Stephen Foster, head of family law at Stewarts, is content after a decade of success, having handpicked what many consider to be the most robust high-asset divorce team in London. ‘We are now over 40 strong, with nine highly thought-of partners and the strongest assistant line up in the country,’ he says. Foster’s own clients include City entrepreneurs, businessmen and ‘a sprinkling of well-known figures from media and the arts’, who value speed, confidentiality, control over their own affairs, and certainty, with assets often stretching into the hundreds of millions or even billions. ‘Business people like clarity and certainty, and are not encouraged when the court cannot even agree whether the family proceedings should be held in open court or are “quintessentially private”,’ he says. ‘It’s like a modern day papal schism.’ Described by one peer as ‘an enormously accomplished practitioner,’ rivals rate Foster’s intelligence, considered approach and ‘superbly tactical’ litigation skills. He relishes the role — most of all ‘finding elegant and innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems’, he says. ‘For me the satisfaction is in ensuring that we achieve the best possible result for each and every case, whether the asset base is £5 billion or £5 million. It’s imperative that every client’s case is treated as if it’s the most important case that the department is dealing with.
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