HFC continues to retain its Tier 1 ranking for Private Client – Family in The Legal 500 2022, with Frances Hughes, Pauline Fowler and Alex Carruthers maintaining their position in The Legal 500 Hall of Fame. The directory also recognises Partners Mark Harper, Renato Labi and Caroline Park as Leading Individuals and Kate Brett as a Next Generation Partner.
The Legal 500 noted:
Hughes Fowler Carruthers is one of the leading niche family law firms in London that is led by the “phenomenal” Frances Hughes. It is “always at the top of its game” and consists of eight excellent partners who continue to be involved in a very high number of reported cases – they are “ferocious opponents and fearless litigators”. It receives a steady flow of instructions in the huge money cases (in excess of £1bn) and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements where there is a significant cross-jurisdictional dimension.
It also boasts substantial expertise in the legal issues surrounding same sex relationships and contested children cases. Pauline Fowler who is “brilliant at resolving the trickiest of cases” had another busy year attracting a range of new instructions from the internationally wealthy. Alex Carruthers (a “master tactician”) continues to impress with his work for ultra-high-net-worth individuals on a wide range of matters. Mark Harper also garners praise along with the other key members of the team who include Renato Labi and Caroline Park. It remains “one of the strongest finance litigation teams in the country”. Clients get a “6 star experience”.
“HFC is a first class boutique family law firm, especially focused on high value and complex financial remedy cases. Alex Carruthers is a stand-out litigator of immense experience and superior instincts”.
“Mark Harper is fantastic and I would highly recommend him (in fact I have already) to anyone getting a divorce. He has so much experience and is very calm, sensible, fair, detail orientated, clever and humorous. Mark was very, very strong when I needed him to be, and could see what was happening on both sides all the time. But he also was very aware of the intense personal trauma that this divorce was having on me, and was extremely sensitive to that. He guided me very well when I needed it. He was extremely well aware of the costs, and never wasted my time or money”.
“The best boutique family law firm bar none. The lawyers are also the best toe-to-toe litigators doing family work. Utterly unafraid of court, and using it to maximum advantage, they have been in every UHNW or legally complex divorce in recent times, often leaving changes in the law in their wake. Their size means nimbleness and flexibility, and an ability to turn on a sixpence when the case requires it. Wholly unfazed by any problem, it is either dismantled, diverted around or simply turned to their advantage. A hugely pragmatic yet creative approach, means they get results few would try to reach for, and even fewer would achieve. Feared by opponents, but capable of the most low key settlements rather than fighting when appropriate. You want them on your side, not against you”.
“Frances Hughes has rightly bestrode the family law world like a colossus. She achieves unlikely outcomes by pure force of personality when required. The most tactically astute mind in planning and executing a case, and loved by clients who feel utterly protected, and never led down the garden path. Alex Carruthers is a feared litigator, with an astute and brave approach to any problem. He never takes a step backwards and leaves no angle unexplored or unexploited. Renato Labi is greatly liked by all those who are on the other side, an utterly straightforward approach gains the respect of all, whilst knowing that he is a fine tactician and careful thinker, who can take a case through to trial with relish. His advice is clear, cogent, creative and realistic, his manner charming and his understanding of legal nuances erudite. Caroline Park is a quiet star, to be underestimated at one’s peril. Supremely bright, super organised and calm and devout in the furthering of her client’s best case. Highly emotionally intelligent she can read a client, a judge or the other side to maximum effect”.
“Huge strength in depth. Frances Hughes has a reputation which is second to none. She has achieved countless victories against the odds. She has an extraordinary drive and will to win which brings success where others would look to cut her their losses”.
“Alex Carruthers is a top choice for difficult finance cases. Renato Labi combines great charm with tenacity and tactical nous. He is especially good at dealing with complex financial remedies claims. Caroline Park is one of the best lawyers of her generation. She has a phenomenal legal brain and outstanding knowledge of the caselaw. She is very tactically astute”.
“I worked with Pauline Fowler in a complex cross-border marital property and inheritance matter last year. I found her extremely professional, admired her communication skills and vast experience, which led to a very fruitful collaboration and happy clients. I will certainly seek her advice again in future on cross-border matters”.
“Frances Hughes, Alex Carruthers and Pauline Fowler have stellar reputations which are entirely deserved. They are not only gifted lawyers but bring years of experience to each case and always approach litigation in a sensible and commercially minded way. The support they offer clients is second to none. Kate Brett is an excellent choice for both finance and children cases. She fights hard but knows when to settle”.
HFC’s full Legal 500 profile can be found here.