DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Parklane Plowden

Family/Matrimonial

12 ranked barristersBand 2North Eastern (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Parklane Plowden acts for a range of clients, including local authorities, parents and guardians, in a variety of children law proceedings. The cases undertaken by the barristers often involve serious abuse and injuries, as well as complex issues such as honour-based violence and forced marriage. The set is a first port of call for instructing solicitors handling care proceedings. The set's recent recruitment of 13 barristers from Zenith Chambers has further bolstered its strength in children matters. The set also possesses impressive strength in financial remedy cases, and the barristers are equipped to handle cohabitation disputes and cases involving assets held abroad or UK-based farming and business assets.

Client service:

"The clerks are good at moving things around and thinking outside the box." "They make an effort to get to know us and talk to us about what we expect from the clerking and barristers." "Mark Williams, senior practice director for the family and civil team, and Hannah Townsend, the practice manager for the family team, are brilliant. They are just really friendly and accommodating and you can have an honest conversation with them."

Strengths:

Alex Taylor
A children law specialist with a strong reputation for handling complex cases. He is instructed by local authorities, as well as parents and on behalf of children, and is regularly called on to assist with injury and abuse matters or multi-jurisdictional cases.
"His grasp of the law and ability to distil it down to clear arguments is second to none." "He is an extremely knowledgeable and determined barrister. He's very quick on his feet and can develop imaginative but highly effective arguments."

Strengths:

Clare Garnham
Undertakes advocacy in a range of family-related public law cases. She focuses chiefly on acting for all parties involved in child protection cases, relating to such serious matters as abuse, injury and death. She is also noted for her ability to handle cases on behalf of clients with disabilities.
"She is basically a silk, but without a QC. The judiciary love her." "She is highly experienced and a skilled advocate who combines this with a personable approach to clients."

Strengths:

Daniel Pitt
Well regarded by instructing solicitors for his handling of a wide range of matrimonial finance cases. He has experience in cases involving the valuation of assets, including pensions and businesses.
"He has a way of making clients feel that he is on their side and does meticulous preparation." "A very capable and knowledgeable finance practitioner."

Strengths:

Elizabeth Darlington
Highly regarded for her expertise in property and chancery law, she is frequently the top choice for solicitors handling TOLATA and cohabitation disputes arising from separations. She is also well versed in inheritance claims.
"She is absolutely excellent at cohabitation disputes. She wrote the book and knows all there is to know." "Her knowledge about cohabitation is excellent, but the real strength is the ability to apply that and come to a pragmatic and sensible outcome."

Strengths:

Francesca Fothergill
Extremely competent matrimonial finance advocate with a significant reputation for her grasp of issues relating to farming and landed estates. She is frequently instructed in cases with complex forensic accountancy evidence and in international matters such as foreign prenuptial agreements. She is well reputed for her knowledge of trusts, inheritance and taxation matters.
"She has an excellent legal knowledge and is always aware of recent developments. She is very proactive." "She is very serious about what she does. She is also efficient and prepares her cases beautifully."

Strengths:

John Jackson
A former solicitor and a children law expert with extensive knowledge of serious abuse allegation cases, among a range of other public and private children law issues. His work includes complex cases with international aspects. In addition to fact-finding hearings, he has experience appearing in the Court of Appeal.
"He is a standout for complicated cases." "He's very down to earth and says it like it is." "I am 150% confident that he is going to deliver exactly what is required."

Strengths:

Julia Nelson
Equipped to take on an array of instructions in family law and receives praise for her handling of all manner of children law matters. She regularly undertakes child care cases concerning relocation as well as alleged domestic abuse. She is also noted for her experience in financial provision cases.
"Because of her level of experience, there is a gravitas and self-assuredness about her." "She is very good on all things private children." "She knows what she wants to do and how to do it. She's also very approachable. You can ask her anything and she will help."

Strengths:

Lewis Donnelly
An experienced practitioner who centres his practice on public law children cases concerning such allegations as abuse and non-accidental injury. He is regularly instructed on sensitive care matters, including forced marriage and FGM protection orders.
"His advice is always excellent and on point." "He is a friendly but no-nonsense barrister who is very effective in court."

Strengths:

Louise McCallum
Well-regarded family law specialist well versed in public and private law children matters. She is experienced in dealing with serious care proceedings concerning abuses and non-accidental injuries and also has expertise in forced marriage cases. She also sits as a family recorder on the North Eastern Circuit., "She has a wonderful demeanour in and out of the court and is a pleasure to work with. She really makes clients feel at ease." "Louise is a calm but highly effective barrister with exceptional advocacy skills." "She is just professional and accurate in every way. She always chooses the right path and recommendation to the court."

Strengths:

Natalia Levine
A strong advocate with a focus on complex child care cases. Her caseload comprises alleged non-accidental injuries, usually accompanied by extensive medical evidence, and contested adoption cases on behalf of parents and relatives. She also receives praise for private children law cases.
"She's a strategic thinker." "She comes up with innovative and practical suggestions to move the case forward." "She's super with the client and very straightforward. She gives the hard advice when needed."

Strengths:

Sara Anning
A specialist in children work who acts for local authorities, children and guardians, Anning has particular experience in cases concerning allegations of severe harm, including physical and sexual abuse. She also takes on cases concerning same-sex parenting, artificial insemination and adoption.
"She is just excellent - very easy to speak to and brilliant with the client." "She has a thorough grasp of complicated legal issues, a calm, measured approach and the ability to present written submissions clearly and coherently." "She is robust, focused and forthright with clear and precise advocacy skills."

Strengths:

Simon Wilkinson
Well regarded for public children work involving serious allegations of abuse and complexities around evidence. He is also noted for Court of Protection work and acting for those who lack capacity. He has experience acting at High Court and the Court of Appeal.
"He has a good client management style and can tailor his advocacy in a way that the client can understand." "He has the ability to put clients at ease and doesn't talk with any legal jargon. He comes up with innovative, practical solutions and is good in court."

Family/Matrimonial Department

Parklane Plowden

firm
Department location

19 Westgate

Leeds

West Yorkshire

UK

LS1 2RD

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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.

Juniors

North Eastern (Bar)

Family: Children


Alex Taylor
Band 3
Clare Garnham
Band 1
John Jackson
Band 2
Julia Nelson
Band 3
Lewis Donnelly
Band 3
Louise McCallum
Band 1