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The Family team’s international offering

30 Apr 2014

Collyer Bristow's Family team has a wealth of experience in dealing with complex cases involving international law. Our team can assist on cross-border jurisdictional disputes, advising as to which country should hear these complex cases involving children. We also have extensive experience in advising parents who seek the court’s consent to take their children out of the country and relocate, otherwise known as ‘leave to remove’. The UK courts have been increasingly more nuanced in their approach to such cases, making the detail of the applications  and the evidence that is put before the court more important than ever before, and what had been considered by some to be a fairly formulaic approach to granting permission is now less prescribed and perhaps more of a struggle.  We are acutely aware of the emotion surrounding international children cases and the huge ramifications for all family members, so perhaps in no other area is it more important to have lawyers such as ours on your side. We can assist in guiding you through exactly what information is needed and what is likely to be your most effective strategy for success. Our team prides themselves on being able to take the problem from you and to find a solution that works for you, your family and most importantly for your children.

Sue Breen, our children specialist, has over 20 years’ experience in advising parents and extended family members on children issues including International Adoption, surrogacy and Parental Responsibility. The wishes and feelings of children are ever more important with a recently decided case in the UK, LC (Children) 2013 EWCA Civ 1058, which contained an interesting discussion as to whether a child could decide his or her habitual residence, imperative in child abduction cases in deciding whether a child has been wrongfully removed and retained, providing an entry into the Hague Convention.

In addition we have a wealth of experience in dealing with international divorces, advising on the most appropriate forum for divorce. There has been an increase over the last few years in ‘forum shopping’, taking a view as to the most lucrative venue for a divorce, or indeed ‘not’ as the case may be, with a need for a wife or husband to stake a claim first in one country rather than another. In these cases strategy, forward thinking and experience have never been more essential.

We handle international pre and post-nuptial agreements, act for trustees and third party interveners in Ancillary relief cases and in all aspects of preserving assets across countries. Our proximity to the London family Courts means that we can act expeditiously and you can have confidence in our being able to secure an early result.

Our Geneva office and our network of contacts with overseas lawyers means that we are uniquely placed to advise on multi - jurisdictional disputes and the overseas enforcement of orders made in the United Kingdom. In addition our team of lawyers works closely with our private client department to advise on complex tax and trust issues both on and off shore.

Additional information