Henry Brookman is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious, highly experienced’ and having ‘a real commercial eye’. He is also a Recommended Lawyer in the 2021 edition of The Legal 500.
Henry is both English and Australian qualified, and has practised in both jurisdictions for a considerable period of time. He has been a qualified solicitor for over 45 years and has a full range of experience, not only in family law matters, but also other areas of law such as Company Commercial, mining, industrial and family businesses, and complex trusts.
This wide experience allows Henry to give advice from a position which is not only commercially astute, but takes into account tax and other international dimensions. For nearly 20 years, Henry has practised exclusively in England as an international family law specialist. With his enormous experience, Henry directs the handling of all cases in the firm. Depending on their complexity, he will be personally involved to provide strategic and tactical advice.
Henry Brookman was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in South Australia in 1971, and then came to England where he worked for the leading London firm Barlow, Lyde and Gilbert. He returned to South Australia in 1975.
While he was in general practice in South Australia Henry Brookman built up the largest firm in the Lower Murray region. He acted for transport companies, engineering companies, one of the largest co-operatives of tomato growers and onion growers in Australia and a harvester manufacturing factory.
In 1976 Henry Brookman commenced practising family law, handling numerous custody and property settlement cases before he decided to make it his speciality.
He acted for the husband in one of the earliest custody cases where the wife had entered into a lesbian relationship. He took a number of appeal cases through the Full Court of the Family Court, acting for both husbands and wives at different times. In a number of cases he was appointed by the court to act as a separate representative for the children.
Many financial cases involved complicated evidence on business valuation and licenses, and he acted for a wide variety of people from farmers to psychiatrists and lawyers.
In a prominent case Henry Brookman acted for a gay couple who challenged the then law banning homosexual acts; taking it through to the High Court of Australia and succeeding in having it struck down.
In 1997 Henry Brookman was “head-hunted” to return to England to work on matters which required knowledge of both the English and Australian legal systems. He began his work over here with several complex child abduction cases, one of which established a new law in relation to unmarried fathers, and is in the law reports as In re W. He has given evidence in the High Court on Australian family law and been retained by several leading firms and local authorities to advise on Australian law.
Since this time he has acted in complicated financial matters, as well as handling a full range of more straightforward matters. Much of his work has an overseas element. Henry Brookman is widely admired by his clients for his straightforward approach and forthright manner. He makes a policy of not naming clients or giving any detail that might identify them, and so regrets he cannot say more about his recent and current matters.