Family How we can help you

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How we can help you


Family law

Our leading family law team specialises in cases that cover all of the challenges that can arise in life. These include issues related to a family breakdown, such as financial claims for maintenance and property and those involving arrangements for the children, contested wills, property ownership, educational issues and mental health. Our work often involves an international element and we act for both UK and non UK Citizens.

Whatever your background, financial circumstances or requirements, we have the right lawyer for you. We offer discrete, comprehensive and tailored advice, either at the outset of cohabitation, marriage or civil partnership or on the breakdown of a relationship.

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Our expertise is wide-ranging and includes advising upon divorce, the financial consequences of divorce, civil partnerships, the unmarried family, the implications of divorce on family businesses, farms and inherited estates, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements and arrangements for the care and education of children.


We understand that all circumstances are different. We offer litigation and its alternatives, including lawyer-led negotiation and collaborative family law, and will always adopt the approach you want. Where possible, we adopt a constructive and non-adversarial approach so that the best possible outcome for the whole family is reached. We will also be firm and decisive in advancing and protecting your interests when needed.


FiNaNCial SECURiTy iS a PRiORiTy…

For many, achieving financial security is often the most important step. Consequently we advise on complex financial issues involving trusts, family companies, farms and estates, offshore assets and pensions.


Family law...

Our team of lawyers has extensive experience of working on cases with an international dimension. Our network of law firms includes some of the most highly regarded lawyers in a range of jurisdictions, ensuring you get the best advice across the world. We are also experienced in advising on which country’s divorce jurisdiction is likely to achieve the best results for your particular circumstances.



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We offer a tactful service beyond the traditional. Many of our clients are well-known individuals for whom discretion is vital and, where helpful, we can offer bespoke media advice.

Some of the types of issues we can advise upon: • divorce;

• civil partnership;

• pre-nuptial, post-nuptial agreements and pre-civil partnership agreements;

• all the financial aspects of divorce including: maintenance, property claims and pension issues; • cohabitation issues;

• children matters – child maintenance and practical arrangements for the care and education of the children;

• disputes concerning family businesses, property and farms;

• the impact of the breakdown of a relationship on family trusts and disputes over wills and trusts; • mediation;

• adoption – UK and international;

• protection of spouses where there may also be other proceedings (eg bankruptcy);

• the elderly client including advice on Powers of Attorney and the Court of Protection;

• educational issues; and


Siân Jones (Head of the Family Group)

T +44 (0)20 7783 3587 E

Siân is known for being a tough negotiator with an excellent client manner. She advises a wide range of individuals on all aspects of family law including international clients, other professionals, city investors, high profile performers and clients with country estates and farms.

Siân has provided expert opinion on Family Law issues, including pre-nuptial agreements, divorce and

cohabitation, to Sky News, Radio 4 and other leading media. Siân is a member of Resolution and Justice.

Siân enjoys travelling to unusual parts of the world and driving sports cars.



Lisa Bolgar Smith (Partner)

T +44 (0)20 7783 3802 E

A specialist in national and international family cases involving divorce, Lisa advises clients on complex financial matters and all aspects of cases involving children, including child abduction.


John Darnton (Partner)

T +44 (0)20 7783 3588 E

John has over 25 years experience in all aspects of family law. He is regularly instructed to advise on situations involving trusts, landed estates and corporate structures designed to protect wealth during a divorce.

John is a long standing member of Resolution and a trained collaborative lawyer. He has appeared on television commenting on topical family issues and provided expert advice for use in foreign proceedings. He has a particular interest in claims involving contested estates..

John is an avid ice-skater, occasional rock climber and sometimes surfer.

Lisa is a member of Resolution and a trained family mediator and collaborative family lawyer. She adopts a non-confrontational approach to divorce by encouraging couples to seek shared-solutions and to reach agreement. She has also trained in psychodynamic couple counselling at the Tavistock Centre and is qualified as a mediator to practice Direct Consultation with Children.

Lisa is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and also enjoys spending time with her three children, photography and cooking. Lisa is an active supporter of Great Ormond Street Hospital.


Terrence Trainor (Partner)

T +44 (0)20 7783 3805 E

Terrence has experience in all areas of family law, including complex financial and private children cases, and has particular experience in high value financial cases, often with an international element.

Terrence also enjoys playing cricket and travel in his spare time and is a member of the Solicitors’ Wine Society.

Isobel Mundy (Senior Associate)

T +44 (0)20 7783 3761 E

Isobel is experienced in all areas of family law. Having also had experience teaching for five years at a leading Sussex Preparatory School, she particularly enjoys using that experience in addressing disputes involving children, for example, over residence and contact, applications for permission to remove and the threat of child abduction.

Isobel enjoys travel, having spent time living in France and Australia (where she also practised as a solicitor). Today, most of Isobel’s spare time is spent with her family. She also enjoys visits to the theatre and to art exhibitions as well as running and walking.



This publication is not meant as a substitute for advice on particular issues and action should not be taken on the basis of the information in this document alone.

This firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA). However, we are included on the register maintained by the FCA ( so that we can offer a limited range of investment services (including insurance mediation activities) because we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the SRA). We can provide these services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide. Mechanisms for complaints and redress if something goes wrong are provided through the SRA and the Legal Ombudsman.

Bircham Dyson Bell LLP processes your personal data in connection with the operation and marketing of a legal practice and will occasionally send you information relating to the firm. If you would prefer not to receive this information or would like us to amend your contact details and/or mailing preferences, please notify us by email:

Bircham Dyson Bell LLP is a member of Lexwork International, an association of independent law firms.

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