‘Not merely one of the best, but the best family lawyer in London’, says Lewis Marks QC, of Lady Ward. She has a welldocumented celebrity clientele: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paloma Picasso, Bernie Ecclestone, Guy Ritchie and the Countess Spencer, though — as colleagues point out — she has kept many out of the spotlight.
She is revered for her discretion, forensic prowess and the ‘staggering amount of time and energy’ (according to a peer) she devotes to clients — not always finalising their divorces. ‘They may say their marriage is over,’ she says, ‘but I try to explore whether careful consideration has been given to the options available and the consequences for the family.’
This classical pianist recalls her most memorable case — which took in four jurisdictions — acting for a client with a ‘vast’ fortune. The volume of paper and lawyers required that the court be rewired to facilitate new electronic equipment, and the judge had to be trained on the software.
On the Friday afternoon before the trial, after months of preparation and with all costs and fees incurred, a letter from the husband’s solicitors announced his abandonment of all claims: ‘The legal teams departed with six blank weeks in their diaries,’ she says, and left her client ‘totally overwhelmed’ by her husband’s surrender. Clients offer poetic praise: ‘A mind like a jewelled watch and a wise and honest heart — a very rare combination. She is a tigress who never sleeps.’
Below: Helen Ward of Stewarts Law won the Spear’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Spear’s Wealth Management Awards 2015