I became a barrister in 1990 and have over 31 years’ experience in family law.
I became a barrister in 1990. I am a family law specialist and have developed a practice in which I enjoy a mix of care, adoption, family finance and private law children act applications.
I appear frequently in complex and sensitive cases involving children in private and public law areas in the Family Court and have appeared in the Court of Appeal at regular intervals throughout my career I represent parents, children and local authorities.
I have over 26 years’ experience of appearing for parents, other relatives, and children in complex public law cases under the children and adoption legislation.
I regularly appear in the High court in relation to cases concerning the death of a child by various mechanisms (including shaking, suffocation, possible consumption of drugs or infection caused by starvation). In other cases, where the child has not died, I have considerable experience of allegations of serious physical abuse (burns, bruising, head injuries, multiple fractures and attempted suffocation) sexual abuse (parent and or sibling), emotional abuse (including allegations of demonic possession), neglect, domestic violence and factitious illness. These cases routinely involve the cross examination of a number of medical experts from multi disciplines.
I have acted in cases where the welfare of the children has required exploration and assessment of relatives abroad. This has included consideration of jurisdictional issues as between England and Wales and countries such as Iraq, Latvia and Lithuania.
I have also acted as a barrister in cases involving human trafficking and cases where the outcome sought was to enable a child to be securely accommodated in another country.
My practice has included protective orders for young females encompassing forced marriage, female genital mutilation, declarations that a marriage was unlawful (coercion and rape) and reporting restriction orders.
I have represented parents from differing economic, cultural, social background and ages. Some may have issues such as drug, alcohol dependency, mental health difficulties, language difficulties or a combination of these problems.
Over the last 28 years, I have built extensive experience in applications arising in financial remedies, Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and more recently disputes involving civil partners.
My financial remedy work has included applications to set aside consent orders and presenting or opposing appeals. I routinely conduct cases involving parties of medium to high net worth, business accounts, forensic expert reports and pension issues. Some interesting points have included consideration of the implications for a wife following a foreign divorce, the consequences following a spouse’s bankruptcy, an application to enforce maintenance arrears once the husband’s mortgage fraud was identified and the approach to a personal injury award as a resource for the husband.
I am often instructed at an early stage when attempts are being made to resolve the financial aspect of separation, before court proceedings have been issued.
I have also been instructed to deal with other matters within the parties’ dispute including successfully resisting applications to set aside entitlement to decree nisi in two separate cases.
My clients have been from a wide background including those with physical or mental disability. These have involved instructions being taken from a Deputy acting for the protected party.
I have many years’ experience in private law applications, including cases where serious allegations of sexual abuse, physical abuse (against either the partner and/or the child) or emotional abuse (against either the partner and/or the child) and parental alienation have featured.
These cases have often included other issues such as the local authority becoming involved with the family, consideration of the child or children being separately represented and implacable hostility being shown by one parent to the other post separation. I have been involved in cases where the court has contemplated and changed the child’s living arrangements following a determination that the parent with care has been attempting to alienate the child from the other parent.
I have also been involved in cases featuring permission for children to travel out of the jurisdiction whether permanently or temporarily. My cases have involved such varied countries as Kenya, Thailand, Australia and Spain.
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