Peter Watson-Lee

Divorce and Separation
Dealing with the resolution of financial matters following divorce and cohabitation breakdown
Will disputes and Inheritance Act claims

About Peter
With over 30 years of experience Peter has a detailed knowledge of most aspects of family law and understands the problems faced by clients going through relationship breakdown.  His specialist emphasis is on resolving the financial disputes that follow divorce and relationship breakdown, including dealing with some of the more high valued financial disputes.

He has long experience of advocacy before the courts both in conducting matters himself and in working in a team with Counsel when required

Peter also handles disputes that arise out of Wills and Inheritance Act claims.

Peter qualified as a solicitor in 1978 after undertaking his articles and qualifying with one of the large Bournemouth practices (now Lester Aldridge). He is a qualified Collaborative lawyer and a member of Resolution.

In the Office
Peter is Chairman of Williams Thompson and the Head of the Family Law Department.

When he moved to Williams Thompson in 1983 the firm undertook only limited litigation and family law work and Peter is proud to have been involved with the building up of its reputation over the years.

Outside of the Office
Peter has been a member of the Law Society Council in London and for a number of years was a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee in London, becoming Chair of the committee from 2000 to 2003.  This role involved him in monitoring and influencing national developments in family law.

During his time on the Committee he was involved with the setting up of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel, the running of Divorce Information Meetings piloted under the Family Law Act 1996, submissions on the reform of the Child Support Act (including giving evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee) and the writing of the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol. He also spearheaded Law Society papers on the reform of the financial aspects of divorce and cohabitation law.

He was subsequently a member of the Family Justice Council Money and Property Committee in London which was influential in bringing in a number of developments that took place in family law. He was involved in the redrafting of the Form E and in the introduction of the no costs rule in matrimonial matters.

Although that committee has now ceased, Peter still remains involved in a number of projects and has recently been a member of the Family Law Justice Council’s drafting committee tasked by the Law Commission to prepare guidance on the interpretation of needs in dealing with financial division following divorce (which guidance is awaiting publication by the Ministry of Justice).

As a result of these roles Peter has from time to time been asked to provide comments on family law matters in the national media and he has also lectured and written articles for a wide range of family law publications.

This work has helped keep Williams Thompson fully abreast of current issues in family law.

More locally Peter has been President of the Bournemouth and District Law Society and was recently President of the Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

He lives in Highcliffe and is married with two sons.

Contact Peter 01202 484242

Publications in Family Law:

  • Contributing Editor to “Vive”, a national magazine aimed at person going through divorce which was first published in 2000.
  • Joint author of the Law Society’s “Family Law Protocol” published by the Law Society in 2002 being the Law Society’s definitive guide to best practice in family law.
  • Joint author of “Cohabitation: the case for clear law” published in July 2002 being the Law Society’s proposals for changes to the law on cohabitation.
  • Joint author of “Financial provision on divorce: clarity and fairness” published in May 2003 being the Law Society’s proposals for family law reform.
  • Article on “Changes to the Cost Rules” published in Family Law in June 2003 regarding the change to no order as to costs in family law matters which was subsequently introduced.
  • Two linked articles in Family Law published in March and May 2004 dealing with issues regarding proposed changes to family law including the redrafting of the Form E and other documents which were subsequently implemented.
  • Joint author “Financial Dispute Resolution Appointments: Best Practice Guide” published in December 2012 by the Family Justice Council Money and Property Committee.