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St John's Buildings

Chambers of Richard Norton

Work 0161 214 1500
Fax 0161 835 3929
Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield

Lorraine Cavanagh QC

Work 0161 214 1500
St John's Buildings (Chambers of Richard Norton)

Work Department

Family - Children
Court of Protection


Lorraine practises in all areas of children law, in the health and welfare law field of the Court of Protection and conducts judicial review and Human Rights claims with a focus on community care provision and child rights.

Lorraine has acted in complex care cases including fatal injury cases and catastrophic injuries to children. She has dealt with a number of NAHI and non-accidental injury cases with areas of medical complexity. She has a wealth of experience acting on all sides of these applications. 

Lorraine’s practice in medical treatment law has caused her to become involved in end of life care cases for children with profound illness and/or disability. This includes a case involving the force feeding of children and their detention for the purposes of medical treatment. Lorraine acts for children directly without a Guardian and through their Guardian.Lorraine also acts, in these cases, for local authorities, Hospital Trusts and parents.

Due to her experience as a noted practitioner in the Court of Protection Lorraine has acted in numerous complex care cases involving learning disabled parents and children, including concurrent care proceedings for the child and COP proceedings for the parents. She has extensive experience of acting through the Official Solicitor.

Lorraine has also acted in a number of High Court public law cases involving linked Human Rights Act claims and Judicial Review proceedings in which she also acted on behalf of the clients.

Lorraine has also acted in cases involving Care Proceedings, Adoption, Inherent Jurisdiction/Medical Treatment and Children's Rights.

She has been junior in the leading case shaping the rights of children in care. The landmark and grave case of A & S v Lancashire County Council was a Human Rights application by two children, represented by Lorraine, and her leader, to bring into account the local government, the national policy and legislation that had come together to permit the boy’s parlous conditions and unlawful legal status to persist.

Lorraine has a specialist interest in cases that involve the marriage and sexual relations of incapacitous persons which have resulted in children (i.e. concurrent care proceedings) or which result in concurrent matrimonial litigation (i.e. petitions for nullity). Lorraine’s background in child law and matrimonial law has led to her representing P in all facets of the family court litigation and the Court of Protection.


Called 2000; Gray’s Inn (The Birkenhead Scholar). Took silk: 2019.


  • Executive Committee of the Association of Lawyers for Children
  • Executive Committee of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association
  • Member of the Committee of the Manchester Family Law Bar Association
  • Bar representative on the Greater Manchester Family Forum chaired by the designated family Judge
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit Administrative Law Association


St Gregorys School; University of Manchester (1999 LLB Hons).

Regional Bar: Northern Circuit

Court of Protection and community care

Within: Leading Silks

Lorraine Cavanagh QC - St John's BuildingsShe is incredibly bright and fearless in court.

Within: Court of Protection and community care

St John's Buildings is described as a 'helpful and accommodating' set by clients, and is well respected for Court of Protection work within the region. 2019 silk Lorraine Cavanagh QC is often instructed for protected parties by the official solicitor or deputy, while rising star Eleanor Keehan has a more mixed practice, also receiving instructions from local authorities and family members.

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Family and children law

Within: Leading Silks

Lorraine Cavanagh QC - St John's BuildingsShe has an encyclopedic knowledge of family law.

Within: Family and children law

St John's Buildings family team is home to several specialist family barristers at all levels of call, covering high-value financial remedy and both public and private children law matters. New silk Lorraine Cavanagh QC recently acted for a local authority in an FGM-related case concerning a mother attempting to return to Sudan with a child, while Sally Harrison QC is one of the key names on circuit for high net worth financial remedy matters.

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Public law

Within: Leading Silks

Lorraine Cavanagh QC - St John's BuildingsIncredibly bright and fearless in court.

Within: Public law

2019 silk Lorraine Cavanagh QC is the key figure for public law at St John's Buildings. She is particularly focused on judicial review and Human Rights Act claims brought on behalf of children and vulnerable adults.

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