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

The International Family Law Group LLP

Private client > Family Tier 2

The International Family Law Group LLP has an’ excellent team that is able to deal with the complexities of international assets and cross-border disputes’. It has a superb reputation for its work with international families and families living in England and Wales in the areas of relationship breakdown and children matters. Under the leadership of Ann Thomas (who heads the children team) and Lucy Loizou  (managing partner and head of the finance & forum team) it acts for a diverse range of clients from wealthy individuals, professionals, entrepreneurs, CEOs, media, entertainment and sports personalities. Stuart Clark is now at Rayden SolicitorsHelen Blackburn  and David Hodson OBE KC(Hons) MCIArb are among the other well-known members of the practice that is lauded for its ability to ‘deal with complex cases with justified confidence, achieving great results through complete dedication to their clients’ best interests by using their top flight expertise’.

Practice head(s):

Ann Thomas; Lucy Loizou

Other key lawyers:

David Hodson; Helen Blackburn; James Netto; Michael Allum ; Lucy Greenwood


‘A formidable team with unsurpassed knowledge of international family law. If you have a jurisdiction battle, you want someone from this team on your side’.

‘Michael Allum is 2nd to none! He would make himself available during weekends or late evenings. Michael Allum was an outstanding advocate for me at what was probably the most difficult time in my life. He was kind, thoughtful and understanding as well as being thoroughly professional and knowledgeable and he got me through the divorce and settlement process as smoothly as I could ever have imagined’.

‘I valued Lucy Greenwood’s unwavering support and patience – she understood that I was in a very complex situation dealing with laws in three countries, family matters and financial matters. She was extremely communicative and responsive and always provided excellent answers to my questions.’

‘Lucy Loizou is incredibly knowledgeable in her field. I have felt completely secure in her capable hands. She is down to earth, no nonsense, plain talking and yet super friendly. From our first phone call, she immediately understood the situation and has explained the process to me step by step. She is incredibly patient with me yet fierce and determined in my defence. The perfect combination. Lucy has made the painful process as painless as it could have been’.

‘Helen Blackburn is one of the most experienced international children lawyers around. Her practice is almost exclusively High Court and Court of Appeal based. She has an excellent knowledge of her subject area which she combines with great judgement and an impressive client skill. She is the most meticulous solicitor I have come across. She inspires confidence in her clients and counsel alike with her calm, confident manner. She is undoubtedly one of the sharpest knives in the drawer!’

‘James Netto is a star solicitor. He has grown from an excellent junior, one of the faces of the Law Society’s advertising campaign to being an established practitioner. He has excellent judgement and unparalleled flair in representing young clients in complex disputes. James is a fighter and will not shy away from tackling the most difficult cases’.

‘David Hodson – What he doesn’t know about International Family work isn’t worth knowing. Ann Thomas – Brilliant client skills and a delight to work with. Lucy Greenwood – A brilliant strategist who chooses her legal team very carefully. Lucy Loizou – Leads the team superbly! Michael Allum – One of the best legal minds in the business. He will be a star in the family law world for many years to come! Helen Blackburn – Whether instructed by her or in a case against her, you will absolutely need to bring your ‘A’ game!’

‘IFLG has established a stellar reputation since it was established – the ultimate niche family law practice. The team has great strength both on the financial side and the children side of family law and an unrivalled grasp of the international dimensions. David Hodson continues in the top league of London family lawyers’.

The International Family Law Group LLP (iFLG) specialises in 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 KC(Hons) MCIArb 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 senior partner and 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 also writes and lectures on this area of law.

She is the author of the chapter on child relocation ‘The International Family Law Practice’ (LexisNexis 6th edition Aug 2021)

David Hodson OBE KC(Hons) MCIArb 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. He is the author of his publication ‘The International Family Law Practice’ (LexisNexis 6th edition Aug 2021).

In 2014 David was awarded an OBE for his ‘services to international family law’ and in March 2022 was awarded an Honorary King’s Counsel (KC Honoris Causa) for his ‘outstanding work and ongoing contribution to 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.

Lucy Greenwood undertakes complex finance and forum cases and is a specialist in pre-and post-marital agreements, including generational wealth planning. Lucy is regularly asked to provide legal opinions on the application of English family law in cases progressing overseas.

Helen Blackburn is a renowned child law specalist and recognised expert in international child abduction. She 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).

She is the author of three chapters (Child abduction, international adoption, and legal aid) in ‘The International Family Law Practice’ (LexisNexis 6th edition Aug 2021).

Lucy Loizou  is managing partner. She undertakes complex divorce and separation cases involving partnerships, corporates and trusts. She specialises in acting in high-net-worth financial cases.  Lucy hosts a fortnightly family law advice programme on local radio which celebrates its 12th year of broadcasting.

Lucy is also a specialist in cases concerning financial provision for children disputes under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989.

Michael Allum is head of the forum and finance team. He undertakes 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). He is the author of two chapters in ‘The International Family Law Practice’ (LexisNexis 6th edition Aug 2021).

Michael is also co-editor of the Financial Remedies Journal.

James Netto  specialises in all areas of children law, with particular expertise in international children matters, and frequently in child abduction cases. He 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. He is Chair of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association (CALA).

He received ‘Family Lawyer of the Year – Partner’ in the Citywealth Future Leaders awards 2021.

iFLG consultants are Professor Patrick Parkinson OM, the former Dean of the Law School at the University of Queensland and a leading specialist in children Law and Sheela Mackintosh-Stuart who works closely with the Chinese community.

Types of work undertaken International finance and forum: iFLG provide advice as to which jurisdiction is the most beneficial forum for divorce or other proceedings. iFLG advises in relation to the enforcement of orders made in this jurisdiction and abroad. iFLG also advise 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. Our lawyers have also been involved in giving specialist legal advice concerning the law applicable to this jurisdiction in evidence in family proceedings abroad.

Divorce and the dissolution of relationships: iFLG undertakes all aspects of divorce, recognition of marriages and divorces, 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 alongside other experts in other fields, disclosure including wealth held behind trusts, companies, and offshore assets.

Marital/separation agreements: iFLG drafts marital/civil partnership agreements, post and pre-nuptial agreements, separation agreements and cohabitation contracts.

International child issues: iFLG advises on child relocation and international parental abduction. Child abduction (Hague and non-Hague), recognition of foreign contact and residence orders, permission to take a child for a holiday abroad, enforcing child support abroad and intercountry adoption. This area of law is handled by a team of highly skilled professionals who work, on occasions, around the clock when their cases require it. An emergency child abduction line is operated by members of the team therefore providing 24-hour cover for parents fearing their child is going to be, or has been, abducted to another country. The 24-hour ‘out of hours’ judiciary is often used in case of an emergency where time is of the essence in preventing an abduction.

Resolution by out-of-court settlements: iFLG conducts resolutions through negotiation, mediation, directive mediation, collaborative law, early neutral evaluation and arbitration.

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.

Children / Child Relocation Ann
Children / Child Abduction / Child Relocation Helen
Children / Child Abduction /Child Relocation James
Divorce / Forum & Finance (national/international) / Marital Agreements / International recognition of marriages & divorces Lucy
Divorce / Forum & Finance (national/international) / International recognition of marriages & divorces / Schedule 1 financial arrangements for children Lucy
Forum & Finance (national/international) / Divorce / Internal mediation & arbitration David Hodson OBE KC(Hons)
Forum & Finance (national/international) / Divorce / International recognition of marriages & divorces Michael
Business Communications Director Paula
Number of UK partners : 7
Number of other UK fee-earners : 6
Number of consultants : 2
Support Staff : 8
Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin)