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United Kingdom > Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Family and children law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Family and children law – Leading silks
  2. Family and children law – Leading juniors

Family and children law – Leading silks

  1. 1

Family and children law – Leading juniors

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    • Jody Atkinson - St John’s ChambersHe specialises in family finance.
    • Melissa Barlow - 3PBShe is very experienced and gives clear, robust advice in a manner clients understand and respect.
    • Julia Belyavin - St John’s ChambersShe punches above her weight.
    • Abigail Bond - St John’s ChambersExperienced in complex care cases involving non-accidental injury.
    • Edward Boydell - Pump Court ChambersA clear and analytical barrister, who has an excellent client manner that inspires confidence.
    • Catherine Breslin - Pump Court ChambersShe has an easy, relaxed and constructive approach in court and negotiations.
    • Richard Carron - Queen Square ChambersSpecialises in cases involving chronic neglect.
    • Gemma Chapman - 3PBShe has a focus on public children law proceedings.
    • Rupert Chapman - Magdalen ChambersIntelligent, methodical, unflappable and approachable.
    • Nigel Cholerton - No.18 Barristers ChambersHe thinks outside the box and has a real passion for the work he undertakes.
    • Tonia Clark - 3PBShe is experienced in private law children proceedings.
    • Andrew Commins - St John’s ChambersAn excellent advocate and a joy to watch in court.
    • Deborah Dinan-Hayward - Albion ChambersShe is excellent with clients and focuses on the pertinent issues.
    • Hamish Dunlop - 3PBHe has excellent rapport with clients and is truly knowledgeable in the complex field of financial remedy.
    • Caroline Elford - Queen Square ChambersA fearless and skilled advocate.
    • Mark Elliott - 3PBA calm and measured barrister, who quickly gets to the crux of the matter.
    • Judi Evans - St John’s ChambersShe will fight a cause to the bitter end.
    • Fiona Farquhar - Albion ChambersShe specialises in children law cases.
    • Rachael Goodall - 3PBShe has a superb manner with clients and a detailed knowledge of papers.
    • Hayley Griffiths - 3PBRecommended for serious and complex care proceedings.
    • Anthony Hand - College ChambersHe has a wide-ranging family practice that includes care proceedings.
    • Caroline Hartley - Pump Court ChambersShe has huge knowledge of children law and handles the most difficult cases.
    • Lucy Hendry - 3PBHardworking, persistent and excellent on her feet.
    • Penny Howe - Pump Court ChambersShe has a first-class intellect and great judgement.
    • Victoria Hoyle - Devon ChambersShe undertakes a range of public and private children law cases.
    • Elisabeth Hudson - 3PBExperienced in both private and public law children proceedings.
    • Susan Hunter - St John’s ChambersA formidable advocate, who is always very well prepared.
    • Liz Ingham - Colleton ChambersShe has particular expertise in cases involving complex medical matters.
    • Ben Jenkins - Albion ChambersExperienced beyond his years of call.
    • Geoffrey Kelly - Pump Court ChambersThorough, patient, unfailingly polite and good to work with.
    • Daniel Leafe - Albion ChambersIntellectually very able but also an excellent communicator.
    • Simon Lillington - College ChambersRecommended for finance cases.
    • Omar Malik - 3PBRecommended for financial remedy cases.
    • Nicola Martin - 3PBAn extremely experienced and impressive advocate, who is skilled at fighting her client’s corner.
    • Carol Mashembo - St John’s ChambersShe strikes a good balance between empathy with the client and ruthless pragmatism.
    • Nick Miller - St John’s ChambersRecommended for family finance.
    • Christopher Naish - Magdalen ChambersExcellent – his knowledge of family law is second to none.
    • Louise O’Neill - St John’s ChambersExperienced in both family finance and private children law cases.’ *since publication, Louise O'Neill has been appointed a district judge.
    • Lucy Reed - St John’s ChambersRigorous in her analysis of every argument.
    • Stephen Roberts - Albion ChambersA no-nonsense, calm and effective communicator.
    • Zoe Saunders - St John’s ChambersShe has a realistic, compassionate and robust approach.
    • Nicholas Sproull - Albion ChambersHe has a calm demeanour with clients and in court, and instils confidence.
    • Douglas Taylor - College ChambersFantastic with cases involving mental health.
    • Richard Tyson - 3PBHe presents cases with great skill and sensitivity.
    • Annie Ward - Pump Court ChambersRecommended for financial remedy cases.
    • Tony Ward - Magdalen ChambersHe is great at cross-examination and has a very good manner with clients.
    • Mark Whitehall - Colleton ChambersHe has a superb eye for detail.
    • Nicholas Williamson - Pump Court ChambersExperienced in matrimonial law.
    • Lee Young - No.18 Barristers ChambersA reliable barrister, who gets results.
    • Tanya Zabihi - 3PBAn excellent advocate, who is particularly strong in public and private law children cases.

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Hamish Dunlop leads the ‘very approachable team’ at 3PB, which is one of the largest on circuit. The set deals with the full range of cases and has a growing Court of Protection practice. On the finance side, Nicola Martin specialises in high-value matrimonial finance, along with Rachael Goodall and other team members. Public care cases are also a large part of the practice with over half the team active in sensitive disputes involving baby-shaking and abuse.

Albion Chambers has ‘an excellent team of highly skilled family barristers’. The set handles the full range of cases and is split into two distinct teams: children and finance. However, the set is particularly well known for its financial remedy specialists, who have ‘real strength in high- and mid-net-worth cases’. Chambers is also recommended for private law children work.

Family law is a cornerstone of College Chambers’ practice with over half the set practising in the area. Members are well versed in finance cases as well as proceedings involving neglect and sexual abuse. Anthony Hand was in the Court of Appeal in 2015 representing a local authority in a case that is now the leading authority on the law of making an interim care order.

Colleton Chambers is well known for family finance and care work. On the care side, the set deals with complex disputes including baby-shaking and non-accidental injury, as well as abuse cases. Members represent local authorities and parents, and have strong connections with Devon County Council.

Devon Chambers is home to Victoria Hoyle, who specialises in public and private law children cases. Hoyle represents local authorities, parents and guardians, and has been particularly active in non-accidental injury cases of late.

Magdalen Chambers handles all areas of family law but has seen particular growth in the financial remedy and private law children space. A recent notable case was Rupert Chapman’s representation of a father in a long-running abduction dispute that saw the mother take her children to Dubai, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Cases with international elements are a key area for the set.

Friendly, reliable and always willing to help’, the family team at No.18 Barristers Chambers undertakes a range of work, including financial remedy and children disputes. Both Nigel Cholerton and Lee Young have recently appeared in Court of Appeal care cases. The group is well versed in representing local authorities, parents and guardians.

Pump Court Chambers is a ‘go-to set for family law’ that provides a good spread of family and children counsel. Members have been instructed in a number private children law cases, which have included international relocation elements. The set is also home to a number of matrimonial finance and public law children barristers. Leslie Samuels QC appeared for a local council in its claim against the government relating to the non-availability of legal aid for a public law children case.

Queen Square Chambers contains Richard Carron and Caroline Elford, who both solely practice in family law, focusing on children and care proceedings. Elford also handles financial remedy cases.

St John’s Chambers has ‘a strong family law team with many able barristers in financial and children cases’. The group is well versed in the full range of matters and deals with complex and sensitive care cases as well as high-value financial remedy matters. Members have significant experience in the Court of Appeal; Kathryn Skellorn QC and Abigail Bond, along with other members, recently represented children who were opposing contact with their father.

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