BBC One’s new legal profession drama series The Split seemed to break half a dozen professional rules, both lawyers and observers noted, including client files casually dropped on desks to be glanced at by opposing lawyers. Hazel Wright, a partner in the family department at the London law firm Hunters Solicitors, found another fault with the storyline.…
Currently, whilst written agreements reached between parties before (or after) marriage do not bind the English Courts, parties can nevertheless expect them to be likely to be applied – if they reflect the free and informed consent of both parties, and are not obviously unfair to either.
Accordingly, such agreements now have a permanent place in the arrangements that wealth managers and private client lawyers need to have in mind for their clients. No longer are they the preserve of the wealthy: they are tools to be employed by anyone who seeks predictability.
However, while the benefits of such an agreement are clear, the path towards it is not always easy. We are very aware of the importance not only of technical ability, but also of sensitivity, allied to skills in gentle negotiation in bringing these delicate matters to a safe and successful conclusion. We find the collaborative law process particularly useful in this discipline. Often important in this work is the ready availability of the skills and experience of our Private Client team.
Where parties are not married, we advise on the prevention of disputes by helping with “living together” or “cohabitation” agreements.