Natalie is well known as a family specialist dealing with a wide range of family law matters. She deals predominantly with divorce, financial settlements on divorce and arrangements for children. Natalie is known for her calm and pragmatic approach. She specialises in advising and representing a range of clients but particularly those with complex asset bases, sports and media personalities, owners of landed estates with inherited and dynastic wealth, business owners, directors, lottery winners, members of the judiciary and other professionals.
Natalie joined the highly regarded family team at Freeths in 2023 having been a partner at Brabners LLP where she had been for 16 years. During that time, she has built a reputation in Liverpool for achieving speedy and sensible resolutions.
Natalie’s specialism is complex financial remedy proceedings. She is known to be a pragmatist and straight talker who can get to the crux of a matter quickly. Natalie also advises families and wealthy individuals on wealth protection agreements including pre-nups, post-nups and cohabitation agreements.
Natalie’s work includes private children matters (including a specialism in internal and international relocation in the High Court), financial provision for children under Schedule 1 Children Act and dealing with property disputes arising from the breakdown of cohabiting relationships.
Natalie takes a proactive and pragmatic approach. She focuses on negotiated settlements and joint settlement meetings where appropriate, provides legal support alongside mediation and arbitration, and representation at Court where necessary.
Natalie has been ranked in Chambers and Partners since 2021 and Legal 500 since 2000. The 2023 edition of Chambers noted that “she has incredible attention to detail, a phenomenal manner with clients and an incredibly impressive knowledge of the law”.
Natalie is a trained mental health first aider and utilises this to support clients as much as possible.
Natalie is an active member of Resolution and former Secretary of Merseyside Young Professionals. She actively takes part organising and running both networking and charity events across the city. She sits of the Board of the Sefton Park Palm House Preservation Trust and the Liverpool Sportswoman’s Lunch.
Divorce Court Order Financial Disclosure
- Advising Wife in complex divorce, Financial Remedy and Children Act proceedings. Husband works offshore with unclear income and a pre-nuptial agreement in place giving Wife virtually nothing on divorce. Challenging the pre-nuptial agreement on the basis it does not meet Wife’s reasonable needs and running strenuous conduct and costs arguments on the basis of Husband’s litigation conduct. Successfully represented Wife heavily contested litigation comprising non-molestation and occupation order proceedings, Children Act proceedings, maintenance pending suit proceedings and LSPO proceedings. Wife is in a low income part time role with primary care of the parties’ young child. Husband is a high earner who has unilaterally cut the Wife off financially following the breakdown of the relationship and evicted her from the matrimonial home. Secured Wife’s return to the matrimonial home and sole occupation pending outcome of Financial Remedy proceedings. Successful secured a financial settlement for the wife 6 times larger than she would have received under the pre-nuptial agreement.
- Acting for Wife in divorce and Financial Remedy proceedings. Both Husband and Wife from multi-generational farming families. Complexities arose due to value and illiquidity of family farm and the potential for multi-million-pound uplift in value if large tranches of land sold for residential development. Additional interesting elements due to a lottery win during the course of the marriage and the matrimonial v non-matrimonial property arguments that followed.
- Acting for Wife in divorce proceedings, Financial Remedy proceedings and non-molestation order proceedings. Police involvement due to domestic violence and Husband’s behaviour stalking and harassing the Wife. Complexities arose due to Husband’s bankruptcy in the UK for non-payment of £1m tax and child maintenance arrears. Husband has extensive business and property assets outside of the jurisdiction including Spain, USA and China. Overseas tracing agents employed to explore extent of Husband’s overseas wealth. Difficulties of non-disclosure from Husband.
- Advising Husband in divorce and Financial Remedy proceedings. Husband is successful business owner and Wife is exec at an international finance firm. Very short marriage of 2 years with 2 years pre-marriage cohabitation. No children of the marriage. Despite Wife earning a 6-figure salary, all matrimonial property derives from Husband. Running non-matrimonial property arguments and seeking to settlement matters on the basis of Wife’s needs. Matters compromised by agreement at FDR on favourable clean break basis to Husband.
- Acting for Husband in divorce and Financial Remedy proceedings. Husband is Chief Operating Officer for a worldwide oil company earning a significant salary. Negotiating settlement with Wife, who does not work, to ensure her housing and income needs are met. Navigating company valuation of Husband’s side company. Negotiating arrangements for children and defending conduct arguments put forward by Wife.
- Representing Wife in highly contested Financial Remedy proceedings in which there were virtually no matrimonial assets, but Husband was beneficiary to a large family trust which owned the family home. Secured a favourable outcome for Wife through negotiations with trustees whereby she received half the value of the home and the right to occupy until the children are 21. Also secured her the ability to purchase a greater share of the property from the trustees over time until she owns it outright.
Pre & Postnuptial Agreements
- Acting for wife to be in negotiations to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement. Wife to be is the financially weaker party marrying into historic landed family with significant dynastic wealth. Conservative estimates put Husband’s wealth at £50m with a very meagre provision suggested for wife to be in the initial draft of the agreement. Instructed King’s Counsel to advise as to a more realistic provision and negotiated with Husband to be’s solicitors which resulted in a significantly enhanced provision for Wife to be including a significant improvement in housing provision, joint lives spousal maintenance and day and night live in childcare.
- Acting for Father in Children Act proceedings. Father lived and worked in Dubai in the oil and gas industry. He had a 4 year old child with a Korean national. The marriage broke down and Father unilaterally relocated to the UK with the child. As a result of Father resigning from his job he lost the right to live in the UAE, as did the child and her mother. Acting for Father in High Court proceedings to ensure that child could remain in the UK and gain citizenship.
- Representing mother and her Husband in Children Act proceedings against her former partner and his mother. Children’s father was recently released from prison for violent offenses and drug crimes. He had no relationship or interaction with either of the children, one who he had not seen since he was 1 and one who was not born when he went to prison. There was a history of domestic violence. Original proceedings were brought by paternal grandmother with father joining as a party during proceedings. Mother was vehemently opposed to contact. Obtained Parental Responsibility for mother’s new Husband as step-father and secure an outcome with no physical contact between father and children; indirect contact only.
Taking a Child Abroad
- Successfully represented Wife in contested international relocation proceedings. Wife sought permission to take the parties’ children overseas for a fixed term of 3 years to allow her to work.
To contact Natalie or for more information…
Member of Resolution, Trustee of the Sefton Park Palm House Preservation Trust, Called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn 2007, Sir Thomas More Scholar, Committee Member of Liverpool Sportswoman’s Lunch.
“Natalie Dickson, who has ‘excellent knowledge and experience’ of divorce and settlement applications.”(Legal 500, 2020)
“Natalie takes the heat out of the matters instead of inflaming them.” … “She is approachable and dependable.”(Chambers and Partners, 2024)
“She has incredible attention to detail, a phenomenal manner with clients and an incredibly impressive knowledge of the law”.(Chambers and Partners, 2023)
“I would have no hesitation in recommending Natalie Dickson. Her professionalism, clarity, diligence and, perhaps what I valued most, her innate sense of humour got me through a dark and traumatic time. For one so young she exudes maturity and I always felt I was in very safe hands. Indeed I was. Natalie and her team secured a speedy outcome of everything I wanted with the minimum of distress. Whilst I felt like the chair was being pulled from under my marriage, Natalie gave me stability and confidence – I valued her help enormously.”(Mrs C M (Client - Divorce & Finance))
“I have worked with Natalie on two separate issues concerning family law. On both occasions I have been very impressed by her professionalism, knowledge, well balanced and informative advice. I find her to be very courteous and polite but also empathetic and understanding. With my experience I wouldn’t hesitate to choose Natalie as my solicitor in the future or to recommend her.”(Mr J G-P (Client – Children, International Relocation))
“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Natalie to anybody seeking legal advice. During my divorce proceedings, I dealt with Natalie from start to finish. I was given thorough advice throughout and any questions I had were answered promptly. Obviously, divorce is an emotionally difficult time. Natalie treated the issue with sensitivity, whilst ensuring I was fully aware of all options available to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better client experience during this time or for anyone nicer to help me through the divorce.”(Mrs K C (Client – Divorce and Financial Remedy))
“I am writing to express my sincere thanks for the outstanding professional service and support of Natalie throughout a very stressful and complicated litigation. I would not hesitate to recommend her. She has my complete confidence and gratitude.”(Ms L C (Client – Matrimonial Consent Order Enforcement))
“I would like to say a massive thank you to Natalie for all her hard work, help, advice, expertise, professionalism, guidance and direction when dealing with my divorce. With her guidance and direction, she was determined to achieve a good result for me. She is an excellent solicitor and always helped to calm my worries and would keep me focussed.”(Mrs F W (Client – Divorce & Financial Remedy Proceedings))
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