Going to Court – Litigation

 

At FLiP we don’t take cases to Court for the sake of it. But sometimes going to Court can be the best option for you. Our intelligent, robust and principled approach to litigation is widely respected and recognised. It gets results. We will give you a clear-sighted assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and will advise you accordingly.

We pride ourselves in achieving consistently successful outcomes for clients when we take cases to Court. Our Reported Cases stand as a testament to our success.

Rest assured, we will be by your side, pursuing your case with skill and care to deliver the very best outcome for you.

 

Why Go To Court? →

Issuing Court proceedings does not have to be an aggressive move.

  • There are many cases which benefit from a structured Court timetable which promotes and monitors disclosure throughout the process, for example.
  • There may be a point of law or fact to be decided.
  • There may be an urgent matter which can only be resolved safely and speedily through the Court.
  • There may be wider safety concerns which mean that going to Court is very much the best way forward.
  • Other process routes may have failed leaving you with no option but to issue Court proceedings.

Sometimes you need to use the Court process to achieve compliance with an existing order. This may include challenging the breach of an existing Court order, if your former spouse stops paying you maintenance, for example.

Whatever the reason for choosing to pursue your case through the Court, our approach will remain the same and our support for you will be unparalleled.

Our Expertise →

Whether your case relates to financial matters on divorce and separation or disagreements (financial or otherwise) over matters relating to children, we have extensive experience and deep technical skill to support you through the Court process.

  • We have been involved in many of the leading cases dealing with financial claims on divorce, equipping us with first-hand knowledge of the way the law is interpreted and applied.
  • We pioneered the use of private financial dispute resolution hearings and other dispute resolution processes and we have wide ranging expertise in high conflict children work.
  • With a strong international practice, we regularly deal with cross jurisdictional issues including jurisdiction races and can call on our network of specialist foreign lawyers to assist, when necessary.

Going to Court can promote conflict and acrimony. However, our background in promoting agreement outside the Court process is just as relevant within the Court process. Our settlement skills can help to minimise conflict and are vital in creating an efficient and cost-effective process.

Even when proceedings are underway, we will always signpost you to alternative process options if this becomes more appropriate. Whilst our professional rules prevent us from providing either mediation or arbitration services to people for whom we are acting as lawyers, we can assist in accessing those services from other providers.

You can watch a video by FLiP Directors David Allison and Elizabeth Hicks here, who explain the firm’s expertise and approach to cases that proceed to court.

Examples of recent cases on which FLiP has advised which have involved court proceedings include:

Xanthopoulos v Rakshina [2022] EWFC 30 (and associated case reports)

This was a long running case involving a Russian family who were temporarily resident in London. It involved jurisdiction disputes (England and Russia) in relation to children, divorce and money. There were concurrent English and Russian proceedings, and it was necessary for the FLiP team to work closely with their Russian counterparts. In England it gave rise to 7 reported decisions including 3 from the Court of Appeal. This includes a seminal decision on the privacy of family proceedings.

In relation to the children, following a dispute about habitual residence and hearings at both the High Court level and Court of Appeal in both jurisdictions, FLiP was successful in securing recognition and enforcement of a Russian order in England that provided for the children to live with their mother (FLiP’s client) in the place of her choosing.

In relation to the divorce, the Russian proceedings concluded first and, following appeals in Russia, the divorce was made final. That brought an end to the English divorce and money claim although the husband was able to make a claim for financial relief following an overseas divorce. However, his litigation conduct and failure to accept an early open offer made by FLiP’s client, resulted in what was, by English standards, a very limited award. That decision was appealed by the husband and whilst he was partly successful, he barely shifted the dial on the award. This is now a landmark case on the impact of litigation conduct on financial claims.

Tsvetkov v Khayrova [2023] EWFC 130

This was a long running ‘big money’ financial claim on divorce in which FLiP acted for the wife. The case included a number of novel issues including the use of search orders in family proceedings and how the court should deal with future contingent tax liabilities.

The main issue at trial was whether the wife’s alleged conduct should result in her receiving less than 50% of the assets. FLiP successfully resisted that claim. However, in a separate costs judgement, Mr Justice Peel awarded the husband 50% of his costs due to the wife’s conduct. This, along with Xanthopoulos v Rakshina (referred to above) is now a leading authority on the impact of litigation conduct.

The case also attracted significant press interest, largely courted by the husband, which required careful management by FLiP. This and the wife’s conduct resulted in the final judgement being reported without any anonymisation.  This case, again like Xanthopoulos v Rakshina, is a seminal judgement on the privacy of family proceedings.

Further details of our Reported Cases can be found here.

The Court Process - An Overview →

The Court process involves two, or sometimes three, separate processes and applies to divorce as well as the dissolution of civil partnerships. A separate process is involved for disputes concerning children.

  • The first process is the divorce itself. Since April 2022 we have a “no fault” divorce law that is processed entirely online through the court portal. The divorce itself can usually be processed within five to six months.
  • The second process is to resolve the financial issues. The first stage is information gathering. Up to three hearings then follow. The first two can be used as opportunities to settle and the third, the Final Hearing, is when a judge will make a finding of what the division of the assets and income should be. If settlement is not reached the Court will impose its decision based on current case law.
  • The third process is to resolve issues relating to children. The judge will only impose a decision if you and your partner are unable to come to an agreement.

How We Support You →

Going to Court is often not easy. However, with our team of highly experienced litigation specialists you can be sure that you have the right advice on outcome and the best advice on strategy to achieve your goals.

You might want to take advantage of the support and insight that our specialist divorce consultants and relationship therapists can provide as you move through the legal process. They are both highly qualified in the psychological and therapeutic fields, as well as having extensive experience of working with and supporting individuals and couples therapeutically, including those who are separating. They have a deep understanding of the challenges that individuals face when navigating the legal process.

We also have strong professional relationships with a wide range of other specialists – barristers, forensic accountants, independent financial advisers, private bankers – who will work in partnership with us to support and advise you on issues ranging from how to fund your case to the valuation of your assets.

If you choose to take your case to Court (or where Court proceedings have already been started), we aim to ensure that your experience of the Court process is aligned with the core values and beliefs that underpin our practice. We litigate intelligently, robustly and skillfully, always with your best interests at heart and always working in partnership with you. A leading Barrister recently commented of our work together on a client’s case: “I can honestly say that in over 40 years of practice, I have never worked in a team which has worked so brilliantly together.”

Our People

 

We have some of the very best London divorce lawyers and mediators, along with accomplished arbitrators, family consultants and counsellors. There’s no one better to handle your case.

Team of Family Lawyers Talking

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