David Hodson OBE becomes Honorary KC

21 Mar 2022

iFLG is proud to announce that its co founder and partner David Hodson has today become Honorary Queen’s Counsel (QC Honoris Causa). This honour recognises those in the profession who have made a major contribution to, and impact on, the law of England and Wales and how it is advanced, outside the courtroom setting. The ceremony took place in the Palace of Westminster.

The Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary said: “The title of Queens Counsel is a mark of excellence not only in this country but around the world. It recognises and acknowledges the depth of expertise and eminence enriched in particular areas of law. To be recognised among peers is a monumental achievement” 21 March 2022.

David is widely regarded, nationally and internationally, as a leader and innovator for his huge contribution to family law over the past 30 years.

David is a solicitor, mediator, and arbitrator. He is also a qualified Australian (NSW) solicitor and barrister.

In 1995, David was appointed a deputy (part-time) judge at the Principal Registry of the Family Division, now the Central Family Court, dealing with complex cases. He also sits on the Western Circuit.

In the early 2000s he was the primary practitioner lawyer to draw the family law profession’s attention to the then imminent EU family law regulation, Brussels II. In 2014 he was awarded an OBE for ‘services to international family law.’

David has been one of the country’s foremost speakers at professional family law conferences and in 2014 won the Lexis Nexis ‘Family Law Commentator of the Year’ award.

David is a prolific author of articles and texts. He is the editor and original author of the leading text for practitioners on international family law, ‘The International Family Law Practice’, LexisNexis now in its 6th edition.

In 2015 and 2017 respectively, he took up honorary professorships at the University of Law and at Leicester University. He lectures annually to students on the International Law Masters course at the University of Queensland. Throughout his career he has sought to encourage resolutions out-of-court, to make the law more accessible and fairer, to share knowledge across the profession, to promote good practice and to find global solutions for international families. He was also the joint initiator of the family law Code of Practice being put into plain English for the benefit of the public and improving accessibility to the law and he pioneered the creation of individual codes on distinctive aspects of work, to improve standards and commitment to good practice. He was also the pioneer of the family law accreditation scheme, a badge of expertise to identify specialists.

Over several decades David has been involved in crucial elements of what is now family law practice. He was joint convenor for the group of family lawyers considering the response to Brexit, regularly meeting with Ministry of Justice officials, and recommending vital changes in the law on EU departure.

He was then a primary speaker to the profession to inform about the changes on leaving the EU and author of the primary practice guidance book ‘Family Law Leaves the EU’ (LexisNexis) 2020. This text was an accessible guide to the applicable law and practice on the UK’s final departure from the EU. It bridged an important gap for family law practitioners grappling with the post Brexit era whilst fighting a world pandemic.

David was the originator and joint creator of the family law arbitration scheme, one of the key areas in which family disputes are now resolved. He was also the primary instigator of directive mediation, in which a specialist mediator has the authority to give a steer and indication to help a couple settle in mediation, particularly when a difficult issue arises in a case.

David Hodson said: “I am delighted to receive this honour. I have throughout my career been keen to make the law more accessible, fairer, and understandable to all, to keep cases out-of-court wherever possible, to encourage good settlement-orientated practice and to share my knowledge. I have had the privilege of working in leading and cutting-edge firms and alongside some incredible colleagues. Family breakdown is dreadful for everyone concerned. Resolving disputes from that breakdown should make it easier for family members with fair solutions, not harder and more painful. I have through many ways tried to bring this about in practice”.

Paula Fox 
The International Family Law Group LLP 
© March 2022