‘Today, we’re seeing increasingly complex and nomadic family set-ups,’ says Dawson Cornwell’s Kate Allen, who is described by clients as ‘incredibly bright and hard working.’
‘My HNW clients are all very varied,’ she tells Spear’s, ‘which is what makes it so interesting. We are an international practice and expect to receive instructions with a jurisdictional dimension.’
Allen, who qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and became a partner at Dawson Cornwell in 2004, advises on all areas of domestic and international family law – particularly high net worth financial settlements, children disputes and cohabitation.
Approachable and thoughtful, Allen acts for the specialist family law firm’s diverse range of private clients, from film producers and artists to venture capitalists, specialising across the full range of Schedule 1 children’s cases (work with both mothers and fathers), as well as financial issues on separation.
Allen is also a member of Resolution (the organisation of family lawyers, established by John Cornwell in 1972, that adopts a non-confrontational approach to family law), London Collaborative Group, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and London Family Solutions.
Known for her ‘impeccable judgement,’ Allen herself describes her job as ‘multi-faceted, never routine but also quite draining.’ ‘I have huge admiration for those who find it easy to detach or switch off,’ she says. ‘I find it difficult to do so when there are distressing circumstances.’
Clients and peers are quick to praise: ‘She is very, very bright and very constructive,’ says one. ‘She is quite wily, she knows how to litigate. As an opponent, she is very tough and very constructive – you can have a row with her, but in a constructive and good humoured way,’ adds a source.
‘Kate is a superb tactician who will move heaven and earth to achieve the right result for her client,’ enthuses another client.
‘Her formidable intellect and empathy, combined with incisive analysis of the most complex of cases, means that she wins.’
For all her technical ability and prowess when in court, she’s a conscientious lawyer as much as anything else: ‘There has been an unhappy shift in focus to litigation,’ she concludes. ‘An attitude that litigating well is something to aspire to rather than a sign that an opportunity has been lost.’