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Mark Chapman
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Mark Chapman

Associate & Head of Family Department
Mark Chapman - Head of Family Department - Clarke and Son Solicitors Basingstoke

I have worked as a Family Solicitor since qualifying in 2006 and have been based in North Hampshire and the surrounding area since 2010.

The majority of the cases I am instructed to advise on focus on how best to deal with the division of the matrimonial finances as a result of the breakdown of a marriage.

It is unusual for pensions not to feature in a case, and I have a wealth of experience in advising clients on how best to deal with pensions, and this will often entail the need to instruct a Pensions On Divorce Expert (PODE) to provide a report in order to ensure that pensions are dealt with fairly.

I am also regularly instructed on Children Act matters, whether they be in relation to parents not being able to agree on the arrangements for the child or children splitting their time between them, or where there are safeguarding issues which require determination by the Courts, and where separate expert input may be needed. Sadly, some cases do involve allegations of domestic abuse and violence, and those allegations will need to be investigated fully by the Courts in the first instance in order to ensure the welfare of the child or children but also to ensure that the parent who has made the allegations can be fully protected.

Where it is advisable and appropriate to do so, I will look to resolve a case without the need for Court proceedings, but at the same time I fully recognise that for some the only way to achieve an appropriate outcome is for Court proceedings to be issued. My advice at all times is that for the majority of cases, Court should be considered as an option of last resort, but at the same time we should never shy away from the fact that Court proceedings may need to be issued.

I have been a member of Resolution (the national body for family lawyers) for many years and will look to assist my clients whilst also bearing in mind the Resolution Code of Practice, the main aim being that a case should be handled in a constructive, and where possible, amicable manner. This is even more important where a case involves a child or children, as the parents will often need to co-parent for many years to come after the conclusion of their matter.

Work Highlights

Notable past instructions include a case where both the husband and wife had their own separate complex family business structures together with multiple personal assets, all with a total value in the region of £25 million, which necessitated the instruction of a forensic accountant to advise on the tax implications of any possible financial settlement, whilst also working closely with my client’s own accountant and other experts.

Another client instructed me to assist her in the possibility of revisiting a Court approved financial settlement that had been obtained some years previously and where she had had the assistance of experienced family solicitors at the time. My client subsequently discovered that her husband had not been fully transparent with the financial disclosure he had provided at the time of that original financial settlement, with the level of non-disclosure being valued at around £10 million when I was instructed to assist her. In short, the Husband had previously asserted that the specific assets in question had no tangible value, and it was that fact together with their value at the time of the instructions that enabled us to revisit the original financial agreement reached. Whilst we had to issue Court proceedings in order to resolve matters, I was able to conclude the case without the need for a contested trial (Final Hearing) and my client received a sum in excess of £1 million.

Outside of Work

Outside of work, I am kept busy by my two school aged sons. I have a passion for all sports, but especially rugby and cricket, although my playing days are sadly well behind me. I am a keen road cyclist, and love to get out on my road bike, and when that is not possible, my Wattbike enables me to keep up the miles and fitness without needing to worry about the weather conditions.

Contact Details

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