Members of the First Wives Club – divorcees who claim their husbands cheated them out of a fair divorce settlement by refusing to disclose their true wealth – are launching legal bids for justice. One divorcee is seeking perjury charges against three associates of her ex-husband, claiming they lied in court about his assets. Separately, another divorcee is demanding that the CPS bring charges against her former husband whom she has accused of aggressively refusing to fully disclose his assets. The women claim family court judges are overlooking the lies to drive through cases quickly.

The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 7

Posted 08/07/2018

A heterosexual couple have won their legal bid for the right to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage. The Supreme Court agreed that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 – which only applies to same-sex couples – is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The appeal was brought by Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan who said they had “deep-rooted ideological objections to marriage” because it was “historically hetero-normative and patriarchal”. The verdict could have a significant impact on the government’s pension costs and tax income, as civil partners are entitled to the same legal treatment in terms of tax, inheritance and pensions as in marriage.

The Times, Page: 4 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 13 The Guardian, Page: 3 Financial Times, Page: 2 The Sun, Page: 26 Daily Express, Page: 12 The Independent, Page: 19

Posted 28/06/2018


New analysis shows that fathers are increasingly seeking access to their children, leading to a rise in court disputes over their rights to participate in the care of their children. Sir Andrew McFarlane, incoming president of the High Court family division, described the volume of cases as “wholly untenable”, while also warning about parents seeking a private order, which have to be dealt with “by the same cohort of judges who are coping with the increased public law workload”. Family solicitor Sarah Wood-Heath, of Wilsons, which analysed the figures, commented: “More disputes over access to children is something of an unexpected side-effect of the trend towards more men taking responsibility for the care of their children. With many fathers feeling they should be playing an important role in the upbringing of their children, we are seeing more cases go to court.”

The Times, Page: 14

Posted 25/06/2018

The head of the High Court’s Family Division has predicted divorce cases and child custody battles will be dealt with virtually within four years. Sir James Munby, who is due to retire in July, said: “We will at last have escaped from a court system still in too large part moored in the world of Dickens”. The proposals are part of plans to modernise the courts which are due to be implemented by March 2022.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 10

Posted 16/05/2018

Katharine Landells, a partner in Withers’ Family team, writes in the Independent on Sunday that the BBC legal drama, The Split, portrays divorce proceedings as inevitably antagonistic and risks negatively impacting on people’s perception of the process. Ms Landells says it would be more productive if the programme highlighted how divorce lawyers are “accomplished strategists” and illustrated how they are working within a “broken system that is strewn with obstacles imposed by outdated legislation.”

Independent on Sunday

Posted 06/05/2018

Studies indicate domestic violence is a growing problem among older couples. The latest research collated by Women’s Aid on women killed by male partners discovered that 11.5% of women killed by a partner or ex-partner in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were aged 66 or over. Separately, campaigner Esther Rantzen says abuse against the elderly must be made an aggravated offence in order to secure tougher sentences on those who prey upon the vulnerable and elderly.

The Guardian, Page: 35 Daily Express, Page: 1, 4-5

Posted 25/04/2018


Sir James Munby has warned that scores of newly-divorced couples may still be married because of mistakes ranging from submitting petitions too soon after marriage or officials approving divorces before the applicants had spent enough time apart. Margaret Heathcote of Resolution, a body which represents family law firms, said: “With the closure of many courts and fewer resources for the family justice system more broadly, it is inevitable that there will be an impact in one form or another. The fact that the president has had to issue this guidance suggests there are basic mistakes being made that simply shouldn’t happen.”

Daily Mail, Page: 22

Posted 24/04/2018

A university graduate has been jailed for seven and a half years for abusing her partner. Jordan Worth, 22, is believed to be the first woman convicted under new domestic abuse laws after scalding her boyfriend with boiling water, stabbing him and keeping food from him. She pleaded guilty to controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The Daily Telegraph, Page; 11 The Times, Page; 9 Daily Mail, Page: 23

Posted 17/04/2018

A High Court Judge has backed an appeal by the Financial Director of TUI travel, William Waggott, to have maintenance payments to his wife cut following their divorce. Mr Waggott was ordered to pay wife Kim £9.76m and £175,000 in annual maintenance payments for the rest of her life. Mr Waggott appealed arguing the 2014 ruling meant his wife had “no financial incentive” to get back to work and stop living off him. Mrs Waggott, also a successful accountant, had demanded that payments increase by £23,000 a year. Lord Justice Moylan, at London’s Appeal Court, rejected this. He went on to order the original £175,000 payments to cease after three years. He added that Mrs Waggott will not suffer “undue hardship” and can get a job if she needs more money.

Daily Mail, Page: 35 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 11 The Times, Page: 15

Posted 12/04/2018




The Mail talks to high profile female lawyers about divorce. Helen Ward, a partner at Stewarts, who has handled many celebrity separations, says people going through difficulties “need to explore whether their love really has died and their marriage really is over. Divorce carries a health warning and I think everybody ought to think about this long and hard before they do it.” Also profiled are Davina Katz, a partner at Schillings, Sandra Davis, head of the family department at Mishcon de Reya, Diana Parker, a senior partner at Withers and Adele Pledger, an associate at Withers. Ms Katz says where money is concerned, “the more there is, the greater the avarice” with the fight for more driven by revenge and anger. Ms Parker advocates continued intimacy to keep marriages healthy. Divorce lawyers appear to agree that, alth ough they may not be better at choosing spouses, they probably have a lower incidence of divorce. A day job full of antagonism and loathing drives them to go home and invest in their marriages.

Daily Mail, Page: 33-35

Posted 09/04/2018