Formed Lord Chancellor, Conservative MP Sir Robert Buckland KC, who is now head of policy and senior counsel at Payne Hicks Beach, stated that whilst he was proud to have helped with the reforms that created no-fault divorce, which came into force in April 2022, there still remains ‘unfinished business’ when it comes to the reforms.

The event was a discussion on divorce law reform that he and Baroness Shackleton were co-hosting alongside Baroness Deech (Ruth Deech being the former Bar Standards Board chair).

The Law Commission announced back in April 2023 that it had begun working on financial remedies on divorce, with the aim of publishing a scoping paper in November. That particular announcement came a year after the government had promised to deliver a review “within a matter of weeks”.

Buckland added:

“As much as I love the Law Commission – I love them so much I made sure they were funded properly – I’m not sure that will move things along to the pace and scale we want.”

Shackleton expressed that she wished to see progress on reforms to make pre-nuptial agreements legally binding. Adding that the law should help people understand their commitments and the consequences of their behaviour if they break the contract.

Baroness Deech, who reintroduced a bill in 2019 that was considered controversial as it reformed the way the courts deal with financial settlements, stated that she thought enacting pre-nuptial agreements into law would save cost, make mediation easier and significantly free up the courts.

Solicitor-now-mediator Helen Adam, chair of the Family Solutions Group, told the event that “many clients have come to her ‘terrified’ because of uncertainty and unpredictability in the law.”