Lizzie advises on and finds solutions for separating couples and their children following the breakdown of relationships, or when planning for the future, using the approach best suited to each individual client.
Lizzie is a Senior Associate solicitor primarily based in Clarke Willmott’s Taunton office dealing with all areas of private family law. She trained as a family lawyer at Clarke Willmott and qualified in 2012. Prior to this, Lizzie worked as a clerk to a High Court Judge at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Lizzie advises both married and cohabiting individuals on issues arising out of the breakdown of a relationship, including financial agreements and arrangements for children. She also deals with the enforcement of agreements and orders and has experience of obtaining injunctions such as worldwide freezing injunctions, where parties have sought to hide or dissipate assets, and non-molestation injunctions to protect clients where there has been inappropriate behaviour or domestic abuse.
Lizzie has extensive experience in advising on complex and high net worth financial cases, including those where there are significant business, trust or farming assets. She also advises on future financial planning making use of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Another area of Lizzie’s expertise is children and dealing with financial matters as such child maintenance, as well as disputes relating to childcare arrangements such as where and with whom they will live, or which school they will attend.
Lizzie also has experience of advising on matters with an international element, for example those involving a jurisdictional dispute, assets owned abroad or parties residing overseas. She has also made financial applications in England following a foreign divorce and has experience of international children cases, including relocation.
Lizzie has acted for clients locally in the South West, nationally (including those in London) and also internationally, for example those with a connection to France, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, China, New Zealand, the Middle East, Canada and the USA.
Lizzie is a member of Resolution, the national body of family lawyers committed to resolving disputes without conflict. She is currently Secretary of Somerset Resolution and a representative on the Bristol Young Resolution committee.
Lizzie is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in International and Complex Financial Remedies. She is also a trained Collaborative Lawyer; the collaborative process being an alternative method of resolving family law disputes, primarily by way of round table meetings.
Lizzie is also a member of Bristol Junior Chamber, regularly attends events held by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Clarke Willmott Taunton Charity and Social Committees. Lizzie has also been a mentor at the University of Law for LPC students for the last five years.
How Lizzie can help you
Lizzie seeks to tailor her approach in a pragmatic and cost-effective way to achieve the best outcome for each individual client. As such, she will consider the full spectrum of dispute resolution mechanisms, including negotiation, mediation, round table meetings, private FDRs, collaborative law and arbitration. Lizzie also has extensive experience in court applications, which are only made where absolutely necessary, and can take a robust approach to litigation to obtain the required outcome.
Lizzie regularly deals with:
- Divorce or dissolution of civil partnerships and connected financial settlements;
- Separation and division of assets for cohabiting couples;
- Financial applications following a foreign divorce;
- Financial applications on behalf of children;
- Pre and post nuptial agreements;
- Cohabitation agreements;
- Applications for Child Arrangements Orders (dealing with residence and contact);
- Specific Issue applications in respect of children (including applications to relocate internally or internationally);
- Variation or set-aside of existing orders;
- Enforcement of financial or children orders;
- Successfully negotiating a financial settlement without the need for Court where the parties had substantial assets including a family business and there were issues in relation to tax;
- Successfully obtaining a world wide freezing injunction against a husband with significant property and company assets in England and in Slovakia;
- Successfully securing an order for financial provision on behalf of a child following a divorce in France;
- Obtaining an order that numerous properties and a company be transferred to the wife and an order for costs following many years of vexatious claims by a husband;
- Successfully arguing a dispute of ownership of a property as a preliminary issue in a financial remedy case, where husband claimed he did not own a property;
- Successfully negotiating a prenuptial agreement to protect family farm and other inherited assets;
Obtaining a Child Arrangements Order for child to live with mother where mother had previously been prevented from seeing her child;
- Successfully obtaining an order limiting a wife’s claim to marital assets only, successfully arguing that husband’s business assets were built up post separation;
- Successfully arguing that the English Court did not have jurisdiction to make financial orders against a husband on behalf of their children;
- Representing wife in continuing litigation against a husband not engaging with Court process, claiming to lack capacity and seeing to conceal assets;
- Acting for father and obtaining Child Arrangements Order limiting the mother’s contact with the child whilst she was treated for issues of substance abuse and following an abusive relationship;
- Preparing a post nuptial agreement for the husband when separation was foreseen to protect substantial property and company assets;
- Acting for mother in financial and children matters in case where she had been the victim of alleged coercive control and psychological abuse, including consideration of a Legal Services Payment Order to cover her costs.
Areas of expertise
You were so very kind and filled me with positivity and confidence
Wow Lizzie! That’s amazing, blimey you mean business… Thank you very much
Articles by Lizzie and her team
Ending the blame game
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Parents seeking to use coronavirus to avoid maintenance payments
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Family law | No Fault Divorce: family law for the 21st century
Lizzie Smith, a senior associate in our Family team, explains what a no fault divorce is, why it is important and when it is expected to be available in England and Wales.Read more