Cross-border disputes

In many divorces, there can be a number of countries that could have jurisdiction to deal with the proceedings.  For example, where couples have different nationalities or where one or both parties to the relationship spend their time in different parts of the world.  In such circumstances, parties can choose their preferred jurisdiction.  This is referred to as “forum shopping”. 

The choice of forum can have a significant impact on the outcome of a financial case and the time the divorce process takes.  With a “first past the post” system applying to divorces within the EU (save for Denmark), it can be important to determine the preferred forum quickly where there are concerns that the other party will start proceedings in another jurisdiction.

Our team have significant experience in advising clients at the earliest opportunity.  The firm is the UK member for Meritas and LAW, worldwide networks of law firms and our solicitors are members of other international associations, including the International Academy of Family Lawyers, the China Britain Business Council and the Group 48 Club (an Anglo-Chinese organisation).  Our global connections enable us quickly to obtain overseas advice if necessary, to enable clients to make a fully informed decision as to their preferred jurisdiction as swiftly as possible.

We recently successfully acted in the Court of Appeal case of Magiera v Magiera [2016] EWCA Civ 1292 which concerned issues as to jurisdiction and the application of European legislation.

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Lois Langton

Lois Langton : Partner