Called to the Bar in 2000 Stuart specialises in the financial aspects of family law. He is frequently instructed by specialist divorce solicitors and divorcing direct access clients to represent and advise regarding financial disputes following the breakdown of marriage / civil partnerships and cohabitation, as well as by separating couples involved in disputes concerning children.
Stuart is able to offer expert advice on the full range of financial aspects arising on separation and provide representation at hearings, arbitrations and mediations as well as offering a “second opinion” service on matters of appeal and case progression.
Stuart is frequently instructed in financial matters following the breakdown of relationships with unusual features and across the spectrum of asset profiles from modest asset cases to dealing with high-net-worth clients. Stuart has experience in dealing with cases involving complex financial structures through Trusts and investments, including family-based arrangements and matters involving third party interests and foreign property.
Instructions are regularly received on interim applications in dealing with preservation of assets and matters of legal funding orders and disclosure, whilst at all times remaining mindful of the appropriate case strategy in dealing with a final hearing.
Stuart also receives instructions to advise in writing or in conference on current matters and on prospects of Appeal and variation or enforcement of Orders. Enforcement of financial orders is an area of particular interest and Stuart is regularly consulted where a resistant party is failing to comply and a robust approach is required.
Stuart’s extensive experience has included him being involved in matters involving complex Film Investments, property portfolios where third party interests are not immediately obvious nor accepted, farming cases, and he has a grounded experience in dealing with cases involving relevant non-financial aspects, including adult children under a disability, parties with disabilities or reduced life expectancy, addictions and other mental health issues.
Stuart’s cases are regularly heard by District Judges of the Family Court, although he also has experience of matters in the High Court, as well as having appeared in the Court of Appeal.
An appeal against the decision of HH Judge Roberts in December 2020 to lift a stay on a divorce petition which had been in place since June 2016. The stay had been imposed because at that point there were judicial separation proceedings ongoing in a court in Turin so that the Italian court was “first seised” of matrimonial proceedings.
Case concerned balancing sensitive and conflicting factors – namely, the wife’s particular and special health needs and how to deal with the husband’s significant non-matrimonial assets (his inheritance)– to achieve a fair financial outcome.
Variation of maintenance
(Appeal) Enforcement of Final Order
Foreign Property Dispute (Nigeria)
Enforcement & Significant Delay
Farming & inherited wealth
Stuart is instructed in private law children disputes that are bought under Schedule I in seeking financial provision, as well as matters concerning the time children may spend between their parents. Cases involving parental alienation or allegations of such are of particular interest, and the appropriate experts being instructed at an early stage being of key importance, is central to his approach in ensuring the case is well prepared for a final hearing, and is an aspect he is able to offer advice and guidance throughout the process.
Prospects of an appeal and variation of orders are also areas in which Stuart has an established expertise.
Contact with overseas parent
Contact & alcoholic parent
CSA & Schedule I
Financial Remedies and Contact, combined hearing