Penningtons Manches family partner Rebecca Carlyon had a fantastic 2013. The legacy Manches lawyer was promoted to partner in January 2013, one of only two promotions at the firm last year, and shortly afterwards was part of a Manches team which successfully argued before the High Court that a family case involving an Orthodox Jewish couple should be referred to a religious court – a first in the family law sector.
Other highlights included a July case involving an Irish father who claimed his four-year-old child had been abducted by its Russian mother. Carlyon was acting for the mother, who won the fight to keep her child.
While it will be difficult to top 2013, Carlyon’s pipeline looks equally busy for the coming 12 months.
Queen Elizabeth Building
Queen Elizabeth Building’s Marina Faggionato is a rising star at the family bar, winning a red ‘brief bag’ from a QC last year in recognition of her work.
2013 saw Faggionato appear before the president of the family division, Sir James Munby, to argue issues arising from allegedly illegitimately obtained telephone recordings. Her clients include Premier League footballers and Russian émigrés.
More of the same is expected for the coming year, including bitterly contested financial remedy cases and swift and discreet big-money settlements. Trials already in the diary include three days on a financial remedy application where the parties never lived in the same country despite having two children, and two separate five-day cases litigating prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements.
The past year has seen Withers partner Suzanne Todd advise clients on a number of complex family law cases involving substantial sums. She is currently advising a client on a prenuptial agreement involving three continents, as well as assisting a client with a large UK estate on a collaborative pre-nuptial agreement.
Todd is a driving force in Withers’ diversity initiatives, spearheading the firm’s Women’s Networking Group, which among other activities run a series of seminars led by senior female partners last year.
Alongside this, Todd is recognised in the market for her niche Italian practice and works with clients with cross-border family issues and assets, as well as co-ordinating the London office’s Italian business development initiative.