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Ian Peddie QC

  • Call: 1971
  • Silk: 1992
Legal 500 UK Awards 2015: Winner
"An excellent advocate."

Legal 500, 2019

"He is tenacious and has a wealth of experience."

Legal 500


Ian specialises in family and criminal law.

Ian is Vice Chair of the Legal Services Committee of the Bar Council and past member of the executive committees of the Family Law Bar Association and the Association of Lawyers for Children.

Ian is qualified to take on direct access work.

Family Law

Ian is recognised as one of the leading family law silks in the country. His family law practice covers all aspects of family law, with particular emphasis on issues relating to children. He is instructed in public and private law proceedings, including care proceedings, child protection issues, adoption and abduction, (national and international).

He has acted on behalf of children, parents, grandparents, nannies, carers, local authorities, Guardians, the Official Solicitor and the N.S.P.C.C. He has appeared in all tiers of Courts up to and including the House of Lords, (now the Supreme Court), and in most Court centres in England and Wales. One of Ian’s strengths is in the rigorous cross-examination of experts, both medical and scientific. Additionally, Ian has been instructed in many of the recent High Court radicalisation cases.

“An experienced silk and a fearless advocate.”
Legal 500 2017

He is tenacious and has a wealth of experience.”
Legal 500 2016

“Possesses a wealth of experience, and is a truly superb advocate.”
Legal 500, 2015

“Approachable and sensible.”
Legal 500, 2014

Ian Peddie QC “is very thorough in his cross-examination, and is excellent at pulling the evidence together”, and an “experienced and tenacious advocate”.
Legal 500, 2011

Among the “dedicated, empathetic and realistic” individuals is Ian Peddie QC, a leading figure in child abuse cases who recently handled three serious alleged non-accidental head injury (shaking) cases in which the child died.”
Legal 500, 2010

Ian Peddie QC is “a man of great humanity”, being “exceedingly conscientious” and well regarded for work in difficult abuse cases, having been involved as counsel in matters involving witchcraft, paedophilia and incest.
Legal 500, 2009

He has been instructed in many high profile cases concerning children. He represented the mother in the Baby Peter (Lon Boro’ of Haringey) case. There was significant public interest in the case and numerous TV and radio programmes were made in relation to this case. Ian has considerable experience in press injunction cases involving children.

Ian also represented the parents in the high profile case Norfolk C.C. v Webster, In the initial proceedings, (when the parents were represented by others) injuries caused by scurvy were misdiagnosed as non-accidental injury in respect of 1 of 3 children and all 3 were adopted. In this case he was successful in ensuring the return of the new born child to the parents. He appealed and attempted to overturn the adoption orders in respect of the 3 children who had been made subject to Care and Adoption Orders 3 years earlier.

He has recently been instructed in four serious alleged non-accidental head injury, (shaking), cases. In one he represented the nanny who was found not to be responsible. In another his client, a Somalian mother, accepted causing the injuries, (permanent mental and physical injuries), as a result of suffering post puerperal psychosis, (she wanted the return of the child to her care). In March 2012 after a 6 week hearing the parents were absolved of all responsibility in the death of their son Vit D deficiency as a cause of multiple fractures including skull fractures). This case had all the experts, for and against, who are currently engaged in the argument over the possible cause of NAHI. L.B. Islington v Al Alas and Wray [2012] EWHC 865 (Fam)

In December 2012 he represented Sally Roberts in her attempt to prevent radiation therapy on her young son who was suffering from medulloblastoma.

In February 2013 he represented the Local authority in a very difficult baby death case in which the 12 medical experts were evenly spilt as to causation. After two years and a hearing set down for 5 weeks the case was settled before trial and the parents absolved of responsibility. Hedley J gave an open judgment on when to apply to withdraw proceedings.

He is currently representing a 13 year old boy accused of raping his 6 year old step-sister.

He has particular experience in cases involving child abuse, whether physical, sexual or emotional. He has been involved in many murder cases, alleged factitious illness (Munchausen) cases and cases involving witchcraft, paedophilia and incest.

He has been identified as a ‘leading silk” in all the recent Legal Experts handbooks.


Ian is also an experienced in criminal practitioner, particularly those criminal cases which have concurrent care proceedings e.g. the 6 month South Wales Paedophile Ring case in which he was one of the few barristers who appeared in both the criminal and the Children Act proceedings.

He has appeared in all types of criminal cases, including, murder, infanticide, paedophilia, sexual abuse, serious drugs importation and terrorism cases.

In his most recent case in the Court of Appeal, R v W 2011 May 2011, he successfully appealed a conviction of rape against his client’s 14 year old step-daughter. He also successfully opposed a prosecution application for a third re-trial.

He has been a Crown Court Recorder since 1993, (sitting in crime, family and civil).


Ian has chaired many seminars and lectured to lawyers, care professionals and others on the law relating to children and the cross examination of expert witnesses.


‘Children giving evidence in the family courts,” Family Law, April 2014

Notable Cases


  • Re A Local Authority v M, F and C, D, E and F [2016] EWCA 1599
    Ian acted for the father in this case. The case is one of a number of recently reported High Court cases in which the Family Courts have had to evaluate a different type of harm to children; cases in which is is alleged that the extreme religiously motivated views held by a parents are so harmful that the State should intervene to protect the children.
  • R v Wambebe (Snaresbrook Crown Court) HHJ Wilkinson, October 2015
    Non-accidental head injury case: Ian Peddie QC, defending, succeeded in an abuse of process argument due to the Crown Prosecution Service failing to follow court directions, which created numerous avoidable delays and caused the trial to be postponed five times. This would have meant a trial taking place three years after the initial charge.
  • NHS Trust v SR [2012] EWHC Fam 3842
    Bodey J Represented the mother seeking to prevent the hospital giving radiotherapy to her son who was suffering from medulloblastoma
  • London Borough of Islington v Al Alas and Wray [2012] EWHC 865 (Fam)
    Defended the father in care proceedings brought by a local authority, which accused the parents of “baby shaking”. Ian demonstrated, with the assistance of expert witnesses, that the baby’s death had been caused by undiagnosed congenital rickets, leaving the child prone to fractures and infection. The full judgment is available. The case was widely reported, including by the BBC.
  • R v W (2011) [2011] EWCA Crim 1142
    Successful criminal appeal – appellant was convicted of raping and indecently assaulting his14 year old step daughter. He also successfully opposed the prosecution application for a third re-trial.
  • Hertfordshire County Council v E and R (2010) HHJ Wright at Watford County Court (Sitting as a High Court Judge)
    Represented 20-year-old boy who allegedly sexually abused younger sister over a period of months when aged 12. He was joined as an Intervener in Care proceedings against Mother relating to younger siblings. As part of case we applied to re-open earlier hearing in which Mother’s partner allegedly sexually abused him,. After 7 week hearing and detailed cross-examination of two child psychiatrists, teachers, social workers etc, the local authority withdrew the allegation of sexual abuse by him against sister.
  • B (A Local Authority) v (1) RM (2) MM (3) AM (2010) Hedley J, Fam Div and Court of Protection. Reported at (2011) 1 FLR 1635
    Care proceedings relating to a 16-year-old girl with diagnosis of severe learning disability, severe autism and possibly Malignant Tourette’s Syndrome who was at risk of self-injury due to a raft of factors. She needed specialist attention and at least 2:1 nursing care. LA wanted a CO leaving her in residential placement costing £300,000 pa more than 250 miles from parents home. Proceedings transferred into Court of Protection jurisdiction thereby giving less control to LA and more control (beyond 18 years) to the court (and the parents).
  • London Borough of Haringey v Connelly (2009) (Baby Peter case) Coleridge J
    Represented the mother in the Care proceedings relating to Peter’s 3 siblings
    He died as a result of multiple injuries, including a broken back and alleged torture. In the care proceedings the LA unsuccessfully attempted to re-open issues previously determined in the criminal trial.
  • Re W (Children) [aka Webster v Norfolk County Council] (2009) Reported at [2009] All ER 1156
    Appeal against existing Adoption Orders and earlier Care Orders on basis that original Care Order was a miscarriage of justice i.e. scurvy not NAI.
  • LB Ealing v Parveen & Ikram (2007) FD CO 0180 Munby J – Murder of one of 3 children.
  • Norfolk County Council v The Parents & BC (By His Child’s Guardian) (2007)
    [2007] EWHC 1566 (Fam) (29 June 2007)
  • Webster (A Minor) (2007) [2007] EWHC 549 Fam. (Another hearing in the Webster miscarrige of justice case).
  • S v S (2005) EWHC Represented wife of Russian oligarch seeking return of 3 year old daughter following Residence Order having been made in Moscow
  • Birmingham City Council v Mrs H (2005) [2005] EWHC 2885 (Fam) (13 December 2005)
  • Re (A Child) (2005) [2005] EWCA Civ 1792 Appeal against the making of a Care Order
  • Re W and B; Re W (Care Plan) (2001) [2001] EWCA Civ 757 [2001] 2 FLR 582 House of Lords Case on ‘Starred Care Plans’ Power of Court to control Care Plans. Effect of Human Rights Act on CA cases.
  • R v Yusuf (2002) CCC Murder of three month old child (six week “Old Bailey” trial involving numerous medical/forensic experts) This followed lengthy Children Act proceedings.
  • R v Lawrenson (2002) Murder of Partner by mother in presence of children
  • H (A Child) (2002) [2002] EWCA Civ 469 (8 March 2002) From 2001 to 2003 represented Oxford medical undergraduate in Criminal and Children Act proceedings in which he was charged with serious and persistent assaults upon girlfriend’s young child over a period of months.
  • R v Lucas (2000) Lewes Crown Court – 21 year old father acquitted of murder of 6 week old son.
  • Acted on behalf of Devon CC in the longest ever wardship case (1992)
  • R v Owen (1992) Maidstone Crown Court – successfully defended client on counts including attempted murder; client admitted shooting a man who had been convicted of causing the death of client’s son by dangerous driving.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor in the ‘Children of God’ litigation (1993)
  • R v Gwynedd County Council Ex Parte B (1992)Reported at [1992] 3 All ER 317
  • R v Davies (1994) Acted for one of the principal defendants in the 8 month South Wales paedophile ring case. Acted in both family and criminal proceedings. The criminal appeal lasted 21 days (the second longest criminal appeal in recent times).
  • R v Campbell (1996) Represented defendant in case of attack with machete on Wolverhampton primary school children. Miss Lisa Potts, the nursery assistant was awarded the GC
  • Re W (A Minor) (Residence Order) [1993] 2 FLR 625
  • Re G (Minors) (Interim Care Order) [1993] 2 FLR 839
  • R v Gwynedd County Council Ex Parte B [1991] 2 FLR 365
  • R v North Yorkshire County Council Ex Parte M (NO. 2) [1989] 2 FLR 79
  • R v North Yorkshire County Council Ex Parte M (NO. 3) [1989] 2 FLR 82
  • M v M (Transfer Of Custody: Appeal) [1987] 2 FLR 146
  • Havering London Borough Council v S [1986] 1 FLR 489
  • Hereford And Worcester County Council v Jan[1986] 1 FLR 29
  • Hereford And Worcester County Council v JAH[1985] FLR 530
  • Re F (Wardship: Adoption) [1984] FLR 60
  • Re R (A Minor) (Child In Care: Access) (1983) 4 FLR 787