Payne Hicks Beach
10 New Square, Lincoln's Inn, London
0207 465 4300
Simon has an extensive and busy family law practice dealing with divorce, financial remedy claims, civil partnership and cohabitee disputes, and disputes relating to children. He also advises on and drafts prenuptial, cohabitation and separation agreements. Much of his work has an international element and he frequently advises on choice of jurisdictions and removal of children out of the jurisdiction.
Simon is the cutting-edge of the development of family law. He has acted in numerous reported cases and is in the unique position of having had two cases heard in the House of Lords/Supreme Court, which have been reported both nationally and internationally.
Simon acted for Pamela White in the ground-breaking decision in the distribution of property and assets on divorce, White v White (2000), which provides for equality as the starting point in the division of assets to ensure the absence of discrimination between the breadwinner on the one hand and the homemaker on the other hand. This is still the current law.
Simon acted for Tini Owens in Owens v Owens (2018) in which the Supreme Court refused her a divorce notwithstanding the fact that the marriage had broken down irretrievably and the parties had separated. In spite of Mrs Owens having provided 27 examples of Mr Owens’ behaviour towards her, the Supreme Court upheld the decisions of the lower courts determining that such behaviour was not unreasonable and that she should not be entitled to a divorce. This decision was the catalyst for the Government to change the divorce law for the first time in over 50 years by passing the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 to bring in “no fault” divorces with effect from 6 April 2022.