I have a constructive and pragmatic approach to resolving family disputes and to finding creative ways to overcome obstacles in negotiations. I use my expertise as a family mediator and collaborative family lawyer to try to avoid litigation and achieve a negotiated settlement, if possible. Where necessary, I use my skills as a family litigator, acquired over many years of practice as a family lawyer, to achieve a fair outcome.
Areas of Expertise
- All aspects of divorce.
- Complex financial issues arising from the breakdown of marriage, cohabitation or civil partnership.
- Matters involving the valuation and sharing of pensions
- Division of family owned businesses following the breakdown of a relationship.
- Representing high net worth clients.
- Forensic analysis of complex finances.
- Mediating issues relating to finance, future arrangements for children and any other issues arising upon divorce or separation.
Recent Work Includes
- Representing a client in divorce proceedings which involved forensic examination of a family company to achieve an accurate valuation and fair division of the business.
- Acting for a client in a matter where the matrimonial capital was modest but his wife had substantial income resources through family discretionary trusts.
- Representing a client whose husband failed to disclose very valuable share options at the time of their separation and division of capital, many years earlier.
- Representing wives of professional footballers with very large salaries but short careers.
- Mediating matters which involve the division of family companies, undervalued final salary pensions and foreign property.
Experience, Professional Associations and Qualifications
- Qualified as a solicitor in January 1990
- Became Partner of the firm in 2004
- Recognised as a Notable Practitioner for being 'a tough negotiator' and providing 'sensible and practical advice' alongside being ranked Band 2 in Chambers & Partners Guide UK 2020.
- Ranked as a leading family lawyer in the south coast by Chambers UK (2018). “Deborah comes recommended for her expertise in complex financial disputes and pensions issues”. “She is highly experienced and practical, with a good client manner”.
- Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500 (UK 2020) for Family Law.
- Recommended Lawyer by the Legal 500 (UK 2019) as 'experiences and approachable' and 'excellent with clients'.
- Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500 (UK 2017) specifically noted for her having 'a wonderful manner with her clients, while being robust '.
- LLB (Hons) Law Degree obtained in 1986
- Solicitors Finals passed with honours in 1987
- Qualified as a family mediator with Resolution in 1996
- Gained accreditation (in advanced finance and pensions) through Resolution in 2000
- Trained and qualified as a collaborative family lawyer in 2007
- Achieved accreditation as a family mediator with the Law Society in 2016
- Member of Resolution
- Member of Phoenix Mediation