Vardags > London, England > Firm Profile
10 OLD BAILEY
- Go to...
- Firm Profile
- Main Contacts
- Lawyer Profiles
- Meet The Teams
- Client Testimonials
- Additional Tab
Vardags > The Legal 500 Rankings
Private client > Family Tier 2Led by Ayesha Vardag, Vardags ‘houses a lot of great lawyers’ and the family law team is praised as ‘very commercially astute with a strong financial remedies practice’. It specialises in complex international litigation cases for its predominantly ultra-high-net-worth client base. Simon McKirgan remains a leading international divorce lawyer who regularly acts in some of the most significant cases, while Caroline Korah is the new head of the children department. Key changes to the team include the addition of David Lister from Rayden Solicitors in July 2023, and Antonia Barker‘s elevation to the partnership in January 2023. Former practice head Georgina Hamblin has set up her own practice, and Katherine Res Pritchard joined Howard Kennedy LLP at the start of 2023.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ayesha Vardag’s tactical skills are well-known within the field. She is supported by an excellent team, which includes Caroline Korah. Both very responsive and dedicated to their clients.’
‘Ayesha Vardag takes each case very seriously and considerable care is taken. Simon McKirgan is brilliant, particularly for cases with a corporate dimension.’
‘From the outset of the initial call, Caroline Korah gave me a supreme sense of calm and confidence regarding my case. Caroline guided my case with deep care and attention and, most importantly, detail, so that the courts had a clear picture of what actually transpired and were equipped to make a fair judgement.’
‘What makes this team different is that the clients feel heard, supported, protected and valued.’
‘The team’s attention to detail, superb client care and support, excellent preparatory work and drafting and determination to achieve the best outcome for their clients sets the firm very clearly apart and head and shoulders above their rivals. The lawyers at Vardags are a group of very impressive, exceptional, highly skilled, dynamic and specialist family solicitors.’
‘They are simply the best family law firm for high-net-worth clients. Nothing is left to chance, nothing goes unconsidered, and nothing is too much trouble.’
‘Charlotte Purves has recently impressed me with her pragmatism, competence and drafting skills.’
‘Antonia Barker is highly intelligent and robust whilst also thoughtful and considered. A real powerhouse.’
Private client > Family Tier 2Vardags remains active in high-value matters despite the departure of lead partner Silvia Devecchi to Mishcon de Reya LLP in 2023. The practice now has two associates and a graduate trainee in Cambridge, and they work closely with the London office to handle complex matters for high-net-worth individuals. Mario Fiorito, who is dual-qualified in English and Italian law, and the ‘tenacious, detail-orientated‘ Rebecca Fenner are the main contacts. The practitioners form ‘a great team that is diligent, technically sound and warm and friendly‘. The firm frequently handles cases involving assets in the £3-£20m range and above.
‘Great team who is diligent, technically sound and warm and friendly – you want them in your corner!’
‘One of the attributes I really valued was how experienced the team were, because on multiple occasions they were able to draw on their previous experience and guide me as to how certain scenarios could pan out. They presented me with extremely competent barristers and worked well with them in preparing instructions, organising conferences and providing input as to the best arguments to put forward on position papers, oral hearings, etc.’
‘Vardags is an incredibly efficient practice with access to resources on demand that allow it to provide a holistic service. The employee efficiency is mind-blowing; time efficiency, accuracy, kindness, and respect. Being able to conduct a case fully online with all the technologies to help the process.’
‘Rebecca Fenner is an effective and tenacious adovcate who goes the extra mile for her clients.’
‘Their advice was prompt, accommodating of circumstances, and factual on risk versus benefit. All parties working on the case were informed of information or updates at all times and no discrepancies in terms of senior or junior employees, all very capable and discerning.’
‘Maria Fiorito gave me such peace of mind during an exceptionally stressful time. She just had my back, supported me throughout, and her knowledge and skill were just outstanding.’
‘Maria Fiorito’s kindness, support, respect, and professionalism helped give me such a boost; not a day that I felt overwhelmed or unsupported. She always went the extra mile and their confidence gave such strength. It has been inspirational to work with her – professionalism with such grace!’
‘The team is of excellent quality and able to work on difficult cases which may involve foreign jurisdictions or children.’
Private client > Family Tier 2A firm that demonstrates a ‘mastery of facts’ in both high-value matrimonial finance and complex children welfare cases, Vardags is a strong choice for clients in the North West seeking family legal counsel. Featuring a wealth of in-house specialisms, including a property valuation, financial forensic, and criminal team, the group show established proficiency in pre- and post-nuptial agreements, Schedule 1 Children Act proceedings, and multi-layered financial remedy cases. Leading the practice and recently promoted Regional Managing Partner Emma Gill is an ‘absolute star’, focusing on the firm’s most extensive high value divorce mandates which involve representing a diverse range of clients including sports and media personalities on matters concerning coercive behaviour, extensive property and business assets, and international components. Head of the children department Lucy Williams is an ‘outstanding family lawyer’, routinely leading financial matters with attached issues of domestic abuse and parental alienation, while Annemarie Bradley has a broad practice that includes ‘highly complex and high net worth cases’, usually with technical cross-border components. ‘An experienced head on young shoulders‘, Reece Johnson handles a significant volume of big-ticket mandates, with notable expertise directing asset tracing and analysing complicated corporate structures. Other key names include senior associate Nikki Hale ('a partner in the making, with intellect and skills beyond her experience'), senior associate Kate Kempster ('another star in the making'), and Gareth Curtis, who joined the practice in April 2023 from Stowe Family Law LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Vardags’ outstanding experience in the field of family law is reflected in its very sound grasp of the issues relating to my case. As an organisation, the firm is approachable and professional, projecting humanity and warmth. Its well-developed relationships with partners, including at the bar, sound tactical and strategic sense and balanced expectations have made me feel well-supported as a client and confident that my interests are heeded and acted upon.’
‘The Vardags team is dedicated and reflective, able to combine a friendly face with a good listening ear, mastery of facts and, where necessary, determination in pressing the client’s case. There is a youthful energy in the team with which I have worked and a pleasing readiness to think laterally that never loses sight of the firm’s collective experience and wisdom.’
‘Emma Gill is a “no nonsense” figurehead, with an exceptional reputation. I deal with her team on a day-to-day basis but get the sense Emma is orchestrating the strategy behind the scenes. I however wanted to highlight Reece Johnson as a particular stand-out in the Team. Reece is extremely knowledgeable, calm and very professional. Particularly his ability to focus on the strategy of the case and to disregard distraction.’
‘Emma Gill is an absolute star. She offers clear leadership to her team while developing close relationships with clients. She has sound judgment- striving to get the best results for her clients. Reece Johnson is very impressive and examines all details in a case.’
‘The team are close-knit and have a huge amount of experience. They collaborate and are not shy of taking soundings within the team so the client gets the benefit of a range of experience even if the solicitor with conduct of the case is relatively junior. The quality, quantity and breath of their work means they have excellent judgment about the strengths and weaknesses of their clients’ cases and can advise accordingly.’
‘Lucy Williams is an outstanding family lawyer. She has got it all. It’s not just that she is on top of the law and the facts of her clients’ cases, she has something that no amount of training and hard work can buy: she has a natural acumen for the work. She is a brilliant tactician and a warm presence. I believe she will go very far. She certainly deserves to.
‘Annemarie Bradley’s vast experience in highly complex and high net worth cases means she remains unfazed at more challenging times, regardless of what is thrown at her. She thoroughly supports her clients throughout the process.’
‘Reece Johnson is very much an experienced head on young shoulders. He has a fantastic manner with clients and is able to boil down any contentious or complicated issue, seemingly with ease. Reece is very conscientious and focused upon achieving the best overall outcome for his clients.’
HD in HD v WB  EWFC 2. Final hearing November 2022 after 8-day trial in the High Court
- HD v WB  EWFC 2: Instructed by the husband on a complex case concerning over £43 million in realisable assets, almost entirely in the wife’s name. The case is significant and particularly noteworthy as it develops the area of pre-nuptial agreements particular when such agreements will be binding.
Other key lawyers:
‘Superb all round experience! Perfect synergy, great communication and always helpful’.
‘James Bunker is simply outstanding, head and shoulders above the rest. He provides an excellent level of service. Swift, transparent and always extremely helpful. Regularly communicating outside of business hours, James is my go-to legal expert’.
‘The people and in particular James Bunker’.
‘James Bunker delivers a consistently high level of advice from start to finish. My self and all clients of mine he has interacted with have been extremely happy to use his services’.
‘James Bunker is always available to provide best in class advice and there is never a moment where he doesn’t have time to speak and troubleshoot any potential issues’.
‘James Bunker and Nicholas Tobin are both very dynamic, respond promptly and show a great degree of flexibility in working outside the normal office hours’.
Other key lawyers:
‘Alexandra McCready is a really excellent and hands-on specialist in reputation and data protection. Really practical and skilled at dealing with challenging clients.’
‘Alexandra McCready is very sharp and on point when analysing the situation. Her level of experience is exceptional and very helpful in finding a solution for the problem at hand.’
‘Close knit, mutually supportive and highly effective team at Vardags. They take a creative approach to problem solving but never lose sight of the client’s best interests. A particular star is Alexandra McCready, whose personal charisma and professional ability make her stand out from the crowd.’
‘Alexandra McCready – impressive client handling and ability to handle complex matters with authority.’
‘They really understand the media and the communications industry more broadly. They are unflappable and not deterred by working with emerging and frontier markets.’
Vardags > Firm Profile
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 law firms 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 its 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
- Vardags acted for the husband in FRB v DCA, a high-profile divorce case involving very complex financial proceedings relating 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’s 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 team works on a wide range of commercial matters, including shareholder disputes, professional negligence, and insolvency agreements. The team 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 team 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 team 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. 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 and Cambridge.
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 Lucy Williams 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 has a healthy London-based practice.
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.
|Founder and President||Ayesha Vardagemail@example.com||02077887156|
|Regional Managing Partner, Head of Manchester||Emma Gillfirstname.lastname@example.org||0161 532 9509|
|Partner, Head of Reputation and Privacy||Alex McCreadyemail@example.com||02077887156|
|Partner, Head of Property||James Bunkerfirstname.lastname@example.org||02077887156|
|Senior Partner, Family||Simon McKirganemail@example.com||02077887156|
|Senior Partner, Family||David Listerfirstname.lastname@example.org||02077887156|
|Partner, Head of Financial Forensics||Katharine Danbyemail@example.com||02077887156|
|Partner, Valuations||Ben Crownefirstname.lastname@example.org||02077887156|
|Partner, Family||Annemarie Bradleyemail@example.com||02077887156|
|Partner, Head of Children||Caroline Korahfirstname.lastname@example.org||02077887156|
|Partner, Head of Manchester Children||Lucy Williamsemail@example.com||0161 532 9509|
|Partner, Family||Gareth Curtisfirstname.lastname@example.org||0161 532 9509|
Meet The Team(s)
|Dr Stephen Bence||Dr Stephen Bence is Director of Strategy at Vardags (non lawyer). Stephen…||View Profile|
|James Bunker||James is a partner and Head of Property at Vardags. He specialises…||View Profile|
|Caroline Korah||Caroline, a partner in family law at Vardags, specialises exclusively in family law and…||View Profile|
|David Lister||David is a Senior Partner at Vardags. With over 35 years of experience…||View Profile|
|Alex McCready||Alex is a Partner and head of Reputation & Privacy at Vardags.…||View Profile|
|Simon McKirgan||Simon, Senior Partner at Vardags, specialises in the top end of high…||View Profile|
|Ayesha Vardag||Ayesha Vardag, Founder and President of Vardags and ‘Britain’s top divorce lawyer’,…||View Profile|
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
TESTIMONIAL: Vardags brilliantly argued my case to a resounding victory.
CLIENT: Michelle Young
TESTIMONIAL: Your legal tactics are by far the best.
CLIENT: Mrs Monica
TESTIMONIAL: [Vardags is] expensive but indispensable.
CLIENT: Antoinette Lemvigh
TESTIMONIAL: Vardags is absolutely 100% for any woman in a vulnerable position. They were perfect to go to.
CLIENT: Richard Todd QC (counsel)
TESTIMONIAL: [Ayesha] lights up the room when she comes in and brings a confidence that her client will prevail.
TESTIMONIAL: [Katherine and her team] have all been so patient… and I honestly cannot thank you enough.
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.
TESTIMONIAL: I would not hesitate to recommend Rob to anyone seeking a highly skilled and personable criminal lawyer.
CLIENT: Julie Carter
TESTIMONIAL: Excellent criminal department… I would use this firm for any matter in the future. Complete confidence in receiving the best care.
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
TESTIMONIAL: James is superb and he always delivers the speed, efficiency and service level our clients expect.
CLIENT: Arthur Lintell, Knight Frank
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:
- Unreasonable Behaviour
- Separation with consent after two years
- Separation without consent after five years
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.