The International Family Law Group at Giambrone

Our International Family Law Group is recognised as one of the best cross border EU family departments in London with particular expertise in cases with an international/multi-jurisdictional element.

Our family lawyers in the European cross border family practice looking after the interests of families and children with a specific focus on international families – those who travel, live and have connections in different countries around the world. We routinely advise on all international family cases with a cross border element as well as assisting international clients with a wide variety of questions about how the English, Italian, Spanish or German legal systems might apply to them, taking advantage of our links with leading family lawyers from around the globe where necessary. 

In an increasingly global society, family law disputes which involve more than one country are becoming more frequent. Many families facing divorce find that there is an international element. For example, one of you might be eligible to divorce in England and a different jurisdiction – and where you choose could have a big impact on your settlement. If a wife divorces in Italy or Spain, she may only get two to three years of maintenance. By contrast, in England she may be entitled to maintenance for the rest of her life.

Races to choose the best jurisdiction are increasingly common. This is called forum shopping and that’s where we come in!

Our team includes specialist accredited English, Italian, Spanish, German, Arab and South African lawyers, family and civil mediators, collaborative lawyers, arbitrators, and our International Family Law Group has a network of specialist family lawyers from around Europe and across the world. 

We have extensive experience helping clients with international family law issues and our expertise includes the financial aspects of relationship breakdown. We act for many high net worth individuals with global and complex assets and few examples include the following: 

Our experience

  • Our family lawyers are often asked to issue divorce proceedings in England in order to establish jurisdiction here, so that the English Courts can deal with the financial aspects and we often deal with jurisdictional interlocutory hearings at all levels before the European courts, where our expertise in cross border family law and the application of the various EU Regulations greatly helps our clients to navigate through these complex issues of jurisdiction.
  • We acted for a gay father in an international case involving three jurisdictions where the issues included surrogacy law, parental orders under English law and financial proceedings in England and Canada.
  • We have advised an Italian husband in a hotly contested divorce with the Italian wife (who changed no less than 11 firm of solicitors over an extended period of 3 years) in an Anglo-Italian jurisdictional dispute involving substantial inherited and pre-acquired assets, including land and estates in various European jurisdictions
  • We were instructed by American lawyers to act for their father client. He was involved in Italian child proceedings before the Court of Milan which had been issued by the mother of their three children, one of whom was born by was of surrogate agreement subject to Canadian law. The mother and the minor children were domiciled in Italy post separation. There was an American Joint Custody Agreement between the parties (subject to US law) and the argument centred on whether the Italian proceedings were valid. Because of our intervention, the Italian proceedings were withdrawn because the Italian Court ruled that it had no jurisdiction over a settled issue.
  • A team of cross border lawyers in the  International Family Law Group advised in connection with a complex pre-marital agreement with international aspects, including choice of jurisdiction and election of an Italian property regime where the future spouses were English and Norwegian respectively. The husband was a high flyer Cty banker and the wife to be was expecting to inherit a substantial fortune from her family so our international family law advice involved assets worth tens of millions of pounds.
  • We acted on behalf of an English father who successfully resisted an application for his children to live permanently in Spain.  
  • We were instructed in a case involving international trusts and a complex corporate structure, which involved separate proceedings in Palma de Mallorca, two offshore jurisdictions, as well as in the English High Court. 
  • We have particular expertise in arranging for properties and pensions to be divided in England, where the divorce takes place abroad. 

Our clients 

  • We are frequently instructed by international families in the preparation of pre-nuptial agreements, where the wealth may be owned in more than one jurisdiction. 
  • Many of our clients are foreign nationals who work in a different EU country or in the USA, who instruct us to advise as to the legal consequences – so they can compare the advantages or disadvantages of divorcing in their country of domicile as against their country of origin. 
  • Many clients are able to divorce in more than one jurisdiction, looking to us to assessing which is the most advantageous jurisdiction and issue divorce proceedings in the chosen jurisdiction. 
  • Lawyers in other jurisdictions are happy to recommend us to their own clients, to provide advice and support for them in Europe.

If you require further information or advice from our team of specialist family lawyers in the International Family Law Group, please contact a member of our Client Relations Team by: