When Katz left Mishcon de Reya to join Schillings in 2009, she was the youngest head of a family law department in London. She now leads a team of six, focusing on complex international litigation and ‘more unusual work’. For example, she is often instructed by banks and other financial institutions that find themselves joined to divorce proceedings involving an employee.
In such cases, the other spouse seeks full disclosure of their wife’s or husband’s assets, such as past and future bonuses, and the bank is served with an order from the High Court. ‘Their key objective tends to be to exit the court proceedings as quickly as they can and eliminate — or at least limit — the amount of confidential financial information they have to provide,’ says Katz.
An avid shoe collector, the ‘clever and to-the-point’ lawyer (as a competitor described her) often advises HNW domestic violence victims, something requiring Katz to be compassionate and fearless at the same time. She also recently acted for the applicant wife in Abuchian v Khojah, a case in which Katz successfully achieved the highest ever order for financial provision for a wife, following an overseas divorce.
The greatest challenge in big-money litigation, she says, is being aware of all assets involved, some of which may be hidden in another country. ‘If you frequently work with clients in the private equity or hedge fund space, you naturally build experience in dealing with those sorts of individuals, and you gain a real understanding of how their businesses work. That experience teaches you what to look out for every time.’