Family Lawyers
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Most of us have heard of faking your own death, but not faking your own divorce. Alex Carruthers has, at least in the case of one client: a wife whose husband claimed to have ended their marriage in a Russian court. ‘It makes it very difficult not to say, “That’s a fake! And in an English court you shouldn’t accept that!”’ he has told Spear’s. Carruthers, who studied science at Cambridge before joining Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, first as a solicitor and then as a partner before co-founding Hughes Fowler Carruthers in 2001, is relaxed about the firm’s reputation for being litigious. ‘If you don’t like litigation, frankly you shouldn’t be a family lawyer,’ he says. It doesn’t mean Carruthers is unable to pursue other routes if he thinks the case demands: ‘You’ve got to be able to say, “Right: mediate. Right: arbitrate.”’ Sometimes his inspiration for these approaches is practical: he was speaking to Spear’s after a wasted afternoon at court where the judge dismissed his team due to lack of time. He is a lawyer who would prefer to spare his clients the vagaries of a justice system suffering from government cuts. The Daily Mail bridge competition finalist has found that his card skills have had their uses in the law. One client chose Carruthers ‘because bridge is the kind of game where you evaluate what’s in front of you, look at everyone round the table, then you’re able to read people and take a decision — that for me makes a good divorce lawyer.’

Alex Carruthers