Ben Parry-Smith is a likeable and infectiously fun partner at Payne Hicks Beach, who has also served as a protégé of Fiona Shackleton.
Parry-Smith has a wide-ranging practice, advising on all aspects of matrimonial law: cohabitation, pre and post nuptial agreements, and cross-border financial disputes. In recent times, he’s dealt with a number of cases involving the relocation of children and on matters involving same-sex parents.
Much of his work is rarefied and complex. As he explains to Spear’s: ‘I recently won a case pleading conduct “inequitable to disregard”, where a client’s spouse behaved so badly that the financial award was reduced to fairly take account of it.’
Parry-Smith has clients from all over the world, working with people from jurisdictions as wide-ranging as Italy, New Zealand, Indonesia, Jersey, the Bahamas, USA, Belgium, France, Russia, Latvia, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Guatemala and Singapore.
The lawyer voices concern about lack of funding in the court system, whereby ‘increasing “privatisation” of justice means that a two tier system is developing, where those that can’t afford to “opt out” are stuck with terrible delays and sometimes rushed decisions.’
He’s also aware that ‘some lawyers will push clients towards hugely expensive litigation loan providers they have close relationships with, when cheaper alternatives are often available.’ Even so, he is no soft touch: ‘I enjoy standing up to bullies, having a fair fight and getting people out of difficult and sad situations,’ he says.