Penny Clapham, MCIArb

Year of Call: 2007

Practice Overview

Penny specialises in all aspects of family financial work.  She represents clients in matrimonial and civil partnership proceedings as well as cohabitees in disputes under TOLATA 1996.  She has a particular interest in financial provision for children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.  Penny enjoys international work, including advising in cross border maintenance disputes or in proceedings under Part III of the MFPA 1984. She also has significant experience in advising and representing clients in Jersey.

She is recognised in the legal directories for her formidable advocacy and intellectual rigour combined with a hard-working approach. She has excellent client care skills, balancing the need for compassion and sensitivity with realistic, commercial advice.  Penny understands that there are a number of effective ways of resolving disputes and tailors her approach accordingly: whether a client requires robust litigation, effective negotiation or to utilise forms of ADR to resolve their dispute.

She is at ease appearing against QC’s, often by herself, as well as acting as Junior Counsel with a leader.

Penny qualified as a financial arbitrator in August 2021.

  • Family Finance & Property

    Penny’s are of expertise is in representing clients across the full breadth of family finance and property work, whether acting for a party in divorce proceedings, a separating same- sex couple, a dispute between cohabitees or even parents and children in ‘intervener’ and claims under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. 

    Much of her work involves high-net-worth cases including where there are complex business structures, trusts, offshore assets, farms and international property. She is also brought in to advise in more modest asset cases, including where there are complex allegations of dissipation of assets or a misrepresentation of the financial landscape which requires detailed forensic rigour. 

    Penny also represents vulnerable clients, including those who have been affected by domestic violence or in which there is an issue about mental capacity.  She is comfortable advising on the steps to be taken where there is a concurrent Court of Protection issue.

    She advises and represents clients in international disputes involving jurisdiction and forum, financial relief after an overseas divorce (Part III claims) and international child maintenance obligations. Penny has a particular interest in cases in Jersey and has advised and drafted documents for clients in the Royal Court in Jersey as well as providing representation at private FDR.

    Penny has a particular specialism in cases involving financial arrangements for children (Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 claims) and has co-authored a book on the topic.

    Penny appreciates that not all clients wish to litigate in Court. Penny has successfully represented clients at Arbitration, private FDR and lawyer-led mediation and is happy to advise as to which may be the most appropriate forum in a particular case. 

  • International Family Law

    Penny regularly represents clients in international financial matters.

    Financial claims commonly concern offshore assets, international property or international maintenance issues. Penny is experienced in representing clients in jurisdiction or forum disputes regarding the country in which their proceedings should be heard. Penny enjoys the intellectual challenges of the recognition and enforcement of foreign financial orders.

  • Arbitration

    Penelope is an arbitrator, qualified to take on financial remedies work.

  • What the Directories Say

    A very impressive advocate with a first-class mind. She is very diligent, conscientious, and intelligent. A well-respected barrister.Tier 1 – Legal 500, 2022

    "Takes time to understand what the client wants  and then presents it in a very persuasive way to the Judges. She clearly has the ear of the court." Legal 500, 2021

    "Confident and shrewd and grasps the issues. Explains the position to the client in a very calm and understanding manner. Professional, engaging and approachable." Legal 500, 2021

    "Has a forensic ability to go through numbers and make sense of them. The confidence she gives clients is brilliant and she can cut through to the core of the case with such confidence. She settles cases in no time." "Professional, approachable, and driven to get the right result." "She has an infectious enthusiasm for her work and is loved by clients." Chambers and Partners, 2021

    “A superbly confident and forceful advocate who brings her considerable talents and eye for detail to bear on every case no matter what is at stake.” Legal 500, 2020

    “Razor-sharp intellect and is very hardworking.” Legal 500, 2020

    “Has an awe-inspiring ability to grasp facts quickly and cut through the issues. Her work is thoroughly prepared and impeccably presented, and her confident yet friendly style strikes the perfect tone.” Chambers and Partners, 2020

    “She’s a consummate professional who is always meticulously organised in her preparation.”  Chambers and Partners, 2020

    “One of the brightest rising stars of her generation, Penelope is fearless with opponents but a calming presence with clients.” Chambers and Partners, 2020

    “She has exceptional client care skills and is very talented at translating what the client wants into documentation and oral submissions.” Chambers and Partners 2020

    "Has excellent attention to detail." Legal 500, Children and Family Law, 2019

    "Always impresses when on her feet in court." Legal 500, Children and Family Law, 2019

    Has a mixed practice and handles both high-value matrimonial finance and sensitive children matters, both of which often feature a strong international element. She is noted for her deft handling of challenging abuse cases. She is experienced at handling TOLATA disputes and those relating to issues of complex relocation. "She is one of the rising stars of the junior Bar, and is equally confident in  finance and private law children work. She is vivacious and clients adore her energy, but she is also meticulous in her preparation." Chambers and Partners, 2019

    Has a mixed practice and handles both high-value matrimonial finance and sensitive children matters, both of which often feature a strong international element. She is noted for her deft handling of challenging abuse cases. Her experience includes TOLATA disputes and those relating to serious allegations of sexual abuse. 

    "She stands her ground. She is very robust in her advocacy and she handles clients very well. Her preparation is excellent. Invariably when she is on her feet the other barrister is in her shadow."  Chambers and Partners, 2018

    "A fantastic, well-prepared advocate." Legal 500, Children and Family Law, 2017

    "She has an infectious passion for her work." Legal 500, Children and Family Law, 2017

    Has a mixed practice and handles both high-value matrimonial finance and sensitive children matters, both of which often feature a strong international element. She is noted for her deft handling of challenging abuse cases. 

    "Fearless advocate with excellent legal knowledge and a fantastic way with her clients. Her court documents are superb." Chambers and Partners, 2017

    "Fiercely intelligent, amazingly well prepared and an excellent advocate; clients love her."  Legal 500, Children and Matrimonial Finance, 2016

    "Thorough in her preparation, and liked by solicitors and clients for her engaging personality."  Legal 500 Children and Matrimonial Finance, 2016 

    Has the impressive ability to carry out both financial and children matters to an equal standard. Her peers see her as an effective junior barrister with the potential to go far.

    "She is extremely conscientious and hard-working. At court she is tenacious, she leaves no stone unturned and she gives clients a huge amount of confidence and support. She has boundless energy and that's part of why clients love her." Chambers and Partners, 2016

    Penelope was recommended and described as "up-and-coming" and "developing a strong following". Legal 500, 2012

Legal 500

Leading Junior

Tier 1 - 2022

Chambers and Partners


Band 2 - 2021

Legal 500

Leading Junior

Tier 1 - 2021

Chambers and Partners


Band 2 - 2020

Legal 500

Leading Junior

Tier 1 - 2020

Chambers and Partners


Band 2 - 2022