‘Clients want an end to conflict, often at speed and appreciate a no-nonsense yet human approach,’ says Sarah Anticoni, a partner in the family law team at Charles Russell Speechlys since joining the firm in 1999. Her clients are professionals and entrepreneurs, many of whom are based overseas. Anticoni, whose work is split between advisory for separating couples and mediation, notes a surge in the latter, particularly in cases which revisit old financial deals and those dealing with the relocation of children around the world. It’s a trend she celebrates: ‘The court system is sometimes too slow or costly, so negotiated or mediated deals often have better outcomes.’ Anticoni notes a rise in ‘silver separators’, which often leads to ‘more complex blended family problems such as second or subsequent marriage breakdowns, where there are children but from different fathers, some of whom are married, some of whom are not.’ The benefit for an HNW of engaging a firm like Charles Russell Speechlys is its breadth of specialisms, including tax and immigration, and its global reach, Anticoni explains. ‘We understand that real families have complex multi-layered issues – clients like a one-stop shop when they are in a troubled stage in their lives.’ A good family lawyer is one whose ‘knowledge of the law is a given, and translates that to outcomes that work for the person and their family, and cares about that outcome almost as much as they do’, says Anticoni.