Called to the Bar in 1992
Practice Area: Family
Appointments: Deputy District Judge (Civil), August 2010
Having spent much of his earlier career practising in the broad areas of family, civil and criminal law, Pankaj has, since 2005 specialised in divorce, financial remedies and private family law cases.
Pankaj has many years of experience in the County Court and Family Court at all levels. He has acted innumerable First Directions Appointments, Financial Dispute Resolutions and contested final hearings in financial remedy cases. His experience ranges from cases where the assets are of a modest value to cases of high net worth. He has experience in dealing with cases where there are assets overseas, trusts, and in cases where third parties have intervened.
Pankaj’s experience also extends to financial disputes of unmarried couples, both under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, and Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.
Pankaj has great experience representing parents in private law cases where there is a dispute about which parent a child should live with, and where one parent wishes to relocate within the country or abroad. He has acted in many fact finding hearings in cases of domestic violence and where there are allegations of sexual assault.
Pankaj believes strongly that family conflict is dealt with best by way of resolution and, wherever possible, will adopt a conciliatory and approachable manner with opponents or with litigants in person. He will advance his client’s case fearlessly at all stages and, in a final hearing, will not hesitate to be robust and forthright in cross-examination and in his oral submissions.
Pankaj sits regularly in the civil and family courts as a Deputy District Judge. This, together, with his experience as a financial remedies barrister, gives Pankaj the skills to carry out “Private FDRs”. Pankaj will be able to offer parties an early indication of the potential outcome of their case if it goes to court. There is no need to wait for proceedings to be underway. Court lists are extremely busy and occasionally the wait for a first hearing and FDR can be months. Court proceedings are frequently traumatic and distressing, and the financial and emotional impact can often be severe. Pankaj will be impartial and will listen carefully to both sides before giving a strong indication of how the dispute should settle. The Private FDR will be completely confidential and privileged.
Parties who are interested in this service should communicate with Stephen Lavell, his senior clerk.
Pankaj has had experience of delivering seminars in a number of areas of family law.
Pankaj speaks fluent Hindi and good French, and is sensitive to the cultural issues of families from the sub-continent. Pankaj believes in negotiation wherever possible before a final hearing, but will advance his client’s case fearlessly at all stages.
Pankaj’s interests are cricket and music. He plays the piano loudly and he was (many years ago) a regular after dinner speaker to local law societies and a stand-up comedian.
Qualifications: MA (Cantab), LL.M London