Firm Profile > The International Family Law Group LLP > London, England

The International Family Law Group LLP

Family Tier 2

The International Family Law Group LLP is a specialist firm that looks after international and national families with particular expertise in divorce and finance cases as well as advising on forum issues and on children’s matters. The firm is particularly skilled at advising on which jurisdiction is the most beneficial forum for a divorce and also is adept at advising on the enforcement of orders made abroad or the recognition of foreign marriages and divorces. In addition the team advises clients on cases where there is no international dimension and clients include high-net-worth individuals, professionals, media, entertainment and sports personalities. Ann Thomas is the firm’s managing partner and David Hodson OBE  also garners considerable praise. Stuart Clark, Emma Nash and Michael Allum were all promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Ann Thomas

Other key lawyers:

David Hodson OBE; Helen Blackburn; Lucy Greenwood; Stuart Clark; Lucy Loizou; Michael Allum; Emma Nash


David Hodson has an exceptional knowledge of international family law and procedure. He is a one man encyclopedia on Brexit and its potential impact on international clients. He is a trusted and respected speaker and writer’.

David Hodson has immense international experience not just academic but enormous practical experience. Michael Allum is brilliant, an old head on young shoulders with impressive client handling skills’.

‘I find this team highly professional. have worked primarily with Lucy Greenwood, Helen Blackburn and Ann Thomas. All are stellar lawyers. Smart and compassionate’.

Helen Blackburn is a leading figure in international family law. Her dedication and attention to detail make her a real pleasure to be instructed by. She always goes above and beyond to get the best outcome for her clients’.

Lucy Greenwood is a very open, knowledgeable and friendly lawyer. Lucy’s ability to relate to individuals from all walks of life is a key attribute to her success’.

Michael Allum is a hardworking and intelligent lawyer’.

It brings a wealth of experience to international and domestic cases alike. Its up-to-the minute knowledge of recent developments in both international and domestic law is truly impressive. Stand out individuals are David Hodson, Lucy Loizou and Stuart Clark’.

Family: mediation Tier 2

The mediation team at The International Family Law Group LLP comprises David Hodson OBE and Denise Carter OBE. Hodson is an experienced family and civil mediator. Carter is also a highly respected mediator in international children disputes, and particularly in the area of parental child abduction and child relocation, covering both Hague and non-Hague states.

Practice head(s):

Denise Carter; David Hodson


There is no better team for mediation involving international families. The mediators are hugely experienced not only in law and mediation but the cultural issues that can impact on the resolution of a dispute. David Hodson OBE for financial mediation – Denise Carter OBE for children mediation’.

David Hodson has the intellectual rigour to get to grips with the most complex cases involving foreign jurisdictions, tax, business interests etc and has the advantage of sitting as a part-time DJ‘.

‘David Hodson – one of the most talented & experienced family mediators in the land and beyond’.

iFLG continues to go from strength to strength – recruiting top calibre assistants and continue to be one of the go to firms for cases with an international element‘.

The International Family Law Group LLP (iFLG) is a legal services practice looking after the interests of national and international families and children. The team includes specialist accredited English lawyers, mediators, collaborative lawyers, arbitrators and Australian lawyers.

The firm: Ann Thomas and David Hodson OBE, MCI Arb founded iFLG in 2007, each having a wealth of experience in international family law work. They are both fellows of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL). David Hodson is one of the country’s leading experts in finance and forum cases. He specialises in HNW cases and particularly those with complex issues and jurisdictional issues. He is an English accredited solicitor, mediator, family arbitrator, deputy district judge of the Central Family Court in London and an Australian NSW solicitor and barrister qualified in 2003. He is a hugely respected and sought-after lecturer and author in England and abroad. His publication The International Family Law Practice (Lexis Nexis) is now in its fifth edition. In 2014, David was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours for services to international family law. He was made a visiting professor at the University of Law in 2015 and honorary professor at the University of Leicester in 2017. He is a member of many other committees and professional organisations.

Ann Thomas is an English solicitor with an advanced accreditation (Law Society family panel), a mediator, collaborative lawyer and deals with complex family cases with an international element. She is a leading specialist in international child relocation cases and writes and lectures on this area of law.

Lucy Greenwood, Helen Blackburn and Lucy Loizou are fellow partners, and have huge experience in international and national family law cases. Helen Blackburn is regularly instructed by the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) in its capacity as the central authority in England and Wales to bring proceedings in relation to child abduction. She was the former chair of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association (CALA) . Lucy Greenwood undertakes complex finance and forum cases and is a specialist in pre-and post-marital agreements.

iFLG has an association with Watts McCray of Sydney, Australia. Consultants are, Denise Carter OBE (former director of Reunite) who is head of mediation at iFLG and Sheela Mackintosh-Stuart who provides a divorce information service and works closely with the Chinese community.

Types of work undertaken: International finance and forum: iFLG gives advice as to which jurisdiction is the most beneficial forum for divorce or other proceedings. iFLG advises in relation to the enforcement of financial and pensions orders made in this jurisdiction and abroad. iFLG advises on the recognition of foreign marriages and foreign divorces. It is frequently asked to provide expert reports to foreign lawyers who require advice about English law and act as witnesses in foreign court proceedings.

Divorce and the dissolution of relationships: iFLG undertakes all aspects of divorce, judicial separation, annulments, termination of civil partnerships and break-up of cohabitation relationships.

Financial resolution on relationship breakdown: iFLG advises on financial arrangements before and during marriage, on separation, divorce or termination of registered civil partnerships and for cohabitants. The firm investigates disclosure including wealth held behind trusts, companies and offshore assets.

Marital/separation agreements: iFLG drafts marital/civil partnership agreements, separation agreements and cohabitation contracts.

International child issues: child abduction (Hague and non-Hague), relocation applications (national and international), recognition of foreign orders, permission to take a child for a holiday abroad, enforcing child support abroad and inter-country adoption and surrogacy.

National children issues: applications for child arrangements orders, parental responsibility, child support, declarations of parentage, declarations of legitimacy, Schedule 1 applications and adoption.

Resolution by out-of-court settlements: iFLG conducts resolutions through negotiation, mediation, directive mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. iFLG offers early neutral evaluation. Some cases need to go to court for adjudication. Most do not.

Services to other law firms and other organisations: iFLG acts as London agents for English, UK and foreign law firms on international family law cases and complex domestic cases; and as consultants to other law practices and organisations. The firm regularly provides expert legal reports or attends court to give evidence in foreign proceedings in relation to the law of England and Wales. iFLG also presents seminars, speaks at conferences to other firms (here and abroad) and writes many articles on topical family law issues for a wide range of publications.

Department Name Email Telephone
Children / Child Relocation Ann Thomas
Children / Child Abduction Helen Blackburn
Divorce / Forum & Finance (national/international) / Marital Agreements / International recognition of marriages & divorces Lucy Greenwood
Divorce / Forum & Finance (national/international) / International recognition of marriages & divorces Lucy Loizou
Divorce / Children / Forum & Finance (national/international) / International recognition of marriages & divorces Emma Nash
Forum & Finance (national/international) / Divorce / Internal mediation & arbitration David Hodson OBE MCI Arb
Forum & Finance (national/international ) / Divorce / International recognition of marriages & divorces Stuart Clark
Forum & Finance (national/international) / Divorce / International recognition of marriages & divorces Michael Allum
Mediation / Child Relocation / Child Abduction / Child Disputes (national/international) Denise Carter OBE
Business Communications Director Paula Fox
Photo Name Position Profile
 Michael Allum  photo Michael Allum
 Helen Blackburn  photo Helen Blackburn
 Denise Carter OBE  photo Denise Carter OBE
 Stuart Clark  photo Stuart Clark
 Lucy Greenwood  photo Lucy Greenwood
 David Hodson OBE  photo David Hodson OBE
 Lucy Loizou  photo Lucy Loizou
 Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart  photo Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart
 Emma Nash  photo Emma Nash
 Ann Thomas  photo Ann Thomas
Number of UK partners : 8
Number of other UK fee-earners : 6
Number of consultants : 2