All members of Senate House Chambers take on privately and publicly funded work at every level of court. Our barristers provide a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience.

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Public Law Children

Instructing solicitors and clients alike hold our family barristers in the highest regard. Our Public Law team enjoy an excellent reputation for strong and intelligent representation as well as sensitive client-handling. Our team is renowned for its forensic approach to cases, whilst maintaining a personal touch throughout.

With its depth of experience and expertise, our Public Law team is perfectly positioned to help with the full range of public law work. Our barristers receive regular instructions from local authorities, parents, guardians, competent children, related parties as well as the Official Solicitor.

Senate House Chambers Public Law Children Team

Hena Vissian
Year of Call: 2002

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Hena is reputed to be a tenacious advocate, who takes a sensitive yet robust approach whilst being mindful, down to earth and child-focused with clients. Hena is well respected by those who instruct her and the court alike.

Hena is well known for her forensic analysis and thorough preparation of cases. She has extensive experience cross-examining experts, professional and other witnesses assisted by her early career at the Criminal Bar where she regularly appeared in trials concerning rape, sexual assault and historical sexual abuse.

She represents parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors alike with particular expertise in:

• Sexual abuse including rape and familial abuse
• Non-accidental /inflicted injury
• Cases involving individuals with learning difficulties (and the use of Intermediaries)
• Cases involving cultural conflict

Hena is experienced and regularly accepts instructions in matters involving:

• Non-accidental injury
• Sexual abuse (including familial abuse and rape)
• Fabricated and/or induced illness
• Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
• Deprivation of liberty
• Chronic neglect and abuse
• Domestic violence
• Cultural conflict
• Forced marriage and honour based violence
• Drug and Alcohol misuse
• Clients with learning difficulties and disabilities
• Clients with mental health difficulties
• Hearing impaired families
• Concurrent criminal proceedings

Education
University:
University of Leicester (BA: Law, Philosophy, Psychology and Drama) (1993-1996)
Brunel University (MA: Criminal Justice) (1996-1998)

Law School:
University of the West of England (2001-2002)
Memberships
Lincoln’s Inn
Midland Circuit

Languages
In addition to English as Hena’s first language she fluently speaks Kutchi and Gujarati and is able to speak Hindi and Punjabi at a conversational level.

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Matthew Chipperfield-Taylor
Year of Call: 2017

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption Act Proceedings
Care Proceedings
Children Act Proceedings
Domestic Violence

Profile
Matthew is known for his client care, approachability and adeptness at dealing with clients with cognitive limitations or mental health difficulties. His attention to detail, extensive preparation and willingness to go the extra mile are appreciated by professional and lay clients alike. Matthew honed these skills during his time assisting in death row appeals cases in Austin, Texas, prior to commencing his career at the Bar.

Matthew acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases:

• Sexual abuse
• Chronic neglect
• Mental Health
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes, including intractable contact disputes

Education
University:
Law with American Law LLB Hons – University of Nottingham (2016)

Law School:
BPTC – Nottingham Law School (2017)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple

What our clients are saying
“Matthew is a very diligent and hardworking advocate. Matthew is very organised, knowledgeable and is able to handle complex matters effectively. While Matthew is a Junior advocate, he is very mature and is well beyond his years. I look forward to instructing him in future matters.”

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Rachel Watkins
Year of Call: 1998

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Rachel Watkins is a family law specialist with extensive experience in complex and serious public and private law proceedings. Rachel’s expertise spans the full range of child related matters including those involving non-accidental injury, incest, and honour based violence with many cases having the added complexity of concurrent criminal proceedings.
Rachel is regularly instructed by local authorities, the Official Solicitor, parents, children’s guardians, children who require separate representation, intervenors and other persons seeking orders in respect of a child. Rachel also accepts instructions on a direct access basis.

Cases feature:
• Serious non-accidental injury
• Incest
• Forced marriage
• Deprivation of liberty
• Mental health and litigation capacity
• Honour based violence
• Chronic neglect
• Children beyond parental control
• Clients with learning difficulties
• Child arrangement orders including protracted disputes in relation to contact
• Removal from the jurisdiction of England and Wales
• Changing of a child’s name or school
• Domestic violence including non-molestation and occupation orders

Memberships

Middle Temple
Registered pupillage supervisor

Cases
S-L (Children) [2011] EWCA Civ 1022 (Court of Appeal)

Y and E (Children) (Sexual Abuse Allegations) [2019] EWCA Civ 206 (Court of Appeal)

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John Vater QC
Year of Call: 1995 Year of Silk: 2012

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Year of Call: 1995
Inn of Court: Gray’s Inn
Education: Oxford University

John is a leading barrister in the field of children’s law. Having graduated from Oxford University (where he was a Scholar), John was called to the Bar in 1995 by Gray’s Inn (where he was Lord Justice Holker Scholar). John took Silk in 2012 and has continued to appear nationally in the most complex and sensitive children’s cases.

John’s expertise in the most complex and serious public law cases is well recognised. He is particularly well known for his skill in cross-examining and deploying highly technical expert evidence. In the past year he has appeared across the country in cases involving allegations of organized multi-generational sexual abuse, enclosed head injuries (so called ‘shaken baby’ cases), so-called factitous or induced illness, multiple fractures and the whole range of cases involving the alleged serious abuse of children. In those cases he has succeeded in arguing for the dismissal of care proceedings in several cases contrary to the weight of the written expert opinion (see for example Re E [2015] EWFC B119). In the past year John has appeared in these cases for Local Authorities, parents and Guardians. The profession recognised John’s continuing contribution to the field of public law children’s law when he was shortlisted as the Jordan’s Family Law QC of the Year.

John has given papers in the law relating to artificial reproduction and surrogacy, and has experience of cases involving so-called ‘non-traditional’ families and relationships. For example, he appeared for the father (donor) in the case of JB v KS [2015] EWHC 180, a leading case relating to the status of pre-birth agreements where sperm is donated.

International Cases:
John appeared in the leading case of Malik (Re M [2015] EWHC 1433) in which the President defined the proper procedure to be followed where Orders in Wardship are sought to prevent children from travelling to warzones. The case highlights the proper scope of wardship in such cases, as well as the use of Anti-Tipping Off and Reporting Restriction Orders in the family jurisdiction. Also before the President, John appeared in the leading case of Re S and T [2015] EWHC 1753, in the field of international adoption.

Media Law:
Many of John’s cases attract media interest and in the last year he has worked closely with the media in a number of cases. He has applied for both Reporting Restriction Orders and Anti-Tipping Off Orders ( e.g.., Re M [2015] EWHC 1433) He is familiar with the need to protect not only children at the centre of high profile litigation, but also the reputations of adults involved. He is comfortable advising in relation to reputation management and the tort of ‘misuse of private information’.

John has been recognised as a leader at the Bar by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for over a decade. In 2015 he was shortlisted as Family Law QC of the Year by Jordan’s Family Law.

‘A public law specialist known for his expertise in medical cases containing extensive expert evidence. He is commended for his technical knowledge and skill at cross-examination.’
Chambers UK Bar 2018 London

‘Focusing on public children law matters, Vater is particularly adept at handing sensitive cases containing complex medical evidence. He is skilled at representing local authorities and parents in cases concerning relocation and surrogacy, while also taking on private international adoption work.’
Chambers UK Bar 2018 South Eastern

‘Focusing on public children law matters, Vater is particularly adept at handling sensitive cases containing complex medical evidence. He is skilled at representing local authorities and parents in cases concerning relocation and surrogacy, while also taking on private international adoption work.’
Chambers UK Bar 2017 South Eastern

‘An impressive advocate who specialises in the field of children law. He undertakes the most serious care cases such as those involving allegations of serious injury and murder. He also handles sensitive and complex private children law matters.’
Chambers UK Bar 2018 Midlands

John is co-author of 2 practitioner text-books; ‘Contact: The New Deal’ (Jordan’s) and ‘The Public Law Outline: a Case Management Compendium’ (Jordan’s). He has written and given numerous papers over the years, spanning surrogacy and artificial reproduction, media law, inflicted head injuries and the role of experts, high conflict private law cases and ‘alienation’. He has been an invited speaker for the Jersey Law Society, the Association of Lawyers for Children, and numerous regional organisations.

In the last year John has appeared in numerous cases in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. A complete list of John’s reported cases is available upon request.

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Penny Van Spall
Year of Call: 1998

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Penny Van Spall is an experienced child law practitioner specialising in both public and private law proceedings. Penny comes from a previous background of being a social worker and also a probation officer. Penny is able to deal with empathy and clear advice to those who struggle with capacity or mental health issues as well as those who are professional and articulate. Penny will work in an open fashion with clients and their instructing solicitors, assisting clients to understand the process and issues whilst also listening carefully to their respective instructions.

Penny acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases including:

• Serious non-accidental injury
• Fabricated and/or induced illness
• Female Genital Mutilation
• Sexual abuse
• Concurrent criminal proceedings
• Children/ families where special educational needs
• Chronic neglect
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption including adoptions with international elements
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes, including both live with and contact disputes

Education
Sunderland Polytechnic…BA(Hons)Communications Studies
Sheffield University…CQSW and Post Graduate
Diploma in App Socio Studies
Nottingham Law School…CPE
Nottingham Law School….Bar Vocational Course
Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Midland Circuit
Gray’s Inn

What our clients are saying
Penny Van Spall is described as an experienced advocate who is skilled at dealing with difficult issues in a straight forward manner. Penny is a child focused and empathetic advocate who will give difficult advice when required. Penny works hard to explain matters to clients.

Cases
F v F (2007 EWHC 2543 [FAM]

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Jo Delahunty QC
Year of Call: 1986 Year of Silk: 2006

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Year of Call: 1986
Year of Silk: 2006
Education: MA (Oxon) Jurisprudence
Appointments:
Public Law Family Recorder (South Eastern Circuit) 2009
Bencher the Honorable Society of Middle Temple 2011
Professor of Law Gresham College, London, 2016

Profile:
Jo specializes in contentious and highly complex cases at High Court level and above involving:
• The death of/catastrophic injuries to a child
• Non Accidental Head Injury (NAHI)/ Shaken baby allegations ( TRIAD cases)
• Vitamin D/Rickets/genetic disorders and congenital malformations which can mimic child abuse
• ISIS cases: alleged radicalisation of children/ risk of flight to Syria
• Sexual abuse (Intergenerational/ Inter sibling/ maternal rape/ genital mutilation/ internet exploitation)
• Ritualized child abuse/cultural practices such as Kndoki
• Child protection cases involving concurrent criminal prosecution for terrorist offences / trafficking/ attempted murder/ child cruelty and neglect/ sex offences
• Fabricated Induced Illness (FII) allegations
• Parents with disabilities ( with a particular interest in learning disabilities)
• right of and services for a disabled child within care proceedings
• Cases involving cross examination of a child or vulnerable adult
• Re-litigation/challenge to historic findings of abuse based on emerging science/ fresh factual evidence.

Professional Memberships
Inquest Association of Lawyers for Children
Association of Women Barristers
Family Law Bar Association
The Middle Temple Women’s Forum (steering committee) 2011 – present
Centre for Child and Family Reform (CCFLR) committee 2012–present
Patron of AMEND (The Association for Multiple Endocrine Disorders)
FLBA National committee member 2010 – 13
FLBA chair of Fees sub committee 2012 – 13

Recommendations
‘the decision of the children’s solicitor and junior counsel to instruct Miss Delahunty QC was, in my view, both wise and responsible ‘ per Lord Justice McFarlane Re A (2012) EWCA Civ 1477

Directories
Highly sought-after specialist children silk entrusted with the most significant and demanding national cases. She regularly handles matters concerning the most serious injuries and fatalities resulting from sexual assault, radicalism and abuse. She has particular expertise in matters concerning a large amount of complex expert evidence following investigation.

Strengths: “Expert in children work, she is brilliant at distilling a case down to its key issues and is great at strategic planning. Very supportive to instructing solicitors, she’s easy to talk to.”
Chamber & Partners 2018
Band 1

Jo Delhunty QC, has been selected for inclusion in the Seventh Edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom for her renowned expertise in Family Law.

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Alison Grief QC
Year of Call: 1990 Year of Silk: 2015

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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

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Cyrus Larizadeh QC
Year of Call: 1992 - Year of Silk: 2016

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Cyrus Larizadeh is commonly called upon to handle very complex and high profile private and public law children cases.
He is a “terrific lawyer who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable”. He is “very good, a calm and competent advocate” who is “well respected by judges”.

Chambers and Partners 2008-2014

He has also been listed as a leading family barrister in Legal 500 since 2010.

Experience
Year of Call: 1992
Year of Silk: 2016

Education
BA (Kent)
Dip Droit Francais (Bordeaux)
Cyrus was educated at Harrow School, the University of Kent and the University of Bordeaux
Rothschild Scholarship (Harrow)
Hallett Prize for Law (Kent)

Languages
French, Persian

Profile
Cyrus Larizadeh QC specialises in complex private law cases. He is also excellent in relocation cases. He has a great approach with Direct Access clients. He also has a well known expertise in both private and public law family cases where there are allegations of sexual and emotional abuse and non accidental injury. He represents parents, local authorities and children in the most serious and intractable of proceedings. He has appeared in the Supreme Court and in a number of very high profile cases including Baby P. His training on the law and evidence in sexual abuse cases is in demand across the country. His seminars on the law relating to assessments under s.38(6) Children Act 1989 are recognised nationally and have been used by the Judicial Studies Board.

He is a Member of the Magic Circle.

Professional Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple

Directories
‘Thoroughly charming and a delight to work with.’
The Legal 500 2015

‘Brilliant forensic skills; his analysis of evidence is sharp and on point. The Legal 500 2014 Commonly called upon to handle high-profile and complex sexual abuse and non-accidental injury matters. Expertise: “Very good; he is a calm and competent advocate.” Chambers & Partners 2014 Recomended as a Leading Junior in the area of Children law The Legal 500 2013 Private and public children law specialist Cyrus Larizadeh is commended for his “excellent courtroom manner.” His recent matters have included a number of cases arising from sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Chambers and Partners 2013 The ‘meticulous and excellent’ Cyrus Larizadeh – has ‘in-depth knowledge of all aspects of children law, and specialist knowledge of cases involving sex offences or allegations of sexual abuse’. The Legal 500 2012 Cyrus Larizadeh handles public law children matters. His cases often involve non-accidental injury and sexual abuse. Chambers and Partners 2012 Recommended as a Leading Junior in The Legal 500 2011 Cyrus Larizadeh excels at care cases involving non-accidental injury and complex medical evidence. Chambers & Partners 2011 Cyrus Larizadeh offers a ‘meticulous approach’ and is ‘well respected by judges’. The Legal 500 2010 Cyrus Larizadeh is a good all-rounder who is “conscientious, thorough and knowledgeable.” Chambers & Partners 2010 A “terrific lawyer” who is enthusiastic and knowledgable about his work,” Cyrus Larizadeh earns the respect of both peers and clients. Complex care proceedings form the mainstay of his practice, with a particular emphasis on matters involving sexual abuse and non-accidental injury. Chambers & Partners 2009 Cyrus Larizadeh makes his debut in the tables this year, having stood out from the crowd in protracted cases concerning care proceedings. “Working at an incredible level of detail and completely on top of the papers,” observers report that he is also “very good on his feet.” Chambers & Partners 2008

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Michelle Christie
Joint Head of Chambers
Year of Call: 1999

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Representation of Children

Profile
Michelle is a specialist in the law relating to children. Her practice consists of approximately 90% Public Law through which she represents the full ambit of parties; parents including via the Official Solicitor, local authorities, Children’s Guardians and children who can be represented in their own right.

Michelle has particular expertise in the following areas:

• Complex Care Proceedings
• Fabricated and Induced Illness
• Infant deaths and near fatal injuries
• Complex medical cases.
• Sexual abuse including inter-familial and inter-sibling.
• Running Care proceedings where there are concurrent criminal proceedings.

On occasion Michelle conducts complex Private Law Children proceedings involving:

• Allegations of abuse are raised.
• Parental Alienation.
• There is a high profile element.
Michelle has been junior to leading counsel on many occasions and has had the pleasure of being led by Jo Delahunty QC, Leslie Samuels QC, Cyrus Larizadeh QC, Darren Howe QC and John Vater QC. Michelle also acts as a leading junior in complex cases.

Education
University:
De Montfort University (1998)

Law School:
Inns of Court School of Law (1999)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Middle Temple

What our clients are saying
Michelle is popular with Solicitors and Lay Clients as a result of:

• Her forensic skills and exceptionally thorough case preparation and analysis.
• The quality of her preparatory and written work, which has often attracted praise from the judiciary in judgments.
• Michelle’s cross-examination techniques of experts and other witnesses.
• Michelle’s exceptional advocacy skills are coupled with a very personable and kind approach to lay clients, which assist greatly in making the court process less daunting.

Cases
C (A child : Fact Finding : Delay) [2014] EWFC B72 (21 November 2014) ED, Re [2015]

EWFC B84 (29 May 2015)

NORHAMPTONSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL v (1) MZ (2) FD (3) FL (2015)
P (A Child), Re [2018] EWCA Civ 720 (11 April 2018)

Pro bono work
Michelle is very much committed to pro bono representation and is willing to continue to represent clients in circumstances were funding is no longer available and the interests of justice require continued representation.

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Lianne Murphy
Joint Head of Chambers
Year of Call: 2001

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Representation of Children

Profile
Lianne Murphy is a highly experienced child law practitioner specialising in public law proceedings. She is adept at communicating with lay clients of all ages and cognitive abilities, managing each case with care and compassion. She works hard to ensure a level playing field for all clients, enabling them to fully engage with the legal process. Lianne’s highly developed forensic skills and medico-legal knowledge make her well suited to the rigorous demands of Non-Accidental Injury and Fabricated and Induced Illness cases. She is regularly led by Queen’s Counsel and often acts as a Leading Junior Counsel in more complex proceedings.

Lianne represents parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases:

  • Serious non-accidental injury
  • Fabricated and/or induced illness, including hospital intervenors
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Concurrent criminal proceedings
  • Human Rights Act claims arising from public law proceedings
  • Chronic neglect
  • Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
  • Special Guardianship

Education
Inns of Court School of Law (2001)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Lincoln’s Inn

What our clients are saying
Lianne Murphy is described as having ‘A first-class mind whose attention to detail in medical cases is second to none.” She is renowned for her in depth knowledge of Human Rights.

Lianne has consistently been listed as a leading junior in Family and Children Law in the Legal 500.

Cases
Z (A Child), Re [2020] EWFC B13

P (A Child), Re [2018] EWCA Civ 720 ([2018] 1 WLR 4486, [2018] 2 FLR 893, [2018] 3 FCR 9, [2018] EWCA Civ 720, [2018] WLR 4486, [2018] WLR(D) 228;

M (Care Proceedings: Finding of Fact Hearing: Fractures) [2017] EWFC B50 (14 July 2017)

Northamptonshire County Council v AS and Others [2015] EWCH 199

Devjee v Patel [2006] EWCA Civ 1211

Pro bono work
Lianne is very much committed to pro bono representation and is willing to continue to represent clients in circumstances were funding is no longer available and the interests of justice require continued representation.

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Stuart Yeung
Year of Call: 1989

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements

 

Profile
Stuart Yeung is an experienced child law practitioner specialising in public and private law proceedings. Stuart acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children and intervenors on the Midlands Circuit. Acting on behalf of local authorities usually involves numerous parties and complex issues arising out of serious non-accidental injury and/or death and complex medical issues. Stuart employs a proactive, careful and sensitive approach to his preparation, has good case management skills and the ability to identify key issues and communicate effectively with professional and lay clients alike.

Stuart’s experience and current practice includes cases involving:

• Serious non-accidental injury
• Fabricated and/or induced illness, including hospital intervenors
• Female Genital Mutilation
• Sexual abuse
• Concurrent criminal proceedings
• Human Rights Act claims arising from public law proceedings
• Chronic neglect
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements (formerly residence and contact) disputes, including intractable contact disputes

Education
University:
Leicester Polytechnic (1988) LL.B (Hons)
Law School:
Inns of Court School of Law (1989)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple
Midlands Circuit
Stuart is able to take instructions under the Public Access scheme.
Stuart is a registered pupil supervisor

Cases
A County Council v CAFCASS [2019] EWHC 2369 (Fam)

Northamptonshire County Council v AB & CD [2019] EWHC 1807 (Fam)

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Mary Abbott
Year of Call: 1994

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Mary specialises in all aspects of Public and Private Law representing Parents, Children and Intervenors. She has a direct but sensitive approach, always mindful that her clients are more often than not highly emotional and apprehensive. She has a wealth of experience to bring to hearings and conferences, putting her client’s case forcefully but realistically.

• Sexual abuse
• Chronic neglect
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes.

Education
University:
Leicester University BA (Hons)

Inns of Court School of Law London

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association Gray’s Inn
Midland Circuit

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Elizabeth Gooderham
Year of Call: 2001

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Elizabeth Gooderham is a very experienced advocate who, after an early career at the bar undertaking both criminal and family law now specialises solely in all aspects of child-care law.

Elizabeth specialises in public and complex private law proceedings. Elizabeth is a thorough and detailed advocate with an ability to get to the heart of the matter. She has a sensitive and understanding approach when dealing with vulnerable clients, including those with mental health difficulties, young parents and competent children.

Elizabeth acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases, including:

• Serious non-accidental injury
• Sexual abuse
• Concurrent criminal proceedings
• Chronic neglect
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Parents with mental health difficulties
• Adoption
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes
• Parental alienation

Education
University:
University of Derby (2000)

Law School:
Inns of Court School of Law (2001)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple
Midland Circuit

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Jenna Allen
Year of Call: 2002

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Beginning her career in the Criminal Courts, and later expanding and developing her practice to specialise in Public (Care) and Private Law Children matters, Jenna has earned her a deserved reputation amongst solicitors and the judiciary as a formidable advocate. Her wealth of experience extends across all tiers of the judicial system, from the Magistrates and Youth Court, through the Crown and County Court to the High Court and Court of Appeal.

As an advocate for Parents, Intervenors and Children/Guardians, Jenna is adept at handling cases involving:

• Domestic Abuse – representing both victims and perpetrators
• Sexual Abuse
• Severe Neglect
• Vulnerable parents, including those with learning disabilities
• Drug/alcohol addictions and dependency issues
• Intractable contact disputes

Education
Leicester University, LLB Hons (2001)
Nottingham Law School; Bar Vocational Course – Very Competent (2002)

Appointments and Memberships
Lincoln’s inn
Midland Circuit
• Bar Council’s Direct Public Access scheme
• Jenna is a registered pupil supervisor

What our clients are saying
Jenna is a diligent, committed and effective advocate who always strives to achieve the best outcome for those she represents whilst giving well-founded and realistic advice. She is known for her ability to effectively deal with conflict and potential hostility. A particular strength is her ability to skilfully challenge expert and professional witnesses.

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William Falshaw
Year of Call: 1987

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
William Falshaw has been involved in law for over 30 years. Using his background in criminal law he has developed a successful family law practice by using his experience as a launch-pad to meet new challenges.

William has represented applicants in Private Law cases and acted for guardians and parents in contested Public Law hearings at all levels. He is well versed in dealing with allegations of neglect, emotional and sexual abuse. William has a compassionate affinity which allows him to understand drug addiction and the challenges faced by parents in the Family Court, his compassion and understanding in dealing with cases involving domestic abuse, be it for a victim a perpetrator or on behalf of a child, has often been commented favourably by the Judiciary.

William acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a range of cases:

• Adoption
• Special guardianship
• Child arrangement disputes
• Criminal proceedings
• Neglect
• Sexual abuse
• Drug and alcohol abuse
• Domestic Violence

Education
University:
Queen Mary College (University of London)

Law School:
City University
Inns of Court College of Law

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple

What our clients are saying
William Falshaw has been praised for his well-balanced advice to clients and his professional, his considered approach towards his clients and his tenacity in putting his client’s case clearly and succinctly.

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Samantha Reddington
Year of Call: 2015

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings

Profile
Samantha Reddington is an experienced child law practitioner specialising in public law proceedings. Prior to her call to the Bar in 2015 Samantha was a solicitor specialising in children’s cases since 1999.

Samantha became a member of the Children Panel in 2002. During her practice as a solicitor Samantha was up until 2010 a partner in private practice (Legal 500 top tier firm Borneos), where she headed the Care Team across all 3 offices and the Family team in Bedford.

From 2010 until her call to the Bar, Samantha practised as a freelance advocate specialising in public law proceedings.

Samantha is adept at challenging evidence including medical expertise from all disciplines.

Samantha acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases:

• Serious non-accidental injury
• Fabricated and/or induced illness, including hospital intervenors
• Female Genital Mutilation
• Sexual abuse
• Concurrent criminal proceedings
• Human Rights Act claims arising from public law proceedings
• Chronic neglect
• Hearing impaired families
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption including adoptions with international elements
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes, including intractable contact disputes

Education
University:
Thames Valley University (1995)

Law School:
London 1995-1996

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Lincolns Inn.

Cases
Z (A Child), Re [2020] EWFC B13

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Lucy Fairclough
Year of Call: 2005

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Lucy Fairclough is an experienced advocate specialising in child law. Prior to specialising in family law, Lucy also practised at the criminal bar prosecuting and defending offences including serious sexual offences and domestic violence This background has provided Lucy with invaluable experience, skills and knowledge that is particularly beneficial in cases involving and issues of sexual abuse, non-accidental injury, domestic violence and in cases requiring cross examination of a child. In the court room Lucy is a robust and tenacious advocate; with her clients Lucy is able to give firm and clear advice whilst remaining compassionate and sympathetic.

Lucy acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases:

• Serious non-accidental injury
• Fabricated and/or induced illness, including hospital intervenors
• Female Genital Mutilation
• Sexual abuse
• Concurrent criminal proceedings
• Human Rights Act claims arising from public law proceedings
• Chronic neglect
• Hearing impaired families
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption including adoptions with international elements
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes, including intractable contact disputes

Education
University:
University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (2003)

Law School:
Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University (2005)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Grays Inn
Midland Circuit
Women in Family Law

What our clients are saying
Lucy has a strong reputation for being a professional, accomplished and dedicated advocate who has particular skill in client care. Lucy is particularly adept in cases involving an intermediary and at managing vulnerable and challenging clients.

Cases
ED, RE [2015] EWFC B84 (29 May 2015)

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Hannah Mettam
Year of Call: 2006

hm@senatehousechambers.com | 01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Representation of Children

Profile
Hannah has been ranked in the Legal 500 as a Leading Junior in Children cases since 2018.

Hannah has significant experience and expertise in Public Law Children matters, and some private law children in cases where serious allegations are made. A specialist in complex proceedings, Hannah regularly appears in cases involving the most serious of allegations and has a wealth of experience both in being led by Queen’s Counsel and in leading other junior members of Chambers. Hannah regularly appears in High Court proceedings.

Hannah acts on behalf of Local Authorities, parents, children and intervenors in a wide range of cases including:

• Cases involving child death
• Serious non-accidental injury
• Fabricated and induced illness
• Admission of children to hospital for treatment
• Sexual abuse

Education
University: Nottingham Trent University (LLB 1st Class)
Law School: Nottingham Law School

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple

What our clients are saying
Hannah is routinely requested in cases when a detailed and forensic approach is required. Her advocacy style is described as formidable and she is an extremely popular choice, for lay and professional clients alike, where cases require expert cross-examination. Hannah’s client-care skills are second-to-none.

Legal 500 – “A redoubtable advocate who inspires confidence in clients.”

Cases
Z (A Child), Re [2020] EWFC B13

Northamptonshire County Council v AB & Anor [2019] EWHC 1807 (Fam)

O (A Child): Interim Care Order [2019] EWCA Civ 583

H-L (Children: Summary Dismissal of Care Proceedings) [2019] EWCA Civ 704
([2019] 4 WLR 70, [2019] EWCA Civ 704, [2019] WLR(D) 240; From England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

P (A Child), Re [2018] EWCA Civ 720 ([2018] 1 WLR 4486, [2018] 2 FLR 893, [2018] 3 FCR 9, [2018] EWCA Civ 720, [2018] WLR 4486, [2018] WLR(D) 228

ES (A Child), Re [2017] EWFC B96 (03 November 2017)

ED, Re [2015] EWFC B84

X County Council v AB & CD [2015] EWFC 98

NCC v L & Anor [2014] EWHC 4828 (Fam)

Cooke, R (on the application of) v Director of Public Prosecutions [2008] EWHC 2703 (Admin) (2008) 172 JP 596, [2008] EWHC 2703 (Admin), [2008] MHLR 348

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Abigail Turner
Year of Call: 2006

01604 210 979


Specialist areas

Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence


Profile
Abigail is an experienced, diligent and respected advocate specialising in public and private law relating to children.

The empathy and sensitivity she shows towards her clients means she is frequently instructed to act in complex cases especially those involving vulnerable clients.

Abigail is the Head of the Private Law Team at Senate House Chambers. Abigail strives to achieve the best outcome for her client and is known for providing realistic and well-founded advice. She has extensive experience in negotiating consent orders on behalf of clients where previous agreement has not been possible and where detail has been key.

Abigail is regularly instructed in cases involving:

• Applications for contact including cases requiring the introduction or reinstatement of contact
• Change of residence including shared residence
• Parental alienation / malign influence
• Sexual abuse
• Drugs and alcohol
• Mental health concerns
• Safeguarding concerns including the involvement of social services

Her care practice regularly sees her representing parents, local authorities, interveners and children’s guardians and her experience extends to cases involving:

• Non accidental injury including “shaken baby syndrome”
• Severe neglect
• Sexual abuse including incest and in cases where a subject child is an alleged abuser
• Alcohol and drug dependency
• Domestic abuse to include allegations of the murder of a parent
• Cognitive limitations or vulnerabilities to include instruction from the Official Solicitor and instructions direct from a child
• Secure accommodation

Education
University:
University of East Anglia (2005)

Law School:
Nottingham (2006)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Middle Temple

What our clients are saying
Abigail is one of a handful of barristers whom I immediately think of when a difficult case with labyrinthine facts and complex issues lands on my desk. If there’s a fight to be had she has the heart, knowledge, expertise and intellectual armoury to meet the challenge and meet it well

Cases
B (a child) [2014] EWCC B55 (fam)

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Grant Keyes
Year of Call: 2007

01604 210 979


Specialist areas
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Adoption and Special Guardianship

 

Profile

Grant is an experienced specialist family law practitioner in public and private children law. Grant always fights for the rights of his clients and has the ability to disseminate the most complex cases into the key facts in a calm manner, whilst providing clear and realistic advice. Grant uses his forensic approach to complex cases and skilled advocacy whilst maintaining a calm and warm manner with his clients. Grant has the experience of working with the most vulnerable individuals who have suffered significant trauma in their lives, and regularly works with intermediaries on particularly emotionally charged and complex cases.

Grant acts on behalf of parents, children’s guardians, children and intervenors in a wide range of cases:

• Serious non-accidental injury
• Fabricated and/or induced illness
• Sexual Abuse
• Domestic Violence
• Chronic Neglect
• Drug and Alcohol Abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption including Revocation of Adoption
• Special Guardianship
• Secure Accommodation/Deprivation of Liberty
• Child arrangements disputes, including intractable contact disputes

Education
University:
University of Leicester (BA)
Warwick Business School (MBA)

Law School:
BPP London (2005)

Memberships/Scholarships
Family Law Bar Association
Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn
– Richard York Scholarship (2006)
– CPE Scholarship (2005)

What our clients are saying
Grant has a reputation for his high level of advocacy, demonstrating his forensic ability to find the ‘needle in the haystack’ and to always fight for his client. He is truly client focused and robust in his approach, whilst remaining calm in the ‘eye of the storm’. He cares about his clients and will do what is right whilst always being professional providing advice in a straightforward and direct style. Grant represents clients in the County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Cases
[2020] EWCA Civ 1382 (Court of Appeal – Judge had erred in his approach to, and analysis of, the medical evidence and findings of fact relating to a serious head injury suffered by the child.)

Re H-B-S [2020] EWCA Civ 1027 (Court of Appeal – Judge had been wrong to discharge interim care orders in the middle of a fact finding)

Re S [2020] EWHC 217 (Fam) – (High Court – Fabricated Illness, Sexual Abuse – Finding of Fact – client exonerated)

Re T (A Child) sub nom OCC v (1) A (Mother) (2) B (Father) (3) T (BY Guardian) (4 & 5) C & D (Paternal Aunt & Uncle) (2017) (Successful challenge to Foster to Adopt – child returned to the family)

Re S [2015] (non-reported) – (Non-accidental injury (fracture) to a 6 month old baby – Finding of Fact hearing –child returned home to family)

Re P (a child) NCC v (1) LC (2) GA (3) P (a child) 2015
[2010] EWCA Crim 1348

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Samantha Dunn
Year of Call: 2008

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements

Profile
Samantha Dunn is an experienced and established family law practitioner that has specialised primarily in care proceedings. Samantha provides clients with frank but sensitive advice enabling them to make informed decisions throughout the duration of the case. Samantha thoroughly cares about the work that she undertakes and will often go ‘above and beyond’ for the benefit of her lay and professional clients. She is a tenacious and persuasive advocate adept in both negotiation and court room advocacy skills.

She has experience representing a number of Local Authorities, Guardians, parents and other interested parties / intervenors in cases involving:

• Serious non-accidental injuries (fractures – including baby-shake cases, bruising, sexual abuse cases);
• Physical and sexual abuse of children and / or adults;
• Fabricated and/or induced illness;
• Female Genital Mutilation;
• Chronic neglect, emotional and psychological abuse;
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings);
• Adults or children with learning difficulties and / or disabilities;
• Domestic Violence / Domestic Abuse (including honour-based violence);
• Adoption;
• Special Guardianship;
• Child arrangements disputes, including intractable contact disputes and alienation;
Samantha is qualified to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis.

Education
University:
University of Derby (2007)

Law School:
University of Nottingham (2008)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Middle Temple

What our clients are saying
Samantha is renowned for her no-nonsense straight-talking approach. She has excellent client care skills and will provide clients with firm but sensitive advice to ensure they are equipped and empowered to make the right choices throughout their litigation.

Cases
T (A Child: Fact Finding) [2014] EWFC B115 (12 September 2014)

NCC v L & Anor [2014] EWHC 4828 (Fam) (21 July 2014)

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Charlene Henderson
year of Call: 2009

01604 210 979


Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Charlene practices exclusively in children matters, covering all aspects of private and public children’s work in the family field. Charlene began her practice in both crime and family; her mixed practice has equipped her with knowledge of the crossover between the criminal and family jurisdictions. Charlene conducted her last ever criminal case in the Court of Appeal.

Charlene has experience in representing local authorities, parents, interveners, related parties, children’s guardians and competent children at all stages of care proceedings. She appears before all levels of the judiciary, including in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Her work in this field includes:

• Fact finding hearings comprising serious non-accidental injury (‘shaken’ baby allegations, multiple fractures and multiple bruising).
• Fact finding hearings involving sexual abuse allegations.
• Re-litigation/challenge to historic findings.
• Drug and alcohol abuse, including FDAC proceedings.
• Mental illness or learning difficulties, including when the client is represented by the Official Solicitor.
• Representation of young clients.
• Serious domestic violence.
• Chronic neglect.
• Removal from jurisdiction.
• High conflict cases (parental alienation and malign influence).
• Appeal hearings.

Public Access scheme:
Charlene regularly accepts instructions under the Public Access scheme.

Education
University:
University of Sussex (2008)

Law School:
BPP London (2009)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Lincoln’s Inn

What our clients are saying
Charlene takes a dedicated approach to all of her cases and has a reputation for representing clients with passion and conviction. She has a fierce tenacity in the courtroom and has been described as an “impressive advocate” with an “astonishing command of her case”. Her knowledge, preparation and organisation of papers has been referred to as “exceptional”.

Cases
Re Z (A Child: Committal Proceedings) [2020] EWFC B5

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Daniel Sheridan
Year of Call: 2008

01604 210 979


Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence


Profile

Daniel Sheridan is an experienced child law practitioner specialising in public and private law proceedings. Daniel takes a compassionate and focused approach to his lay and professional clients. Daniel places the upmost importance on giving balanced, clear, evidenced-based advice to empower clients to make informed, mindful decisions. In the often emotionally charged and stressful environment of the Family Court, clients should feel enabled to make the right choices for their case.

Daniel acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases:

• Serious non-accidental injury
• Fabricated and/or induced illness, including hospital intervenors
• Female Genital Mutilation
• Sexual abuse
• Concurrent criminal proceedings
• Human Rights Act claims arising from public law proceedings
• Chronic neglect
• Hearing impaired families
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption including adoptions with international elements
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes, including intractable contact disputes

Education
University:
University of Sheffield (2007)

Law School:
Manchester Metropolitan University (2008)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Inner Temple
The Medio-Legal Society

What our clients are saying
Daniel Sheridan is described as going beyond the call of duty and is a child focused and robust advocate. He has a reputation for his attention to detail and has fantastic client care skills. Daniel is listed as a leading junior in Family and Children Law in the legal 500.

Cases
Z (A Child), Re [2020] EWFC B13

A (fact finding, rib injuries), Re [2019] EWFC B89 (30 September 2019)

A Local Authority v A Mother & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 799 (09 May 2019)

Northamptonshire County Council v M and N [2018] EWFC 82

Milton Keynes Council v A, B, X and Y (Muslim children, Special Guardianship) [2014] EWFC B102 (14 May 2014

OCC v B & T [2015] EWFC B73 (18 June 2013)

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Andrew Duncan
Year of Call: 2011

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence
Financial Remedy Proceedings

Profile
Andrew has developed a strong reputation in all areas of Family Disputes. He is regularly instructed in complex private and public law cases. He has developed a reputation as a fearless advocate who dispenses with advice in a frank and down to earth manner.

Professional clients can expect Andrew to be a team player, who goes the extra mile and values the importance of working together. Andrew is instructed across all levels of court allocation. He regularly deals with complex physical and sexual abuse allegations, and within the private law sphere has developed a trusted reputation for cases involving complex parental alienation.

Andrew represents Parents, Local Authorities, Children (directly or through their guardian), intervenors, grandparents and divorcees. Andrew without doubt has an ability to get straight to the point, he is a strong negotiator, and a resolute cross examiner.

Andrew is regularly instructed in cases involving complex issues such as; international relocation, parental alienation, significant substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic violence and non-accidental injury.

Andrew has participated as both Appellant and Respondent in many appeal hearings. A number of those appeals have resulted in re-hearings being directed.

Andrew also regularly accepts instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access scheme and sees many referrals as a consequence of his successes.

Education
University:
University of Sussex LL.B (Hons) Law (2009):
University of Edinburgh LL.M Law (2010)
Law School:
BPP Law School (London)
Bar Professional Training Course (2011)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

What our clients are saying
Andrew is well known for getting results and having a strong presence in the court room. Known for good communication skills, robust advice, and a forensic cross examiner.

Cases
Re B (A Child) [2020] EWFC 34

Re CE (2020)
Andrew appeared for a mother, accused of parental alienation as assessed by a psychologist. Andrew was instructed late in the proceedings when a fact find, and welfare hearing were listed. His advice, and representation brought about agreement to the proceedings and resulted in the vacating of the fact find hearing and the child remaining in the care of his client.

Re B (2020)
On behalf of the children, Andrew successfully opposed an appeal brought by the parents and the children were removed into foster care and the conclusion of the appellate process.

Re TE (2020)
Andrew represented a father who faced a number of allegations of domestic violence over a decade. Following the fact find hearing the court found those allegations not proven and went on to find the mother was the aggressor in the relationship.

Re J (2020)
Andrew appeared as junior for a father to the sibling of a murdered child in the High Court. The case involved complex issues of non-disclosure, significant police disclosure, and a forensic enquiry into the conduct of foster carers at the welfare stage.

Re P (2019)
Andrew acted for the children where he sought the transfer of living arrangements of two children who were living with the mother to their father’s care. This was a complex parental alienation case where the mother had previously made serious allegations of abuse against the father. The children were successfully transitioned at the conclusion of the case.

Re H (2019)
Andrew appeared for a mother who made allegations of significant domestic violence and coercive control, including gaslighting and influence of the child. The proceedings had jurisdictional issues and the court ultimately found all the allegations made by the mother proven.

Re RJ (2018)
Andrew represented a father in a parental alienation case who faced twelve allegations of physical abuse against his child made by the mother. The court found none of these allegations proven and went on to find that the mother had alienated the children from the father and that the child was at risk of significant harm in the care of the mother.

Re PD (2018)
Andrew appeared on behalf of the mother and successfully sought an order for no direct contact between a child and her father. The court made the order sought by Andrew following his cross examination of a consultant psychiatrist, community psychiatric nurse, and CAFCASS officer who had all recommended that there be direct contact between the father and the child.

Re HW (2017) On behalf of a father, Andrew successfully appealed the decision of the lower court to make care and placement orders following a final hearing. The appeal consisted of two days of legal argument and was opposed by both the Local Authority and the children’s guardian. The appeal was allowed, and the matter listed for rehearing.

Re EW (2016)
Andrew, acting for a local authority, successfully appealed the decision of a District Judge to adjourn care and placement order applications for a further six months to allow time for the mother to engage in further theory. This was following a fully contested 7-day trial. The appeal consisted of two days of legal argument and was opposed by the legal teams on behalf of the mother and father.

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Ayesha Bell-Paris
Year of Call: 2012

01604 210 979

7Ayesha-Bell-Paris

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence
Financial Remedy Proceedings

Profile
Ayesha is regularly instructed in cases following the breakdown of a relationship and offers a holistic wrap-around service; whether that be resolving the arrangements for children, or the parties’ financial affairs. Ayesha also has significant experience in care/public law proceedings and applications arising from the Family Law Act 1996.

Ayesha has a balanced practice and has represented Local Authorities, parents, extended family members, intervenors, cohabitees, divorcees, same sex couples, and children (both directly and via a Guardian). She has been instructed in cases at all levels of allocation, including in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Ayesha has also assisted clients at mediation, resulting in the resolution of matters without the need for proceedings to be issued.

Ayesha is regularly instructed in cases involving complex issues such as; international relocation, parental alienation, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic violence and non-accidental injury.

Ayesha also accepts instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access scheme.

Education
University College London – BA English (2010)
Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Denning Society

What our clients are saying
Ayesha is renowned for her impeccable preparation of cases and outstanding written work. Her sensitive and pragmatic approach has been commended by lay clients and Judges alike.

Ayesha also appreciates the importance of being able to work as a team alongside her professional clients and recently received the following feedback from an instructing solicitor: “It has been greatly reassuring to have Counsel in this matter that I have been able to completely rely upon”.

Cases
W-C-T (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 845

Re B [2019] – Ayesha represented a father at a multi-day final hearing in care proceedings in which all other parties supported Care and Placement orders being made in relation to two children. Ayesha successfully persuaded the court to resist making final orders and to direct an independent social work assessment of her client.

B v P [2015 & 2018] – TOLATA proceedings culminating in a final hearing at which Ayesha obtained an order for sale of a jointly owned property and a favourable division of the equity for her client. Ayesha was instructed in the subsequent enforcement proceedings in which a possession order was obtained and costs awarded.

Re R-T [2017] – Ayesha represented a mother in care proceedings who was accused of inflicting significant bruising upon her young child. No findings of inflicted injury were made during the fact finding hearing and the proceedings concluded with both subject children being rehabilitated home to her care pursuant to a Supervision Order.

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Sophie Gayner
Year of Call: 2012

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Secure accommodation
Domestic Violence

Profile
Sophie has established a successful and varied practice in public and private law proceedings. She acts in urgent applications through to multi-day hearings on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians and intervenors. Sophie has developed a strong practice in representing competent children and vulnerable clients due to her compassionate and personable approach, and is recognised for her perseverance and commitment to always achieving the best outcome for her client. Sophie’s forensic approach to evidence, combined with her experience at the Bar and knowledge acquired through her Genetics degree, has lead to instructions in serious cases of sexual and physical abuse, and non-accidental injury.

Education
University:
University of Liverpool, BSc (Hons) Genetics

Law School:
University of Law, GDL
Manchester Metropolitan University, BPTC

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Lincoln’s Inn

What our clients are saying
“Sophie is an amazing advocate who fights her client’s corner diligently and tenaciously. Clients warm to Sophie because they have full confidence in her. She gives a powerful voice to those who may otherwise go unheard.”

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Adam Gulliver
Year of Call: 2016

01604 210 979


Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Adam regularly represents parties in Public and Private Children’s Law and Family Law Act matters, both at an interim stage and within final hearings. Adam has significant experience of representing a range of parties in such matters, including parents, local authorities, children (with or without a Children’s Guardian) and grandparents and regularly deals with cases that concern the following issues:

• Chronic Neglect
• Substance Misuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption proceedings
• Special Guardianship
• Domestic Violence
• Intractable contact disputes
• Child Arrangements cases with an international element
• Prohibited Steps and Specific Issue Orders

Education
University:
Bangor University (2014) – LLB – 1st Class
Law School:
BPP Manchester (2016) – BPTC – Outstanding

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Middle Temple

What our clients are saying
Adam is noted for his ability to bring a considerate and client-focused approach to his work, whilst ensuring that his clients still receive the pragmatic, clear, evidence-based guidance that they deserve. Adam has a reputation for his thoroughness, both in terms of his preparation and his ability to give advice to lay and professional clients alike.

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Paul Froud
Year of Call: 2013

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Paul has a busy and diverse family law practice, with an emphasis on public law Children Act proceedings. He acts for parents, local authorities, guardians and interveners and has appeared at all levels of the Family Court and the Court of Appeal. Paul’s practice includes cases involving non-accidental injuries, FII, neglect, substance misuse, mental health, physical & sexual abuse and domestic abuse.

Paul is qualified to accept instructions, in suitable cases, on a Direct Access basis.

Education
Law LLB (Hons) University of Sussex (2012)
BPTC Kaplan Law School (2013)

Languages
French – Proficient
British Sign Language – Basic

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Middle Temple

What our clients are saying
I particularly singled out Mr Froud for his efforts. […]. In cross-examination and in submissions he did all he could to argue her case, fairly and with sincerity.
HHJ Vincent, Family Court at Oxford

Cases
P (A Child), Re [2018] EWCA Civ 720 (11 April 2018)

Re X [2018] EWFC B25

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Kate Yeomans
Year of Call: 2007

01604 210 979

Specialist areas
Adoption and Special Guardianship
Care Proceedings
Child Arrangements
Domestic Violence

Profile
Kate Yeomans is an experienced and tenacious advocate, who regularly represents, applicants and respondents at all stages of proceedings, including multi-day fact-find and final hearings.

Kate is adept at building a rapport with clients swiftly, to ensure that they feel at ease and have confidence in her representation. Whilst maintaining an ability to empathise with her clients over issues that are important to them, she never shies away from delivering robust advice.

Whilst recognising the benefits of negotiation and compromise, Kate is a determined and forthright advocate who is always willing and prepared to fight for her clients.

Kate acts on behalf of local authorities, parents, children’s guardians, competent children and intervenors in a wide range of cases:

• Chronic neglect
• Drug and alcohol abuse (including FDAC proceedings)
• Adoption
• Special Guardianship
• Inflicted injuries
• Domestic Violence
• Child arrangements disputes, including intractable contact disputes
• National and International Relocation
• Parental Alienation

Education
University:
Nottingham-Trent University (2006)
Law School:
Nottingham Law School (2007)

Memberships
Family Law Bar Association
Midland Circuit
Gray’s Inn

What our clients are saying
Kate is described as a professional and diligent advocate, who has an ability to think on her feet. She also has a reputation for being able to put particularly vulnerable and distressed clients at ease quickly.

Cases
Re C (Interim threshold not crossed) [2019] EWFC B5 (15 February 2019)

On behalf of a Grandfather, Kate successfully opposed the Local Authority’s application for an interim care order, where the plan was to remove the subject child from the care of her client for the duration of proceedings. Kate successfully persuaded the Court that interim threshold had not been crossed, thus avoiding the need for public law orders and ensuring that the subject child remained in his grandfather’s care.

Northamptonshire County Council v M, L, H, L, & N and E ((originally Re H-L (Summary Dismissal of Care Proceedings) [2019] EWCA Civ 704)

Following the conclusion of an 8-day Fact-Finding Hearing (which followed the Court of Appeal decision cited above), Kate’s client (the Mother) was exonerated from having caused any of the inflicted injuries to her daughter and serious findings were made against the intervenor. As a result, Kate invited the Local Authority to withdraw their application for public law orders altogether and the case against her client was dismissed in its entirety.

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The range of public law issues we can assist with includes, but is not limited to:

  • Complex cases involving non-accidental injury and infant death
  • Sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical abuse
  • Chronic neglect
  • Vulnerable witnesses with mental health or learning disabilities
  • Cases involving alcohol and drugs misuse
  • Cases allocated to the Family Drug and Alcohol Court
  • Female genital mutilation cases
  • Cases involving foreign jurisdictions and Brussels II
  • Proceedings under the Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Proceedings under the Children Act 1989
  • Wardship proceedings
  • Claims under the Human Rights Act 1998 arising from/within public law proceedings

Our public law team commit to giving effective representation in even the most urgent of cases. In urgent situations, they provide a dedicated out-of-hours advice and advocacy service.

Our children law practitioners are all well-versed in Human Rights Act matters. These include declaratory proceedings as well as advising and representing in Human Rights Act Claims within family proceedings. We have specialist practitioners who have dealt with cases involving the alleged misuse of section 20 of the Children Act 1989, representing local authorities, parents and children in such cases.

We also undertake Pro-Bono work. We are committed to the principle of access to justice for all. We are keen to help provide that justice whenever possible. Please contact our clerks should you wish to make an enquiry about Pro-Bono work.

For advice or representation that is timely, thorough and effective, contact us:
Tel – 01604 210 979
Fax – 01604 622 283
Email – clerks@senatehousechambers.com