A family law veteran with over 36 years’ experience, Rhiannon Lewis specialises in separation, divorce, financial claims and settlements, frequently of an international nature. Probed for the latest trends, she points to the ‘inconsistency in family law tribunals — especially in relation to term maintenance orders’. But when asked what she would change about family law, she advocates the introduction of no-fault divorce: ‘The fact that couples still apportion blame when divorcing creates unnecessary acrimony and is wholly outdated,’ she says (she isn’t keen on the ‘delays and administrative dysfunctionality’ of the courts system, either). Lewis says the most common, and potentially disastrous misconception among new clients, is that cohabiting couples hold legal rights: ‘It is alarming how many people believe this misconception,’ she says. ‘It is a distressing part of our job when we have to tell a new client who may have lived with their partner for many years and expects to be told that they will be able to make a claim, that there may be no, or only a very limited, claim. If only cohabiting couples took advice when their relationship started rather than when it ends.’ A fellow of the IAFL and a member of the American Bar Association, Lewis joined Dawson Cornwell from Edwin Coe as a partner in 1993.
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