Businesses on divorce

Businesses can form part of what a court deals with on divorce. If handled badly, these cases can be damaging and disruptive to the business. Resolving these issues requires a high degree of skill. That’s where we come in: our expert family solicitors have unrivalled experience in this area.

Finding creative solutions for businesses on divorce

When couples are divorcing, if a business belongs to one spouse, the other can ask for its ownership to be transferred or its assets sold. In this case, specialist legal advice is needed.

We have unique experience in this area. Our family and divorce lawyers probably deal with more family owned businesses during divorces than any other firm.

We get to grips with your unique issues from the start. We draw on our experience to give you a realistic idea of what is going to be involved, and then we advise you on how to achieve your goals.

Whichever spouse we act for, we try to ensure that a solution can be reached quickly and cost effectively, and we try to keep you out of the courts.

If a case does go to court – and many do – using the best forensic accountants and the best counsel, as well as working with our leading commercial and tax lawyers, makes all the difference.

We also advise families in advance on how to protect a business in the event of a divorce. This may involve preparing a pre-nuptial agreement for the next generation, or structuring the company differently.


Our family and divorce lawyers 

  • All of our 29 family solicitors have experience in dealing with businesses on divorce. 
  • We combine the right expertise from across our family law team in order to keep legal fees to a minimum. Junior family solicitors will often pull together the detail, while a senior solicitor or partner will direct the case and focus on your key strategic objectives. 
  • Drawing on the experience and know-how of our large, national family law team makes a significant difference – because each case is so different, sharing ideas between our experienced lawyers means we can create new solutions when needed. 
  • We also offer the expertise of our specialist commercial lawyers as well as our trust and tax experts. If a case has to be brought to trial, having the backup of a large commercial firm is critical. The logistics of running a commercial case are formidable, and should not be underestimated. 
  • Our senior family lawyers have written extensively on the technical difficulties of business cases on divorce and have a national reputation for their expertise in this area within the legal profession.

Our experience working with businesses on divorce

All our lawyers have experience in acting for business owners and their families. From small, owner managed businesses to large scale companies, we draw on our experience to give clear advice from the outset. Because each business is different, it is crucial to understand the commercial, realities right from the start. What is going to be involved? What is going to happen to the business and how might the business be affected?

Examples of our experience include:

  • Advising spouses involved in a complex business structure with family trust arrangements and subsidiary companies 
  • Working as a mediator in a business case involving a business and assets worth £10 million: successfully resolved after five mediation sessions 
  • Acting in a collaborative law case involving a major plc, and the impact of a potential sale of shares worth approximately £20 million: successfully resolved after four meetings 
  • Negotiating a split of assets involving an AIM listed company – negotiations centred around how to achieve equality, how the assets should be treated and what its potential future worth might be 
  • Acting on behalf of the beneficiaries of various offshore trusts that owned companies and investments worth in excess of £200 million, which was litigated in the High Court and successfully concluded

Our clients

Typically, our clients are the owners of private companies or businesses, as well as professional partnerships – or those married to them. Our clients also include: 

  • Professional trustees, with family offices and complex corporate structures, both onshore and offshore 
  • Owners of property investment companies – where the tax implications, especially if raising capital on divorce, are considerable 
  • Serial entrepreneurs – sometimes part of a generational business, which is being built up for the long term benefit of the family

What our clients and others say about us

Our family solicitors are regarded nationally as market leaders. We are highly rated in both Chambers UK and Legal 500 directories, following independent research. Comments about our family law team from clients and peers include the following:

  • “Mills & Reeve LLP has a superb reputation …” (Legal 500) 
  • “The team at Mills & Reeve is ‘prompt’, ‘careful’, and ‘co-operative’ and provides an ‘excellent service’.” (Legal 500) 
  • “… provides an ‘excellent level of service’ to high-net-worth and high-profile clients.” (Legal 500) 
  • “… offers ‘a service which compares well with leading London firms’.” (Legal 500)

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