Pauline is a founding partner of Hughes Fowler Carruthers. She is a well-known and highly respected family lawyer.
Pauline has worked with Frances Hughes since 1985, first at Bates, Wells & Braithwaite (where she was a partner from 1990) and now at Hughes Fowler Carruthers.
As well as specialising in complex divorce and children’s work, Pauline also specialises in international adoption and surrogacy. She is a highly regarded senior mediator, well known for her work in this area. She is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, a member of The Pensions Advisory Group and of Resolution, having previously chaired Resolution’s Pensions, Tax and Financial Remedies Committee for many years. She is a regular broadcaster and writer on family law matters.
Pauline is consistently recognised as a leading individual in the Chambers UK guide. She is ranked Band 1 in Chambers UK 2023, where she is praised for being “extremely clever and focused on getting a good outcome for clients” “technically brilliant”, “tactically strong” and “a very good lawyer”. One source observes “Pauline is a very effective problem solver; she has a good sense of what is going to be the right decision in a case, which comes from her vast experience but also her insight.”
The Chambers UK 2022 Guide commented that she is particularly noted for her representation of high net worth clients in divorce proceedings involving substantial cross-border assets, and that she “has immense wisdom in terms of understanding how to resolve things and has great skill as a litigator and mediator”. She was described as “a formidable practitioner in this field” and someone who “thinks outside the box” and “has a winning attitude”. She is also featured in the Spear’s Family Law Index’s ‘Recommended Family Lawyers’ list.
Pauline retains her Band 1 ranking in Chambers HNW 2022 and is described as “really precise, very attentive to detail and tactically strong. She is extremely clever and focused on getting a good outcome for clients. She is very pragmatic and good at working with the other side. She is technically brilliant.” Pauline is praised as “a complete delight. She’s straightforward, no nonsense and experienced.”
Chambers HNW 2021 recognises Pauline as a “phenomenally bright, clever lawyer. She is very client focused and always has good judgement”. The Guide further praises Pauline for being “very effective in mediation”. Chambers HNW 2020 reconfirms Pauline’s Band 1 ranking and describes her as “well versed in dealing with high net worth clients on a range of family matters, including divorce, children, adoption and surrogacy”. The Guide further states Pauline runs a “varied practice” and is “fabulous, so clever, fantastically good”.
Chambers HNW 2019 ranked Pauline in Band 1 once again and celebrated her as a “high net worth family law specialist and mediator”. The Guide also noted that Pauline “enjoys a fine reputation for her focused practice in children law, divorce and adoption and surrogacy cases” and “does the cases extremely well”. Retaining her Band 1 ranking, Pauline was described in Chambers UK 2019 as a “steely” and “brilliant” lawyer who “puts her clients’ case forward sensibly but robustly”.
The Legal 500 UK 2022 describes Pauline as “brilliant at resolving the trickiest of cases” and reconfirms her ranking in ‘The Legal 500 Hall of Fame’. The Guide praises her for being “extremely professional” and highlights her “vast experience” with complex cross-border matters, and her “stellar”, “entirely deserved reputation” adding the support she offers clients is “second to none”. The Legal 500 UK 2021 described Pauline as “highly respected”. The Guide praised her as a “formidable yet personable”, “brilliant solicitor” whose “insight is second to none”.
Pauline studied music and worked in music publishing before qualifying as a solicitor in 1983.
She retains her interest in music and is an accomplished violinist and pianist.
The Chambers UK 2021 Guide noted that she “tackles a wide array of complex family law issues” and that it was said of her “You know the case will be done properly and there will be no messing around”.
Chambers HNW 2020 reconfirms Pauline’s Band 1 ranking and describes her as “well versed in dealing with high net worth clients on a range of family matters, including divorce, children, adoption and surrogacy”. The Guide further states Pauline runs a “varied practice” and is “fabulous, so clever, fantastically good”.
Chambers UK 2020 described her as “particularly noted for her representation of high net worth clients in divorce proceedings involving substantial cross-border assets”.
Chambers HNW 2019 ranked Pauline in Band 1 once again and celebrated her as a “high net worth family law specialist and mediator”. The Guide also noted that Pauline “enjoys a fine reputation for her focused practice in children law, divorce and adoption and surrogacy cases” and “does the cases extremely well”.
Chambers HNW 2018 once more confirmed Pauline’s Band 1 ranking, praising her constructive approach to resolving family disputes and describing her as “an excellent person to deal with, very sensible and someone you can settle matters with”.
Chambers UK 2018 reconfirmed Pauline’s Band 1 ranking. Sources described her as “fantastic” with “natural gravitas” and as “an excellent mediator”.
Chambers HNW 2017 ranked Pauline in Band 1 again, which reported that she is widely praised for her constructive approach and that she was described as “a very good blend of technically tough and empathetically sound, without being soft”.
Chambers UK 2017 reconfirmed her Band 1 ranking once more and said “she is highly sought after for substantial divorce litigation”. It described her as handling “challenging private law children and matrimonial finance proceedings across multiple jurisdictions, including matters involving same-sex parentage and surrogacy”.
Chambers HNW 2016 says Pauline has been described as “a force to reckoned with in family law” and that another interviewee has said “I have a huge amount of time for her, she is a superb lawyer”.
Chambers UK 2016 confirmed her Band 1 ranking again. Pauline is an “extremely competent and experienced” lawyer, having a “subtle, deft, light touch and a sophisticated understanding of human nature”.
Chambers UK 2015 characterised her as an “extremely effective” practitioner who “fights her corner and identifies the best results for her clients”.
Chambers UK 2014 noted “she has an instinctive feel for family law and can really turn a case around”.
The Legal 500 UK 2020 inducts Pauline into their Hall of Fame and reconfirms her position as a ‘Leading Individual’ in both family law and family law: mediation. The Guide further describes her as “highly regarded”.
The Legal 500 UK 2019 regarded Pauline as “the grande dame of the matrimonial world” with a “keen intelligence” and “particularly adept at co-mediation in difficult cases”.
The Legal 500 UK 2017 reconfirmed her position as a ‘Leading Individual’ in both the Family Law and the Family Law: mediation sections, describing her as a “canny negotiator”, “astute and tough”, and “first-class, excellent and very client-focused”.
The Legal 500 UK 2016 reconfirmed her position as a ‘Leading Individual’ in Family Law and in Family Law: mediation, describing her as “just superb all round” and “really brilliant at mediation”.
The Legal 500 UK 2015 ranked Pauline as a ‘Leading Individual’ in both family law and mediation and described her as “calm, measured, cool and wise”.
The Legal 500 UK 2014 described her as someone who “calmly manoeuvres her way through a case” and said she “achieves startling results in the mediation context”.
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