Having been ‘brought up on’ international work during her training at Withers, Hatley enjoys the cross-jurisdictional challenge. ‘It does make it more complicated,’ she says, ‘because often you’re having to reconcile the application of foreign law and limitations to the very broad discretionary approach of the English courts. You do have to bring your own judgment into the equation and balance what you think a court would do.’
Hatley is standing for re-election as treasurer and secretary of the International Association of Matrimony Lawyers, at whose annual conference she’ll be speaking on the issue of pre-nups. ‘The stigma has completely gone,’ she says. ‘I’m doing a post-nup at the moment — multi-millionaire, multijurisdictional. It’s because the husband’s interest in the business is about to be floated.’
Pre-nups will change things, argues Hatley, as will the recent ruling in Wright v Wright, she says, where the ex-wife was told to get a job by the judge. While much has been made of the judge’s comments in the press, Hatley explains that this is an issue has been gradually building since a regional ruling in 2008 ‘I would like to see the introduction of a rebuttable presumption that after a period of time a wife should be expected to achieve financial independence, in line with many other jurisdictions including Scotland.’
Hatley’s clients certainly appreciate her undisputed nous, with one saying she ‘listened to me, reacted intelligently and surely, clearly knew the law to the smallest nuances and had an excellent sense of strategy’. Much of her free time is also spent in family law, working with the think-tank Creative Divorce, of which she is a founder.