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Leading Silks

Janet Bazley QC - 1GC | Family LawJanet combines a gentleness with the client and a toughness in Court that at times takes you aback, but it makes you feel good she is on your side. Her instincts are second to none.
Jo Delahunty QC - 4 Paper BuildingsIs as captivating on her feet as she is persuasive in negotiation. She is extraordinarily tenacious, kind and brave at work, and looks for all-encompassing and human solutions for children taking properly into account the wider implications in each family’s dynamic.
Deborah Eaton QC - 1 King's Bench WalkIs extraordinarily authoritative, with a fearsome reputation. She is unsurpassed in court and her advocacy is a joy to listen to. Her cross-examination is ferocious. She has fabulous client skills.
Charles Geekie QC - 1GC | Family LawStatesmanlike, with the ear of the Court. Rolls Royce of children’s silks. Clients love his bedside manner and Judges his silken advocacy and mastery of his brief.
Teertha Gupta QC - 4 Paper BuildingsVery able to cut through the relevant issues and to provide clear and decisive strategic input. Establishes a strong rapport with clients very quickly.
Charles Hale QC - 4 Paper BuildingsIs a superb advocate. He has a knack of understanding both the client and how best to present their case.
Piers Pressdee QC - 29 Bedford Row ChambersAlongside his assiduous preparation and carefully considered paperwork, he brings to a contested trial great intelligence and psychological insight. He is hugely skilful in extracting from witnesses the evidence he seeks to persuade the tribunal to find in his client’s favour.
Henry Setright QC - 4 Paper BuildingsMakes even the most complicated of cases seem effortless. His knowledge of the law in encyclopaedic. Judges always look to him on the most complicated legal points.
Paul Storey QC - 29 Bedford Row ChambersIs the perfect blend of an advocate, he is approachable but authoritative. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of caselaw and uses it to enormous effect. He fights each and every case with incredible energy and commitment.
James Turner QC - 1 King's Bench WalkA highly accomplished silk.
Alex Verdan QC - 4 Paper BuildingsIs most people's No. 1 silk for tricky private children cases. He is incredibly good with clients, super bright and also has amazing judgement.
Barbara Connolly QC - 7BRA vastly experienced silk.
Tina Cook QC - 42 Bedford RowHer brain works like no other. Tina does not approach cases in the routine universal manner. She starts at the end, sees her goal and makes sure that it is achieved.
Edward Devereux QC - Harcourt ChambersOne of the most impressive advocates at the family bar, commanding respect from judges and opponents alike. A fearless cross-examiner with a penchant for seeing cases in a way that few others do, which more often than not find favour with judges.
Frank Feehan QC - 1 King's Bench WalkIs a master strategist. His advocacy and ability to cross-examine are subtle, incisive and instinctively brilliant. He is full of good sense and authority in this difficult area.
Deirdre Fottrell QC - 1GC | Family LawIs a class act - an absolutely brilliant strategist who knows exactly how to handle really difficult situations. She is a highly effective advocate who really has the ear of the court, and rightly so.
Alison Grief QC - 4 Paper BuildingsHas a work ethic which really is second to none. She has the ability to understand the psychology of a case which is critical to piece together the factual matrix in the complex medical/injury/abuse cases which she undertakes. She is also an excellent advocate.
Richard Harrison QC - 1 King's Bench WalkHis attention to detail is second to none. I have been in court when a judge has said that he has "encyclopaedic knowledge". He is meticulous in his preparation and knows about every case in the history of international child abduction.
Charles Howard QC - 1 King's Bench WalkIs a ferociously good cross-examiner and has an unrivalled forensic mind.
Anthony Kirk QC - 1 King's Bench WalkA very experienced silk.
Hannah Markham QC - The 36 GroupA truly exceptional silk who provides unparalleled client care and commands the authority of the court with her formidable and incredible advocacy. Hannah is unquestionably a master at the very top of her game.
Timothy Scott QC - 29 Bedford Row ChambersHis written presentations are compelling: straightforward and common sense, well written and easy to follow.
Catherine Wood QC - 4 Paper BuildingsIncredibly accomplished advocate with a clear, persuasive and strong command of the courtroom.
Richard Anelay QC - 1 King's Bench Walk ‘Is a thoughtful and thorough advocate; a force to be reckoned with in negotiation. He is very respected by the Bar and bench alike.
Andrew Bagchi QC - 1GC | Family LawFriendly, accessible and very quick to respond. Clearly at the very top of the tree for children work.
Alison Ball QC - 1GC | Family LawHas a great eye for detail.
Kate Branigan QC - 4 Paper BuildingsIs an exceptional barrister. She is always very well prepared with every page at her fingertips, and her meticulous advocacy is outstanding.
Damian Garrido QC - Harcourt ChambersHis advocacy is measured and certain, and leaves the listener entirely convinced of his argument. He is incredibly effective, and clients feel completely reassured.
Nick Goodwin QC - Harcourt ChambersIs very thorough, forensic in his approach to cases.
Christopher Hames QC - 4 Paper BuildingsHas a unique combination of fighting hard for his client, having a thoughtful and clever strategy and being extremely persuasive and beautifully articulate in court.
Sam King QC - 4 Paper BuildingsAn excellent silk who is a pleasure to work with.
Rachel Langdale QC - 7BRIs an exceptional advocate both in submissions and in cross-examination. She is strong forensically and has an eye for details. She is calm and authoritative and often takes the tension out of a case through her ability to manage the personalities involved.
Cyrus Larizadeh QC - 4 Paper BuildingsA conjurer in court and simply wonderful to see in action. When he stands up to talk, people listen.
Anna McKenna QC - 1 King's Bench WalkAnna is bold, fearless and (in my experience) always right! Her instincts and her intellect are razor sharp and clients feel safe with her.
Sam Momtaz QC - 1GC | Family LawAn excellent advocate.
Sarah Morgan QC - 1GC | Family LawHas a piercing intellect which she deploys to good effect. It is truly appropriate to say that she is razor sharp. She uses it to spot the strengths and weaknesses in her client's case and is a great tactician.
Andrew Norton QC - 1GC | Family LawIs exceptionally well-prepared, great advocate for local authorities, very calm and one thing that you could never say about Andrew is that he is underprepared.
Pamela Scriven QC - 1 King's Bench WalkA well-respected silk.
Mark Twomey QC - Coram ChambersAn utterly charming barrister who is a true gentleman - sharp, knowledgeable and above all compassionate.
William Tyler QC - The 36 GroupApproachable, very down to earth, sees the wood from the trees.
Francesca Wiley QC - 1GC | Family LawIs astonishingly bright, fearless and effective both in and out of court.

2019 Silks

Damian Woodward-Carlton QC - 42 Bedford RowIs an exceptional advocate on his feet who is very robust and persuasive. Damian has a rare ability to translate highly complex evidence into terms that clients are able to fully understand, and respond to.

2020 Silks

Martin Kingerley QC - The 36 GroupIs a very strong and robust advocate. His cross-examination is excellent as are his client care skills.
Barbara Mills QC - 4 Paper BuildingsUnflappable, measured and incisive. Warm and naturally intuitive, she is liked and admired by opponents and Judges as well as her instructing solicitors and clients. A powerful court presence, and a smooth, clear and punchy advocate.
Allison Munroe QC - Garden Court ChambersA well-regarded new silk.
Cleo Perry QC - 4 Paper BuildingsIs a persuasive and tenacious advocate and will be a great success in silk.
Brendan Roche QC - 7BRAn experienced advocate and new silk of note.
Jonathan Sampson QC - Harcourt ChambersIs a masterful advocate. His calm and confident manner wins over clients and judges. He takes difficult points and runs them successfully.

2021 Silks

Shiva Ancliffe QC - Coram ChambersShe a very strong advocate with an impressive eye to detail. She is well respected by other counsel and clients. She is able to provide strong representation in complex cases and is easy to work with.
Denise Gilling QC - 1GC | Family LawDenise has astounding technical ability and a keen eye for detail when dealing with particularly complex issues (around medical disclosure, for example). Denise has a fantastic approach to advocacy (clear, concise and delivers a punch).
Ruth Kirby QC - 4 Paper BuildingsWas a QC in disguise as a junior. She works relentlessly hard on her cases, and fights her clients' corner. She is unique in her approach in children matters and takes no prisoners. She is creative at coming up with solutions and strategies for complex cases and never switches off from cases.

Leading Juniors

Joy Brereton - 4 Paper BuildingsIncredibly user-friendly and accessible. She is also a powerful and persuasive presence in court on her client's behalf.
Martha Cover - Coram ChambersVery good with vulnerable clients - brings a depth and range of knowledge to any matter.
Dorothea Gartland - 4 Paper BuildingsIs just cleverer than anyone else in the room - and yet there's no pomposity. She is incisive and, whilst mastering detail, is able to stand back from it to see the essentials of a case.
Michael Gration - 4 Paper BuildingsHas a formidable intellect and is one of the leading barristers in his field. He consistently delivers a strong performance and is respected by judges and opponents.
Justine Johnston - 4 Paper BuildingsIs an absolutely fantastic advocate. She reads her audience incredibly well and her arguments are always perfectly pitched. She is the person you want in your corner when the chips are down.
Caroline Lister - 1 King's Bench WalkIs adept at dealing with emotionally vulnerable clients with whom she builds a strong working relationship. Caroline is a superb advocate and fights her client's corner hard whilst always offering sound and realistic advice.
Judith Murray - 4 Paper BuildingsIs incredibly pragmatic and an excellent negotiator but at the same time has a real eye for detail.
Indira Ramsahoye - 29 Bedford Row ChambersIs a Silk in a Junior’s gown. Hugely experienced and a consummate children law practitioner who understands well the emotive psychology of litigation surrounding children.
Jacqueline Renton - 4 Paper BuildingsA top level specialist in international children’s cases and other private law children’s cases of great difficulty. As well as a truly encyclopaedic knowledge of child abduction and other international children’s work, in which she has long and comprehensive experience - she is a practitioner of exceptional quality.
Sharon Segal - 1GC | Family LawIs exceptionally hardworking, all over the detail, the best children junior there is and a powerful advocate too. She is motivated by what is right and by doing her best for the children.
Jay Banerji - FourteenIs a class act: tactically astute, unfazed by judicial intervention, he handles witnesses with ease and is persuasive and polished in submissions. His smooth manner belies the deadly questions in cross-examination. A formidable opponent.
Jonathan Bennett - 42 Bedford RowIs a very competent safe pair of hands who is always calm under pressure.
Sally Bradley - 4 Paper BuildingsHas an unshakable calm, an insightful brain and excellent client management.
Penelope Clapham - 1GC | Family LawTakes time to understand what the client wants and then presents it in a very persuasive way to the Judges. She clearly has the ear of the court.
Markanza Cudby - 1 King's Bench WalkA well-respected advocate.
Nicola Fox - 1 King's Bench WalkHas amazing insight and understanding of people and what motivates them
Dafydd Griffiths-29 Bedford Row ChambersIs an exceptional advocate and has a first-class rapport with clients, they all love him. His written work is second to none and he is a fierce adversary.
Anita Guha - 7BRIs fearless in her presentation and always prepares fully to ensure that clients feel at ease. Unflappable, determined, and brilliant to work with.
Claire Heppenstall - 1GC | Family LawHas a keen intellect and is skilled in getting to the heart of a case. Just as keen to weigh into a contest or to settle where required. Well prepared for both court and conference.
Daisy Hughes - 1GC | Family LawIs the oxygen of every single case I instruct her on. You literally cannot live without her. She is phenomenal in every possible way. She is strategic beyond measure, knowledgeable in a way that is inspiring, and highly empathetic and tuned in to client’s needs.
Maggie Jones - Garden Court ChambersVery hardworking and committed to her clients.
Katherine Kelsey - 1 King's Bench WalkVery thorough, committed, organised. A joy to instruct.
Christopher Miller - FourteenIs meticulous in his preparation and his attention to detail which is borne out in his advocacy.
Tim Parker - 9 Gough ChambersTechnically brilliant with a fine attention to detail.
Lucy Sprinz - 1GC | Family LawVery intelligent and prepares very detailed and thorough written work. Has the ability to put clients at ease and is very confident and competent with Judges. Keeps calm and professional.
William Tyzack - Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB)A smooth and confident advocate who draws well-earned praise from judges, opponents and clients alike.
Samantha Woodham - 4 Paper BuildingsShe is fantastic with clients and spots every relevant detail. She has huge amounts of energy for cases and does not shy away from taking or running a punchy point. She charms clients, solicitors and the court with her straightforward and respectful manner.
Nicholas Anderson - 1 King's Bench WalkNick's case preparation is second to none and he is such a capable advocate! His preparation for a case is meticulous, his paperwork extremely through and wonderfully persuasive. It is always tremendously reassuring to have him on your team.
Lee Arnot - 29 Bedford Row ChambersIs meticulous in his preparation for a case and ruthless in his cross-examination of witnesses. His client care is exemplary.
Steven Ashworth - 1GC | Family LawIncredibly hardworking. Masters information quickly and effectively. He has a gentle manner that masks a sharp mind.
Laura Briggs - 1GC | Family LawIs truly exceptional, she masters the detail of most complex cases with ease.
Ruth Cabeza - Field Court ChambersA calm presence in court and reassuring to clients. Always has a clear view on case direction and strategy not only legally, but taking into account the emotional context that can often be the key to unlocking how a matter would be best progressed.
Mehvish Chaudhry - Harcourt ChambersCombines exceptional client care skills with an in-depth knowledge of the law and has the respect of the High Court bench.
Michael Edwards - 4 Paper BuildingsMichael’s calm and focused demeanour in court and his forensic cross-examination is a pleasure to watch.
Rebecca Foulkes - 4 Paper BuildingsHas a fantastic bedside manner with clients, is endlessly patient, and pragmatic. Sensible and super bright, she cuts down to the issues and offers sensible, sound advice.
Kate Grieve - The 36 GroupIs a fierce advocate whose preparation is unparalleled. Kate maintains excellent relationships throughout cases and ensures that there is a co-working relationship between counsel and solicitor.
Mary Hughes - One Pump CourtExcellent with vulnerable clients.
Mark Jarman - 4 Paper BuildingsPossessed of a sharp and quick intellect and the ability to write and speak with incisive effectiveness. He is the ultimate class act, smooth, polished and authoritative and he is a devastatingly efficient cross-examiner.
Brian Jubb - 4 Paper BuildingsDisplays excellent attention to detail.
Dr Onyoja Momoh - 5 Pump CourtIs a robust advocate. She is always well prepared for court and dispenses excellent advice. She has a very professional way of managing client's expectations in an empathetic manner.
Jennifer Perrins - 1 King's Bench WalkAn excellent advocate.
Katie Phillips - 42 Bedford RowA fantastic advocate, unflappable, tenacious and supportive.
Andrew Powell - 4 Paper BuildingsHis knowledge of surrogacy law is second to none and he is a very personable and sensible advocate.
Victoria Roberts - Coram ChambersOnce you have instructed Victoria you can rest assured that your client and the case are in safe hands. Victoria has a forensic knowledge of the papers - she is so thorough and detailed in her approach, that she knows the case inside out.
Giles Bain - New Court ChambersIs an exceptionally able barrister with a huge experience of dealing with complex cases involving children.
Chris Barnes - 4 Paper BuildingsA highly intelligent, knowledgeable barrister who is a skilled advocate.
Poonam Bhari - 3PBA superb advocate.
Kathryn Cronin - Garden Court ChambersIs the go-to barrister for adoption and surrogacy cases which also have an immigration element, she has an encyclopaedic knowledge of family and immigration law and will find a legal solution to almost any problem.
Francesca Dowse - 4 Paper BuildingsAn excellent advocate with a pragmatic, analytical and incisive approach. One of her many strengths is being able to put the client at ease before and during a hearing. Her cross border experience is extensive.
Alev Giz - 1GC | Family LawVery thorough and well-informed advice. Excellent advocacy skills.
Eleri Jones - 1GC | Family LawIs a super-brain. Her brain operates at 100 times the speed of everyone else. There is nothing she doesn't know and there is nothing she misses. She is phenomenal.
Ramanjit Kang - Coram ChambersDedicated, smart, approachable and a great advocate.
Esther MacLachlan - 9 Gough ChambersA well-respected junior.
Oliver Millington - 9 Gough ChambersHas a lovely manner, he is clear and to the point whilst being available and supportive of clients. His written advocacy is extremely strong.
Christopher Poole - New Court ChambersIs a match for silks in other chambers.
Emily Rayner - Harcourt ChambersA wonderful advocate who is always immaculately prepared and injects a much-needed level of reassuring calm in any matter.
Kate Tompkins - The 36 GroupIs, at a stroke, brilliant but unassuming, empathetic but realistic, combative but personable. She is the judge's barrister; the client's barrister; and, much more often than not, the winner's barrister. Expect great things.
Tara Vindis - 9 Gough ChambersTara's case preparation is second to none, she is on top of the detail of even the largest bundles within hours of instructing her. Clients feel extremely well supported by her, and opponents and Judges respect and listen to her.
Pamela Warner - 1GC | Family LawAlways has the ear of the Judge, is very well known for her sensible and pragmatic approach. As an advocate you know that if Pamela is involved in your case she brings to the case common sense.
Christopher Butterfield - 29 Bedford Row ChambersA master of the Children Act. A thorough researcher who leaves no stone unturned and learns the client’s case to the finest detail. An efficient, eloquent and perhaps stealth-like advocate at ease in any level of courtroom.
Joan Connell - FourteenCan be relied upon to provide a steady, strong hand in difficult cases. She is empathetic to lay clients and has an excellent manner in persuading people to do what her client wants. She is able to manage tricky clients with skill and to do so in a way that they do not feel that they are being managed.
Catherine Ellis - 3 DR JOHNSON'S BUILDINGSImmensely hardworking and conscientious.
Matthew Fletcher - 1GC | Family LawIs known for his hard work and commitment, he is an assured advocate and applies energy and vigour to even the most hopeless of cases. He is an impressive and sought after counsel.
Charlotte Hartley - 1 King's Bench WalkIs an incredible barrister to have on your team. She has an abundance of patience and is able to handle the most difficult cases. Without doubt she is future silk material.
Marcia Hyde - 42 Bedford RowMs Hyde is formidable. She is forensic in her approach, and offers clear, decisive advice and guidance when tackling complex and sensitive issues - something which is invaluable to a busy instructing solicitor.
Emily James - The 36 GroupIs tenacious, very well-prepared and you really feel that she cares about the client and the case. Emily’s advice is drawn from her significant experience in children law and you know you are benefitting from real wisdom when you hear her views.
Richard Jones - 1GC | Family LawClients love his personality, he is charm personified. He easily puts clients at ease and explains areas of concern or complexity in a manner which is clear and concise but not patronising. He is very easy to work with.
Doushka Krish - 1GC | Family LawIs a silk in the making. She has a fight like no other and is a powerful yet sustained advocate who will fight for her client and for justice to the bitter end.
Henry Lamb1GC | Family LawStrengths-attention to detail. He always had his eye on the ball. His preparation is second to none.
Dinah Loeb - Garden Court ChambersCalm, collected, diplomatic, objective and very realistic on all possible outcomes of the case; passionate about the work and seeks justice in all case scenarios; human approach, knows the law very well, helped me keep focus throughout the case and we won!
Stephen Lue - Garden Court ChambersHas a calm, yet authoritative manner which means that he is able to remain professional even in the face of difficult or aggressive clients. He is a knowledgeable and confident advocate.
Louise MacLynn - 1GC | Family LawIs an excellent advocate with an exceptional attention to detail. Louise's written work is also of an excellent quality and I would consider this a particular strength.
Olivia Magennis - 1GC | Family LawIs a no-nonsense, straight talking barrister, who always prepares better than the opposition and is able to fight her clients' corner with a high degree of effectiveness. A force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. She’s a real class act!
Anarkali Musgrave - Coram ChambersIs a dogged advocate - she will be very clear in her advice to the client and yet fight their corner. Anarkali is a rising star particularly in respect of parental alienation cases.
Ronan O'Donovan - FourteenHas a raft of exceptional talents. His advocacy is clearly one of those talents and his skills in the courtroom are consistently impressive. He has used these skills to turn the tide on what might otherwise have appeared quite hopeless cases.
Judith Pepper  - Coram ChambersJudith is an expert in her field she is always impeccably prepared, she has an eye for detail which is essential in complex care proceedings cases. As an advocate she is formidable when in the Court room cross-examining.
Lyndsey Sambrooks-Wright - Garden Court Chambers ‘Has ambition and talent to match. I really rate her as a first-class junior in all public law matters.
Andrew Shaw - New Court ChambersHas an excellent grasp of complex papers, always well-prepared and gives you every confidence that he has read and understood instructions. He fights for his clients.
Chris Stevenson - FourteenAttention for detail. Very clever. Passionate. Caring.
Julia Townend - 4 Paper BuildingsScrupulously well-prepared. An articulate, persuasive and determined advocate.
Sam Wallace - New Court ChambersIs an excellent barrister who is well prepared, persuasive and in the field of public law care proceedings has a deserved reputation for excellence. Local Authorities are very pleased when he represents them in cases involving the most serious allegations of abuse concerning children.
Kelly Webb - The 36 GroupIs calm, considered and empathetic but equally robust when required. Clients trust her and know that in very difficult circumstances, she is on their side.
Ceri White - 4 Paper BuildingsHas a manner that means even the most difficult or complex advice can be easily digested by clients. Ceri has a warm yet robust approach that clients appreciate and respect.

Rising Stars

Charlotte Baker - 4 Paper BuildingsIs simply fantastic; a very skilled advocate, immaculately prepared and totally client-focused.
Edward Bennett - Harcourt ChambersIs widely respected for the depth of his knowledge and the passion he has for his work. A dream to work with, with immaculate written work, is always prepared.
Dr Rob George - Harcourt ChambersA hugely experienced head on young shoulders, and a phenomenal advocate. A real one to watch as a future heavyweight. You can already throw him to the lions against QC's and other senior opponents, safe in the knowledge that he will rise to the challenge with passion and strength.
George Harley - The 36 GroupIs fiercely bright, articulate and disarmingly charming! All of this makes him an opponent not to be underestimated! Courts are charmed by him and opponents should be on their guard - he is certainly one to watch!
Alexander Laing - Coram ChambersHe is hugely enthusiastic, dedicated to his work and extremely hardworking. His capacity to multi-task is exceedingly impressive.
Kyle Squire - 5 Pump CourtHas an eye for detail. He is able to disseminate complex information quickly but with accuracy. Kyle is approachable and friendly. He is articulate during his advocacy, addresses all relevant complex points without being verbose.

Children law (including public and private law) in London Bar

4 Paper Buildings

Seen as ‘the leading set for child law in London and probably the country’, 4 Paper Buildings ‘is a hotbed of talent from the senior end to the most junior.’ ‘The availability and calibre of counsel from the very top to the more junior end of the set are excellent.’ In the past year, its specialist family law practitioners have had several outings to the High Court, Court of Appeal, and two visits to the Supreme Court. Among the standout practitioners is Prof Jo Delahunty QC, who has been described as  a 'trailblazer, a passionate advocate for the publicly-funded Bar'; she acted for six children through three guardians in four different cases involving allegations of extreme violent individual and group sexual abuse (AA & 25 Ors (Children) [2019] EWFC 64). Cleo Perry and Barbara Mills have further strengthened the impressive team following their elevation to silk, while Charlotte Baker is highlighted as a rising star.

1 King's Bench Walk

1 King's Bench Walk has a ‘wealth of options at all levels which makes it a ‘go-to’ set for complex children and finance cases.’ It excels in all areas of children law both private law disputes and public law (care and adoption) and is particularly ‘highly regarded in the legal world as having barristers who specialise in the complicated area of child abduction.’ The set is praised for its ‘strength in depth at all levels. Its junior barristers are keen, willing and eager to help out no matter how short the notice or how demanding the client.’ At a senior level, it has some superb individuals such as James Turner QC and Deborah Eaton QC, the latter of whom is described as being 'in a league of her own', as well as the set's top junior, Caroline Lister. Meanwhile, the respective reputations of Anna McKenna QC, a new addition to the leading silk rankings, and Charlotte Hartley, a new leading junior, continue to grow.

1GC | Family Law

1GC | Family Law has ‘real specialists with a whole host of good barristers at a senior level through to the junior level who are very busy and up and coming.’ The set, which ‘at every level has star performers’, is excellent at private children work and is also recommended for its strong offering in public children work. Among its ‘outstanding stable of silks’ is Sarah Morgan QC who led Lucy Sprinz in advising Islington Council in an independent review into allegations made in the Islington Gazette that the former Mayor of Islington, Sandy Marks, had an historic association with pro-paedophile groups. New entrants to this year's rankings include Andrew Norton QC, Doushka Krish, Matthew Fletcher, and Olivia Magennis.

29 Bedford Row Chambers

29 Bedford Row Chambers ‘remains one of the premier sets with a talented array of money and children specialists.’ The set is skilled in all areas of private children law, public law proceedings and in the international aspects of children law. In fact, the set ‘has achieved what few other chambers have managed which is a really strong offering on finances and on children work.’ In one recent instruction of note, Paul Storey QC – described as one of the 'star barristers in the field of child abuse claims; he is in a class of his own and his success rate is unmatched' – is acting in a complex and ongoing case where a baby sustained serious head injuries. This year, Piers Pressdee QC and Indira Ramsahoye complete their ascent of the silk and junior rankings. Christopher Butterfield is a junior to watch.

Coram Chambers

Coram Chambers is a ‘reliable set of chambers with a good range of high-quality counsel. It is a very friendly chambers with members who work as a team.’ Also, the set is lauded for its 'number of strong and effective advocates' and receives plaudits for its ‘consistent strength throughout from junior to senior level. If you have an "out of the ordinary" case, Coram is the set to go to.’ Of particular note is the ‘really understated and hugely intellectualMark Twomey QC and Martha Cover who have ‘deservedly very impressive reputations.’  The 'exceedingly bright and intelligent' Alexander Laing is 'very much a rising star of the Family Bar.'

Harcourt Chambers

Harcourt Chambers is a ‘first-rate set of chambers with great strength in depth, a very good range of barristers at different levels of call, from hugely experienced QCs to extremely talented juniors, meaning that it will always have a barrister who fits the needs of the case.’ The set ‘has quickly risen to form a strong identity, commanding respect and oozing experience.’ Among the ‘huge pool of high calibre children barristers’ is Edward Devereux QC who in a recent highlight led the successful appeal against a first instance decision to return a child to a third state pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention. Jonathan Sampson is a new silk appointment, further strengthening chambers at the senior end, while the future of the set looks bright with impressive rising stars Dr Rob George and Edward Bennett.

42 Bedford Row

42 Bedford Row is a ‘very solid set that offers expertise at all levels of counsel in respect of public law.’ It is also renowned for its growing private law practice. Key focus areas for its members include advising on disputes over children’s schooling, LGBT+ co-parenting, in addition to fertility and surrogacy matters. Tina Cook QC and Jonathan Bennett are the leading lights of the set at the senior and junior ends. The 'formidable' Marcia Hyde joins the rankings this year.

9 Gough Chambers

9 Gough Chambers has ‘some of the most able barristers’ in the children law arena. It is a ‘good set that is very accommodating and the barristers are very experienced in this field.’ The set's members receive praise for their public law work and also for their expertise across a broad range of complex issues from radicalisation through to sexual abuse cases. In addition, members frequently represent parents in disputes over arrangements for their children. Tim Parker is the set's foremost leading junior, followed by Esther Maclachlan, Oliver Millington, and Tara Vindis.

Fourteen

Fourteen has a ‘good range of highly skilled barristers.’ The chambers has an ‘outstanding depth of barristers available, even at short notice and all barristers are very experienced.’ Members are equally adept at private law and public law children matters. The set’s leading lights are Christopher Miller and Jay Banerji, while Ronan O’Donovan is another junior of note. The set has particular expertise in cases involving allegations of significant harm and where a local authority has become involved. Such cases include serious non-accidental injury cases, neglect as well as sexual and emotional abuse cases. Joan Connell and Chris Stevenson are newly ranked members.

Garden Court Chambers

Garden Court Chambers is a ‘well-known and well-respected set of chambers’ which 'has a very good team of barristers’ that is best known for high-quality public children work but also increasingly for specialist advice on complex private law children disputes. The combination has led to its inclusion as a leading set in these 2021 set rankings. In one case of note, Allison Munroe QC – a 2020 silk – represented a young mother with learning disabilities whose child had considerable special needs. Munroe was able to secure the mother direct ongoing contact with her child. Stephen Lue and Dinah Loeb are new names to this year's leading junior rankings.

The 36 Group

The 36 Group ‘offers a vast range of experience by way of years and areas and has a very strong team in relation to children law.’ Its ‘three children specialist QCs give the set a presence at the highest level but what is also clear is that the QCs really support the juniors and truly have an open-door policy.’ In one complex case, William Tyler QC successfully acted for Leicester City Council in the Court of Appeal, a care proceedings case concerning a British Asian family who were detained leaving Syria and where the parents were suspected of involvement in terrorist activity. Strengthening the set are recently appointed silk Martin Kingerley QC and, at the junior end, rising star George Harley.