PANKAJ
PATHAK

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 in 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, in cases where third parties have intervened and in cases where there has been dissipation by a party of matrimonial assets.   

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 has represented many clients in mediations. 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’s extensive experience as a financial remedies barrister gives him 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 nor to have wait a long time for a court hearing date.  Court proceedings can be upsetting 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.

What instructing solicitors say:

Pankaj’s impressive skill set combines intellectual rigour with pragmatic advice. His peerless advocacy, particularly in cross-examination, means that Pankaj’s instruction at any stage of proceedings is highly recommended.”

Pankaj is an exceptional family barrister who has a keen eye for the essential details of every case as well as being a firm advocate at court.  He is also exceptional with clients, explaining complex issues and difficult arguments in a clear, approachable, and thorough manner.”

"Pankaj is my go too barrister. I can rely on Pankaj at every stage to support and nurture the case. He is adored by clients and it is easy to see why as he has a wonderful way of ensuring they understand their position and their options without bombarding them with confusing legal jargon. Clients feel like they are really listened to and that they can trust Pankaj to portray their case in absolutely the right way. He has a calm and measured presence that fills clients with confidence but maintains a professional wit that can instantly help them feel relaxed.He draws on his vast experience to help his clients find the best possible solution to their case, a solution that will work long term. He is also able to identify any weaknesses in a case quickly and this is invaluable especially at the outset of a case."

Qualifications: MA (Cantab), LL.M London