The History and Ethos of iFLG
The International Family Law Group LLP (iFLG) was founded by Ann Thomas and David Hodson OBE KC(Hons) MCIArb to create a distinctive service for international families with connections to England and Wales. By focusing on the family law needs of international clients, many living or working abroad, the law firm would be a leader in its field.
Ann and David had each practised as specialist family lawyers for many years, in England and abroad, acting for numerous international clients. They were keenly aware of the specialist law, practice and procedure and the distinctive requirements of these clients. Their vision was to create a law firm that provided high standards of advice and quality work for international families.
In April 2007, iFLG opened its doors in Covent Garden for worldwide business. The choice of Covent Garden was deliberate. It is near the central London family courts and Counsels’ Chambers yet in an attractive and accessible, non-legal area of London.
In June 2014, David Hodson was made an OBE 'for services to international family law', in recognition of the importance of this work and of this firm. David became Honorary King's Counsel (KC Honoris Causa) in March 2022.
In October 2019 iFLG won the Law Society 'Excellence in International Legal Services' award:
"The International Family Law Group were chosen for their truly international focus in an often challenging area of expertise.
Their work on international child abduction impressed the judges, who appreciate it is a big responsibility of huge social consequence.
The judges were also impressed by their leading voice in the discussion on the impact of Brexit on international family law".
iFLG continues to rank highly in legal directories and several lawyers are named 'leading individuals' in their field. Various members of the practice have written chapters for the leading textbook on international family law ‘The International Family Law Practice’ published by LexisNexis (6th edition) of which David Hodson is the editor and primary author. Members of the firm are regularly invited to comment on topical legal issues on national television and radio in respect of the specific issues affecting international families.
iFLG offers a mediation and arbitration service that has been and remains very successful, bringing together opportunities of traditional mediation, directive mediation and arbitration. The firm is also at the forefront of advancing various other out of court dispute resolution methods when one party is in one country and another is elsewhere. David Hodson is a co-founder of the International Family Arbitration Scheme, the first of its kind in the world.
iFLG has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) in the area of parental child abduction. Two partners are leading specialists in this complex area of law and as such, the firm is regularly instructed by the operational Central Authority for England and Wales for the 1980 Hague Convention through the International Child and Custody Unit (ICACU). Specialists also undertake private children relocation and cross border contact cases as well as all other types of children cases. iFLG can also give a voice to children within the mediation process.
Another key area is the recognition of foreign marriages and divorces, and the financial consequences of relationship breakdown. This includes the choice of the best country for issuing proceedings, enforcement abroad of financial orders and locating assets. iFLG have been involved in many cases which have made new law to help both national and international families.
iFLG has outstanding links with many law firms abroad and works closely with specialist family lawyers in countries within Europe and worldwide. Many English law firms refer their clients to us regarding complex issues.
Consultant Patrick Parkinson is one of the world’s leading family law professionals. He is an Australian family law professor, a nationally accredited mediator and arbitrator, specialising in the resolution of family property disputes. Patrick Parkinson is an Australian law professor, a nationally accredited mediator and arbitrator, specialising in the resolution of family property disputes. The firm's other consultant, Sheela Mackintosh has run a renowned family information service for many years. She has many connections in both Westminster and in her work with Southeast Asia.
iFLG remains as committed as ever to the crucial importance of understanding the needs and requirements of international families and their children and providing the best possible service for them.