Henry Drayton

Year of Call: 1993

Henry is a family law barrister specialising in the law relating to children. He mainly represents children, parents, grandparents and interveners in public law care proceedings, but also undertakes international child abduction, foreign adoption and private law children work.


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Children Law


Henry is committed to fighting difficult cases on behalf of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and parents and is particularly experienced in acting on behalf of parents with learning disabilities and mental health issues. He is regularly instructed in a wide range of complex cases including those involving allegations of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, chronic neglect and domestic violence, cases where there are concurrent care and criminal proceedings and cases with an international element.

Notable Cases

Successfully Opposing Local Authority Final Care Plans

Re H (2010)
In this case Henry represented the Father of a baby born very shortly after his older sibling had been removed from his care and placed for adoption. The Local Authority, Children's Guardian, Expert and Independent Social Worker all recommended that this child should also be placed for adoption but the Court accepted the Father's changed lifestyle and motivation and returned the child to him despite the universal opposition of the professionals.

Re D (2010)
In this case Henry represented a Mother with learning disabilities. The Local Authority sought a final care order with a care plan of adoption which the Children's Guardian supported but the Court accepted that the Mother had not been adequately or fairly assessed in the light of her learning disability. The Local Authority's application for a final care order was refused and a further assessment directed.

Re J (2009)
In this case Henry represented a Father who opposed the Local Authority's final care plan to remove his children from what it perceived to be culturally inappropriate foster placements, to seek an adoptive placement for the younger child and to separate siblings. The Judge agreed with the father that the care plan was not in the best interests of the children and refused to make a final care order unless the care plans were revised in accordance with the Father's wishes.

Successfully Opposing Local Authority Interim Care Plan for Removal of Child

Re L (2011)
In this case Henry represented the Mother of a child who had been in voluntary accommodation as a result of the Mother's physical incapacity. Once the Mother recovered and sought the return of her child the Local Authority issued care proceedings and sought an interim care order. The application was refused and the child returned to the Mother.

Re P (2010)
In this case Henry represented the Mother of a large number of children who had been removed from her care under an emergency protection order. The Local Authority then applied for an interim care order but this was refused and the children returned to the Mother's care.

Re W (2010)
In this case Henry represented the Mother on an application for a residential assessment which was opposed by the Local Authority. The direction for an assessment pursuant to section 38(6) of the Children Act was made and the child and Mother were re-united in a residential assessment unit. Subsequently, a final supervision order was made.

Representing Parents and Interveners in Fact-Finding Hearings

Re K (2011)
In this case Henry represents the Father who faces a number of very serious allegations including sexual abuse of his own child and the rape of a stepdaughter

Re C (2010)
In this case Henry represented a stepfather intervener who faced very serious allegations of sexual abuse of his stepdaughter over many years.

Re B (2009)
In this case Henry represented a young man who was accused of physically and sexually abusing his girlfriend's young daughter.

Representing children

Re G (2010)
Henry represented the Children in this complex case involving allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse requiring a 20-day fact-finding and outcome hearing at the PRFD.

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International Family Law

Henry draws on a wealth of expertise in cases with an international element, including foreign adoption and international child abduction.

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Professional Membership

  • Association of Lawyers for Children
  • Family Law Bar Association

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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