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David Hodson OBE MCIArb


David Hodson is a Partner and co-founder of The International Family Law Group LLP.

David is a highly experienced family law dispute resolution specialist, especially involving an international element or complex assets or issues. 

  • English solicitor (1978 and accredited 1996)
  • Mediator (1997)
  • Family arbitrator and Member Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb) (2002)
  • Deputy District Judge sitting at the Central Family Court, London (1995)
  • Australian (NSW) solicitor and barrister (2003) and mediator
  • Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 2014
  • Visiting Professor at the University of Law (ULaw) 2015
  • Honorary Professor at the University of Leicester 2017 

David is one of the world's leading family lawyers and regarded as one of the most innovative family lawyers of his generation.

  • He was the originator and a creator of family arbitration in England and Wales, now emulated in other countries
  • He was instrumental in the 1990s in the creation of the English Family Law Accreditation Scheme
  • He was co-founder in 1995 of the world's first multi-disciplinary metropolitan family law practice, combining lawyers, mediators and counsellors, and now much copied around the world
  • He was co-founder in 2007 of the world's first law firm dedicated to international families and their children, with many law firms worldwide subsequently setting up specialist international units
  • He is author of the leading textbook on international family law, now in 5th edition
  • In The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2014 David was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his 'Services to International Family Law'.

After training and qualifying in Southampton, David spent 10 years at City of London law firms. David was a partner in City of London firm Theodore Goddard as head of their family law department and then Frere Cholmonley Bischoff (later Eversheds). In 1995, he was joint founder of probably the world’s first metropolitan practice to combine family lawyers, mediators and counsellors and with an emphasis on a conciliatory and holistic approach. It was subsequently copied in many practices across the world. From 2003 to 2005 he worked in Sydney for a leading family law firm, qualifying as an Australian lawyer. He retains his entitlement to practice as a solicitor and barrister in Australia.

In 2007 he co-founded iFLG with Ann Thomas, the world's first law firm specifically dedicated to serving international families and their children and families with international, foreign assets.

He is past chair of the Resolution/Solicitors Family Law Association’s Financial Provision Reform Committee, Training Committee and Good Practice Committee and a founder member of its International Committee. He was a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol Committee. He is a member of the Family Justice Council International Committee. He is past vice chair of the UK College of Family Mediators, the umbrella organisation for family mediation. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He was chair of the Family Law Review group of the Centre for Social Justice which in July 2009 produced a report, 'Every Family Matters', a ground breaking set of major reforms of all aspects of family law, in order to support families, marriage and children. It has been well received and parts have been endorsed by the political parties and others involved in family law and has prompted changes in the law. In 2014 he was made a Fellow of the Centre for Social Justice.

In November 2011 he received the prestigious inaugural Jordans 'Family Law Commentator of the Year' award for his outstanding contribution to commentary on family law matters, as voted by family lawyers.

He is author and editor of 'The International Family Law Practice' 2016 published by Family Law LexisNexis (fifth edition), the definitive textbook on the international aspects of family law work. With Ann Thomas, he is co-author of 'When Cupids Arrow crosses National Boundaries: A Guide for International Families' 2017 published by iFLG (fourth edition), a simple Q&A guide for people who wish to distil the complexities of international family law issues. Both publications are available via iFLG.

He is also author of 'Divorce Reform: a Guide for Lawyers and Mediators' 1996 published by Sweet & Maxwell, 'The Business of Family Law' 1992 published by Family Law LexisNexis, 'SFLA/Resolution Guide to International Family Law' and consulting editor of 'Butterworth’s Family Law in Europe'.

He is an Accredited Family Law Specialist (with portfolios in Substantial Assets and International Cases), a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a past trustee of Marriage Resource, a Fellow of the Centre for Social Justice and a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia. He has been a member of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship since his days as a trainee solicitor.

He has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Law Commission in respect of their work on 'Marital Agreements, Matrimonial Property and Needs', and of the Advisory Board of the Financial Services Authority on provision of information for separating and divorcing couples.

In 2015, David was appointed a Visiting Professor of the University of Law and in 2017 he was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Leicester. These appointments do not affect his day-to-day casework and other professional commitments.

David has written and spoken extensively on family law including many conferences abroad. 

‘iFLG was established by David Hodson and Ann Thomas, who have both remained among the very best family law solicitors for many years. They have built up a formidable team‘

‘David Hodson is very collaborative, solutions focused, knowledgeable and knows what he is doing‘

‘David Hodson is a legend in family law circles. He is calm, reassuring and generally right. There are few partners who deal with international financial work with his level of gravitas and knowledge. He is a stellar individual‘
The Legal 500 2021

David Hodson is "no doubt one of the leading figures in International Family Law," according to a peer.

Hodson has expertise in international matrimonial finance matters. He also sits as a part-time deputy district judge. A fellow family lawyer says Hodson is a "very detailed man; he looks after his clients extremely well."
Chambers HNW UK 2020

'Top Recommended Lawyer'
Spear's Family Law Index 2020

'David Hodson has an exceptional knowledge of international family law and procedure'

'He is a one-man encyclopaedia on Brexit and its potential impact on international clients. He is a trusted and respected speaker and writer'

'David has immense international experience not just academic but enormous practical experience'. David is also noted as being a 'stand out individual'.

'David is one of the most talented & experienced family and civil mediators in the land and beyond'. Furthermore, 'there is no better team for mediation involving international families. David is hugely experienced not only in law and mediation but the cultural issues that can impact on the resolution of a dispute'. David is recommended particularly 'for financial mediation'.

'David Hodson has the intellectual rigour to get to grips with the most complex cases involving foreign jurisdictions, tax, business interests and has the advantage of sitting as a part-time DDJ'
The Legal 500 UK 2020

'Impeccable knowledge of the field of family law' and for 'his encyclopaedic knowledge about international aspects'.
Chambers HNW UK 2019

'Very sharp, very reliable and very helpful. If anyone can get a settlement he can'.

'London's leading international family law specialist...particularly known for cases involving Australia'.

'As a mediator he is very capable of ensuring that clients arrive at a very clear, detailed and workable settlement. He is known for his tenacity and his very strong knowledge of the law'.
The Legal 500 UK 2018

'Leading Individual'
The Legal 500 UK 2017

If you would like to contact David please click here.

Specialist Appointments/Qualifications

  • Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA/resolution) Good Practice Committee, Chair
  • SFLA Training Committee, Chair
  • SFLA Ancillary Relief Reform Committee, Chair
  • SFLA National Committee, Member (8 years)
  • SFLA International Committee, Founder Member
  • President’s International Committee, Member
  • Family Law Review Group of Centre for Social Justice, Chair
  • Law Society’s Financial Provision Reform Committee and Protocol Committee, Member
  • SFLA Directive ADR Working Party, Chair
  • UK College of Family Mediators, Elected Governor and Vice Chair
  • International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Centre for Social Justice, Fellow
  • European Justice Observatory, Vice Chair
  • Marriage Resource, Trustee
  • Lawyers Christian Fellowship, Member and Convenor of Family Law Section
  • English Law Society, Member
  • Law Council of Australia (Family Law Section), Member
  • NSW Law Society, Member
  • Law Asia, Member
  • Australian Institite of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators
  • Advisory Board, Law Commission (Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements project), Member
  • Advisory Board, Financial Services Authority (provision of information for separating and divorcing couples), Member
  • Member of The International Society of Family Law
  • Visiting Professor University of Law