Mary-Ann is the Partner who leads the Family Law team in our City of London office. Her expertise encompasses all aspects of Family law and wealth protection; pre-and post-nuptial agreements, divorce, financial claims and children matters. She frequently acts for high net worth individuals in cases of complexity, reflecting her status as a leading practitioner in the area, ranked in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as a “Notable Practitioner” and “Leading Individual”.
Many of Mary-Ann's clients occupy high profile roles within the City of London. She has experience representing individuals in senior positions within the insurance, finance and banking sectors. Her client portfolio also includes individuals in the performing arts, modelling and sports world.
She is a highly experienced Family lawyer with a proven track record in dealing with high value and complex cases, frequently with an international dimension. She has 20 years’ experience.
Renowned for her dynamic and pragmatic approach, Mary-Ann is respected by her professional peers for getting the right results in even the most complex cases. Her skills and experience are reflected in her 15 year membership of the Law Society's specialist Family Law Panel. Mary-Ann is also a member of Resolution and subscribes to a code of practice, which promotes an approach to Family Law that is sensitive, constructive and cost-effective.
Elected in 2013, Mary-Ann is the immediate Chair of the Women Lawyers’ Division of England & Wales and is an acknowledged expert, frequent public speaker and commentator on Diversity issues. A former Chair of the Young Solicitors Group of England & Wales, Mary-Ann is also an Ambassador for Women in Law London, mentoring junior women in the profession. Mary-Ann was the first ever winner of the Law Society’s Pro Bono Award for outstanding contribution to pro bono services.
A member of the City of London Law Society, Mary-Ann is also a Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Solicitors, a member of the Livery Committee and was elected as a Full Assistant to the Court of the Company in June 2016.
Legal 500 (2015) describes Mary-Ann as ‘Commercially Sensitive’.
Chambers & Partners (2014) ‘A magic circle service at an affordable price’; Mary-Ann Wright ‘Offers real value for money in the world of London Family Lawyers.’
Chambers & Partners (2015) ‘In a complicated case you can trust her to come up with the detail that is required in a cogent fashion’.
What her clients say about her:
Premier League Footballer client
“From the very first moment you were all fully engaged in the process, you have driven it with energy, enthusiasm, professionalism, and where needed, understanding and compassion, and of course with skills that your predecessors did not seem to have.
Your contribution has made this difficult period far better than it would otherwise have been, and actually with many lighter moments along the way.
The outcome is a significantly better deal that I had anticipated. I am delighted with the result you have achieved for me.
It has been a pleasure to work with you”
“Ultimately you got everything I wanted and in some respects more, so I am really pleased with the outcome as it will enable me to have the opportunity to be the father I wish to be, which is worth the world to me.
Thank you very much all for your efforts throughout.”
Senior Insurance Executive
“On a note of thanks-there has not been an occasion to date when your professional opinion has not been correct. I am utterly grateful for all that you and your team are doing.”
Management Consultant client
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the professional help and guidance you have given me during the Divorce process. Several people have asked how I coped, and my answer is always that I had a fantastic Lawyer, who guided me through the process, helped me realize and accept changes were necessary, and who managed my expectations in terms of Financial settlement.
You were always there for me through some quite desperate times, and matters were always dealt with in a professional manner, at the same time you all showed great empathy to my situation. I found facing my ex a very daunting and stressful experience. Having you at my side gave me the confidence needed for the Court.”
“Now that almost all the loose ends have been tied, I should like to thank you for achieving such a good Final Settlement and Consent Order in the manner I very much hoped for, with the minimum of ill-feeling and upset. I am extremely grateful to you for taking this delicate matter out of my hands so efficiently.”
“I can’t begin to express how extremely grateful I am to each and every one of you.
Over and above your excellent and world-class professional service, your personal support has been nothing short of amazing.
I would be very happy to recommend you.”
Case study 1
Acting for a Husband referred me to by a leading Family Law Chambers, he having been dissatisfied with the service and advice received from a regional practice which he described as “out of its depth”. Time was of the essence to get the matter back on track, the issues rapidly identified and an effective strategy set.
The wife made claims on properties abroad purchased with the Husband’s family’s money and made further claims on his family’s businesses here in the UK. In essence she argued that there was plenty of “family money “to meet her demands even if the Husband could not meet them personally.
There were also many issues around the effect of shared residence of children on housing need along with further disputes around the Husband’s shares in the businesses and future income to be derived from those businesses, comprising several companies with interests in the UK and the Far East. Quasi Partnership arguments were a prominent feature.
Case study 2
Acting for the fiancée of a shipping magnate and advising her on a complex and international Pre-nuptial Agreement with both parties also being advised by lawyers in the country of origin. The marriage was taking place in their country of origin but the parties intended to reside in the UK. The fiancée had given up her career and was being financially provided for by her future Husband’s family. Tactful negotiations were required to ensure that the Pre-Nuptial Agreement provided for her and any children with adequate financial provision in the event that the parties divorced in the future.
Case study 3
Acting for a Shareholder and Director of a property management company. The company’s property portfolio comprised properties the UK, India and the Philippines.
The case involved allegations by the Wife of serious dissipation of assets arising from further allegations of extra marital affairs and threats to obtain an asset freezing injunction.
Case study 4
Acting for a Mother born outside the U.K. in a case involving cross-jurisdictional issues such as which country the child should reside in; the effect of a Child Arrangements Agreement prepared abroad; alleged threats to remove child to reside outside the jurisdiction of England & Wales and relocation of Mother and child from Europe to the UK. The father’s decision to remain living in Europe also caused difficulties with child maintenance payments. Contact arrangements broke down after the Mother’s return to the U.K. and father issued Proceedings in England for a Child Arrangements Order requesting that the child reside with him in Europe, with only limited contact to the Mother.
Awards and achievements:
- Winner of the Law Society’s Inaugural Pro Bono Award for ‘Outstanding contribution to pro bono services.’
- Judge of the Law Society’s Excellence Awards in the ‘Woman Lawyer of the Year’ category, since 2013
- One of three finalists in the BSN Diversity Awards 2015
Guest columnist of the annual Diversity League Table since 2013
- DWF LLP City of London Office –Partner and Head of Family Law
- Vizards Wyeth Solicitors Partner and Head of Family Law
- Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England &Wales 1996
- Admitted to Law Society’s Family Law Panel (2002)
- Resolution Membership (2005)
Additional professional information:
- Chair of Women Lawyers Division of England and Wales 2013-2016
- Member of the Law Society’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee 2016 - present
- Ambassador for Women in Law London (WILL)
- Member of Malta Business Network
- Member City of London Law Society
- Member of the Worshipful Company of Solicitors and Full Assistant to the Court
- Area Representative of the Solicitor’s Benevolent Association