Pump Court Chambers

Mark Ablett

Call: 2014

  • French & History – University of Warwick
  • GDL – University of Law
  • BPTC – University of Law (Middle Temple Blackstone Entrance Exhibition Award)
  • IBA Family Law Committee 2017 scholar
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • International Bar Association

Mark is a food fanatic and when not in court can be found in his garden smoking sides of salmon and roasting coffee beans (although not simultaneously), to the mild irritation of his long-suffering neighbours. Mark is also an avid follower of the travails of Liverpool FC.

Instructing Mark Ablett

Would you like to know more?

If you require help or advice please contact our clerking team.

Call +44 (0)20 7353 0711 or email clerks@pumpcourtchambers.com.

Mark Ablett has a specialist practice in family law, appearing at all levels of the Family Court and High Court having completed pupillage in October 2017. His background as the senior paralegal at a leading family law solicitors firm lends an experience of working on big money divorce cases.

He is frequently instructed on family finance cases with a complex element, often involving asset-protection structures, as well as private law children cases. He handles Family Law Act injunctions and has a growing practice in TOLATA claims.

In all practice areas, Mark is sensitive to the benefits of settlement where achievable but does not hesitate in taking a robust approach where necessary. Profiling his expertise, Mark regularly provides talks and case updates to leading law firms as well as writing articles for key publications (both online and in print), and has been published in the Guardian. Mark was also proud to achieve recognition when awarded the IBA Family Law Committee scholarship in 2017, enabling him to attend and speak at the IBA annual conference in Sydney (2017).

Mark is the co-founder of the successful Pump Court Family Law Podcast.

Legal Services

Mark’s practice encompasses all aspects of the financial consequences of relationship breakdown, having been instructed both in applications under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and Schedule 1 Children Act 1989.

Mark came to the Bar with a background in family finance, having worked for two years pre-pupillage as a paralegal on big money divorces, handling one case involving assets worth several billion dollars held in a Cayman Islands trust. Mark applies this experience in cases where he is instructed to deal with on and off-shore trusts and complex company structures. Mark is experienced dealing with cases involving third party interests and has acted in numerous cases with intervenors and joined third parties.

In summer 2019, Mark assisted in-house at a boutique family firm, specialising in high and ultra-high net worth cases as well as complex children proceedings. Mark is well-versed in arguments over non-matrimonial property, pre-nuptial agreements and complex pension arrangements.

Mark is familiar with international aspects to financial disputes, such as disputed contested divorce jurisdiction and divorce validity. Conflict of laws is a particular interest and was the subject of a talk given by Mark at the IBA annual conference in Sydney in 2017. Mark also has experience of Part III MFPA proceedings, both at permission stage and substantively.

Mark is known for his attention to detail, meticulous case preparation and knowledge of the law, and has received particular praise for his written documents and manner with clients.

Selected Cases

X v Y & Z

Junior counsel in an ongoing case where H asserts the majority of matrimonial assets are subject to loan agreements.

M v S

Adverse inferences drawn against H due to serious non-disclosure, resulting in all UK-based capital being transferred to W (Mark’s client).

J v D

Contested domicile hearing in the context of divorce jurisdiction.

F v A

Contested divorce jurisdiction hearing applying forum conveniens principles

X v X

Complex multi-jurisdiction post-nuptial agreement involving high net worth parties.

A v B & C & D

Matrimonial proceedings where family members have been joined and intervened for a preliminary issue hearing on the beneficial ownership of the family home.

Mark has represented parents across the full spectrum of private children proceedings. He has experience of intractable hostility to contact and parental alienation; he has acted in proceedings with and on behalf of r.16.4 guardians. Mark is confident dealing with cases involving allegations of domestic abuse and finding the proportionate approach to take. His cases have involved allegations of serious harm against children, including sexual abuse as well as vulnerable children with a high level of need.

Mark also deals with both internal and international relocation cases, having been instructed to assist in the preparation of the father’s case in S v S (Relocation) [2017] EWHC 2345 (Fam).

Mark’s international practice also includes recognising overseas child arrangements agreements or similar and cases involving non-EU and non-Hague Convention 1996 countries.

Mark has been praised for adopting a child-focused and pragmatic approach where possible, whilst being robust in litigating a case where necessary.

Selected Cases

G v G

Acted on behalf of the respondent in proceedings where Mark’s client was having no contact at all with one of the children. Following a highly inadequate section 7 report, Mark persuaded the court to order an ISW report instead and at final hearing Mark secured an order for shared care.

B v B

Ongoing case where the children have been joined and are represented, with intractable hostility to contact.

R v G

Successful appeal against fact-finding, leading to Mark’s client seeing his children for the first time in 2 years.

M v F

Fact-finding where one of the children gave evidence.

H v D

Proceedings involving high risk allegations. Mark managed to avoid a fact-finding for his client by obtaining a risk assessment instead, leading to agreement for Mark’s client to see his child for the first time in 3 years.

Mark has a growing a practice in TLATA claims and associated proceedings, for which he advises in writing and appears in court.

Recent cases have involved: proprietary estoppel arguments in a quasi-matrimonial situation; facts very similar to those in Jones v Kernott (for which Mark secured a favourably alternative outcome); TLATA proceedings within matrimonial proceedings.

  • Brexit and Family Law, The Review, Issue 199
  • Costs in fact-finding proceedings against the legally aided litigant – [2019] Fam Law 407.co-author with Alice Scott
  • “The without prejudice rule in children proceedings: myth or reality?” Family Law Journal, [2018] Fam Law 208
  • “Costs: Reassessing the Starting Point”, Family Law Week, 27 January 2017
  • “Why it pays for the wealthy to divorce in Singapore (and not Hong Kong)”, Trusts & Trustees, Vol. 22, No. 5, June 2016, pp. 525–530 (co-author)
  • “Ordering the would-be undertaker: the equitable reach of the Family Court”, Family Law Week, 8 July 2016 (co-author)
  • French & History – University of Warwick
  • GDL – University of Law
  • BPTC – University of Law (Middle Temple Blackstone Entrance Exhibition Award)
  • IBA Family Law Committee 2017 scholar
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • International Bar Association

Mark is a food fanatic and when not in court can be found in his garden smoking sides of salmon and roasting coffee beans (although not simultaneously), to the mild irritation of his long-suffering neighbours. Mark is also an avid follower of the travails of Liverpool FC.

Instructing Mark Ablett

Would you like to know more?

If you require help or advice please contact our clerking team.

Call +44 (0)20 7353 0711 or email clerks@pumpcourtchambers.com.

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