Fiona Hay

Called 1989

She is settlement-focused and practical. She delivers difficult news with real compassion

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2021


Fiona is an experienced family law specialist with a reputation for measured pragmatism and calm authority in her advocacy. She focuses exclusively on financial remedy cases where she applies her widely recognised expertise to secure practical solutions for her clients, particularly in cases featuring disputes over pension entitlements. Her approach balances empathy and support for her clients with robust and skilful advocacy.

Fiona has a strong interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is an experienced Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) advocate and her calm, pragmatic approach has earned plaudits. Fiona also sits as a judge in Private FDRs – a mechanism that she strongly favours for its effectiveness in delivering workable agreements with minimal distress to the parties involved.

Since January 2013, she has been authorised to sit in the High Court, pursuant to s9 Senior Courts Act 1981 and she has been a Recorder on the Midland Circuit since 2009.

Fiona lectures for Jordan’s Family Law on issues relating to pensions and divorce and is author or co-author of several of the leading guides on this topic (see below). She has delivered training to FRC judges in relation to pension issues. Fiona is a a member of the Pension Advisory Group.

Fiona is an arbitrator and has a busy arbitration practice both as a tribunal and an advocate.

She is also a panel member for Advocate, the Bar’s pro bono unit.

Areas of Expertise

Fiona is an experienced matrimonial finance practitioner and has developed a particular expertise in cases featuring disputes over pension entitlements and family businesses following separation and divorce. She has a strong interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Fiona is an accomplished FDR advocate and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is also available for private financial dispute resolution appointments and early neutral evaluations. She recommends the private FDR route as an effective and time-efficient means of resolving disputes away from the potentially intimidating and adversarial formality of the courtroom.

Her practice also boasts a strong international element, particularly with regards to Part III proceedings.

"She is settlement-focused and practical. She delivers difficult news with real compassion." "She provides clear advice and strategy." "She is a pensions guru with a lovely manner - she makes clients feel reassured and helped." "An elegant advocate who is an expert in domestic and international pensions in regards to divorce." "She delivers difficult news with real compassion, and is both responsive and hugely bright." "Fiona has a lovely manner with clients and makes them feel helped and reassured." Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2021

‘Fiona is strong, fair, compassionate and kind. These are valuable qualities in the legal field. Her knowledge is unsurpassed and her approach to cases always client focused and sensible.’ ‘She has an unrivalled knack of expressing an opinion at the outset in terms of the eventual outcome, and being right.’ Legal 500 UK Bar 2021

"Accessible, personable and fiercely intelligent." Chambers and Partners UK Bar

"Calm, methodical, clear and approachable, she makes what can be stressful experiences for clients at court relatively relaxed affairs." Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020

"She's well prepared in terms of the paperwork and takes a business - like approach to the case, identifying the issues and moving forward in a pragmatic fashion." Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020

"I find her very measured and calm in her approach. What I like is that she doesn't unnecessarily rile up the other side - she's very clear and firm but won't raise the temperature for no reason." Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2020

FLBA, Resolution

Notable Family Finance cases

Shokrollah Babaee v Shokrollah Babaee [2019] EWHC 2975

Cohen J. Enforcement (committal and property transfer) and variation issues following financial remedy orders made by Baker J.

NN v AS & Ors [2018] EWHC 2973

Roberts J judgment in financial remedy proceedings involving beneficial ownership of properties, intervenors, a pre-existing agreement in Egypt and meta data and handwriting evidence.

M v M [2015] EWFC B63

Judgment involving the impact of a party’s potentially substantially reduced life expectancy in financial remedy proceedings particularly with regard to pension sharing.

  • Recorder on Midland Cicuit
  • Licensed to sit in the High Court – s.9 Senior Courts Act
  • Pensions on Divorce: A Practitioner’s Handbook, the leading textbook on pensions and divorce, published by Sweet and Maxwell, 2018.
  • A Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce –The report of the Pension Advisory Group –Fiona is a committee member of the Pension Advisory Group and a co-author of the report
  • Pensions and Equality [2007] Family Law 310.
  • Pension on Divorce–Practical Law, Thomson Reuters
  • Pensions on Divorce –Westlaw
  • Capitalising periodical payments; lump sum or pension share?–Sweet and Maxwell White Paper 2013

Bar Pro Bono 25 hour award