HFC’s founding partner Pauline Fowler has specialised in family law since 1985, most notably in complex children’s work such as international adoption and surrogacy. She was drawn to family law because of the blend of human interest and strategy that the practice affords. ‘I like the fact it’s so wide in scope. This year has seen me take advice from trusts lawyers, commercial lawyers, tax specialists, human rights lawyers and psychiatrists to name a few,’ says Fowler. Her clients are usually international HNW and UHNWs, but she also works with City professionals, entrepreneurs, people with inherited wealth, and ‘ordinary people facing extraordinary problems’. Her international work has seen her collaborate with lawyers from diverse jurisdictions such as Poland, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Pakistan. ‘The shortcomings of the court service encourage people to consider other methods of resolution, such as mediation and negotiation, which provide confidentiality in a way that litigation does not,’ says Fowler, who has also been a trained mediator since 1993. She has settled many difficult cases for well-known figures in the arts and media industries as a mediator, and believes that lawyer-assisted mediation will become more common for HNW and UHNW matters. She also notes a greater inclination to enter into pre- and postnuptial contracts to avoid litigation or even the need for mediation.