Simon Beccle is one of a rare breed, having had two family cases heard in the highest court in the land. In 2000, he acted for the wife in White v White (2000), the case which established the 50:50 split on assets. He then followed that up with an arguably more high profile case, acting for Mrs Owens in Owens v Owens (2018) in her fight to be divorced. In this instance, although the Supreme Court rejected Mrs Owens’ appeal, the much-publicised case was a catalyst for legislative change, with the government’s introduction of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill to bring in no-fault divorce.
Alongside such impressive cases, Beccle also boasts an international client base – taking in Germany, the US, France, Canada and Dubai. So what makes Beccle tick? ‘I enjoy creating idiosyncratic solutions to resolve clients’ difficulties,’ he tells Spear’s, ‘Whether that be a divorce, a financial remedy dispute, cohabitee dispute, a children dispute or maybe cohabitation or prenuptial agreement.
I see the highs and lows, as well as the best and worst of human nature – which at various times can be both exciting and frustrating.’
So, having been at the forefront of the ‘no-fault’ divorce battle, does he see any other areas for reform?
‘It will be interesting to see whether the government will promote legislation to give cohabitees rights on the termination of cohabitation,’ Beccles tells Spear’s, ‘as well as the appropriateness of joint lives spousal periodical payments – which are areas of family law that are ripe for modernisation.’