- Financial Remedy on Divorce, with a special expertise in all matters relating to Pension Sharing or Offsetting.
- Financial Remedy between Civil Partners
- Financial Provision for Children under Schedule 1 Children Act
- Private FDRs
- Professional Negligence
- Trusts of Land
Areas of Practice
Grant Lazarus was called to the bar in November 1981. After 38 years’ experience, he has refined his areas of specialism which are now concentrated almost wholly upon the financial consequences of the breakdown of relationships (including marriages, same-sex marriages and civil partnerships) – as well as Trusts of Land claims, whether between cohabitees or other co-owners. This often includes the inter-play of Trusts of Land issues within applications for financial remedy on Divorce.
For 6 years between 2013 -2019, Grant was instructed in over 160 Professional Negligence claims arising out of issues of Pension Sharing or Offsetting. This has given him a unique insight into the problems of Pension Sharing, the interplay between different forms of Defined Benefits or Defined Contributions Pensions and the pitfalls of attempting to conclude such matters without properly expert guidance.
Grant has presented seminars extensively in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, often sharing the platform with (amongst others) George Mathieson of Mathieson Consulting and Rhys Taylor of The 36 Group. He has also lectured by ‘Webinar” to Solicitors nationally, and had (pre Covid-19) been invited to lecture to the Judicial College training course in June 2020.
Grant specialises in financial remedy work of high net worth, particularly those involving farms, companies, and high value pension arrangements. He receives instructions in relation to Financial Remedy, Trusts of Land, and Solicitors’ negligence from all parts of England & Wales. He (usually) travels extensively for Court appearances and Conferences, although such travel is curtailed at present by the National Coronavirus emergency. He has for many years been happy to undertake Conferences by telephone, even in complex matters, in order to help clients to avoid travel and expense. He is equally happy to do so by Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams.
Grant is experienced in telephone and video link hearings, and is actively promoting the use of technology to ensure that cases continue to be heard in the present times of uncertainty for Court Hearings in person. The use of e-bundles will soon be the norm. Grant is experienced in the receipt instructions electronically and the conduct of cases without any use of paper.
Grant is qualified and experienced in the direct receipt of instructions on a Public Access basis, without the need for a Solicitor. Not all cases are suitable for such an arrangement, but clients have often found it very helpful to have an experienced overview of the issues and risks of litigation at an early stage in financial remedy and Trusts of Land disputes. Just as often, as such cases approach FDR or Trial, litigants who have previously been acting person see the benefit of instructing Grant on a Public Access basis to bring their claims to a conclusion.
With the pressure on courts increasing each year, cases are taking longer to get a hearing, and judges are being allowed less time to hear and consider them. Even before March 2020, it had become increasingly common in London and Manchester over recent years for the parties in Financial Remedy disputes to choose to arrange for their FDR to be conducted privately by experienced and specialist Financial Remedy Counsel, sitting as private FDR judges. Not only is this practice approved by the President of the Family Division, it is now actively encouraged by Mr Justice Mostyn J as National Lead Judge of the Financial Remedies Court.
The initial view of the clients is inevitably to query the reasons for incurring the extra expense of jointly instructing Counsel to oversee an FDR, when District Judges come for free.
The benefits to those cautious clients are, however, readily apparent to the Solicitors who choose to take this path:-
- Instead of waiting for Court availability months after an FDA, an early date can be fixed immediately;
- Instead of finding out (usually the night before) that the FDR is not in fact listed to be heard by the experienced full-time DJ who was expected and is to be heard by a Deputy with no real experience in this specialist field, the identity of private FDR Counsel is a matter of specific choice;
- Instead of being informed the day before the FDR by the Court Office that “we haven’t got a Judge”, the private FDR judge is committed to the case;
- The parties will have the benefit of a dedicated FDR judge for the entire day. Unlike in the time-pressed Court setting, a private FDR judge will not have an afternoon of telephone hearings and private law children disputes to determine.
Grant Lazarus is available to act as FDR judge in a private setting.
For those parties who (subject to the present restrictions on travel and social distancing) prefer to continue to attend a hearing in person, Harrington Street facilitate conference rooms for both sides (or more if there are intervenors), together with the effective FDR Hearing in our seminar room. Alternatively, arrangements can easily be made for video link access for those who would prefer for their FDR to be conducted remotely, so as to avoid unnecessary travel, whether that is for reasons of time, expense or current public health concerns.
In September 2018, Grant qualified as an IFLA Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators for Financial Remedy, Schedule 1 Children Act Applications, and TOLATA. The advantages of choosing an Arbitrator who is an experienced Barrister in the specialist field of Financial Remedy are an obvious extension of those that relate to a Private FDR. The cost to the parties of using Arbitration rather than the Court system will almost always be outweighed by the savings in costs achieved overall by making the early decision to identify the issues that are specific to an individual case and arbitrating them. In addition, the parties will enjoy the benefit of avoiding delay, and the certainty of a tribunal that brings proper experience and expertise to the forum. The Arbitration Agreement entered into by the parties ahead of the hearing provides for the decision (“an Arbitral Award”) then to be converted into a Final Court Order. The use of Institute of Family Law Arbitrators is expressly approved by the President of the Family Division. For further information please follow this link http://ifla.org.uk/divi/wp-content/uploads/Arbitrators.pdf
If you wish to instruct Grant as Counsel, or are interested in the possibility of arranging a private FDR or Arbitration, please contact either John Kilgallon, Practice Director, on 0151 242 0700 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Carolyn Cregeen, Senior Family Clerk, on 0151 242 0701 (email: email@example.com).