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 with an emphasis on a conciliatory approach to family matters, which is 'brilliant on international issues'. It is equally adept at advising on financial and on children’s matters relating to relationship breakdown. Clients include ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, among them professionals, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and media, entertainment and sports personalities. Ann Thomas and David Hodson OBE have a wealth of experience in this area. Helen Blackburn is a cross-border child law specialist and is regularly instructed by the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit in its capacity as the Central Authority in England and Wales to bring proceedings in relation to child abduction.

Practice head(s):


‘IFLG was established by David Hodson and Ann Thomas, who have both remained among the very best family law solicitors for many years. They have built up a formidable team

‘IFLG provides clients with high-quality legal advice and assistance in respect of all areas of domestic and international family law. Emma Nash adopts a considered and pragmatic approach to family law. She has a careful and considered style of advocacy which is most effective

A highly specialist cross-border practice. A very hands-on, personable and client-focused team that is very easy to work with

IFLG now has a presence across all areas of family law. There are few London practices with the strength in depth which IFLG can offer. Helen Blackburn is one of the top children lawyers in London. She has an exceptionally strong practice across all areas of children’s law, particularly those cases with an international dimension’

‘David Hodson is very collaborative, solutions focused, knowledgeable and knows what he is doing

David Hodson is a legend in family law circles. He is calm, reassuring and generally right. There are few partners who deal with international financial work with his level of gravitas and knowledge. He is a stellar individual

‘The IFLG team combines an unparalleled knowledge of international family law with excellent client skills. The team provides a first-class service at a cost which is not excessive. Lucy Loizou, Lucy Greenwood, Helen Blackburn and Michael Allum are all outstanding

Lucy Greenwood is a first-class operator for divorce and finance cases. Helen Blackburn must be one of the leading children practitioners working in London and Michael Allum is proving to be talented and in demand. Stuart Clark is very strategic and thoughtful. A determined litigator

‘Lucy Loizou is thorough, determined, thoughtful and great with clients.’

I am working with Lucy Loizou on a long-running case which is complex and delicate. I have been very impressed with the way she has handled it. She has shown a combination of restraint and toughness which is exactly what the case has called for.’

‘James Netto is an all-round astonishingly good lawyer.’

‘James Netto is an absolute star. He has flair, intelligence, wisdom and solid determination. There is no available avenue that he will not explore in the pursuit of the best result for his client.’

‘James Netto is a real star individual, far above his apparent level of seniority. He is entirely dependable and runs cases at the highest level.’

‘Laura Flanagan is great to work with, knows her stuff and is really sensitive to client’s needs. She demonstrates excellent matter management and advises sensibly.’

Olive Gathoni has the respect of her clients and a good steer on how to get the right result for them.’

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).

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.

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’ (LexisNexis) 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 in 2014. 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.

Lucy Greenwood, Helen Blackburn, Lucy Loizou, Stuart Clark, Michael Allum and James Netto are fellow partners, and have huge experience in international and national family law cases.

Lucy Greenwood undertakes complex finance and forum cases and is a specialist in pre-and post-marital agreements.

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 Loizou undertakes complex and high net worth financial cases as well as advising on financial provision for children disputes.

Stuart Clark has a wide breadth of experience in all issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, but particularly specialises in divorce, finance and forum matters. His work involves complicated assets including trusts.

Michael Allum’s work involves complex international issues and particularly those of high net worth. He has a particular interest in jurisdictional issues and forum disputes.  Michael also undertakes many cases involving financial provision in the English court following an overseas divorce (known as Part III).

James Netto  specialises in all areas of children law, with particular expertise in international children matters.

iFLG has an association with Watts McCray of Sydney, Australia. Sheela Mackintosh-Stuart is a consultant who provides a divorce information service and works closely with the Chinese community.

Types of work undertaken
International finance and forum: iFLG advises on appropriate jurisdictional issues for divorce and financial aspects of a relationship breakdown. iFLG also advises in relation to the enforcement of financial and pensions orders made in this jurisdiction and abroad. This firm advises on the recognition of foreign marriages and foreign divorces and 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: The children team has much gravitas in the areas of child relocation applications (national and international) and child abduction (Hague and non-Hague) as well as all issues arising in respect of children. They handle the recognition of foreign orders, 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 (in the UK 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
Children / Child Abduction /Child Relocation James Netto
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
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
Business Communications Director Paula Fox
Photo Name Position Profile
 Michael Allum  photo Michael Allum Partner 
 Helen Blackburn  photo Helen Blackburn Partner
 Stuart Clark  photo Stuart Clark Partner
 Lucy Greenwood  photo Lucy Greenwood Partner
 David Hodson OBE MCI Arb photo David Hodson OBE MCI Arb Partner
 Lucy Loizou  photo Lucy Loizou Partner
 Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart  photo Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart Consultant
 James Netto  photo James Netto Partner
 Ann Thomas  photo Ann Thomas Managing Partner
Number of UK partners : 8
Number of other UK fee-earners : 8
Number of consultants : 1
Support Staff : 8
Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin)