- Clerk Name: Robert Leonard
- Clerk Telephone: 01202 292102
- Clerk Email: [email protected]
Nick specialises in family law and practises across the full range of this area at all levels of the family court as well as the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Nick is also qualified to accept cases under the direct public access scheme. He accepts direct access instructions in family cases to advise generally in respect of proceedings or proposed applications, assist in the preparation of paperwork, and represent clients at Court from the beginning to the end of a case.
Nick also has extensive experience in financial remedy proceedings, at all stages from first appointment to final hearing and appeal, including preliminary issues concerning the beneficial ownership of assets.
He has particular experience in dealing with cases involving the following issues:
- Assets located overseas and disputes over their ownership and valuation, particularly in India and South Asia
- Land, including third-party interests and the effect of planning permission on valuation.
- Companies, their valuation and ownership including family-owned companies
- Family and other trusts
- Maintenance pending suit, interim periodical payments and school fees
- Share options and other deferred compensation scheme
- Emergency remedies such including search and freezing injunctions
- Disabilities and their impact on earning capacity including personal injury awards including structured settlements
- Pensions, particularly police and military pensions
Nick also undertakes case under schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. He also acts regularly in TOLATA matters and other beneficial ownership disputes, including those involving boats.
Nick has worked with clients from a wide range of backgrounds and is experienced in dealing with various cultural issues that arise from divorce proceedings. He is experienced in working with clients with disabilities particularly the deaf and blind/partially sighted.
Nick also provides representation at Child Support Tribunal, both at First Tier and Second Tier level. His experience in this context includes issues of contested jurisdiction and habitual residence.
Nick is also experienced in dealing with divorce proceedings themselves including defended divorces and related applications such as preventing the grant of decree absolute.
Recent cases include:
K v K: Successful application for enforcement of a maintenance pending suit application including an attachment of earnings order and award of costs.
H v H: Negotiated a settlement in a complex financial remedy matter involving multiple rental properties with significant capital gains tax implications.
W v A: Preliminary issue concerning allegations of sham trusts.
P v H: Successful maintenance pending suit application. Obtained an order for maintenance together with costs. Case involved issues of declining incomes on rental property portfolio resulting from interest rate rises.
K v K: Successful application for maintenance pending suit on behalf of the wife. Obtained full sum sought together with costs.
F v M: Resolution of a financial remedy application through arbitration, avoiding substantial delay.
K v K & K: Negotiated resolution of an intervenor’s claim in financial remedy proceedings.
M v S & S: Application on behalf of a wife to set aside transactions intended to avoid claims for a financial remedy by transferring proceeds of sale to a third party. Successfully obtained funds from third party to meet the original award together with costs. The underlying proceedings had been particularly complicated and long-running involving a factual dispute as to the duration of the marriage, requiring the intervention of the Queen’s Proctor. The factual issue was resolved in the wife’s favour.
B v B & A: Acting on behalf of the intervenor in financial remedy proceedings. Case resolved with the husband withdrawing their claim to the intervenor’s assets and paying intervenor’s costs.
S v S & S]: Acting on behalf of an intervenor in financial remedy proceedings involving questions of US Law. Successfully obtained repayment of loan made by the intervenor to the husband and wife together with costs.
Y v N: Schedule 1 Children Act case concerned centred around issues of housing needs, mortgage capacity and childcare costs.
E v E: Successfully resisting application for variation of periodical payments orders.
K v K: Financial remedy case involving multiple properties and civil service pensions. Resolved by negotiation and agreement at FDR.
J v J: Financial remedies case involving the role of the needs and potential dependence of an adult child with special needs.
D v O: Representing a wife in financially remedy proceedings brought by a husband over 10 years after the divorce proceedings. Successfully resolved without any substantive orders being made against the wife’s assets and with a pension sharing order being made against the husband’s pension. Case involved consideration of how to approach compensation provided by the Thalidomide Trust.
S v S: Representing the husband in a case concerning an alleged post-nuptial agreement. Whilst the court accepted that factually a verbal agreement had been reached the husband’s case that it should not be taken into account was accepted.
S v S & S Ltd: Representing the wife in proceedings concerning the husband having transferred property to his brother’s company. The court was considering both the company’s application to intervene and the wife’s application for setting aside the transactions under s.37. The case was concluded by agreement with the wife receiving satisfactory financial provision from the brother.
G v G: Representing husband in financial remedy proceedings. The issues included the recovery of the husband’s pet which was being withheld by the wife at an undisclosed location. The case was resolved with the pet being successfully returned to the husband.
S v S: Successfully obtaining freezing injunction on behalf of the wife in financial remedy proceedings.
S v S: Representing the mother in complex and high value Schedule 1 proceedings. Issues involved concealed assets; the extent of the father’s profit from companies and transactions in various European countries; concurrent divorce proceedings abroad and the value and liquidity of shares.
Private Remote FDR Hearings
Nick is available for private remote FDR hearings. For more information on private remote FDR hearings please click here.
Private Law Children, Injunction and Domestic Abuse
Nick has extensive experience in private law children in all areas of arrangements for children, appearing for parents, grandparents and Guardians. Nick has extensive experience of all stages of proceedings from FHDRA to final hearing and appeal. His experience includes the following areas:
- Fact finding hearings concerning both domestic abuse and child abuse
- Intractable contact disputes including those requiring the appointment of a Guardian
- Parental alienation and change of residence
- Disputed medical treatment
- Relocation cases both internal and international
- Change of name case
- Representation of grandparents following the death of a parent
- Declarations of paternity
Nick provides representation in injunction proceedings relating to domestic abuse including non-molestation orders, occupation orders and transfer of tenancy.
Recent cases include:
B v S: Successful application for a specific issue order for a change of name to a double-barrelled surname.
M v M: on behalf of father successfully obtained and ensured compliance with orders for extensive staying contact after 3 years of proceedings involving significant resistance from mother
D v D: Obtaining a declaration of paternity on behalf of an adult in respect of their late father who resided in France.
M v S: Application on behalf of the mother to relocate with the child to Wales. Application successful at final hearing despite a change in position by CAFCASS from supporting the application to adopting a neutral stance.
S v G: Representing mother in child arrangements proceedings in which father sought a 50-50 shared care arrangement. This was opposed by the mother but supported by the CAFCASS s.7 reporter. Successfully opposed the the 50-50 arrangements and obtained a joint lives with order with the child spending the greater proportion of their time in the mother's care.
C v C: Successfully defended a father in fact finding hearing resulting in all allegations against him being dismissed.
S v A: Successful resistance of a costs application in child arrangements proceedings.
W v W: High Court wardship proceedings concerning alleged wrongful removal to multiple countries. Acted on behalf of a father who was made subject to a without notice freezing injunction where the jurisdiction of the court to make that order was challenged.
S v S: An issue within child arrangements proceedings concerning the necessity of keeping the mother's address confidential for reasons unconnected with the proceedings. Successfully obtained orders for confidentiality of mother’s address.
M v M: Fact finding hearing in child arrangements proceedings. Successfully defended client against all allegations and obtained a finding the other parent had made false allegations and deliberately sought to frustrate contact.
Y v A: Representing mother seeking to relocate with child to Australia.
D v R: Representing mother in domestic abuse fact finding hearing. Case had a complex history including involvement of multiple local authorities. Successful in obtaining findings against the father.
A v A: Representing mother on successful internal relocation application.
F v A: Representation of children in complex and long running wardship proceedings concerning wrongful removal to Dubai.
Care and Adoption
Nick appears regularly in care proceedings at all stages from EPO and ICO until final hearing. He acts for all parties including local authorities, parents, grandparents and children as well as intervenors and special guardians. He has experience in matters involving serious allegations of sexual and physical abuse, including non-accidental injuries, and in dealing with complex medical evidence of these.
Recent cases include:
Re: B: On behalf of the father, successfully resisted interim removal of 5 children in the face of a negative parenting assessment and Guardian supporting removal. Case resolved finally by agreement of all parties that the children remain in their parents' care.
Re: S: Representing a father in care proceedings in which it was alleged that father had been domestically abusive when father asserted that he was sleepwalking. It was further alleged that father had used drugs during a residential assessment on the basis of the results of hair strand testing. Successfully resisted the making of both findings.
LA v D & J: Acting for a mother disputing the basis on which threshold was met. Court accepted the basis put forward by the mother.
LA v A & Others: Acting for an intervenor in a case of alleged salt poisoning.
LA v D: Acting for a learning-disabled mother in care proceedings. Successfully resisted the making of final care and placement orders on the basis of the inadequacy of local authority assessments and evidence.
LA v R, U & K: Acting on behalf of a local authority in a High Court case concerning significant difficulties in obtaining a suitable placement for a teenager in their care.
A County Council v (1) X (By her Guardian Official Solicitor) (2) Y (3) J (By her Guardian) EWCA Civ 581: Court of Appeal judgment concerning post-adoption contact and social media.