“The team is a wonderful combination of knowledge and pragmatism. The lawyers know what they are doing and how to do it.” – The Legal 500, 2019
Clintons has one of the top ranked family law practices in the UK. We are well known for representing high-profile and high-net-worth individuals across a wide range of family matters, including financial matters arising from divorce or separation, disputes over child contact, adoption and surrogacy. Our team regularly advises on cases with complex, international elements and is well known for taking an innovative approach and creating tailored solutions to suit each client’s individual needs. We will provide the highest standard of professional representation whilst being entirely supportive on a personal level during what we know can be a challenging time.
We are here to fight our clients’ corner and, where necessary, we do not hesitate to seek the assistance of the courts. We have a breadth and depth of experience in guiding cases through litigation at all levels and at all stages. However, we recognise that it is preferable and certainly more cost effective if cases can be resolved without litigation, so we also regularly take cases through alternative dispute resolution processes including mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. We only resort to litigation if we are sure that there is no viable alternative.
Head of Department Liz Vernon is a hugely experienced lawyer with over 25 years in private practice. She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and part of the original team that acted for Diana, Princess of Wales in her divorce. She has an established reputation for dealing with high profile clients from the sports, entertainment and media fields and their spouses, notably acting for Karen Parlour in respect of the widely reported landmark case Parlour v Parlour, Slavica Ecclestone, and acting for the husband in the case of CB v KB  EWFC 78 .
She is “A formidable individual of the highest intellect, with great judgment” (Chambers & Partners, 2018) and has been described as “a true star” and “a first-rate strategist” (The Legal 500, 2019) who is “very hardworking and does everything that she can to further her clients’ cases. She knows the law inside and out and shows great attention to detail” (The Legal 500, 2018).
She leads an extremely experienced and highly skilled team of family lawyers including Partner Sarah Bostock (“calm and reassuring manner…build(s) strong, trusting relationships with clients with a clear focus on their welfare” - The Legal 500, 2019), and a “number of brilliant associates” including Senior Associate Daniel Chalmers (“very good client handling skills” - The Legal 500, 2019)” and Associate Dom Christophers.
Marriage and civil partnership breakdown
Clintons has a wealth of experience in dealing with the financial consequences of marriage and civil partnership breakdowns. We regularly advise on complex cases involving businesses and trusts, both in this jurisdiction and internationally. Where appropriate we can call upon associated experts with whom we work regularly, both here and in other countries, to provide sound support and robust solutions.
Relationship breakdown – unmarried couples
The breakdown of these relationships raises important and complex legal issues in relation to children and property. We provide a specialist service in relation to these issues which is supported by a depth of experience unrivalled in our profession. We also advise on cohabitation agreements to minimise any negative impact in the event of a possible future breakdown of the relationship.
Pre- and Post- nuptial agreements
As the instances of divorce rises, couples often seek to agree before they marry what might happen if the relationship were to come to an end. We are regularly involved in drafting and advising on pre-nuptial agreements to try to ensure that our clients will be properly protected for the future. We are also experienced in dealing with post-nuptial agreements for couples who wish to regulate their financial affairs after marriage.
We specialise in advising on the difficult and emotive issues concerning children both during and after divorce. All of our practitioners have a great deal of experience in this area and understand the importance of dealing sensitively with these issues while at the same time acting effectively to ensure the best possible outcome. We always strive to keep the best interests of the children at the centre of the work we do.
Adoption and Surrogacy
We are also available to provide advice to clients looking to adopt, both within the UK and from overseas. Further, Clintons has particular experience in international surrogacy arrangements, having recently acted in a soon-to-be reported case that went before Mrs Justice Theis in the High Court in 2019.