‘A solid, old-school lawyer,’ one competitor firm tells Spear’s in commending Erica Shelton. The Bloomsbury-born partner is known for ‘litigating effectively when required with patience and pragmatism’, and she certainly gets results. Some years ago she won £10.5 million for the wife of Sir Terence Conran in a landmark case where the non-financial contribution to a marriage was taken into account for the first time. An aggressive stance is not always desirable, but ‘that doesn’t mean you don’t fight very hard for your clients,’ she says. ‘Of course you do, but this can be done in a constructive and dignified way.’ She says that increasingly some clients try to resolve the majority of financial matters between themselves or via mediation, and choose family solicitors on a bespoke basis to deal with certain discrete issues. The last 12 months have been particularly busy for Shelton, with a number of international cases involving complex offshore structures and tax and trust points. The former trust litigator is a member of both ACTAPS and the IAFL, which speaks to her breadth of intellectual interest. A recent case even featured a range of businesses tied up in the Philippines’ political storm. Shelton represents husbands and wives more or less equally, but sees a difference in the way both parties issue proceedings: men often decide to divorce before Christmas, while women wait until the children are back in school.