Chambers of Nicholas Cusworth QCTEMPLE, LONDON, EC4Y 7BE, ENGLAND
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The ‘outstanding’ specialist family law set (Legal 500).
Chambers prides itself on having been the family law market leader in every legal guide for every year since those guides were first published. It is a position earned and retained by an unrivalled expertise in relationship generated disputes. More than half of all the specialist matrimonial money Silks in England and Wales are at 1 Hare Court. The set’s vibrancy is maintained by a rigorous policy of in-house training (including the annual Chambers lecture) and by continued representation in the vast majority of leading cases.
The set: Chambers traces its history back more than 200 years. Its illustrious former members include Law Lords and Lords Justice of Appeal. Very recent past members include Baroness Butler-Sloss, Lord Simon, Lord Cumming-Bruce, the President of the Family Division, Sir Nicholas Wall P and Lord Justice Thorpe. All three of the family law presidents - including the current incumbent - from specialist family law backgrounds, have come from Chambers.
Members write or contribute to the leading text books and leading periodicals. The Chambers Annual Lecture is an important fixture in the family law year. Until December 2002 the set was based at 1 Mitre Court Buildings. Chambers now numbers 12 Silks, 28 juniors and an 11 strong Clerks team.
Types of work undertaken: Chambers provides cutting edge expertise at every level. The Supreme Court’s two most important private family law cases were dominated by members of chambers; whether in international divorces (where Nigel Dyer QC was for the successful Mrs Agbaje) or the nine Justice Supreme Court decision in Radmacher v Granatino (where Richard Todd QC and Geoffrey Kingscote were pitted against fellow member of chambers, Nicholas Mostyn QC). The most important private family law case in the Privy Council (Macleod v Macleod) had Martin Pointer QC. Members of chambers have had an active part as advocates in all the most celebrated divorce cases of recent years; White, Cowan, Lambert, Miller, McFarlane, Charman,and McCartney. 85% of the hundreds of reported cases referred to in At A Glance have had involvement by members of chambers. Obviously the higher court cases attract greater publicity but Chambers maintains a strong representation at every level of litigation; the unsung every bit as valued as the celebrated.
The majority of chambers’ work takes the form of resolving disputes on divorce - both financial and private law children. The breakdown of civil partnerships or property disputes arising from the unmarried parties’ cohabitation (TOLATA, MWPA, Schedule 1 Children Act and Inheritance Act) also represents an important part of Chambers’ work. Chambers has a burgeoning reputation in drafting nuptial agreements.
In addition to traditional court work, Chambers offers private mediation services (including by a retired High Court judge, Mr Justice Singer and part-time members of the judiciary who are still in Chambers). It also has specialist mediators. Some members are associates of collaborative law pods.
Another area of specialisation is in the drafting of pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, Advising and drafting these is a staple part of many members’ practices.
The law relating to children is a principal area in which Chambers provides high quality expertise; this extends to private law, Hague convention and care proceedings.
Chambers also has an impressive international presence with its members providing representation or expert evidence in many other jurisdictions. In the last ten years members of Chambers have acted in 30 foreign jurisdictions. In 2011 members of Chambers could be found advocating in cases as geographically far apart as the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
Members are supported by a highly efficient Clerks Room run under the patrician eye of Steve McCrone. ‘I see the work of barrister and solicitor as being very much that of a team’, said Steve. ‘We in the Clerks Room are proud to do what we can to help that team effort’.
Above material supplied by 1 Hare Court (Chambers of Nicholas Cusworth QC).