Vardags’ French desk delivers a bespoke legal service to HNW and UHNW individuals, their families, and businesses based in France. Where required, the team comprises a number of fluent French speakers, including Founder and President Ayesha Vardag herself. Accompanying Ayesha is Canada-born Director Caroline Korah, hailed a “force to be reckoned with”, and our multi-lingual Head of Cambridge Office, Silvia Devecchi, recently ranked as a Leading Individual in Legal 500 (the highest accolade). Our French Desk also work in close partnership with a network of contacts based in France, including banks, family offices, tax advisors and wealth managers.
If you are in an international relationship, the jurisdiction in which your divorce proceeds could make a huge difference to the final outcome. London, as the divorce capital of the world, is known for making generous awards to the financially weaker parties, and the court has a wide discretion in what it awards. The jurisdiction in which you are entitled to divorce rests on a mixture of European and national law, but is generally determined in relation to where each party is habitually resident or domiciled. If the dispute is between two European countries, the person who petitions first may be determinative. It is therefore vital to take legal advice promptly. Very often, a British person living abroad is able to access the English justice system, without necessarily being in the country at the time.
In contrast to France, the English courts do not automatically hold parties to prenuptial agreements. The court will look at the needs of the parties and will aim look to share the assets built up during the course of the marriage. The English court also has wide-ranging powers to order ongoing maintenance and look at assets held through companies and family trusts.
Proceedings can also be initiated if one party wants to move to another country with the children, given that the permission of the other parent, or the court, is required. If you are caught in this situation, then you may need to seek legal advice. Family law issues are often sensitive and can be difficult to address with your lawyer. At Vardags, we understand the need to express yourself freely and that it is often easier to discuss your private matters in your mother tongue.
Vardags’ services extend well beyond divorce and family law, and encompass reputation and privacy, property, corporate, criminal defence, commercial and civil litigation, employment, and professional negligence.
We offer a free consultation to suitable clients, typically those where the family's net assets are in excess of £1m or the combined income is in excess of £150,000
Founder and President, Ayesha Vardag, is fluent in French, having having been a Cambridge Wiener Anspach scholar for a Masters in European Law at the Université Libre Brussels. After having led the case which made prenups valid in England, Ayesha understands the interplay between European matrimonial property regimes and English law.
Head of Cambridge and Director of Divorce & Family law, Silvia Devecchi, speaks fluent French. However, Silvia offers not only her multi-lingual capacity but a wealth of experience working (and living) for periods of time in a number of foreign jurisdictions including Germany, Sweden, Finland and Israel. As such, Silvia Devecchi’s work is frequently commended for encapsulating such rich and wide-ranging jurisdictional insight.