Set Profile > Harcourt Chambers > Oxford, England

Chambers of Nick Goodwin QC
Harcourt Chambers
CHURCHILL HOUSE, 3 ST ALDATE'S COURTYARD
OXFORD
OX1 1BN
England

South Eastern Circuit > Family and children law Tier 1

'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.

Leading Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)

Nick Goodwin QC - Harcourt ChambersA silk of persuasive advocacy and on-point insights.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Vater QC - Harcourt ChambersA fearless fighter in court for parents.
Ranked: Tier 1
Aidan Vine QC - Harcourt ChambersHe is very hard-working, approachable and personable.
Ranked: Tier 1

2020 Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)

Leading Juniors: Child Law (Public and Private)

Sara Granshaw - Harcourt ChambersA very focussed junior barrister.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Douglas Allen - Harcourt ChambersHe has a strong strategic mind and is insightful as to the dynamics at play in cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Cecilia BarrettHarcourt Chambers 'She can take on and win against the top QCs in children matters.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Alex Forbes - Harcourt ChambersHe has exceptional cross-examination skills.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jason GreenHarcourt Chambers 'Extremely patient with clients, supportive and unflappable.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Edward KirkwoodHarcourt Chambers 'Always prepared, regardless of the complexity of the case.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Emily Rayner - Harcourt ChambersHer advocacy is calm, focussed and extremely effective with judges.
Ranked: Tier 2
Emma Gatland - Harcourt ChambersHer legal knowledge is outstanding and her attention to detail is commendable. A strong advocate on her feet, and she fights for her client's corner.
Ranked: Tier 3
Eleanor Howard - Harcourt ChambersIntelligent, insightful and able to manage difficult opponents and clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors: Divorce and Financial Remedy

Jane Campbell - Harcourt ChambersJane has a rare ability to gain the respect of the client, opposition and judiciary all at once. She is a razor-sharp advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Fiona Hay - Harcourt ChambersAn extremely polished advocate, erudite and analytical. An iron fist in a velvet glove. Even the most demanding clients warm to Fiona's serene but powerful style.
Ranked: Tier 1
Douglas Allen - Harcourt ChambersHe has a strong strategic mind and is insightful as to the dynamics at play in cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Cecilia BarrettHarcourt Chambers 'Cecilia is an unflappable and calm, yet tenacious advocate. She puts clients at ease immediately with her relaxed yet focused manner then disarms opponents in cross-examination with her laid-back approach that masks a clever mind.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Jason GreenHarcourt Chambers 'Sharp, persuasive and always on the ball - he is well-liked by clients and always a pleasure to instruct.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Louise Potter - Harcourt ChambersLouise is extremely knowledgeable and intelligent. Her confidence puts the clients at ease.
Ranked: Tier 2
Emily Rayner - Harcourt ChambersHer advocacy is calm, focussed and extremely effective with judges.
Ranked: Tier 2
Julia Shillingford - Harcourt ChambersAn excellent advocate, and a leader in her approach to cases involving coercive control and abuse.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Marusza - Harcourt ChambersHe is very grounded and pragmatic, and dedicated to exploring cases fully to ensure the best outcome for the client.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

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‘.

Clerking

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‘.

Midland Circuit > Family and children law Tier 2

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.

Leading Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)

John Vater QC - Harcourt ChambersOne of the best public law children silks in the country. Excellent on the science and medicine in NAI cases who fights hard for parents but is fair and balanced when acting for local authorities.
Ranked: Tier 1
Aidan Vine QC - Harcourt ChambersAidan is a pleasure to work with. He is kind, patient and took more time than any other barrister I have ever worked with to allow my client to put his statement in his own words. His medical knowledge and understanding of complex issues arising in NAI cases is second to none.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors: Child Law (Public and Private)

Matthew Brookes-BakerHarcourt ChambersMatthew is very conscientious and will go the extra mile for clients. He is able to put parents at ease which is needed in public law cases. Matthew is well prepared and puts his client’s position to the court in a focused manner.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1

Testimonials

Set

‘Chambers are very user friendly in terms of being arranging counsel and dealing with any problems/queries which may arise.’

Clerking

‘The clerks are great and extremely efficient. All correspondence was dealt with in a prompt, courteous manner.’

London Bar > Children law (including public and private law) Tier 3

Harcourt Chambers has ‘a lot of high quality advocates at all levels.’ It is ‘an excellent set for cross-border children cases and private law children work.’  In one such notable case, Edward Devereux QC worked pro bono for Reunite International (an international child abduction charity) on its involvement in Monasky v Taglieri, a US Supreme Court case concerning the standard for determining a child’s habitual residence and the standard for reviewing that determination on appeal.

Rising stars

Rob George - Harcourt ChambersA star - calm, brilliant academically and a great negotiator.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Edward Devereux QC - Harcourt ChambersA master of strategy, incredibly intelligent, and his advocacy is simply superb. No one can touch him.
Ranked: Tier 2
Damian Garrido QC - Harcourt ChambersDamian's advocacy is impeccably prepared, unhurried and delivered with calm authority. He is the perfect foil for agitated opponents and as a result is popular inside and outside of a courtroom. Clients love his good-humoured expertise and experience and he is a go-to for complex children matters.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nick Goodwin QC - Harcourt ChambersHe has many strengths - he has a vast intellect, is a phenomenal advocate and has a wonderful manner - Nick is able to put clients at ease and disarm opponents in an instant.
Ranked: Tier 3

2020 Silks

Leading Juniors

Ruth Cabeza - Harcourt ChambersA font of all knowledge regarding adoption law, solicitors absolute faith in her representation of their clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Mehvish Chaudhry - Harcourt ChambersTotally unfazed by any curveball thrown by judge, her own client or opponent in her cases. She is always very well prepared and thus able to argue her case fluently and with conviction.
Ranked: Tier 3
Edward Bennett - Harcourt ChambersA true gentleman; well-liked by opponents and clients alike; a soft, gentle and utterly likeable manner with impeccable client care and a real knack for complex and esoteric points of law. Tremendous advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4
Emily Rayner - Harcourt ChambersExceptional and empathetic with clients. Impeccable written documents and advocacy. Always delivers - either in court, with the client for advice or even just a quick call for strategy discussions or a 999-type client or similar urgency. Calm, poised, forceful and a commanding presence.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set 

Harcourt has good strength in depth in relation to both children and finance work. It has a good range of options from junior to senior Counsel.’

‘The set as a whole is very strong covering a wide variety of practices.

The set is phenomenal and a ‘go-to’ chambers. Confident and expert counsel across the board and provide excellent training and advice.’

‘Harcourt is my first choice when I have an abduction case and I have found the international team to be excellent without exception.’

‘Harcourt is superb in international work. It is my ‘go-to’ set and used to be the best kept secret in London. Now it hosts a range of formidable advocates across the spectrum in international, public and private law children. I am a huge fan. The clerks run a tight ship and are without doubt the best clerks in London.’

Clerking

‘I have been impressed with the clerks room. Clerks have always dealt with any enquiries in a prompt and helpful manner. Matthew Molloy was particularly proactive in ensuring that chambers provided a first class service.

I particularly rate the clerks, who are far and away the best clerking team in London. Nothing is too much trouble, and almost everything is accommodated.’

Matt Molloy is excellent. Responsive, helpful, and will leave no stone unturned to assist.

The clerks are very helpful and always try to make people available to assist, even at very short notice.’

‘Great set – very good clerking by Matt Molloy.  The clerks are very efficient and enormously helpful. I would say the best clerking team of any chambers I use. Above all, Matt Molloy. He is so quick to get back to you and always finds the right person for the job. Laurie Amron also stands out.

London Bar > Family (including divorce and financial remedy)

Leading Juniors

Jane CampbellHarcourt Chambers 'Jane is particularly good at grasping complex accounting issues - she is always fully prepared for a case and does not rest on her laurels despite her years of experience.'
Ranked: Tier 4
Michael Gleeson - Harcourt ChambersAn excellent negotiator and a polished advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4
Fiona Hay - Harcourt ChambersAn elegant advocate with gravitas. Calm, considered, wise and astute.
Ranked: Tier 4
Suzanne Syme - Harcourt ChambersSuzanne is a highly accomplished financial remedy practitioner who quickly establishes rapport with clients.
Ranked: Tier 4

Regional Bar > South Eastern Circuit > Family and children law Tier 1

'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.

Leading Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)

Nick Goodwin QC - Harcourt ChambersA silk of persuasive advocacy and on-point insights.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Vater QC - Harcourt ChambersA fearless fighter in court for parents.
Ranked: Tier 1
Aidan Vine QC - Harcourt ChambersHe is very hard-working, approachable and personable.
Ranked: Tier 1

2020 Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)

Leading Juniors: Child Law (Public and Private)

Sara Granshaw - Harcourt ChambersA very focussed junior barrister.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Douglas Allen - Harcourt ChambersHe has a strong strategic mind and is insightful as to the dynamics at play in cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Cecilia BarrettHarcourt Chambers 'She can take on and win against the top QCs in children matters.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Alex Forbes - Harcourt ChambersHe has exceptional cross-examination skills.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jason GreenHarcourt Chambers 'Extremely patient with clients, supportive and unflappable.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Edward KirkwoodHarcourt Chambers 'Always prepared, regardless of the complexity of the case.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Emily Rayner - Harcourt ChambersHer advocacy is calm, focussed and extremely effective with judges.
Ranked: Tier 2
Emma Gatland - Harcourt ChambersHer legal knowledge is outstanding and her attention to detail is commendable. A strong advocate on her feet, and she fights for her client's corner.
Ranked: Tier 3
Eleanor Howard - Harcourt ChambersIntelligent, insightful and able to manage difficult opponents and clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors: Divorce and Financial Remedy

Jane Campbell - Harcourt ChambersJane has a rare ability to gain the respect of the client, opposition and judiciary all at once. She is a razor-sharp advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Fiona Hay - Harcourt ChambersAn extremely polished advocate, erudite and analytical. An iron fist in a velvet glove. Even the most demanding clients warm to Fiona's serene but powerful style.
Ranked: Tier 1
Douglas Allen - Harcourt ChambersHe has a strong strategic mind and is insightful as to the dynamics at play in cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Cecilia BarrettHarcourt Chambers 'Cecilia is an unflappable and calm, yet tenacious advocate. She puts clients at ease immediately with her relaxed yet focused manner then disarms opponents in cross-examination with her laid-back approach that masks a clever mind.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Jason GreenHarcourt Chambers 'Sharp, persuasive and always on the ball - he is well-liked by clients and always a pleasure to instruct.'
Ranked: Tier 2
Louise Potter - Harcourt ChambersLouise is extremely knowledgeable and intelligent. Her confidence puts the clients at ease.
Ranked: Tier 2
Emily Rayner - Harcourt ChambersHer advocacy is calm, focussed and extremely effective with judges.
Ranked: Tier 2
Julia Shillingford - Harcourt ChambersAn excellent advocate, and a leader in her approach to cases involving coercive control and abuse.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Marusza - Harcourt ChambersHe is very grounded and pragmatic, and dedicated to exploring cases fully to ensure the best outcome for the client.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

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‘.

Clerking

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‘.

 

The set: Harcourt Chambers is one of the leading specialist family law sets in the country. It is recommended for its expertise in both children law and family finance.

Based in the Temple and in Oxford, it is home to eight well-known family silks: Nick Goodwin QC, John Vater QC, Karl Rowley QC, Damian Garrido QC, Julia Cheetham, Aidan Vine QC & Edward Devereux QC, Jonathan Sampson QC and 59 junior barristers, many of whom are acknowledged as leading practitioners in their fields.

Over the past decade, Harcourt Chambers has established itself as one of the very top “across the range” family law sets and won “Family Set of the Year” at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2016 and “Family Law Chambers of the year – London” at the LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2018.

It has grown significantly in size and prominence and its members are regularly to be found in high profile and leading cases at first instance, appellate level and in the Supreme Court. Harcourt Chambers is particularly known for the high quality of its advocacy, advice and client care and for its modern and approachable style.

Chambers’ highly regarded family finance practitioners undertake the full range of matrimonial, cohabitee and partnership litigation and have extensive expertise in cases of high value including those where complex issues involving pensions, private companies, farms and overseas assets exist.

Its reputation in the field of children law is well-established and widely recognised in both private and public law. In private law, Harcourt Chambers has renowned expertise in all forms of parental dispute including international relocation and child abduction. Our public law work encompasses care, placement and adoption proceedings, often involving the most complex and severe cases of physical & sexual abuse.

Other offices: Oxford

 

Department Name Email Telephone
Chambers' Director Simon Boutwood sboutwood@harcourtchambers.co.uk 0207 353 6961
Practice manager Judith Partington jpartington@harcourtchambers.co.uk 0207 353 6961
Practice Manager Matt Molloy mmolloy@harcourtchambers.co.uk 0207 353 6961
Members of Chambers VATER QC, John (1995)
Head of Chambers GOODWIN QC, Nick (1995)
Members of Chambers GARRIDO QC, Damian (1993)
Members of Chambers VINE QC, Aidan (1995)
Members of Chambers DEVEREUX QC, Edward (2001)
Members of Chambers SAMPSON QC, Jonathan (1997)
Members of Chambers EVANS, Roger (1970)
Members of Chambers RODGERS, June (1971)
Members of Chambers COLLINSON, Alicia (1982)
Members of Chambers BRETT, Matthew (1987)
Members of Chambers HAY, Fiona (1989)
Members of Chambers CAMPBELL, Jane (1990)
Members of Chambers GRANSHAW, Sara (1991)
Members of Chambers POTTER, Louise (1993)
Members of Chambers ALLEN, Douglas (1995)
Members of Chambers MILLER, Simon (1996)
Members of Chambers BROOKES-BAKER, Matthew (1998)
Members of Chambers CABEZA, Ruth (1998)
Members of Chambers BARRETT, Cecilia (1998)
Members of Chambers WRAIGHT, Oliver (1998)
Members of Chambers LEONG, Andrew (1998)
Members of Chambers KIRKWOOD, Edward (1999)
Members of Chambers LITTLE, Helen (1999)
Members of Chambers STYLES, Margaret (2000)
Members of Chambers JEAKINGS, Craig (2000)
Members of Chambers TURNER, James (2001)
Members of Chambers GREEN, Jason (2001)
Members of Chambers SHILLINGFORD, Julia (2002)
Members of Chambers FORBES, Alex (2003)
Members of Chambers SYME, Suzanne (2004)
Members of Chambers GLEESON, Michael (2004)
Members of Chambers WILLIAMS, Alison (2004)
Members of Chambers HARRIS, Frances (2005)
Members of Chambers FIRBANK, Kit (2005)
Members of Chambers WILKINS, Chloe (2006)
Members of Chambers DOVE, James (2006)
Members of Chambers PERRY, Alex (2007)
Members of Chambers COX, Sian (2008)
Members of Chambers CRISPIN, Stephen (2008)
Members of Chambers CHAUDHRY, Mehvish (2008)
Members of Chambers REYNOLDS, Vicky (2008)
Members of Chambers RAYNER, Emily (2009)
Members of Chambers MARUSZA, David (2009)
Members of Chambers FLOWERS, Victoria (2009)
Members of Chambers SAYERS, Annie (2009)
Members of Chambers RAMSDEN, Justine (2010)
Members of Chambers SCOTT-WITTENBORN, Maria (2013)
Members of Chambers HOWARD, Eleanor (2012)
Members of Chambers GRAY, Martha (2012)
Members of Chambers YARDE, Anna (2012)
Members of Chambers GATLAND, Dr Emma (2013)
Members of Chambers POWELL, Oliver (2013)
Members of Chambers GEORGE, Dr Rob (2013)
Members of Chambers AMONOO-ACQUAH, Mavis (2013)
Members of Chambers BENNETT, Edward (2013)
Members of Chambers SCARANO, Naomi (2014)
Members of Chambers BALL, Curtis (2015)
Members of Chambers WINDMILL, Hannah (2016)
Members of Chambers FERGUSON, Kate (2016)
Members of Chambers MILLER, Natasha (2017)
Members of Chambers CONNOR, Ethan (2017)
Members of Chambers CAMPBELL, Paige (2018)
Members of Chambers ISHMAEL, Fazeela (2018)
Photo Name Position Profile
 David Marusza  photo David Marusza Barrister
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Harcourt Chambers is committed to all aspects of equality and diversity within the workplace. We provide an environment in which individuals from a wide range of backgrounds can fulfil their potential. Offers of pupillage and tenancy are made solely on the basis of merit, as are Chambers’ staff appointments and promotions.

Our aim is always to meet the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

We are proud to support Reunite http://www.reunite.org the leading UK charity specialising in parental child abduction and the movement of children across international borders. Over the years our members have contributed many hours of free advice and written and oral advocacy. We also drafted the submission for Reunite to Parliament which sought to change the criminal law of child abduction to make retaining children outside the UK a criminal offence. This submission was accepted and, when parliamentary time allows, the law will be changed in accordance with that submission.

We also support Family Rights Group https://www.frg.org.uk a UK charity which advises families about their rights and options when social workers or courts make decisions about their children’s welfare.

Our members have appeared pro bono for both of these charities before the Supreme Court, the most recent case being In re N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) (AIRE Centre and others intervening) [2016] 2 WLR 1103.

For many years we have supported Advocate, formerly known as the The Bar Pro Bono Unit, a charity which helps to find free legal assistance from volunteer barristers.

Where the circumstances merit our members will act pro bono for private clients. A recent example of this is Birch v Birch [2017] UKSC 53