'An excellent set with an impressive pedigree in family law work', Harcourt Chambers stands out for its 'significant depth in both children and finance work'. Operating out of both London and Oxford, the team regularly appear in high-profile financial remedy cases and complex public and private children law issues. John Vater QC is 'principled and focused', 'one of the best silks in the country in public law children related cases', in the words of one solicitor. Among the junior ranks, Jane Campbell and Fiona Hay ('a tenacious negotiator' and 'a pension guru with an empathetic manner') are sought after for their expertise in family finance work, while Sara Granshaw and Simon Miller act for local authorities, guardians and parents in cases involving allegations of serious abuse, neglect and domestic violence, to name a few areas of expertise. Granshaw brings particular experience in cases involving child fatalities and allegations of factitious induced illness.
Family and children law in Regional Bar
‘Harcourt Chambers is a first class specialist family set which is very well respected by solicitors and judges alike‘.
‘Excellent depth of skill through the ranks‘.
‘Harcourt Chambers has good strength in depth, with excellent barristers at all levels of call covering both children and finance work‘.
‘Excellent and consistent high quality service‘.
‘Simon Boutwood takes the set from pinnacle to pinnacle‘.
‘Judith Partington and Simon run an excellent service and keep the show on the road, regardless of what pressures they are under‘.
‘Exceptional quality clerking – exemplary. Matthew Molloy in particular is superb – always extremely swift replies, and seems to be able to make key counsel available whenever needed‘.
‘Matthew Molloy and Laurie Amron are very dedicated, excellent, approachable and reassuring‘.
‘Matthew Molloy is an absolute gem‘.
1 Crown Office Row, Brighton is 'very well known and experienced in the area of public law children matters, and is a great set to work with'. Private law children work is another core strength for the team; recent instructions include cases involving allegations of serious abuse and complex care proceedings. Eleanor Battie is very experienced in representing a range of parties in cases involving international relocation disputes. Jane Peckham is a notable practitioner for financial remedy cases.
‘A very helpful and friendly chambers, always able to assist. The set offers a wide choice of counsel at all levels‘.
‘Chambers has always been a joy to work with – consistently first-class. It has a large selection of barristers who are experienced in all areas of family law‘.
‘A good range of excellent child law barristers‘.
‘The clerks are first class. Helpful, responsive and calmly accommodating often very short-notice requests‘.
‘Clerking is efficient and friendly at all times‘.
‘David Bingham is an excellent senior clerk. I have always found him to be professional, reasonable, and extremely good to deal with. He is always happy to do all that he can to assist and go the extra mile‘.
‘The clerks are great and will go out of their way to assist. Tom Hills, Ben Earle and Gemma Welling in particular are great – they are friendly and helpful and always available to assist in the Brighton office‘.
‘Mark Worsley is outstanding‘.
Fenners Chambers is 'an excellent set' with 'a very strong team of family law barristers'. Debra Gold, who leads the family team, has noted strength in handling international child care cases. Katharine Ferguson brings established expertise in private law children matters and complex financial remedies cases; Katharine Bundell, who is sought out for her experience in financial remedy claims, is 'bright, incredibly hard working, full of good ideas, and has an excellent bedside manner'. Daniel Messenger is adept at dealing with complex public children law cases.
‘Fenners Chambers is a very reliable set. You know you are instructing quality counsel when working with the barristers. The set has a wide range of tenants, which means that it will always have someone who will be a good fit for your client‘.
‘Fenners Chambers has a very strong offering for family work‘.
‘A high quality set‘.
‘The service is first class. The clerks are indispensable in ensuring that the barrister is aware of what and why the client seeks to instruct them. They are always polite, cordial and attentive. The clerks go above and beyond in providing assistance‘.
‘The clerks have a fantastic relationship with instructing solicitors. Courteous, prompt and transparent‘.
‘Senior clerk Paul Green is very switched on, has a commercial head on his shoulders, and is always accommodating‘.
‘Paul Green knows all the instructing solicitors very well, and is brilliant at suggesting counsel if you have an unusual case because he knows all the barristers’ strengths‘.
‘All the clerks are helpful, in particular Paul Green the senior clerk, who has always been able to resolve any issues should they arise, and Cathy Hugo, who is efficient and attentive‘.
Pallant Chambers is 'a very deep family set, particularly when it comes to children work - there is always choice of good counsel'. Members have solid expertise in handling child law cases involving non-accidental injuries, allegations of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Financial remedy cases are another area of strength; key practitioners include the 'excellent' Victoria Holroyd and Nadia Tawfik, who 'has no problem adapting to any changes in the landscape of the case whilst on her feet'. In August 2020 Rosein Magee was appointed to the circuit bench.
‘Pallant Chambers has great depth of experience and desirable counsel in respect of both matrimonial finance and children law‘.
‘Very experienced in family law matters‘.
‘An excellent set‘.
‘Senior clerk Alister Williams is extremely personable and runs an effective team and organised team. He is always willing to go out of his way to help‘.
‘Alister oversees the set in a manner which ensures that high standards are upheld‘.
‘They are second to none. Alister runs a very effective clerks room, and he and Danny Hazell are excellent at pairing the right barristers with the right cases‘.
‘Sarah Sweatman is very helpful and user-friendly‘.
Trinity Chambers in Chelmsford is 'a very reliable set' that houses a team 'with a breadth of expertise which means that they are always able to assist in any family law matter'. Stefanie Wickins' 'keen intellect and attention to detail means that she does not miss a thing', and she garners praise for her 'detailed and in-depth knowledge of all areas of family law'. Members represent parents and grandparents, local authorities, and guardians in care cases, and have niche expertise in cases involving child abduction.
‘A good set at all levels‘.
‘There is a good range of experience and expertise in the family set‘.
‘Trinity’s barristers are always well-prepared‘.
‘The head clerk is first class and leads a good team‘.
‘The clerks at Trinity Chambers are always available and helpful‘.
‘The service is excellent. The chief clerk Keith Willmore is a pleasure to deal with and is extremely knowledgeable regarding family cases. Tony Sleigh and James Adcock are also very efficient and helpful‘.
Becket Chambers‘ team ‘has a good depth of knowledge on family law‘. Louisa Adamson has established expertise in acting for local authorities, children, parents and grandparents in cases involving allegations of serious abuse and domestic violence, as well as handling private law proceedings involving contact orders.
‘Chambers is able to offer a wide range of experienced counsel across all areas of family law cases‘.
‘Chambers provides an excellent level of service‘.
‘Reliable, approachable and good value‘.
‘Paul Eaton and Arron Smith are a longstanding and effective team, always available and work constructively with instructing solicitors‘.
‘An excellent, helpful and accessible clerking team. Arron Smith is superb‘.
‘The clerks are very helpful and efficient‘.
‘Arron Smith is accommodating and always goes the extra mile if needed‘.
East Anglian Chambers
At East Anglian Chambers, Kate Miller handles a broad range of children law matters, including cases involving allegations of neglect and sexual abuse, domestic violence, parental alienation and contact disputes. Akta Chipalkatty is sought-after for her expertise in cases involving child abduction. Amy Connell's 'advice to clients is clear and understandable'; she acts for parents, guardians and local authorities across a broad spectrum of public child law matters.
‘An excellent set‘.
‘The set is always able to provide me with the support my clients require‘.
‘The clerks are fantastic and extremely helpful‘.
‘The clerks provide a prompt service‘.
‘Dan Twite is excellent – very helpful and realistic on fees‘.
Family law is a key strength of Guildford Chambers, whose solid team of juniors is instructed across the whole range of family proceedings from public and private children law matters to financial remedies. Head of chambers George Coates is a notable senior junior for financial family disputes; Claire Shrimpton and Fiona Griffin are regularly instructed for local authorities, guardians and parents in care and adoption proceedings.
‘Guildford Chambers is welcoming, professional and a pleasure to work with‘.
‘A friendly set‘.
‘Very helpful clerking team, always willing to help at the last minute and work hard to meet any demand‘.
‘Gavin Street and Simon Morris are both brilliant clerks and have very good relationships with solicitors‘.
‘Gavin Street is a brilliant clerk. He prioritises his clients and it is a relief to know you can rely on him‘.
Regency Barristers Chambers
Peterborough's Regency Barristers Chambers is home to Nigel Sleight and Shabnam Walji, who handle a broad range of public and private children law matters. Sleight acts for local authorities, parents and guardians in complex cases and has niche expertise in handling adoption matters with international elements; Walji has expertise in cases involving non-accidental injuries and allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
Stour Chambers 'provides a first-rate service' and is home to a team of 'experienced, thoughtful and intelligent barristers whom one can turn to without hesitation'. Simon Johnson is 'a remarkable advocate' who 'fights hard for the client'; the 'dependable' Adam Clegg is instructed in complex cases involving sexual abuse and non-accidental injuries; and Kate Kochnari is sought after for her expertise in cohabitation disputes and adoption proceedings. The 'extremely tenacious' Elizabeth Spence provides 'sensible and practical advice' on complex family finance matters, often involving high-value assets.
‘The set is very professional and responsive‘.
‘Always available to help and as accommodating as possible‘.
‘The clerks at Stour Chambers are all so easy to work with and personable. They go the extra mile to make things happen‘.
‘The clerks are very attentive‘.
‘Marc Goddard has a strong team ethic and pulls the whole chambers together very effectively‘.
‘Charlie Mills in particular works wonders to ensure that the client obtains their first choice of counsel. He is always extremely helpful‘.