We’re proud to announce our Family team has been awarded Litigation Team of the Year at The Lawyer awards – a high profile award recognising the best teams in the legal industry. The awards were open to all legal practitioners, including large international firms operating in multiple jurisdictions, boutique law firms, in-house teams, barrister chambers or a national or regional practice in the UK.
At a ceremony held at the Intercontinental London at the end of June, the best legal firms and individuals were honoured at the Lawyer Awards. Our Family team were recognised for their exceptional work on the Landmark cases of Mrs Sharland and Mrs Gohil, who challenged their settlements after being misled by their husbands regarding their wealth.
Last October the Supreme Court finally ruled in their favour, sending both cases back to the High Court in an incredibly significant ruling for the world of family law.
Irwin Mitchell’s family law team, led by partner Ros Bever, worked tirelessly for both women to achieve to achieve the unprecedented rulings, which have opened the floodgates to thousands of similar cases and set in stone that a division of the parties’ financial assets during a divorce must be based on a valid disclosure of funds.
In the Gohil case Ros Bever was instructed at the eleventh hour when public funding was not extended to cover the Supreme Court appeal. It posed a difficult decision, given the potential adverse costs, and the team created its own ATE insurance policy to protect the client and achieve a favourable outcome.
Judges at The Lawyer Awards said the disputes were “significant cases on a significant issue” and Irwin Mitchell displayed “impressive use of funding and insurance arrangements.”
“Irwin Mitchell demonstrated an admirable appetite for fighting for what is right and enabling it through a flexible approach to fees.”
Ros Bever, Partner and head of the Family Law team in Manchester at Irwin Mitchell, said:
“We are delighted to have been successful in our nomination for litigation team of the year. It was fabulous to have been recognised as a full service litigation team. The appeals in Sharland and Gohil were ground breaking in many senses. However, it is worth noting that it would never have been possible to pursue the appeal in the case of Gohil had it not been for the firm’s strength as a full-service litigation team, which enabled us to secure an After The Event insurance policy to protect Mrs Gohil against adverse costs orders. This represented a first for the family team and a first for family practitioners generally. It also demonstrates our commitment to our clients and our ability to anticipate and address their concerns (and the commercial reality of litigation) head on at a very early stage. We have a significant and growing number of high net worth private clients regionally and internationally. Our family and contentious probate teams are working on ground breaking legal cases, highlighted perfectly by our two successful Supreme Court divorce cases last autumn. We await the long-awaited decision from the Court of Appeal in relation to the case of Roocroft, expected in October / November 2016. Our family teams across the country continue to contribute to case law, with reported judgments awaited and cases listed in the Court of Appeal.
“Our Private Client teams have already built a formidable reputation on a national and regional level and we look forward to building on that in the coming months and years.”