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60 Seconds with Jane Keir

Date: 03/02/2020 Type: 60 seconds with Topic:

As someone who has been at the pinnacle of Family law and managing partner of a top law firm would you have any advice for younger practitioners?

Always listen to both sides of the argument. No matter how committed to your client and their cause always take on board the contrary argument. Find out as much as you can about your own client and invest time at the beginning of the relationship to take down as much detail as possible. As the case gets more active and time goes by it is easy to overlook this first basic step but it can pay dividends especially if proceedings are commenced.

Which cases have been significant recently that have changed the industry approach?

“Recently” is a relevant term in family law! White v White [2000] UKHL 54, although decided some twenty years ago, is still the most seismic case in the recent history of family law. It says that equality should be departed from only if, and to the extent that, there is good reason for doing so. There is no place for discrimination between a husband and a wife and their respective roles and no bias in favour of the money-earner against the home-maker. Miller; McFarlane [2006] UKHL 24 added further guidance as to the three “strands” of needs, sharing and compensation. Whilst the sharing principle applies to the party’s property the more recent case of Waggott [2018] EWCA Civ727 confirms that it does not apply to the sharing of an earning capacity

Dealing with HNW Divorce must bring you into contact with some interesting people. Any funny stories in particular that you can share?

We work a lot with counsel and once in a very long while they forget or confuse the names of the parties. I once heard counsel refer to the wife by the name of the husband’s mistress …..

What do you like best about your job?

My clients.

Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?

I think there will be a lot of argument around the basis upon which we detach ourselves from Europe across all sectors.

Predictions for 2020..

Pinatubo will win the Derby.

As chair of the Thought Leaders 4 HNW Divorce Litigation conference what are you most excited about?

There is so much – the line-up of speakers, the subject matter covered, the venue and the flagship launch for ThoughtLeaders4



Jane Keir - Kingsley Napley
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