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Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith


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  • Stephen is a trusted expert in Family Law, particularly dealing with matrimonial financial remedies cases involving business assets and trusts for HNW and UHNW clients, both in England & Wales and overseas.
  • Dealt with several cases where have sought orders preventing dissipation of matrimonial assets, including first case where court had to consider capital gains tax consequences of setting aside a transaction pursuant to s37 MCA 1973.
  • Additional area(s): Trained collaborative lawyer, plus advocate of Family Law Arbitration. Also knowledge and expertise in financial issues and pensions, being a Fellow of the International Compliance Association (ICA) and previously an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Stephen Initially worked within the Financial Services Industry and, upon qualifying, focused on professional negligence cases, including medical and solicitors negligence cases.

For the past 20 years, Stephen has solely focused on Family Law issues, and now predominantly deals with financial remedy disputes within matrimonial proceedings where there are issues of value or complexity and acting for UHNW, HNW, business owners and their families. He has particular knowledge and experience in acting for third party intervenors, including for family trusts and companies who have been brought into the main matrimonial proceedings.

Stephen also deals with Nuptial Agreements, whether pre or post nuptial agreements, with the focus on protecting business assets and inherited assets from future claims. He has significant knowledge of farming cases, having previously worked for an insurance company who dealt solely with farming and agricultural families and estates.

Stephen has significant knowledge and expertise in dealing with cohabitee cases ,whether preparing cohabitation agreements or dealing with cohabitee disputes following the breakdown of the relationship.

He is often instructed on Children Act cases, including those containing applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act for financial provision for a child.

Experience Highlights

  • Several reported cases, including world’s first medical negligence case involving a cancerous transplanted organ.
  • Also dealing with first case (UHNW) where court had to consider capital gains tax consequence of setting aside a transaction where a party was alleged to have transferred shareholdings offshore so as to defeat the matrimonial claim.
  • Successfully acting for client in defending claim, where spouse sought share in family company, which had unique position in supplying specialist parts to defence industry. The case being dealt with via Family Law Arbitration with the arbitrator’s award being in line with client’s position.
  • Acting for UHNW individual and resisting claim by former spouse who was seeking majority of assets, including pre-marital assets, on basis that she maintained client, due to his medical condition, did not require them. Court finding in favour of client and thereby protecting majority of client’s wealth. Case also involved obtaining order from Court of Protection.

Career History

  • Mezzle Limited, partner – May 2024 to date
  • EMW Law, partner and Head of Family and Private Client - November 2019 to May 2024
  • ASB Law, partner and Head of Family - January 2018 to November 2019
  • Brachers, partner and Head of Family team and subsequently overall head of Private Client services, including Family Team - August 2009 to October 2017
  • Rix & Kay, Partner - February 2002 to August 2009
  • Waugh & Co, Solicitor, then Partner - September 1994 to February 2002
  • Blacks Solicitors, Articled Clerk - September 1992 to September 1994
  • NFU Mutual, product development, then Financial Consultant - January 1986 to June 1991


  • University of Sheffield, Law Degree – 1981 – 84
  • Chartered Insurance Institute . Associate – 1986 – 1989
  • Leeds Metropolitan University, Law Society Finals - 1991
  • University of Manchester (Business School) and International Compliance Association, Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Crime Compliance - 2018

Professional Membership

  • Member of the Law Society for England and Wales.
  • Fellow of International Compliance Association