Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach

Philip McGuirk Philip McGuirk

Philip McGuirk

Prior to joining Payne Hicks Beach in 2000 Philip practiced as a partner with James & Sarch of Gray's Inn where he qualified and where his practice was principally family law and general litigation.


Since 2000 Philip's practice has been exclusively family law. On the contentious side Philip is regularly instructed in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes involving high net worth individuals in relation to which he has considerable experience. More often than not his cases will have an international dimension. Philip also deals with private children work.

On the non-contentious side, Philip advises in relation to pre and post nuptial agreements, cohabitation contracts and, in conjunction with the firm's tax and trust department, asset protection.

Cases of interest include:

  • MA-H -v- ZS [2012] EWHC 3271 (Fam) (Part III MFPA 1984 claim following Saudi Arabian divorce (talaq) [see H -v- S below].  Decision of Baron J).
  • H -v- S (Recognition of Overseas Divorce) [2011] EWHC B23 (Fam) (recognition under s.46(1) FLA 1986 of a Saudi Arabian divorce (talaq) for the purposes of English divorce and connected proceedings).
  • V -v- V (Prenuptial Agreement) [2011] EWHC 3230 (Fam) (treatment of pre-nuptial agreement in the Court's discretionary exercise post Granatino; notably, Charles J.'s view that Granatino "effectively adds another rationale or principled approach to the reasoning to be applied in the judgmental or balancing exercise demanded by the statutory test, namely that weight should be given to autonomy").
  • B -v- B (Ancillary Relief) [2010] 2 FLR 887 (Jersey trust case : principal question, the extent, if at all, assets held in Jersey Trust - in two sub funds - "financial resources" within the meaning of s 25 of the Act).
  • Judge -v- Judge [2009] 1 FLR 1287 CA (Mistake / (alleged) non-disclosure case. Potential liability estimated and left with H (range, nil to £14.5 million) Crystallised liability much smaller. Whether W could set aside Order on basis of mistake / non-disclosure).
  • Corbett -v- Corbett [2003] 2 FLR 385 CA (Enforcement / Judgment Summons).
  • Attar -v- Attar (No's 1 & 2) [1985] FD 649 & 653 (short marriage case : 6 months marriage / 6 weeks cohabitation; H Saudi Arabian multi millionaire; enormous disparity in wealth; computation of rehabilitative lump sum).

Chambers & Partners UK legal directory recommends Philip and writes that "Philip is noted for his expertise in both matrimonial finance and private children law matters, as well as his handling of pre and post nuptial and cohabitation agreements".  Also, according to impressed interviewees, Philip is “very knowledgeable” and “thoroughly level-headed”. He is described in Chambers HNW Guide as “tremendously clever…he is a good lawyer and a good person”. Philip is also recommended by The Legal 500 UK which notes that he is "hugely able and experienced".

Qualified 1985, joined Payne Hicks Beach 2000, partner 2000.

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