Formerly a senior consultant at McGuireWoods’ London office, Zoë Bloom joined Keystone Law in 2010, as the firm’s first solicitor specialising in family matters. ‘I needed them to accept that their model would work for family law, so I gave them a business plan,’ recalls Bloom. She began work the next week, and has since recruited a team of seven family solicitors with additional paralegal support.
Nominated for the Family Lawyer of the Year award in last year’s Spear’s Wealth Management Awards, Bloom employs an energetic approach to her practice. Described as part of the ‘new school’ of family lawyers, her focus is on outcome rather than process. Her caseload comprises some of the most complex issues that separating families face, and she is not afraid to take on clients who are already in the middle of proceedings, driving them through to settlement. ‘I am often instructed by clients who are fed up with their cases drifting along aimlessly, with no strategy,’ she says. ‘We call it “gentleman’s drift”, and I see it far too often – particularly from clients who have previously instructed some of the more traditional practices.’
Her clients are generally experiencing high conflict relationship breakdown – either because the assets are extremely complicated or the personalities are difficult. ‘I often act against people with narcissistic tendencies’, says Bloom, who is also a go-to pre and postnup adviser.
Having spent five years working as a private client solicitor, Bloom is well placed to deal with complicated tax and trust issues. Describing her range of cases, she says: ‘The property may be in the middle of renovation or the business may be highly illiquid. There are usually issues around the beneficial entitlement under trust arrangements.’ Inevitably, emotions are running high, but these cases also require a lot of technical knowhow.
‘The important thing is that everyone here is free to work with their clients in the way they work best,’ she says. ‘That puts us at a huge advantage.’ Experienced in international divorce with complicated cross-border tax issues, Bloom also has niche experience representing high-profile entrepreneurs and Nordic nationals. She exudes an air of calm expertise at all times, explaining that: ‘I try to encourage the court to make the right decision – strategy is key.’
Industry experts agree, noting her strength in ‘combining compassion with efficiency’, while a peer attests that her services are cost-effective and competitive. The peer, who has acted opposite Bloom, says she would personally consult Bloom if she were divorcing. Clients are equally keen, praising Bloom for a collaborative approach and outstanding results.