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We are recognised as leading experts in children’s law in the prestigious rankings of the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide.

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Top Ranked Chambers UK Bar 2019
The Legal 500 UK Top Tier Set 2019

Our expert barristers work at the forefront of children’s law. We provide the highest-level representation and easy-to-follow legal advice for parents and families facing legal proceedings involving their children. 

We have a strong record of achieving success for our clients across the full range of children’s law matters. Whether you want to know your rights when faced with a family dispute over a child, or you are a grandparent or other family member looking for legal representation to protect a child’s best interests, or you need legal advice when dealing with social services, we can help.

Once you speak with our helpful Public Access team, your details will be passed to our Public Access barristers. One of the options we offer clients is a free 15 minute telephone consultation with the barrister of your choice. This allows you and the barrister to learn more about the situation and services required, free of charge.

grandparents' rights

The breakdown of a marriage, civil partnership or other long-term relationship can have a major impact on grandparents’ relationships with their grandchildren. As a grandparent, you may have been actively involved in the upbringing of children and now fear being separated from them. Sometimes you may even feel you have to act to safeguard their welfare.

In our work we have found that the courts often consider that support from grandparents and members of the wider family is in the best interests of the child.  

Grandparents and other family members can make an application to the Courts to allow them to play a role in the lives of children in their family, including applications for Child Arrangement Orders (formerly residence and contact orders) specifying where a child lives, who they spend time with, and determining other important issues in a child’s life. Our leading family law barristers can give you expert legal advice, and help with drafting any necessary legal applications and other relevant documents. 

As barristers we specialise in family court proceedings and offer effective representation along with clear, practical advice. Our experienced and approachable barristers can guide you through the options available to you.

 

child arrangements and contact disputes

If you were part of a couple with children, and your relationship has broken down, it can be very difficult to agree arrangements for your children going forward. With tensions running high, you need to find solutions that are in your children’s best interests and provide them with stability.

Parents can struggle to agree on important issues in their childrens’ lives. These may include deciding who a child should live with, how much time they spend with each parent and other family members, if there are any risks that need to be protected against, where they should go to school, and even whether a parent should be allowed to move the child away to another area or another country. Our specialists in International Family Law are adept at handling cases that cross country borders.

Whether you are going through a divorce, the dissolution of a civil partnership or the end of a cohabiting relationship, our expert family law barristers can give you sound legal advice on all legal aspects of your separation, including child arrangements. We will help you consider your options and understand the likely outcome of any court proceedings so you can make informed decisions. 

Our expert mediators may be able to help you find a solution out of court. But if court action is unavoidable, our leading barristers will provide representation, based on your unique circumstances, to help reach the best outcome for you and your children.

 

child abduction

Child abduction is a highly complex area of law that requires expert legal advice and decisive action. If the wrong steps are taken, these can have far-reaching and permanent consequences. If you have good reasons to believe that a child is at risk, it is possible to take action to help prevent child abduction before it happens. 

Whether you want to take measures to stop a child being taken abroad, or are looking to recover an abducted child, our family law barristers can help. We regularly act in cases of child abduction in England and Wales, and have extensive experience advising on cross-border abduction cases through our work in International Family Law. Sometimes you need to act very quickly and our experienced barristers are used to dealing with urgent and emergency child abduction cases where swift action is needed.

 

care proceedings

Care and Supervision order proceedings are issued when a local authority considers that a court order is needed in order to protect a child from significant harm. In cases where social services have become involved in your family life, our barristers can provide expert advice and representation for parents, children (often through a court-appointed guardian), grandparents and other family members.

With the right legal advice from our children law barristers, many parents are able to work through difficulties and ensure that their children remain with them. With empathy and commitment to defending your rights, we can advise and represent you throughout the legal process. 

Our barristers are used to dealing with urgent and emergency child protection orders. They will be able to act quickly and professionally for your family. We know that each case is different and work hard to provide the best service tailored to your individual needs.

Legal aid may be available in public law cases. Whilst we cannot accept direct access instructions under the legal aid scheme, we can direct you to suitable solicitors. You may be able to instruct solicitors who then arrange for you to be represented by one of our specialist barristers using the legal aid scheme.

 

Latest News

Family Law Update: Uncertain perpetrator cases – the correct approach

Written by William Tautz of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

12 July 2019

Natural family in Ghana, securing Article 8 rights

Rebekah Wilson acted for the Appellant, Monifa Walters-Thompson acted pro bono for the fourth respondents and Maggie Jones acted for the Respondent Children’s Guardian.

10 January 2019

Family Law Update: Teenagers, secure accommodation and the relevance of consent

Written by Mai-Ling Savage of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

17 December 2018

Family Law Update: The recognition of foreign adoptions

Written by Kathryn Cronin of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

17 December 2018

Family Law Update: Order!

Written by Christopher McWatters of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

17 December 2018

Family Law Update: Civil restraint orders

Written by Lyndsey Sambrooks-Wright of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

17 December 2018

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019.

5 November 2018

High Court hears failed asylum seeker's daughter 'at FGM risk'

Garden Court's James Holmes is instructed by Suffolk County Council.

1 November 2018

Appeal in care proceedings involving rival Special Guardianship Order contenders: a foster carer and extended family members in Ghana. Appeal allowed.

Rebekah Wilson instructed for the Appellant. Maggie Jones instructed for the Respondent Children's Guardian. 

30 October 2018

The London Infant and Family Team & The New Orleans Intervention Model

In England two local authorities – Croydon and Tower Hamlets –  have been trialling the New Orleans Intervention Model, a relationship focused intervention for families involved in care proceedings. King's College London are currently undertaking a random

18 September 2018

Court of Appeal allows first successful appeal against Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order

Sarah Forster appeared on behalf of the mother and James Holmes, who was also instructed at first instance, appeared on behalf the local authority led by Hannah Markham QC.

1 August 2018

What is confidentiality and does it matter anymore?

Sections 97(2) and (6) of the Children Act 1989 make it a criminal offence for anyone to publish material likely to identify a child involved in proceedings under the Act. The prohibition only lasts until the end of the proceedings - Clayton v Clayton [20

15 May 2018

Family cases and Deprivation of Liberty

There have been two important recent cases which have considered issues of deprivation of liberty and young people subject to care proceedings.

15 May 2018

Malek Wan Daud joins Council of Europe delegation to Portugal to evaluate implementation of Istanbul Convention on Combating Violence Against Women

Malek Wan Daud is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

28 March 2018

SM (Algeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 9

Navtej Singh Ahluwalia of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team appeared for the intervener, Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

19 February 2018

Bach Commission report calls for Rights to Justice Act and far wider eligibility for legal aid

Garden Court Chambers contributed evidence to the Bach Commission.

22 September 2017

ECPAT report finds no national process for identifying and recording missing child victims of trafficking

Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers contributed to the report.

21 August 2017

Proof magazine #3: ‘Life in the Justice Gap: Why legal aid matters’ launch supported by Garden Court Chambers

Garden Court Chambers is proud to sponsor Proof magazine. The third issue of Proof was co-produced by the Justice Gap and the Justice Alliance.

20 July 2017

Family Rights Group launches inquiry report on section 20 voluntary arrangements for children coming into the care system

Garden Court Chambers were delighted to host the launch of this report.

11 July 2017

Garden Court Chambers extends condolences and solidarity to all those affected by Grenfell Tower tragedy

Garden Court Chambers is horrified by the fire at Grenfell Towers. We extend our condolences and our solidarity to all those bereaved, injured or rendered homeless.

16 June 2017

Malek Wan Daud joins Council of Europe delegation to Denmark to evaluate implementation of Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women

The Istanbul Convention is also known as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

10 May 2017

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Victoria Burgess to the Family Team

Garden Court Chambers are delighted to welcome Victoria Burgess to the Family Law Team.

11 April 2017

Garden Court welcomes Katharine Marks to its Family Team

We are delighted to announce that Katharine Marks joined the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

31 March 2017

Garden Court welcomes James Holmes to its Family Team

We are delighted to announce that James Holmes has joined the Garden Court Chambers Family Team.

28 March 2017

Leslie Thomas QC, Judy Khan QC and Marc Willers QC elected as Joint Heads of Chambers

Garden Court is delighted to announce that Leslie Thomas QC, Judy Khan QC and Marc Willers QC have been elected as Joint Heads of Chambers.

31 January 2017

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2017.

2 November 2016

The Archers’ domestic violence plot reveals real harm of LASPO cuts

Garden Court's Rebekah Wilson and Lottie Mayers of Miles & Partners explain more in this article via Legal Voice.

29 September 2016

Garden Court Chambers secures number one spot in Legal 500 2016

We now have the second highest number of junior barrister rankings of any chambers in the Legal 500 2016.

14 September 2016

Kathryn Cronin and Naomi Wiseman shortlisted at Family Law Awards

Kathryn is shortlisted in the International Family Lawyer category, Naomi is shortlisted for the Family Law Young Barrister of the Year award.

1 September 2016

Garden Court enters Legal 500 top five

We have achieved 79 individual rankings and retained tier 1 rankings in immigration, social housing and civil liberties.

22 September 2015

Garden Court Chambers remains a Top Tier set in Legal 500 2014

We are proud to learn today that Garden Court Chambers has once again been recommended as a Top Tier set in Legal 500 2014.

1 October 2014

Garden Court supports Rights of Women's legal challenge

Members of Garden Court Chambers joined the demonstration on Friday against government's changes to legal aid which are preventing victims of domestic abuse from getting legal aid in family law cases.

22 September 2014

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