‘The past 12 months have been extraordinarily busy, but in a good way,’ says Julian Ribet, one of the undoubted stars at boutique firm Levison Meltzer Pigott, and known by peers to be ‘a great tactician’.
‘During the last year I have been instructed by a number of HNW individuals and their spouses from varying walks of life in some very complicated financial cases.’
And it’s highly complex situations that Ribet is particularly noted for handling, with freezing injunctions, multi-jurisdictional asset-tracing, intricate non-disclosure matters and cases with trusts or a corporate element among his numerous areas of expertise.
So what were his key highlights of the last year? ‘From LMP’s perspective, without a doubt it was the 20th anniversary party of the firm in June last year,’ he tells Spear’s. ‘I joined in 2000, so have not quite been here for the full 20 years, but it was an enjoyable and emotional event attended by many professional colleagues and family division judges.’
‘On a personal level,’ he says, ‘I was very pleased to be able to settle a case that I had taken over from a previous solicitor by sending only one letter – thereby successfully protecting the client’s savings and investments, which were proceeds of a personal injury claim she had brought following a car accident in her youth, in which she suffered serious brain injuries.’
This is also a firm prepared to think outside the box. ‘We have recently introduced an artificial intelligence (AI) driven system which is being used in family law,’ Ribet explains. ‘Prospective clients can start the process by taking part in what is effectively an online “interview”, following which a fully comprehensive brief of their specific circumstances and requirements is prepared, to be used by our team of specialist lawyers.’ This system is intended, says Ribet, to speed up the entire process, with the result that ‘the initial meeting is more focused on strategy and starting to resolve issues, rather than just being a data gathering exercise.’
Ribet, who recently qualified as one of the country’s youngest specialist family arbitrators, and is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, applauds the move towards more privacy in cases, and is particularly keen on the use of private Financial Dispute Resolution hearings.
‘I have lost count of how many I have done now – but every case of mine that has used this process has settled,’ he tells Spear’s.