Over the last 20 years of my practice, a vast majority of my clients have been working or residing outside of England in various countries around the world, however particularly in the United States. At some point those clients have faced separation or divorce, and some element of that process has occurred in England. This is either because the family has assets in England, or that they or their spouse may have been living in England for a period of time.
I work with many U.S. attorneys, to assist them where they have a client who has cross-jurisdictional issues, both in the U.S. and England.
If a client is living somewhere in the US, how do you work with the client, and with the attorney that may have referred them to you?
I have many examples of working jointly with U.S. counsel and the client together as a team. We have joint conference / video calls and email communication to ensure we are looking at the issue from all angles and decide upon our joint strategy. My input would be focused on how English law is applied and our procedures here.
The first issue we look as is to identify which jurisdiction is most advantageous for the client to begin the divorce process if that has not already started. I would advise the client based on what the likely outcomes would be if proceedings were in England and their U.S. attorney would advise on the likely outcome in the U.S. Together we would then work as team to decide which is our preferred jurisdiction.
It is not uncommon for proceedings to be happening in both the US and England at the same time until a court determines which jurisdiction the proceedings should take place in. I can instigate or try to prevent proceedings in England depending upon what our position is.
I have access to a wide range of accountants, tax advisors, property and inheritance specialist who we may need to add to our team from time to time.
What does your kind of a client typically look like?
Our clients have a very diverse range of backgrounds. Many are from international families whose lives and financial affairs span a variety of countries, in particular the US and UK. Most of our clients are middle to high net worth individuals, some are professional people working either in senior positions in large companies or are entrepreneurs running their own businesses of varying size. However, they all have one thing in common, a desire to bring to a conclusion their family problems with dignity and respect and to make the right decisions for themselves and their family’s future.
Those in the US maybe a US citizen or a UK citizen living in the US. They may be working for a multinational company with offices in the US and London and spending time in both countries., or elsewhere. They could have independent means or be running their own businesses in one or both countries.. They might have properties and business interests in several countries around the world. London in particular, has historically been a place where people have invested in property as an asset. We have many clients who own property in London, but they may be residing elsewhere.
If somebody wants to contact you, what’s the best way to initiate that contact?
Either by phone or email, explaining to me a little about the issue they are facing and what’s happening. I’ll be very happy to get straight back to them and start discussing matters with them.
The email is [email protected].
And the phone number would be +44 (0)2088996345, or +44 (0)7833228181.
Our website is https://www.helenpidgeonsolicitors.com/
Helen Pidgeon Solicitors is a London based family law firm with a significant wealth of experience in handling international divorce and family law cases.