A veteran of some of the most important family cases heard in English courts, Lady Helen Ward’s celebrity clientele is well documented: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paloma Picasso, Bernie Ecclestone, Guy Ritchie and the Countess Spencer – though inevitably, she has kept many more names out of the spotlight. Revered for her discretion, forensic prowess and the ‘staggering amount of time and energy’ she devotes to clients, the classical pianist recently won a case at the Court of Appeal preventing a divorcee wife, who consented to a financial settlement in Russia, from having a ‘second bite of the cherry’. She sees the end of ‘lifetime maintenance orders’ (as they are commonly known) coming in favour of a defined period of years, and stricter demarcation lines between non-marital and marital wealth, and pre- and post-marital wealth: ‘The decided cases appear to be addressing those points as well as the appropriate way to value a trading or investment business that falls within the marital pot and outside it,’ she says. Peers are full of praise: ‘Helen and Fiona Shackleton are the two most important divorce lawyers of their generation,’ one influential solicitor told Spear’s. The legendary QC Lewis Marks calls Ward ‘not merely one of the best, but the best family lawyer in London’. Clients too: ‘A mind like a jewelled watch and a wise and honest heart – a very rare combination. Once on your case, she is a tigress who never sleeps,’ says one.
Lady Helen Ward