‘We are renowned for our ability to deal with complicated and unusual cases, and this is what the clients come to us for,’ says the niche family firm’s founding partner Alex Carruthers. The challenging and non-uniform nature of the work is a daily thrill for Carruthers, who stresses above all the importance of astuteness and adaptability: ‘You have to have the flexibility to negotiate well for one case or, if need be, go to court. You should not be afraid of either.’ A former partner at Bates Wells and Braithwaite, the Cambridge graduate set up HFC in 2001 with Frances Hughes and Pauline Fowler. He specialises in complex divorce and child-related cases, while also engaging in issues involving trusts and jurisdictional disputes. His clients are mostly international HNW and UHNW individuals. ‘I estimate that 70 per cent of cases have some international element, while the remaining cases are complex in different ways,’ says Carruthers. A qualified mediator and resolute litigator, he has had a number of reported cases and four UHNW clients in the last year. Having qualified in 1994, Carruthers helped found the Young Solicitors Family Law Association in 1998. Building on his international expertise, he is currently an active member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.