‘My clients instruct me to get things done. I am firm but fair.’ Hunters’ Jay Patel describes his professional approach in two words: ‘the enforcer’. Having billed ‘in excess of £450,000 in the last year’, Patel has enjoyed a successful 2019 working on two ‘big money cases’ where the net assets exceeded £80 million and £53 million respectively. ‘The former case was concluded by way of final judgment in the High Court,’ he explains. ‘I secured a departure from equality for my “husband” client of 65 per cent to 35 per cent, relying on stellar contributions and post separation accrual. The second case is listed for a directions appointment in High Court after parties failed to reach an agreement at private FDR.’
With over two decades of experience acting for UHNW and HNW individuals on divorce, civil partnerships, financial remedy claims and children issues, Patel has built a reputation as one of the top figures in family law. Working for clients from India and the Middle East, and with a key understanding of the various cultural and religious issues that such clients often have to tackle, he is their ‘go-to’ Asian divorce lawyer.
Patel first realised he’d arrived as a trusted advisor for HNWs when they began to seek him out to represent them in family disputes. He joined the Hunters Family Team as a partner in August 2017, and explains to Spear’s how his journey began. ‘I started my career in 1993, when I was admitted to the Solicitors Roll by The Law Society,’ he recalls. ‘My role now is to assist the firm with the growth of our practice through brand awareness and association, to provide legal services for the firm’s family clients and to act as a mediator on family disputes.’
Patel’s HNW clients include people in sport, media and business. The journey starts, he says, ‘with the agent or player liaison manager,’ or, ‘an accountancy firm or wealth manager will call on a Monday morning seeking advice and representation for their client.’
So what makes Patel’s clients choose him as their first point of call for advice? ‘They call because I am their trusted advisor, having never let them down. The intermediaries are driven to look after and meet the needs of their clients, and they wish to work with like-minded individuals.’
Patel spends his weekends ‘watching Spurs home and away’ and (he adds, tongue firmly in cheek) ‘taking the wife out for dinner to keep her happy’. So who does this family law hero count as a hero himself? ‘Nigel Dwyer QC. He is formidable and has all the attributes of a leading Family Lawyer.’ And of his colleagues, he says: ‘Henry Hood is a gentleman and a scholar, possessive of impeccable values to which we should all aspire.’