Vardags > London, England > Firm Profile

Vardags
10 OLD BAILEY
LONDON
EC4M 7NG
England

Private client > Family Tier 2

Vardags has some of the UK’s best litigation lawyers with extensive coverage nationally through its offices in London, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford and Winchester – it has ‘herculean fire-power‘ . It specialises in complex, challenging, high-profile and international litigation cases for high-net-worth clients. It has a large team that includes notable practitioners such as Ayesha Vardag, Lois Rogers and the ‘very cleverSimon McKirgan. Head of department is the ‘outstandingGeorgina Hamblin who has particular expertise in high-value multi-jurisdictional divorce cases and jurisdictional disputes. Katherine Res Pritchard, who heads up the children department, was recently promoted to senior director. It is ‘very well-suited to dealing with complex and high-net wealth cases. It is able to assemble a team at short notice. The lawyers are formidably hardworking’. Director Sophie Groves is described as having ‘grativas beyond her years.

Practice head(s):

Georgina Hamblin

Other key lawyers:

Ayesha Vardag; Lois Rogers; Simon McKirgan; Sophie Groves; Katherine Res Pritchard; Claire Clarke; Tom Quinn; Antonia Barker; Alex Curran; Caroline Korah

Testimonials

‘The rise of Vardags over the past decade is clear testament to how good they are. Many say they are the Rolls Royce of family law firms, which is true, but they often run their cases more like a Ferrari: with sheer legal power, utter determination and a winning streak.   They have also been at the forefront of new legal technology and were paperless years before the Pandemic forced everyone to follow suit. Simon McKirgan: his attention to detail and legal knowledge is peerless. Georgina Hamblin: fantastic family lawyer and tactician who is a hard as nail‘.

‘Leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to achieve a successful outcome for clients. Ayesha – Flamboyant and effective. Simon McKirgan excellent judgment and extensive knowledge‘.

Katherine Res Pritchard handled my case. From the offset the speed and urgency she showed in taking my case was imperative in reaching a positive outcome. She was very transparent, direct and the strategy adopted by Katherine was outstanding. Katherine is absolutely someone who should be recognised for her high level of professionalism and expertise. She builds a high level of trust, respect and positive rapport which is essential between both parties and I can’t thank her enough for the effort she made in handling my case. She personally gave me a lot  more confidence throughout the proceedings and I can’t recommend her highly enough for the job that she has done‘.

‘Vardags offers genuine strength in depth both in terms of seasoned litigators and acute attention to detail by junior lawyers and financial specialists. Collaboration with financial analysts seems to be a common and complementary feature to the legal services in big money cases and can be of invaluable help scrutinising and presenting clients’ cases. The lawyers exhibit excellent client-care skills and tenacity. Most of my work has been with Claire Clarke, a Director in the family team. Claire is unflappable, unfailingly courteous, and tenacious.  She advances her clients’ interests robustly, demonstrates keen emotional intelligence, and goes the extra mile for each and every client she works for‘.

The team at Vardags is superbly equipped to deal with the most complex, high net worth cases. The solicitors are all keenly intelligent with a broad grasp of the current trends in court. They are supported by an in-house network of experts who can assist on difficult points namely in the area of accountancy. Antonia Barker is a fierce opponent. She is highly intelligent with excellent knowledge of in particular complex trust structures. She is my go to for anything involving nuptial agreements. One to watch. Alex Curran is an iron fist inside a velvet glove. His intelligent, eloquent approach to cases makes the unarguable appear arguable. He is a rising star in family law‘.

‘ Unquestionably they are leaders in the High Net Worth Field. Known for financial work, but also now very strong in children work. Katherine Res Pritchard – heads up the children team; pleasure to work with; she has a deep knowledge and understanding of international and tough private law cases particularly. Alex Curran – star of the present and the future; he will go far‘.

‘The lawyers strive to do the absolute best that they can for their clients. Each client is given a first class service. Their preparation for every case is flawless and they go the extra mile every time. A very impressive group of lawyers. Tom Quinn is sharp and focused. He fights his corner very hard but does not shy away from giving robust advice’.

‘Lois Rogers – One to watch for the future, Lois is an all-round star, fantastic judgement, great knowledge of the law and a head for strategy’.

Work highlights

  • Represented the Applicant Father in Wardship proceedings in the High Court. There have been 2 reported judgments made: Father v Mother [2020] EWHC 1929 (Fam) and Father v Mother [2020] EWHC 1930 (Fam).
  • Represented the mother in a high-value divorce matter with challenging children aspects. The judgement has been reported: CA v DR (Schedule 1 Children Act 1989: Pension Claim) [2021] EWFC 21

Private client > Family Tier 2

Vardags is a nationally renowned matrimonial and family law firm specialising in high-net-worth and complex cases, often with an international element. The firm has grown its office in Cambridge in recent years and now provides a full family law service including advising on pre-nup and post-nup agreements, arbitrations, child arrangements, domestic violence issues and divorce matters. Clients praise the group as 'very approachable, compassionate and understanding, providing sound commercial advice in difficult cases involving corporate assets and international issues'. 'Forceful and hardworking' practice head Silvia Devecchi and associate Isabel Mee are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Silvia Devecchi

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Vardags have been amazing in dealing with my case – I have truly felt that I am with a safe pair of hands where both factual and softer matters are considered so I feel that they truly care and are invested in my case. There have been several times where I have not fully agreed with their advice, but have trusted their experience and professionalism and it has been evidenced that they were right and I was wrong!’

‘Given the emotional and financial stress, it has been really nice to work with Vardags who have been very approachable, compassionate and understanding.’

‘I have interacted with three people from Vardags and they’ve all shared the same traits and values, which is great and, although I hope I will not require their services once my case is favourably concluded, I will surely and comfortably recommend them to others!’

‘The team are incredibly efficient, understanding and helpful. The individuals I have worked with have all shown great professionalism, understanding and are very personable.’

‘The team is forward-looking and innovative in its thinking when approaching cases. The team works collaboratively with other external advisers to ensure the best client outcome. The emphasis is on excellence and the team are always developing knowledge through training and experience. It seems like a very vibrant and positive environment to be part of.’

‘Silvia Devecchi’s energy, tenacity, excellent knowledge and drive is exactly what you want in your corner when going through a relationship breakdown. Her positive attitude stands her apart from peers and gives you comfort that you are in safe hands in what is one of the most challenging times of your life. Isabel Mee’s attention to detail and knowledge of the cases is outstanding and she will undoubtedly rise to be an impeccable lawyer.’

Private client > Family Tier 2

Vardags routinely advises on very high-value, complex financial disputes, including cases involving international assets, jurisdiction issues and complex company structures. The team counts high-net worth individuals such as business owners and sports professionals amongst its clients. Emma Gill leads the practice, handling financial and children work; she is praised as ‘a leading light in Manchester and the North West’ and was recently promoted to senior director. Other recommended lawyers in the team include Annemarie Bradley, who ‘exudes a quiet confidence’.

Practice head(s):

Emma Gill

Other key lawyers:

Annemarie Bradley; Lucy Williams

Testimonials

‘Emma Gill is a leading light in Manchester and the North West. Heads the team and generates both loyalty and a hardworking ethos’. 

‘The team are incredibly approachable and provide sensible and pragmatic advice to a wide range of wealthy clients. Their back office technology has always been well ahead of its competitors and their forward thinking approach helped them greatly to move seamlessly to remote working at the beginning of the pandemic.’

‘The team provide a bespoke service built around the client. Vardags particularly shine when acting for the financially weaker party. They have both the skill and knowledge to dissect the other party’s complex financial disclosure with precision whilst also been able to clear and straightforward explanations of complex mattes to their client who may well be unfamiliar with the subject matter.’

‘Emma Gill is best described as the indefatigable Emma Gill. A human dynamo, with an astute ability to find the right questions to ask, and then deliver on the answer. Someone you can trust implicitly.’

‘The name Vardags carries with it an expectation of high standards and quality of service; the team in Manchester meets and exceeds that reputation. The firm has adapted superbly to the pressures imposed by the pandemic, showing flexibility and acknowledging how the virus can impact upon their clients and their cases.’

‘I have known Emma Gill for a long time and she is very good on complex cases. A pragmatist and easy to have a conversation with.’

‘Annemarie Bradley is committed to her clients and will happily go the extra mile for them. She is down to earth and pragmatic and has a wonderful warmth to her that the clients appreciate. Lucy Williams is loved by clients and counsel for her down to earth approach to the most complicated of cases. She is simply a breath of fresh air to work with and prepares her cases incredibly thoroughly. Lucy has an encyclopaedic knowledge of her cases.’

‘The team at Vardags go above and beyond, from the warm and friendly welcome at switchboard through to all of the staff, be it paralegals or directors of the firm. What I got from Vardags from the very first point of contact was calm, professional reassurance. Legal knowledge is one thing but the ability to humanise the legal system in what was a hugely stressful legal battle for over 2 years helped me in more ways than just legal advice.’

Real estate > Residential property Tier 3

Vardags' property practice is led by James Bunker, who focuses on acquisitions, disposals, restructurings and lease management. His client base includes high-net-worth individuals from China, the US, the Middle East and Central Europe. Bunker's recent work included matters concerning prime central London properties, as well as country houses.

Practice head(s):

James Bunker

Testimonials

Vardags offer an incredibly personalised service and are excellent communicators. Their strength lies in their ability to deconstruct complex legal issues and make them intelligible to clients.’

James Bunker – A phenomenal operator, always available, and never flustered by workload or complex transactions.’

James Bunker is exceptional. He is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable on all things property and has a good understanding of property taxes too. For complex transactions, James is the person to go to.’

James Bunker is a breath of fresh air. His consistent level of engagement and positive problem-solving approach make him a true asset to the firm. He is a delight to deal with, and his relaxed yet focused approach makes him perfectly placed to give clients the confidence to overcome the inevitable hurdles in their stride.’

A bespoke, partner-led and personal service.’

James Bunker always seems to be on top of the detail and is very responsive. It is easy and quick to do a deal with him. He is a genuinely lovely person.’

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 4

Led by ‘total star’ Alex McCready, the Vardags reputation and privacy team works closely with its family, crime and financial forensics department to provide a full-service offering for clients facing reputational challenges. The practice has a strong international element, handling cross-border mandates for a client base comprising high net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra McCready

Testimonials

‘The Vardags team combines an innovative approach with unrivalled experience that works at breakneck speed.’

‘The team at Vardags are exceptional – the company culture and diligence is of a very high standard.’

‘A small team, but really dedicated to their clients, who are often high net-worth individuals. Able to really service client needs in a focused manner.’

‘Alex McCready is a total star. Could easily be a partner at a big firm on the data protection and reputation management side, but has instead built up this practice at Vardags from scratch, and the team with it. Totally on it.’

‘The team specialises in reputation management for high profile individuals and they have a diverse and gender-balanced practice. I have been impressed by the youth in the team and perhaps they embody the idea that age is no barrier in the legal world. This also has positive effects in that their generally younger staff are more tech-savvy than most law firms.’

Work highlights

  • Represented the founder of EasyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in his defamation claim against The Telegraph.

Vardags is a leading, law-changing, blue-chip law firm, specialising in high stakes, complex, and international cases for high net worth individuals and their companies. ‘Britain’s top divorce lawyer’ Ayesha Vardag leads a team of the country’s best legal minds. The firm has taken City quality into the private sphere, and become one of the very few UK lawyers called upon to advise heads of state, on matters of both English and international law. The firm’s lawyers are frequently called upon as experts on the biggest cases and legal issues of the day, by outlets such as BBC News, CNN, the Today Programme, and Newsnight.

Principal areas of work
Divorce: Vardags is best known as one of the country’s top divorce firms, providing a full range of matrimonial law services for high net worth individuals. The firm has been involved in many if not most of the leading ‘big money’ cases of our times. Vardags is outspoken in its support for no-fault divorce, having founded and spearheaded the Campaign for Family Law Reform, and co-parenting, consistent with its own commitment to equality and family-friendly policies. The firm is unique in having an in-house financial forensics team and our  invaluable expertise in remuneration and complex corporate structures, valuations, options and derivatives, and asset tracing ensures every client gets their fair share. In the 2010 landmark case of Radmacher v Granatino, Vardags changed the law by making prenuptial agreements enforceable in England and Wales. Since then, Vardags has acted in many high profile cases heard in the English courts, including:

  • Obtaining a record award against declared bankrupt Mr Young and a record costs award for Michelle Young in Young v Young
  • Acting for Yasmin Prest in the High Court case which ran into the Supreme Court ‘corporate veil’ victory of Prest v Petrodel
  • Acting successfully in a ground-breaking transatlantic nullity case involving Sharia, English, US and Italian law
  • Obtaining what is believed to be a record interim child maintenance award against a foreign royal family member
  • Acting in a case involving a head of state which was England’s first concluded family law arbitration
  • Acting for Li Quan in the international tiger charity case
  • Acting for the Marchioness of Northampton in her famous divorce settlement
  • Securing the highest award ever award after a foreign divorce in Al-Baker v Al-Baker
  • Winning the leviathan jurisdiction battle and one of the largest ever reported divorce awards for the former Miss Malaysia against her Laura Ashley tycoon husband, in Chai v Khoo
  • Securing a Court of Protection order generating consent to fertility treatment for a client’s husband after a tragic road accident left him on life support in 2018, a ground-breaking legal first

Recently, Vardags acted for the husband in FRB v DCA, a high-profile divorce case involving very complex financial proceedings related to the divorce of the scions of two allegedly billionaire families.

Children and family: Vardags’ children and family department offers a full range of family law services, including prenuptial, postnuptial, and cohabitation agreements, fertility and surrogacy, and disputes involving children.

Vardags’ dedicated children team handles a wide range of matters, from fertility and surrogacy to disputes relating to family breakdown. Many of the department’s cases have an international element, such as international relocation, the registration and enforcement of foreign contact orders, and all other forms of cross-border children disputes.

Vardags is a champion of the reform of UK surrogacy laws, which often force hopeful parents to go abroad or to enter into precarious agreements. The Vardags team can help legally secure and protect families created through assisted conception, fertility treatment, donor conception, and surrogacy. Familiar with the sensitivities of modern family-building, Vardags offers specialist legal advice and representation to help high net worth individuals place their family life on a firm legal footing.

Commercial and civil litigation: The civil and commercial litigation department works on a wide range of commercial matters, including shareholder disputes, professional negligence, and insolvency agreements. The department advises on some of the most high-stakes, complex disputes across a range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, and international arbitration.

Criminal defence: The criminal department advises clients who are subject to investigation by the police and other investigative bodies, including the SFO and HMRC. The team provides full representation and advice from before arrest to trial and appeal, and has acted in some of the most high-profile cases in the Old Bailey over recent years. The department provides comprehensive representation in relation to assault, drugs, harassment and sexual offences as well as all aspects of white-collar crime, regulatory crime, and confiscation proceedings. It has an extraordinary record in shutting down investigations before charges are brought.

Property: Vardags’ property department acts for clients in buying, selling, mortgaging, and restructuring prime and super-prime properties in London and across the country. The team provides a discreet, meticulous, and comprehensive service to high and ultra-high net worth clients involved in property transactions, and works tirelessly to ensure these are completed with speed and precision. Recent cases include contract races won and deals secured in under seven hours.

Reputation and privacy: Vardags’ reputation and privacy team works to protect the best interests of high profile and high net worth individuals and successful companies. It represents celebrities, sports stars, entrepreneurs, and business executives on all areas of media and privacy litigation, including press management, online media issues, and defence against smear campaigns.

The department has also ensured that some of Vardags’ most high profile cases going through the English family courts are kept entirely out of the public eye. The firm handles these cases with the utmost discretion and expertise cultivated from years of experience in handling the press.

Clients: Vardags acts for high net worth individuals, their families, and their companies in high-stakes legal matters when a successful outcome is paramount.

Its divorce lawyers always aim to find a resolution, but are prepared to fight hard to win clients their fair share. They are also well-equipped to assist the financially weaker party by facilitating lending, tracing hidden assets and defending their best interests.

Vardags also supports its clients by providing a top-quality legal service to high net worth individuals in need of a children, criminal, civil litigation, property, or reputation lawyer.

Regional offices: Led by a surge in client demand, Vardags has expanded nationally and now works with clients from across the world in London, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford, and Winchester.

International: Vardags has unrivalled international expertise and a global clientele. Their familiarity with complex legal work spanning international jurisdictions is unparalleled and the firm is truly multi-lingual.

Recruitment: Vardags hand-picks stellar individuals who demonstrate intellect, creativity, determination and integrity and hail from the top academic and commercial institutions, including leading City firms. The firm has created a unique graduate training programme allowing the most talented young lawyers to join the firm directly on graduation from university and study through to qualification while being paid a full salary and doing real work. This leads their lawyers to qualify at a level described at the Bar as several years ahead of those of other firms.

Vardags Manchester: Vardags Manchester is a specialist divorce and family law firm for high net worth individuals and their families residing in the north west of England. Practising under the expert guidance of ‘Britain’s top divorce lawyer’ Ayesha Vardag and headed by ‘Manchester’s celebrity divorce lawyer’ Emma Gill, the Manchester office has brought a truly unique standard of service to the region. Since opening in 2016, Vardags Manchester’s innovative practice has earned the reputation as the region’s go-to law firm for high value, complex international divorce cases. Emma Gill is frequently sought out for commentary by the national press, including The Times and The Guardian. She is also a BBC Breakfast regular and often shares her legal expertise on Radio 5 Live.

Principal areas of work
Divorce: Vardags Manchester is best known throughout the region for its cutting-edge, top quality divorce law practice. Emma Gill and her team have represented some of the North West’s most high profile and high value clients in divorce cases involving several millions of pounds.

As a firm specialising in the most valuable cases, Vardags Manchester’s lawyers are unrivalled in their experience of handling the uniquely complex financial circumstances arising from high net worth divorce. The legal team works with the firm’s unique in-house forensic accountants, transforming the outcomes of divorce proceedings with expertise in remuneration, valuations, corporate structures, and asset tracing.

Vardags Manchester has represented clients in some of the most challenging and high-stakes cases in the region, including:

  • Acting in an unprecedented case for the wife of a successful businessman to challenge the validity of a highly limiting post nuptial agreement. The agreement had been signed at a time when the husband had failed to disclose a diagnosis of a life threatening condition.
  • Representing a nationally renowned actor in a dispute with his former wife over arrangements for their daughter, particularly around issues regarding privacy and use of the daughter’s image in national and social media.
  • Acting for the wife of an entrepreneur worth millions, whose attempts at lack of disclosure and dissipation of assets were uncovered by our financial forensics work.
  • Raising a powerful and innovative argument for the wife in a dispute worth over £15m in which the husband sought to retain over 80% of assets.
  • Arguing that the significant assets built up by a husband through hard work and clever entrepreneurship in his youth were non-matrimonial, reducing the sum eligible for division with his younger wife.

Children and family: Vardags Manchester’s children and family department offers a full range of family law services, including prenuptial, postnuptial, and cohabitation agreements. Emma Gill and Vicki McLynn are experts in children disputes, and many of the team share a background in child protection law. In every case, their primary goal is to protect the best interests of the children concerned.

Unlike many, Vardags Manchester focuses on providing advice that is not only of the highest legal merit, but also practical and pragmatic, taking into consideration the particular circumstances of both families and individuals.

In line with the firm’s commitment to families’ right to choice, the Manchester office is a champion of the reform of UK surrogacy laws, which often force hopeful parents to go abroad or to enter into insecure agreements. The team can help legally protect families created through assisted conception, fertility treatment, donor conception, and surrogacy. Familiar with the sensitivities of modern family-building, Vardags offers specialist legal advice and representation to help high net worth individuals place their family life on a firm footing.

Clients: Vardags Manchester represents the North West’s elite, including entrepreneurs, executives, and sports personalities. Clients instruct the firm for world-class support in high-stakes legal matters, when a successful outcome is paramount.

Clients are usually based in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Shropshire, and Merseyside, although Emma Gill and Vicki McLynn both have healthy London-based practices.

Recruitment: Vardags Manchester selects the very best and brightest young lawyers who share the firm’s love for the North West. Creativity, determination, and integrity are particularly admired. The firm has created a unique graduate training programme allowing the most talented young lawyers to work while being paid a full salary, and qualify at Vardags fully financed, directly on graduation from university.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
President Ayesha Vardagcontact@vardags.com02077887156
Director of Strategy Stephen Bencecontact@vardags.com02077887156
Head of London and Cambridge Family Georgina Hamblincontact@vardags.com02077887156
Head of Manchester Office Emma Gillcontact@vardags.com0161 532 9509
Reputation & Privacy Alex McCreadycontact@vardags.com02077887156
Property James Bunkerjbunker@vardags.com02077887156
Commercial & Civil Litigation Frank Ryancontact@vardags.com02077887156
Criminal Defence Robert Conwaycontact@vardags.com02077887156
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Dr Stephen Bence photo Dr Stephen BenceDr Stephen Bence is Director of Strategy at Vardags (non lawyer). Stephen…
James Bunker photo James BunkerJames is a director and Head of Property at Vardags. He specialises…
Claire Clark photo Claire ClarkClaire is a director in the family law team at Vardags. She…
Robert Conway photo Robert ConwayRobert is a Director and Head of Criminal Defence at Vardags. He…
Sophie Groves photo Sophie GrovesSophie Groves was made Director in March 2020, in recognition of her…
Georgina Hamblin photo Georgina HamblinGeorgina is a Senior Director at Vardags and Head of London &…
Caroline Korah photo Caroline KorahCaroline, a director in family law at Vardags, specialises exclusively in family law and most…
Alex McCready photo Alex McCreadyAlex is a Director and head of Reputation & Privacy at Vardags.…
Simon McKirgan photo Simon McKirganSimon, Senior Director at Vardags, specialises in the top end of high…
Katherine Res Pritchard photo Katherine Res PritchardKatherine, a director in children law at Vardags, is highly experienced in…
Lois Rogers photo Lois RogersLois is a Director in the divorce and family law team at…
Frank Ryan photo Frank RyanFrank is a director at Vardags and head of the civil litigation…
Ayesha Vardag photo Ayesha VardagAyesha Vardag, Founder and President of Vardags and ‘Britain’s top divorce lawyer’,…

Vardags knows that when the very best people are given the very best opportunities and appropriate support they will excel, regardless of their background. We do not ask questions about gender, race, sexuality or religion, as we feel they are private, and not relevant to employment. As an equal opportunities employer, Vardags works to foster an environment that nurtures and stimulates achievement, encouraging others to do the same.

Vardags has pursued pioneering approaches to parental leave and childcare to ensure that new parents are never sidelined – practices recognised in founder and president Ayesha Vardag’s receipt of the 2015 Natwest Everywoman Award. We relish the perspective and compassionate leadership that mothers and fathers can bring, rather than forcing our employees to choose between their career and their children, and we encourage others to follow our lead and work to make the legal profession supportive of parents.

No-one should be held back from excelling in the legal profession because of their financial background. Vardags’ graduate training programme was crafted in recognition of this, and those starting their careers with us benefit from earning a real salary throughout their training period. This means that no matter where they started, the more promising young lawyers can reach the top.

Vardags feels strongly that quality jobs and elite representation should not be focused exclusively in London. Vardags seeks to bring our calibre to regions of the country often ignored by other firms. This has brought high-quality legal representation to these areas, as well as the opportunity for talented lawyers to work on top cases without the need to relocate.

We have great faith in the power of the law to change society for the better. Vardags is a passionate advocate for no-fault divorce, which removes blame culture in divorce and means that marriage breakdown need not destroy respect and decency between spouses. We championed these reforms for several years and were delighted to see the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill receive royal assent earlier this year. Most recently, we have campaigned to change surrogacy laws in England, which currently restrict the options of hopeful parents, forcing them abroad, or into unreliable arrangements with British surrogates.


CLIENT: Pauline Chai
MATTER: Divorce
TESTIMONIAL: Vardags brilliantly argued my case to a resounding victory.


CLIENT: Michelle Young
MATTER: Divorce
TESTIMONIAL: Your legal tactics are by far the best.


CLIENT: Mrs Monica
MATTER: Divorce
TESTIMONIAL: [Vardags is] expensive but indispensable.


CLIENT: Antoinette Lemvigh
MATTER: Divorce
TESTIMONIAL: Vardags is absolutely 100% for any woman in a vulnerable position. They were perfect to go to.


CLIENT: Richard Todd QC (counsel)
MATTER: Divorce
TESTIMONIAL: [Ayesha] lights up the room when she comes in and brings a confidence that her client will prevail.


CLIENT: Anonymous
MATTER: Children
TESTIMONIAL: [Katherine and her team] have all been so patient… and I honestly cannot thank you enough.


CLIENT: Anonymous
MATTER: Children
TESTIMONIAL: You have my highest appreciation. The quality and attention to detail is as high as I could have hoped for and the result is… very strong.


CLIENT: Janet Weitz, CEO and publishing director, Alliance Publishing Press Ltd
MATTER: Civil litigation
TESTIMONIAL: [Frank Ryan’s] insightful advice and professional conduct make him an ideal ally and a formidable foe.


CLIENT: Toni Hilton, Dean of the Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University
MATTER: Civil litigation
TESTIMONIAL: Frank Ryan is a lawyer who thinks out of the box and delivers results, time and time again, often with devastating effect. I would always want him on and by my side.


CLIENT: Tariq
MATTER: Criminal
TESTIMONIAL: I would not hesitate to recommend Rob to anyone seeking a highly skilled and personable criminal lawyer.


CLIENT: Julie Carter
MATTER: Criminal
TESTIMONIAL: Excellent criminal department… I would use this firm for any matter in the future. Complete confidence in receiving the best care.


CLIENT: Anonymous
MATTER: Reputation and privacy
TESTIMONIAL: Alex is the definitive reputation and privacy lawyer.


CLIENT: Toni Hilton, Dean of the Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University
MATTER: Reputation and privacy
TESTIMONIAL: Highly approachable, tactically astute, and always passionate about her client’s cause, Alex is an extremely good lawyer.


CLIENT: Jo Eccles, managing director, SP Property Group
MATTER: Property
TESTIMONIAL: James is superb and he always delivers the speed, efficiency and service level our clients expect.


CLIENT: Arthur Lintell, Knight Frank
MATTER: Property
TESTIMONIAL: James is absolutely first class. He is head and shoulders above many who work at the top end of the London property market.


Vardags is an elite team comprising some of the UK’s leading litigation lawyers. The firm has extensive coverage across the country, with offices in London’s Old Bailey, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford and Winchester.

Vardags specialises in complex and challenging, high-profile and international cases for an exclusively high-net-worth client base. The firm centres around the London family law practice, and is led by Ayesha Vardag, well-known as “Britain’s top divorce lawyer” (the Law

Society, the Guardian, The Telegraph, Daily Mail and HuffPost US) and the “Diva of Divorce” ( the BBC).

We have a strong focus on obtaining the best possible outcomes for our clients (either through the courts, or behind closed doors) and achieve this time again by simply outlitigating our opponents and pursuing the strongest possible intellectual arguments, leaving no stone unturned.

Our lawyers specialise in large and complex divorce cases, often featuring private companies, property empires, trusts, and international and hidden assets. We offer clients an entirely unique suite of in-house client services that complements the exemplary lawyers that we have within our family team. We are renowned for the consistent excellence of our in-house services team that offers the full suite of personal legal services tailored to their individual needs and includes:

  • A company valuation and financial forensic team led by Vardags’ Director, Katharine Anderson, a feature which, as far as we are aware, no other family law department or firm offers
  • An in-house Chartered Surveyor
  • A high-end criminal department
  • A specialist high-end property department
  • A media, privacy and defamation team, together with the assistance of journalists and publicists, to support the firm as well as our clients where press assistance or prevention is required

Our specialist lawyers deliver the top-level, tailored service our clients expect. The core of our success is simple:

  • Our lawyers always go the extra mile and work to find the best solution possible for our clients
  • The family teamwork at the cutting edge and act on some of the largest, most high-profile cases, meaning that we are always seeking new, innovative ways to get the best result for our clients
  • We provide a personalised strategy, offered by the suite of services discussed above. If you have links to more than one country, our team is experienced working across multiple jurisdictions

We often act for clients who have been placed in an unfavourable position because they waited too long to get advice. Our lawyers also take over cases from firms where clients are not happy with the outcome. Clients who have needed to go through this process have remarked that they wish that they had come to us at the start of their case.

If you are thinking about getting divorced, seeking new lawyers, or looking to re-open a case, the first steps in this process can feel daunting, so at Vardags we offer a free initial consultation for suitable clients. Our team will take the details of your case in advance and prepare a strategy which they will take you through in the meeting.

Historically, Vardags has been at the forefront of the evolution of family law, divorce law and children law in the UK, for example, changing the law on the enforceability of prenuptial agreements in England and Wales with the landmark Supreme Court case of Radmacher v Granatino in 2010.

2022 brought about a major change in family law in this country with the introduction of no fault divorce. This reform was long overdue– it has been 50 years without any major changes to the law surrounding divorce. Previously, couples had to show that their marriage had broken down by relying one of five facts:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • Separation with consent after two years
  • Separation without consent after five years
  • Desertion

There was therefore the need to “blame” one of the parties in three of the five reasons, which often made the divorce more acrimonious and unpleasant. Or the parties had to wait until they meet the timescale for separation, which may not have been desirable and could have other consequences, for example, in relation to tax.

The change in the law means that it is no longer necessary for one party to “blame” the other for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This ensures a process that is less acrimonious but also removes the right of one party to contest the divorce, sometimes resulting in trapping the other party, since the ability to contest a divorce, dissolution or separation has been removed.

Vardags championed the introduction of no-fault divorce, and Ayesha Vardag personally launched the Campaign for Family Law Reform at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in 2017, following which she organised a Parliamentary debate to mobilise political opinion. It has taken time to bring about change, with the pandemic delaying its introduction from 2021 to April this year.

The need to blame has for a long time been regarded as very controversial since it is an outdated notion that increased the desire for a more adversarial approach. Resolving difficult issues surrounding children and finances can therefore be made even harder if the parties are already at war with each other. Our specialist legal team can support clients through the difficult experience of divorce to make sure the process is as stress free as possible, whilst also ensuring we get the very best result for our clients and their families.