iflg.uk.com/
We have grown from 4 of us to about 24 and we have been very successful. It has also been very enjoyable as well as hard work. My own work has grown considerably with some very big and complex international cases and I have some superb colleagues with whom I work
I conduct mediations, invariably where a directive approach is needed including where both lawyers are present. I conduct arbitrations and was a creator of the English family law arbitration scheme and one of the first trained.I undertake agency work for other law firms with travel abroad for court cases. I act as a specialist adviser to law firms on their more complex family law matters, by giving early neutral evaluation. I continue my family law writing and lecturing and training for other lawyers including preparing and presenting training videos. I continue to sit part time as a family court judge in London and I undertake other work in the family law context.
In 2007, I was invited to join and then became chair of the Family Law Reform Review of the Centre of Social Justice, the think tank set up by Ian Duncan Smith MP. In July 2009 we produced our final report, “Every Family Matters”, which has had a significant influential impact on subsequent government and policy thinking on a wide range of matters affecting family law and family life. I was delighted to be involved in such an important reform group.