Top Recommended Family Lawyers
‘The fall in the value of the pound has thrown up some interesting issues,’ says Nicholas Westley. One of his recent cases involves a UK-US couple who separated two years ago, splitting their British property equally, resulting in
£3-4 million for the wife and its equivalent in dollars for his client. But the sterling crash has made the husband’s US assets worth around £2 million more.
‘The wife was saying, “To equalise the assets — you now need to give me more!”’ the former QEB barrister says.
Westley recently moved from Lee & Thompson to Harbottle & Lewis to take advantage of the wider spectrum of practice areas there: there is often a spillover from matrimonial finance to tax and trust issues, he notes.
Westley is another to see a rise in private FDRs and arbitration: solicitors are now more eager than ever to suggest alternative routes for their clients.
‘There has been a historic reluctance,’ he says. ‘If you go to court and get a bad result, the solicitor can always go, “Don’t blame me, we had a shit judge.”
‘However, the solicitor needs to be bolder, stick their neck on the line and wake up to the fact that the advantages of ADR justify taking this risk for your client.’
Still, Westley says the plunge is worth it compared to ‘taking your chances’ in the understaffed family courts.