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Leading Silks: Child Law (Public And Private)

Gillian Irving QC - Broadway House ChambersShe always the best prepared advocate in court, fierce in cross-examination, never intimidated or out manoeuvred by anyone and always at least two steps ahead of everyone else.
Taryn Lee QC - Spire BarristersTaryn is a hard working, conscientious and skillful Barrister; she is forensic in the way she prepares her cases and has the ability to execute effective cross examination of expert witnesses in very complex family cases. Taryn is very approachable and is able to instil trust in clients; she is a joy to watch as an advocate and a pleasure to work with.
Nicholas Stonor QC - Trinity ChambersLeads in highly complex care cases.

2020 Silks: Child Law (Public And Private)

Jacqui Thomas QC - Spire BarristersShe is a star. A calm and steady advocate with a meticulous attention to detail.

Leading Juniors: Child Law (Public And Private)

Sara Anning - Parklane PlowdenSara's impressive intellect and fine attention to detail makes her my overall preferred Counsel. She approaches her advocacy and advice with an ability to factor in all evolving aspects of the matter fluidly. She offers welcome practical advice outside of her specific brief and never shirks from any task, however small, that will assist in advancing the position of her lay client.
Clare Garnham - Parklane PlowdenAlways well prepared and sound advice given. Great skills with parent clients and also Guardians who regularly ask that she be instructed. Always happy to be contacted and very use friendly.
Justin Gray - Trinity ChambersJustin is a pleasure to work with. He is calm, patient and pays the utmost attention to detail. His work is meticulous in terms of depth and details. He is tenacious in his approach to representing clients; Justin has a fantastic way of making you feel at ease throughout the whole court experience. The advice and guidance he gave on the course of our case was explained in a way we could understand.
John Jackson - Parklane PlowdenJohn is approachable, hard working, and skilful. His like-ability and stamina as well as his excellent client skills make him stand out.
Manisha Marwaha - KBWA strong advocate, able to easily establish a relationship with lay clients putting them at ease.
Louise McCallum - Parklane PlowdenShe is a Rolls-Royce of an advocate. Forensic analysis. Calm under pressure. Excellent client care manner. She is thorough, considered, conscientious, excellent rapport with clients, easy to work with.
Pauline Moulder - Dere Street BarristersAn excellent advocate who is always well prepared but has the ability to think on her feet with the result that she is able to present her client’s case in a clear and effective way. She has very good communication skills which means that she is able to deal with both lay clients and professionals alike.
David Orbaum - Park Square BarristersDavid has tremendous negotiation skills aided by a firm stance taken from the outset of discussion with other parties. There is no fear of David being compromised if it does not suit his position in the case.
Jayne Pye - Broadway House ChambersAn excellent children law advocate.
Elizabeth Shaw - Spire BarristersMiss Shaw is an outstanding lawyer and advocate, she is robust yet sensitive in her approach, down to earth and extremely experienced having undertaken and conducted the most complex cases in this particular field over many years. Miss Shaw is particularly gifted in dealing with clients who may have particular mental health needs, behavioural problems and/or communication difficulties, particularly those who may have autism.
Timothy Spain - Trinity ChambersTim is the go-to barrister for financial remedy work. His legal knowledge is second to none and his negotiation skills are such that he achieves consistently good outcomes.
Alex Taylor - Parklane PlowdenAlex combines significant intellectual rigour with very genuine kindness and compassion towards both clients and other parties. Alex is diligent and thorough in his preparation and unafraid to argue novel and complex points which are always thoroughly backed by his knowledge of the case and of the law. He is tenacious in court.
Charlotte Worsley - Park Square BarristersMiss Worsley is highly experienced and is certainly a senior junior locally and in her set. Her role as Head of the Family Team at PSQB is a real credit to her work, practice and her commitment to the team. Miss Worsley goes over and above for her clients. She is a fierce but fair advocate and she is excellent at picking up nuances within the case which can get overlooked.
Elizabeth Callaghan - Dere Street BarristersLiz is extremely professional and is always well prepared. She is a master of detail and is my first choice when a forensic approach is needed on a case. she also has a charming but firm manner with lay clients and makes them feel at ease.
Olivia Checa-Dover - KBWShe is clear and methodical preparation and grasps the issues well. Olivia handles hostile parents well in cross examination and is a seasoned advocate.
Jane Curnin - Park Square BarristersMs Curnin is, without doubt, one of the best junior counsel on circuit - although she has not been called that long her previous life as a solicitor in this area of law really makes her stand out. Ms Curnin is easy to work with, she is extremely approachable and helpful. Further, she is a formidable and very capable advocate who is always very well prepared and will go the extra mile for the client.
Tim Donnelly - Dere Street BarristersTim is smart and combines a rigorous attention to detail in preparation with a quietly ruthless advocacy style which makes him a very effective unit as a barrister.
Julia Nelson - Parklane PlowdenJulia is confident and fights for her client in a way which is constructive and appreciated by the Court and admired by clients. Clients warm to Julia when they meet her and immediately know that they have a very experienced and dynamic barrister.
Semaab Shaikh - Broadway House ChambersMs Shaikh is very approachable and puts the clients at ease straight away. She has experience in dealing with vulnerable clients, ensuring that they are able put their case to the court in the most effective way. She is very knowledgeable and has a very though approach to cases.
Valerie Sterling - New Park Court ChambersClients can clearly see the quality in her work and representation within proceedings. She will fight for the client and takes a no nonsense approach.
Martin Todd - Park Square BarristersMartin stands out as an incredibly diligent and committed barrister who is empathy personified. He is the advocate of choice for many care practitioners and Guardians in our local court who benefit hugely from his energy, enthusiasm and experience. He is genuinely committed to the team/inclusive approach and shows respect to clients, solicitors and more junior colleagues.
Emily Ward - Broadway House ChambersShe punches well above her weight and is not afraid to tackle very complex cases and holds her own against senior opponents. good knowledge of the law, very down to earth with clients, easy to contact with instrcutions provides excellent feedback on how a case has progressed or settled in court proceedings. Strong advocate.
Sarah Blackmore - Spire BarristersMs Blackmore is a very strong advocate with an in-depth knowledge of public law and Children's Act matters. She is clearly passionate about her work and offers an extremely high level of service. What stands out in respect of Ms Blackmore is the extra lengths she will got to and additional support she provides. Her experience shines through and is shown in the guidance and practical advice.
James Hargan - Park Square BarristersAn exceptional lawyer, James is wonderful and as good as any QC.
Carly Henley - Dere Street BarristersSpecialises in abuse cases.
Karen Lennon - Dere Street BarristersStraight-talking, extremely thorough and passionate about the case she's advancing. You know exactly where you are with her. If you need a tough cookie, they don't come much tougher than her.
Natalia Levine - Parklane PlowdenNatalia grasps a case quickly but thinks things through carefully. She is good at formulating a strategy, looking at the end result we want to achieve. Natalia explains things well to clients and makes sure they understand the advice being given.
Natalia Perrett - Park Square BarristersShe is brilliant with vulnerable clients. She is empathetic and warm, gives them fantastic support. She is well liked by Guardians.
Pennie Stanistreet - St John's BuildingsPennie is quite frankly a fantastic barrister. She is committed to her respective clients and will always go the extra mile. She was my first port of call in a recent case where permission to appeal was sought in respect of an interim decision. She is approachable, friendly, extremely knowledgable and clearly committed to the profession. She would be my first choice if given as an option to instruct. I cannot praise her enough.
Guy Swiffen - Broadway House ChambersA care proceedings specialist.
Dornier Whittaker - Broadway House ChambersShe has excellent client care and preparation.
Simon Wilkinson - Parklane PlowdenSimon's strengths are in always being thoroughly prepared and his excellent communication skills. He is a pleasure to instruct, always prepared to make himself available for discussions.
Sarah Woolrich - Dere Street BarristersSarah is always well prepared for every hearing and communicates with us before and after hearings. She has a wonderful manner with lay clients. She has an excellent reputation for providing detailed notes to instructing solicitors on a timely basis. She is an excellent experienced advocate in complex care proceedings and I would not hesitate to instruct.

Claire Brissenden - Trinity Chambers 'Empathetic and very caring towards clients. Her preparation for a hearing or conference is always thorough and she puts herself out to really fight the client's corner. Also very supportive towards instructing solicitors.'

Sarah Fearon - Crown ChambersSarah has an excellent working knowledge of all areas of child protection law and procedure. She has a good eye for detail and her analysis is first class. She works particularly well in pressured situations such as contested removal cases on which she has been instructed at short notice. She has excellent inter-personal skills and a calming presence both in and out of the courtroom.
Gaynor Hall - Crown ChambersMs Hall is a hard working and thorough advocate. She fights hard on behalf of her clients whilst maintaining a professional and empathetic approach. She is extremely well respected by her peers in the legal community and is always approachable for advice.
Joanne Jenkins - Wilberforce BarristersJoanne is a very thorough and tenacious advocate who is always meticulously prepared. She is very experienced in both Public Law and Private Law Children matters. She will fight her clients corner regardless of whether she represents the Local Authority, Parents or Children.
Huw Lippiatt - Park Square BarristersHuw is calm, measured and always shows excellent judgement in his cases. Huw is always extremely well-prepared and manages to hone in on the key points on behalf of his client. He is very adept at winning the confidence of clients and alert to what shall be their priorities and worries.
Elizabeth Lugg - Dere Street BarristersLiz is a tenanacious, no nonsense barrister. She is also fearless and will do all she can to advance a client's case. She is extremely good with vulnerable and/or challenging parents. She is frank in sharing strengths and weaknesses in a case during conference with client and will set out expectations to lay client.
Crown Chambers ‘A very skilful advocate who has the ability to elicit responses to undermine opponents cases whilst presenting the case of their client. Very knowledge on legal argument. A favourite barrister and highly regarded on the circuit.
Kate Morley - St John's BuildingsAttention to detail. Knowledge of the specific area law and ability to assist others to become more knowledgeable. Very good client rapport, very supportive of the client.
Harvey Murray - Dere Street BarristersMr Murray has great expertise and is incredibly knowledgeable whilst also being approachable. He is an effective advocate and is well liked by lay clients who find is gentle manner reassuring when they are often in very difficult circumstances. He is also popular with professional clients including Children's Guardians due to his professionalism and skill.
Lucy Sowden - Parklane PlowdenShe is very methodical and analytical and hard working. She gets involved in your case and will help you all the way through even if you have only instructed her to cover just one hearing. Her advocacy skills are great. She is very robust and thorough.
Olivia Weir - St John's BuildingsOlivia forensic approach is second to none, she is meticulous in all that she does. She has great empathy for the parents she represents leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the best evidence is before the Court. She is kind and personable and yet one of the most tenacious advocates I have ever seen.
Jane Wheatley - St John's BuildingsVery forensic, able to assimilate and analyse huge amounts of evidence with a talent to distilling it down to what really is important/relevant. Very much knows how to run a case. Excellent with professional and lay clients, including vulnerable clients and protected persons. Strong on both paper and in advocacy.
Charlotte Wilce - Parklane PlowdenCharlotte for children matters is excellent and clients have preferred her over more senior counsel.

Leading Juniors: Divorce And Financial Remedy

Roger Bickerdike - Broadway House ChambersRoger is the consummate advocate who is more than willing to roll his sleeves up should the case require it. He is a pragmatist at heart and clients value his commerciality. He will fight for what is right for a client.
Robert Cole - Broadway House ChambersHis no-nonsense, straight-talking Yorkshireman approach, can help resolve cases where the couple have become entrenched in their views. He is just so clever. Superb manner with clients and has a persuasive air in negotiations, rare in someone with such good courtroom skills. His expertise in cases involving corporate structures is second to none.
Elizabeth Darlington - Parklane PlowdenBeth's legal expertise in relation to TOLATA cases is second to none in our region. Beth is quickly able to get to the crux of the issues involved and build a rapport with the client. She works tirelessly to assist the client to achieve a settlement and avoid lengthy and expensive court proceedings and provides pragmatic advice.
Anthony Hajimitsis - Broadway House ChambersAnthony is also a stand out performer. We regularly use him for financial remedy cases.
Duncan Maxwell-Stewart - DMS Chambers 'He is an excellent advocate and provides extremely measured advice in conference. He brings strategic thinking to case which he carries effectively from advice to court. This plays a key part in the excellent outcomes that Duncan achieves for clients.'
Nicholas Power - Broadway House ChambersNick is a strong advocate and is my barrister of choice for financial remedy cases. He is always very well prepared and is very thorough in his approach. Again, he provides sensible and realistic advice and instils confidence in clients and instructing solicitors.
Timothy Spain - Trinity ChambersTim is the go-to barrister for financial remedy work. His legal knowledge is second to none and his negotiation skills are such that he achieves consistently good outcomes.
Rae Cohen - Broadway House ChambersHis preparation is thorough and he builds a very good rapport with clients. He is firm when appropriate and is clear with his advice. His advocacy is strong and persuasive.
Crispin Oliver - Dere Street BarristersCrispin is always thorough and reflective in his approach to cases. He treats clients and other professionals alike with respect and instils a sense of confidence and safety. Unlike many of his fellow counsel, Crispin listens to the views of both lay and professional clients and has the maturity and humility to take these into account when formulating his advice and submissions.
Emily Ward - Broadway House ChambersShe punches well above her weight and is not afraid to tackle very complex cases and holds her own against senior opponents. good knowledge of the law, very down to earth with clients, easy to contact with instrcutions provides excellent feedback on how a case has progressed or settled in court proceedings. Strong advocate.
Jake Ellis - Broadway House ChambersA rising star of the Financial Remedy bar in Yorkshire. Mr Ellis’ preparation for matters is second to none. His general demeanour and approach with clients provides the clients with confidence in him and his ability to represent their best interests and to obtain the best settlement possible for them.
Mark Henley - Park Square BarristersVery capable, incredibly bright and commercially astute. Great tactician and always available for for help and assistance with a willingness to go that extra mile. His willingness to conduct ongoing negotiations with the barrister for the other party and reach a final agreement well after the FDR was an exceptional service.
David de Jéhan - Parklane PlowdenDavid is an extremely experienced and skilled barrister. Despite his impressive in-depth knowledge of the law and his meticulous eye for detail, his firm are firmly on the ground making him a favorite with clients. David is always on hand to talk through matters and his involvement with cases always proves invaluable from a strategic perspective. David is also a robust advocate who consistently gets results.
Julia Nelson - Parklane PlowdenJulia is confident and fights for her client in a way which is constructive and appreciated by the Court and admired by clients. Clients warm to Julia when they meet her and immediately know that they have a very experienced and dynamic barrister.
James Richardson - Trinity ChambersJames is a standout barrister for his extremely good level of service both in conference and in court.
Valerie Sterling - New Park Court ChambersClients can clearly see the quality in her work and representation within proceedings. She will fight for the client and takes a no nonsense approach.
Sally Terris - New Park Court ChambersShe specialises in matrimonial finance cases.
Dornier Whittaker - Broadway House ChambersShe has excellent client care and preparation.

Rising Stars: Child Law (Public And Private)

Maxine Best - Parklane PlowdenMiss Best is an impressive junior and comes across as far more competent and experienced than her year of call suggests. Miss Best is always extremely well prepared, her advocacy and written work is of very high quality and she has a real knack of grasping the facts quickly and getting to the heart of the case.
Nathaniel Garner - Parklane PlowdenHas an admirable ability to see the wood from the trees. Is charismatic and gets on very well with the clients. Prepares each case as if it was his last. A young advocate with bags of knowledge and fight.
Ashley Lord - Spire BarristersVery good at putting clients at ease and ensuring they understand the process of the proceedings and what is happening on a particular day for a particular hearing. Very calming influence on clients when dealing with emotionally charged situations. Knowledge of the law is extensive, and is able to explain complicated matters in a very down to earth way for all clients to understand.
Reagan Persaud - Spire BarristersReagan's mind works fast, and draws on the specificity of the case, which is incredibly useful in cases where there are related proceedings, siblings, have been long hearings and there is a lot of detail to draw on. She is confident, which puts the client at ease, especially where other representatives are partisan and can make professional clients feel intimidated or under attack.
Kate Spence - St John's BuildingsMs Spence is very thorough and well prepared on all of her cases. She is an excellent advocate and her knowledge and understanding the Law is excellent. She is very good with clients and explains things simply and clearly. She is robust in her advocacy and dealings with other parties.

Family and children law in Regional Bar

Duncan Maxwell-Stewart of DMS Chambers is instructed in complex financial remedy proceedings involving businesses, farms, inherited wealth, family trusts, foreign assets, pensions, and significant personal injury awards.

Broadway House Chambers

Broadway House Chambers is known in the North Eastern circuit for its members' specialisms in matrimonial finance, domestic violence, forced marriage, and FGM cases. Gillian Irving QC represents local authorities and parents in contentious and highly complex cases involving the death of and catastrophic injuries to children. Among the juniors, qualified arbitrator Robert Cole heads the family team and has a specialism in investigating corporate assets, including the analysis of complex corporate structures; Emily Ward has a particular emphasis on high-value matrimonial finance and complex children proceedings; Rae Cohen is noted for his involvement in internal and foreign relocation cases; and Semaab Shaikh specialises in radicalisation cases and domestic violence applications, to name a few. The team has greatly expanded of late, following the early 2020 arrival of Anthony Hajimitsis, Roger Bickerdike, Guy Swiffen, Dornier Whittaker, and Jayne Pye from the now-closed Zenith Chambers.

Crown Chambers

Crown Chambers is a new set formed from former members of Wilberforce Chambers in Hull. Former solicitor Gaynor Hall is instructed by local Authorities, CAFCASS, and parents in complex family public law cases in Hull and Grimsby, including those involving allegations of female genital mutilation and jurisdiction issues. Likewise, Sarah Fearon is instructed by local authorities across Yorkshire and the Humber and Lincolnshire, as well as parents, grandparents, intervenors, and children in complex cases including sexual and domestic abuse allegations and jurisdictional issues.

Dere Street Barristers

Dere Street Barristers remains a strong presence in the North Eastern circuit with members providing strong advocacy private and public children law disciplines and at every level of the courts. Among the host of strong juniors, Tim Donnelly heads the family group and acts on behalf of family members and children's guardians. Pauline Moulder works exclusively in children law and is involved in complex medical, sexual, and physical abuse cases. Carly Henley is noted for her expertise in significant non-accidental injury work and has acted in a number of international child abduction cases. Elizabeth Callaghan is recognised for her experience in dealing with vulnerable clients and is 'extremely professional' and 'always well prepared' in cases.


The family law team at KBW has dedicated family law barristers who undertake highly complex and sensitive cases. Members act in private law proceedings and have particular experience in cases involving an international dimension. Olivia Checha-Dover is the head of the family team in chambers; Manisha Marwaha regularly appears in the High Court and specialises in cases involving international and jurisdictional issues, and has extensive experience in complex alleged physical and sexual abuse cases.

New Park Court Chambers

Members of New Park Court Chambers are highly experienced in all areas of family law and are instructed both on a private and publicly-funded basis in financial and Children Act proceedings. Valerie Sterling heads the family team and has expertise in complex care and private law cases, as well as encompassing matrimonial finance cases of high-net-worth individuals.

Park Square Barristers Ltd.

Park Square Barristers is home to experienced family practitioners in the North Eastern circuit. The team is involved in many complex cases such as non-accidental injuries, sexual abuse, radicalisation, and often involves an international element. Charlotte Worsley heads the family team and handles all aspects of children cases, particularly on public-law and care and adoption proceedings. Martin Todd specialises in child care injury and abuse cases; David Orbaum is noted for his involvement in cases with difficult and potentially dangerous parties; Jane Curnin undertakes cases involving serious injury and sexual abuse in children. Mark Henley has strengthened the set's family finance practice following his arrival from Zenith Chambers.

Parklane Plowden

Now boasting more than 40 specialist family law practitioners, Parklane Plowden is considered 'a strong set of barristers, with a wide variety of skills and personalities' and as having 'real strength and depth in private children law matters, from a solid emerging junior group through to senior juniors'. Sara Anning heads the family team, which covers the full gamut of private and public instructions for parents, guardians, intervenors, and local authorities in cases involving care proceedings following allegations of sexual abuse, non-accidental injury, as well as forced marriage and jurisdiction issues, to name but a few. Julia Nelson represents clients in both finance and children issues; Elizabeth Darlington is instructed across the full range of high value and complex financial remedies and has particular expertise in cohabitee matters. The set has been recently strengthened following the arrival of several 'top-class barristers', including Louise McCallum, Clare Garnham, Lucy Sowden, and Lewis Donnelly, as well as rising stars Maxine Best and Nathaniel Garner, from Zenith Chambers. The set also draws praise from instructing solicitors for its training programmes, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Spire Barristers

Members of Spire Barristers are recognised as national experts in the field of family law and provide a 'first-class service' to its clients. Taryn Lee QC is 'the go-to silk for complex children work in the North East', frequently acting in high-profile cases and over the past 16 months has also been involved in four cases regarding significant alleged peadophile rings. New silk and joint head of chambers, Jacqui Thomas specialises in complex cases relating to death, serious injury, or sexual assault against children. At the junior end, Sarah Blackmore acts for a variety of parties such as local authorities, parents, and children in cases involving non-accidental injury and sexual abuse; Elizabeth Shaw is a go-to for deprivation of liberty and claims involving sexual abuse. The future of the set looks bright with rising stars Reagan Persaud and Ashley Lord highly recommended by instructing solicitors.

St John's Buildings

A 'very strong set', St John's Buildings has 'excellent strength in depth' and 'extremely approachable' members of chambers in the field of family law. 'Also good at bringing pupils through who are well-trained and skilled.' With a background in both family and criminal law, Pennie Stanistreet is instructed in all aspects of Children Act applications, including finding of fact hearings both for local authorities and parents in relation to child injury and death. Olivia Weir has expertise acting for local authorities, parents, and children in alleged shaken baby cases, as well as sexual abuse and child protection. Former solicitor Jane Wheatley acts in complex public law proceedings and she also has a small private law practice including international relocation. Kate Morley's practice includes cases with child injury, sexual abuse, chronic neglect, and substance misuse, as well as jurisdiction matters and non-molestation orders.

Trinity Chambers

Trinity Chambers has 'a number of excellent barristers and can be relied upon to offer a good service' with 'an excellent family team' that is 'professional, friendly, knowledgeable'. The family team takes instructions across the spectrum of family law, including public and private children disputes and financial remedy work. The set reports an uptick in matrimonial finance instructions over the past 12 months, with the team involved in high-profile and high-value arrangements including property and assets abroad, farms, and businesses, as well as complex pensions. A Family Court Recorder and head of the set's family group, Nicholas Stonor QC is regularly instructed in complex care proceedings. He has expertise in cases involving fatal injuries, factitious and induced illness, shaking, and sexual abuse, as well as jurisdictional, religious, and human rights issues. Among the juniors in the team, Margaret Francis Sweeting is known for her ability to represent vulnerable clients in public and private law disputes. Justin Gray has expertise in adoption, special guardianship, school and relocation cases, financial claims for children, and surrogacy, to name but a few areas. Timothy Spain is a specialist in high-value ancillary and financial relief cases, including matters involving companies, partnerships, farms, hidden wealth, and insolvency, as well as having experience local authority children cases.

Wilberforce Barristers

Wilberforce Barristers is 'the go-to set' for child law matters in the Hull and Grimsby area with several members who will 'provide an excellent service to ensure that all clients' needs are met'. Joanne Jenkins has expertise in the presentation and investigation of expert medical evidence in relation to allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and fabricated and induced illness; other members of chambers are involved in cases involving issues such as internal relocation and removal from the jurisdiction.