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Pre- and postnups remain as important as ever for Fowler, the founding partner of Hughes Fowler Carruthers. A recent client ‘had two prenups, one for US law and one for English law’. This international experience complements her extensive children’s work — she was recently able to prevent a father losing his son to a leave-toremove order.

Pre-nups are certainly a forte of hers, but so are post-nups: ‘I did the Macleod case in front of the Privvy Council and that changed the law as it brought in the concept of post-nuptial contracts. I’ve always been probably over-proud of that, partly because the whole idea of doing the deed of variation to the original pre-nuptial contract came from me.’

Complex cases, legally and emotionally, are her natural habitat. Another case ‘involved a local authority and serious drug use by the mother. I was acting for the father and looking at an enormously difficult situation to deal with. But we got a very good result and secured the situation for his children.’

The legal world of surrogacy and same-sex parenting is a modern new space she’s happy to navigate. ‘Same-sex parents are having children with friends, and the long-term implications of parenting with someone with whom you’re not in an intimate relationship are really complicated.’ With her peers crediting her with ‘levelheadedness’ at such times, this violinist is indispensible to clients, with one of them telling her: ‘You shall never know how grateful I am for everything you have done for me… You helped me beyond measure.’

Pauline Fowler