After a long marriage, our client was looking to divorce. The couple had a complicated set of finances with assets located all over the world and company structures. Their lifestyle was also complicated, having spent most of their married life in different places around the world including the UAE, the United States and Europe. They had two grown children, but it remained important to the couple to ensure that their children saw them deal with the breakdown of their marriage amicably.

One of the first issues we established was that there was more than one place the couple could divorce, as one of them still lived in Europe. Having gained early advice from an expert based in the country in question using our connections, it remained clear that the client's objective was to protect the whole family's interests and that was a desire shared by their spouse. Listening to our client, they had no appetite to engage in an acrimonious and costly argument on the best place to divorce. They wanted a clear plan and collegiate forum to resolve matters relating to their finances. 

Because of the way the couple wanted to resolve matters, both instructed lawyers who were Collaboratively trained to embark upon a discussion about their finances. Our expert continued to provide input on any cross-border issues and assets based overseas.

Your compassion, knowledge and expertise have been invaluable. I felt listened to from the start and my objectives were always kept in mind. Client testimonial

We all (lawyers and clients) worked closely with an accountant, tax advisor and financial advisor in understanding the financial situation of the couple. There was a sharing of information and, most importantly trust, to allow everyone to get on board with the discussions and voice their opinions. Some of the corporate structures were going to be difficult to disentangle and to do so would be financially detrimental to both individuals. Because of our expertise in dealing with complex financial structures, and working with other experts, it was identified at an early stage that what this couple needed was a creative solution.

Using all of our skills as Collaborative and collegiate family lawyers, we were able to come up with a creative solution for this situation which took into account the financial longevity of the couple and their adult children.

Key highlights 

  • Because of our reputation for dealing with complex divorce cases where assets or clients are based abroad, we were the first port of choice for this client.  
  • Due to our commitment to the Collaborative process, we listened to this client and identified at an early stage how they as an individual, and as a family, wanted to try to resolve matters.
  • As a result of our market-leading expertise in international family law matters, we were able, at an early stage, to give clear and commercial guidance; weighing up the pros and cons to them of dealing with matters in Scotland or choosing to do so abroad. 
  • As lawyers at the forefront of innovative ways to resolve matters for separating couples, we identified for this client a way that we could work with together with experts, both in-house and external, to come up with the best possible financial solution to meet their primary objective of looking after the family as a whole.     


Acting for this client was all about listening to what they wanted to achieve; a respectful and positive relationship with their spouse focused on the whole family's interests.

Clients are often led down a path without first being provided with clear guidance on their options and the commerciality of the decisions that they make.

Families with complicated financial affairs require considered and creative solutions. It takes courage to advise clients to adopt creative solutions to their situations focussed on their objectives and what outcomes they want to achieve.


Shaun George