Michael Gouriet

Partner | London

Michael is a partner in the divorce and family team.

Michael advises on all aspects of family law (including prenuptial agreements) with particular emphasis on the resolution of financial issues for wealthy individuals, whether married or unmarried and often with international interests. Michael has acted in numerous divorce cases involving trusts and businesses. Michael also has extensive experience of children law matters, including international relocation.

Michael’s breadth of work involves close liaison with many other specialist practice areas at Withers including the contentious trusts and estates team and the wealth planning teams in London, US, Switzerland and Asia.

Clients include city professionals, entrepreneurs and business people, owners of landed estates, sports and music stars, politicians, and their spouses/partners.

Michael is a certified family law arbitrator, and a trained collaborative lawyer. He has been a member of Resolution’s Cohabitation Committee since its inception in 1995.

Michael has for several years been listed as a leading family lawyer in the legal directories (including Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Spears, and Citywealth) in which he has variously been described in recent years as ‘a real class act’; ‘measured, sensible and knows his law’; ‘highly intelligent, very efficient and a pleasure to deal with – a really strong practitioner’; ‘is just excellent and often sought after by high net worth individuals’; and a ‘first-class lawyer’.

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His advice, both personal and professional, and the ensuing settlement, so meticulously and cleverly worked, that remains not only intact, but still capable of producing the positive ‘echo’, or effect to this day.

Nick Luke
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Commended for his ‘exemplary efficiency’ in working through technical financial issues.

Chambers and Partners 2017
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Your drafting is world class and your diligent attention to detail made every step of the process feel as robust and fair as possible – thank you.

OWNER OF INTERNATIONAL FAMILY BUSINESS

Track record

Admissions

Publications

Memberships

Talks

D v D [2015] – a case involving allegations of non-disclosure, and sharing of future income from offshore contracts entered into during marriage.

Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [CA 2010], which changed the law on disclosure and confidentiality of documents between spouses in divorce proceedings.

Two further reported decisions of Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2013] relating to the joinder of trust beneficiaries to financial proceedings on divorce and consequential disclosure.

England and Wales, 1995

‘Tax Planning for Farm and Land Diversification’, LexisNexis, divorce chapter

‘Resolution handbook on cohabitation law’, contributor

Family law piece, FT Weekend Magazine – November 2010

International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) – current treasurer of the European chapter

Chartered Institute of Arbitration

Resolution

Collaborative Family Law

Resolution National Conference, Newcastle, April 2016 – panellist on ‘Cohabitation Compared and Contrasted in England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland’

IBC Conference on International Cross Border Estate Planning for Divorce, London, January 2016 – speaking on ‘Third Party Rights: How Does the Divorce Court Deal With Them’

STEP (in partnership with IAML) conference in London, December 2014 on the Family Business and Family Law – speaking on trusts and divorce

Me in a minute

Family law requires a broad spectrum of skill sets

Having worked as a farm labourer and a silver service waiter before flirting with a career in PR and politics (which involved preparing briefs for ministers on BBC’s Question Time, and a weekly bundle of press summaries for the Prime Minister in the early 1990s), I met Withers at a law fair in London and from there embarked on a legal career on which I have never looked back.

Specialising in the demanding and evolving world of family law requires a broad spectrum of skill sets (from in depth legal knowledge, litigation and negotiation to clarity of advice, strategy, and empathy) and that combined with the diverse and idiosyncratic factual nature of each and every case makes the role such an intellectually stimulating one.

Throughout my decades at Withers I have been fortunate to have worked alongside inspirational and highly talented expert lawyers both within the family law team and across the firm’s wide range of specialist areas. As issues on divorce straddle other practice areas I am often in liaison with colleagues in the property, commercial, trusts, tax, and reputation management teams whether here in London or in the firm’s offices in Europe, the US and Asia.

Outside of the law, successive knee injuries put paid to my captaincy of football teams some years back, although I still run a wandering cricket side set up at university. Besides an interest in art, I also enjoy tennis, skiing, golf and road cycling (which included a 300 mile charity bike ride over three days from Cornwall to London in 2014).

Education


Languages


  • English

Dates


Joined

1993
Partner

2002

Recognition


London

16 Old Bailey,

EC4M 7EG

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