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Ben Parry-Smith

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Ben does family law because he cares about fairness, families and the children affected by relationship breakdown. He also enjoys the intellectual challenges: whether tackling trusts, difficult valuation issues or complex medical evidence. Oxford educated, Mishcon trained and Shackleton honed; Ben advises on all aspects of family law as calmly, clearly and cheerfully as possible: children, divorce/civil partnership, co-habitation, pre/post nuptial agreements, complex financial disputes and jurisdictional issues. Much of his work has an international element. Ben is described as “sharp and thoughtful, with an inventive mind which looks for and finds creative but positive solutions to the cases that he is involved in.”

He has dealt with abductions, the relocation of children and on matters involving same-sex parents. Ben has experience of dealing with cases where decision-making capacity is an issue and often acts in cases involving trusts (for beneficiaries, claimants or the trustees themselves).


Ben has worked on the leading case involving “special contribution”, as part of the team representing HRH Princess Haya and recently on a case where his client received far more than half the substantial marital pot to meet her needs. He has a broad practice and experience at all court levels. He is one of a handful of lawyers doing heavy weight financial and complex children work. He has considerable experience addressing domestic abuse of all types and in obtaining injunctions. Ben is familiar with Sharia family law concepts. Over the years, he has acted for all sorts of people in all sorts of predicaments from all over the world.

Ben read law at Merton College, Oxford. He trained at Mishcon de Reya and joined Payne Hicks Beach on qualification in 2008. He became a partner in 2018.

Between 2009 and 2013 Ben delivered a legal aid and legal skills training project at the National University of Rwanda. Ben has recently led a cross-profession and multidisciplinary initiative to assist vulnerable clients and those working with them.

He is listed in all the major directories including the Spear’s Family Lawyers Index.

To learn more about divorce and separation visit our dedicated webpage and download our guide.

  • Chambers UK 2024: Ben is ranked under Family/Matrimonial Finance: Ultra High Net Worth.
  • The Legal 500 UK 2024: Ben is ranked as a “Leading Indivdual” – “Ben Parry-Smith is first rate. His pro-active strategic leadership of his team and of the client’s cases is particularly effective. His client management skills (particularly for high-net-worth clients) are especially impressive, and borne out in the demonstrably strong and trusting working relationships that he achieves with them, counsel and opponents.”
  • Chambers HNW 2023: Ben is listed as a “Leading Individual” – Ben Parry-Smith advises on high-value divorce proceedings and nuptial agreements. “Ben is a brilliant member of the PHB team. He always offers direct, considered and realistic advice to the client behind closed doors, but is equally willing to fight hard for their corner should there be a need to do so. An all-round star lawyer and the future of PHB.” “Ben is a leader in his generation of partners nationally. He’s already dealing with some of the biggest cases and with unparalleled experience.”
  • Chambers UK 2023: Ben is listed as a “Leading Individual” – Ben Parry-Smith acts on a broad range of family law matters, from cohabitation disputes and nuptial agreements to relocation and jurisdictional issues. He has additional experience in cohabitation and civil partnership issues.
  • The Legal 500 UK 2023: Ben is ranked as a “Next Generation Partner” – “Ben Parry-Smith is sensible yet tenacious.” “urbane, exudes confidence, a sophisticated approach to the knottiest of problems.” “Ben Parry-Smith – a partner whose star is in the ascendant, clients love him and he gets on well with the other side, which often takes the heat out of a case.”
  • Chambers HNW 2022: Ben is ranked as a “Leading Individual” – “He is a really excellent lawyer. He’s very clever, very pragmatic and very good with clients. He can synthesise complex advice into easy-to-understand language,” “He’s very effective, has an easy manner about him and he applies ideas beautifully. He is very thoughtful, creative and efficient.” “He fights his client’s corner but is very fair and pragmatic in his approach.”
  • The Legal 500 UK 2022:  Ben is ranked as a “Next Generation Partner”. “sharp and thoughtful, with an inventive mind which looks for and finds creative but positive solutions to the cases that he is involved in”  “a ball of energy, engaging, committed and commercially savvy. Can charm the birds out of the trees, a great skill in this area
  • Chambers HNW 2021: Ben is listed as a “Leading Individual” – “incredibly good at putting clients at ease.”  “He can talk equally well to financially naive people and titans of industry.” Parry-Smith represents high net worth clients in complex divorce and children matters. An interviewee notes: “He is great, he is always very thorough. He has a very tactical brain.”
  • Chambers UK 2021: Ben is listed as a “Leading Individual” – “Ben is exceptionally bright and intelligent, one step ahead of the other side all the way through. I cannot speak highly enough of the personal attention that he gave to the matter at hand and the smaller details and his tactical awareness. He is absolutely great.” “He is extremely energetic and confident. He is very enthusiastic and gives you a great deal of confidence; he instils confidence by his mastery of the case.”
  • The Legal 500 UK 2021: Ben is listed as a “Next Generation Partner” – Ben Parry-Smith attracts great confidence from clients.”
  • Chambers HNW 2020: Ben is listed as “Up & Coming”  – Ben Parry-Smith advises on the full range of family law cases and is “someone who has the most extraordinary energy for cases,” a source says, adding that “he goes above and beyond the call of duty for his clients and he has great instincts for cases.” A London barrister says Parry-Smith “instils confidence by his mastery of the case.”
  • Chambers HNW 2019: Ben is listed as “Up & Coming”  – “Class act and star of the future”  Ben Parry-Smith advises high net worth individuals on all aspects of family law. He is described as “extremely personable and charming and courteous” by barristers he works with. Another source enthuses: “Ben has an enormous amount of energy that he brings to cases, and clients clearly love him for it. He gets things done fast and this often steals a march on his opponents. He has a charming manner and much more experience than his level of solicitor would ordinarily have. He is used to dealing with high-profile clients and is not at all fazed by their at times obscure demands and requests.”
  • Chambers UK 2019: Ben is listed as “Up & Coming” – one source commends his “cracking judgment”, adding: “even at the early stages, his instinctive feel for a case is very strong”
  • The Legal 500 UK 2019: ranked as a Recommended Lawyer – Newly promoted partner Ben Parry-Smith is “supremely competent and gifted at negotiation”
  • Spear’s 500 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024:  Ben is listed in the current 2024 edition as “Top Recommended” with a focus on child relocation/abduction and divorce. He has received accolades for many years in the publication as “Recommended” and “Rising Star Family Lawyer: Young Turk” with a focus on high value remedies, complex finances and private children law.  Ben is described as having “spotless credentials”
  • The Lawyer Hot 100 2019: Ben is listed in The Hot 100 Litigators 2019
  • Spear’s Family Law Index 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024:  “Top Recommended” in the current 2024 edition and earlier listings as “Recommended” and “Rising Star Family Lawyer: Young Turk”
  • The Legal 500 UK 2017: listed as a “Next Generation Lawyer” and comments that “the fearless, charming and pragmatic Ben Parry-Smith punches well above his weight and already does top-quality work – he is one to watch”

  • Y v Z [2024] EWFC 4 (16 January 2024)
  • AS v RS [2024] EWFC 32 (B)
  • AS v RS [2023] EWFC 284 (B)
  • AS v RS (Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act: Part III Application) [2023] EWFC 283 (B)
  • HO v TL [2023] EWFC 215 (01 December 2023)
  • AS v CS (Private FDR) [2021] EWFC 34
  • Al M:
  • The Legal Services Order [2021] EWHC 303;
  • Court of Appeal Foreign Act of State Judgment [2021] EWCA Civ 129;
  • Re Al M – Approved judgment [2021] EWHC 915;
  • The Immunities Judgment [2021] EWHC 660;
  • The Fact Finding Judgment – Hacking [2021] EWHC 1162;
  • The Court of Appeal Immunities (permission to appeal) Judgment [2021] EWCA Civ 890;
  • The Lives With judgment [2021] EWHC 1577;
  • The Court of Appeal Fact Finding (permission to appeal) Judgment [2021] EWCA Civ 900;
  • The Court of Appeal Fact Finding Judgment [2021] EWCA Civ 1216;
  • The Non-Molestation Judgment [2021] EWHC 3305;
  • The Foreign Act of State Judgment [2020] EWHC 2883;
  • Publication judgment [2020] EWHC 122;
  • Assurances and Waiver judgment [2020] EWHC 67;
  • Publication –  Appeal [2020] EWCA Civ 283;
  • Fact finding judgment [2019] EWHC 3415.
  • TP v PRBP [2018] EWHC 2433 (Fam) (High Court): the Court was concerned with whether the husband (acting in person) lacked mental capacity to conduct litigation
  • Work v Gray (Court of Appeal) [2017] EWCA Civ 270
  • X v X [2016] EWHC 3512 (Fam): considering whether a previous judgment should remain anonymised
  • X v X (application for a financial remedies order) [2016] EWHC 1995 (Fam)
  • Work v Gray (Phase II: Computation and Distribution) [2016] EWHC 562
  • Work v Gray [2015] EWHC 834 (Fam)
  • Chai v Khoo (aka Peng) [2014] EWHC 1519 (Fam)