Rachel Frost-Smith, Senior Associate
Rachel joined Vardags in February 2018. She specialises in all aspects of family law, including divorce, financial matters, disputes involving children, and domestic abuse. Rachel has a great deal of experience handling difficult and complex children cases. She is especially adept at dealing sensitively with situations where there are allegations that parents are suffering from mental health and addiction problems. She is experienced at preparing cases where one parent wishes to relocate, either internally or internationally. Rachel is also very familiar with handling injunctive proceedings to prevent molestation, and to regulate occupation of the family home. Whilst Rachel will always work hard to reach agreements on behalf of her clients, she is also a tough and determined litigator.
Rachel studied Law at the University of Lancaster, graduating in 1987. She is a Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings), having undertaken additional training in advocacy. She is an Accredited Specialist in Children Law (Private) and Advocacy (Private Law Children).
Rachel has a City background, training with a Magic Circle firm, gaining experience in the corporate, projects, taxation, and property departments, before specialising in corporate tax. She advised clients on cross-border structures, tax planning and the taxation of financial instruments. The knowledge she gained at this time is invaluable when conducting financial cases involving high-net-worth individuals, where complex structures may be in place for tax (and other) purposes. Rachel lived in Asia for ten years, continuing to advise corporate clients on taxation, whilst employed by an internationally renowned accountancy firm. During this time she was part of a team that was successful in litigation challenging the Hong Kong Tax Authority’s interpretation of anti-avoidance provisions. Rachel has volunteered in different roles for many years, beginning with working with Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong, establishing a trust to fund medical treatment for Filipino workers, chairing the minis section of a rugby club and a school parents' association, and more recently as an Appropriate Adult for the YMCA in Cambridge, supporting children and vulnerable adults in custody. She continues to volunteer at the Cambridge Child Contact Centre. Commercially aware and focused, Rachel established and ran a law firm of her own.
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Rachel has lived out of the UK for 16 years in total during her life (in Africa and Asia), and in doing so was fortunate to experience multiple cultures, cuisines and environments. She continues to enjoy travelling. Now settled in central Cambridge, Rachel enjoys walking the dog with her family to Grantchester, followed by Sunday pub lunch. She has three adult children and a teenager, who keep her updated on popular culture. She loves Shakespeare and poetry of all kinds – from the ancient to the modern. She is a frequent visitor to the British Museum and the Tate Modern, and when the opportunity arises to art galleries in the South of France.