Set Profile > 1GC | Family Law > London, England

Chambers of Nkumbe Ekaney QC and Andrew Norton QC
1GC | Family Law

Children law (including public and private law) Tier 2

1GC | Family Law has ‘real specialists with a whole host of good barristers at a senior level through to the junior level who are very busy and up and coming.’ The set, which ‘at every level has star performers’, is excellent at private children work and is also recommended for its strong offering in public children work. Among its ‘outstanding stable of silks’ is Sarah Morgan QC who led Lucy Sprinz in advising Islington Council in an independent review into allegations made in the Islington Gazette that the former Mayor of Islington, Sandy Marks, had an historic association with pro-paedophile groups. New entrants to this year's rankings include Andrew Norton QC, Doushka Krish, Matthew Fletcher, and Olivia Magennis.

Leading Silks

Janet Bazley QC - 1GC | Family LawJanet combines a gentleness with the client and a toughness in Court that at times takes you aback, but it makes you feel good she is on your side. Her instincts are second to none.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charles Geekie QC - 1GC | Family LawStatesmanlike, with the ear of the Court. Rolls Royce of children’s silks. Clients love his bedside manner and Judges his silken advocacy and mastery of his brief.
Ranked: Tier 1
Deirdre Fottrell QC - 1GC | Family LawIs a class act - an absolutely brilliant strategist who knows exactly how to handle really difficult situations. She is a highly effective advocate who really has the ear of the court, and rightly so.
Ranked: Tier 2
Andrew Bagchi QC - 1GC | Family LawFriendly, accessible and very quick to respond. Clearly at the very top of the tree for children work.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alison Ball QC - 1GC | Family LawHas a great eye for detail.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sam Momtaz QC - 1GC | Family LawAn excellent advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sarah Morgan QC - 1GC | Family LawHas a piercing intellect which she deploys to good effect. It is truly appropriate to say that she is razor sharp. She uses it to spot the strengths and weaknesses in her client's case and is a great tactician.
Ranked: Tier 3
Andrew Norton QC - 1GC | Family LawIs exceptionally well-prepared, great advocate for local authorities, very calm and one thing that you could never say about Andrew is that he is underprepared.
Ranked: Tier 3
Francesca Wiley QC - 1GC | Family LawIs astonishingly bright, fearless and effective both in and out of court.
Ranked: Tier 3

2021 Silks

Denise Gilling QC - 1GC | Family LawDenise has astounding technical ability and a keen eye for detail when dealing with particularly complex issues (around medical disclosure, for example). Denise has a fantastic approach to advocacy (clear, concise and delivers a punch).

Leading Juniors

Sharon Segal - 1GC | Family LawIs exceptionally hardworking, all over the detail, the best children junior there is and a powerful advocate too. She is motivated by what is right and by doing her best for the children.
Ranked: Tier 1
Penelope Clapham - 1GC | Family LawTakes time to understand what the client wants and then presents it in a very persuasive way to the Judges. She clearly has the ear of the court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Claire Heppenstall - 1GC | Family LawHas a keen intellect and is skilled in getting to the heart of a case. Just as keen to weigh into a contest or to settle where required. Well prepared for both court and conference.
Ranked: Tier 2
Daisy Hughes - 1GC | Family LawIs the oxygen of every single case I instruct her on. You literally cannot live without her. She is phenomenal in every possible way. She is strategic beyond measure, knowledgeable in a way that is inspiring, and highly empathetic and tuned in to client’s needs.
Ranked: Tier 2
Lucy Sprinz - 1GC | Family LawVery intelligent and prepares very detailed and thorough written work. Has the ability to put clients at ease and is very confident and competent with Judges. Keeps calm and professional.
Ranked: Tier 2
Steven Ashworth - 1GC | Family LawIncredibly hardworking. Masters information quickly and effectively. He has a gentle manner that masks a sharp mind.
Ranked: Tier 3
Laura Briggs - 1GC | Family LawIs truly exceptional, she masters the detail of most complex cases with ease.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alev Giz - 1GC | Family LawVery thorough and well-informed advice. Excellent advocacy skills.
Ranked: Tier 4
Eleri Jones - 1GC | Family LawIs a super-brain. Her brain operates at 100 times the speed of everyone else. There is nothing she doesn't know and there is nothing she misses. She is phenomenal.
Ranked: Tier 4
Pamela Warner - 1GC | Family LawAlways has the ear of the Judge, is very well known for her sensible and pragmatic approach. As an advocate you know that if Pamela is involved in your case she brings to the case common sense.
Ranked: Tier 4
Matthew Fletcher - 1GC | Family LawIs known for his hard work and commitment, he is an assured advocate and applies energy and vigour to even the most hopeless of cases. He is an impressive and sought after counsel.
Ranked: Tier 5
Richard Jones - 1GC | Family LawClients love his personality, he is charm personified. He easily puts clients at ease and explains areas of concern or complexity in a manner which is clear and concise but not patronising. He is very easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 5
Doushka Krish - 1GC | Family LawIs a silk in the making. She has a fight like no other and is a powerful yet sustained advocate who will fight for her client and for justice to the bitter end.
Ranked: Tier 5
Louise MacLynn - 1GC | Family LawIs an excellent advocate with an exceptional attention to detail. Louise's written work is also of an excellent quality and I would consider this a particular strength.
Ranked: Tier 5
Olivia Magennis - 1GC | Family LawIs a no-nonsense, straight talking barrister, who always prepares better than the opposition and is able to fight her clients' corner with a high degree of effectiveness. A force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. She’s a real class act!
Ranked: Tier 5

Court of Protection and community care Tier 3

1GC | Family Law is a highly regarded set for Court of Protection work and is regularly instructed in a wide range of health and welfare matters. Other areas of expertise include forced marriages involving adults who lack capacity. Members are also active advising on a myriad of other complex issues such as the withdrawal of treatment or the imposition of treatment ( such as feeding) on incapacitated or resistant patients. Due to its family law expertise the set also specialises in issues relating to 16- and 17-year olds who lack capacity and who are emerging from the care system. The 'strong and forcefulAndrew Bagchi QC and 'excellent effective advocateMalcolm Chisholm both receive promotions in this year's silk and junior tables, while the 'highly intuitive' Louise MacLynn is a new entrant to this year's rankings. The 'excellent technical lawyer' Alev Giz is also well regarded by clients and peers alike.

Leading Silks

Andrew Bagchi QC - 1GC | Family LawIs a strong and forceful advocate. He has a lovely personable nature who inspires confidence in his clients yet manages to put them at ease.
Ranked: Tier 2

Leading Juniors

Malcolm Chisholm - 1GC | Family LawHas the ability to see the bigger picture and to pursue those issues which will ultimately achieve the client’s objectives.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alev Giz - 1GC | Family LawIs an excellent and assured advocate, her preparation is flawless, and she presents a case with poise. She really holds the court's attention.
Ranked: Tier 3
Louise MacLynn - 1GC | Family LawShe grasps the key issues very quickly and has a calm and pragmatic approach. She is approachable and empathic. The clients really like her; she inspires confidence and is very good at diffusing situations where feelings are running high. She is a very effective advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Family (including divorce and financial remedy) Tier 3

At 1GC | Family Law ‘the fact that it undertakes both private and public children work, as well as finances, means that you are always in safe hands in the most complicated of cases.’ The set has an ‘extremely strong team with a personality to fit every client. It achieves great results and is a pleasure to work with.’ Members advise on a wide array of matters from complex business and trust structures through to major jurisdictional and enforcement matters. Key members who specialise in this area include  Penelope Clapham and Philip Perrins. The 'stellar' Eleri Jones is a new entrant in this year's junior rankings.

Leading Juniors

Penelope Clapham - 1GC | Family LawConfident and shrewd and grasps the issues. Explains the position to the client in a very calm and understanding manner. Professional, engaging and approachable.
Ranked: Tier 1
Philip Perrins - 1GC | Family LawIs an outstanding financial practitioner.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Burles - 1GC | Family LawGives thoughtful and considered advice which is invariably not only sensible but accurate. More than a match for any QC.
Ranked: Tier 2

Claire Heppenstall - 1GC | Family Law ‘An absolute star player. Claire has an easy and straightforward manner with clients and adapts with emotional intelligence to the individual personality and needs of a case. She has a keen intellect and is skilled in getting to the heart of a case.

Ranked: Tier 3
Helen Jefferson - 1GC | Family LawVery kind, confident and approachable. Deals with difficult clients in a very empathetic and clear manner.
Ranked: Tier 4
Eleri Jones - 1GC | Family LawIs gaining a stellar reputation in both children and financial work but with a particular expertise in international work.
Ranked: Tier 4
Duncan Watson - 1GC | Family LawRazor sharp mind. Extremely competent in dealing with complex cases involving business assets. Unflappable under pressure. Produces exceptional written advices. A fearsome advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Set overviews: England and Wales

1GC | Family Law has been strengthened this year following the arrival of specialist children practitioner and deputy district judge Tahmina Rahman from Four Brick Court. Meanwhile, Malcolm Chisholm  has been appointed to a part-time post as a nominated judge of the Court of Protection, and Nkumbe Ekaney QC and Andrew Norton QC have been elected the new Joint Heads of Chambers, succeeding Janet Bazley QC  and Charles Geekie QC following the end of their tenures. In the clerks' room, Jordon King has joined from Pump Court Chambers.



Every member of the clerking team at 1GC family Law strives to work together to offer a first class service to clients.

Friendly and approachable clerks room. Good commercial awareness but equally very personable. Paul Harris leads by example and is hard working and honest. Harry Smith and Sam Ditchman are an absolute delight to work with.

Paul Harris and David McDonald in the clerks’ room are very experienced clerks who are extremely user-friendly and could not be more helpful or willing to assist.

Paul Harris is great – as well as being extremely personable you get the impression that he runs a very well organised team of good individuals who know what they are doing and go out of their way to help. David McDonald is very good too in terms of being helpful and reactive to issues.

Paul heads up a fantastic team of clerks. Friendly, efficient and down to earth. They are an absolute pleasure to deal with.

The clerks are always incredibly efficient. I would single out Tiffany Daniels for mention as she is always very on the ball and incredibly helpful, but the whole team is first-class.

The clerks are in my view the best in London. Paul Harris as head clerk and Sam Ditchman, who is my “go to” clerk. Flexible, hard-working, fun to work with, accommodating, commercial.

The clerks of 1GC are particularly helpful, attentive, and always on hand to support.

The senior clerk, Paul Harris, really knows the market and the system, and works very hard to great effect.

The service provided by Paul Harris and David McDonald is excellent. They are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that a suitable barrister is available.

There is not another senior clerk in the family bar whose judgement I trust in barrister selection more than Paul Harris.

They are on the ball, quick to deliver, efficient and charming. Love the new office. Paul Harris always understands what is needed and always tries hard to deliver – they are a well run set.


1GC are a top-end set, very efficient, well organised and with first-rate facilities.

1GC are a super strong set. They offer a great lecture program which showcases their talent and is great for client solicitors to learn and network.

1GC are my ‘go to’ set for children cases. They have a great range of barristers who are excellent advocates and equally excellent with the client.

1GC are renowned for their children work, you know when you instruct them that, whoever you instruct, the case will be thoroughly prepared and the client well represented.

1GC are very much one of the best sets for private law children work and they have a wide range of talented barristers from senior silks to new tenants.

1GC Family Law is the top London set for children law. They are an incredibly strong team with no weak links. You know you are in good hands with any barrister in Chambers. The clerks are friendly, expedient, helpful and honest.

1GC is an excellent chambers; its range in both experience and areas of expertise means that there is always someone available to assist.

Extremely strong team with a personality fit for every client. Achieve great results and a pleasure to work with.

Their training programmes are excellent and they have been particularly good at providing online training sessions during the pandemic and lock down.

The chambers are a strong family set – one of the most highly regarded – with very experienced senior silks and good mid range juniors.

We often instruct barristers from 1GC and find that each of the barristers we have worked with have been brilliant and the clerks are extremely helpful. The chambers as a whole is very approachable and we will of course continue to work with them in the future.


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. 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. 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. 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
Chambers Director Marie-Christine Willis
Joint Head of Chambers EKANEY QC, Nkumbe (1990)
Joint Head of Chambers NORTON QC, Andrew (1992)
Members of Chambers PLATT QC, Eleanor F (1960)
Members of Chambers BALL QC, Alison (1972)
Members of Chambers BAZLEY QC, Janet (1980)
Members of Chambers GEEKIE QC, Charles (1985)
Members of Chambers MORGAN QC, Sarah (1988)
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 MOMTAZ QC, Sam (1995)
Members of Chambers GILLING QC, Denise (1992)
Members of Chambers STONE QC, Sally (1994)
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 STOCKER, John (1985)
Members of Chambers PYLE, Susan (1985)
Members of Chambers MCILWAIN, Sylvester (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 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 HURWORTH, Jillian (1993)
Members of Chambers KAVANAGH, Jennifer (1993)
Members of Chambers MOORE, Alison (1994)
Members of Chambers HUDSON, Emma (1995)
Members of Chambers FOSTER, Julien (1995)
Members of Chambers CHOUDHURY, Fareha (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 MACLYNN, Louise (2001)
Members of Chambers BRIGGS, Laura (2001)
Members of Chambers RAHMAN, Tahmina (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 LAMB, Henry (2004)
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, Elena (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, Tom (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)
Members of Chambers BERTONI, Costanza (2018)
Members of Chambers VERROKEN-JONES, Louise (2018)
Members of Chambers DALY, Niamh (2018)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Steven Ashworth  photo Steven Ashworth Steven undertook a common law pupillage and initially practised in criminal, civil…
 Andrew Bagchi photo Andrew Bagchi Highly experienced in complex medical and welfare cases concerning children and vulnerable…
 Alison Ball photo Alison Ball Specialises in complex public and private family law proceedings and also appears…
 Janet Bazley photo Janet Bazley Janet practices at the highest level in both children and financial cases.…
 Laura Briggs  photo Laura Briggs Laura practises exclusively in the law as it relates to children, representing…
 David Burles  photo David Burles David is a specialist in matrimonial finance, including financial remedy applications, trusts…
 Malcolm Chisholm  photo Malcolm Chisholm Malcolm’s practice encompasses complex care proceedings and Court of Protection work, as…
 Fareha Choudhury  photo Fareha Choudhury Fareha is a very experienced and highly skilled family barrister covering both…
 Penelope Clapham  photo Penelope Clapham Penelope specialises in both family finance and private law children matters and…
 Georgina Cole  photo Georgina Cole Georgina completed her pupillage in Chambers and was trained by Sarah Morgan…
 Jane Crowley photo Jane Crowley Jane’s public law children practice includes cases involving complex physical injuries, including:…
 Katherine Dunseath  photo Katherine Dunseath Katherine has a thriving practice encompassing all areas of private children and finances arising out…
 Matthew Fletcher  photo Matthew Fletcher Public law children: acting for local authorities, parents, children and relatives covering…
 Julien Foster  photo Julien Foster Julien practises across three main areas: public law, private law children cases…
 Deirdre Fottrell photo Deirdre Fottrell Deirdre Fottrell specialises in the law relating to children. She is also…
 Charles Geekie photo Charles Geekie Charles’ practice centres on legal issues concerning children. He acts in both…
 Denise Gilling photo Denise Gilling Denise is a Family Law practitioner specialising in the law relating to…
 Rachel Gillman  photo Rachel Gillman Special family law practitioner. Areas of practice; financial remedies claims, claims between…
 Alev Giz  photo Alev Giz private and public law proceedings and the Court of Protection. She has…
 Claire Heppenstall  photo Claire Heppenstall Claire practises exclusively in private family and family related work. Her practice…
 Peter Horrocks  photo Peter Horrocks Appears and advises in private law residence/contact cases as well as public…
 Daisy Hughes  photo Daisy Hughes Daisy specialises in family law as it relates to children. She represents…
 Helen Jefferson  photo Helen Jefferson Helen’s practice encompasses all areas of family law with a particular emphasis…
 Catherine Jenkins  photo Catherine Jenkins Practice In childcare law with a particular emphasis on public law children…
 Richard Jones photo Richard Jones Richard’s practice covers the full range of serious children cases both in…
 Eleri Jones  photo Eleri Jones Eleri practises in both private children and family finance cases, including financial…
 Doushka Krish  photo Doushka Krish Doushka specialises in cases concerning children. She acts in both public and…
 Henry Lamb  photo Henry Lamb Henry was called to the bar in 2004 and joined Chambers in…
 Elena MacLeod  photo Elena MacLeod Barrister specialising in all aspects of family law including public and private…
 Louise MacLynn photo Louise MacLynn Louise is a specialist in the law relating to children and vulnerable…
 Olivia Magennis  photo Olivia Magennis Olivia specialises exclusively in the law as it relates to children. Within…
 Sam Momtaz photo Sam Momtaz Sam acts in all aspects of the law relating to children. In…
 Sarah Morgan photo Sarah Morgan Specialist family practitioner all areas relating to children. Recognised as having particular…
 Andrew Norton photo Andrew Norton Andrew is joint Head of Chambers at 1GC Family Law. He specialises…
 Frances Orchover  photo Frances Orchover Frances has extensive experience in all matters relating to children both public…
 Philip Perrins  photo Philip Perrins Philip’s main area of expertise is acting for spouses or other related…
 Eleanor Platt photo Eleanor Platt Specialises in family law with particular reference to public law proceedings, private…
 Sophie Prolingheuer  photo Sophie Prolingheuer Broad experience across child protection matters and all areas of work arising…
 Susan Pyle  photo Susan Pyle Private law children; finance; public law children; collaborative law.
 Sharon Segal  photo Sharon Segal Sharon specialises exclusively in cases involving children whether in the private law…
 Lucy Sprinz photo Lucy Sprinz Lucy specialises exclusively in children law, in the public and private law…
 John Stocker  photo John Stocker Practises in financial remedies work (married and unmarried couples – divorce, CA…
 Sally Stone  photo Sally Stone Sally practices exclusively in family law as it relates to children. Whilst…
 Simon Sugar  photo Simon Sugar POSITION:Simon practices exclusively in family law; predominantly in ancillary relief but also…
 Pamela Warner photo Pamela Warner Pamela is a specialist family practitioner. Her practice primarily focuses on public…
 Duncan Watson photo Duncan Watson Duncan is a specialist in family finances, including financial remedies on divorce,…
 Francesca Wiley photo Francesca Wiley Francesca practises at the highest level in both private and public law…
 Oliver Woolley  photo Oliver Woolley Oliver became a tenant of chambers in 2014 following successful completion of…