Luke Nelson provides an overview of the procedural elements of starting a standalone TOLATA claim together with some useful practical advice for this stage.
Luke undertakes a primarily finance-based practice, notably CMS appeals or child maintenance/child support appeals, but frequently accepts instructions in private family matters.
Luke is known for his down-to-earth, practical and pragmatic approach to financial cases as well as his deft client care skills. He approaches all matters knowing that his clients are experiencing one of the most difficult times of their lives and endeavours to ease their burden with an easy rapport and clear advice.
Luke taught private family law and financial remedies at the University of Gloucester before joining 3PB and uses this experience in the matters in which he is instructed.
Luke also has a particular interest in matters arising out of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and is comfortable advising and advocating in concurrent Schedule 1 Children Act matters. Luke provides advice in conference or on paper and has a sound knowledge of the principles of equitable accounting and occupation rent.
Recent cases have included:
- Drafting statements of case and advising on prospects and offers pre-issue.
- Advising and appearing in all hearings from inception of the claim, to CCMC to final hearing.
- Advising in relation to the establishment of a constructive trust based on an agreement which was never executed, where the defendant was refusing to make mortgage payments over the property and possession proceedings were impending.
- Advising and representing a client in a case involving large contributions from both sides, a reconciliation and considerable sums spent on renovations.
- Representing a client in a long-running case alongside Children Act Sch 1 proceedings where the respondent had suppressed the profit-earning capacity of the business in order to remain in the FFH.
- Advising on a matter involving an agreement to transfer the beneficial interest in a property where the buy-out sum was never paid.
- Obtaining strike out and summary judgment against a company who wrongfully asserted the existence of a common intention constructive trust, proprietary estoppel and agreement to dispose of beneficial interest in domestic property.
Luke has experience in a wide variety of financial remedies matters. He is able to run a case through from FDA to Final Hearing. He is also comfortable advising on CMS appeals, enforcement actions and setting aside consent orders. Luke is also happy to draft all documents required in financial remedies matters, including questionnaires, schedules of deficiency, offer letters & interim applications.
Recent cases include:
- Advising on matters arising out of the Child Support Act 1991
- Appearing in the First Tier Tribunal in relation to CMS appeals (child maintenance/child support)
- Representing the company of a wealthy husband which was asserting ownership over various matrimonial properties in the High Court alongside and against leading Queen’s Counsel
- Advising and representing in a matter involving an alleged fraudulent disposition of cross-border property
- Successfully establishing the validity of an ante-nuptial agreement alleged to have been entered into under duress
- Successfully arguing an add-back of c.£40k in a needs case due to what the judge described as attempting to hide wanton dissipation ‘under a veil of legitimacy’
- Prosecuting an application for committal based on consistent failures to comply with the service of financial disclosure
- Resisting an application for a Legal Services Payment Order where both parties worked and lived in Australia and the UK
- Advising on and drafting an application to freeze assets pending the outcome of financial remedy proceedings
- Assisting 3PB's Hamish Dunlop in a long-running farming case involving inherited wealth and equestrian assets; the latter issue forming the basis of concurrent intervener proceedings
- Acting as junior to 3PB's Rachael Goodall in a matter involving a large property portfolio and an ongoing business interest with substantial personal goodwill and an uncertain future.
Luke represents privately paying clients in all disputes relating to the welfare of the children. Recent experience includes:
- Representing an Applicant in a case in which the Respondent had made a substantial amount of secret recordings of the Applicant and their children
- Cases with a domestic violence element
- Relocation cases – most recently, Luke successfully represented a client who wished to relocate to Northern Ireland with her child.
Luke accepts instructions relating to injunctions and ownership of property, including non-molestation orders, occupation orders and applications for transfer of tenancy. Luke’s recent work includes:
- Advising and representing a client seeking an occupation order in respect of an outbuilding on the parties’ farm in a case involving concurrent financial remedy proceedings
- Representing the Applicant in their application for a non-molestation order and occupation order in proceedings also involving an application for transfer of Tenancy and domestic violence
- Non-molestation and occupation order proceedings in which the parties still lived together in a small property. There were ongoing financial disputes which were the crux of the parties’ disagreement. Luke helped to resolve the matter by mapping out areas of the property the parties were able to enter at certain times of day – allowing the parties to focus on the underlying financial dispute without further recourse to court in non-molestation proceedings.
TOLATA: a brief guide to issuing proceedings15th Jul 2021
Remote Hearings - A practical guide to case management19th Apr 2020
3PB Barrister Luke Nelson produces a practical guide to case management during remote hearings.
Remote Hearings Checklist14th Apr 2020
3PB specialist family law barrister Luke Nelson creates a remote hearings checklist.
"In my time with Luke on our pre-court call and all day in court, Luke listened to me, was patient and empathetic but also challenging. On top of all that he's a nice bloke too!
The simple yet powerful narrative he pulled together for the court were, for me, quite simply perfect. It made me feel understood and content. Despite a great deal of sabre-rattling from the applicant, Luke kept his composure and calmly but firmly asserted our position. He clearly connected with the court, foresaw and addressed its concerns and was mindful of the position he would take if in his opponent’s camp.
The phrase velvet glove springs to mind!
I will advocate for Luke to work with you and others again."
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for recommending Luke Nelson to me. It's a scary concept to entrust somebody you've never met with a truly life-altering court case. However, Luke had clearly absorbed every tiny detail of the case and he delivered it in court with precision and persuasiveness. As a result, the judge warned the other side to drastically reconsider their position, and they did. In short, it was A MASSIVE WIN.”
Lay Client, Financial Remedies
“I recently instructed Luke on an FDR with a difficult opponent and a difficult client. He performed far in excess of his Call and his charm in dealing with judges is quite exceptional.”
Solicitor, Financial Remedies
“I just wanted to put in writing how impressed both I and my client were with the performance of Luke Nelson in court yesterday. Everything was handled with outstanding professionalism and ability and a resounding success was obtained for the client. I really feel Luke went well beyond the call of duty with all that he did in terms of preparation and delivery (in particular the skeleton argument). I have no doubt that his ability will take him far in this career.”
“Thank you for this morning. You made it easy for me to understand the process, and in agreeing the sensible items prior to the hearing, made it more straightforward.”
Client, financial remedies proceedings
“Luke is an excellent communicator and builds a great rapport with clients. He has a professional and approachable manner, which places any client at ease in often difficult circumstances. Luke has been able to drill down the issues within a case and approach those in a methodical and academic manner which has resulted in a first class service and result for the client overall. ”
Eleanor Wood, Goughs Solicitors
"Luke Nelson approached our case with total dedication, incredible commitment, stunning professionalism and deep empathy for us.
He made all the difference. Not only to how we were feeling through it all, but in obtaining us the result we wanted.
In court, Luke was electric, hard-hitting and exceptionally clever in his cross-examination of the claimant. I can honestly say that he is a barrister who not only represents the highest legal standards, as one would hope for, but he also superbly represents & defends his client, to a level that was without doubt simply outstanding, and quite exceptional.
We will never be able to thank him enough."
- University of Gloucestershire (2 year fast-track LLB) - First Class
- Provost’s Award For Excellence, University of Law, BPTC 2017
- Law Prize for Outstanding Achievement, University of Gloucestershire, 2017
- Finalist, Lincoln’s Inn Inter-Provider Mooting Competition, 2017
- Undergraduate Team Award, National Client Interviewing Competition, 2016
- Sir Thomas More Bursary, Lincoln’s Inn, 2016
- Neuberger Prize, Lincoln’s Inn, 2015
Professional qualifications & appointments
- University of Law (BPTC), Birmingham - Very Competent
- Lincoln’s Inn
- Western Circuit