Jo specialises in dealing with issues which arise on relationship breakdown, including the financial consequences of divorce or separation; and resolving arrangements for children, including cases involving relocation with children. She also has expertise in advising on pre-nuptial agreements and acting in cases involving unmarried couples.
Although Jo has extensive experience of taking cases to court where required, she is known for her conciliatory, pragmatic approach and desire to settle cases where possible. She is a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer and one of only a handful of lawyers in London qualified to consult with children in mediation. Mediation is a significant part of Jo's practice and she has mediated both married and unmarried couples, often with complex/high value assets or difficult issues such as one parent wishing to relocate overseas with children.
Jo held the position of Chair of Resolution, the national family lawyers' association, from 2014 to 2016. During her two year term of office, she led several high profile family law campaigns, met with MPs and the judiciary and appeared regularly on national TV and radio and in the broadsheets. She continues to sit on Resolution's National Committee and to be active in policy, membership and media work.
Internationally Jo is a founding member of the European Network of Collaborative Professionals and a regular speaker at family law conferences around the world. She has particularly strong links with Australia and Scotland, from where many of her referrals emanate.
Jo is recognised as a leading individual by Legal 500 and Chambers, which say of Jo that she is a “tireless campaigner who leaves no stone unturned to get the best for her clients. She is the doyenne of the family law world and is a real leader in finding less confrontational routes to solutions whilst retaining a steely core” [Legal 500 2019]; "She is incredible…it is rare that you find a mediator that can do these high-end international cases. You need someone that does this every day, and she is the one for that" [Chambers High Net Worth 2018]. In 2018 Jo has been shortlisted for three awards – Chambers HNW’s “Family Lawyer of the Year”, Spears’ “Family Lawyer of the Year” and the Family Law Awards “Family Law Partner of the Year".
Divorce can pose a significant risk to a family's or an individual's wealth. However, a nuptial agreement can reduce or mitigate such risk. A common perception of nuptial agreements is that they are designed to limit the extent of one party's financial claims. While they can be used in this way, their greater utility in this context is their ability to reduce uncertainty and therefore risk.
When one or both parties to a marriage have a connection with another country in addition to England and Wales, there are international considerations and implications to take into account when considering a nuptial agreement. This could be because of where they live, their domicile or nationality or where their assets are based. Among other things, couples should consider where an agreement should be drawn up and whether an English nuptial agreement will be upheld abroad.
The practical process of entering into a nuptial agreement may not be as difficult as it first seems. This article provides a five-step guide which covers discussing the possibility of a nuptial agreement, engaging solicitors and agreeing headline terms, disclosing assets and liabilities, drafting and negotiating agreements and signing agreements and keeping them safe.
The prospect of discussing a nuptial agreement may seem daunting, but if approached in the right way it can form part of an important conversation about a couple's future together. If a couple can agree the central elements of a nuptial agreement before lawyers draw up the document, this will help to minimise potential areas of disagreement and can pave the way for a constructive negotiation. This article outlines tips for broaching the sometimes thorny subject of prenuptial agreements.
Raising the subject of a nuptial agreement can be a difficult task, but beneficial in the long run. A nuptial agreement can help to give a couple the freedom to decide their financial destiny rather than leaving that power to a judge in the family courts. It is a way for a couple to draw up their own rules rather than rely on the default of a legal system which may or may not accommodate individual circumstances. This article examines some of the many benefits of signing nuptial agreements.
Many feel apprehensive about raising the subject of nuptial agreements, partly due to the lack of impartial information and the influence of popular misheld beliefs. Despite the widespread belief that nuptial agreements are unfair, worthless and unromantic, they can be a sensible, fair and transparent way to discuss the financial aspects of a marriage and agree the outcome if ever it breaks down.