Ros Bever, Irwin Mitchell
2015 was a standout year for Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester family law head Ros Bever. In June she led a team that took the divorce cases of Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil to the Supreme Court, arguing against decisions of the lower courts which meant the two women had received lower settlements than they thought they were entitled to.
The cases, which both hinged on an argument that the husbands had misled their wives as to the extent of their wealth, were heard jointly, and in October a seven-strong Supreme Court panel ruled in the women’s favour. While Sharland’s case concerned a multimillion-pound settlement, Gohil was challenging a much smaller settlement and had struggled to get legal aid.
Bever secured an after-the-event insurance policy for Gohil as well as another client in a separate case to enable the women to bring their claims.
The ramifications of her work last year are likely to be huge for many other divorcing couples.
Davina Katz, Schillings
It’s been a busy year of highly publicised divorce proceedings for Schillings’ Davina Katz. At 34, Katz is possibly the youngest family law head in London but that hasn’t stopped her from advising on landmark cases. She successfully represented the applicant wife in Abuchian v Khojah, with the Saudi Arabian spouse receiving the highest-ever financial award following an overseas divorce from a High Court judge.
She is also advising Dale Vince in his attempt to strike out his ex-wife’s financial claim, marking the first time such a claim was struck out under new court powers on which there was no previous legal authority.
Having set up Schillings’ family practice six years ago, Katz has seen the practice grow to six members, and she is set to return to the Family Division of the High Court this year as the Vince v Wyatt saga continues.
Anna Worwood, Penningtons Manches
Best known for her work involving the international relocation of children, Anna Worwood has most recently been working on one of the most significant internal relocation cases to be heard in the Court of Appeal.
Many of the higher courts normally only hear international relocation cases, but Worwood successfully argued in Re C that there is no reason to differentiate between cases of internal child relocation and external. Her involvement has led the law on UK relocation matters to develop and be heard in the most prestigious of courts.
Aside from her own practice, Worwood is also chairman of the Private Client Commission of the International Association of Young Lawyers, and she played a pivotal role last year organising the organisation’s September congress for 800 lawyers and spearheading a session on art law.