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International Family Law

Our international family law barristers have a strong commitment to defending the rights of families across borders and unrivalled expertise in international cases

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

We are one of a small handful of barristers’ chambers recognised as leading experts in family law in the prestigious rankings of the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide.

With a wealth of expertise in family law, immigration law, nationality law, European Union free movement, trafficking and discrimination law, our international family law barristers are uniquely qualified to deal with family cases where there is an international element. We can deal with urgent cases that require swift action. With a humane and pragmatic approach, we have a strong record of securing successful outcomes for our clients. 

relocation of children abroad

When international families go through divorce or separation, the living arrangements of children can be hard to agree on. If these matters are mishandled, the results can be far-reaching and emotionally devastating for the family members involved. Our international family law barristers are skilled at charting a path towards resolving the issue of children relocating abroad, with a strong record of achieving the best outcome for our clients.

Whether you want to make an application for leave to remove a child, or are faced with an application from your ex-partner, we are here to help. We listen to your unique circumstances and help you move forward to find a workable solution for your family’s wellbeing. If necessary, we can take urgent action to prevent the relocation of a child or children abroad.

 

cross-border disputes

Disputes that occur across national borders can be legally complex. If you are an international family who need to resolve a dispute, our international family law barristers are uniquely placed to help. We have significant experience of dealing with international disputes, with strong crossover expertise in related areas of law, such as immigration and community care law.

We act swiftly and effectively for parents who are asserting that the English courts have jurisdiction, or are challenging the jurisdiction of a court abroad. Our advice is clear and comprehensive, and we fight hard to secure the best outcome for our clients.

forced marriage

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is illegal in the UK. In international cases of forced marriage, people may be taken abroad without knowing that they are to be married. When they arrive in that country, their passport(s)/travel documents may be taken to try to stop them from returning to the UK.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor. 

If you or someone you know is being forced to marry against their will, please get in touch to seek legal advice. Our barristers have a wealth of experience acting in cross-border cases of forced marriage and strong crossover expertise in immigration law. If necessary, we can apply for a protection order from the court and take steps to make sure it is complied with and enforced. 

 

female genital mutilation

Members of Garden Court have been prominent in providing legal advice to organisations such as FORWARD UK, as well as writing reports to the Parliamentary Inquiry into FGM and to the UN arguing for more effective protection for girls against mutilation. 

If you or someone you know is at risk of FGM and needs help, please get in touch for legal advice. We can help you apply for a protection order, and take steps to make sure it is complied with and enforced.  We have strong links with support groups who are committed to gender equality and safeguarding the rights of African girls and women. Our crossover expertise in areas of law such as immigration and asylum and community care means we are uniquely qualified to help in FGM cases where there is an international dimension.

 

adopting abroad

More and more people are looking to adopt children in other countries in order to complete their families. While there are many people who come to provide a loving home for a child from abroad, the process is legally complex and requires highly specialist legal support.

Our international family law barristers are adept at handling the complex immigration and regulatory issues surrounding the adoption of a child from abroad. We will explain clearly the strict rules and regulations that may apply to your situation, whether you are living in the UK or abroad. We can advise you on how to meet the requirements for approval from local authorities and adoption agencies, and help you with your application from start to finish.

 

surrogacy abroad

International surrogacy raises highly complex issues of family and immigration law. With unrivalled crossover expertise in these areas of law, the team at Garden Court is uniquely placed to advise and represent you. Our barristers will consider the legality of the surrogacy in the foreign country, the child's immigration and nationality status and the ability to bring the baby into the UK.  With expertise and conviction, we will fight for your best interests every step of the way.

 

The Team

Latest News

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

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

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

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to welcome back Artis Kakonge from her sabbatical

Artis is returning to Chambers after spending the past few years working in local government.

5 February 2018

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) publish first two evaluation reports

Louise Hooper of Garden Court Chambers was part of the delegation who carried out an evaluation visit to Austria between 28 November to 2 December 2016.

27 September 2017

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

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

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

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