What is fascinating about the history of UK law is what it represents – in effect imposing authority and the ways in which people can challenge that authority. The first instances can be traced back to Norman times. In effect, royalty owned the land while others with tenure ‘held’ the land so there would be disputes as to who owned what.

Feudal system

Essentially under the feudal system the landlord and tenant entered into an agreement that was the equivalent of a marriage. While originally this was through the exchange of services over time this changed as currencies entered into the system.


Over time the unwritten rules changed with the emergence of the UK parliament. As is the case now any laws that are decided upon by the government have to be enacted by the courts, what was originally referred to as ‘common law’. There have been some complications for example with some European laws being brought in as part of the country’s membership of the EU, though of course this is said to be further assessed in the wake of Brexit.


It is fascinating to see how different aspects of the law have changed over time. For example, before 1857 being able to get a divorce was very difficult and was pretty much only available to men and granted through an act of Parliament. This changed in 1857 with the introduction of the Matrimonial Causes Act whereby women could get a divorce on the grounds of adultery (although other causes would often have to be considered such as extreme cruelty or rape).

The law was further changed in 1923 where it became easier for women to apply for a divorce, albeit adultery still had to be proved to grant it. The biggest change was in 1969 as the Divorce Reform Act allowed women to be able to divorce without either side in the relationship having to prove who was at fault.

However, despite there being no “fault” there was still the sense that one side was being disproportionately favoured. A good example of this was in the year 2000 whereby Pamela White appealed to the House of Lords and was successfully awarded £1.5 million.


Our company itself has an interesting history. Going back to the 19th century we have been operating in Portsmouth during that time. Since then we have remained dedicated to helping through various legal issues. Our approach has always remained the same, being big enough to provide specialist resources while at the same time still having the people available to care and look after our clients as much as possible.

If you would like to know more about what we have to offer or would like to discuss a possible case in more detail please contact us today. If you look at our website you will see a number of people with specific specialist knowledge and you can contact them directly, helping you find out what is the most appropriate thing to do in your case.