Rosie Schumm

Partner  |  Forsters

England and Wales



Prenuptial agreements
Complex international divorce & overseas wealth
International children issues

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Resolving two very litigious matters in alternative dispute resolution in private hearings tailored to suit the client’s needs.

How did you get into private client?

I’m principally a family and wealth lawyer in domestic cases. However, I realised that the really interesting work came from the private client department that referred international work. The complexity allows me to think creatively, garner advice from multiple jurisdictions and liaise with lawyers from other jurisdictions.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Be kind to everyone whatever their station and stay true to yourself as clients are attracted by authenticity.

What is your favourite quote?

“When they go low, we go high,” Michelle Obama.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Theatre. Shakespeare is a particular penchant. Simple pleasures such as walking and discovering new music.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Hyde on Piccadilly and Le Boudin Blanc in London.

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

Due to the pandemic, I have seen an increase in cases focused on variation of spousal maintenance connected to a change in income. I have also sadly seen a rise in emergency injunctions due to domestic violence and also worldwide freezing orders where one party has tried to dissipate assets. Addressing changes to child arrangements has also been a burgeoning area during Covid as parents have chosen, for example, to relocate internally (from the city to the country) or there have been urgent changes to contact arrangements due to the particular health vulnerabilities of family members.

What is the main area of growth you predict for the next 12 months?

In the next year, however, I imagine as weddings are rescheduled because of the lifting of lockdown restrictions, there will be a sudden influx of instructions to prepare nuptial agreements (with international dimensions and no doubt to be agreed as a matter of urgency). If the economy continues to falter, variation of spousal maintenance cases will continue to grow and there may also be set aside applications where circumstances have changed significantly since financial orders were made.

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

1. Running big litigations remotely is more of a challenge. Remote hearings are suitable for some interlocutory and smaller matters, but there are limits to their effectiveness in complex contested matters.
2. Finding the new normal for our businesses. There have been many debates about what this might look like. However, it is an exciting time to establish new models and ways of working.
3. Ensuring the wellbeing of our teams in this state of flux. Managing remotely and motivating our teams is more challenging, so finding new ways to engage, focus and effectively support in our new models is fundamental.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be bolder in what you do and don’t worry so much about what others think. If you believe in something, speak up and be heard. I do that in spades now.