Cel­e­brat­ing forty years in the law

Chris­tine Barker is Manch­ester Man­ag­ing Part­ner and Head of Fam­ily & Mat­ri­mo­nial at Lay­tons LLP and is de­scribed by The Le­gal 500 as a “fan­tas­tic mix of sound ad­vice, com­pas­sion and drive”

Cheshire Life - - Scene & Heard -

Chris­tine is a highly sought-af­ter fam­ily lawyer with a spe­cial­ist prac­tice in Lon­don, Manch­ester and the sur­round­ing re­gions. An undis­puted leader in her field, Chris­tine has acted for well-known per­son­al­i­ties in all as­pects of their di­vorce and as­so­ci­ated pro­ceed­ings, whilst keep­ing these clients’ af­fairs out of the me­dia spot­light.

Chris­tine lives in Hale with her hus­band Kevin, with whom she re­cently cel­e­brated her 40th wed­ding an­niver­sary. They have two chil­dren, Francesca and James.

Now cel­e­brat­ing 40 years in the le­gal pro­fes­sion, Chris­tine is known for her abil­ity to ad­vise on emerg­ing and cut­ting-edge is­sues in fam­ily and mat­ri­mo­nial law, in­clud­ing act­ing in the high-pro­file case Fournier v Fournier which re­formed the law on pe­ri­od­i­cal pay­ments and is still cited to­day on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

What has changed in the last 40 years?

In re­cent years, we have seen a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the size, scope and num­ber of same-sex mar­riage mat­ters, bring­ing with them a raft of novel is­sues. To en­sure we achieve a suc­cess­ful out­come for our clients we have had to use novel strate­gies in more un­con­ven­tional di­vorce cases. The law never stands still!

What led you to pur­sue a ca­reer in the law?

I think it was my de­sire and hope that I would be able to help peo­ple and I thought that do­ing that by way of hav­ing a ca­reer in fam­ily law was the way for­ward. My clients are all in­di­vid­u­als and all have their own in­di­vid­ual prob­lems. There are dif­fi­cul­ties and some par­tic­u­lar cases have been trau­matic es­pe­cially where chil­dren are in­volved. In help­ing them solve their prob­lems I hope that I then im­prove their lives. This makes the job worth­while and cer­tainly re­ward­ing al­though at times, a lit­tle hec­tic.

One thing the law has taught me is that there is al­ways a way for­ward. You have to look to­wards the ul­ti­mate goal and work your way through the dif­fi­cul­ties. That way you will get there in the end. De­spite hav­ing done the job for 40 years I haven’t lost any of my pas­sion and en­thu­si­asm. I am still as de­ter­mined as the day I first started to achieve the ab­so­lute best out­come for all my clients.

Fi­nally what would you be do­ing if not for the law?

I would have been a his­to­rian - I ab­so­lutely love it!

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