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

Some Further Thoughts on Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Further to my previous article on pre-nuptial agreements, I have recently had cause to consider the overlap between the various possible vitiating factors, particularly undue influence and legal advice. Following on from Lord Phillip’s consideration in Radmacher of the vitiating or weight reducing factors of duress, fraud, misrepresentation, undue pressure and unworthy conduct such as Continue reading

Pre-Nuptial Agreements – The Cracks in Radmacher – Are the Courts nibbling away at Pre-Nuptials from both ends?

The very recent decision of Mostyn J in Ipekci v McConnell [2019] EWFC 19 illustrates the fragility of Pre-Nuptial Agreements (“PNAs” hereafter) from one end (vitiation) and the same case and other recent decisions do so from the other end (the extent to which they bind the court even if valid). These two ends of Continue reading

Non-Matrimonial Assets

When is something that appears to be a matrimonial asset not in fact a matrimonial asset and how does a non-matrimonial asset become a matrimonial asset and, what difference does it make? The very recent High Court case of IX v IY [2018] EWHC 3053 (fam) concerns this issue and, whilst my colleague Dean Thistle Continue reading

Philip Newton's Testimonials for Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

“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

“Thank you very much for this, and also thank you for your great work in this case, I am very happy with the final result.”

Ms C instructing Philip Newton through solicitors – January 16

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

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 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

“Here is just a few things the client had to say about you:

Really amazing, Excellent, Got a grip of all the issues, Well prepared, Filled me with confidence, I felt like my voice was being heard.

It is sometimes a thankless job we do; in this instance your skill is appreciated.”

Mr M Instructing Solicitors using Philip Newton – April 2018

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