Spear's Magazine cover puts family law back fifty years

Image: Elizabeth Thompson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The practice of family law has evolved somewhat over the thirty-eight years since I first dabbled in it. Or at least I thought it had until I saw a tweet from Spear's Magazine this morning.

I thought, in particular, that we had moved away from the aggressive, adversarial approach adopted by our forebears, towards a constructive, non-confrontational approach, championed by Resolution, amongst others.

This is the tweet:

Obviously, this link to the tweet will only work as long as the original tweet remains. Accordingly, I thought I'd better repeat its contents, in case it mysteriously disappears.

The tweet shows an image of the cover of Spear's Magazine (tagline "Wealth/Business/Culture/Life") for, I believe, Q3 2021. The picture on the cover is an adaptation of  Lady Elizabeth Butler's famous painting 'Scotland Forever!', depicting the charge of the Royal Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo (see above). But the faces of several of the riders have been changed, showing uncanny likenesses to certain family lawyers, well-known for acting for the rich and famous.

Hmm.

It gets worse. The headline on the cover is: "Why divorce is still a battle" ... "And the new weapons top lawyers use to win". Clues to those weapons are written alongside three of the swords wielded by the riders: "Jurisdiction", "Public opinion" and "Litigation funding".

And the tweet itself pronounces: 

"To the victor, the spoils: When UHNW [Ultra-High Net Worth to us mere mortals] divorce becomes a battle, this is how top lawyers win... 

Emerging victorious often means fighting with the latest tactics – and on multiple fronts." 

Oh gawd.

Quite what impression this is likely to make upon aspiring divorcees, I dread to think. I can also imagine family judges up and down the country throwing up their arms in exasperation.

I suppose the only redeeming factor is that, as indicated above, most ordinary mortals of modest means are unlikely to peruse such an illustrious publication as Spear's, and will not therefore regard divorce as a 'battle', in which they must weaponize themselves in order to emerge victorious...

(My thanks to Mark Harrop, who appropriately has the Twitter handle @modern_divorce, for retweeting the Spear's Magazine tweet, with the equally appropriate comment "Good Lord!)

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