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United Kingdom > London Bar > Children law (including public and private law) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Children law (including public and private law) - Leading sets
  2. Leading Silks
  3. 2018 Silks
  4. 2019 Silks
  5. Leading Juniors

Children law (including public and private law) - Leading sets

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Leading Silks

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2018 Silks

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2019 Silks

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Leading Juniors

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    • Giles Bain - New Court ChambersIs friendly and approachable.
    • Chris Barnes - 4 Paper BuildingsHighly intelligent and meticulous, he will not leave any stone unturned; a fearless and eloquent advocate.
    • Poonam Bhari - 3PBOutstanding with clients and an excellent advocate.
    • Kathryn Cronin - Garden Court ChambersWith an encyclopaedic knowledge of immigration and family law, she has identified a lacuna in the law and been involved in the most important cases shaping adoption and surrogacy law.
    • Francesca Dowse - 4 Paper BuildingsIs very clever and applies her intelligence most productively in analysing cases for the best and weakest points and then comes up with a strategy to deal with both.
    • Michael Edwards - 4 Paper BuildingsAn incredible advocate; his ability to analyse the evidence and present his client’s case in the most forensic way is outstanding.
    • Alev Giz - 1GC | Family LawQuickly gains the utmost of respect from judges, clients, and opponents.
    • Kate Grieve - The 36 GroupIs a measured and calm advocate who can find solutions to benefit all parties.
    • Eleri Jones - 1GC | Family LawIs poised, self-assured and copes incredibly well in difficult situations.
    • Ramanjit Kang - Coram ChambersA very approachable and effective barrister inside and outside of the courtroom.
    • Esther MacLachlan - 9 Gough SquareA highly rated junior.
    • Oliver Millington - 9 Gough SquareA fantastic litigator, he is reliable, presents cases very clearly, and has excellent client skills.
    • Onyoja Momoh - 5 Pump CourtAlways very thoroughly prepared.
    • Christopher Poole - New Court ChambersA very good advocate.
    • Andrew Powell - 4 Paper BuildingsIs quick to assure worried or anxious clients and is a safe pair of hands when you have a complicated matter that needs a detailed solution.
    • Emily Rayner - Harcourt ChambersA calm but persuasive advocate.
    • Victoria Roberts - Coram ChambersIs a most accomplished advocate – she prepares all her cases with skill and care and cross-examines witnesses with precision.
    • Tara Vindis - 9 Gough SquareAn experienced advocate.
    • Pamela Warner - 1GC | Family LawIs extremely knowledgeable; ensures she is fully prepared; considers all potential aspects; and is a formidable advocate.
  5. 5
    • Catherine Ellis - 3 DR JOHNSON'S BUILDINGSIs conscientious, hardworking and a fabulously prepared advocate.
    • Denise Gilling - 1GC | Family LawAn extraordinarily talented barrister with a keen eye for detail.
    • Cherry Harding - 1 KING'S BENCH WALKWell regarded.
    • Emily James - The 36 GroupShe is hugely experienced; commands gravitas with client and judge; is straightforward and manages expectations well.
    • Richard Jones - 1GC | Family LawFights hard and passionately for his clients.
    • Ruth Kirby - 4 Paper BuildingsIs a tenacious advocate who fights hard for clients.
    • Louise MacLynn - 1GC | Family LawA highly capable advocate – her particular strength lies in her meticulous case preparation.
    • Ronan O'Donovan - FourteenIs a really strong advocate who always inspires confidence in my clients and is always well prepared.
    • Cleo Perry - 4 Paper BuildingsImpeccably prepared with a great legal mind; awesome, understated and effective cross-examination skills.
    • Lyndsey Sambrooks-Wright - Garden Court ChambersIs able to explain complex legal concepts in an easy to understand way to lay people, and gets to the root of the issue at hand quickly.
    • Kate Tompkins - The 36 GroupIs an exceptional advocate and extremely hardworking and accessible.
    • Kelly Webb - The 36 GroupExcellent at thinking on her feet and handling clients in difficult situations.
    • Ceri White - 4 Paper BuildingsIs a fierce fighter who will leave no stone unturned and goes full out for her clients; she is easy to work with and always knows a case inside out.

A 'first-rate set of chambers', 4 Paper Buildings is ‘without question, the go-to set for children matters’, according to clients. The set has ‘great strength in depth, a very good range of barristers at different levels of call, from hugely experienced QCs to extremely talented juniors, meaning it will always have a barrister who fits each client’s needs’. Alex Verdan QC, Sam King QC, Andrew Powell, Cleo Perry, and Michael Edwards  have been acting in the Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse, the large public inquiry set to have huge implications on the way institutions deal with allegations of abuse. The set has many 'excellent' barristers including Prof Jo Delahunty QC who 'dominates every case she is in' and Teertha Gupta QC who is 'a smooth, engaging, and highly persuasive advocate with a strong following'. Charles Hale QC is 'outstanding' and 'judges really listen to Henry Setright QC because he invariably knows more on the subject than they do'.

1 KING'S BENCH WALK has, according to one source, ‘rather unusually, many silks and juniors who specialise in both finance and complex children work which gives the set an added dimension in many cases’. Or, as another puts it, chambers is a ‘strong set for children work’ and has an 'excellent team of juniors who leave no stone unturned'. Anthony Kirk QC represented the father in a complicated case involving an application for a care order in respect of a baby who had suffered catastrophic brain injuries. Also of note, Deborah Eaton QC is a hugely respected silk and is described as 'a force of nature in private children proceedings' and 'the advocate whom her peers least want to find themselves against'.

1GC | Family Law has ‘set a new gold-standard at the family Bar by investing in its premises and ICT, moving to open plan working, and recruiting a new generation of top-class talent’, according to one client. The set ‘is always willing to help and its barristers are very ‘hands-on’ offering support throughout’, offered another. With 'many excellent QCs and advocates of a high standard throughout', chambers has strength in public law children work as well as private law children matters and expertise in international work, too. Such work includes advising on relocation, abduction, adoption and surrogacy. Of particular note, Janet Bazley QC is described as a 'true pro, as comfortable cross-examining in the High Court as arguing points of law in the Court of Appeal', while Charles Geekie QC is a 'fantastic children's silk-warm, immensely likeable, and so very skilled'.

29 Bedford Row Chambers has ‘plenty of strength throughout’ with ‘exceptionally strong counsel (particularly in respect of children law matters) from the very leading silks through to more junior counsel’, said one client. Members' work encompasses all areas of private children law (including surrogacy and LGBT+ parenting) and also covers public law proceedings often involving the most serious allegations of physical and/or sexual abuse as well as international children issues. Of note, Piers Pressdee QC led the local authority team in complex High Court public children law proceedings that followed the death of a young child in suspicious circumstances.

Coram Chambers is a ‘very well-known and reputable set for both public and private children matters for which it is well-regarded, and its members are also skilled in alternative family work and surrogacy matters’. Of particular note, Mark Twomey QC  'has an enviable practice' and is 'hugely respected by the judiciary at the most senior level and brings immediate and obvious gravitas to his client's case'. Recent instructions of note for Twomey QC include acting in the leading case  of Williams v The London Borough of Hackney, which examined the law surrounding children being placed in care by parental agreement under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

Harcourt Chambers has a ‘very solid and dependable range of barristers' who are all considered by clients to be 'talented and hardworking.’ Chambers is recognised for its work on severe cases of physical as well as sexual abuse and child abduction/Hague Convention cases thanks to having a ‘number of excellent cross-border children specialists’. Frances Judd QC has recently been assigned to the Family Division of the High Court.

Fourteen ‘provides value for money, has strength in depth, and always has good counsel available to assist'.Clients particularly rate the set's 'really strong group of juniors’. Chambers has an excellent reputation for its work in public and private law children proceedings and is regularly involved in cases with an international dimension (‘It has many able barristers who are a safe pair of hands and who are well able to deal with routine public law cases as well as those that are more challenging’). Members also have experience in cases where there are allegations of significant harm and where a local authority has become involved.

With ‘many excellent and solid barristers42 Bedford Row is able to advise on the full range of private law issues as well as public law children matters. Areas of expertise for its members include advising on disputes over children’s schooling as well as LGBT+ co-parenting, fertility, and surrogacy issues. Damian Woodward-Carlton took silk in 2019.

9 Gough Square is 'a hardworking set' with 'an excellent choice of barristers and pupils who understand the demands of public law work' and 'provide consistently good results and advice'. Members routinely advise on a myriad of issues from radicalisation through to sexual abuse cases. In addition, they represent parents in disputes over children arrangements.

Members of the ‘superb’ The 36 Group are ‘responsive, helpful and knowledgeable of the children law sector’, according to instructing solicitors. In a ground-breaking piece of litigation, Hannah Markham QC is leading the claimants’ case against various government departments in R v YY, a case challenging the current law on transgender parents and on the registration of children, as well as the terminology to be used on birth certificates.

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