Philip Newton

Philip Newton is a highly experienced family law specialist who has practised exclusively in this field for over 20 years. His experience covers all aspects of family law including child law (care, residence, contact, removal from the country etc.) divorce, financial remedy, injunctive protection and international remedies.

In all aspects of his practice Philip is particularly known for acting with great sympathy for his clients’ difficulties with an absolute determination to do the very best that can be achieved for them.

Philip is equally happy dealing with the most serious care cases, the most hard fought children family disputes and the most complex finance remedy cases.

He has been based in Canterbury, specialising in family law since 1990, having begun his career at the bar as a criminal barrister practising from the Temple (including the Attorney General’s set), where he developed the robust courtroom skills that now help him to get the best results for his family law clients.

Philip also has a Master’s degree in international human rights law and holds a Diploma from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He therefore deals confidently with the variety of international issues that arise in his practice, as well as having an instinct and determination for the protection of human rights generally and all those made vulnerable by mental and physical disability or by circumstances whether cultural, religious, racial or any another.

Philip is also a qualified Family Law (Children) Arbitrator (‘the Children Scheme’), by which private law children disputes may be dealt with by him making the decisions for the parties as arbitrator without the need for court proceedings and in a process and timetable agreed by the parties.

Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

Philip Newton’s practice encompasses all aspects of divorce and matrimonial finance. His expertise in the financial side of divorce has been built-up over more than 20 years practising in family law and extends to the most complex of cases.

Typical examples of Philip’s work in this area would include:

  • Advising, drafting documents and representing in all aspects of Divorce and Matrimonial Finance
  • First Directions Appointments, Financial Dispute Resolutions Appointments and Final Hearings in Financial Remedy Proceedings
  • Disputes over the matrimonial property, the house and any other assets
  • Maintenance for the Wife or Husband
  • Interim Maintenance for the Wife or Husband
  • Legal Services Payment Orders.
  • Injunctions to prevent one party from disposing of the any of the matrimonial assets
  • Financial Provision for Children
  • Applications to vary the final Order
  • Appeals from the final decision.

Recent financial cases have involved such complications as debilitating illness, a lottery win, post-separation acquired wealth, a stellar career prematurely ended by mental health problems, multiple businesses, property held abroad, conduct allegations relating to prostitution successfully relied upon, and appeals.

Philip Newton's Divorce & Matrimonial Finance Cases

Preserving assets in multi-asset case

Philip represented the Wife in a large and multi-asset case in which legal issues of both conduct and non-matrimonial property arose, and which was further complicated by the sale of an accountancy business. Philip was successful in preserving the vast majority of his client’s assets.

Articles by Philip Newton

The Thwaite Jurisdiction: The Power to Vary Orders Not Yet Fully Executed & Possible Limits on Varying a Lump Sum by Instalments

The primary purpose of this article is to draw attention to a very useful jurisdiction to vary financial remedy orders that is very rarely referred to, and used even less, but also, to refer cautiously to some obiter comments suggesting, against the general flow of judicial pronouncements, that it may provide only very limited remedies Continue reading

The Advance of the Principle of Separating Off Non-Matrimonial Assets But Balanced by Needs and Resources Issues

Having written previously about non-matrimonial assets and had recent cause to carefully consider both, on the one hand the effect of the relatively recent decision in WX v HX [2021] EWHC 241 (Fam) that some argue goes to the next level in protecting non-matrimonial assets and, on the other hand, to what extent nonetheless non-matrimonial Continue reading

Philip Newton's Testimonials for Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

“Philip was/ and is a brilliant advocate. He had a firm grasp of the issues in the matter of ‘X’ which resulted in a successful outcome. I will highly recommend Philip due to his attention to detail and he has an excellent way with clients”

Miss I from solicitors instructing Philip Newton – February 23

“Mr Newton I’m not sure the following words really do justice to my appreciation of your hardwork over the last 18 months.Thank you so much for your guidance,encouragement and support in my case, I am immensely delighted with the outcome.”

Ms J Instructing Philip Newton through Solicitors – November 19

“Could you please pass on my sincere thanks to Philip for his advice ,support and time this morning. His hard work and expertise is much appreciated”

Miss J instructing Philip Newton through solicitors – May 19

Children - Private Law (CAP)

Philip Newton has considerable experience and expertise in family disputes relating to children (private law) having represented both sides of almost every imaginable parental dispute involving children in the more than 20 years that he has been specialising in family law.

The majority of his cases involve complex issues, and Philip has vast experience of dealing with cases involving intractable disputes between parents over with whom the children are to live; contact; removal from the country; both applying for and preventing emigration with the children; obtaining the children’s return after a wrongful removal abroad; schooling; cultural and religious differences and many other issues.

Typical examples of Philip’s cases in this area would include:

  • Disputes over who the children should live with
  • Contact disputes
  • Applications to remove or prevent the removal of the children from the country or to a different part of the country
  • Applications to return the children from abroad (international abductions)
  • Disputes over medical treatment of children
  • Disputes over the religious or cultural upbringing of children (e.g. Jehovah’s Witness, Muslim, Christian and Jewish)
  • Disputes over which school a child should attend
  • Applications for special guardianship or opposing such an application
  • Advising, drafting documents and representing in all aspects of family disputes over children.

Philip Newton's Children - Private Law (CAP) Cases

Shared care agreement for Father

Philip represented a Father in an acrimonious children dispute, where the Mother was making allegations of sexual abuse and withholding contact from him. Philip supported his client through the case, and all of the mother’s allegations were found not to have occurred. An Order was made that the children should live with both parents, i.e. Continue reading

Successfully dismissing a Father’s counter-allegations

Philip represented the Mother in an acrimonious contact dispute, where his client had made allegations of rape, threats to kill and strangulation as well as coercive and controlling behaviour by the Father. His client’s allegations were found proved and the cross allegation made by the Father were dismissed.  

Supporting a Mother in court against a controlling Father

Philip represents a Mother opposing the Father’s contact on the basis of his controlling and coercive behaviour. The case has so far only reached a directions hearing, but his sensitive representation and thorough preparation have been recognised by his client. Philip’s client, initially nervous about dealing with the controlling Father in court, felt that his Continue reading

Articles by Philip Newton

Permission to Appeal & Barder in Lockdown Plus Children Arbitration is the Answer

Two short but troubling issues in troubled times: Can the FR Appeal Court hold a one-sided oral permission hearing without formal notice to the Respondent? Does the pandemic/lockdown amount to a Barder event? Plus Arbitration simply is the answer, especially for children. Permission to Appeal Hearing I have recently had to consider whether it is Continue reading

Children Arbitration

Article 1 of the Family Law Arbitration Children Scheme Arbitration Rules 2016 (1st Edition, effective, 18th July 2016) “The Family Law Arbitration Children Scheme (“the Children Scheme”) is a scheme under which disputes concerning the exercise of parental responsibility and other private law issues about the welfare of children may be resolved by the determination Continue reading

Philip Newton's Testimonials for Children - Private Law (CAP)

“I will say as usual both my client and I found Philip extremely well prepped, direct and honest in his advice and sympathetic to my client’s particular unique set of circumstances.

My client and indeed I were more than satisfied with Philip’s representation  and clearly I would not hesitate to continue to instruct him on matters, both in relation to children and finances.”

Ms S from Solicitors Instructing Philip Newton – November 20

“Please can you pass on my thanks and appreciation to Mr Newton for his continued excellent work on my case. I really do feel confident that I know the children and I are in the best hands with him. He is fighting extremely well for our best interests, with what is an incredibly difficult situation for us. He has a great way of ensuring my voice and concerns are listened to by the court, something of which I don’t believe I could achieve on my own.”

Ms W Instructing Philip Newton through the DPA scheme – August 20

“I was very pleased with the work undertaken by Chambers and Counsel. Counsel provided me with the outcome very quickly and did a superb job.”

Mr H from Solicitors Instructing Philip Newton – December 19

Public Law Children

Philip Newton has considerable experience and expertise in public law proceedings involving children (care cases) having represented parents, carers, children and local authorities.

Typical examples of Philip’s cases in this area include:

  • Contested Emergency Protection Order hearings
  • Contested Interim Care Order hearings
  • Contested Final Care Order hearings (where for instance the Local Authority’s plan is to permanently remove children from the family)
  • Contested Placement Order hearings (the first stage of adoption)
  • Representing children in care proceedings
  • Adoption
  • Representing those seeking Special Guardianship Orders (usually family members) or opposing such applications
  • Advising, drafting documents and representing in all aspects of Care Proceedings.

But the majority of Philip’s cases involve complex issues and he has vast experience of dealing with cases involving, for instance, allegations of neglect, non-accidental injury, sexual abuse, child exploitation and international child law.

Philip’s clients particularly appreciate the clarity with which he is able to explain the most difficult and complex matters, coupled with his sympathy for their position, and his determination to fight their corner.

Philip Newton's Public Law Children Cases

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

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.

Articles by Philip Newton

Philip Newton's Testimonials for Public Law Children

“I do believe ( as result of this case)  and  have confidence that only you can the win the “un- winnable cases”  and that if you can’t then no one can. You have really instilled confidence in me about your capabilities.”

Ms K from Solicitors instructing Philip Newton – February 16

“Firstly may I say I have been meaning  to send you an email for a while and just have not had a chance to say how impressed I was in how you manged to exclude the evidence which was not something any other Counsel representing Mother managed to do.”

Ms K from Solicitors Instructing Philip Newton – January 16

Family Injunctions

Almost every aspect of Philip Newton’s family practice has involved injunctions of one sort or another in the 20 plus years that he has specialised in this area. Such injunctions might arise on their own by reason of allegations of domestic violence and/or an application for one of the parties to be ousted from the family home but, they might equally be bound up with protection of the parent and children in a children case or even protection of family money in a matrimonial finance case.

Typical examples of Philip’s cases in this area would be:

  • Non-molestation Orders – both obtaining and opposing
  • Occupation Order: Both obtaining and opposing
  • Obtaining and opposing injunctions in all children, family, divorce and cohabitation matters wherever appropriate.

Philip Newton's Family Injunctions Cases