‘The past year has been the busiest and most successful year of my career so far,’ Helen Blackburn proudly tells Spear’s. The partner and solicitor at The International Family Law Group has successfully ‘staved off’ an appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court and assisted ‘numerous’ clients on achieving their objectives.
A specialist in family law concerning children, Blackburn describes her multi-faceted role as being ‘a combination of adviser, confidante, tactician and detective’. Her expertise covers cases with an international dimension or involving the cross-border movement of children – a uniting theme of The International Family Law Group, which is geared towards serving the interests of international families who live, travel and have connections around the world. Clients tend to be figures in the music, film and TV industry, business leaders or beneficiaries of inherited wealth. ‘I am instructed to assist them in regulating the time that the children spend with their parents on separations, notes Blackburn. ‘HNWs tend to travel and relocate frequently, and I am routinely called upon to advise on the legal implications of their children’s movement globally.’
Blackburn has extensive experience in cases involving arrangements for children, custody/residence, contact/access, reciprocal enforcement of foreign orders, international relocation/ leave to remove applications and jurisdiction disputes. ‘We were the first national family law practice that specialised in cross-border family law matters,’ Blackburn says of the firm, which she joined in 2009 after a stint at RPC, where she was trained by the ‘exceptional’ Carolynn Usher.
Brexit might be one of the themes of recent times, but Blackburn reports that her area of expertise ‘has been largely unaffected’, adding: ‘My firm is on top of the issues and very well placed to adapt to each possible Brexit eventuality.’
The firm’s specialist legal advice guides clients through the process of achieving a successful co-parenting plan, and iFLG is a recognised specialist in Child Abduction cases, where it acts for parents whose children have been taken, as well as for those who find themselves party to such proceedings. Blackburn’s practice is also rooted in an especially sensitive, proactive and timely approach. ‘They want swift and trustworthy advice tailored to their circumstances,’ she concludes.