Alison has specialised in the law relating to children, Private and Public law for 20 years after a Common Law practice in Crime and housing; the former giving plenty of forensic and cross examination experience and the latter giving her considerable experience in Judicial Review practice and procedure.
Alison is regularly instructed in all aspects of Private Law children work in which she is frequently instructed in cases involving complex factual backgrounds such as: allegations of physical or sexual abuse of children, particularly where the court is considering the veracity of the child’s account, parental influence/fabrication, ABE interviews and contamination etc; mental health issues; substance misuse, allegations of domestic violence and/or coercion and control and where experts have to be cross examined or where the case has significant forensic detail. Her Public Law experience in this respect gives her a real advantage as does dealing with cases in which children are separately represented and her experience of dealing with child witnesses. She has particular expertise in allegations of parental alienation, and is regularly instructed in international relocation cases.
In Public law, Alison is renowned for her expertise in medical cases particularly deaths involving allegations of inflicted head injury, surviving catastrophic head injuries and fractures especially with issues of Vitamin D deficiency. She regularly cross examines medical experts on their hypotheses undertaking medical research at the Institute of Child Health and challenging experts on their research base. She has undertaken joint seminars with the leading experts in the field. This expertise has also been used to great advantage in cases involving allegations of Fabricated or Induced Illness and she has undertaken a number of such cases for all parties. Alison sits as an Assistant Coroner which also gives her additional insight and knowledge. Her cases often involve concurrent criminal proceedings and she is therefore highly experienced in issues of disclosure and PII. Press injunctions are often required given the nature of the cases and she is therefore well versed in the law and procedure relating to them and media management generally. The remainder of Alison’s Public law practice is serious sexual abuse including inter-generational and inter-sibling abuse in which she has good experience of dealing with child and other vulnerable witnesses; radicalisation cases; adoptions; Special Guardianship Orders and local authority duties towards children including Judicial Review and HRA claims for damages on behalf of children and parents.
Alison regularly provides seminars on both Private law and Public law issues and the Voice of the Child including for Resolution.
Recorder – Family Public and Private Law 2012
Assistant Coroner Hertfordshire