Clive Styles

Clive has 30 years of experience of practising on the South East Circuit. His flexible practice includes most types of cases, but his principal areas of work are now rooted mainly in Family law. He also has a particular interest in contested probate matters and Inheritance Act claims.

He is increasingly undertaking more Direct Public Access work. He is fully committed to finding the best possible outcomes for his clients and aims to provide a flexible service in order to meet their needs. As such, he is always willing to hold conferences at a venue most convenient for the client, whether at one of the Chambers’ locations or at the offices of instructing Solicitors. This does not restrict his practice to cases in Kent or Sussex, and he is prepared to travel further afield to represent clients.

Clive has a reputation getting quickly to the central point of a case, and for offering realistic advice from the outset.


Public Law Children

Clive is regularly instructed to represent local authorities, parents, guardians and the Official Solicitor. His work in this area encompasses cases involving allegations of sexual abuse and non-accidental injury as well as neglect or emotional harm to children.

His cases can involve him in work involving parents who have significant learning difficulties, mental health issues or difficulties with substance abuse.

Clive Styles' Public Law Children Cases

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

Articles by Clive Styles


In the recently reported case of T & R (Children)(Refusal of Placement Order) [2021] EWCA Civ 71, the Court of Appeal had to determine an appeal made by a local authority and guardian against the refusal of the trial judge to make placement orders in respect of two young children. The case is of particular Continue reading

New Guidance for Special Guardianship Orders

In June 2020 the Family Justice Council (“FJC”) published its report on how to achieve best practice with respect to special guardianship orders. The report arrives in a climate where in recent years, family courts have made more special guardianship orders than placement orders and the proportion of special guardianship order has risen whilst the Continue reading

Clive Styles' Testimonials for Public Law Children

“Clive was great, took the bull by the horns and dealt with the matter with autonomy.”

Mr M from Solicitors Instructing Clive Styles – November 20

Children - Private Law (CAP)

Clive has considerable experience in representing parents and children in private law cases.

The majority of his cases involve complex family disputes and he has experience in dealing with intractable contact disputes, applications to change a child’s surname and applications to remove a child from the jurisdiction. His experience also includes cases involving child abduction, and acting in fact finding hearings involving allegations of sexual abuse or serious domestic violence.

Clive Styles' Children - Private Law (CAP) Cases

Contested contact dispute

Clive represented a Mother who sought to oppose the Father’s application to have staying contact with his son in a European country in which he was resident. The case involved a number of safeguarding issues including past domestic abuse, failure to seek proper medical treatment for the child and the use of illegal drugs. Clive Continue reading

Permission to remove from the jurisdiction

Clive represented a Mother seeking the permission of the court to remove her children from the jurisdiction so that they could all go and live abroad permanently. The case was of huge importance to the client as it involved a plan for a complete change of lifestyle for her and the children. Clive advised his Continue reading

Enforcing an application on behalf of a Father

Clive acted for a Father in a long-running application for contact with his child. The Mother engaged only sporadically with the proceedings and failed to comply with orders made on a number of occasions. Clive recommended that enforcement proceedings be issued and thereafter persuaded the Court to make both an enforcement order requiring the Mother Continue reading

Articles by Clive Styles

Clive Styles' Testimonials for Children - Private Law (CAP)

The client has emailed me over the weekend and has asked me to pass on to you both his appreciation for acting for him in this case. He is very happy with the outcome of these proceedings and wanted me to pass onto you his best wishes.

Solicitors Instructing Clive Styles – June 2021

“Thank you for this and for all your help yesterday enabling ‘A’ to get the result she did. She was clearly delighted.”

Ms M from solicitors instructing Clive Styles – April 18

“Just wanted to say thank you for all you have done for me and my family. We are truly grateful.”


Ms M Instructing Clive Styles through Solicitors – May 2017

Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

Clive advises and represents clients in financial disputes between both former spouses and co-habitants (TOLATA claims).

  • Recent cases have involved the following:
  • Analysis of company business accounts
  • Substantial farming assets
  • Cases with an international element
  • Inherited wealth

“…Mr Styles was excellent…thanks for all your support with this…”

“…Thank you to Clive Styles for his help today and the clerks for arranging things so quickly for me, great service and, using Direct Access, very affordable…”

“…you should be very proud of Mr Styles. He deserves to be at the top of your list of excellent barristers…he performed very well, and I want you to know how proud I was to have him represent me…” 

Clive Styles' Divorce & Matrimonial Finance Cases

Protecting an injured Husband’s damages payout

Clive acted for a Husband who had suffered significant injuries in a road traffic accident and who had subsequently received substantial damages for those injuries. The Wife now sought to make a claim for a lump sum payment based upon her perceived entitlement to some of the compensation monies. Clive successfully persuaded the Court that Continue reading

Substantial family assets

Clive represented a husband in a case involving substantial family-held farming assets. The case involved him in obtaining and assimilating expert valuation evidence of those assets and accountant’s reports obtained in the case.

Articles by Clive Styles

Open All Hours? Flexible Operating Hours for Family and Civil Courts

On the 16th November 2018 the Flexible Operating Hours (“FOH”) Pilots: Prospectus for Civil and Family Court Pilots was published. HM Courts and Tribunals Service (“HMCTS”) announced that early and late sittings will now be trialled over six months in civil and family courts in Manchester Civil Justice Centre and Brentford County Court, commencing in Continue reading

Clive Styles' Testimonials for Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

“….Thank you to Clive Styles for his help today and the clerks for arranging things so quickly for me, great service and using Direct Access very affordable….”

Mrs S instructing Clive Styles through the DPA scheme – April 14

Probate & Inheritance

Clive advises and represents clients in Inheritance Act claims and contested probate matters, and has recently advised on matters concerning:

  • Construction of wills
  • Questions arising on the distribution of an estate
  • Issues of testamentary capacity
  • Rectification of a will.

Clive is very conscious of his clients’ costs and looks to resolve issues before they get to court where possible, offering sensible, pragmatic advice at an early stage. He is always very happy to represent people at round table discussions in an attempt to settle a case before it gets out of hand. However, where early settlements are not possible, he will represent his clients’ interests with forceful advocacy and his tenacity is much valued.

“…Just wanted to say thank you for all of the work that you put into the case, it’s very much appreciated, thank you again…”

Clive Styles' Probate & Inheritance Cases

Acting for a child in Inheritance Act dispute

Clive acted for a child in an Inheritance Act dispute involving a large estate in this country as well as significant assets abroad, which required assimilation of substantial quantities of paperwork. A significant issue in the case was whether the deceased had died domiciled in England and Wales.  

Clive Styles' Testimonials for Probate & Inheritance

“….Just wanted to say thankyou for all of the work that you put into the case, it’s very much appreciated thankyou again….”

Mr T instructing Clive Styles through the DPA scheme – July 15