I am a specialist in resolving family law disputes and provide different services in several capacities.
I am an English qualified and accredited solicitor. For most of my career , I have specialised in financial aspects of relationship breakdown in complex cases involving medium and substantial assets. Almost all my cases now have an international element. My clients are from England and abroad, both men and women and from all walks of life although some concentrations in the IT and media/entertainment industries, the professions and entrepreneurs.
To provide greater flexibility in my work and to keep costs down, most work is conducted by e-mail, Skype and other electronic means for international clients.
I am a co-founder and partner in The International Family Law Group LLP, a law firm in Covent Garden, London created in April 2007 set up to serve the interests of international families and their children. More details at www.iflg.uk.com. Although the firm only started in 2007, the Legal 500 called it “the firm to watch” in the section of family law firms in central London, an incredable achievement after only 6 months. It started with five people and now 8 years on, we have over 20.
I undertake specialist advisory work for other law firms in England and receive instructions from many law firms abroad. I write opinions of English law for foreign law firms for use in proceedings abroad. I have been an expert on foreign (English) law for court proceedings abroad
I am a qualified mediator. I see couples together to help them resolve their disputes. They still have lawyers for advice but mediation can help couples to settle in a way more satisfactory to them. It is often much more cost effective. Mediation is not counselling but an alternative to lawyer negotiation or going to court. Much of my mediation is directive mediation in which I give direct legal opinions in the mediation to encourage a final settlement, taking account of what would happen if the matter were to be considered at court. These mediations are sometimes with the parties’ lawyers present, when disclosure has been given and when conventional negotiations or mediation have failed to produce a settlement.
I am also an arbitrator, a new area of family law resolution, where the dispute is heard by a qualified arbitrator but outside the court system, court rules and court timetables. The couple work out their preferred procedure and timetable for their own dispute. It has been strongly endorsed by senior family court judges and it will be rare for the court not to follow an arbitration award as strongly influential on outcome. I was the initiator and co-creator of the English family arbitration scheme
I undertake international arbitration work, as co-creator of the International Family Law Arbitration Scheme which provides an independent, country neutral arbitrator in a forum dispute between a couple. More details can be found here or contact me for more information.
I am a qualified Australian solicitor, barrister and mediator. Although I am now based primarily in England, I maintain close professional links with Australian law firms, keep up to date with changes in the law and I have retained my professional qualifications and certificates to practice as an Australian lawyer and mediator. My firm has an association with Watts McCray, one of Australia's leading family law firms
I sit as a Deputy (part time) District Judge at the Central Family Court (previously known as the Principal Registry of the Family Division) in London. This is the main central family courts in London but also hears many of the more complex cases from out of London. I sit about three or four days a month. I was appointed in 1995. I now mostly sit in their Financial Rememdies Unit, dealing with complex finance cases
With my judicial experience, I conduct private early neutral evaluations of what may happen if a case went to court, but to save it having to do so. These can be privileged
I have given many lectures, workshops, seminars, video presentations and other training to family lawyers from updating lectures to specialist level for experienced practising lawyers and skill based workshops. Many lectures and presentations have been at conferences abroad. Papers are on my information pages
I write on a variety of family law issues and have been asked to report on a number of conferences across the world and to cover developing issues, again on my information pages.
I sit on various committees involved with law reform especially international aspects, ADR and financial provision law, as set out on my biography page.