Andrew Commins


Andrew Commins

Call 2004 (Middle Temple)
Qualifications LLB (European), Exeter LLM/Magister der Rechte, Saarland, Germany; Anglo-American Scholar 2004
Diplock Scholar 2003; Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Award 2004 (Middle Temple); Award for ‘Outstanding’ grade on Bar Vocational Course Scholar of the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (2002) Germany

Expertise


Andrew also accepts instructions in related matters under the Children Act 1989 involving allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, parental alienation, grandparent applications and expert evidence.

Recommendations

  • “A phenomenal thinker” Legal 500, Family and children law (2017)
  • “Andrew is an excellent advocate and a joy to watch in court.” Legal 500, Family and children law (2016)
  • “Andrew maintains a broad-based practice which covers all aspects of children law. He is particularly experienced in matters concerning domestic abuse. ‘He has excellent legal knowledge and gives thorough and technically detailed advice.’ ‘He is highly experienced on cases where complicated calculations are required.’ ” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2016)
  • “Andrew has a very calm and approachable manner which works very well with clients.” Legal 500, Family and Children Law (2015)
  • “Andrew focuses his practice on ancillary relief proceedings after relationship breakdowns. Despite his specialist knowledge of financial disputes, he has a wealth of experience in dealing with the heavy end of children law, including allegations of harm and abuse. ‘He is a calm and diplomatic practitioner with a real eye for detail’ ” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2015)

Andrew specialises in all matters of family finance including financial remedies on divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships, cohabitation disputes, Schedule 1 applications and related professional negligence claims.

He also has experience of cases involving farming partnerships, discretionary and constructive trusts, bankruptcy, company interests, nuptial agreements, inherited wealth, allegations of conduct and the variation of complex settlements.

Andrew handles a whole range of family finance cases from low to high-net worth and everything in-between! A snap-shot of recent cases includes:

  • Advising the trustees of discretionary family trusts holding assets in excess of £20m within a financial remedy (divorce) claim.
  • Settling a financial remedy claim involving split-shareholdings in a family company after a short marriage.
  • Advising a farming party on settlement of a financial remedy claim.
  • Representing a beneficiary-party of various £3m+ dynastic trusts in a variation of settlement application.
  • Advising and representing a client in a complex multi-property dispute involving disputed constructive and resulting trust interests.
  • Representing a payee client in a maintenance pending suit claim in which findings of dishonesty were made and adverse inferences drawn.

Recommendations

  • “Andrew is one of the go-to juniors locally and is an extremely competent and technical lawyer. When you have one of those unusual or tricky scenarios, Andrew can be relied upon to cut through the issues with clear analysis and client friendly advice.” “Andrew Commins is bright beyond his years and always manages to deliver.” Chambers UK 2018, Family/Matrimonial (2018)
  • “Andrew is well known for representing high net worth clients on significant matrimonial finance issues, and is experienced at handling cases involving pensions, companies and trusts. In addition to his litigation practice, he also works as a mediator. ‘Clients like his straightforward and practical approach to cases.’ ‘Very calm and reasonable, and has an excellent client manner’.” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2017)
  • “Andrew is an excellent advocate and a joy to watch in court.” Legal 500, Family and children law (2016)
  • “Andrew maintains a broad-based practice which covers all aspects of financial remedy proceedings. ‘He has excellent legal knowledge and gives thorough and technically detailed advice.’ ‘He is highly experienced on cases where complicated calculations are required.’ ” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2016)
  • “Andrew has a very calm and approachable manner which works very well with clients.” Legal 500, Family and Children Law (2015)
  • “Andrew focuses his practice on ancillary relief proceedings after relationship breakdowns. Despite his specialist knowledge of financial disputes, he has a wealth of experience in dealing with the heavy end of children law, including allegations of harm and abuse. ‘He is a calm and diplomatic practitioner with a real eye for detail’ ” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2015)

Practice Overview

Andrew is a family law barrister specialising in all matters of family finance including financial remedies on divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships, cohabitation disputes, Schedule 1 applications and related professional negligence claims. Andrew has experience of cases involving farming partnerships, discretionary and constructive trusts, bankruptcy, company interests, nuptial agreements, inherited wealth, allegations of conduct and the variation of complex settlements.

He also accepts instructions in related matters under the Children Act 1989 involving allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, parental alienation, grandparent applications and expert evidence.

Andrew is a contributor to the The Family Court Practice (Red Book), recently published by Jordan Publishing. His remit covers all law and procedure governing financial remedy on divorce, Schedule 1 application and claims pursuant to TLATA 1996.

Andrew is admired by his peers for his polished advocacy skills, technical ability and brilliant attention to detail.

“Well know for representing high net worth clients on significant matrimonial finance issues, and is experienced at handling cases involving pensions, companies and trusts. In addition to his litigation practice, he also works as a mediator.” Chambers UK 2018, Family/Matrimonial

Alternative dispute resolution (‘ADR’)

Andrew has worked as a mediator for four years. He offers solicitors of represented clients two bespoke forms of ADR in family finance disputes: the Represented Mediation and the Private Financial Dispute Resolution Meeting. These forms of ADR offer cost-effective, quality and responsive alternatives to lengthy and costly court proceedings.

Download brochure: Alternative Dispute Resolution

Voluntary and other work

Andrew also works in the field of human rights law, with a particular interest in cases involving the rights of families, women, girls and the LGBTI community. He has worked in Kenya as an Informal Justice Consultant for FIDA-Kenya, in London as a lawyer for Article 19 specialising in the protection of the right to freedom of expression, and he volunteers for the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre based at Middlesex University. Andrew’s work has involved drafting access to justice strategies, writing analyses of laws as against various international legal standards and advising on applications to the European Court of Human Rights.

Publications and training

Andrew is an experienced legal author. In addition to a variety of articles published on a wide range of family and human rights law topics ranging from international maintenance obligations to equal marriage rights, he is also the author of  ‘Maintenance Matters’ and he is the family-finance contributor to the Family Court Practice (‘the Red Book’). Andrew regularly provides lectures and workshops for lawyers and other professionals on the South West and Wales Circuits.

Andrew handles a whole range of family finance cases from low to high-net worth and everything inbetween!

A snap-shot of recent cases includes:

  • Advising the trustees of discretionary family trusts holding assets in excess of £20m within a financial remedy (divorce) claim.
  • Settling a financial remedy claim involving split-shareholdings in a family company after a short marriage.
  • Advising a farming party on settlement of a financial remedy claim.
  • Representing a beneficiary-party of various £3m+ dynastic trusts in a variation of settlement application.
  • Advising and representing a client in a complex multi-property dispute involving disputed constructive and resulting trust interests.
  • Representing a payee client in a maintenance pending suit claim in which findings of dishonesty were made and adverse inferences drawn.

Andrew is also qualified to undertake public access work in appropriate cases, for further information, please visit our Public Access page.