Public Law Children Cases

Representing a troubled teenager

Kevin represented a child in early teens, through a Children’s guardian. The child was beyond parental control and had absconded on numerous occasions, thereby becoming at risk. The case was listed by the court for a final hearing. By this time, the child had been placed with foster carers, and was enjoying a period of Continue reading

Returning alienated children to a Mother

Marie represented a Mother and successfully appealed a previous final order made by a District Judge. The Father had refused to return the children after holiday contact, and made very serious false allegations against the Mother to the Police and Children’s Services. Although none of these were later considered to be true by the Court Continue reading

Rare application for care by an older sibling

Marie represented an older sibling in a rare application to discharge a care and placement order by an adult sibling, in a case where the natural Mother had sadly and unexpectedly died. The child (a young baby) had been made subject to a final care order and placed for adoption a few months earlier. Marie’s Continue reading

Representing a child wishing to remain in foster care

Sandria represented a child through a Guardian. The child had been in long term foster care following long term drug and alcohol issues relating to the Mother. The child’s Father was not available or able to act appropriately with the Mother, creating a highly toxic and acrimonious relationship. The Mother was now fully rehabilitated and Continue reading

Prohibited steps order preventing relocation

Marie represented a Father in a case where he had been sharing care of his young child with the Mother after separation. As a result of an incident between the parents, the Police were called, following which a dispute arose between the parties. The Mother alleged domestic violence, which the Marie’s client disputes, and all Continue reading

Representing children via a Guardian

Marie represents the children via their Guardian in this case, where proceedings have been on-going for some time. The parents separated acrimoniously, and there are allegations of parental alienation on both sides. The difficulties are such that the Court ordered a Guardian to represent the children under rule 16.4. The children live with their Mother Continue reading

Defeating a Local Authority’s plan for adoption

Edward represented a first-time Father in care proceedings concerning a new-born baby. The mother of the child had a number of very serious convictions relating to her other children, and the baby had been placed in foster care at a few days old, before leaving hospital. The Father had profound learning difficulties, but sought to Continue reading

Seeking a Special Guardianship Order within care proceedings

Clive acted for a Grandmother seeking a Special Guardianship Order to care for her grandchildren. The Local Authority’s plan was for adoption. At first instance, before the Lay Justices, the Local Authority succeeded in its application for final care order and placement orders. However, Clive recommended that the decision should be appealed. Clive prepared the Continue reading

Clearing a Mother of allegations of physical harm

Clive represented a Mother at an interim care hearing where there were concerns about his client’s child having suffered significant physical harm. The Local Authority’s plan was to remove the child to foster care while further investigations were carried out. Clive successfully argued that a family placement would be more appropriate. This sensible approach to Continue reading

Returning children to family under strict supervision order

Ronald represented a Father in care proceedings where the Social Workers involved had described the case as, in their professional experience, the worst example of neglect that they had seen. The Local Authority’s position was bolstered by the parenting assessment of the Father and his partner by an independent social worker, who confirmed the Local Authority’s Continue reading

Dismissing allegations of sexual abuse against a Father

Philip represented a Father in a fact finding hearing relating to allegations of sexual abuse. Philip’s detailed and robust approach to his client’s predicament succeeded not only in getting all sexual abuse allegations against the Father dismissed, but also (in the welfare hearing) in discrediting the Local Authority’s experts to the extent that they have Continue reading

Returning children to a Father’s care

Philip represented the Father at the final hearing in care proceedings, where the Local Authority had made a negative assessment of his suitability as a carer for his children. Philip successfully argued against the Local Authority and the Guardian, persuading the Court that the Father had not been properly considered as a carer for his Continue reading

Helping a troubled family to avoid foster care

Sandria acted for the Respondent Father whose children had been removed to foster care, as a result of the Mother suffering severe mental health difficulties. Her client had been denied contact with his children for several years, despite private law proceedings. In addition, although no findings had been made, the Mother had made repeated allegations Continue reading

Enabling a young father to care for his baby

Marie represented a Father in a care case where the Mother had addiction problems and the young baby had been removed as a result. Marie’s client had been previously unaware that he had a child, but paternity testing confirmed him as the Father. He then became a party to the proceedings and was assessed. Initially, Continue reading

Supporting a Mother with significant learning difficulties

Marie represented a Mother of two young children, who has significant learning difficulties to the extent that she lacks capacity to instruct lawyers herself and the Official Solicitor is her Litigation Friend. In spite of her client’s difficulties, Marie successfully prevented the Local Authority from removing the children from her care at a hearing for Continue reading

Keeping a family together in the family home

Sandria acted for a Grandmother in a case where the Local Authority had issued care proceedings for four children, following neglectful care and appalling home conditions. Both parents had learning difficulties. The three younger children were placed with their Mother at Sandria’s client’s home, with the eldest child initially with other relatives. Following a negative Continue reading

Helping a vulnerable Mother retain care of her children

Marie represented a Mother of two young children. Marie’s client had significant learning difficulties to the extent that she lacked capacity to instruct lawyers herself and the Official Solicitor is her Litigation Friend. Marie is known for her sensitive approach working with vulnerable clients. In spite of her client’s difficulties, at a hearing for an Continue reading

Dismissing false allegations of sexual abuse

Philip represented a Father accused by the Mother of sexual abuse of their two children. Philip was successful in getting all the allegations dismissed, and his client’s relationship with the children returned to regular staying contact and half of school holidays.

Enabling a Father to be assessed as a carer for his children

Philip represented a Father at the final hearing in care proceedings, and successfully argued against the Local Authority and the Guardian that the Father had not been properly considered as a carer for all three of his children. The final hearing was adjourned to enable such assessment of Philip’s client to take place.

Representing a vulnerable Mother and children

Sandria acted for a Mother in a case which encompassed domestic violence incidents between the parents, and the Father being arrested for involvement in a child sexual abuse ring. Both parents were very young, and the Mother was severely traumatised by the late night removal of her child. There were trust issues, compounded by poor Continue reading

Keeping a family together after a tragic event

Kevin acted for the father of a young child. The family had recently suffered a tragedy and were struggling emotionally. The local authority was seeking the child’s removal from the parents’ care on the grounds of neglect, and had begun care proceedings. Kevin was able to work sensitively with the family, and the local authority, Continue reading

Protecting a mother but enabling contact

Marie acted for a mother of very young children who had suffered domestic violence. After a successful fact finding hearing where findings of domestic violence were made against the father, and after 6 months on a domestic violence perpetrators’ course, supervised contact commenced. This gradually became unsupervised contact in circumstances where Marie’s client did not Continue reading

Helping a father re-establish contact

Ronald represented a father in private law proceedings where the mother was reluctant to agree to the children seeing the father. The mother’s position was that the children had decided that they no longer wanted to see their father. Ronald’s client had been offered a ‘take it or leave it’ contact arrangement of a maximum Continue reading

Enabling a mother to retain care of her children

Ronald represented a mother of four children in care proceedings. At the first hearing, the matter was listed for immediate removal of the children from the mother’s care and this application was supported by the guardian for the children. Ronald was able to persuade the court that the mother should be allowed the opportunity to Continue reading

Supporting a step-father through contested adoption

Sophie represented a step-father in a rather unusual application for adoption. The child had resided with the mother and step-father for a period of eleven years, following allegations and subsequent conviction of the biological father for cruelty against the child. The adoption application was strongly opposed by the biological father, who appeared in person. Throughout Continue reading

Representing a Mother with severe mental health difficulties

Sandria represented a Mother whose three children had been removed her care into foster care placements. Sandria’s client had pre-existing and continuing mental health difficulties, and the Local Authority had had great difficulty in dealing her, as had she was seemingly unable to understand their concerns, and very reluctant to engage in any meaningful way. Continue reading

Supporting a Father in a complex care case

Sandria acted for a Father of two children, the eldest of four who had been removed from the care of the Mother. The Mother had some mental health difficulties, and assessments were required as to how the four children could best be cared for. Initially, the Father of the youngest child had the child in Continue reading

Maintaining Contact between a Mother and children

Marie represented a Mother with substance misuse and mental health issues as a result of her poor childhood experiences. During the proceedings, Marie’s client was not able to successfully address those issues and become abstinent. As a result it was clear that she was unable to care for the children safely. Marie’s sensitive and supportive Continue reading

Maintaining contact between father and child

Sandria acted for a Father in a case where four children had been removed from the Mother’s care. The children all had different fathers, each of whom had put themselves forward to care for their own child. With Sandria’s representation, although his child remained in foster care, her client achieved good contact arrangements. These would Continue reading

Maintaining contact with a child

Sandria represented a Mother through fact finding and final hearing in a case in which the child had suffered severe injuries. This was a sensitive and difficult case, as Sandria’s client not only accepted from the outset that she had failed to protect the child from significant harm, but also had drug abuse problems and Continue reading

Returning a child to a mother’s care

Sandria represented a Mother throughout a case which involved alcohol and drug misuse, coupled with the death of a child while in the client’s care. Sandria’s particular approach was to establish a good working relationship with her client, working with her in a non-judgmental, supportive and encouraging way. This helped the Mother to address her Continue reading

Appealing fact-finding on behalf of a mother

Philip represented a mother in care proceedings that went on appeal from fact-finding decisions and then to a further final hearing. He successfully appealed all the serious findings of fact made against the parents. In the final hearing, he further succeeded in obtaining a finding that the threshold criteria were not made out and that Continue reading

Contact orders complicated by custodial sentence

Marie represented the mother in a contact application by the father, who had been serving a prison sentence since the child’s birth and had drug and alcohol problems. A period of supervised contact was tried but was unsatisfactory, and proceedings lasted for two and a-half years. Testing showed that the father continued to have issues Continue reading

Supporting a father with mental health issues

Marie represented a father in care proceedings in his application for contact with his child. Her client had complex problems of drug addiction and serious mental health issues. There were also issues of domestic violence. Despite this, he was assessed positively, and Marie’s experience of working with parents struggling to cope with similar problems helped Continue reading

Special Guardianship Order for grandmother

Marie successfully represented a grandmother in an Appeal to the County Court where an Interim Care Order for removal of her grandchild was made against the parents in the Family Proceedings Court.  The child had been placed in foster care. This was overturned by the County Court, who placed the child with the grandmother. A Continue reading

Mother and baby placement

Marie represented a father in proceedings where he and the mother were jointly caring for their newborn having successfully resisted a removal at birth. The mother had had previous children removed from her care, but time had elapsed. With Marie’s help, the couple was able to convince the Court that the baby should remain in Continue reading

Securing parental contact in a foster care case

Marie acted for a father with serious mental health and addiction issues in case in the Family Proceedings Court. Although the final outcome for the children was long-term foster care, Marie was successful in securing for her client on-going long-term contact, enabling him and his children to maintain a relationship.

Supporting a teenage mother and her child

Marie represented a teenage mother in the County Court who was alleged to have inflicted a non-accidental injury on her child. The Local Authority was seeking to remove the infant from her care. With Marie’s help, the application for an interim order with removal to foster care pending the final hearing was successfully resisted. Experts Continue reading

Helping a mother regain care of children

Marie represented a mother in the County Court in a case where the concerns were about her inability to separate from a violent partner who was the father of her two young children. The Court made a final order for the children to be adopted. Marie took this case to the Court of Appeal. As Continue reading

Representing a vulnerable mother

Kevin represented a mother of multiple children in proceedings involving allegations of gross neglect, drug abuse and domestic violence, which was listed for final hearing. Due to mental health issues and cognitive difficulties, the mother was regarded as a vulnerable party. Kevin’s sensitive handling of the case, including over the course of a two-day trial, Continue reading

Fighting care order and removal from mother’s care

Philip represented a mother on a Local Authority’s application for an interim care order and removal of the children from the mother’s care. [O1] Despite the circumstances, he was successful in avoiding both removal and a care order. On being told of the result by email the instructing solicitor’s response was “Remarkable! Many thanks.”   Continue reading

Enabling a father to retain care of his baby

Philip represented a father on the Local Authority’s application for an interim care order to remove the child, a baby, from his care. The case involved Philip’s skill in drafting careful written submissions on the law and facts, which resulted in the Local Authority accepting that the child could remain living with the father.

Special Guardianship Order for grandparents

Edward acted for the grandparents in an application for a Special Guardianship Order for their grandchildren. It was alleged that the mother had neglected the children and was unable to look after the child The mother contested, but the Court would grant the Special Guardianship Order in favour of the grandparents.

Acting for a Father in a complex fact-finding

Edward acted as junior counsel for a Father in a complex fact-finding in the High Court in care proceedings concerned with allegations of the abuse and exploitation of children and child prostitution. The Court would order that the Father’s child should return to live with him.  

Care proceedings involving non-accidental injuries

Edward represented a mother during fact-finding hearing in care proceedings where a five-month old child was found to have multiple rib fractures, multiple arm fractures, a leg fracture and bruising. All fractures were found to be non-accidental injuries which had been inflicted on more than one occasion. It was the view of the local authority, Continue reading

Child sexual abuse / exploitation case with jurisdictional issues

Clive acted for a respondent parent in lengthy fact finding hearings in the High Court that involved serious allegations including child prostitution, rape and drug misuse. The hearings generated a huge volume of paperwork which needed to be assimilated and understood. The case dealt with jurisdictional issues as well as various applications concerning disclosure, whether Continue reading

Care Proceedings involving domestic and sexual abuse

Ronald acted for a mother in care proceedings at a three-day final hearing, involving issues of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and failure to protect. This case deals with Ronald’s skills in: * assimilating and prioritising large volumes of evidence * demonstrating to the court the efforts the mother had made to change and sustain Continue reading

Care Proceedings involving injury to a young child

Ronald acted for a father in care proceedings where the parents were alleged to have caused numerous fractures to their infant child. The father disputed that he had harmed the child despite both experts agreeing that the x-rays showed the presence of fractures. This case particularly illustrates Ronald’s skills in: * dealing with sensitive issues Continue reading

Preventing Removal

Philip acted for a mother in opposing the removal of her child from her care. He was successful in defeating the application for an interim care order, which led to the child remaining permanently with the mother.

Non-accidental injury

Philip represented a father and succeeded in avoiding any non-accidental injury findings against his client despite expert and other evidence against him. The local authority and medical experts’ case was that the mother and/or the father must have intentionally inflicted the child’s injuries. Extensive cross-examination and submission led the court to accept the father’s case Continue reading

Preventing Removal

Philip acted for the father at the final care hearing, to successfully prevent the removal of a child from both parents. The mother, with whom the client lived, had had all other children removed from her care. The local authority and expert psychological evidence was entirely against the parents, but detailed cross-examination of the social Continue reading

Child prostitution and international law

Philip acted for a father in a High Court multi-handed care case that took up over two months of court time, and involved the abuse and exploitation of children, including child prostitution. The case required his particular expertise in dealing with international and cross-cultural elements, specifically relating to Eastern Europe, as well as extremely complex Continue reading

Mother and new partner seeking to adopt

Christopher acted for a mother and her new husband – with whom the children had developed a particularly good relationship and who sought to adopt the children. The father objected. Christopher successfully persuaded the court to grant the adoption.

Care proceedings where Mother had mental health issues

Christopher acting for a mother at the final hearing and on appeal where a Care Order had been sought as the result of his client’s neglect of her older children and of concerns about her mental health. This case involved Christopher’s particular skills in: acting for vulnerable clients with mental health issues ensuring his clients Continue reading

Special Guardianship for a grandparent

Corey acted for a paternal grandfather in care proceedings brought against parents who had substance misuse and parenting issues. Corey met the grandfather at the first hearing, and stayed with the case all the way through to final hearing. He explained and supported the client through the process of becoming a party to the case, Continue reading

Designating a Local Authority.

Corey acted for one of three Local Authorities in care proceedings, where the mother had mental health issues. The main issue was which Local Authority had responsibility for the case, whether by reason of the mother’s ordinary residence, or because of the area in which her behaviour had deteriorated. The case required legal research and Continue reading

Child neglect/Resisting a Care Order

Corey acted for a client with substance misuse issues who was the father of three children who were made the subject of care proceedings. His client was accused of domestic violence, substance misuse and criminality. The mother had mental health difficulties and a child by a subsequent partner. Corey was able to work with his Continue reading

Reuniting a family after unexpected death in foster care

Corey acted for the father of two young children taken into interim care on basis of alleged domestic violence and neglect. The youngest child died unexpectedly in foster care from an unexplained cause, and the case transferred to High Court. Despite their grief, and with Corey’s support, both parents, who remained together, undertook various courses Continue reading

Keeping children within the extended family

Corey acted for a single young mother of two children, one autistic with ADHD, both of whom the local authority wanted taken into care on basis of the mother’s alleged inability to cope. Corey was able to communicate with this vulnerable client sensitively and effectively, and guided her through the complex trial and appeal processes. Continue reading

Representing a child in Care Proceedings

Melanie acted for a 15 year old with subtle but far-reaching speech and language difficulties. The child had very poor impulse control, low inhibitions, repeatedly self-harmed and absconded from both home and foster care placements. In an extreme decision the child was placed into a Detention Centre for her own safety for 6 months overall, Continue reading

Roma Slovakian parents

Melanie acted for Roma Slovakian parents at Court in a trial involving the use of translators, cultural and jurisdictional issues, and a child with disabilities. She successfully obtained an order that the child be retained under a supervision order.

Keeping a child in extended family care

Kevin represented the mother and maternal grandmother in proceedings where there were allegations of domestic violence and alcohol abuse against both parents, who had separated. The allegations were proven against both parents and the judge ruled that the child could not be placed in the care of either of them. The Local Authority wanted to Continue reading

Child sexual abuse

Kevin represented the parents in a case where the father was accused of sexually abusing the oldest child. Having removed the children from the family under interim care orders, the local authority sought to prove the allegations and to have all of the children placed permanently in care. The parents denied the allegations and sought Continue reading

Child sexual abuse/physical and emotional abuse

Kevin represented the children in High Court proceedings where the parents were accused of sexual abuse and child cruelty against their own children. Both parents were represented by leading and junior counsel and the proceedings were strongly contested. In addition to disputing the factual allegations, points of law and procedure were raised on behalf of Continue reading

Keeping children within the extended family

Mike acted as Senior Junior Counsel for a Slovak parent in a four week fact finding hearing in the High Court involving two other Slovak/Czech families, with serious allegations of child sexual exploitation, prostitution, rape and drug use. There were ongoing criminal proceedings, and the case involved Mike’s expertise in: assimilating large volumes of police Continue reading

Non-accidental injury

Mike acted for two young children (the younger of whom was born with multiple health problems) who had sustained serious non-accidental injuries. The older child had sustained a serious injury at under 3 months which had been accepted as accidental. However when the younger child presented with similar this was re-examined and more injuries were Continue reading

Special Guardianship Order to grandparents

Mike acted for a young mother with learning difficulties in a case involving serious allegations of non-accidental injuries to a baby, for which the court held the father (who had similar difficulties) to be probably responsible. With Mike’s representation, a Special Guardianship Order made to the child’s grandparents, allowing supervised contact with both parents.

Placing a child in father’s care

Mike acted for an Italian father who was alleged to have been violent to the mother of their very young daughter. The original plan was one of adoption but after establishing that the main problem was in fact the mother’s mental health, Mike was able to persuade the court that the child should be placed Continue reading

Contested interim care order

In a case involving 10 children, Mike acted for a 14 year old boy considered competent to give separate instructions in a contested application for an interim care order which lasted 6 days.

Acting for a child

Mike acted for a nine year old girl who ran away from her mother to seek out her maternal grandmother, alleging that she had been assaulted by her mother’s partner. The case involved a total of six parties and the mother’s partner as intervener, and was one of the first cases involving the imposition of Continue reading

Care proceedings involving domestic violence

Mike acted for a father in one of the first cases involving marital rape. The care proceedings, which concerned three young boys, also included serious allegations of domestic violence and neglect resulting in injunctive and exclusion orders and non-contact orders. The father was also subject to serious criminal proceedings. The final hearing lasted 11 days Continue reading

Special Guardianship Order

Sophie represented a couple who sought the making of a Special Guardianship Order for a child currently residing with them. The nature of the case was complex as the applicant couple were family to the parents from whom the child was to be removed from. The case called for extreme sensitivity particularly as both parents of Continue reading

Opposing an Interim Care Order

Sophie represented a father in opposing the making of an Interim Care Order. The application was made by the Local Authority, based on a history of domestic abuse between the parents that spanned several years. Both parents had significant mental health issues that had also raised concerns with the Local Authority. Sophie’s ability to build Continue reading

Opposing an Emergency Protection Order

Sophie represented a father and successfully opposed the making of an Emergency Protection Order sought by the Local Authority. Due to the nature of the application, the matter was dealt with under severe time constraints. This case illustrates Sophie’s ability to act quickly and effectively in situations requiring urgent action. By its very nature, an Continue reading

Children and adoption issues in care arrangements

Melanie acted on behalf of the Respondent in a five-day contested hearing involving care proceedings and the possibility of adoption proceedings. The Court ruled in favour of the Respondent’s proposal.

Non-accidental injury

Sandria’s client in this case was part of the ‘pool of perpetrators’ in a case of serious non-accidental injury to a child. The case made particular use of Sandria’s skills in: research into medical issues – in this instance, brain injuries, bleeds on the brain and the movement of the brain on impact, cross-examination of Continue reading

Acting for grandparents in a foster care situation

Sandria acted for a grandmother in a case where several children had been removed from the mother and her current partner into foster care, initially due to neglect. Whilst in foster care it became clear that the children had also been the victims of sexual abuse. Sandria’s client was the grandmother of only one of Continue reading

A father’s Primary Care Order

Sandria represented a father in a Bangladeshi family with a young baby. The mother had severe mental health issues and the baby was with foster carers. Her client’s aim was to be appointed Primary Carer for the baby so that the child could remain with its parents in the future. Sandria’s approach to this case Continue reading

Supporting a mother with mental health issues

Sandria represented a Lithuanian mother with older children. Due to the mother’s serious mental health issues, the children had been in foster care for several months. The local authority aimed to have her children rehomed with relatives, but they were a considerable distance from the mother. Particularly valuable in this case were: Sandria’s ability to Continue reading

Defeating Interim Care Order Applications

Child protection concerns arising from a domestically abusive relationship between parents caused the local authority to issue care proceedings to remove the children of the couple from their care and place them in foster homes. Louisa worked with and advised the parents and extended family members with the result that they were able to propose Continue reading

Mother and baby placement

Louisa represented a young and vulnerable mother and was able to persuade the other parties and the court that a mother/baby placement should be tried rather than the baby being removed from the mother’s care. Louisa’s client was allowed a 12-week assessment of her parenting capacity whilst benefitting from the advice of an experienced foster Continue reading

Parents accused of non-accidental injury of their child

Louisa acted for a parent suspected of causing a non-accidental injury to their child, who had sustained a fractured leg and bruising. This case required Louisa to: sensitively manage the emotional issues of the case identify and instruct appropriate medical experts, given a family history of medical conditions that may have provided some alternative explanation Continue reading

Special Guardianship

Holly represented grandparents in proceedings in which the Local Authority were seeking to have the children adopted. The children’s father was blind and the mother had a very low IQ; both had been assessed as not able to care for the children. Holly represented the grandparents at the final hearing, at which they were seeking Continue reading

Contested interim care order

Holly represented a client with serious mental health issues in proceedings in which the Local Authority were seeking to remove her children pending further assessments. The client was being supported by a Crisis team and attended court with a number of professionals. The case involved Holly in dealing with: a client who found the proceedings Continue reading

Child sexual exploitation

Holly acted as a junior in a 4-week fact-finding trial in the High Court involving serious allegations of drug use and dealing, prostitution, rape, and child sexual exploitation. The case involved a number of Eastern European families. The case involved Holly in dealing with: receipt of large volumes of Police evidence applications for Public Interest Continue reading