BBC One’s ‘The Split’ vs reality

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April 26, 2018 5 comments

family law

At 9:00pm on a Tuesday evening, after eight hours in Court, what could possibly make a family lawyer sit down to watch a BCC drama about divorce and divorce lawyers? Because last night that’s exactly what I did, watching the first of six episodes of “The Split”. “Coals to Newcastle” and “Busman’s holiday” and similar…

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New Family Division President announced

April 26, 2018 1 comment

law

The next President of the Family Division has been announced. Sir Andrew Ewart McFarlane will succeed Sir James Munby on 28 July. The current President, the outspoken and high profile Sir James Munby, will retire on 27 July, his 70th birthday. Lord Justice McFarlane will also complete precisely seven years as an Appeal Court Judge…

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Contact ideas, refuges and shouting barristers

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March 29, 2018 0 comments

family law

A week (well, nearly) in family law Lord Justice McFarlane has put forward some interesting ideas regarding the issue of contact, both in relation to contact with adopted children by members of their natural family, and in relation to private law contact disputes between parents. In a speech to the NAGALRO annual conference he said…

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High Court Judge ‘deprecates’ interrupting barristers

March 28, 2018 2 comments

judges

A High Court Judge has criticised the barristers involved in a long-running family dispute for interrupting each other excessively and allowing a court hearing to become a “shouting match”. The case was the culmination of a series of disputes over a full ten years between the parents of a girl who is now 13, including…

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Legal history makers

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February 22, 2018 1 comment

family law

On Monday 19 February I attended a unique event. It was the inaugural award ceremony for History Makers, which is organised by the University of Law and held at their Moorgate campus in London. The History Maker awards were presented to Cherie Blair CBE QC and to James Libson, a Partner at law firm Mischon…

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Seven new family law QCs appointed

December 23, 2017 3 comments

judges

The government has announced the appointment of seven new family law QCs. QCs, or Queen’s Counsels, are senior lawyers with different legal specialities. Most are practising barristers. They can apply for this prestigious title after acquiring significant expertise and a solid reputation. Appointment – by a nine-member selection panel – confers the right to wear…

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Supreme Court to hear defended divorce dispute

August 8, 2017 1 comment

family law

A woman in her 60s has been granted permission to appeal her bitter divorce dispute at the Supreme Court. Last year Tini Owens was refused a divorce from Hugh, her husband of no less than 35 years. Unusually he decided to defend her application, and even more unusually the Judge ruled in his favour, claiming…

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Barristers seen as expensive, research suggests

July 12, 2017 2 comments

barristers

Family law clients see barristers as an expensive luxury new research suggests. The Bar Standards Bar commissioned market research firm IRN to poll 1,200 current or former family law firm clients on their views of and experiences with barristers. Amongst other topics, they were quizzed on whether or not they had used the ‘direct access’…

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Former Supreme Court Justice dies during surgery

June 30, 2017 0 comments

barrister

A former Justice of the Supreme Court died this week during surgery. Lord Toulson served as a Justice for three years, from April 2013 until his retirement in September 2016. Since then he had worked part time on the Court’s Supplementary Panel. This provides additional justices for rulings when needed. Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger…

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Bar Council calls for regular working hours

June 6, 2017 2 comments

family law

Courts should operate within regular working hours, the principal organisation representing barristers in England and Wales has claimed. In a newly published ‘protocol’, the Bar Council says that growing number of courts have begun listing cases early or late in the working day “without reference to the majority of court users, particularly in the criminal…

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