Family & Divorce
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Charmaine is regarded as an expert in English Family Law and is a Family Solicitor Arbitrator.
She is listed in eprivateclient’s 50 Most Influential solicitors 2018.
Charmaine makes every endeavour to ensure that she receives no publicity from these representations, in deference to the clients’ need for confidentiality during a period in their lives of emotional and financial turmoil.
She has particular experience in advising on big-money and big-name divorces. She is able to advise on cross-border money matters and has a particular interest in trusts and pensions. Her practice covers divorce, separation, civil partnerships, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements, children issues, abductions and international law.
Charmaine has been named as a “Distinguished Individual” in the Spear’s 2016 law index of the top 10 family lawyers.
During the 23 years she has practised family law in England, Charmaine has represented a vast number of public figures including pop stars, actors and actresses, members of parliament, well known sports men and women, TV personalities, entrepreneurs, medical practitioners, bankers, accountants and other clients who require efficient no nonsense financial advice.
She established the family team at Wedlake Bell in November 2011, which she currently leads. She previously established and headed a Legal 500 number one Family Department in the South East. She is a member of Resolution (formerly Solicitors Family Law Association) where she was one of the first accredited specialists in high net worth financial matters and child abductions, and is also accredited by Resolution as with a particular specialism in Advanced Financial Provision II. She is a past trustee of Surrey Family Mediation and a former Vice Chairman of the British South African Law Association. She is a named leading individual in London in Family Law in Chambers UK.
She is one of the few solicitor arbitrators and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is able to guide clients to a more speedy and cost effective manner of adjudicating matters rather than to resort to the court process which can be protracted and public.
Charmaine has appeared on Sky News to cover Lord Spencer’s divorce in South Africa and again in October 2010 when she debated pre-nuptial agreements. During 2013 she conducted a seminar at The Cape Law Society on jurisdiction races and the most effective court to use to ensure the best financial result possible. In 2014, she was one of the keynote speakers at The Law Society Africa Conference.
In March 2015, Charmaine was widely quoted on the Wyatt post-divorce pay out, including: BBC News, the Press Association, Mail online, the Evesham Journal, Stroud Life, the Western Daily Press and the Tewkesbury Admag alongside interviews for BBC Radio Five Live, ITV, BBC, and many other publications.
In April 2016, Charmaine was interviewed by The Divorce Magazine and she discussed family arbitration – Click here to see the full interview.
In March 2017, Charmaine addressed The Law Society of The Northern Provinces in Johannesburg, South Africa incorporating The Gauteng Law Society, Limpopo Law Society, Mpumalanga Law Society and the North west Law Society. The subject was Part 111 provisions of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 English Law and how foreign consent and divorce judgements are dealt with in the courts of England and Wales. The title was ‘Is your foreign court order unfair and can it be set aside in England?’
Charmaine read her BA and LLB degrees at the University of Natal, South Africa . She was admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa ( Durban and Coast Local Division ) in 1978. She was enrolled as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1996.
Charmaine has a number of reported cases including:
- Richardson v Richardson (2) another (1996) 2FLR617
- Armstrong v Armstrong (2003) 2FLR48
- Re B (removal from jurisdiction) (2003) BWCA Civ1149*
- Re SW v RC (2008) 1FLR1703*
- B v B (Divorce: Anti Suit Injunction)  EWHC 1711
- Tracey v Tracey  2 FLR 480
* These cases were appeal cases which were successfully appealed.
- “Government gets tough on family financial orders”, Law Society Gazette, 17 August 2018.
- “UK: Ex-wife cannot claim increased maintenance to compensate for lost capital”, STEP, 19 July 2018.
- “Supreme Court overturns Court of Appeal’s ruling on spousal maintenance case – Industry reacts”, ePrivateClient, 19 July 2018.
- “Reader’s question re: Non-disclosure of assets”, Financial Times, 14 June 2017 .
- “Divorce for international couples”, Spear’s, 14 February 2017.
- “Divorce season”, Spear’s, 8 September 2016.
- “Ask the expert section: inheritance”, Choice Magazine, 24 June 2016.
- “Asos co-founder sells shares to fund divorce settlement”, Spear’s, 21 June 2016.
- “Widow seeks half of deceased husband’s estate”, Spear’s, 16 May 2016.
- “Answer to ask the expert question”, Choice Magazine, 24 February 2016.
- “Press release re: Data Protection in divorce”, The Times’ Brief, 5 January 2016.
""The ‘hugely experienced and knowledgeable’Charmaine Hast heads the team and is ‘never phased by anything and has seen it all before’." "
— Legal 500, 2018
""She's got a huge amount of experience but she's not afraid to try different things in a case.""
— Chambers UK, 2018
""Commentators describe her as "fantastic with clients and a really good tactician,""
— Chambers UK, 2018
"Charmaine Hast is highly regarded for her ability to handle complex financial litigation, as well as her strength in collaborative proceedings."
— Chambers UK, 2018
"An outstanding practitioner, hard as nails when it counts. Soft as a feather when needed. A great character of the matrimonial legal world. A truly unique person. One of the top flight of matrimonial solicitors bringing a rare degree of commitment, judgment and intellectual acuity to this most demanding area of law. Her clients like her dedication to their causes."
— Richard Todd QC
"Wedlake Bell LLP has a ‘very busy’ practice headed by the ‘indomitable’ Charmaine Hast, who ‘works incredibly hard for her clients and gets excellent results for them – clients such as footballers, captains of industry, and the rich and famous’."
— Legal 500, 2017
“Why is London the ‘divorce capital of the world’?” – Charmaine Hast comments for The Financial Times
“Rise of women backing out of divorces as court settlements shrink” – Charmaine Hast comments for The Telegraph
Can death supersede divorce settlements?
Wedlake Bell Family Team
Should divorce affect the share price?
Camilla Wallace and Charmaine Hast Named in eprivateclient’s ’50 Most Influential’
Wedlake Bell’s family team appeared in the list for 2018 as one of eprivateclient’s Top Family Law Firms at their awards evening
UK: Ex-wife cannot claim increased maintenance to compensate for lost capital
Supreme Court overturns Court of Appeal’s ruling on spousal maintenance case – Industry reacts
Charmaine Hast’s comments are published in The Law Society Gazette