Contact Details
Phone 01202 057791

Ian Butterworth

Partner & Solicitor

Family Law

My Approach

I specialise in resolving complex matrimonial finance cases between divorcing spouses. I also regularly deal with financial cases between unmarried couples.

I also sit on the Resolution Specialist Accreditation Committee in London which provides oversight, strategy and direction for all of Resolution’s accreditation schemes. These are the benchmark of excellence for family lawyers.

I aim to deal with all matters in an amicable and constructive manner. More specifically, I use my knowledge and experience to assess the relevant issues at an early stage and then I try to negotiate a fair settlement without the parties having to attend Court. If and when necessary, however, I will use my skills as a litigator in order to secure a just result. I have a forensic eye for detail and an excellent track record at Court.

I work out of Ellis Jones’ office in Bournemouth. Subject to commitments, I am happy to meet with clients at this firm’s offices in London, Wimborne, Ringwood and Swanage. I am obviously also fully conversant with Microsoft Teams, Zoom and such other video platforms.

Areas of Expertise

  • All aspects of divorce and civil partnership dissolutions
  • Complex financial disputes between separating spouses/civil partners
  • Financial disputes between unmarried couples (i.e. cohabitee disputes)
  • Applications to vary, discharge and set aside financial orders
  • Applications for Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders (i.e. to prevent harassment/domestic abuse)
  • Child maintenance dispute
  • Cohabitation agreements
  • Children issues

Recent Work Includes

  • Representing a client in matrimonial finance proceedings whose spouse had failed to disclose a number of valuable assets in both the UK and abroad. My forensic analysis and attention to detail led to assets totalling over £1m being added to the parties’ balance sheet.
  • Acting for a client in divorce proceedings based in the Central Family Court in London where the main asset was the family business. My approach led to this company (which supposedly did not have any value) being valued at well over £1m. My client also secured a substantial ‘joint lives’ maintenance order.
  • Representing a client on a successful application to discharge a ‘joint lives’ spousal maintenance order and to secure a full clean break.
  • Successfully challenging the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement within proceedings heard at the Central Family Court in London.
  • Acting for clients living in the Middle East who had been joined to their brother’s divorce proceedings due to a dispute concerning their interest in the former matrimonial home. I have also acted for adult children and parents within proceedings to which they have been joined.
  • Negotiating financial settlements for a number of unmarried clients where the extent of their respective interests in the former family home is in dispute.
  • Representing clients in cases involving valuable NHS, Armed Forces, Civil Service and final salary (defined benefit) pensions. This includes income-gap issues.
  • Acting for a client on a successful application for permission to relocate to another country with their children.

Experience, Professional Associations and Qualifications

  • Qualified as a Solicitor in September 2010
  • Made a Partner at Ellis Jones in January 2020
  • Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500 (UK 2022) for Family Law.
  • Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500 (UK 2019) for matrimonial finance cases
  • Resolution Accredited Specialist in Complex Financial Cases
  • Member of the Resolution Specialist Accreditation Committee (national)
  • LLB Law Degree from the University of Surrey (obtained in 2006)
  • Passed Solicitors Finals with Distinction at the University of the West of England, Bristol (2008)


Ian Butterworth gave me excellent advice during my divorce .He is very professional and helped to take the stress out of the situation. He was always available and explained everything in an understanding way. His advice was spot on. I would not hesitate to recommend Ian if you want a really good solicitor with a lot of knowledge and a friendly manner which made me feel at ease. Thank you Ian I am now very happily married

Mr Bunce

Mr Butterworth was assertive but very tactful in dealing with my former partner. As a result, we arrived at a binding agreement that avoided a protracted and costly court case. I really cannot commend Mr Butterworth highly enough, he is a first class solicitor and provided excellent service.

Mr Wainwright