Set Profile > Chambers of Janet Bazley QC and Charles Geekie QC > London, England

Chambers of Janet Bazley QC and Charles Geekie QC
1GC | Family Law

Children law (including public and private law) Tier 2

1GC | Family Law has ‘set a new gold-standard at the family Bar by investing in its premises and ICT, moving to open plan working, and recruiting a new generation of top-class talent’, according to one client. The set ‘is always willing to help and its barristers are very ‘hands-on’ offering support throughout’, offered another. With 'many excellent QCs and advocates of a high standard throughout', chambers has strength in public law children work as well as private law children matters and expertise in international work, too. Such work includes advising on relocation, abduction, adoption and surrogacy. Of particular note, Janet Bazley QC is described as a 'true pro, as comfortable cross-examining in the High Court as arguing points of law in the Court of Appeal', while Charles Geekie QC is a 'fantastic children's silk-warm, immensely likeable, and so very skilled'.

Leading Silks

Janet Bazley QC - 1GC | Family LawHer reputation precedes her; she is one of the key senior counsel who own this area of the law.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charles Geekie QC - 1GC | Family LawOperating at the forefront of private and public law children matters; his written work and advocacy are exceptional and his cross-examination is a joy to behold.
Ranked: Tier 1
Deirdre Fottrell QC - 1GC | Family LawThe perfect combination of tenacity, authority and warmth. A go-to silk for complicated children and fertility cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Andrew Bagchi QC - 1GC | Family LawGets straight to the point and his cross-examination is peerless, often lulling witnesses into a false sense of security.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alison Ball QC - 1GC | Family LawIs very good on the detail.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jane Crowley QC - 1GC | Family LawA very experienced silk.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sam Momtaz QC - 1GC | Family LawHas a commanding presence in court.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sarah Morgan QC - 1GC | Family LawHer cross-examination is razor-sharp and she can turn cases around.
Ranked: Tier 3
Francesca Wiley QC - 1GC | Family LawIs astonishingly bright, fearless and effective both in and out of court.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Sharon Segal - 1GC | Family LawA classy advocate, she has a diet of high-profile work often appearing before High Court judges and the President of the Family Division.
Ranked: Tier 1
Penelope Clapham - 1GC | Family LawA superbly confident and forceful advocate who brings her considerable talents and eye for detail to bear on every case no matter what is at stake.
Ranked: Tier 2
Claire Heppenstall - 1GC | Family LawKnows the courts well and is very good on tactics and strategy.
Ranked: Tier 2
Lucy Sprinz - 1GC | Family LawIs exceptionally talented.
Ranked: Tier 2
Steven Ashworth - 1GC | Family LawHas a tactically astute mind allied to a natural authority and court presence beyond his call.
Ranked: Tier 3
Laura Briggs - 1GC | Family LawHas an affinity with everyone she engages with from judges, opponents and clients; a precise thinker.
Ranked: Tier 3
Daisy Hughes - 1GC | Family LawIs a highly regarded barrister trusted by solicitors and judges alike; she really grasps the issues and can get down on a level with the client.
Ranked: Tier 3
Pamela Warner - 1GC | Family LawIs extremely knowledgeable; ensures she is fully prepared; considers all potential aspects; and is a formidable advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4
Alev Giz - 1GC | Family LawQuickly gains the utmost of respect from judges, clients, and opponents.
Ranked: Tier 4
Eleri Jones - 1GC | Family LawIs poised, self-assured and copes incredibly well in difficult situations.
Ranked: Tier 4
Denise Gilling - 1GC | Family LawAn extraordinarily talented barrister with a keen eye for detail.
Ranked: Tier 5
Richard Jones - 1GC | Family LawFights hard and passionately for his clients.
Ranked: Tier 5
Louise MacLynn - 1GC | Family LawA highly capable advocate – her particular strength lies in her meticulous case preparation.
Ranked: Tier 5

Court of Protection and community care Tier 3

1GC | Family Law is ‘excellent for cases where there is a cross-over between Court of Protection and family law issues.’ Areas of expertise include advising on forced marriages involving incapacitated adults where these marriages have happened or are about to happen either in the UK or abroad. The set also has a particular specialism in representing 16-17-year olds who lack capacity and who are emerging from the care system or are otherwise in crisis.

Leading Silks

Andrew Bagchi QC - 1GC | Family LawHas a remarkable ability to put clients at ease and present cases in an unfussy manner.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Malcolm Chisholm - 1GC | Family LawIdentifies the issues in a case immediately, and thinks strategically to achieve the client’s aim from the outset.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alev Giz - 1GC | Family LawAble to consider complex matters and distil the key aspects which need to be progressed.
Ranked: Tier 3

Family (including divorce and financial remedy) Tier 3

Mostly known for its highly regarded reputation in children law, 1GC | Family Law is an up-and-coming set for finance matters. Clients describe it as a ‘significant set in family law that is reasonably priced’ and as being a ‘superb and very reputable chambers experienced in family law. The quality of its work is excellent'. Members advise on a broad spectrum of matters from complicated business and trust structures through to major jurisdictional and enforcement issues. As an example of the work carried out, David Burles advised the husband in a high-value asset case where there were complexly interlinked property development companies of which the parties were directors and shareholders in different proportions and both parties.

Leading Juniors

Penelope Clapham - 1GC | Family LawRazor-sharp intellect and is very hardworking.
Ranked: Tier 1
Philip Perrins - 1GC | Family LawHas a calm, methodical approach and his attention to detail is second to none.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Burles - 1GC | Family LawHas an excellent attention to detail when it comes to paperwork and a relaxed but focused presenting style in court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Claire Heppenstall - 1GC | Family LawVery good in cross-examination at final hearings and throughout court proceedings; excellent in making strong and clear submissions to the judge.
Ranked: Tier 3
Helen Jefferson - 1GC | Family LawIs an excellent advocate with a no-nonsense but highly persuasive style.
Ranked: Tier 4
Duncan Watson - 1GC | Family LawHas great attention to detail, and thoroughly prepares for every case, always cleverly weaving the legal detail with the client’s objectives.
Ranked: Tier 4

Set overviews: England and Wales

Boasting ‘unparalleled strength across the board’ and ‘genuine stars at every level’, the ‘impressive1GC | Family Law is ‘a force to be reckoned with’ in the children law arena, and continues to enhance its reputation for financial work with several upcoming juniors of note. In recent news, Susan George and Elpha LeCointe have joined from Coram Chambers, while Sam Momtaz QC has been appointed to the Family Justice Council. Chambers’ commitment to publicly funded work, as well as ensuring senior and junior counsel are always available, ‘make them a hit with instructing solicitors’. Members ‘take pride in their work, forge excellent relationships, and work with solicitor at all times’ to ‘provide clear advice and pragmatic solutions’ in the most sensitive of cases. The ‘stupendous’ clerking team ‘work together, communicate well, and ensure you get the Rolls-Royce service’; ‘they are fair and ethical in relation to fees’; ‘they’re just a nice bunch’. ‘Fantastic’ senior clerk Paul Harris has elevated the clerks’ room to ‘an incomparable level’ producing ‘some of the best clerks’ around who are ‘fantastic ambassadors for their tenants’ and ‘a dream to work with’. Harris’ dedication to chambers is ‘second to none’ and he is ‘a stellar example of what a senior clerk should be’. Also in the team, ‘extremely personable’ first junior clerk David McDonald is ‘a significant addition to the team’, has ‘a fantastic relationship with solicitors’, and offers ‘a top-class service’ by ‘always going the extra mile’; practice manager Harry Smith and assistant practice manager Sam Ditchman are also highly recommended; Austin Ekford-Soper has left chambers. The set's’ ‘seamless’ rebrand and move to ‘amazing’ bespoke premises in Lincoln’s Inn also draws praise from solicitors: ‘The building is a poignant reminder of the high-calibre and bespoke chambers 1GC is.’ Marie-Christine Willis was appointed chambers director in January 2019. Offices in: London


The set: 1GC|Family Law is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading family law set, providing a highly skilled, comprehensive service to clients across the full spectrum of family law and related work. Expert advice and representation, together with a practical and common sense approach, results in members being instructed in the most complex and sensitive cases, as well as those involving issues of law of general importance. Both professional and lay clients appreciate the professionalism and approachability of the clerking team.

Types of work undertaken: Members of Chambers appear in courts at all levels, including, regularly, in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. The family finance team undertakes matters ranging from big-money cases involving complex financial structures to modest value claims. Its work includes freezing injunctions to prevent dissipation of assets, cases involving foreign and offshore assets and complex trust arrangements, pre and post nuptial agreements and enforcement of orders. Private children law expertise includes all disputes over arrangements for children, surrogacy, adoption, declarations of parentage following assisted conception and issues in relation to legal parenthood in same sex relationships. All aspects of public law children work are handled with a particular reputation for undertaking cases involving the most complex legal and medical issues and increasingly, radicalisation cases. Work for local authorities includes applications for care and supervision orders, as well as adoption and judicial review. Public interest immunity cases, publicity and restraint of publicity cases form a regular part of Chambers’ practice. Court of Protection cases are an established part of Chambers’ expertise as are cases involving family privacy and autonomy, the right to life and modern families. Members regularly deal with urgent applications in all family law and related matters. Chambers was one of the first to establish a family mediation service and continues to focus on alternative dispute resolution, offering early neutral evaluation and arbitration. Many members sit as part-time judges. Chambers has a strong tradition for undertaking pro bono work.

International: With the increase in international families, much of Chambers’ work has an international element. Members are frequently instructed in cases involving foreign jurisdictions. Several members have gained experience as lawyers working overseas, particularly in North America and the Caribbean. International work includes disputes as to jurisdiction and forum, valuation and distribution of assets overseas and enforcement against foreign or off-shore trusts. Members deal regularly with cases of child abduction and other disputes relating to the international movement of children, including adoption, surrogacy and care proceedings. Chambers has been actively involved in considering the implications of ‘Brexit’ for family law and contributing to proposals for law reform in this area.


Department Name Email Telephone
Senior clerk Paul Harris
Members of Chambers BAZLEY QC, Janet (1980)
Members of Chambers GEEKIE QC, Charles (1985)
Members of Chambers PLATT QC, Eleanor F (1960)
Members of Chambers BALL QC, Alison (1972)
Members of Chambers MORGAN QC, Sarah (1988)
Members of Chambers EKANEY QC, Nkumbe (1990)
Members of Chambers BAGCHI QC, Andrew (1989)
Members of Chambers HOWE QC, Darren (1992)
Members of Chambers WILEY QC, Francesca (1996)
Members of Chambers FOTTRELL QC, Deirdre (2001)
Members of Chambers NORTON QC, Andrew (1992)
Members of Chambers MOMTAZ QC, Sam (1995)
Members of Chambers WILLBOURNE, Caroline (1970)
Members of Chambers SHENTON, Suzanne (1973)
Members of Chambers SZWED, Elizabeth (1974)
Members of Chambers HORROCKS, Peter (1977)
Members of Chambers BURLES, David (1984)
Members of Chambers MCILWAIN, Sylvester (1985)
Members of Chambers STOCKER, John (1985)
Members of Chambers PYLE, Susan (1985)
Members of Chambers WARNER, Pamela (1985)
Members of Chambers CRAWLEY, Gary (1988)
Members of Chambers GIZ, Alev (1988)
Members of Chambers DANIELS, Nicholas (1988)
Members of Chambers GILLMAN, Rachel (1988)
Members of Chambers LECOINTE, Elpha (1988)
Members of Chambers LIEBRECHT, Michael (1989)
Members of Chambers CHISHOLM, Malcolm (1989)
Members of Chambers ORCHOVER, Frances (1989)
Members of Chambers JENKINS, Catherine (1990)
Members of Chambers HEPPENSTALL, Claire (1990)
Members of Chambers SUGAR, Simon (1990)
Members of Chambers MATHER, Kate (1990)
Members of Chambers GEORGE, Susan (1990)
Members of Chambers KRISH, Doushka (1991)
Members of Chambers GILLING, Denise (1992)
Members of Chambers HURWORTH, Jillian (1993)
Members of Chambers KAVANAGH, Jennifer (1993)
Members of Chambers STONE, Sally (1994)
Members of Chambers MOORE, Alison (1994)
Members of Chambers HUDSON, Emma (1995)
Members of Chambers FOSTER, Julien (1995)
Members of Chambers WATSON, Duncan (1997)
Members of Chambers McELEAVY, Professor Peter (1999)
Members of Chambers HUGHES, Daisy (1999)
Members of Chambers SEGAL, Sharon (2000)
Members of Chambers MITCHELL, Rebecca (2000)
Members of Chambers LEE, Jessica (2000)
Members of Chambers JEFFERSON, Helen (2000)
Members of Chambers STANLEY, Gillian (2001)
Members of Chambers MACLYNN, Louise (2001)
Members of Chambers BRIGGS, Laura (2001)
Members of Chambers FLOOD, Edward (2002)
Members of Chambers PERRINS, Philip (2002)
Members of Chambers JONES, Richard (2003)
Members of Chambers FLETCHER, Matthew (2003)
Members of Chambers PROCTER, Alfred (2005)
Members of Chambers MAGENNIS, Olivia (2005)
Members of Chambers HARTNETT, Elizabeth (2005)
Members of Chambers ASHWORTH, Steven (2006)
Members of Chambers PROLINGHEUER, Sophie (2006)
Members of Chambers COLE, Georgina (2007)
Members of Chambers MACLEOD, Elana (2007)
Members of Chambers CLAPHAM, Penelope (2007)
Members of Chambers HYLTON, Nasstassia (2007)
Members of Chambers KELLY, Gemma (2007)
Members of Chambers SPRINZ, Lucy (2008)
Members of Chambers DUNSEATH, Katherine (2008)
Members of Chambers JONES, Eleri (2009)
Members of Chambers MOORE, Joseph (2009)
Members of Chambers BERNSTEIN, Jessica (2011)
Members of Chambers CAYOUN, Marlene (2012)
Members of Chambers WOOLLEY, Oliver (2012)
Members of Chambers PAISLEY, Patrick (2013)
Members of Chambers WILSON, Thomas (2013)
Members of Chambers VENABLES, Andrew (2013)
Members of Chambers EATON, Luke (2015)
Members of Chambers ELSWORTH, Melissa (2015)
Members of Chambers MAXWELL, Lucy (2015)
Members of Chambers BARRONS, Annabel (2016)
Members of Chambers LAVELLE, Anna (2016)
Members of Chambers ANDREWS, Elisabeth (2016)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Steven Ashworth  photo Steven Ashworth
 Andrew Bagchi QC photo Andrew Bagchi QC
 Alison Ball QC photo Alison Ball QC
 Janet Bazley QC photo Janet Bazley QC
 Laura Briggs  photo Laura Briggs
 Ian Bugg  photo Ian Bugg
 Malcolm Chisholm  photo Malcolm Chisholm
 Fareha Choudhury  photo Fareha Choudhury
 Penelope Clapham  photo Penelope Clapham
 Katherine Dunseath  photo Katherine Dunseath
 Matthew Fletcher  photo Matthew Fletcher
 Julien Foster  photo Julien Foster
 Charles Geekie QC photo Charles Geekie QC
 Rachel Gillman  photo Rachel Gillman
 Alev Giz  photo Alev Giz
 Claire Heppenstall  photo Claire Heppenstall
 Peter Horrocks  photo Peter Horrocks
 Daisy Hughes  photo Daisy Hughes
 Helen Jefferson  photo Helen Jefferson
 Catherine Jenkins  photo Catherine Jenkins
 Eleri Jones  photo Eleri Jones
 Elena MacLeod  photo Elena MacLeod
 Olivia Magennis  photo Olivia Magennis
 Sam Momtaz QC photo Sam Momtaz QC
 Sarah Morgan QC photo Sarah Morgan QC
 Frances Orchover  photo Frances Orchover
 Philip Perrins  photo Philip Perrins
 Eleanor Platt QC photo Eleanor Platt QC
 Sophie Prolingheuer  photo Sophie Prolingheuer
 Susan Pyle  photo Susan Pyle
 Sharon Segal  photo Sharon Segal
 John Stocker  photo John Stocker
 Sally Stone  photo Sally Stone
 Simon Sugar  photo Simon Sugar
 Francesca Wiley QC photo Francesca Wiley QC
 Oliver Woolley  photo Oliver Woolley