On our page “How do I pay for my divorce?” we talk about the possibility of obtaining a legal costs allowance from the other party if you have no money yourself to pay for your legal services.  This is now part of the Statute Law, and these kind of orders are called ‘Legal Assistance Payment Orders’.  The starting point is that the courts want to ensure “a level playing field.”  They do not like the situation where one party can afford an expensive legal team, and the other party is struggling to present their own case.

To get one of these Orders, obviously one side has to be able to afford to pay it, or there must be sufficient liquid assets for the costs to be drawn down.  If neither party has enough money but there is, say, a joint fund of savings, then an order can be made to draw down that fund, generally to both parties equally.

On the other hand, the court is mindful that these orders still have a financial impact, either meaning less money is available for maintenance, or there are fewer assets at the end to divide.  So the court has to be satisfied first that the party applying for the order cannot reasonably pay for their legal services by other means.  For example, if someone has other property that they are not living in, they might be expected to borrow on the security of it.  If they have assets that they could offer as security, they might be able to obtain a litigation loan and the party applying has to set out a budget of what they think will be spent.  These budgets can be quite complicated, because often the courses of action that might be followed depend on what the other party does.  For example, a financial application might look straightforward but if the other party conceals assets, there might be an extensive enquiry needed.  For those reasons, making the application itself is not a particularly cheap exercise.  However, often it is the best investment of ready money that a litigant can make, because if successful it then enables that person to carry on with the rest of the case.

We have written as if these applications only apply to financial matters.  That is because the recent legislation is part of the Matrimonial Causes Act.  However, we have had examples where we have, in effect, made the same kind of application in Children Act proceedings.  They are however much rarer.

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I spoke with Aziz at Brookman Solicitors on the phone for an initial consultation and he is one of the friendliest lawyers I have met. He is clearly very experienced as he patiently explained me all the concepts and processes which are quite daunting for someone in my situation, and then focused on the actual questions I wanted to ask... I would highly recommend Aziz and Brookman Solicitors.

Feb 2022   'R'

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I had online consultation with the partner Henry Brookman today. I was very happy with the service. I found him to be very insightful, knowledgeable and provided sound advice, as well as being kind and patient. It was a very comfortable discussion and he sent an email detailing our discussion very quickly discussing in our meeting in depth. I am amazed by the service we got just from a free consultation. I would highly recommend these solicitors!

Jan 2022   Shirley Christopher

We spoke at length and at no point felt like he was rushing us and we felt very comfortable. After our discussion we were also quickly sent an email detailing everything we were discussing in our meeting in depth. I am amazed by the service we got just from a free consultation. I would highly recommend these solicitors!

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About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Partner

Talitha Brookman

Talitha is a Partner in the firm and a very experienced practitioner who has specialised exclusively in family law for over 15 years. Talitha is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and is recommended by the Legal 500.

Partner

Mark Rennie

Mark is the Group Head of the Horsham Family Law team. He specialises in all areas of matrimonial law, including complex divorce and financial disputes, and is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Nigel Winter

A highly experienced solicitor, Nigel has expertise in collaborative law, divorce, contested litigation, relationship agreements, and children matters. Nigel is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Samantha Jago

Partner at our Guildford office and recommended by The Legal 500, Samantha has specialist expertise in divorce, children matters, complex international cases, and is a trained mediator.

Senior Associate

Joanna Potbury

Family law specialist based in Brighton advising on divorce, cohabitation agreements, children, post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence. Joanna is recommended by The Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

Associate Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, recommended by The Legal 500 and experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings.

Associate Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Recommended by The Legal 500, Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings.

Senior Associate

Pippa Marshall

Pippa’s experience covers all areas of family law including divorce, financial remedies, same sex relationships, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements and is recommended by The Legal 500.

Chartered Legal Executive

Lorraine Imms

With over 20 years' family law experience, Lorraine can advise on divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitee disputes, nuptial agreements and private children matters.

Trainee Solicitor

Rachael Au

Rachael is a highly capable member of the family team in Brighton. She started her training contract in September 2019, her first seat being in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence.

Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

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Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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