2011 - News Articles

Conveyancing Quality Status

December 2011

Dawson Cornwell are delighted to have been accredited as a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme – the mark of excellence for the home buying process.

Dawson Cornwell underwent rigorous assessment by the Law Society in order to secure CQS status, which marks the firm out as meeting high standards in the residential conveyancing process. Stephen Harker (Managing Partner and Head of the Property Department) is delighted to have secured CQS status as it is a recognition of the high standards the firm provides to its residential property clients and is a signal to future homebuyers of the excellent service level provided by Dawson Cornwell.

Mount Kilimanjaro charity climb

December 2011

Lisette Dupré reached the summit of Kilimanjaro on 31 December 2011 in aid of the charity Reunite.


Family Law Firm of the Year 2011

December 2011

Dawson Cornwell has been named family law firm of the year 2011 as part of the Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2011.

These awards recognise the achievements of law firms and individuals who have engaged and responded most successfully to the demands being placed on them in the new post-recession business environment and the recent economic turmoil. Over the past 6 months the Lawyer Monthly research team collected and collated votes through their online voting form.

Managing partner, Stephen Harker has said "the staff and partners at Dawson Cornwell work extremely hard to raise and maintain the firm’s profile and to give the best possible service to our clients especially in our international work and it is a testament to them and their dedication that we should be given this award".

IKWRO True Honour Awards 2011

December 2011

Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE has been awarded one of two true honour awards by the Iran and Kurdish Womens’ Rights organisation (IKWRO). There were 14 nominees for the two awards and Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE was said to have championed the rights of the victims of "honour" based violence and forced marriage. Her work in this field began in 1997 in the case of re KR where the court recognised the need to protect the victims of forced marriage despite the lack of any legislation. Since then she has repatriated over 50 forced marriage victims back to the United Kingdom and has prevented the removal of many more. In 2009 Anne-Marie brought one of the first cases under the new Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act before the High Court and established that English courts could make protection orders in respect of non-British victims who are overseas.


Second annual Peter Clark prize

November 2011

On 24th November 2011 Rebecca Hazeldine, winner of the second annual Peter Clark Prize, was presented with the £2,000 award at Dawson Cornwell's offices.

This award was established in honour of Peter Clark, a partner at Dawson Cornwell from 1993 until his death in April 2010. Senior partner John Cornwell said : "Peter's contribution to his clients, this firm and to the field of Family Law was immense. We trust that this prize goes a little way to recognising that and to inspire young lawyers to emulate him."

Press release

Annual congress of the Union Internationale des Avocats

November 2011

Carolina Marín Pedreño attended the 55th annual congress of the Union Internationale des Avocats in Miami which took place between 31st October and 4th November 2011. An extensive programme covered a huge range of international legal issues.


Surrogacy in Ireland

November 2011

Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE comments in the Irish Times on the lack of surrogacy legislation in Ireland.


Supreme Court case

October 2011

Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE provides pro-bono support in ground breaking Supreme Court Case condemning use of immigration policy in forced marriage cases.

Press release

Family Solicitor of the Year shortlist

October 2011

Dawson Cornwell are delighted to announce that Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE has been shortlisted in the category of Family Law Solicitor of the Year in the Jordans Publishing Family Law Awards 2011.

ERA Annual Conference in Trier

September 2011

Russell Bywater and Ischtar Khalaf-Newsome attended the ERA Annual Conference in Trier on 29 and 30 September 2011 which focused on recent changes in European family law.

Conference programme

Alternative Families Show 2011

September 2011

Dawson Cornwell were proud to be the official legal partner in this year’s Alternative Families Show which took place at the Connaught Rooms near Covent Garden on 17th September 2011. This year’s show saw over 40 exhibitors and a whole array of seminars from some participants. The show's headline sponsor was The London Women’s Clinic and it was organised by Square Peg Media.

As legal partner Dawson Cornwell presented a number of seminars and discussion groups during the course of the day. Anne-Marie Hutchinson spoke on the international aspects of parenthood with a number of other legal experts; she also spoke on the subject of gay Dads with Sam Dick from Stonewall and chaired a discussion group on support networks for those new and future parents and the choices and assistance available to them; Rhiannon Lewis chaired a session entitled Making Arrangements for you and your Family which covered subjects such as cohabitation, civil partnerships, pre-registration agreements, property and inheritance.

Dawson Cornwell is pleased to announce that it will be official legal partner of next year’s show which will be known as the Alternative Parenting Show also to be held at the Connaught Rooms on Saturday 15th September 2012.

2011 website

Queensland International Law Conference

September 2011

Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE spoke at the 26th annual Family Law Conference in Queensland, Australia where she addressed Hague Convention matters from an international perspective, subsequently chairing a discussion group on surrogacy

Brochure and programme

International Family Law Conference

September 2011

Dawson Cornwell were co-sponsors of this conference which took place on 6th September 2011 organised by Jordans Publishing Limited and at which Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE spoke about Surrogacy from an international perspective. This conference was designed to give practitioners an overview on advising in international family law disputes.

Conference programme

Article in Matrimonial Conveyancing

June 2011

Read property partner Stephen Harker's article on the overlap between property and family lawyers in Matrimonial Conveyancing.


LAWASIA Conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia

May 2011

On 29th May 2011, Rhiannon Lewis addressed the 4th Children & The Law Conference organised by Lawasia, held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Rhiannon spoke at a session chaired by Linda Heathfield of Ip & Heathfield, Hong Kong on the topic of maintenance for children. Her co-speakers were Justin Dowd, Senior Vice President of the Law Society of New South Wales and partner in Watts McCray Lawyers, Sydney, Akiko Sugita of Japan and Raymond Yeo of Singapore.

Rhiannon also participated in the Family Law Forum with John Pascoe, Chief Federal Magistrate, Australia, Yap Teong Liang of Singapore, Linda Heathfield of Ip & Heathfield, Hong Kong and Mikiko Otani of Japan. The Family Law Forum was chaired by Malathi Das of Singapore, President Elect of Lawasia.


Carolina Marín Pedreño wins essay prize

April 2011

The first European Chapter Annual Award for Young Family Lawyers of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, has been awarded to Carolina Marín Pedreño of London firm Dawson Cornwell.

Her prizewinning essay on the subject of "The Brussels II bis Regulation - Five Years On and Proposals for Reform" can be read here.

Marital Property Agreements

February 2011

The Law Commission has published its Consultation Paper on marital property agreements (which includes pre-nuptial, post nuptial and separation agreements).

The Consultation Paper sets out some of the arguments for and against reform of marital property agreements and examines the status and enforceability of these agreements made between spouses or civil partners. The Law Commission is seeking views on whether couples should be able to enter into marital property agreements and whether such agreements should be limited to pre-acquired, gifted or inherited property. The consultation closes on 11 April 2011.

For further information about the Consultation Paper, please click here.

Chair of Women Lawyers’ Interest Group

January 2011

In January 2011, Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE was appointed Chair of the Women Lawyers’ Interest Group of the International Bar Association. Anne-Marie Hutchinson has worked tirelessly in the field of women’s rights throughout her career, particularly in areas such as child abduction, forced marriages and abandoned spouses. In 2010 she received the International Bar Association’s Outstanding International Woman Lawyer award.