4PB has a distinguished history as a leading set of specialist family law barristers providing practical, expert legal advice, and including effective and assured advocacy, in all practice areas of family law. Our size, practice range, reputation and expertise are unrivalled and mark us out as unique amongst our competitors.
- A historic London chambers housing 79 expert family barristers
- Steeped in Inns of Court legal tradition with cutting-edge knowledge and technology
- Recommended as leaders in our field by the main legal directories, Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500
We offer advice, representation and dispute resolution services in all areas of family law:
- Civil partnership dissolution
- Finances and property on divorce or civil partnership dissolution
- Children’s arrangements after parents separate
- Children proceedings involving a Local Authority
- Child abduction and wrongful retention
- International family law
- Cohabitants’ claims (trusts of land cases)
- Financial arrangements for children
- Domestic abuse
- Assisted conception and reproduction
What people say about 4PB:
Chambers & Partners 2020
A highly rated set, with distinguished money and, most especially, children practitioners. Its seasoned silks and commended juniors tackle the largest and most serious of matters, including international abduction cases and financial remedy matters with complex offshore assets attached. Its clientele spans divorcing couples, parents and children. Barristers here are also instructed in historic inquiries of the highest sensitivity. Recent matters include cases concerning an international child abduction and a breach of a financial remedy order. One interviewee comments: “The set has a huge range of experienced and talented barristers. You can call 4PB and know that whoever is available on a particular day will be good.” Another source labels them as “a great team with many experienced family lawyers, who provide excellent advice and guidance in the most tangled of cases.”
Client Service: The clerking team, headed by Michael Reeves, is praised by one observer for its “consistency in terms of expertise and quality.” Another commentator opined: “4PB have the best clerks in the industry – they’re bright, personable and always willing to go the extra mile.”
The Legal 500 2020
The ‘strong and versatile’ 4 Paper Buildings is ‘the pre-eminent set’ for children work – public or private – with ‘some of the biggest hitters’ in the field and ‘a huge number of talented juniors who are winning admirers for their caring yet effective style of representation’. Chambers is able to offer a barrister ‘with the appropriate expertise and skill to the right client at the right cost’. While it has historically been known as a children set, more of its junior members are also undertaking finance and cohabitation work, so much so that for some solicitors it has become the ‘go-to’ set for all family work in London and across the regions. In recent news, Cyrus Larizadeh QC has been appointed acting chair of the Family Law Bar Association and Oliver Jones has been appointed a circuit judge. Michael Reeves’ ‘well-run’ clerks’ room is ‘the best in the business’ and ‘a pleasure to deal with’; ‘responsive and accommodating, they bend over backwards to help at short notice when needed’. The clerks are ‘slick, hugely communicative with instructing solicitors, personable, engaged, and proactive’. First junior Paul Hennessey and second junior Kenny Martin ‘are excellent clerks’ held in high regard by solicitors. Asked to give their impression of chambers as a whole, one solicitor offered: ‘From the moment they enter the reception at 4PB, a client feels that they are in professional and nurturing hands. A client who may be very anxious is eased by the calm waiting room and the offer of a cup of tea and yet there is in an air of productivity and business which is also reassuring.’
A ‘first-rate set of chambers’, 4 Paper Buildings is ‘without question, the go-to set for children matters’, according to clients. The set has ‘great strength in depth, a very good range of barristers at different levels of call, from hugely experienced QCs to extremely talented juniors, meaning it will always have a barrister who fits each client’s needs’. Alex Verdan QC, Sam King QC, Andrew Powell, Cleo Perry, and Michael Edwards have been acting in the Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse, the large public inquiry set to have huge implications on the way institutions deal with allegations of abuse. The set has many ‘excellent’ barristers including Prof Jo Delahunty QC who ‘dominates every case she is in’ and Teertha Gupta QC who is ‘a smooth, engaging, and highly persuasive advocate with a strong following’. Charles Hale QC is ‘outstanding’ and ‘judges really listen to Henry Setright QC because he invariably knows more on the subject than they do’.
With ‘excellent strength in depth in family law’, 4 Paper Buildings has a proven track record of acting in family disputes involving high-net-worth and international clients, especially where there are also issues involving offshore assets, family trusts, and complex tax structures. Henry Clayton advised the mother on an application for financial provision for a child where the father is a member of a wealthy ruling family that is based overseas. In addition, its members are skilled at advising on issues surrounding inherited and pre-marital agreements. ‘The whole set is very good indeed. It is a large family set with superb specialist family counsels at all levels,’ said one source. Another said: ‘They have increasing numbers of polished performers in financial remedy cases.’
4 Paper Buildings won The Legal 500 Family Law Set of the Year in 2017, 2019 and 2020.