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”
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!