22nd Mar 2016

Ann Northover and Mariko Wilson to join Family Law in Partnership

The directors of Family Law in Partnership are delighted to announce that on 4th April 2016 family law specialists Ann Northover and Mariko Wilson will join Family Law in Partnership as a consultant and an associate, respectively. Ann, a leading family law specialist with over 20 years’ experience, joins Family Law in Partnership from Forsters LLP where she was a partner for 11 years. Mariko also joins from Forsters LLP where she was a solicitor for over 4 years.

Ann Northover commented: “I am delighted to join Family Law in Partnership, a pioneering and innovative firm that continues to lead the way. It has a unique vision and unrivalled expertise to adapt to the changes facing families and individuals in this area of law. I have known and admired the team at Family Law in Partnership for many years. Their client-centred constructive and intelligent approach, combining both court and non-court based methods of resolving family disputes, entirely mirrors my approach to family law.”

Ann has considerable expertise in the financial and children aspects of complex separation, pre-nuptial and divorce matters. She has particular experience in dealing with trusts, pension funds and business assets. Ann regularly works with international and UK based clients.

Mariko Wilson is recognised as an “up and coming” and highly effective lawyer. Her clients recognise her attention to detail and her dedication to helping them achieve the best outcome not only as individuals, but also in the context of the wider family.

Mariko commented: “I am very excited to be joining Family Law in Partnership. It boasts some of the best family lawyers in London, as well as a reputation not only for legal excellence but also for a forward thinking approach to family dispute resolution. I very much look forward to being a part of this highly regarded and progressive firm.”

Gillian Bishop, a director and founder member of Family Law in Partnership, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome Ann Northover and Mariko Wilson to Family Law in Partnership. We have long admired Ann’s depth of expertise and flair for achieving outstanding outcomes for clients. We are delighted that family law specialists of the calibre of Ann and Mariko are choosing to join the Family Law in Partnership team. This is a resounding endorsement of the outstanding reputation of our firm.

Ann Northover is ranked as a leading family law specialist by the legal directories and is recognised for her expertise in family law by both Citywealth and SuperLawyers. Legal 500 UK recently noted that Ann has “immense expertise and wisdom, and you know her judgment will be spot on”.

Profiles of Ann Northover and Mariko Wilson

Ann Northover:

Ann is a highly regarded family law specialist who joins Family Law in Partnership as a consultant. Ann’s expertise in family law derives from over 20 years in practice, and she is known for her astute and incisive yet sensitive approach to resolving her client’s issues in the context of the needs of the wider family. The focus of Ann’s practice is on complex relationship issues, with particular emphasis on the finances and the wellbeing of, and arrangements for, any children affected.

“I believe each client deserves great respect, clarity and transparency of process. I regard my role as being to provide expert and meaningful support through what is often a very challenging time for a client. I am passionate about gaining a deep understanding of my clients in order to achieve the best outcome for them, drawing upon my dispute resolution and, where necessary, litigation skills. I want to complete my work with my client feeling fairness has been achieved, and that they are well-equipped to face the future.”

Ann has considerable experience in dealing with trust and tax issues for trustees, settlors or beneficiaries, complex pension structures, nuptial agreements and business assets. Ann’s diverse client base is both international and UK based.

Representative matters:

  • Acted for offshore trustees holding considerable assets in this jurisdiction wishing to preserve trust assets from attack. Comprehensively advised on their intervention into complex multi-party English divorce proceedings, prioritising the importance of the court making any orders based on the actual commercial reality of the situation. Also managed the disclosure process via the English and offshore courts.
  • Acted for the wife of a prominent businessman on divorce, to achieve a capital and income clean break where there were complex tax, security and structuring issues.
  • Acted for the husband in negotiations leading to a nuptial agreement, which involved complex worldwide assets and interests, including inherited and pre-acquired wealth, held in various structures.  The nuptial agreement sought to preserve the dynastic nature of a substantial part of his wealth, while seeking to make proper and fair provision for the wife and any children on any subsequent divorce.
  • Acted for the wife in children proceedings where the husband had significant addiction issues and the adolescent children required mental health intervention and support. Successfully negotiated a child arrangements order for the wife which also furthered the best interests of the entire family.

What Ann’s clients and peers say:

Ann has a great client manner and sense of humour. …she is always able to stand back from the immediate situation and see both sides of the argument.  In contrast, some lawyers will and can only see cases from their own client’s perspective.”

“I feel so fortunate in finding you as my solicitor.  You expertly and compassionately guided me through what were some very difficult times and achieved an amazing settlement for me.”

“I found our discussion informative and highly constructive and was not, I am sure, your only client to have walked out of your office with a profound sense of relief.”

“I really enjoyed working with you [on this case] and look forward to the next one – we make a great team!”

“I have found your “tough” and professional approach to be extremely valuable from a client’s perspective.”

“Thank you for all your help in my case and, for believing in me.”

“I would like to thank you again for your very precious support. You really have been of great help and I am very grateful.”

“Thank you for your support during such a distressing period of my life – I could not imagine what would have happened if you had not been there as my lawyer.”

“I have given your name to a dear friend in great difficulty and told her I have absolute faith in you.”

“Once I found you, I knew I had to keep you as my lawyer.”

Ann is ranked as a leading family law specialist by the legal directories and is recognised for her expertise in family law by both Citywealth and SuperLawyers. Legal 500 recently noted that Ann has “immense expertise and wisdom, and you know her judgment will be spot on”. Chambers describes Ann as a “very sound and practical specialist” who “deals with complex matrimonial finance matters and prenuptial agreements, often with multi-jurisdictional considerations. Sources praise her talent for lateral thinking”.

A trained collaborative lawyer and mediator, Ann is a member of The Law Society, the Family Mediators Association, the International Bar Association, Resolution (the family lawyers association) and The Royal Society of Medicine. Ann qualified as a solicitor in 1992 at Stephenson Harwood. She became a partner at Gordon Dadds in 2002 and joined Forsters LLP as a partner in 2004 where she headed the family department for 10 years.

Mariko Wilson:

Mariko joins Family Law in Partnership as an associate. She handles all aspects of private family law and has a broad range of experience, frequently acting for high net worth individuals in financial relief and divorce proceedings as well as acting in children matters.

Mariko has acted on a number of complex cross border financial matters, often advising non tax resident and non-tax domiciled individuals, entrepreneurs and individuals from the financial sector. She also has experience in dealing with property claims brought by third parties and unmarried cohabitants under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

Mariko is experienced in dealing with cross border private children law matters particularly proceedings where one parent seeks to remove a child from the jurisdiction contrary to the wishes of the other. She also advises on financial claims on behalf of the children of unmarried parents under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, including in a cross border context.

“I want my clients to understand all the options available to them, before guiding them through the process that they decide is right for them. Every family is different; I don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Once on the right path to resolution, I aim to provide pragmatic, commercial advice in a clear and effective manner”.

Representative matters:

  • Mariko acted on behalf of a wife in financial proceedings involving complex multi-jurisdictional tax issues. The marriage had been a long one with the complicating factor of a significant age differential. Both parties had been high earners but, as a result of the age gap, were at very different stages in their careers. Mariko successfully argued for a significant departure from equality in the wife’s favour on account of this factor and the wife’s premarital contributions.
  • Mariko represented a husband in financial proceedings where a significant financial claim was made by the wife, (notwithstanding her own earning capacity), on account of the wife claiming that she was the primary carer of their 5 small children. Mariko successfully negotiated an immediate clean break on behalf of the husband, together with 50% of the capital, on account of the reality of the parties’ childcare arrangements (being an almost equal division of care).
  • Mariko successfully secured the return of two children to their home in West Africa with their mother, the children having been wrongfully retained in the UK by their father following a holiday.
  • Mariko acted for the father in successfully defending an application (made by his ex-wife) to remove their two children permanently from the jurisdiction to her home town in Canada. Having defeated the application for leave to remove, Mariko also secured a costs order in the father’s favour to preserve the re-housing fund for himself and the children.

What Mariko’s clients say:

“Thank you so much for all your support, you were amazing”.

“A huge thank you to Mariko for handling my case with such professionalism; after 3 days in Court I have been able to return to work with a clear mind and with my pride and dignity intact. Mariko provided me with the necessary confidence and an understanding of the strategy which I needed to be able to get through matters”.

“A big thank you to Mariko, she is a truly excellent lawyer and an asset to your firm”.

“Thank you, a traumatic process was made less so knowing that you were fighting my corner and having your support on a personal level”.

“Now that everything is finally over I just wanted to thank you for all you have done during my recent divorce. Knowing that you were there and knowledgeable about so many different aspects made all the difference. I was also at a definite advantage as a result of your efficiency. Finally, your long term vision and support made sure that both the children and I now have a secure future despite the many obstacles that were put in our path”.

“It was money very well spent! Mariko performed perfectly, she is a great lawyer”.

“Thanks so much for all your hard work and support over the past few weeks. I couldn’t have got here without you, you’ve simply been amazing”.

Mariko is the Secretary of the London YRes Committee. She is a trained family mediator and a member of the Family Mediators Association. Mariko graduated from the University of Leicester. She trained at Anthony Gold Solicitors before joining the family team at Forsters LLP on qualification.