Recognition

Debbie won Family Lawyer of the Year in 2019 at the Spears Wealth Management Awards.

“Truly excellent inspiring client-care with really solid legal analysis and a completely unstuffy approach steeped in commercial reality.” (CityWealth)

“If you have a difficult divorce, as far as I can tell there is nobody better in London than her. She’s clear, she’s strategic – what more could you want?” (Chambers)

“An expert in hard-fought matrimonial litigation, but maintains a strong reputation as a collaborative lawyer … she will negotiate hard and is open to collaborative approaches. She can see solutions that other people can’t.” (Chambers)

“She is very creative and a hard fighter who backs her clients to the hilt.” (Chambers)

“She is always well prepared, she’s fantastic with clients and has great attention to detail. She is my go-to for collaborative law matters.” (Chambers High Net Worth)

 

Expertise

Debbie’s practice encompasses all aspects of family law (complex asset valuation, business interests, trusts and wealth protection structures). She advises regularly on international pre-nuptial agreements.

One of Debbie’s particular areas of expertise is collaborative law, having co-founded England’s first multi-disciplinary group of collaborative professionals (Creative Divorce).

Her significant reported cases include:

IR v OR [2022] EWFC 20 – Debbie acted for the wife, achieving an award of over £70m (exceeding the husband’s offer by over £20m). The case dealt with how wealth generated before the marriage and from the sale of a family business should be treated, as well as the enforceability of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.

XW v XH [2019] EWCA Civ 549; XW v XH [2019] EWCA Civ 2262, [2020] 4 WLR 22 – Debbie acted for the wife who was awarded one of the highest recorded English divorce settlements by the Court of Appeal (increasing her award from £115m to £145m). The case dealt with issues of special contribution, privacy and whether foreign marital contracts should be treated as pre-nuptial agreements. The wife was successful, exceptionally, in her application for the reporting restrictions order granted in the High Court to be maintained in the Court of Appeal.

[2017] EWHC 3095 (Fam) – Debbie acted for HRH Prince Louis of Luxembourg in the successful application for a reporting restrictions order relating to family proceedings.

Accreditations and Memberships

Debbie is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Career

Debbie graduated from Oxford University (Jurisprudence) in 1990.