‘People don’t seem to have the same appetite for litigation. Far more people are trying to do a deal early on,’ explains Melissa Lesson, a partner in the family department at Mishcon de Reya.
Lesson specialises in separation, divorce, trusts and jurisdictional disputes, including complex, multi-jurisdictional cases and significant assets, which can often include private children matters, such as residence and contact, prohibited steps and specific issues.
Many of her clients have been high profile figures, and – as a dual French and English national and a bilingual speaker – she regularly works on cases with lawyers in Paris and on multiple international prenuptial agreements.
Lesson says that her clients can be split in to two categories (‘not necessarily equally’); those who want a civilised disentanglement of their relationships, and others who do not – either because they are forced to (the other party hiding his/her assets) or don’t want to get on with their lives independently.
Lesson has law degrees from both the University of London and of Paris, and was also a pupil at 1 Hare Court. She was called to the Bar in 1998, and became a partner at Mishcon de Reya in 2008.
Industry commentators are full of praise for Lesson, saying: ‘Melissa Lesson has great commercial nous and is financially literate. She gives robust and clear advice from the outset and is transparent with her clients’, while admiring her ‘calm’, ‘urbane’ and ‘unflappable’ manner.