Florence Baron

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Dame Florence Jacqueline Baron DBE QC (7 October 1952 – 9 December 2013), styled The Hon. Mrs Justice Baron, was a British barrister and High Court Judge.

Early life and education[edit]

Baron was educated at Jersey College for Girls. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics and then law (changing subject after her first year) at St Hugh's College, Oxford.[1]

Legal career[edit]

Barrister[edit]

Baron was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1976 and became a QC in 1995. She specialised in matrimonial finance law at Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB) chambers, becoming the head of the chambers in 2000.[2]

In 1997, she was described by The Lawyer magazine as "such a star, she is just excellent, and rated the highest. She is gutsy, thorough and very clever".[3]

Baron represented Jacqueline Cowan in her 2001 appeal against her divorce settlement. In the initial trial, Mrs Cowan had been awarded £1.7 million of her husband's £12 million.[4] Following the appeal, Mrs Cowan's award was increased to £3 million. The case was one of the first examples of increased protection for 'business wives'.[5]

Judge[edit]

Baron was made a Recorder in 1999. She was created a Dame upon her appointment as a Justice of the High Court (Family Division) in 2004.[6]

One of Baron's notable cases as a judge is NG v KR, in which she ruled that it would be unfair to enforce a pre-nuptial contract to restrict the amount of money a husband could claim from his wealthy heiress wife. Although she recognised that the pre-nuptial agreement would have been fully enforceable in Germany (where it was signed) or France, she held that pre-nups had never been legally binding in the United Kingdom. This approach was overruled by the Supreme Court in 2010, which ruled that pre-nups could be taken into consideration in divorce proceedings.[7]

Death[edit]

Baron died on 9 December 2013, aged 61, from cancer.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dame Florence Baron, QC". The Times. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Oxford Presentation, ox.ac.uk; accessed 24 March 2016.
  3. ^ 16 September 1997 (16 September 1997). "Silks who smooth the way". The Lawyer. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Entrepreneur's ex-wife wins £1m boost to her divorce payout". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Clare Dyer (15 May 2001). "Controversial changes to asset division". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Judicial Office (13 November 2013). "Judges, Tribunals and Magistrates | List of members of the judiciary | Senior judiciary". Judiciary.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Pre-nuptial agreements are now enforceable". Osbornes. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2013.