James Roberts

Principally undertakes significant matrimonial finance cases, but also handles challenging private law children matters. His cases often contain complex cross-border and trust considerations, and regularly concern very substantial, disputed assets. 
 "He is pragmatic, sensible and a formidable advocate." "He definitely has a fine brain, is very hard-working and very thorough. He fights hard and serves his clients well."
Chambers & Partners 2015

JMR Website logo 2James Roberts is a Family Law practitioner who specialises in Financial Remedy cases (including all aspects of claims between unmarried partners). He also undertakes private law children work including international relocation cases and international child abduction cases. He continues to be cited in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in family work, and in the Chambers Directory as a leading junior (Band 1) in both financial remedy and children work. He is one of the few members of the bar who are recognised as a leader in both financial and children work.

The majority of James Roberts’ Family Law practice consists of Financial Remedy matters of which he has experience at all levels.  James practises mainly in the High Court and the Central Family Court dealing with a wide variety of cases but most commonly ‘heavy’ cases involving trusts, complex company structures and international issues.  He also deals with all aspects of financial disputes between unmarried couples and has acted for applicants and respondents in a significant number of claims for financial provision under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 involving high net worth individuals and international issues.  Schedule 1 Children Act financial cases.

He advises upon and drafts pre-nuptial agreements.

He has developed a particular expertise in the area of enforcement and has been successful in a number of complex enforcement cases.

James has represented a number of ‘high profile’ clients and regularly appears with and against Leading Counsel.

James Roberts gives regular lectures on current topics in the field of Financial Remedy work and also in the field of International Child Abduction.

He sits as a Recorder (part time Judge) and is authorised to hear cases heard in the Financial Remedy Unit of the Central Family Court.

He is a Board member of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) and he sits on the Advisory Committee to IFLA. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is qualified to conduct arbitrations in family matters under the IFLA scheme. He also has experience of representing parties to arbitrations and in presenting cases under that scheme.

What the directories say:

James Roberts continues to make waves as a leading junior. While predominantly handling high-value matrimonial finance disputes, he also maintains a respected children law practice. “He exhibits fantastically strong analysis.” “He’s an outstanding advocate who understands both his clients and the realities of life and business”.  Chambers 2014

“tipped for silk” by market observers impressed with his broad family law expertise. The core of his practice is high-value matrimonial finance disputes, while in the private children law sphere he has a noted specialism in international child abduction cases. Sources relate that he is “a good, thorough advocate” who is “at the top of his game”. Chambers – 2013

 James Roberts is a popular choice for both children work and matrimonial finance. He is described as “thorough, responsive and a hugely accomplished courtroom performer.”  Chambers 2012

“…energetic and always up for the fight…” James Roberts has excellent working relationships with some of London’s leading divorce lawyers, “a good head for figures and a manner that gives clients confidence.”  Chambers 2011

“. . . climbs the rankings this year on the strength of hugely positive feedback. A “sonorous advocate of great vitality, he cuts to the core of cases and easily establishes a rapport with clients.”  Chambers & Partners 2010

‘James Roberts’ “cross-examination style is like a razor through soft flesh.” This charming individual is instructed time and again as he constitutes “a great blend of tenacity and approachability.”  Chambers & Partners 2009

“specialises in matrimonial finance, but also has a strong name in international children work. He is “extremely bright and good with the clients.”  Chambers & Partners 2008

Cases of Interest:

  • Re H [2014] EWCA Civ 1101
  • H v C [2009] EWHC 1527 (Fam)
  • S (A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 1021 (Fam)
  • Phillips v Pearce [2005] 1 WLR 3246, [2004] EWHC 3180 (Fam)
  • S v B (Abduction: Human Rights) [2005] 2 FLR 878, [2005] EWHC 733 (Fam)
  • In re P (A Child) (Abduction: Custody Rights) [2005] Fam 293, [2004] EWCA Civ 971


  • Encyclopaedia of Financial Provision in Family Matters, Wildblood & Eaton (Sweet & Maxwell 1998)

Appointments & Memberships:

  • Recorder 2009
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Board member of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators Ltd
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Executive Officer (Treasurer) of the Family Law Bar Association 2005 – to date
  • Elected Committee Member of the Family Law Bar Association 1999 – to date
  • Past Member of the Remuneration Committee of the Bar Council
  • Member of the Bar Quality Advisory Panel

Qualifications and awards:

  • Bluecoat School
  • Oriel College, Oxford MA (Jurisprudence)
  • Prince of Wales Scholar
  • Holker Scholar