Family Lawyers
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Family law is personal, and the results are profound. You work directly with your clients and make a real difference to their lives. In my work I have never felt like a cog in a machine, says Simon McKirgan, senior director at Vardags, who works on the firm’s divorce cases involving the largest assets. ‘Normally, my clients who are the financially stronger party in the marriage want to protect their wealth,’ he explains. ‘When there are jurisdiction issues involved, my financially weaker clients want to carry out proceedings in London, where the courts have a particular reputation for fairness.’ The firm is best known for its work as an international divorce firm, covering the full range of family law and private client services, including child arrangements, domestic violence, child abduction, child relocation, prenups and postnups, wills, trusts, probate and contested inheritance. McKirgan works exclusively with HNWs and UHNWs from a variety of backgrounds, including commerce, banking, media and sport, as well as having experience handling celebrity cases. Over the past year his work has included some very delicate financial remedy proceedings. In one case, the parties’ assets are worth £17 million, a substantial portion of which is held in a series of complex offshore trust structures. ‘The size of the marital acquest is very contentious, and therefore whether it is a needs or a sharing case,’ he says. If he could change one thing about the law it would be the way it treats fathers in cases involving children. ‘Though there are positive moves and you are now getting more shared care arrangements, there still isn’t enough emphasis on the child having a relationship with both parents,’ says McKirgan. ‘There are particular issues with the removal from jurisdiction cases, when mothers decide that they want to move abroad with their kids. Often too much emphasis is put on the potential effect on the mother should she be refused, rather than the child’s relationship with both parents. This can leave the situation open to abuse.’

Simon McKirgan
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