FIGT is fortunate to have supportive sponsors. This is the first of a short series of articles highlighting those whose invaluable financial and professional support helps keep FIGT growing.
Longtime senior-level sponsor IFLG’s aim is to inform, educate, distil and advise families about complex international family law matters so that they can better prepare and be aware of the potential legal implications of a move abroad with their family in the event their relationship runs into difficulties. Recently, IFLG Partners David Hodson and Lucy Greenwood shared insights about their firm’s interaction with FIGT.
“Our work covers all legal aspects of personal relationships and family breakdown from marital agreements,” David said, “including choice of jurisdiction, divorce, finances, applications for financial claims after a divorce abroad, recognition of marriages and divorces granted in different countries, enforcement of orders abroad, child arrangements, relocation (seeking an order of the court to move abroad with children where the other parent does not provide consent), paternity declarations, child abduction, adoption, surrogacy, and more.”
“It remains common for us to hear of many sad stories arising from a lack of knowledge about such issues. Of course, we seek to unravel and rectify many often preventable tragedies for families, parents and children, but as with all things, prevention, planning and preparation is better than cure.”
“Our specialism in international family work enables us not only to provide knowledge and advice about our area of law − an amount unrivaled, we would say! − but also means we are not 'tied' to any other third party experts, meaning that we can also build a tailored package of professional advisers for our clients as and when needed. We have a considerable international contact base in this regard. We travel to conferences abroad and are frequently invited to lecture on international family law topics. This also enables us to keep abreast of family law developments and trends around the world.”
As for why IFLG chooses to sponsor the FIGT organization, David offered two reasons.
“This is our target audience. These families and those whom they know in the international community are our primary client… But the second must also be mentioned. It comes back to the vision and the belief which caused us to set up the practice, and which remains very important. We are working with the international family community and this carries responsibilities… I think that responsibility extends to giving and giving back… There is inevitably an element to which we say we are a major player in the international family community, and being such a major player carries responsibilities which means encouraging those working and supporting that community.”
In addition, Lucy offered a third reason.
“I think it also shows our client base and beyond that we are mindful of tailoring our work to international families' needs. The number of clients and other professionals with international lifestyles, whom I mention FIGT to, is growing and they are all receptive and thankful to hearing about the organisation and to know that there is a resource where they can learn about the experiences of others who have lived through similar scenarios.”
When asked why they attend the annual FIGT conference, both responded readily.
“The conference is a chance to see and hear the far bigger picture,” David said. “I understand the situation of my clients far better as a consequence of attending, and therefore I'm able to do a far better job for them. In understanding comes better service… In hearing the stories and sharing the experiences, I can have a better understanding of ways to resolve matters… This creativity comes from understanding, which comes from listening. I don't have that listening experience in any other conference which I attend, to this extent. Other law conferences talk about legal solutions. This conference talks about life experiences. The latter has to come first.”
“Listening is tremendously important in our work as through that we far better understand the needs of our individual clients,” Lucy added. “FIGT presents us with a unique opportunity to understand the broad and varied sorts of issues our clients with international lifestyles might face and why, for example, some client's might react differently to certain aspects of their cases than clients who have always had a stable setting for their relationship.”