Trudi Featherstone
Goodman Ray
Family Law
Partner and Mediator
5 Cranwood Street, London, EC1V 9GR
Contact
trudifeatherstone@goodmanray.com
020 7608 1227
vCard
Main Practice Area

Family Law

Biography

Trudi leads the Divorce and Matrimonial Finance Team and has been a partner at Goodman Ray since May 2000 as head of the Matrimonial Team. She is a Resolution trained Family Mediator who can mediate on all issues (children and financial matters) and a collaboratively trained lawyer.

Specialising in the financial aspects of divorce and separation, Trudi regularly acts for high net worth individuals and provides advice in financially complex cases involving complex private company structures, private equity funds, EBT’s, pensions.  Many cases have an international element, involving overseas trusts and corporate vehicles which have potentially significant tax implications. She is recognised for her highly organised and meticulous approach to this complex work.  She has a particular expertise in dealing with financial claims for unmarried parents and their children and regularly acts for mothers and fathers in Schedule 1 claims and Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustee Act applications for cohabitees.  She is viewed as an effective and formidable litigator and praised for providing excellent and well thought out advice.

Trudi also advises clients on Private Children Matters – Child arrangement orders and increasingly leave to remove applications.  This complements the finance work and provides clients with complete advice on their family situation in a holistic way.

She is an accredited member of the Law Society Family Law Panel and is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Advanced and Complex Financial disputes and Private Children Law work. Trudi is a trained Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator able to conduct MIAMS and a member of the Family Mediation Council.

Trudi is included in City wealth’s Leaders list as a prominent figure in family and matrimonial in its Honours list. 

 

She is recognised as "a standout practitioner, and consistently so” and “sensible, pragmatic and good at looking for solutions” – Chambers and partners 2018

Firm

Goodman Ray is one of the leading family law firms in the UK; with a national and international reputation for its work in children and family law. Goodman Ray offers a first-class service across the full spectrum of family law, including matrimonial finance, cohabitation, international adoption, surrogacy, child abduction, forced marriage injunctions and children law. The firm represents high-net-worth and international clients and is committed to delivering a cutting-edge service to its clients.

Goodman Ray’s straightforward and innovative approach is welcomed by clients and is demonstrated by its lawyers’ involvement with other professional organisations. Clients are assured of expert representation by lawyers who will fearlessly fight their corner while sharing the firm’s child-centred ethos and promoting alternative dispute resolution where appropriate.

 

Non-Matrimonial Property Considered by the Court of Appeal

When couples divorce, issues to do with what property should be considered to be part of the matrimonial pot can be difficult and emotive. A family home that has been purchased prior to the marriage by one party, or inheritance money that was received while the marriage was breaking down can become contentious issues with the parties potentially taking quite different views as to whether or not they should be shared and, if so, in what proportion. The courts have always recognised that the circumstances in which property was acquired, and the parties intentions as to that property, can be key in determining how assets should be divided, but the recent judgment in the case of Hart v Hart provides a useful review of the case law in this area and guidance for those involved in similar cases.

The Court of Appeal was tasked with considering Mrs Harts appeal against the decision of HHJ Wildblood QC at first instance which awarded her less than 50% of the total assets of the parties. Mrs Hart received £3.47M of a total pot of £9.4M, this being the sum that the Judge determined was necessary to meet her needs. The departure from the sharing principle was justified by reference to the pre-marital wealth that Mr Hart had accrued. The Court of Appeal dismissed Mrs Harts appeal and found that Judge Wildblood was entitled to come to the conclusions he did in the case. Lord Justice Moyland, giving the lead judgment, suggested that Judge Wildblood could, and possibly should, have approached the case differently, but that the final award was within the bounds of fairness. This was despite the fact that it was recognised that Mr Harts litigation misconduct had made it difficult to determine the exact source and value of his pre-marital wealth.

 

This case may serve as a useful review of existing principles but, unfortunately, it does little to clarify some of the issues surrounding determination of financial awards on divorce. Practitioners in this area have long acknowledged that Judges view the calculation of awards as more of an art than a science, with a wide margin of discretion and little in the way of strict formulae to refer to. Hart v Hart confirms this view and again demonstrates the fluid nature of the law when considering financial provision on divorce.

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