Anne-Marie’s name is on just about every list of the top family lawyers,’ fellow Dawson Cornwell partner Kate Allen tells Spear’s as we try to track down the busy lawyer.
Hutchinson acts in all areas of family law, specialising in child abduction, forced child marriages, and international surrogacy.
‘Celebrities and HNWs lead very complicated lives. You ask where they live and they’ll reply, “Which month?”,’ says Hutchinson when we catch up. ‘You end up having meetings with their trust adviser, tax adviser, accountant…’
Her HNW clients include parents, usually in the context of a child dispute which has an international element; wives of HNW husbands who wish to relocate their children following the breakdown of their relationship; and fathers who oppose an international move. She also works on surrogacy matters and represents children involved in complex inter-country adoptions, as well as HNW or celebrity parents caught up in a public law child protection case due to allegations made by the other parent.
Many of Hutchinson’s clients are celebrities, and issues surrounding divorce and family are always sensitive. This means that she and her team need to engage with not only the client but their management teams as well. ‘One of the biggest challenges faced is to ensure that the arrangements are kept entirely confidential and do not leak to the media,’ she notes. Recently, she has acted on behalf of teenagers whose parents are divorcing. ‘Their opinions are very important,’ she explains. ‘And they certainly know their own minds.’
For Hutchinson, a key aspect of the service and representation that Dawson Cornwell can deliver is the breath of specialism. ‘We field partners with specialism in all aspects, be it complex financial cases or intricate sensitive disputes relating to children,’ she says of the firm that she has worked for since 1997.
‘With the support of my partners, I developed the international children side of the practice in particular. I was also lucky enough to be at the forefront of some international initiatives, such as child abduction, forced marriages, the dispute as to recognition of Sharia divorces (and indeed marriages), getting to grips with the EU regulation and the development of surrogacy and artificial reproductive technology law following changes to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.’
‘My firm also has a significant specialism in the law relating to LGBT+ matters,’ she concludes.