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Leading Silks

Kate Burnell KC – St John’s Buildings ‘Kate is a very relaxed, friendly, and approachable individual in very stressful and difficult times for clients. She is unflappable, calm, firm at appropriate times, empathetic, kind, and sensitive.’
Lorraine Cavanagh KC – St John’s Buildings 'Lorraine is unrelenting with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law. She is incredibly reassuring for any anxious or bewildered client, and she is generous with her knowledge and time.'
Frances Heaton KC – St John’s Buildings 'Frances has a superb grasp of issues and a mastery of complex briefs at very short notice. Her advocacy is excellent and clear and she works well with junior counsel and instructing solicitors to provide good client care.'
Karl Rowley KC – St John’s Buildings ‘Karl is one of the best public law children silks in the entire country, as his written arguments are focused but comprehensive and always compelling to read, his oral advocacy is measured but powerful, and judges, whether at first instance or in the Court of Appeal, always listen to him carefully. He is a truly formidable opponent, always courteous, and at the top of his game in every respect.’

2023 Silks

Michael Jones KC – Deans Court Chambers 'Michael is an excellent advocate, he is incredibly knowledgeable around all areas that he is dealing with, and that is abundantly clear. He is always happy to help and provide guidance, and he is patient and approachable.'
Shaun Spencer KC – St John’s BuildingsShaun is a barrister of the highest calibre, as he is exceptional at managing professional clients while ensuring inexperienced workers have a full understanding of what is happening. His knowledge of the law and practical advice stands him above other barristers, and his advocacy is particularly impressive, as he is able to navigate complex expert evidence and present it to the court in a manageable way.’

Leading Juniors

Joanne Barnett – 9 St John Street 'Joanne is a persuasive and well-rounded advocate who takes a practical and frank approach. She is also willing to stay in touch and help round off cases.'
Yvonne Healing – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Yvonne is an absolute delight to work with. She is always calm, reassuring, and pragmatic, she is well-prepared, and she is able to get to the heart of a legal problem incredibly quickly.’
Fiona Holloran – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Fiona is fantastic and she is much sought after in public and private law cases. She is outstanding in cases involving complex medical, alienation, and jurisdictional issues, and she is a meticulously prepared, robust, and formidable advocate.’
Sarah Kilvington – 9 St John StreetSarah is a tenacious advocate, doing the utmost for her clients. She has great attention to detail and is robust, not just with the other parties, but also with the court.'
Margaret Parr – 7 Harrington StreetMargaret is a razor-sharp, excellent advocate who quickly grasps all the issues. She puts clients at ease with her calm, unflappable, and firm manner, and she is a formidable opponent.’
Rehana Begum – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Rehana is a well-thought-of specialist children’s lawyer. She is bright, hard working, and she gets instructions on some of the most complex cases.’
Kate Bramall – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Kate is an excellent barrister; she is able to communicate well with lay clients and in an empathetic but firm manner when required. She is a determined advocate who is always well-prepared and will find all the relevant issues to be able to skillfully handle a difficult case on behalf of a client.’
Leonie Caplan – 18 St John Street ChambersLeonie is very thorough, always reliable, and able to put a clients case persuasively to the court. She is good at reporting back after a hearing and is approachable post hearings for advice if needed.'
Julie Forsyth – Exchange Chambers ‘Julie is a fierce advocate with a pragmatic approach to public law cases. She is not afraid to give clients a realistic assessment of their case while always maintaining an excellent level of client care, and she is an excellent source of advice and knowledge on the most complex of cases.’
Emma Greenhalgh – 9 St John StreetEmma is always well prepared across all of the details of the case. She is committed to her clients and her client handling skills are second to none, her attendance notes and draft orders are always prompt and detailed, her advocacy is brilliant, both in and out of the court room, and her advice is realistic and sensitive to the client’s position.’
Clare Grundy – St John’s Buildings ‘Clare is a reassuring and calming presence, including for very vulnerable clients who are reassured by and gain confidence from her very capable representation and assistance.'
Eleanor Keehan – St John’s BuildingsEleanor is an excellent advocate, as she is very experienced and knowledgeable and has a very good approach with clients, especially those who are vulnerable. She is able to get the job done to a high standard for her client while maintaining good relationships and a level of understanding towards the other parties.'
Farah Ahmed – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Farah is friendly, approachable, builds a trusting relationship with clients, and has good advocacy skills.’
Samantha Birtles – 18 St John Street Chambers ‘Samantha is outstanding. She is much sought after in public and private law cases, because she is exceptional, always well-prepared, an outstanding advocate, and highly respected by the judiciary, Bar, and solicitors.’
Christian Durham Hall - 15 Winckley Square 'Christian is everything you want when instructing a barrister. He is great with clients, his knowledge of the law is unrivalled, and he is an impressive advocate.'
Lisa Edmunds – Unit Chambers ‘Lisa is fantastically experienced and an obviously safe pair of hands in complex, highly-sensitive child law cases. She has a straightforward, pragmatic, and sensible approach to difficult cases, and her style of advocacy commands the confidence of judges and counsel alike.’
Lucinda France-Hayhurst – St John’s BuildingsLucinda is an excellent advocate who is good on her feet, well respected by judges and her peers, and liked by the professional clients who she is representing. She is particularly skilled with nervous clients given her friendly and approachable demeanour.’
Kathryn Hughes – Exchange Chambers ‘Kathryn will never shy away from a fight and will pursue any argument rigorously to try and get the right outcome for the client.'
Natasha Johnson – 7 Harrington StreetIt is very rare to find a barrister who is exceptionally intelligent and is also able to show empathy towards their clients. Natasha has it all; she is extremely intelligent, her personal skills are exceptional, her delivery in court is second-to-none, and she has a passion for the law and takes pride in the work she delivers.’
Sarah Johnson – Kenworthy’s Chambers 'Sarah offers robust and straight forward advice, she is empathetic to vulnerable clients, and she achieves favourable outcomes for them. She has always done her preparation and knows the case in depth.'
Paul Im Thurn – Kenworthy’s Chambers ‘Paul is very knowledgeable about the cases he works on. He always provides great advice and is a strong advocate, and he is very much a go-to barrister.'
Alex Walker – 18 St John Street ChambersAlex is a fantastic lawyer and an exceptional advocate. He is passionate about the law and he is making a strong name for himself in the field of family law, particularly in difficult and complex matters, as he is always well prepared and a formidable force in the court room.'
Anna Warters18 St John Street ChambersAnna is a truly incredible advocate; she is just amazing at what she does and has achieved some incredible outcomes on cases. She truly cares about her clients and puts everything into each case in terms of her preparation work and her advocacy.'
Hannah Wood – St John’s Buildings ‘Hannah is thorough, well-prepared, and proactive. She is able to grasp complex cases and can give the client the reassurance in her abilities and expertise, and she undertakes high-quality work.’

Rising Stars

Chloë Booth – Unit Chambers ‘Chloë’s handling of matters is beyond exceptional as she is sensible, child-focused, and incredibly considered in her approach. Her advocacy is absolutely outstanding, her preparation is meticulous, her questioning is thorough and exposing, and the respect she commands in the court room is palpable.’

Family: children and domestic violence in Regional Bar

18 St John Street Chambers

18 St John Street Chambers is praised as ‘very strong in children’s law’ with ‘a great range of strong senior juniors.’ The members have significant experience across a wide variety of matters, including serious sexual abuse, life-threatening and fatal injuries, deprivation of liberty, factitious illnesses, and parental alienation. Rehana Begum and Yvonne Healing are often instructed in complex care proceedings. Fiona Holloran‘s practice covers both private and public law applications, representing children, parents, and local authorities. Kate Bramall is skilled in handling cases concerning unexplained injuries to children, and Anna Warters has expertise in representing vulnerable clients, especially those with mental health problems and learning disabilities, and she regularly acts in cases concerning capacity issues and the Official Solicitor. Alex Walker is also a notable member of the set with a strong public and private law practice.


‘Camille Scott and Vaughn John are always extremely helpful and go out of their way to assist. They are very attentive and quick to respond and find solutions.’

‘The clerks are fantastic! Camille Scott is head of the family team and she goes above and beyond to try to help cover in difficult situations. She is professional and friendly and has an excellent team.’

‘Camille Scott and her team offer first-rate support to chambers. They are quick to respond on fees and provide sensible solutions with counsel’s availability.’

‘The clerks within the family team are brilliant.’

‘The clerks are always extremely helpful and offer as much flexibility and availability as possible. The overall service from this set is the best in the North West.’

‘Chambers is very strong in children’s law and has a great range of strong senior juniors.’

’18 St John Street Chambers is fantastic. The members are strong and it is a solid set with strength in depth and outstanding barristers. They go out of their way to accommodate solicitors, even in extremely urgent situations.’

‘This is an excellent set.’

St John's Buildings

The members of ‘go-to chambers’ St John’s Buildings handle cases at all levels of courts, including the Family Division of the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, and they are praised for ‘extensive experience in the field’. Frances Heaton KC is instructed by local authorities, parents, grandparents, children, and interveners in complex public law children proceedings, and she has expertise in parental alienation cases. Karl Rowley KC is skilled regarding cases that concern complex medical evidence, and Lorraine Cavanagh KC has a thriving practice, frequently handling complex brain injury cases and medically challenging fatal injury cases. Shaun Spencer KC made Silk in 2023 and has substantial experience in cases regarding child deaths and sexual abuse.


‘Dan Johnson is professional, dependable, and always goes above and beyond to help.’

‘Paul Laverty is fabulous.’

‘The clerks are amazing and Dan Johnson and Ryan Barker are professional, approachable, and they value everyone they speak to. They are well respected on the circuit.’

‘Good service and helpful clerks who coordinate well with other chambers where necessary.’

‘The clerks are approachable and accommodating.’

‘St John’s Buildings is a quality set, offering counsel at all levels with a wide range of skills. They are a go-to chambers.’

‘A very good and well organised set of chambers.’

‘Strong set of chambers throughout the North of England with a broad range of counsel. They are a reliable choice.’

Deans Court Chambers

At Deans Court Chambers, the team handles both public and private children law cases. Michael Jones KC made silk in 2023, and his practice encompasses issues around wardship and the inherent jurisdiction, complex medical matters, fabricated and induced illnesses, and radicalisation. Rebecca Gregg exclusively works on children law matters; in private law cases, she handles serious allegations of physical, emotional, and sexual harm, and in public law cases, she represents local authorities, parents, and children’s guardians. Peter Rothery is highly skilled in significant care cases involving death and serious injury to children and complex sexual abuse cases, and Patrick Gilmore is notable for his work sitting as an arbitrator.


‘Louise McCarty is excellent; always very helpful and friendly and will do what she can to assist in all circumstances.’

‘Great clerking and a first choice of chambers.’

‘All of the clerks are incredibly helpful and understand the urgency of situations that can arise.’

7 Harrington Street

7 Harrington Street ‘has strength in depth with a large and varied family team.’ The members are highly adept at handling all types of public and private children law cases. Margaret Parr has appeared in the Court of Appeal and the High Court, representing children, parents, and local authorities in cases concerning allegations of sexual abuse, violence against children, substance misuse, mental health issues, and child neglect. Natasha Johnson has experience with cases that have jurisdictional and international issues, and in the private law arena, she handles applications for child arrangements orders, prohibited steps orders, and specific issues applications. Natasha Harrison is another notable member of the set and she represents a range of clients in both public law and private law proceedings.


‘The Clerks are excellent, particularly Carolyn Creegan, who works phenomenally well under pressure and is always calm and available.’

‘John Kilgallon runs an excellent ship at 7 Harrington Street, ensuring client needs are met.’

‘The clerks are led by John Kilgallon, who is by far the most outstanding clerk. He makes sure that his instructing solicitors are supported and that excellent service is provided.’

‘Carolyn Cregeen has always been wonderful to deal with. She is helpful, approachable, and willing to assist.’

‘Carolyn Cregreen is an experienced family clerk, and she is friendly and helpful.’

‘7 Harrington Street are a go-to chambers. They have barristers across the board, from KCs to junior barristers, and they are able to accommodate a varying client base.’

‘The family team are second to none in the North West; they always go the extra mile for the client and support their instructing solicitor.’

‘7 Harrington Street has a diverse family offering and there is always somebody available to assist.’

9 St John Street

The members of 9 St John Street handle a wide range of matters, from contested adoption, allegations of physical and sexual abuse, and deprivation of liberty, to Article 15 Brussels disputes, parental alienation, and the relocation of children. Its members represent all the parties involved in children law cases, including applicants and respondents, intervenors, local authorities, guardians and grandparents, children, and those represented by the Official Solicitor or a litigation friend. Kalsoom Maqsood specialises predominantly in public law proceedings, and has appeared at all levels of court up the Court of Appeal. Sarah Kilvington‘s practice encompasses serious abuse of children, fabricated and induced illness, gender distress in children, and complex sexual abuse.


‘The clerks room is one of the best in the North West. Ped McKinstry is a clerk amongst clerks! He aways wants to help and he knows his barristers and who suits what case.’

‘Excellent – Ped McKinstry and the team are brilliant.’

‘Ped McKinstry is brilliant. He is always super helpful and gets back to you immediately.’