DEPARTMENT PROFILE

1GC|Family Law

Family/Matrimonial

35 ranked barristersBand 2London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
chambers review
Ranked Barristers

Chambers Review

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Recognised specialist set for private and public children's law and matrimonial finance proceedings. Barristers here are sought out by those seeking representation across the full spectrum of children's law cases. Their areas of expertise extend to inquiries into historic sexual abuse, care proceedings involving FGM, radicalisation, abuse, child death and severe mental health problems, among others. Members are further experienced in private children's work, and frequently deal with the most complex cases concerning relocation, abduction, leave to remove, allegations of domestic abuse, and wardship proceedings. The set is regularly instructed in high-value divorce proceedings, and has an ultra high net worth clientele which includes members of foreign royal families. Cases with a strong international focus are expertly dealt with.

Client service:

Senior clerk Paul Harris is "everything that a clerk should be. He is calm and has an unrivalled knowledge of his barristers." With regard to the clerks, one solicitor explains: "They care for us by ensuring continuity of counsel and fitting the right barrister to our needs. Their service is always high-quality."

Strengths:

Alev Giz
An experienced barrister who maintains a broad children practice covering both public and private issues. She is instructed to act for guardians, local authorities, children and parents. Giz has particular experience in matters involving non-accidental injury and serious sexual abuse to children.
"Her written and oral advocacy are exemplary, and her subtle, stylish and skilful presentation gives your client’s case the edge." "Alev is popular with the judges, excellent with clients and easy to instruct." "Empathetic at all times but also firm and fair in her approach, she provides realistic advice in a sensitive way."

Strengths:

Andrew Bagchi QC
Routinely represents local authorities in highly sensitive public law cases relating to child abuse, and is particularly well versed in cases involving complex medical evidence. His private law practice also covers issues of sexual and physical abuse and non-accidental injury.
"A calm communicator who impresses with his willingness to have a chat about difficult points in a case." "Superbly relaxed even with the trickiest of clients."

Strengths:

Annabel Barrons ,Recognised junior with a broad practice in both financial and children proceedings. She garners praise for her legal aid work with vulnerable clients. , "Incredibly impressive. She is so attentive and committed to the client, no matter how big or small the case." "Honest and open in her approach."

Strengths:

Catherine Jenkins
Public law specialist who represents children, parents and local authorities in cases involving abuse and non-accidental injury. She also offers expertise in disputes involving deprivation of liberty and matters involving medical issues.
"Exceptionally able and knows her stuff inside out. She inspires confidence and makes clients feel comfortable." "She has the patience of a saint and has the ability to make the client feel that they are the most important thing in the world."

Strengths:

Charles Geekie QC
Renowned for his handling of extremely complex children matters such as international adoption and abduction. He engages in serious cases relating to sexual abuse. Geekie also sits as a recorder and a High Court judge.
"Superb in every facet of what he does, he is a strategic thinker, who remains calm under fire. He is absolutely brilliant on the papers, his written work is incredible, and he is a fine cross-examiner." "A team-player who can speak the language of the child."
Recent work: Reviewed and led the report into historical sexual abuse at Chelsea Football Club going as far back as the 1950s.

Strengths:

Claire Heppenstall
Handles complex financial and children law work and often leads proceedings concerning both. She is commended for her tactical approach to her cases, which involve issues of serious abuse and related concerns.
"Excellent on complex children matters and robust when needed." "She has a clear way of providing advice to clients" and "a calm, self-assured manner."

Strengths:

Daisy Hughes
An experienced child practitioner who handles all manner of adoption and Children Act cases. She has particular expertise in acrimonious cases involving domestic violence and non-accidental injury. Hughes also frequently acts in serious care proceedings including those touching on sexual abuse issues.
"A true specialist in complex private law matters, who builds a strong rapport with the client." "Her strategic viewpoint is her real strength. She thinks things through to conclusion and comes up with a clear plan." "A star of the future whom judges think the world of."

Strengths:

David Burles
A well-regarded matrimonial finance lawyer who focuses on disputes concerning the distribution of assets after relationship breakdown. He is also proficient in financial remedy work involving cross-border and jurisdiction issues. Burles further handles private children work.
"Has a calm, charming manner and is ferociously bright." "Excellent at handling nasty cases and difficult clients, he works as part of a team, and is straight-talking and commercial." "David is well prepared and his position statements are very thorough."

Strengths:

Deirdre Fottrell QC
Leading silk who is recognised for her expertise in matters relating to surrogacy and broader fertility issues. She is also praised by sources for her international expertise in child adoption, relocation and abduction matters. Fottrell also handles domestic child disputes involving cases of abuse and radicalisation.
"Knowledgeable, straightforward, realistic and direct." "Her cross-examination is masterful. She remains calm and delivers her points beautifully." "In a class of her own."

Strengths:

Doushka Krish
Children law barrister with a reputation as a fearsome opponent. She appears in private children law disputes concerning transfers of residence, parental contact and parental alienation. She also acts on behalf of local authorities in public law proceedings, and has experience of handling cases involving non-accidental injury and child death. Doushka regularly appears before the High Court., "A formidable opponent whom you would not want to cross." "She carefully considers all of the evidence and picks out the points to present to the judge." "Doushka has a strong personality and an impressive work ethic that achieves results."

Strengths:

Eleri Jones
Enjoys a reputation as a dedicated and analytical practitioner who operates across both private children and financial work. She earns particular praise for her knowledge of European law and the implications of family law in the context of Brexit.
"Supremely intelligent, efficient and proactive." "She is so incredibly methodical and detailed, she is like a machine. Regardless of what the other side is doing she remains calm under pressure."

Strengths:

Gemma Kelly
Has a strong reputation for her handling of a wide range of children work. Her experience includes cases concerning allegations of sexual abuse and fictitious illness. She has notable experience in high-profile matters before the High Court.
"Incredibly calm, well respected, clear and unflappable. She has a steely grip and really knows the case inside out." "A strategist who can dissect a case and set in train a massively impressive evidence-gathering process. Her legal analysis is excellent."
Recent work: Instructed in a lengthy High Court case by the mother of a ten-year-old African girl who died. The client was accused of attempted FGM and murder.

Strengths:

Helen Jefferson
Family junior who handles both private children and matrimonial finance cases for a range of clients including high net worth individuals. She has a broad practice and experience of cases with Schedule 1 and Hague Convention aspects attached to them.
"Manages clients' expectations well, and immediately puts them at ease with her personal approach. She goes above and beyond in her preparation for cases, and in court she is robust, measured and sensible." "Helen is able to handle difficult clients in a sensitive, simple and straightforward manner."

Strengths:

Janet Bazley QC
Highly regarded for her extensive experience of complex children cases. She has notable expertise in cases involving technical medical or forensic evidence. On the private law side of matters, Bazley regularly acts in cases involving jurisdictional issues, and those concerning issues relating to modern families.
"Outstanding. The most down-to-earth and wonderful person, who will always help you." "Janet is great for the most difficult children cases. She is really hands-on, available 24/7 and superbly well prepared."

Strengths:

Katherine Dunseath
Respected advocate whose busy family law practice encompasses financial remedy cases and private children law. She is experienced in handling cases concerning relocation and child abduction, and also represents clients in applications relating to periodical payment orders.
"Robust in terms of her cross-examination, she prepares thoroughly for cases and goes the extra mile." "Gets to grips with the issues and is very approachable."

Strengths:

Laura Briggs
Children law barrister focusing on complex public law matters including sexual abuse and non-accidental injury cases, often with an international element. She is also experienced in complex proceedings involving radicalisation and refugees. Briggs further sits as a Recorder on the South Eastern Family Circuit.
"Calm, confident, and organised in the face of inflammatory counterparties." "She knows the case law in tremendous detail, and is a great personality who instils confidence in her clients." "A cool and effective advocate who glides around the courtroom."

Strengths:

Louise MacLynn
Family practitioner whose practice encompasses sensitive matters which often have parallel criminal proceedings or multi-jurisdictional aspects attached to them. She has experience of appearing before the Supreme Court.
"One of the most hard-working juniors, she is diligent and tenacious." "You can hand over any case to her and she will know every single detail in a trice." 
Recent work: Represented CAFCASS in the High Court case of Hammoud v Al Zawawi. Issues regarding jurisdictions and child welfare were raised.

Strengths:

Lucy Sprinz
Covers the full spectrum of children issues, specialising in particular in care proceedings. She additionally has a burgeoning practice dealing in cases concerning alternative families. Sprinz attracts praise from sources for her handling of sensitive cases and her excellent client care.
"Frighteningly intelligent, extremely diligent and someone with a great bedside manner. She always gives 100%, no matter how complex the case may be." "A joy to work with because she is accessible, responds to emails promptly, and goes over and beyond to help solicitors and clients."

Strengths:

Marlene Cayoun
Regarded as a rising star by sources, she has assisted with historic abuse inquiries of the most serious and sensitive nature, both led and unled. She also handles matters concerning adoption and international abduction.
"Experienced beyond her years, confident in front of the judges, and sensitive to clients' concerns and worries." "Hard-working, persuasive, and punches well above her level. She can go up against anyone and is good on very technical parts of the law."
Recent work: Acted as counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on the investigation into institutional responses to allegations concerning the late Lord Janner.

Strengths:

Matthew Fletcher
Offers clients a multidisciplinary approach, having a background in both children law and immigration law. His practice ranges from internationally focused matters to work aiding vulnerable clients in proceedings against local authorities. He also has experience in the overlap between family law and human rights issues.
"Thorough, easy to work with, provides excellent advice, and goes above and beyond what is necessary to provide a service to both us as solicitors and to our lay clients."

Strengths:

Nkumbe Ekaney QC
Represents parents and children in public and private child law cases, with particular expertise advising on matters concerning serious non-accidental injuries. He is also experienced at handling matters that concern FGM, radicalisation, sexual assault, neglect and child death. His practice takes in cases with prominent international, cultural and religious aspects., "Smooth, sophisticated and an excellent leader, he is missile-like in seeking out what the judge needs." "He reassures his clients, and his ability to look at things forensically is superb."
Recent work: Appeared in Plymouth CC v Wilkins, Vanselow & Others. The key issue in the case was the operation and relevance of Section 11 of the Civil Evidence Act 1968 in family proceedings.

Strengths:

Pamela Warner
An experienced and respected practitioner who specialises in public law children work. She primarily deals with matters relating to the most serious abuse and harm connected with children. Warner is accustomed to dealing with cases involving concurrent criminal proceedings and was appointed a Recorder in 2008. She further attracts recognition for her representation of guardians in care proceedings.
"Has a breadth of knowledge across a wide range of issues and a nice, personal touch." "Her work ethic is unbelievable and her judgement is also very good." "Clients love her because she takes the time to listen to what they have to say."

Strengths:

Penelope Clapham
Has a mixed practice and handles both high-value matrimonial finance and sensitive children matters, tackling work which often features a strong international element. She is notable for her deft handling of challenging abuse cases and is also experienced at handling TOLATA disputes and cases involving medical concerns.
"Has a forensic ability to go through numbers and make sense of them. The confidence she gives clients is brilliant and she can cut through to the core of the case with such confidence. She settles cases in no time." "Professional, approachable, and driven to get the right result."

Strengths:

Rachel Gillman
Private and public law barrister with a strong market reputation. She frequently appears in children proceedings involving the most serious allegations of sexual abuse and murder. Gillman is further skilled at representing parents in international child abduction cases., "Personable and gives superb advice. She is an instinctive lawyer" who "goes through every piece of evidence with a fine-tooth comb and spends time explaining to clients what is important. She is very patient."

Strengths:

Richard Jones
Recognised for his expertise in challenging private law children proceedings and noted for his charming client manner. He handles a large volume of complex cases relating to parents seeking contact with their children and exhibits strength in the growing area of surrogacy. He is also instructed by local authorities, guardians and parents in serious cases such as those concerning radicalisation.
"Richard has a warm, empathetic manner which is ideal for handling children's law work. He is always fantastically well prepared and great on his feet." "An enthusiastic, solid advocate who puts his heart and soul into the case."

Strengths:

Sally Stone QC
Mainly acts in public adoption and care proceedings, representing local authorities, children and parents. She is noted for her specialism in cases concerning injured children and those surrounding issues of mental health and technical medical evidence. The quality of her written work attracts great praise.
"She has the most encyclopedic knowledge of her papers and can retain so much information. When she walks into a room you know she has it covered." "Sally works like a demon and produces the best documents, so you have all the answers you need. Her cross-examination is superb." "Complex cases are her forte and she leaves no stone unturned. Her analysis of the law is often used by judges in their judgments."

Strengths:

Sam Momtaz QC
Has a real depth of experience in children matters, and is frequently instructed on behalf of local authorities, parents and children in public law care issues. He is accustomed to handling cases which include sexual and physical abuse and non-accidental injury matters.
"Always well prepared, clear and eloquent in his submissions, robust and extremely ethical." "Always happy to talk through the issues in the case with an open mind."

Strengths:

Sarah Morgan QC
Manages a full caseload of heavy-hitting public and private law children matters, from severe non-accidental injury cases to private child relocation. She acts in cases that garner significant media attention and so routinely offers the utmost discretion to her clients. Morgan regularly appears in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.
"She has the most extraordinary brain and a beautiful style in court that makes people listen." "Sarah gives stellar advice and has excellent experience."

Strengths:

Sharon Segal
Highly regarded practitioner who specialises in dealing with vulnerable clients in private and public law cases which can involve additional criminal proceedings. She is routinely instructed by high-profile individuals across many jurisdictions. Her private law experience includes leave to remove matters, international surrogacy and cases concerning broader child arrangements.
"An extremely knowledgeable, hard-working and formidable advocate who gives her all to her cases." "She has a brain the size of a planet and her attention to detail is phenomenal." "Sharon is exceptional and meticulous in her preparation. She absolutely inspires confidence in her clients."
Recent work: Acted in Re AB (Foreign Surrogacy Children out of the Jurisdiction). This was a difficult surrogacy case where the clients spoke little English and were based in Iran.

Strengths:

Steven Ashworth
Highly regarded child specialist who frequently represents vulnerable mothers and local authorities in care proceedings. He has an impressive portfolio of cases concerning allegations of non-accidental injury and sexual abuse, as well as severe mental health problems and drug abuse.
"Thorough, fights his client's corner, and has a gravitas about him that you would expect from someone more senior." "Courteous and amazing with difficult clients, he grasps the detail and goes all out for his clients."

Strengths:

Susan George
An international children specialist handling complex cases mainly relating to mental health, neglect, abuse and vulnerable clients. She represents all parties, though largely acts on behalf of local authorities and guardians. George is well versed in dealing with cases concerning complex jurisdictional issues.
"Personable with the client, up to date with the law, and a fighter like no one else." "She is friendly, knowledgeable, and works with a view towards conflict resolution." "One of the most dependable barristers you can instruct. She calmly gets to what is important in a case and is a breath of fresh air."

Strengths:

Tom Wilson
Well-regarded barrister who has a specialised practice in surrogacy issues. He also assists with cases which have international aspects, and has expertise in abuse and radicalisation matters.
"A rising star and silk of the future." "An experienced champion of alternative family work. His preparation is excellent."

Family/Matrimonial Department

1GC|Family Law

firm
Department location

10 Lincoln's Inn Fields

London

Greater London

UK

WC2A 3BP

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Family: Children


Andrew Bagchi QC
Band 2
Charles Geekie QC
Star Individuals
Deirdre Fottrell QC
Star Individuals
Janet Bazley QC
Band 1
Nkumbe Ekaney QC
Band 3
Sally Stone QC
New Silks