Leaders List Interview: 60 seconds with Julian Ribet, Ribet Myles
Julian Ribet, a family lawyer with over 20 years’ experience, provides Citywealth with an insight into his typical day, and shares his top tips for a successful private FDR.
Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.
I’m one of the founding partners of Ribet Myles LLP, a specialist family law firm headquartered in London. I have been a specialist family lawyer for over 20 years. We are instructed by a wide range of UK-based and international clients to manage issues relating to family law and divorce. Our divorce and separation-related work includes dealing with complex financial matters such as managing, tracing and recovering both business and personal assets, dealing with significant inherited wealth, offshore trusts and trust related matters, pension sharing; disputes relating to children – including internal and international relocation; as well as drafting and advising in relation to pre – and post-nuptial arrangements.
My role includes managing my clients’ family law matters from start to finish. I work closely with my partners Alistair Myles and Laura Geraghty and other colleagues to ensure our law firm is running effectively, and that our clients are well served at all times.
Talk us through a typical day.
I start early and can often be found on the phone to clients, speaking to other family law solicitors, barristers or other experts, and thankfully now that the courts are starting to open up again attending hearings in person. I spend a lot of time speaking with clients, drafting documents, analysing financial disclosure and responding to correspondence. I put strategic work into ensuring I achieve the results that my clients want and expect but am careful to try to be realistic in managing their expectations. Because a lot of my work is international, I sometimes work unusual hours.
What is keeping your clients up at night?
Any issues relating to your family and personal life tend to be stressful. On separation and divorce, people want to feel that they are being listened to and understood and when they feel out of the loop, that can create anxiety. I try really hard to ensure that my clients sleep well at night, knowing that their divorce or whatever I’m handling for them, isn’t something they need to be thinking about at midnight. I try to ensure that my clients go to sleep knowing that we are on their side and are going to fight their corner but are also pragmatic and commercial in our approach to resolving their issues in a timely and cost effective manner.
What are your top tips for a successful private FDR?
You need to have a Judge who is prepared to express a clear view and will not sit on the fence. Both they and the lawyers on both sides have to be willing and able to give advice to the clients that they may not want to hear. Preparation and being on top of the papers is fundamental. You need to have a detailed grasp of the finances and assets in dispute. Also understanding with real clarity what success looks like to the client. Finally, going into the FDR with a willingness to look at and negotiate on a wide range of different issues. Being able to identify and manage the real issues at play in an empathetic way using creative solutions is really important.
Best and worst parts of your job?
Securing the best possible outcome for a client; particularly in litigated matters which can really bring out the worst in people. Helping somebody to move on with their life after what is probably one of their most stressful experiences is very rewarding. I have later been referred work by the other party on several occasions which is particularly satisfying.
The worst part is the appalling delay which is endemic in the court system and dealing with litigants who just want to cause trouble and who don’t engage in settlement or with the court process, or worse, simply refuse to comply with court orders.
Most memorable work moment?
I have been lucky enough to be involved in a number of cases which have changed or clarified the law.
What should clients know about you before selecting you as their lawyer?
I have a strong sense of justice and am fair minded. I try to (and do) settle the vast majority of my cases without having to go to court but, where necessary I fight the good fight in court proceedings to get the best possible results for every single one of my clients. I try to be realistic in managing clients’ expectations from the outset so that they do not waste their money trying to achieve an outcome that is not possible.