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Penningtons Manches partner publishes fourth edition of definitive global family law guide

Posted: 15/03/2018

  • The best-selling comparative guide to international family law worldwide is commonly known as the ‘Blue Book’
  • Edited by leading international family lawyer and Penningtons Manches partner James Stewart
  • Brings together the most experienced and respected family law specialists from 45 jurisdictions
  • Available in hard copy and online via Practical Law and Westlaw

The fourth edition of the best-selling publication, Family Law: A Global Guide, known to family practitioners as the ‘Blue Book’, was published by Thomson Reuters on 1 March 2018 and will be formally launched in Tokyo, Japan on 30 May 2018 at the Annual Meeting of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL).

The book is authored by some of the world’s leading family lawyers and is the definitive guide to family law in 45 major jurisdictions. Many chapter authors are Fellows of the IAFL, the worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.

Leading family lawyer and IAFL Fellow, James Stewart, first conceived the idea of a multi-jurisdictional guide to international family law in 2010, and, with the backing of Thomson Reuters, the first edition was published in 2011. The unprecedented success of the first edition was followed by launches of the second and third editions in 2013 and 2015. James has acted as General Editor for each edition.

The fourth edition offers an extensive update on the chapters in previous editions. A number of new chapters have been added, including a chapter on Nigerian family law written by Efe Etomi and Elvis Asia, of Chief Rotimi Williams’ Chambers, one of Nigeria’s most senior law firms. It also incorporates a new chapter on Norway written by Else-Marie Merckoll, Norway’s pre-eminent family lawyer. Pinky Anand, who currently serves as Additional Solicitor General of India at the Supreme Court of India, has authored an extensive chapter on family law in India. In addition, one of Japan’s most respected family lawyers, Mikiko Otani, has contributed a chapter which will be of particular interest, given the increasing number of international cases with a Japanese dimension.

In his role as General Editor, James provided a Preface to the book and co-authored the chapter on England and Wales with his Penningtons Manches colleagues, Edward Floyd and Rebecca Dziobon. The Foreword is written by Nancy Zalusky Berg, President of the IAFL, and one of the most widely recognised family lawyers in the world. Furthermore, the President of IAFL’s USA chapter, Jorge Cestero, has co-authored a chapter on Florida with IAFL Treasurer, Thomas Sasser and the USA Chapter Vice President, Suzanne Harris and her team at Harris-Ginsberg LLP have authored a brilliant chapter on family law in California, the most populous state in the United States.

The 2018 release of Family Law: A Global Guide, which follows a reader-friendly Q&A template, covers key family law issues including jurisdiction and conflict of law; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; divorce, nullity, and judicial separation; children; surrogacy and adoption; cohabitation; family dispute resolution; civil partnership/same-sex marriage; media access and transparency; and controversial areas and reform. Jurisdictions which feature in this edition include Norway, Monaco, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa and Hong Kong. The book has also been expanded to include nine US states: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Washington State.

The book is available both in hard back and digitally via Westlaw and Practical Law websites. These combined platforms, which are used by over 250,000 lawyers worldwide and receive over eight million hits per week, have ensured that Family Law: A Global Guide has an international reach which simply cannot be matched.

James said: “I am extremely proud of this publication, which has grown considerably to become the market leading international family law comparative guide. Its success is owed to the unparalleled knowledge and diligent work of our chapter authors from a range of diverse jurisdictions around the globe. All family lawyers need to have a firm understanding of the complexities involved in dealing with modern day cross-jurisdictional cases. By providing comprehensive legal information in an easily digestible form, the ‘Blue Book’ is an invaluable and ‘must have’ resource for all practitioners.”

Direct purchases can be made via Thomson Reuters / Sweet & Maxwell.


Note: Fellow Penningtons Manches family partner, Anna Worwood is General Editor of a sister publication, International Relocation for Children: A Global Guide from Practical Law, the first edition of which was published by Thomson Reuters in 2016, with the second edition following later this year.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

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