Michelle Woodworth is a Partner in RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice.
Michelle graduated with LL.B (Hons) in 1995 before she was called to the Bar of England & Wales (Middle Temple) in 1996. She was admitted as an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 1998 after completing the Postgraduate Practical Law Course in 1997. In 2004, Michelle was admitted as a Legal Practitioner by the Supreme Court of NSW, Australia and in 2005, as a Solicitor & Barrister by the High Court of Australia.
After more than 12 years in private practice with a focus on Matrimonial Law, Michelle served as a District Judge of the Subordinate Courts of Singapore (now the Family Justice Courts) in the Family & Juvenile Justice Division from 2010 to 2012 before joining the Law Society of Singapore, as Director and Head of their Representation and Law Reform Department.
She is a successful Negotiator, Mediator and Litigator with a passion for the welfare of children. Her dedication in Family Law practice enables Michelle to assist husbands, wives and families when marriages break down. She is regarded by her peers as professional, respectful and knowledgeable in her area of practice.
Michelle holds the following appointments:
- IMI Certified Mediator (since 2015), International Mediation Institute (Profile can be viewed here)
- SMI Certified Mediator (since 2016), Singapore International Mediation Institute
- Senior Mediator (since 1 November 2016), Law Society Mediation Scheme
- Collaborative Family Practitioner (since 2013), Singapore Mediation Centre
- Mediator (2010 to 2015), Matrimonial Mediation Scheme, Singapore Mediation Centre
- Mediator (since 2015), Family Panel, Singapore Mediation Centre
- Volunteer Mediator (since 2013), Family Justice Courts
- Court-Appointed Child Representative (since 2014), Family Justice Courts
- Co-Chairperson (from 2016), the Law Society of Singapore’s Family Law Practice Committee (member since 2001, save for Sep 2010 to July 2014)
- Member, the Law Society of Singapore’s Civil Practice Committee (since 2015)
- Member, Advisory Committee of the Professional Conduct Council (November 2017 to November 2019)
- Primary Justice Lawyer (since 2014), Community Justice Centre
- Member, Selection Panel for Law Programmes, Singapore University of Social Sciences (since 2016)
- Member, Consultant Editorial Board for Family Law, Lexis Nexis (since 2016)
- Parenting Coordinator
Past contributions in which Michelle has been involved include:
- Committee member, Committee for Family Justice, Subcommittee on Profession in 2013
- Working group member, committee drafting the new Professional Conduct Rules under the Legal Profession Act, from 2012 to 2013
- Primary Justice Project working committee member, from inception in 2012 to date
- Participation in the Video Production of Child Court Proceedings in 2009 for the Family Court
- Volunteer at Family Law Legal Clinic
- Tutor for the Preparatory Course Leading to Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations in Family Law, Ethics and Drafting since 2010
- Speaker, Inaugural International Family Law Conference and Middle Temple Conference
- Judging Panel, First Selection panel for interview to law faculty at SIM University
- Speaker, Legal Practice Skills Development Seminar Series (Family Law) on “Divorce Proceedings in General”, Subordinate Courts on 18 May 2010
- Member, Organising Committee, and co-emcee at the Children & the Law Conference held from 21 May 2009 to 23 May 2009, jointly organised by LawAsia and the Law Society of Singapore
- Speaker, the Law Society of Singapore’s Seminar on Cross Border Issues on Children: Parental Abduction and Parental Relocation on 6 November 2008
- Author of chapter on custody, care and control and access of children in a book launched in May 2005 entitled “The Art of Family Lawyering”
- Editor, 2nd edition of “The Art of Family Lawyering” launched in January 2013
- Speaker, the Law Society of Singapore’s Annual CPD Day 2014
- Speaker, Introduction to the International Child Abduction Act, the Law Society’s Family Law Practice Seminars Series 2 on 14 May 2015
- Moderator, Plenary Session, the Law Society’s Mediation Symposium on 20 May 2016
- Speaker, Recent Developments in Law and Practice in the UK and Singapore, 2016
- Speaker, International Family Law Conference 2016, The Future of Family Justice – International and Multi-Disciplinary Pathways
Michelle Woodworth’s clients express their affirmation in her:
“Ms Michelle Woodworth and Ms Ho Shiao Hong represents me in my ongoing ancillary matters (AM) in my divorce application, which I think I am fortunate to get their time. I heard about Michelle sometime in December 2017 and due to the unique facts of my case I thought Michelle would be the right person to help me out and requested her to represent me (plaintiff) in my AM though my divorce application was represented by another competent lawyer and ended successfully. After the initial discussion with Shiao Hong and Michelle, they quickly grasped the situation and advised me how I should proceed irrespective of whether or not I engaged them, and proposed how they could lawfully help me and extended a customised model of engagement to professionally represent me in the Family Justice Courts (FJC). I was moved by their professional approach, and I slept over their advice for a couple of weeks, and finally engaged them as I felt they understood my case well. Since then there is no moment I regretted my decision. I have no words to explain how quickly they grasped the long history of my case that happened before they were and quickly came on board.
I was unlawfully denied access to my son by my wife since the time I served my divorce papers and it was the first issue Michelle and Shiao Hong resolved for me with great success. With their experience, they were (and are) able to anticipate the opponents moves as well as professionally manage the surprises as the case progressed. It is by their efforts, I managed able to get the interim access to my son including unsupervised overnight access in a heavily contested interim access pleading.
Shiao Hong and Michelle very well understand the emotions running with all parties and manage the situation professionally without provoking or hurting the defendant, which I think is essential for the wellbeing of the children involved in any divorce case, and to move on with co-parenting once the case is over.
Their whole team, together their para legal professionals Ms Angelia Ng and Ms Farm Calva always displays the professional ethics, pays close attention to details, and spot on time in all aspects of the communications. They quickly communicate me the letters received from the defendant accompanied with their advice on the next steps; I never regretted going by their advice. Shiao Hong always keeps me advised on the pros and cons of every step in the case, and guides me in taking informed decisions.
I do not know how the outcome of my AM is going to be and I am aware it is beyond the hands of any lawyer. Whatever be the outcome, I will be confident and content that they have put their best efforts in presenting my case at the best possible way available in the legal system at this moment.
My intention of writing this is to shed some light to those in need of legal help in family matters. If you are reading this, I guess you might be in research for finding a suitable legal team, and trust me, you are at the right page now. I would recommend you to establish contact with Michelle as I did and find out for yourself.
May God Bless You!”