No5 Barristers Chambers is regarded as a ‘high-quality set of public law family practitioners who are highly skilled and effective’. Covering both public and private children law and financial remedy, the set offers practitioners able to take on some of the more complex cases and disputes. Ashley Wynne heads the practice group, which includes a significant number of juniors who regularly and comfortably deal with complex, high-value cases. The public children law contingent is headed by Lorna Meyer QC, and also includes at silk level Stefano Nuvoloni QC, whose expertise in this area crosses over with Court of Protection matters. Adreeja Chatterjee is also recommended for international child law matters.
Family and children law in Regional Bar
‘No 5 Chambers provides an excellent all round service, meeting clients needs across the generations and at every available level of work – from very junior to leading silks.’
‘No 5 has a high-quality set of public law family practitioners who are highly skilled and effective. They have good strength in depth and all counsel I have instructed have been very skilled.’
‘No5 is an excellent set of chambers. The quality of barristers is high and as a consequence barristers from this set are in demand. That said there is often availability at short notice which is helpful for those urgent cases.’
‘The clerks are all extremely helpful and get back to you straight away.’
‘The clerks are always helpful and well organised. They are excellent at juggling diaries to ensure availability wherever possible.’
‘The clerks are excellent and have been particularly helpful in lockdown. Adam Wadley in particular is really helpful.’
St Ives Chambers has a large and powerful presence in the Midlands family law sector, with a wide range of expertise in public and private child law. Elizabeth Isaacs QC deals with complex child cases and care proceedings, and acts for both local authorities, parents and children. Family finance and divorce focussed members of chambers regularly work with across all values of cases: head of group Jayne Mullen regularly works for high net-worth individuals in matrimonial finance alongside colleagues Nicholas Starks and James Picken, who in addition has a private law children practice which includes cross-border cases. Jeremy Weston QC, as was, is now a Circuit Judge.
‘St Ives Chambers is my go to set, rightly acknowledged for the quality of its family barristers. Their annual public law children conference was the highlight of the CPD calendar pre-pandemic.’
‘St. Ives are always my first call and they are always on hand to assist. The breadth of their experiences is impressive and a number of their juniors are essentially silks which is always useful to have. ‘
‘St Ives Chambers have become my go to chambers in Birmingham. Real strength in depth for family finance and children cases.’
‘Excellent service clerks always approachable and if you are told they will get back to you they do.’
‘David Walters offers a service like no other clerk, is so attentive and regarded very highly.’
‘The clerks are friendly and accommodating and will make every effort to find you someone suitable for your case. The relaxed atmosphere belies the hard work and effort that goes into providing an excellent service for instructing solicitors.’
St Philips Chambers’ family law practice group is split between the children team and the financial remedies team and continues to offer ‘excellent options in terms of barristers for all areas of family law’. The financial remedy team is regularly instructed in cases concerning pension arrangements, personal assets, and company assets both domestically and internationally. Juliet Allen and Davinia Riley have particular experience acting in cases involving large asset portfolios. In matters regarding children, members are involved in sensitive cases concerning disputes over children’s quality of life, neglect, and child death. Nicholas Brown is regularly instructed in care proceedings, representing local authorities, parents and children. William Horwood continues to build his rising star status acting unled in cases involving allegations of extremely serious child abuse.
‘St Philips have some stand out counsel involved in some weighty complex matters. There is a reason why they produce so many barristers who go on to become judges!’
‘St Philips Chambers has an outstanding family team. It is the one of the largest family teams and has extensive depth and lots of immensely talented advocates.’
‘St Philips have an excellent public law family set, with highly experienced and respected counsel across the board, mixed with skilled juniors. ‘
‘The clerking team is superb, led very well by the vastly experienced Mark Mansell with outstanding junior clerks in Kelly Fullwood and Anthony Burgess who are efficient, effective and very helpful. They have an excellent manner and provide an excellent service.’
‘The clerks are always helpful and nothing is ever too much trouble.’
‘The clerks at St Phiilips endeavour to ensure that you are offered counsel with the appropriate seniority for a case. They also ensure that you are happy with the service provided and offer a good level of client care.’
As a set, Harcourt Chambers is home to a number of practitioners well-versed in the intricacies of care cases involving complex medical issues and allegations of serious harm to babies and children. Among the set's silks John Vater QC and Aidan Vine QC have had recent instructions involving child deaths, complex head injuries, and sensitive cases with challenging medical evidence. Alex Forbes regularly deals with cases involving parental alienation both in the UK and internationally, while Matthew Brookes-Baker is regularly instructed in cases relating to serious sexual abuse and parents with significant learning disabilities.
‘Chambers are very user friendly in terms of being arranging counsel and dealing with any problems/queries which may arise.’
‘The clerks are great and extremely efficient. All correspondence was dealt with in a prompt, courteous manner.’
Joint heads of Northampton's Senate House Chambers, Lianne Murphy and Michelle Christie lead a group of ‘well-respected’ specialists able to advise and represent local authorities, parents, guardians, and children in complex and sensitive care proceedings. Daniel Sheridan and Rachel Watkins recent instructions have involved serious non-accidental injuries and sexual and psychological harm to children in several complex and unusual cases. Samantha Reddington continues to act on behalf of children, parents, guardians, and local authorities in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse, among others.
‘Senate Chambers are a well respected chambers in the area that we work in.’
‘Members of Senate House Chambers are my go-to Chambers when I am looking to instruct counsel on Children Act matters.’
‘I have instructed barristers from this set for a number of years and they have always been very knowledgeable and experienced.
‘Chambers are brilliant. Elaine Christie is a brilliant clerk and will do her absolute best to accommodate finding you counsel.’
‘The clerks will try and assist in finding suitable barristers for each matter. They are respectful and will do their upmost to assist.’
‘All of the clerks are always very helpful and are very quick at responding to any queries that may be raised. They will also go above and beyond to try and accommodate any last minute requests.’
Chambers of Victoria Hodges and Judy Claxton
St Mary's Chambers are considered by many as a ‘first choice’ for cases involving matrimonial finances, cohabitation matters and private child law. Leading juniors Nigel Page and Gareth Jacques represent high-net worth and high-profile individuals, including in cases related to agricultural estates. The children law team is regularly instructed by local authorities, parents, and guardians, with recent instructions including cases involving forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Judy Claxton and Sara Davis recently both acted for local authorities in cases involved in allegations and findings of serious sexual abuse and trafficking of children.
‘I have found St Mary’s to be a set of chambers that is approachable with counsel taking pride with their work and also taking the time to discuss cases in detail.’
‘St Mary’s is a strong set of family counsel with a good breadth of expertise and experience.’
‘St Mary’s Chambers are in my view a Chambers that are excelling within the family sector. Clerks and counsel alike are accommodating and excel in the quality of advocates that they are able to provide.’
‘The clerks at St Mary’s are incredibly helpful. Their practice manager Scott Baldwin, is very proactive and very accommodating.’
‘The clerking service is outstanding. SMFLC’s approach to the new working remote regime under the ‘lockdown’ was impressive.’
‘Head clerk Kamla Chall-Bange provides excellent and swift response to all enquiries.’
3PB ’s family and child offering has a strong group of counsel, covering both the full range of matrimonial work as well as complex public and private law child work, including cases involving the most severe allegations of abuse. Elizabeth McGrath QC’s recent instructions include parental alienation and cross-border private law issues. while group head Vanessa Meachin QC also has a balanced child and financial remedy practice, frequently acting for individuals with large asset portfolios and in cases where there are accusations of harm. Aimee Fox has a specialised and praised niche practice of disability-related children disputes, with recent instructions featuring cross-border elements.
‘3PB is a spectacular set of chambers with so much strength and depth.’
‘Very good set for family law, with some very experienced counsel. A number of training programmes have been provided and these are always very engaging and informative.’
‘The set exudes calm, personable professionalism. Second to none training and CPD programs for solicitors.’
‘The clerks are always keen to work within client’s budgets whilst ensuring the client maintains an excellent level of service. ‘
‘Extremely good service from the clerks and especially Ian Charlton there who is always there to assist and discuss cases to find the right counsel for the job.’
‘Superb customer care and going the extra mile to support my clients. Very responsive, friendly, and helpful.’
KCH Garden Square is one of the largest chambers in the East Midlands with a strong family and child contingent. Moira Ashton-Walsh regularly represents parents in a wide range of child law cases, including ones regarding international relocations. Zoe Henry is also a name to note, developing a specialism in cases involving parents with personality disorders, learning difficulties and mental health conditions. In September 2021 Karen Kabweru-Namulemu moved to 1GC.
‘Chambers are always efficient and professional. They will always do whatever they can to assist us in securing representation for clients, even at very short notice.’
‘The chambers are very highly recommended as they are easy to contact and response accordingly. If counsel is booked and they are part heard, chambers will ensure that instructing solicitors are contacted with alternate counsel.’
‘The service is exceptional and the clerks are very efficient. Most notably, Stuart Walker, has been of great assistance on a number of cases, finding counsel at late notice and liaising well with us.’
‘KCH have very efficient clerks, they offer a good service.’