I am a partner and Head of the Family Law team. Described by Legal 500 as a person who is ‘determined to offer a full and high level of service to every client’.” I qualified in 1996 and have many years experience in all areas of Family Law. My main areas of practice are:
Pre-marital agreements (prenuptial and pre-civil partnership)
Cohabitation agreements and disputes arising from the breakdown of cohabitation
Finances – all aspects especially mid-high net worth, off shore assets, trusts, and companies
Variation of previous financial orders
Children – contact and residence disputes
Schedule 1 applications – provision for children by unmarried parents
I have trained as a collaborative lawyer, and always try to resolve disputes constructively. Even if litigation is necessary I will continue to offer pragmatic advice on settlement – I have only had two cases go to trial in 10 years of practice.
Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen
Senior Associate at Winckworth Sherwood
Assistant solicitor at Finers Stephens Innocent
Qualfiied as a barrister
Qualified as a solicitor
“Jacqueline thank you for everything, you are a star – not only as one of the finest legal minds this country has ever produced – but also as one of the greatest humanitarians!”
“Thank you so much for all you have done throughout this difficult process. Choosing you as my solicitor was the best decision I made! I have felt as if I have had a very switched on and experienced friend rooting for me. You have had the patience of a saint… in what was a very frustrating process at times. I will heartily recommend you to any of my friends who may face divorce.”
“Jacqueline Major was recommended to me by a friend at a time when I was in a state of personal crisis and facing a very difficult separation. Jacqueline was crucial in supporting me, both through her professional expertise and her personal warmth and empathy, to build the mental and emotional strength to initiate, proceed with and carry through to the end the actions that were required to resolve an extremely acrimonious situation. At the outset Jacqueline clearly outlined the likely course of events and the options we had for dealing with them. Her legal expertise and ability to separate out the key issues, to swiftly determine and prioritise what needed to be done when and to keep me focussed in preparing for key stages in the process, as well as ‘resting’ during the periods between were fundamental in seeing the separation through to a resolution that was so much better, and achieved more quickly, than we had ever hoped for. At every stage I had complete confidence in Jacqueline’s expert advice and her skill in dealing with my case, and always felt she was working with my best interests in mind, taking a sensible approach to the workload she undertook directly and that which she assigned to members of her team. I do not believe I would have got to where I am now without her, and have absolutely no hesitation in recommending extremely highly Jacqueline’s professional expertise and equally, her caring support for clients.”
“When I found myself in a situation where I needed legal advice I was recommended to see Jacqueline Major. I have to say it was the best decision I could have made amidst my stressful personal experience. Jacqueline was not only an amazing lawyer but she was also a phenomenal person who was able to help me through a very difficult time emotionally.I can’t recommend Jacqueline highly enough and my words really do not feel like they are doing her expertise justice.”
“Jacqueline picked up my rather tricky divorce case part way through and from our very first meeting gave me a great sense of confidence in her ability. Her skill, detailed knowledge of the law and experience translated into the strong, self-assured, no nonsense approach she took which she achieved without sacrificing empathy for me, my children and even my intended ex. The respect and esteem she clearly commanded from the senior barrister we engaged was further reinforcement for me that she is someone I was pleased to have in my corner. I have already recommended her to a friend. If you are unfortunate enough to be facing marital difficulties and need legal support, don’t look any further.”
“Jacqueline advised me in the renegotiation of the Financial Order which accompanied my divorce some years ago, at which time I was advised by a different firm of solicitors. She demonstrated from the off an ability to get up to speed quickly with a complicated set of existing arrangements, advising on what was achievable and making clear what was not. Her clarity in explaining legal points was helpful, her problem solving constructive and her resilience in dealing with a difficult counterpart was staggering at times and a massive part in gaining an outcome beyond my expectations. Throughout she provided both legal insights and, with children involved, also compassion and warmth of manner which kept me on track personally. I have no hesitation in recommending Jacqueline very highly.”
“When my divorce became inevitable, Jacqueline was just about to join a new firm as its head of family law. I was very lucky to be one of the first of its clients to benefit from her skill, drive and great experience. In an area where I had no background knowledge, Jacqueline was especially good at explaining in advance each stage of the process. Her predictions about what would happen and about the eventual financial settlement were spot on. I was facing the loss of the family who were the bedrock of my life and I was in a much more fragile state than even I realised. In the face of considerable delay and, at times, low cooperation from the other side, Jacqueline was always there to provide reassurance, kindness and encouragement as well as bringing to bear her considerable strategic skill in handling the litigation. She also showed a real talent for analysing the financial details. I cannot recommend her highly enough!“
“I first met Jacqueline when I was in a very distressed state about the state of my marriage, and with a 3 month old baby to boot. Not only did she provide me with sage advice around the steps I needed to take, she was incredibly empathic and supportive so encouraged my welfare too. Given getting divorced is a very lonely process this was so important. Jacqueline saved me many months of time given she anticipated the way my divorce would run, and therefore that we should push for a court timetable from the outset. She was very protective of my interests but in a way that was pragmatic and reasonable. Overall, she helped make that period of time feel manageable, and I was very well supported, and, critically the outcome was absolutely as I wanted.”
“I moved my divorce case to Jacqueline Major after over a year with another firm during which I felt constantly on the back foot during protracted proceedings where my ex-wife seemed to hold all the aces. Jacqueline quickly re-established the initiative and put us on the front foot! She is calm, supportive and understanding during what is a difficult period in your life, yet she stays focused on the things that matter in the case and that will matter to the court. This focus and drive helped me to not only resolve the legal elements in a timely way but also to get through the emotion aspects of my divorce. Ultimately her judgement, first rate knowledge of the law and skill delivered me a fair settlement which has allowed me to move on with my life as well as providing real value for money. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
ACTAPS (association of contentious trusts and probate specialists)
The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 governs the current law on divorce in England and Wales. The law states that the petitioner of the divorce, i.e. the person who starts proceedings, must be able to evidence that the marriage has irretrievably broken down – this is the sole ground for divorce – and in addition this must be evidenced on proof of one of the following five.
For various personal and practical reasons, the family home is generally the central and most sought after asset in matrimonial disputes. In some circumstances, the best and only solution is to sell that home for example, if it is the only asset with equity available to share or to free one or other party from the encumbrance of a mortgage, or to pay off other charges secured on the home. Cash from the sale is ultimately shared in appropriate proportions.
Living together, without getting married, is the fastest growing type of family in the UK. Currently, however, the law offers little protection for couples who cohabit with many falling into the mistaken ‘common law marriage’ trap, believing they have similar financial protection as married couples if the relationship breaks down. There is no such principle in England and Wales.