Top 5 family law cases of 2007

Family Law NewsWatch have listed what they consider to be the five most important family law cases of 2007, as follows:

1. Charman v Charman
This one needs no introduction. The size of Mrs Charman's award was what caught the headlines, but it must be remembered that she only received 36.6% of the assets, primarily due to Mr Charman's "special contribution".

2. Stack v Dowden
Another one that should by now be well known to all family lawyers, although only a couple of weeks ago a client of mine was forced to go to a final hearing due to her opponent's adviser's lack of understanding of what Stack v Dowden decided. The case collapsed and my client's opponent was forced to concede, in humiliating fashion.

3. Hill v Haines
Or Haines v Hill & Another. A recent Court of Appeal decision that came as a great relief to all family lawyers. See this post.

4. North v North
Another sensible decision by the Court of Appeal. See this post.

5. Ella v Ella
I'm not sure that this one would make my top five. Mrs Ella failed in her appeal against an order that stayed ancillary relief proceedings in England, to allow them to continue in Israel as required by a pre-nuptial agreement, despite the parties having been largely resident in the UK during their marriage. Lord Justice Thorpe rejected the appeal, partly on the grounds that the pre-nuptial agreement was "undoubtedly a contract which in the Israeli jurisdiction is of considerable effect", irrespective of its relevance to an ancillary relief award in this jurisdiction.