Clare joined Peacock & Co as a consultant in 2019.
Clare qualified as a lawyer in 1983 and worked for several years in industry. She founded Kirby & Co in 1997 and is experienced and respected in the field of family law. Her expertise includes the following areas:
- separation and divorce
- disputes over children
- complex financial matters
- cases of domestic violence
- cohabitation disputes
Where possible, she looks to resolve disagreements out of court to minimise acrimony, uncertainty and costs. Clare Kirby is an advanced member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel and of Resolution (previously known as The Solicitors’ Family Law Association) which promotes a constructive and non-confrontational approach to disputes. However, she recognises that this is not always practicable and has an excellent record of securing favourable outcomes through the courts.
Trained as a collaborative lawyer, Clare offers clients a range of options – traditional and collaborative law – to best meet the needs of the individual clients.
In addition, she has a niche practice in the evolving area of undue influence, and has triumphed in libel cases, notably against The Guardian newspaper in 1998.
Working closely with various charitable organisations, she is an important part of the support network for victims of deception, entrapment or extortion. She acts in one of two ways. Either she is instructed by victims’ families, or else directly by the victims themselves. In the first instance, her priority is damage limitation: putting both people and property beyond the grasp of the group or guru. This is especially important where children are involved, and her expertise in family matters is frequently invaluable. In the second instance, when acting for victims who have come to see themselves as such, her challenge is to recover damages. The financial loss – not to mention the psychological and social fallout – can be extensive; many clients have been rendered penniless by their ordeal.
In representing them and their families, Clare is a leader in the evolving field of law known as ‘undue influence’. She has had notable successes both at trial and in securing advantageous settlements out of court.
Clare acted for the father. He applied for variation of a child arrangements order on the basis the mother was alienating their child against him because of her membership of a cult. The judge refused his application.
On appeal, the Court of Appeal allowed the father’s appeal and remitted the case back to the Family Division holding the balancing exercise performed by the Judge had been flawed. The father was successful in the High Court and the child’s primary residence was transferred to him..
Collins v Danesh
Clare acted for Nina Collins in her claim against her guru and negotiated a substantial settlement for her. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2299934/
Kelly v BBC  1 FLR 197
Clare acted for the grandmother after her 16 year old grandson left home to join a religious group. The court made wardship and seek and find orders and enlisted the help of the media in tracing her grandson. The BBC approached the religious group and obtained a telephone interview with him. The grandmother obtained an injunction restraining publication of the interview on the Today programme but on appeal the injunction was discharged.
Nel (suing as executrix of Nel) v Kean and others  All ER (D) 206 (Feb)
Clare acted for the executrix of her mother’s estate, who claimed her mother had sold her home and given the proceeds to a ‘spiritual group’ that took away her free will. At trial, it was held that the Claimant was entitled to repayment of all the sums paid by her mother to the group.
Lawyer in the News
Clare appeared in the Law Society Gazette as lawyer in the news when a complaint made by her client against the Broadcasting Standards Commission against journalist Martin Bashir and Granada Television was partially upheld.
Baldwin v The Guardian, Dec 1998
Clare acted for the claimant, a counsellor who specialises in helping people who come into contact with cults. He successfully sued The Guardian for libel.
Life outside the office informs Clare’s approach to her work. First and foremost she is a proud mother, and although her children are now grown up they still enjoy family holidays together. She is also passionately committed to the community. For many years she has been a JP at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.
She enjoys theatre, travelling, cycling and swimming.
“Clare Kirby was specifically recommended to me as I was going through a separation from my wife, with complex arrangements to consider. I had previously engaged the services of a large law firm, but after working with Clare, I never looked back. Clare demonstrates all the skills and qualities you would want from a Solicitor specialising in Family Law; she advocates a collaborative and non-confrontational approach, but also encourages you to stand your ground and will fight your corner very hard. Clare really empathised and identified with my own set of circumstances, and always responded accordingly.”
“Clare Kirby was recommended by a friend when I embarked on my divorce. At the time I had no idea of the long and winding road ahead and felt bewildered by the whole process. From start to finish Clare balanced compassion and understanding with unfaltering professionalism and determination. Most importantly, I felt that the advice I was being given was the right advice for me. This allowed me to make my own decisions clearly and confidently, in the best interests of myself and my children. I cannot thank Clare enough, it was an outstanding service she can be very proud of.”
“Clare was my solicitor in a very long and acrimonious divorce and later in child contact proceedings. She was an excellent professional all the way through (which is what her job is) and a really warm and compassionate human being who made the whole nightmare easier to bear (which is more than her job).”
“I had selected Clare to represent me in my forthcoming divorce, which suddenly became very intense and acrimonious. Clare was very empathetic with lots of practical advice which was relevant to my situation, and to what I could achieve. She was able to help me focus on the outcomes I wanted and was very cost conscious. She frequently advised me against taking an expensive route where a cheaper one could achieve the same outcome. Clare was very good in highlighting the interests of my children and helped me towards getting the best outcome for them. Overall, I would not hesitate in recommending Clare for her very efficient service and her immense knowledge of the practical side of family law. I could not have achieved half of what I did without Clare’s guidance and support in a very stressful and emotional time. I am very grateful to Clare, and to the friend who recommended her to me!”
“Clare Kirby was extremely understanding yet professional and I always felt that I was getting the best possible advice. A difficult situation was made a lot easier and less stressful having an efficient and friendly solicitor to “hold my hand” through my painful divorce. Ironically my ex-husband has been referring business Clare which is a huge compliment. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
“I used Clare Kirby’s services when I was trying to get custody of my two sons. Bearing in mind that I am a man in a world where very few fathers are lucky enough to obtain residency, I am happy to say that Clare showed commitment & compassion from the very start, so much so that I am the happiest father in town!”