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Hughes Fowler Carruthers


Hughes Fowler Carruthers - London
  • Academy Court
  • 94 Chancery Lane
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • WC2A 1DT
  • Chair of Board Frances Hughes
  • Number of directors 6
  • Number of fee-earners 14
  • Total staff  30

THE FIRM This top rated niche family law practice has been based in Chancery Lane in central London since 2001. Hughes Fowler Carruthers is widely regarded as one of London’s leading family law practices. The partners are Frances Hughes, Pauline Fowler, Alex Carruthers, Renato Labi, Ann Ison and Mark Harper who joined the partnership from Withers in 2014. They share a considerable breadth of experience which enables them to offer a wide range of skills from skilful negotiation to complex litigation to suit the individual demands of each client. Work is conducted with a high degree of professionalism and dedication. All solicitors in the practice are members of Resolution. The practice is part of an extensive international family law network through memberships of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Bar Association. This means Hughes Fowler Carruthers can provide a full international service through the partners’ close connections worldwide.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK The firm handles all kinds of family law work but puts a strong emphasis on work with financial complexity and international aspects. Fields of expertise also include defending and attacking trust structures, tracing hidden assets, jurisdictional disputes and pension issues. The partners also have special expertise in complex children and child abduction work. The firm’s client base continues to cover a broad spectrum of UK and internationally based men and women including those in the City or in business elsewhere as well as those from the media, the arts and other professionals.

Hughes Fowler Carruthers is the trading name of Hughes Fowler Carruthers Ltd.

  • Matrimonial & Family Law: Frances Hughes, Pauline Fowler, Alex Carruthers, Mark Harper, Renato Labi, Ann Ison


  • Academy Court,
  • 94 Chancery Lane,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • WC2A 1DT
  • Tel (020) 7421 8383
  • Fax (020) 7421 8384
  • DX 251 London/Chancery Lane
  • Email : mail@hfclaw.com
  • Website : www.hfclaw.com

Family/Matrimonial - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises high net worth individuals on a range of matrimonial finance, disputes, prenuptial agreements and private children law matters. Offers clients niche expertise in the application of bankruptcy law and Shari'a law to finance matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "It's gone from strength to strength and is now the prime niche firm. It's immensely strong and gains enormously for being extremely focused."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Frances Hughes is described by one source as "the best of all solicitors out there for matrimonial finance work - incredibly bright and thorough, she's charming when she needs to be and can also be tough." She has a formidable reputation for her representation of high net worth clients in matrimonial finance disputes and pre and postnuptial agreements.

Pauline Fowler is noted for her expertise in finance cases, especially those with a cross-border element. Sources note that she "has an instinctive feel for family law and can really turn a case around." Another commentator notes that "she knows when to be firm and when to be more conciliatory."

Alex Carruthers is widely recognised as a solid choice for high net worth clients seeking advice on matrimonial finance disputes. 

Renato Labi handles a range of divorces, prenuptial agreements and private children law matters. He is also noted for his specialist knowledge of bankruptcy law as applied to family cases. 

Ann Ison advises a diverse clientele on financial disputes and prenuptial agreements. She has developed substantial niche expertise in advising on Shari'a law in the context of prenuptial agreements.

Mark Harper recently joined the firm from Withers. He is noted for his handling of finance disputes and prenuptial agreements, and for his specialist expertise in international cases and matters concerning trusts.  

Since publication, Joe Vaitilingam has joined Vaitilingam Kay.