Mai-Ling Savage

Year of Call: 1998

"Diligent and detailed in her preparation and presentation of cases."

Chambers UK, 2022 (Family: Children)

"I was really happy and impressed with Mai-Ling's representation... I was feeling really overwhelmed and stressed and Mai-Ling really helped reassure and focus me."

Anonymous Client, June 2021


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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Mai-Ling is a barrister focusing on the following areas: children's law, care proceedings, international family law, surrogacy and assisted reproduction, matrimonial finance and Court of Protection.



Mai-Ling's practice includes residence and contact disputes, including internal and international relocation, disputes between same sex couples, fact-finding hearings and cases of parental alienation and recruitment of children against a parent by care givers. Mai-Ling has particular expertise in issues relating to surrogacy and assisted reproduction cases in which issues of legal parentage arise.

Mai-Ling has particular expertise in care proceedings involving allegations of non-accidental injury with complex medical issues or disputed medical evidence, sexual abuse (including false allegations of sexual abuse), factitious illness and vulnerable adults. She also has expertise in cases involving forced marriage, FGM and radicalisation.

Examples of recent cases include fractures to an 8-week-old baby, life-limiting injuries to a 6-week-old baby, sexual abuse allegations including a paedophile ring and inter-sibling sexual abuse.

Mai-Ling has recently undertaken a number of cases involving breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998.

She frequently advises in family proceedings concerning immigration and nationality issues as well as international adoptions, transnational care and child placement arrangements.

Notable Cases

ZH v HS & Ors (Application to Revoke Adoption Order) [2019] EWHC 2190 (Fam)
Application by a child's birth mother (ZH) to revoke an adoption order made in 2016 in relation to T, now aged 4. 

PW and Others v Luton Borough Council [2017] EWHC 3028 (Fam)
The Legal Aid Agency was ordered to pay the claimants' increased costs which arose as a result of the LAA failing to make a decision as to the applicability of the statutory charge when it could and should have.

SW & TW (Human Rights Claim: Procedure) (No1) [2017] EWHC 450 (Fam)
Proceedings concerning two siblings and involving cross-applications for private law orders, an application by the local authority for public law orders and applications brought under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 for declarations and damages. Clarified the correct procedure for HRA claims in family proceedings.

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Divorce and Family Finances

Mai-Ling has a wide experience of financial remedies and appears in courts of all levels including the High Court.

She has also been instructed in applications under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 and Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees act (ToLATA).

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Court of Protection

Mai-Ling has an established practice acting in health and welfare cases for all parties, including health and social care bodies and individuals. She is co-convenor of the Court of Protection Team.

She has undertaken cases that involve best interest decisions, welfare and financial decisions and deprivations of liberty, including contested applications involving fact-finding hearings.

Mai-Ling has acted in cases involving adults with learning disabilities, adults with acquired brain injury and people with dementia, including disputes about residence or contact with family members. She is instructed by the Official Solicitor, individuals and local authorities.

Mai-Ling has particular expertise in cases where there is a crossover with family proceedings, for example, non-consensual marriage.

Mai-Ling is a member of CoPPA.

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Mai-Ling is experienced in cases of international abduction, international adoption and the application of Brussels II Revised. She frequently advises in family proceedings concerning immigration and nationality issues as well as international adoptions, transnational care and child placement arrangements.

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Pro Bono Work

In 2015 and 2017 Mai-Ling was shortlisted for Sydney Elland Goldsmith Bar Pro Bono Award, in recognition of an outstanding commitment to pro bono work.

Mai-Ling joined Garden Court from Fourteen in September 2016. She is a trustee of Wheels for Wellbeing, an award-winning inclusive cycling charity, which helps people enjoy the benefits of cycling regardless of disability, age or health condition.

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Notable Cases & News

'Emergency Remedies in the Family Courts' loose-leaf available now

Co-authored by members of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team, Amanda Weston QC, Lorna Cservenka, Mai-Ling Savage and Anne Osborne.

11 March 2022

Court of Appeal set aside findings in a complex case of non accidental injury

Mai-Ling Savage and Rebekah Wilson of the Garden Court Family Team appear for the respondent and appellant respectively. X, T, A, E and S (Children), Re [2020] EWCA Civ 1680 (11 December 2020)

16 December 2020

Approved Judgment: H-B-S (Children)

Mai-Ling Savage & Monifa Walters-Thompson of Garden Court represented the appellant, Rebekah Wilson of Garden Court represented the respondent mother, & Lyndsey Sambrooks-Wright of Garden Court represented the father.

29 July 2020

‘Reading down’ the statute: The case of Re: A (Surrogacy: s.54 Criteria) [2020]

Mai-Ling Savage leading Stephen Lue, both of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team, acted for the father. Rachel Schon was the the third six pupil in this case.

23 July 2020

'Revoking an adoption order: unusual and exceptional' published in Family Law Journal

Written by Naomi Wiseman and Mai-Ling Savage of Garden Court Chambers.

3 December 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 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

Garden Court Family Law Team and Mai-Ling Savage nominated for Bar Pro Bono Awards 2017

We are delighted to announce that the Family Team and Mai-Ling Savage, as an individual, have been nominated for the Bar Pro Bono Awards 2017.

13 October 2017

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

All related news


'Revoking an adoption order: unusual and exceptional' (Family Law, November 2019), Mai-Ling co-authored this with Naomi Wiseman, also of Garden Court Chambers. 


  • Bachelor of Divinity, King's College London
  • GDL, BPP School of Law
  • BPTC, Inns of Court School of Law

Professional Membership

  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Association of Lawyers for Children
  • Child Poverty Action Group
  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • CoPPA

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

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