Tel: 020 7797 7070 | email@example.com
1 Hare Court Temple London EC4Y 7BE
Gavin is a family law barrister at 1 Hare Court in London with over 27 years’ experience. He specialises in all types of financial remedy proceedings following relationship breakdown. Gavin also conducts private FDRs and is an experienced mediator, and in March 2019 was appointed a Deputy District Judge.
He is described in Chambers and Partners as “… completely amazing on the detail of a case, and his knowledge of the law is second to none” and “also well regarded for his well-established arbitration practice”.
Gavin qualified as a family arbitrator in 2012, at the outset of the IFLA scheme. His arbitrations range from full hearings, at which the parties are represented by counsel, to ‘paper-only’ adjudications made on the basis of written evidence and submissions alone. He has received 16 nominations as arbitrator to date (at March 2019).
He was the arbitrator in the three cases involving the IFLA scheme to have been reported thus far. In the landmark case of S v S  EWHC 7 (Fam) the President of the Family Division endorsed the principles of the scheme and gave important guidance on how judges should deal with applications for court consent orders based on arbitration awards. After the arbitration one of the solicitors involved wrote “We agreed upon Gavin Smith as someone whose judgment and technical knowhow would deliver on [the] goals and whose personal skills would make it as benign an experience as possible.” (ResolutionReview, March/April 2014).
In DB v DLJ  EWHC 324 (Fam) Mostyn J rejected a challenge to Gavin’s award based on a supervening Barder event and / or mistake as to the value of a property. Mostyn J described the award as “a thorough, conscientious and clear piece of work. Its quality is a testament to the merit of opting for arbitration.”
In BC v BG  EWFC 7, Deputy High Court Judge Clare Ambrose referred to Gavin as “a very experienced and respected family arbitrator” and stated: “He approached the parties’ dispute with great care, investigating the facts in an even-handed manner and applying the law with expertise, taking the same approach that a judge would have taken if the matter had gone to trial.”
At the end of another arbitration one of the counsel wrote: “May I say how impressed [the instructing solicitor] and I were with the way in which you handled everything … The whole experience was a million times better than the lottery at the CFC.”
Gavin is available to undertake arbitrations of all kinds, from ‘single issue’ disputes to those involving the full range of financial remedy claims, and from high value cases to ones where the parties’ resources are very modest. Details of his availability and fees may be obtained from his clerk James Collier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together with his fellow arbitrators Sir Peter Singer and Rhys Taylor, Gavin founded familyarbitrator.com, which won Jordans ‘Most Innovative Family Lawyer of the Year 2012′ award for its pioneering approach to the cause of family arbitration.
Gavin keeps up to date with legal change by co-editing the financial practitioners’ ‘bibles’, At A Glance and @eGlance, and co-authoring the annual Financial Remedies Practice.
Gavin is married with four children and lives in North London.