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Family (Mishcon Private)

Protecting the interests of families lies at the heart of what we do. Whether it is providing the right advice to help manage relationships or assisting high net worth family governance across generations, cultures, and changing family dynamics, our multi-faceted and flexible approach allows us to provide support around wider concerns. Our family lawyers help unlock what can initially appear to be entrenched positions and facilitate a more comprehensive resolution of challenges that families may face, preventing those concerns subsequently turning into disputes.

We are adept at anticipating and meeting the needs of individuals and families in their wider personal and business lives. Our team of specialist family lawyers can assist with reputation management, tax, immigration, trusts, wills, and education as well as matters involving property, art and other luxury assets. We work closely with third party professionals, including therapists, clinical specialists, financial advisers, and cyber security experts to achieve better outcomes for our clients.

Where relationships break down, we understand how this not only affects a family but also third parties, including corporations and trustees, many of whom are international. Our ability to unpick the intricacies of cross-border relationship breakdown and work with lawyers and advisors in other countries ensures that difficult matters are dealt with smoothly.

We appreciate the complexity that wealth brings and assist our high net worth clients and their families through all life stages. We are innovators, leveraging new technologies and utilising non-traditional methods to deliver the best outcome to our clients. We are robust in our advice and tenacious in our approach. We handle every matter with the utmost discretion, a given in any situation, but even more so because many of our clients are high-profile and often in the public eye.

We take a strategic approach to the issues and aspirations that families have and support them in resolving issues constructively and away from the court arena, offering in-house mediation and early neutral evaluation. We encourage parents to put children at the centre of their decision making. With the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, we are the first firm to partner with a therapeutic organisation to find better ways of resolving disputes that involve children. We believe in building families too, and support parents undergoing assisted reproduction and surrogacy arrangements.

Key Areas of Expertise

We advise and support parents and families on all aspects of their child's upbringing, including their general welfare and development. We support positive parenting and can arrange coaching to provide support and guidance, a separated parent's information programme or the assistance of a parenting coordinator in suitable cases. We help pre-empt and resolve any difficulties that might ultimately lead to discord and advise and represent parents in matters regarding their child's life, including, where separation occurs, how much time they spend with each of their parents, as well as specific issues such as changing a child's name and for leave to remove a child to another country (whether in the short-term or permanently).

Cohabiting couples do not have the same automatic rights or protections at the end of the relationship that married couples or those in a civil partnership do. We assist couples with planning for and matters that arise from cohabitation, sharing a home, arrangements for children, financial and practical issues, and relationship breakdown.

We help clients through all stages of divorce and/or dissolution from application to final order. With no-fault divorce and joint applications for divorce now being available, we encourage couples to approach a divorce constructively, to minimise acrimony from the outset. We have extensive experience of cases where a spouse is domiciled and/or resident in a different country.

We help clients enforce financial orders through use of the court's disclosure powers, charging orders, third party debt orders and all other available options. We also assist with the enforcement of orders made in relation to arrangements for children.

We deal with all aspects of financial applications stemming from relationship breakdown, whether from divorce/dissolution, separation or in relation to children.  We have extensive experience in complex cases, including those featuring assets held through corporate or trust structures, inherited wealth and offshore assets.

High net worth families are increasingly mobile, with personal and financial ties to multiple jurisdictions. We draw upon our extensive experience and connections with overseas lawyers, trust companies and Family Offices, accountants and other relevant professionals to provide a thorough and collaborative approach to achieve our clients' objectives.

We appreciate that funds may not always be readily available to meet the costs of negotiation or litigation. We can provide clients with information regarding funding options and, where appropriate, advise on obtaining a court order regarding assets or income that might be used for this purpose.

Where clients are considering a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, we advise on appropriate terms including obtaining advice from overseas lawyers as appropriate, assist with negotiation and prepare the relevant documents where agreement is reached.

We advise on all aspects of the relationship between financial claims and trusts, whether the trust is being used as a structure to fund the family's lifestyle or is a wholly separate asset. We work closely with our colleagues in Private Wealth Disputes where contentious trust issues arise.

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