David is a Chartered Legal Executive with over 25 years of experience in private practice locally, mostly as a family law specialist. He joined The Family Law Company in 2002 and became a Director of the firm in 2015. His extensive experience makes him well qualified to represent clients in relation to all areas of family law including divorce, finance and private law children matters, as well as high value finance and complex children matters.
David heads our specialist team advising cohabitees in relation to their rights. He represents unmarried clients who are separating, to resolve disputes relating to property and business, financial provision for children and associated issues. He also advises unmarried clients in relation to the preparation of Cohabitation Agreements and, for those planning to marry, Pre-Nuptial Agreements. He is the author of a comprehensive guide to cohabitation Living Together and the Law (published in 2016 by RHE Media Limited).
David says: ‘I was drawn to this area of practice because I am concerned about the widespread misconceptions about the rights of cohabitees and the unsatisfactory state of the law in this area. I wanted to ensure that people in these situations are treated justly. My tip for former cohabitees in dispute is to make sure your legal representative is a specialist in this area. These cases are very fact sensitive, so it is important to identify the issues from the outset, act swiftly to protect your position and the rights of your dependents, then negotiate.’
David’s clients say: It was extremely stressful for me and my family and without the support and expert advice I received from David Cobern it would have been very difficult to have got through it. We were eventually successful in court. I would like to thank David and the staff at The Family Law Company for the work they did for me. Hopefully I won’t have another period as bad as that but if I did or knew of anyone needing help I would not hesitate to recommend The Family Law Company to them.
- Representing a client claiming an interest in a portfolio of rental properties owned by his former cohabitee to which he had contributed. Securing for him an equal share and joint ownership of the properties and, through carefully calculated offers, an order for costs successfully enforced against his former partner’s share. The client recovered the entire portfolio of around £350,000.
- I represented a client who sold her house and used her life savings to construct an annex to a friend’s property where she lived and cared for her friend until they fell out and the friend attempted to evict her. Successfully enforcing the client’s right to stay in the property and claiming a share of it based on the client’s investment and the time and effort caring for her former friend.
- Representing an elderly gentleman with healthcare needs excluded from his home by his wife and unable to realise his interest in the £1.2m mortgage free property due to his wife’s refusal to sell, despite her own deteriorating health. We applied to reopen a settlement and for an interim order for sale which forced a successful outcome in difficult circumstances. In the client’s words; “thank God for hard-nosed lawyers!”
- I represented a lady whose former cohabitee claimed a substantial interest in her £2.5 million home and her business that was run from it, based upon alleged assurances given by her and contributions made him. Compiling detailed evidence to successfully refute the claim leading to the former partner withdrawing in return for a very modest ‘nuisance value’ payment.
- I represented the wife in a high net worth divorce involving several businesses and property interests valued at £4.5m. We secured the matrimonial home, pension sharing and an overall equal share of the assets for the client. She also acquired a shareholding in the successful business which generated income for her, pending a planned sale of the business by both parties.
- Representing a wife owed substantial arrears of maintenance by her former husband, a successful surgeon. We successfully applied for a freezing injunction in relation to an inheritance received by the husband in a separate jurisdiction. Thereafter we negotiated a settlement which secured payment of the arrears and ongoing maintenance for the client.
- Chartered Legal Executive
- Member of the Family Law Accreditation Scheme
- The Family Law Company Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO)
- NVQ in Team Leading