James Freeman - Spear's Magazine

James Freeman

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James Freeman
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‘“There was only one tiny, tiny problem with this plan. It was bollocks,”’ says Freeman, quoting Captain Blackadder. ‘I think that sums up the current state of the law — certainly in financial provision on divorce — in that there’s an awful lot of huff and puff behind it but, at the end of the day, basically it’s bollocks.’

He draws perspective from the complexity of the cross-jurisdictional cases he deals with as a fluent French speaker — perspective that emphasises the family in law: ‘Some stuff we do is not complicated because there are 85 trusts in it, it’s complicated because there are three children involved.’

Sincere and forthright, Freeman advocates consent between parties out of court but remains realistic: ‘Sometimes you get people who are being greedy, sometimes you get people who are complete bastards. The idea you can get one of those cases and just pop it into mediation and it’ll all come out fine is overly optimistic.’ Realism doesn’t temper his empathy, though: ‘What you find memorable is quite personal. I’ll remember a client this year who we helped house with her children — if we hadn’t done the case she would not be able to do that.’