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4 Paper Buildings

Family/Matrimonial

43 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2022 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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Client service:

An immensely respected set recognised for its immeasurable expertise in private and public children law, as well as its complementary skill in matrimonial finance work. Its venerated silks and juniors regularly appear before the highest courts in the country, handling a broad range of matters including those relating to international child abduction, historical child sex abuse, radicalisation, non-accidental injury, and many more. The set's extensive client base consists of individuals from all walks of life, including household names, businessmen, and some of society's most vulnerable individuals. When it comes to matrimonial finance, the barristers here handle complex, acrimonious, high-value disputes, often involving multiple jurisdictions, offshore accounts and trusts. In recent times, the set has been heavily involved in cases at the forefront of the law relating to fertility law, female genital mutilation and transgender rights.
"The clerks are accommodating, down-to-earth and knowledgeable of what is needed on different cases." "They are on the ball and get back to you quickly." "The clerks take a commercial view and are open to discussion." Michael Reeves is the senior clerk. During the pandemic, 4 Paper Buildings was noted as having worked closely with the Family Law Bar Association, and consequently the judiciary, to help develop and test remote platforms being assessed by the courts for use.

Strengths:

Alex Verdan QC
Head of chambers and indubitably a force in the field of children law. His caseload sees him handling matters concerning the most severe and complex of children issues. He has expertise in everything from the most serious public law issues to the placement of high-profile people's children.
"He does relocations day in and day out, pitching cases at exactly the right level and proving extraordinarily empathetic. He is committed to getting the best possible outcome for clients and children." "A brilliant cross-examiner who has full command over the detail of his cases." "He's responsive and good at instilling confidence in his clients."

Strengths:

Alison Grief QC
Children law specialist who offers her services for the most complex cases. She demonstrates noted expertise in those matters requiring expert medical evidence, and has a particular specialism in cases regarding head injuries. She has a strong private and public law practice and represents clients in alleged fabricated illness cases among other serious issues affecting children.
"Well prepared, has great instincts and knows the law backwards." "She works tirelessly for her clients - the amount of effort she puts in and her ability to quickly assimilate thousands of pages of material is impressive." "Her greatest strength lies in her ability to represent young, vulnerable mothers. She shows warmth and empathy towards them."

Strengths:

Andrew Powell
Children law barrister with a domestic and international practice. He is proficient in child abduction cases and has particular expertise in surrogacy issues. Powell has further notable expertise in fertility and legal parenthood cases.
"A persuasive, personable advocate and cross-examiner who is a calm presence in court." "He's got an absolutely encyclopedic knowledge of surrogacy law, but puts it in a way that's accessible. His written and oral submissions are things of beauty." "He exudes charm and remains calm under pressure."
Recent work: Represented the London Borough of Lambeth in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Strengths:

Barbara Mills QC
Highly regarded family barrister with recognised expertise in private children proceedings, who often assists clients with cross-border cases in the High Court. She also has equal strength in domestic child disputes involving welfare issues. Mills demonstrates further expertise in mediation and is a private judge.
"She can pinpoint what she and the client need to do to win the case." "Her advice and instinct are always spot-on, and she has a no-nonsense approach which clients respect." "A robust, persuasive cross-examiner, who tends to have judges on-side from the beginning of cases."

Strengths:

Brian Jubb
Brings extensive experience to bear in complex children proceedings, including factitious and induced illness and sexual abuse matters. He has a specialism in public law cases representing vulnerable adults, and is also experienced in Hague Convention cases. Jubb brings his criminal law experience to bear for the benefit of his clients.
"An experienced practitioner whose calm approach reassures clients." "Judges have a lot of respect for him."

Strengths:

Catherine Wood QC
Recognised for her expert international children practice, and has an impressive record when it comes to matters concerning abduction, parental alienation and sexual abuse. She often handles matters with complex issues attached. Sources praise her calm, sensitive approach to cases and clients.
"She brings a level of calm to the stormiest sea. Her judgement is so good that when coupled with her command of the courtroom, it can be hard to work out if the judge is in charge or her." "She is fantastic with vulnerable clients."

Strengths:

Charles Hale QC
Renowned family silk who specialises in complex matters in both the private children and matrimonial finance spheres. He routinely handles significant cases on behalf of an impressive client base of high-profile individuals including those with alternative family arrangements. His practice includes international child abduction and jurisdiction disputes.
"Has strong advocacy skills and the ability to cut through information to find the important issues. He quickly instils confidence in his clients." "Charles is down-to-earth, hugely bright and willing to go the extra mile for solicitors and clients alike." "He has the ability to relate and connect with clients from many different backgrounds."
Recent work: Acted in HM Attorney General v Akhter & Others, a Court of Appeal case concerning divorce law, Shari'a divorce and nullity proceedings.

Strengths:

Charlotte Baker
Family law barrister gaining recognition for her children law practice. She is praised for advising on modern family matters including surrogacy, and is notable for her work on wardship cases. She also concentrates her practice on cross-border abduction and leave to remove disputes.
"Sympathetic but proactive in advising on how to move cases forward. She is full of sensible, pragmatic advice." "Charlotte is empathetic, reassuring, responsive and someone who has the clients' best interests at the forefront of her mind." "Charlotte Baker is kind, understanding and able to calm client nerves."
Recent work: Represented Bristol City Council in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Strengths:

Chris Barnes
A well-respected junior who is increasingly well versed in matters concerning the overlap between public law and international children issues. He has additional experience in cases involving radicalisation and also has particular expertise in abduction cases.
"He's hard-working and absolutely dedicated to his clients." "He handles detailed, complex cases with alacrity and ease." "Chris is clever, calm, approachable and collaborative. He always responds to queries or requests for help as quickly as he can."
Recent work: Represented the local authority in an appeal concerning a child who was vaccinated while in care. The main issue was whether a local authority with a care order could vaccinate a child despite parental objections.

Strengths:

Christopher Hames QC
Has a notable international children practice and deep expertise in matters concerning the application of the Hague Convention. His financial practice sees him representing high net worth individuals in divorce proceedings. He wins plaudits for his willingness to get fully involved with a case.
"His pragmatic and intellectual approach proves to be a winning combination, and his distillation of key issues is a joy for any tribunal." "Christopher is meticulous, thorough, calm and organised when handling domestic violence cases." "He's approachable and respectful in his approach."

Strengths:

Cleo Perry QC
Her broad children practice spans both public and private law cases domestically and abroad. She has experience of representing both parents and children in disputes including those concerning non-accidental injury, and also has a growing practice in radicalisation cases.
"Her advocacy has the presence, calmness and structure that gives listeners the impression of balance, coherence and reasonableness." "A personable advocate who is open to negotiation and uses persuasion to get her points across." "She's good with medical evidence and quickly cuts through the information to advise clients on difficult situations."
Recent work: Handled the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, acting on behalf of two local authorities.

Strengths:

Cyrus Larizadeh QC
A specialist children law barrister well versed in non-accidental injury matters and sexual abuse allegations. He represents parents and local authorities in international and domestic cases including those concerning factitious illness disputes and placement orders.
"Cyrus has an unassuming quality and is both affable yet devastating in cross-examination." "He brings passion, commitment and strategic thinking to every case." "He's meticulous in his preparation."

Strengths:

Dorothea Gartland
Private and public law practitioner focusing on complex children issues, domestically and abroad. She is active in matters involving the international movement of children, and has particular experience in surrogacy and jurisdictional dispute work.
"An effective advocate who brings real empathy to cases and has a razor-sharp knowledge of the law." "She is forensic and dedicated to understanding bundles. Her cross-examination is calm, measured, thoughtful and incisive." "Her technical knowledge is excellent. She is always meticulously prepared, supportive of both solicitors and clients, and amazing on her feet."

Strengths:

Harry Gates
A junior with an established practice in financial remedy cases, including those with an international element. He has particular experience of dealing with complex asset structures and hidden assets, including offshore trusts and companies.
"Careful and considered." "He is personable, meticulous in terms of his preparation, and great with clients." "He's constructive, problem-solving and focused on trying to minimise conflict."

Strengths:

Harry Nosworthy
A junior barrister who has a growing practice in matrimonial finance. He has particular experience in matters concerning financial remedy proceedings, and additional niche expertise in cohabitee claims and TOLATA.
"Good with clients and is able to sort out and absorb the relevant detail in a case." "He has a good bedside manner and advises clients properly." "He is always calm for his clients and is never flustered by the court or opposition. He takes everything in his stride."

Strengths:

Henry Clayton
Family finance junior who handles a range of matters including maintenance orders and Schedule 1 cases. He routinely services high net worth clients in financial remedy proceedings and is commended for his grasp of complex issues.
"He is outcome-focused and will give the client the most sensible and pragmatic advice, being able to distil what can be complex legal principles and factual backgrounds into understandable summaries." "He is thorough, well prepared, approachable and sensitive with anxious clients."

Strengths:

Henry Setright QC
Extraordinarily experienced children law specialist who is widely regarded as the ultimate expert on international children matters, particularly abduction. He is routinely seen in the Supreme Court, leading the most significant, law-changing cases. He is also well versed in matters concerning the overlap with immigration, human rights and Court of Protection issues.
"A skilled, persuasive advocate and an amazing strategist who commands the court's respect and attention." "His knowledge of international children law is second to none, and he drives cases in a careful, thoughtful way. He has a kind manner, particularly with the most vulnerable of clients." "An excellent advocate for the appellate courts."

Strengths:

Jacqueline Renton
Focuses her specialised children practice on sophisticated international issues centring on jurisdiction, relocation and abduction. She is regarded as an expert in this area by sources, and has appeared before the CJEU on behalf of her clients.
"A lawyer with a first-rate mind who is tenacious and pays excellent attention to detail." "Her legal knowledge and grasp of the most technical international family law issues is unsurpassable." "Jacqueline is a tenacious barrister with almost unparalleled experience in the field of international children law. She displays utter determination when acting for her clients."
Recent work: Represented the mother before the Court of Appeal in Re B, a case concerning the return of a child to France. Issues included habitual residence and whether a 'third state return' is legally permissable under the Hague Convention.

Strengths:

Jo Delahunty QC
Highly sought-after specialist children silk entrusted with the most significant and demanding national cases. She regularly handles matters concerning the most serious injuries and fatalities resulting from sexual assault, radicalisation and abuse. She is particularly experienced in cases involving non-accidental injury to children.
"An effective force in the courtroom, who is hard-working and brilliant in terms of both research and cross-examination." "She's tenacious, she leaves no stone unturned and she works exceptionally hard." "Her intellect is extraordinary and her submissions have passion and power behind them. She is also emotionally warm towards clients."
Recent work: Appeared before the Court of Appeal on Re T, one of four test cases on the treatment of rape and coercive control allegations by family courts.

Strengths:

John Tughan QC
Has expertise in both public and private children proceedings. He possesses great experience of handling complex cases concerning abuse at the most serious end of the spectrum. Tughan is particularly effective in matters concerning allegations of fabricated illness, risk assessment and medical issues.
"He is approachable, he works hard and he is willing to go the extra mile for his clients." "A robust but fair barrister who can be relied upon to be straightforward and will argue effectively for his client."

Strengths:

Joy Brereton
Highly experienced barrister who is recognised for her work in complex children cases. She exhibits strength in international matters, and has additional expertise in disputes concerning issues of criminal offences and abuse. Her expertise spans both private and public cases.
"User-friendly and responsive, she works incredibly hard and prepares thoroughly. Her advocacy is excellent and she always pitches it correctly based on the status of the case." "She has amazing skills in court and her client care is second to none. She demolishes the other side in cross-examination." "A workhorse who is wonderful with clients and fierce on her feet."

Strengths:

Judith Murray
Balanced practitioner who divides her practice between representing her clients in complex financial remedy and private children proceedings. She has experience across a range of Children Act issues including those concerning leave to remove matters and Schedule 1 proceedings. Murray also routinely handles acrimonious proceedings concerning alleged sexual abuse.
"Good at drilling into the factual matrix and evidence of cases, and is proactive in touching base with clients where appropriate." "She provides calm, considered and clear advice to clients in a measured manner and is always on top of the papers, even when dealing with complex family and business financial structures. Judith is capable of strong forensic cross-examination and will not miss the important details." "A hard-working, practical advocate who takes a holistic view to cases."

Strengths:

Julia Townend
Children law and matrimonial finance practitioner who acts for a broad array of parents, ranging from high-profile celebrities to mentally vulnerable individuals. Her experience includes the handling of termination of parental responsibility and habitation disputes. She frequently appears before the High Court and the Central Family Court.
"She's pragmatic, accessible and someone who tries to reach a settlement if necessary." "Her meticulous preparation and clear advice, no matter how complex the issues, are a breath of fresh air." "She is intelligent, personable and a lawyer who always makes the right calls."

Strengths:

Justin Ageros
Experienced junior who acts across both public and private law children proceedings. He has a particular specialism in public law matters, including adoption, and acts on behalf of local authorities as well as parents and guardians.
"A clever, careful, well-prepared advocate who has a manner in court that judges like." "He is calm, methodical and good on complex cases."

Strengths:

Justine Johnston
Renowned for her strong courtroom performances in complex private children matters. She also handles issues flowing from relationship breakdown. Johnston has particular experience in international leave to remove cases, and is commended for her no-nonsense and direct approach.
"A formidable advocate who is forceful in her arguments. She has particular expertise in leave to remove cases and cases with serious allegations of harm." "She's fearless, clear and concise in her submissions, proving unflappable and reassuring with clients." "Justine is well prepared, focused in her advocacy and good at cross-examination."

Strengths:

Katie Wood
A notable junior who is highlighted for her dual practice in matrimonial finance and children law. She is recognised for advising on financial disputes involving non-matrimonial property and contributions. She also represents clients in Schedule 1 matters.
"Quick to grasp the issues in cases and has a calm, approachable manner with clients. She is helpful and generous with her time to discuss matters." "An effective advocate who gives sensible, prudent advice to clients in a way that puts them at ease." "She's approachable and puts nervous clients at ease."

Strengths:

Mark Jarman
A cross-jurisdictional specialist who represents notable individuals in private children disputes. Jarman mainly acts in cases concerning international and internal relocation, abduction and enforcement orders. He has experience of dealing with Hague and non-Hague jurisdictions.
"A real grafter who presents clear arguments and is frequently before the High Court on international children matters." "He commands the respect of the court and is realistic in his approach. Mark advances his client's case in cross-examination in a way that makes it sound easy." "He sets realistic expectations but remains sympathetic to his clients. He gets to the bottom of all the issues in a case."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the father in a case concerning an abduction from Morocco. Consent to remove and Moroccan divorce code interpretation were key issues in the case.

Strengths:

Michael Edwards
Children law junior with an international practice, who has handled a number of highly complex abduction cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His practice spans a broad range of private and public law proceedings involving international issues.
"Michael’s calm, focused demeanour in court and his forensic cross-examination are a pleasure to watch. His broad legal knowledge is self-evident and his recent reported cases, which saw him appear in the High Court and Court of Appeal, show that he can hold his own against QCs and senior juniors." "He knows the law inside-out and has a calm nature which reassures the client." "Michael is committed, and this is demonstrated in the way that he interacts with clients. He gives clear and sensible advice from the outset."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of Leicestershire County Council on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Strengths:

Michael Gration
Family junior establishing a strong children practice with a focus on complex cases involving the cross-border movement of children. He is experienced in Hague Convention matters, including international abductions and the summary return of children. He is also proficient in jurisdictional disputes and the recognition of foreign orders.
"His knowledge of complex international children law is exemplary. He is incredibly persuasive with judges and is deservedly well respected by them." "Michael is one of the most respected barristers of his call. He gives well-reasoned and realistic advice based upon his considerable experience and knowledge in international children’s law. His written work is always precise, well reasoned and persuasive, and his advocacy is second to none."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the mother before the Court of Appeal in G v G. The client had removed a child from South Africa without the father’s consent. She then applied for asylum in England with the child named as her dependant. The case considered the relationship between asylum and the Hague Convention.

Strengths:

Piers Pressdee QC
Expert private law children practitioner instructed by London's top firms for complex international disputes. He demonstrates strength in child arrangements and relocation cases and is experienced in abuse and parental alienation cases.
"Doesn't waste a single word and works collaboratively with his clients. He commands the courtroom and concentrates on the major issues in a case." "He's thorough, well thought of and hard-working." "A smooth, organised advocate."
Recent work: Handled three sets of proceedings for a father before the High Court, involving child arrangements, abduction and enforcement.

Strengths:

Rebecca Foulkes
Manages a diverse children practice which spans both public and private law proceedings, and has additional experience of handling arbitration proceedings. Her particular expertise includes serious public law issues centring on complex non-accidental injuries.
"A top-notch lawyer who pays attention to every detail." "She is approachable and her advocacy is clear, concise and seemingly effortless. She strikes the right note every time." "She is excellent in her advocacy and has a wonderful court demeanour."

Strengths:

Rhiannon Lloyd
Matrimonial finance barrister who has expertise in TOLATA cases and non-disclosure-related mandates. She also represents clients in financial remedy claims involving corporate and property issues. Lloyd has additional experience in enforcement order disputes.
"Her finger is on the pulse of family law and she gives strategic, practical advice. She offers a lot of empathy and is sensitive to the issues involved." "She's accessible, straightforward with clients and good on her feet."

Strengths:

Ruth Kirby QC
Experienced family and Court of Protection practitioner who has expertise in sensitive matters. She is praised for the strength of her advocacy and for the tenacity she shows on behalf of her clients in court. Her expertise includes the representation of very high-profile families, and she is proficient in cases concerning international issues.
"A good fighter who is powerful in the courtroom and empathetic towards clients." "She articulates powerful arguments in a persuasive manner. She is 100% ready to deal with the pressures presented in cases, and has the ability to think two steps ahead." "Ruth has a natural, easy rapport with clients which puts them at ease."

Strengths:

Sally Bradley
Specialises in complex public law children issues involving serious abuse and injury. She acts on behalf of parents, children and local authorities and has particular experience in matters with concurrent criminal proceedings, having previously practised criminal law herself.
"An experienced senior junior who is approachable and well liked by clients. She can handle all levels of work." "She works incredibly hard and deals with clients in an empathetic way." "She does not shy away from asking difficult questions and probing the evidence in fact-finding matters."

Strengths:

Samantha King QC
Renowned family barrister in high demand due to her deep knowledge of public and private law cases, both at home and abroad. She exhibits strength in the most serious public law cases, including those concerning issues of alleged radicalisation and sexual abuse, and also has experience in private law issues relating to non-traditional families and surrogacy.
"A born advocate who is persuasive and incredibly quick on her feet." "She's responsive, leaves no stone unturned and gives clear advice to her clients." "She is formidable and organised when acting for guardians in private law cases."

Strengths:

Samantha Woodham
Family practitioner and co-founder of the Divorce Surgery, handling a variety of private law matters relating to both family finance and children. Her specialism lies in high-value matrimonial disputes and Schedule 1 cases. She is frequently sought out to provide pre-emptive insight into developing problems before proceedings are issued.
"Has a way of explaining the subtleties of a case so they matter to both the court and clients." "She thinks strategically and with settlement at the forefront of her mind." "She is personable and takes a collaborative approach towards cases."

Strengths:

Sophie Connors
Negotiates a practice that takes in all areas of family law including matrimonial finance matters and private law children work. A number of her cases have an international element to them. She handles a broad spectrum of matters, from TOLATA and Schedule 1 to cross-border relocations.
"She is proactive and has a real handle on cases. She stays calm under pressure and is happy to be hands-on." "Sophie not only approaches every case with the same vigour and determination, but appears to do it with ease and a smile." "A real champion for her clients who is always well prepared and takes a measured approach. She keeps the overall picture in mind on cases."

Strengths:

Stephen Lyon
Respected senior junior who possesses a deep knowledge of matrimonial finance proceedings, and regularly represents clients of significant wealth and international standing. He is additionally a qualified family arbitrator, and has niche expertise in Islamic marriage issues.
"He has a lovely manner with vulnerable clients, and is able to communicate with them in a direct but sensitive way." "Clients have a high opinion of him and he rolls his sleeves up on their behalf."

Strengths:

Teertha Gupta QC
Focuses his well-respected practice on public and private international children disputes. He is universally commended for his personable advocacy style and his prowess in the courtroom. Sources see him as one of the foremost abduction silks.
"He makes the effort to be available to his clients and explains issues in terms they can understand." "An empathetic advocate with a fantastic grasp of international children law, he develops strong relationships with his clients." "Teertha Gupta QC brings sense and clarity to difficult cases. He presents arguments with conviction and authority, and courts adore him."

Family/Matrimonial

4 Paper Buildings

firm
Location

St Martin’s Court

Paternoster Row

London

Greater London

UK

EC4M 7HP

View Set Profile

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


Alex Verdan QC
Star Individuals
Alison Grief QC
Band 2
Barbara Mills QC
Band 3
Catherine Wood QC
Band 1
Charles Hale QC
Band 3
Christopher Hames QC
Band 3

6 of 43 results