Hughes Fowler Carruthers > London, England > Firm Profile

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

Private client > Family Tier 1

Family law boutique Hughes Fowler Carruthers is well-versed in the full gamut of high-value matters, with expertise representing high-net-worth individuals in complex divorce, cohabitation, and child wellbeing related cases. Frances Hughes - 'the go-to solicitor for complex financial disputes' - leads the team, specialising in divorce and complex children’s cases, often with an international element, whilst simultaneously sitting as a senior mediator. Along with Hughes, the other two founding partners of the firm Pauline Fowler and 'tenacious negotiator' Alex Carruthers are key to the practice, with expertise in international adoption and surrogacy, and trusts-related work respectively. The 'exceptional' Renato Labi‘s practice extends to intricate financial disputes within divorce proceedings and post-cohabitation disputes, along with highly complex private law children cases. Caroline Park and Kate Brett are both integral to the practice, with experience in drafting and negotiating pre- and post- nuptial agreements, and complex cases including cross-jurisdictional children matters. Also of note is Mark Harper, who is widely lauded for his divorce and trust litigation expertise.

Practice head(s):

Frances Hughes


‘Hughes Fowler Carruthers have an exceptionally strong team.’

‘Frances Hughes is the go-to solicitor for complex financial disputes. She knows how to win.’

‘Renato Labi is an exceptional lawyer – always two steps ahead of his opponent.’

‘Bryan Jones is a masterful tactician.’

‘Alex Carruthers is a tenacious negotiator who has unrivalled experience of dealing with difficult offshore cases.’

‘Hughes Fowler Carruthers is an excellent firm and indeed has many more excellent solicitors then almost anyone practising in this area. I can particularly recommend Frances Hughes, Pauline Fowler, Alex Carruthers, Mark Harper, Caroline Park, Renato Labi, Liam Bennett, Kate Brett, Bryan Jones and Rachael Burton.’

‘Frances Hughes is probably the pre-eminent practitioner in this area.’

‘If I had to recommend a solicitor to act for a trust who had been brought into family proceedings I would name Mark Harper of Hughes Fowler Carruthers as a go-to solicitor.’

Work highlights

  • Acting in Potanin v Potanina, an international divorce with extremely high financial stakes (USD 20 billion), which has garnered significant media attention due to the oligarch status of the husband.
  • Acting in a reported case for leave to remove concerning the UK-based children a mother from a leading Brazilian entrepreneurial family and a French father, with many highly sensitive and complex issues.
  • Enforcing an award made in the High Court against a husband who has left the jurisdiction to Morocco and France – a very complex, multijurisdictional and high value matter (USD 20 million), with extensive cross-border elements.

This leading niche family law practice is based in Chancery Lane in central London and specialises in all aspects of matrimonial and family law.

The firm: Hughes Fowler Carruthers has been based on Chancery Lane at the heart of legal London since 2001, and is regarded as one of London’s leading divorce and family law practices. All partners are internationally acclaimed for the exceptional standard of their work, and share a considerable breadth of experience which enables them to offer the full gamut of skills needed to navigate complex litigation, expert negotiation and alternative forms of dispute resolution to suit the individual demands of each client.

Work is conducted with a high degree of professionalism and dedication. All solicitors in the practice are members of Resolution. The firm is part of an extensive international family law network through memberships to the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the International Bar Association. This means Hughes Fowler Carruthers can provide a full international service through the partners’ close connections worldwide.

Types of work undertaken: The firm handles all kinds of family law work but puts a strong emphasis on work with financial complexity and international aspects. Fields of expertise include defending and attacking trust structures, tracing hidden assets, jurisdictional disputes and complex pension issues. The firm handles a large volume of very high-value prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements. The partners also have special expertise in complex children and child abduction work.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chair of board Frances Hughes
Matrimonial and family law Frances Hughes
Matrimonial and family law Pauline Fowler
Matrimonial and family law Alex Carruthers
Matrimonial and family law Mark Harper
Matrimonial and family law Renato Labi
Matrimonial and family law Caroline Park
Matrimonial and family law Bryan Jones
Matrimonial and family law Kate Brett
Photo Name Position Profile
Kate Brett photo Kate Brett Partner specialising in high net worth and complex matrimonial finance work, including…
Alex Carruthers photo Alex Carruthers Partner dealing with matrimonial finance and children’s work. Most of his work…
Pauline Fowler photo Pauline Fowler Partner in top ranked niche family law practice; work includes complex financial…
Mark Harper photo Mark Harper Partner specialising in family law matters including financial matters with an international…
Frances Hughes photo Frances Hughes Chair of board of family law niche practice and leading figure in…
Bryan Jones photo Bryan Jones Partner focusing on high net worth and high complexity matrimonial finance, including…
Renato Labi photo Renato Labi Partner in leading niche practice dealing with complex, high-value matrimonial finance often…
Caroline Park photo Caroline Park Partner dealing with matrimonial finance including complex and high net worth cases,…
Number of UK partners : 8
Number of other UK solicitors : 13