We use cookies to offer you a better experience and analyse site traffic.

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

Children public law - care proceedings and adoption



Our Children Public Law Team: Care Proceedings and Adoption

Barristers in our children public law team provide wide-ranging advice and representation. We are well-known as experts in the fields of non-accidental injury, factitious illness, neglect and physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

The team works with a wide range of clients including local authorities, parents and guardians, adopters and foster parents, extended family members, other interested parties or interveners and the Official Solicitor.

We handle cases sensitively and are experienced in representing vulnerable clients with mental health and / or learning difficulties or disabilities. Our barristers will also respond quickly when urgent or short notice cases and issues are involved.

Our cases include:-

  • Emergency relief and injunctions
  • Public Interest Immunity
  • Human rights generally, including Human Rights Act and ECHR matters
  • Domestic adoption
  • International adoption
  • Wardship
  • Forced marriage
  • International abduction

Here are some examples of our recent work:-

  • W-P (Children): [2019] EWCA Civ 1120 (3rd July 2019) - Monica Ford was instructed on the appeal. Monica was instructed for the Respondent Children through their Guardian. The appeal was dismissed, but Lord Justice Jackson confirmed earlier judicial guidance given by the Late Lord Justice Wall about the careful approach required to be undertaken by the Courts when considering SGOs. More information can be found here.
  • Re Q (Child: Interim Care Order: Jurisdiction)Damian Woodward-Carlton QC acted for the mother in Re Q (Child: Interim Care Order: Jurisdiction). Child approaching 17 - Effect of s 38(4) of the Children Act 1989. More information can be found here.
  • X and Y (Children) EWHC 451- Gemma Taylor QC and George Butler for the applicant and the guardian. A case where the local authority applied to remove Father as a party to proceedings and from local authority decision making about the welfare of his children. More information can be found here.

  • Y (A Child) (S.38(6) Assessment) EWCA Civ 992Siân Smith - Appeal concerning the powers of the court to make an order for assessment of a child under section 38(6) of the Children Act 1989. More information can be found here.

  • East Sussex County Council v AG EWHC 536 (Fam) -Tina Cook QC for the applicant. A case where the mother and father were found to have poisoned their 5 month old son, with life threatening amounts of alcohol and antihistamine. More information can be found here.

  • Medway v IBEH Celeste Irvine for the applicant. A fact finding and final hearing of sexual abuse allegations with immigration issues and HR.

  • AD & AM (Fact-Finding: Re-Hearing) EWHC 2912 (Fam) – Damian Woodward-Carlton for the Local Authority. More information can be found here.


Children Public Law Barristers

News & events

Gemma Farrington - Recent Case

This case concerned a toddler who sadly passed away from natural causes but as is usual underwent a skeletal survey following his death.

13th September 2021 Read more

London Legal Walk

A team of barristers from 42 Bedford Row are walking with the Lord Chief Justice and thousands of lawyers to raise funds for the London Legal Support Trust which funds Law Centres and pro bono agencies in and around London.

18th August 2021 Read more

Re A, B and C [2021] EWCA Civ 451 – Case note

The Court of Appeal has found that a trial judge had misapplied Lucas in finding that a juvenile’s consciousness of guilt that he had sexually abused another child was the only reasonable explanation for his lies at trial.

12th April 2021 Read more

Caroline Landes

Chambers is delighted to welcome Caroline Landes as a new member of our Family Law team.

27th August 2019 Read more

CHICKS Charity Night

Thanks to the generosity of everyone, we raised an outstanding £1,309.65 which will go some way to help children in desperate need for a respite break.

27th March 2019 Read more

Public Children Law Conference

Tina Cook QC will be speaking at the Public Children Law Conference on Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at The Caledonian Club. Tina Cook QC will be speaking on Fact finding hearings.

26th September 2018 Read more

Bloomsbury Family Law Conference

Sharan Bhachu and Sian Gough are joining a panel discussion on children law at the Bloomsbury Professional Family Law Conference on the 16th May, at Gray’s Inn.

18th April 2018 Read more

Gemma Taylor QC

Congratulations to Gemma Taylor QC who is pictured here receiving her Letters Patent.

26th February 2018 Read more

Gemma Taylor

Congratulations to Gemma Taylor who is pictured here with her family and colleagues from 42 Bedford Row as she leaves Chambers to travel to Westminster where she will be appointed Queen’s Counsel by the Lord Chancellor in today’s ceremony.

26th February 2018 Read more

Gemma Taylor

42 Bedford Row is delighted to announce that Gemma Taylor has been appointed Queen’s Counsel in the 2017 competition.

20th December 2017 Read more

Jeremy Rosenblatt – Family Law update

Jermey Rosenblatt has contributed to the December edition of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division. Topics include: Poland: a Supreme Court and Gay lawyers.

20th December 2017 Read more

Priority need and the meaning of ‘dependent children’

19 and 21-year old son and daughter of a homeless applicant are not ‘dependent children’ for the purposes of assessing ‘priority need’ Introduction Stefan Liberadzki recently appeared for a local authority in a homelessness appeal under s.204 of the Housing Act 1996. Here he discusses the Court’s decision that the appellant’s children could not count

5th July 2017 Read more

Chambers are delighted to announce that Jessica Atkinson, formerly of 1 Gray’s Inn Square has joined our Family Team

Jessica is a specialist family practitioner. Her particular expertise is in public law children cases involving chronic neglect, domestic abuse, substance misuse and non-accidental injury, representing parents, children’s guardians and other family members. Jessica acts for parents and grandparents in a wide range of family law and private law children applications, dealing with cases involving

19th June 2017 Read more

Heading AD & AM (Fact-Finding: Re-Hearing) [2016] EWHC 2912 (Fam)

Tina Cook QC, Damian Woodward-Carlton and Fareha Choudhury appeared in this re-hearing of a fact finding. A mother found to have inflicted near-fatal injuries to the spine and skull of her infant son, successfully applied to re-hear the findings of fact. Newly-obtained medical evidence of the child’s spinal osteopenia led the Court to replace its

12th January 2017 Read more

Archer v Titchener: Did Judge Loomis get it right?

After the almost unbearable tension of the criminal hearing to determine whether or not Helen would be found guilty of stabbing Rob, last week saw the family court hearing to determine the living and contact arrangements for Henry and Jack. Four members of the chambers’ family team, who are all addicted to the Archers, have

19th September 2016 Read more

Chambers is delighted to announce that Monica Ford and Edward Lloyd-Jones, both formerly of Fourteen, have joined our family team.

Monica is a specialist family practitioner with extensive experience in public law children cases and regularly instructed in public law care proceedings involving non-accidental injury, infant death, fabricated illness, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, Special Guardianship and adoption. Edward was called to the bar in 2012 having previously had a successful career as a solicitor. He

8th August 2016 Read more

Chambers is delighted to welcome Emma Romer from East Sussex County Council

Emma has very wide experience in all areas of children law and practice including care proceedings (including cases with an international element involving Brussels IIR and the Hague Convention), emergency remedies and adoption law and process (she was legal adviser to the agency decision-maker) including adoptions with a foreign element.

19th July 2016 Read more

Parents with learning disabilities in care proceedings seminar 10th March 2016

Seminar on parents with learning disabilities given on 10th March. Gemma Taylor (barrister 42 Bedford Row) outlined the duties of Local Authorities to parents with learning disabilities and the recent case law. Rachel Butt (Senior Advocate, Impetus) explained how parents actually experience court proceedings and what steps could be taken to improve outcomes. Please find

14th March 2016 Read more

Siân Gough acted for the younger children in the case of Hampshire County Council v A, B, C, D & E [2015] EWFC B186

The 22 day final hearing took place over a period of 19 months. The local authority were found to have extensively breached the family's human rights by the unlawful removal of the children from the parents' care, failure to fairly involve the parents in the decision-making process, the deliberate failure to disclose material evidence, failure to promote family life and the failure to undertake a fair assessment.

2nd December 2015 Read more

Paedophile Ring successful convictions

A Paedophile case in which Tina Cook QC appeared both in the Court of Appeal and later in the High Court on a jurisdiction matter has culminated in successful prosecutions of the Mother in the Norwich Crown Court.

29th July 2015 Read more

Family Law Awards

Chambers is delighted to announce that Zimran Samuel has been awarded Family Junior Barrister of the Year by Jordan Publishing. Congratulations are also extended to Frank Feehan QC who was a short-listed nominee in the category of Family Silk of the Year both by Jordan Publishing and Chambers and Partners.

21st October 2014 Read more

Family Law Awards 2014 shortlist announced

Chambers is delighted to announce that Frank Feehan QC has been shortlisted for Family Law QC of the Year 2014 and Zimran Samuel has been shortlisted for Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year 2014.

28th July 2014 Read more

Re P (Children- Relocation) EWCA 2014 (6th June 2014)

The Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal of a Mother seeking to relocate with her two children to Germany. The Mother's application had been dismissed by the lower court after it found that the Mother was motivated to stop contact.

18th June 2014 Read more

Deaf parents – Court of Appeal Guidelines

Frank Feehan QC and Francesca Conn successfully appealed against full care order and placement orders on behalf of a profoundly deaf parent. The Court of Appeal judgment provides guidelines for cases involving a deaf parent.

22nd April 2014 Read more


Mary Lazarus' highly topical three-part article on "Reporting Restrictions and the New Transparency", published this week by Family Law Week, is essential reading on this controversial subject.

10th March 2014 Read more

Alcohol testing in Children Act cases

Julie Stather analyses the various methods of alcohol testing now available in Children Act proceedings, including the latest developments in transdermal alcohol continuous testing. Read the complete article here: Alcohol Testing – What are the options?

21st November 2013 Read more

42 Bedford Row launches Human Rights Working Group

Children within care proceedings and those with mental health difficulties represent some of the most vulnerable groups in society. The Family Law Team at 42 Bedford Row is dedicated to principles of fairness and equality underpinning the Human Rights Act 1998. Members of the Family Team are able to provide specialist advice and representation in

16th November 2013 Read more

Child Rights Manual for Unicef

The Bar Human Rights Committee has been nominated for the Bar Pro Bono Unit Award for writing the Child Rights Manual for Unicef Nigeria. Zimran Samuel formed part of the legal team who wrote and edited the forthcoming publication on behalf of Unicef.

24th October 2013 Read more

Family private international law – problems in England and Wales

April 2013 saw the UK government remove public funding through the recently renamed Legal Aid Authority from private law work and representation unless domestic violence of a serious nature is revealed. For years as part of the legal culture and representation of parties before the courts of England and Wales many Mother or Fathers were

13th September 2013 Read more

Exceptional press protection for defendant mother & family

Mary Lazarus successfully obtained a highly exceptional order for an Applicant Father whose ex-wife was in the throes of a massive benefit fraud trial, based on her fraudulent claims that her children were disabled. Her trial involved extensive exposure of five of her eight children’s private lives, and her defence involved detailed trawls through their medical

30th May 2013 Read more