Ann Osborne is more than just a safe pair of hands who regularly acts in highly contentious and complex matters in the Family Court and High Court. Ann has also been instructed in the Court of Appeal. Her professional ethos, inspired by a belief in social justice and human rights, leads to her offering clients a balance of empathy, clarity, realism and straight-talking – what she profoundly believes they deserve.
Ann is unstinting and unrelenting in working for – and with - her clients to achieve the best outcomes. She has a reputation for being meticulous and tenacious. Thanks to her wealth of knowledge and expertise having been a solicitor specialising in family law for ten years prior to coming to the Bar, she is able to put clients at ease and give them confidence that their case will be put before the court as effectively as possible.
For all these reasons, Ann is very much in demand with solicitors. Ann is regularly instructed by solicitors representing parents, grandparents and Local Authorities. Ann is additionally instructed by solicitors representing the child both in public law and in private law proceedings.
Ann’s track record includes regular instruction in some of the most challenging and complex public law and adoption matters involving non-accidental injuries, sexual and physical child abuse. Ann has an interest in Fabricated Induced Illness cases. Ann has dealt with Inherent Jurisdiction matters in the High Court involving Wardship, Forced Marriage Protection Orders and the return of a child. Ann also undertakes complex private law matters often involving fact findings relating to allegations of domestic violence, coercive controlling behaviour, parental alienation and child sexual abuse.
Ann’s deeply held belief in equality, diversity and inclusion has led to her being a mentor barrister within Garden Court’s ‘Access to the Bar for All’ mentoring scheme since its inception. The scheme won the Diversity Initiative of the Year award in 2017 and the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion at the Chambers Bar Awards in 2019 and 2020.
Before joining Garden Court in 2017, Ann was a solicitor-advocate with Higher Rights of Audience and an accredited member of the Law Society Children Panel. Ann also held Resolution’s specialist family law accreditation for financial remedies and private law Children Act matters.
Prior to qualification, Ann represented patients at Hospital Managers’ Hearings and, at what were then known as, Mental Health Review Tribunals in psychiatric facilities, including the Maudsley, St Thomas’ and Mayday Hospitals, both as a paralegal and during her training as a solicitor. Ann brings that background in mental health law into her practice and maintains a particular interest in the intricate overlap between mental health and family law. Ann has represented those suffering from mental health impairment or learning disabilities.
She has co-authored articles on remote working for legal professionals during the Covid-19 crisis and delivered seminars as well as webinars to solicitors and the London Association of District Judges on areas of law that are of current relevance.
Ann is Public Access qualified and is therefore eligible to accept work directly from members of the public.
In 2021, Ann successfully represented a vulnerable mother at Fact-Finding. A number of serious allegations had been raised including coercive controlling behaviour and domestic violence. Findings were obtained in relation to all allegations.
In 2020, Ann successfully obtained placement of children within their wider family network. The placement was vehemently opposed by the Mother. Ann represented the Father.
In 2019, Ann represented an intervenor at Fact-Finding involving non-accidental injury. No findings were made against her client.
In 2019, Ann successfully obtained Forced Marriage Protection Orders and the return of a young person from Somalia where travel restrictions had been imposed to preclude the young person’s return to the United Kingdom. Ann represented the Local Authority.
In 2019, Ann successfully opposed a parent’s application to the Court of Appeal against the Care and Placement Orders made at first instance.
In 2018, Ann successfully persuaded the Court that it was appropriate to ensure that the Mother’s wishes for the child’s future religious upbringing feature as part of the criteria for selection of prospective adopters, although the welfare checklist no longer makes reference to religious upbringing as a checklist factor. Ann represented the child.
In 2017, Ann successfully challenged the basis for the Local Authority’s negative assessment of an adult sibling and the care planning in relation to the child. Ann secured placement of the child with the adult sibling. Ann represented the adult sibling.
In 2017, Ann successfully challenged a Local Authority’s final care plan for long-term fostering, securing placement with a grandparent who had been negatively assessed. Ann represented the grandparent.
In 2016, Ann successfully challenged a Local Authority’s final care plans of adoption for the younger children and long-term foster care for the older children, securing placement of the sibling group with their Father who had been ruled out. Ann represented the children.
In 2016, Ann successfully challenged a Local Authority’s final care plan of adoption, securing placement with the Father who had been negatively assessed. No party supported the Father’s case. The Father had faced serious allegations at fact-finding including administering a noxious substance to a minor. No findings were made against the Father. Ann represented the Father.
In 2015, Ann represented a mother on a pro bono basis to secure the return of her young child from a non-Hague country (South Sudan), securing declaration of the child as a ward of the Court enabling the return of the child to the mother.